American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Rappel Failure, Inadequate Protection, Fall into Crevasse — Washington, Mount Shuksan

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


Washington, Mount Shuksan

On August 25, 1984, Richard Michelson (48) fell into a crevasse while descending Hell’s Highway on Mouont Shuksan when an anchor pulled out. He had three companions, and there were also several other parties in the vicinity, including one from The Mountaineers of Seattle. All of these parties gave aid in one way or another, and teams from Bellingham and Tacoma reached Michelson at the 2250 meter level late on Monday. The Chilliwack and Seattle teams started in the Sulphide Glacier trail shortly after first light on Tuesday, while the rescuers at the site raised Michelson back to the Sulphide in anticipation of a long carryout. About 0900 an unexpected window appeared in the weather pattern and all teams were held in place while an airlift was successfully completed. He had sustained a fractured right ankle and numerous bruises. (Source: Bergtrage, Seattle Mountain Rescue Council, 84-19, September 1984)


A snow bollard was being used as the anchor, so we are not sure what is meant by the anchor “pulling out.” This type of anchor requires care in setting up. (Source: J. Williamson)

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