American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Rock, No Hard Hat, Washington, Olympic National Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

FALLING ROCK, NO HARD HAT

Washington, Olympic National Park

On June 7, 1987, Dennis Lund (37) was climbing in the base of the final 30-meter rock gully on the south buttress of The Brothers when this accident occurred. A member of this group (of The Mountaineers) stated, “I started up final gully, found loose rock as I started to move three meters above the rest of the party, warned them, then commenced to move. Rock did fall. Dennis Lund looked up at a cry of Rock! and was hit on the forehead (no helmet). Dennis sustained a cut above and left of the left eye. David McCullen immediately dressed the wound, washed it with clear water, applied a compress, and bandaged. The bleeding stopped. The climb was completed. Dennis returned to Seattle in the car he came in, went to Providence Medical Center emergency room. Cut was closed and stitched, no complications.” (Source: George Sainsbury)

Analysis

There has been a series of rockfall accidents in this heavily used gully on the standard route in the last two or three years. The whole mountain is falling apart! Olympic National Park is trying very hard to get everyone to wear helmets, but without notable success. (Source: George Sainsbury)

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