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Fall on Rock, Climbing Alone and Unroped, California, Joshua Tree National Monument


California, Joshua Tree National Monument

On July 16,1986, at 0946, I contacted D. Michalakis (23) in campsite #9 of the Hidden Valley Campground concerning his extended stay in the park. I confronted Michalakis about several violations that I had observed. After a citation was issued, Michalakis advised me that he had fallen 20 meters while solo rock climbing on July 4. Michalakis received injuries to his right ankle, head, chest area and both arms. Most injuries consisted of lacerations and contusions. Michalakis stated that he did not know that he was required to report injury accidents to Park Rangers. Therefore, Michalakis reported the incident to no one and sought his own medical attention.

Michalakis was advised that he would have to leave the park no later than July 23. Failure to comply with request would result in his arrest. It was also learned during the interview that Michalakis was involved in a traffic accident on June 14 that he also failed to report to ranger staff. (Source: David Peterson, Ranger, Joshua Tree National Monument)

(Editor’s Note: We’ve all tried various ploys to gain the sympathies of an officer about to give us a ticket. This is an example of one that probably won’t work too often...)