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Stranded, Exposure, Inadequate Equipment, Utah, Little Cottonwood Canyon


Utah, Little Cottonwood Canyon

On November 29, Sean Amastasian (19) and Tony Radcliffe (20) were located at the top of a climb called Split-Pants, or Gate Buttress (5.7). The climbers stated when they went up, the water in the base and on the walls of the climb were liquid, and there was no problem. As the day went on and started to cool down, the water froze making it impossible for the two climbers to descend without climbing equipment and ropes.

The initial Hasty Team followed the standard approach route to the Gate Buttress and then made a five pitch climb to the stranded climbers by climbing directly up the Split-Pants route. The route was covered with verglas. The two were belayed, one at a time, from their positions to a point 20 meters below to another belay point. They were lowered another 25 meters to a tree outcropping, then to a traverse and down a small pitch to the base of Gate Buttress, where they walked to the road and were placed in the Command Post. From there they were evaluated for injuries. Both men were cool but had no apparent frostbite or body temperature problems. (Source: Deputy Thad Moore, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office)