American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Faulty Use of Crampons, Loss of Control—Voluntary Glissade, Washington, Mount Rainier

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


Washington, Mount Rainier

This report was sent in by Lilly Toholske (29), who was climbing Mount Rainier with five friends on June 15,1987, when this accident occurred.

On descent, I really wanted to glissade. I was unable to go on the summit attempt the previous day. We felt it would have been too much, given my five month- pregnancy. We were descending on fairly hard snow. Jack (Tuholske) called up to me, knowing I wanted to glissade, and said he thought I was in a good spot for a quick slide. I had a momentary hesitation and then decided, “Why not?” I sat down and started without removing my crampons. I caught my foot about three seconds into the glissade. The downward force and weight of my pack caused me to flip and break my left fibula. I was fortunately able to arrest (after three tries) several seconds later. (Source: Lilly Tuholske)


Never take an unnecessary risk. At the minimum it can result in incredible inconvenience for others. Also, crampons and glissading don’t mix. (Source: Lilly Tuholske)

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