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Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled Out, No Hard Hat, California, Joshua Tree National Monument

FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION PULLED OUT, NO HARD HAT

California, Joshua Tree National Monument

On December 21, 1986, Lawrence DeLong (38) was lead climbing “Double Cross,’” a 5.7 crack on Old Woman Rock. He was approximately six meters from the ground, with his second piece of protection, a Friend, placed at waist-level. DeLong fell, and the Friend pulled out of its placement. DeLong fell past his first piece of protection (a nut) and struck the rock face with his head approximately three meters above the ground. The nut prevented DeLong from falling to the ground. DeLong was unconscious and bleeding from the head. He subsequently expired on December 29 of a basal skull fracture. (Source: Mary Taber, Ranger, Joshua Tree National Monument)