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Loss of Control—Voluntary Glissade, Inexperience, California, Mount Malloy


California, Mount Malloy

On a Sierra Club trip to Mt. Malloy on July 21, 1985, a woman (35) was unable to self arrest a sitting glissade in soft snow down a 30 degree chute while descending the mountain. She had successfully executed two self-arrests during practice, but was unable to do so in the chute. She lost her ice ax 65 meters after the start, though she was using a waist loop. She slid for 90 meters and hit a rock outcrop. Multiple fractures and abrasions resulted, and a rescue operation ensued. (Source: Bart Hine, China Lake Mountain Rescue Group)


The leader concluded that “practice” arrests may not effectively simulate “real” conditions for some people. A lack of upper body strength may have been a contributing factor to the ineffective arrest response. (Source: Bob Hicks, Chairman—Safety Committee of Angeles Chapter of Sierra Club)