American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Inadequate Protection, Fall on Rock, Failure to Follow Route — Ontario, Rattlesnake Point

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1985

INADEQUATE PROTECTION, FALL ON ROCK, FAILURE TO FOLLOW ROUTE

Ontario, Rattlesnake Point

About noon on June 24, 1984, a climber (26) was leading Jeopardy, a 5.10 single- pitch rock climb at Rattlesnake Point, Ontario. He had placed protection about two and a half and three and a half meters above ground. At seven or eight meters, just below the crux, he placed three pieces of protection, and moved up and left onto a smooth bulge. (The correct route goes to the right.) Failing to see the next move, and fatigued by the exertion of several attempts, he told his belayer that he was going to fall back and rest on his protection about one meter below. When he tried this, all three pieces popped out, and the climber dropped to the ground. He was fortunate to hit a patch of soft ground feet first, and as later examination revealed, suffered only bruises and a sprained wrist. Nearby climbers quickly got him to the parking lot and arranged transportation to hospital. (Source: Ralph Orr, Toronto)

Analysis

The accident might have been avoided with better placement of protection or greater familiarity with the route. An important reminder is that three marginal pieces of

protection are not adequate substitutes for one good placement. (Source: Ralph Orr, Toronto)

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