American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, California, Joshua Tree National Monument

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986

FALL ON ROCK

California, Joshua Tree National Monument

On September 22, 1985, I (Allen Sanderson [22]), was leading a moderate 5.8 crack on Dogleg. I had made good progress placing protection every two to three meters. About 12 meters into the climb, my foot slipped off the rock. I was able to stay on the rock and was moving upward when my hand jam slipped out. Subsequently, I fell about two meters, cutting my elbow on my way down. My partner, Mike Reeske, lowered me down. We cleaned the laceration with Betadine and applied a bandage. That evening six stitches were put into my elbow. (Source: Allen Sanderson)

Analysis

The climb was well within my abilities (I regularly climb 5.10 routes) and protection was adequate. I just made a bad move, which resulted in my fall. The first aid kit I carried was quite adequate. Glad I had it with me. (Source: Allen Sanderson)

(Editor’s Note: This is one of three reports from Joshua Tree National Monument. In April, two other accidents occurred, one to a hiker, which required, as rescue team member Tom Patterson said, “the toughest rescue I’ve faced in years. ” Both occurred in the Wonderland of Rocks area. This has become a popular climbing area.)

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