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Loss of Control—Voluntary Glissade, Faulty Use of Crampons, Miscommunication, Inexperience, Washington, Mount Shuksan

LOSS OF CONTROL—VOLUNTARY GLISSADE, FAULTY USE OF CRAMPONS, MISCOMMUNICATION, INEXPERIENCE

Washington, Mount Shuksan

James Blilie (24), a strong but inexperienced climber, summited on Mt. Shuksan early on the morning of May 19, 1985, with several companions. As they started the descent, one of his fellow climbers told him how to glissade, but failed to tell him that he should first remove his crampons. In the resulting fall, he came directly into a 30-person party from the Boeing Alpine Society, some of whom could actually hear his left ankle snap. This incident occurred at the 2400 meter level at 0815. Dr. Roger Shay attended Blilie, while other climbers rigged a sled from skis and the whole party, by this time joined by five skiing physicians, descended to the 2000 meter level where John Pollock, the leader of the Boeing party, supervised the construction of a helicopter landing zone marked with stuff bags filled with snow and anchored with ice axes. The helicopter pick-up was made about 1600. (Source: Bergtrage, Seattle Mountain Rescue Council, 85-10, October 1985)