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Fall on Snow, Climbing Unroped, Placed No Protection, Montana, Mount Reynolds

FALL ON SNOW, CLIMBING UNROPED, PLACED NO PROTECTION

Montana, Mount Reynolds

On May 31, 1986, Charles Bauer (27) and his brother, Lary (18), were climbing a technical route on Mount Reynolds when they encountered a steep chute filled with snow. They attempted to climb above and around the chute but eventually decided they would have to cross the snow. With crampons and ice ax, Charles Bauer jumped out onto the snow field from a rock which was about two meters above the snow. Charles was unroped. On landing, he apparently lost his balance and slid uncontrolled for about 225 meters, sustaining fatal injuries in the incident. (Source: Charlie Logan, SAR Coordinator, Glacier National Park)

Analysis

Besides not being protected for such a maneuver, very few situations would seem to call for jumping a vertical distance of two meters from rock onto a steep, snow-filled chute. Far too much is given to luck. (Source: Charlie Logan, SAR Coordinator, Glacier National Park)