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Fall on Snow, Failure to Follow Instructions, Inadequate Equipment, California, Mount Gilbert

FALL ON SNOW, FAILED TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT

California, Mount Gilbert

On June 22,1986, a group of climbers was descending the snowy west side of the crest ridge in order to ascend a snow chute to the summit of Mount Gilbert. The leader observed a climber traversing toward some rocks. He was told emphatically not to enter the rocks and to follow the group down the snow. Climber restated his desire and leader again refused the request.

Climber disobeyed instructions, entered a steep tongue of hard snow in the rocky area and slipped. His arrest attempt failed and he impacted the rocks resulting in arm and hand lacerations and a sprained ankle. He was wearing soft topped work boots. (Source: Bob Hicks, Chairman, Safety Committee of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club)

Analysis

Climber had little experience and had no basis to override the leader judgment. Improper foot gear may have contributed to the fall and the ankle sprain. Climber should not have been permitted to climb without proper foot gear. (Source: Bob Hicks, Chairman, Safety Committee of the Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club)