American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, No Protection, West Virginia, Eagle Rocks

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

FALL ON ROCK, NO PROTECTION

West Virginia, Eagle Rocks

On July 8, 1987, Matt Seinkamp had been rock climbing with Steve Roberts,a county resident, in the top center section of Eagle Rocks during the afternoon. They had been using ropes and other standard climbing gear, but at the time of the accident, Seinkamp had unroped and was picking his way through the brushy ledges near the top. He slipped and fell from ledge to ledge for about 15 meters, catching a small tree. Roberts summoned help with calls to campers near the river below.

Help reached Seinkamp about an hour later and since his wounds, while painful, were assessed as superficial, he was allowed to descend on ropes with careful safety lines. (Source: Pendleton Times, July 9, 1987)

Analysis

This type of accident used to be more common. The difficult climbing is over, one’s guard is lowered, and in apparently easy terrain, the accident occurs. This is similar to the one reported in Massachusetts, and the one in the Shawangunks in which the two men were descending to a rappel point. (Source: J. Williamson)

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.