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Fall on Rock, Climbing Alone, Placed No Protection — California, Yosemite Valley


California, Yosemite Valley

On August 17, 1984, a climber named Ernie Milan described the following accident to park rangers.

About 1200 on August 17, 1984, Milan was with a partner at the base of Low Profile Dome preparing to climb the “Golfer’s Route” when he met Rick Cashner (age unknown), who was also preparing to do a climb. Cashner told Milan that he was going to do a free solo of “Bacher’s Revenge.” Milan began his climb. About 30 minutes later at the last point of protection on the Golfer’s Route, Milan heard a thumping sound and, looking down and to his right, he observed the victim tumbling down head over feet, finally landing face down in the wooded area at the base of Low Profile Dome. Milan estimated that the victim fell a total of 23 to 25 meters on the 65 degree granite face. The climb is rated between 5.9 and 5.10. Immediately after the accident, Milan yelled for help to climber John Barbella, who was loading his car on the Tioga Road below; Barbella immediately drove to the Tuolumne Visitor’s Center to summon help.

The victim sustained multiple lacerations, abrasions and contusions, and about six teeth were knocked out. He was helicoptered to the Yosemite Medical Clinic and then to Modesto. (Source: Maynard Medefind, Ranger, Yosemite National Park)