American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Fatigue, Placed Inadequate Protection, New Hampshire, Cathedral Ledge

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1987


New Hampshire, Cathedral Ledge

On May 17,1986, Bob Michonwski (25) and Geoffrey Nichols (24) had spent a full day climbing and bouldering around Cathedral Ledge, and to end the day, they attempted the first pitch of Cathedral Direct (5.11). The route is a strenuous arm test that “left you hanging by your fingers.” Inching along a six meter horizontal crack, Nichols made it to the first piton. He clipped in and then moved further out, “feeling really burnt out.” He was attempting to clip into the second piton when he slipped and fell to the ground, landing on his left ankle and fracturing his tibia. (Source: Geoffrey Nichols)


Follow the recommendations of the Guide (meaning the Guide Book) for pre-placement of protection before doing the route. Bob and I had felt strong and done several 5.11 moves and routes throughout the day. But we were tired at the end of the day, and it cost me all rock climbing until October. (Source: Geoffrey Nichols)

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