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Fall on Rock, Nut Pulled Out, Colorado, Boulder Canyons


Colorado, Boulder Canyon

On June 1,1986, at the end of five days’ climbing in the Boulder area, Michael Stone (22) decided to try a lead harder than he had previously done, choosing Finger Crack (5.9+) on Elephant Buttress. Michael climbed up approximately six meters and established a second belay spot to allow Ian Wedmore (21) to watch him on the crux moves. Michael put in a #5 “Wedgefast” just off the belay, and a #5 “Rp” three meters above that. Mike began the crux moves and was about two meters above the “Rp” when he fell 12 meters, pulling both the Rp and Wedgefast, and fracturing his arm. (Source: Ian Wedmore, Skidmore College Outing Club)


When using small wired nuts, especially on a climb at the edge of one’s leading ability, place them often, especially when using Rps. Michael’s two meter run out was not enough to easily sheer out the Rp without breaking it.

A first aid note: strapping Mike’s arm and hand to his chest with a number of sewn slings and carabiners adequately established the fracture site for the walk down. Never overlook one’s gear when improvising splints. (Source: Ian Wedmore, Skidmore College Outing Club)