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

FAULTY USE OF CRAMPONS, LOSS OF CONTROL—VOLUNTARY GLISSADE

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)

Analysis

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)