American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Rock, Fall on Rock, Labrador, Nain, Mount Sophie

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989

FALLING ROCK, FALL ON ROCK

Labrador, Nain, Mount Sophie

On August 10, 1988, at 1000, Yves (32) and Mike (45) were on the first pitch of an attempted first ascent on Mount Sophie. Yves is an experienced climber, Mike less so. Yves, leading, put a #9 stopper behind a block, and then stepped on the block. The block came away, causing a fall, and removing the protection. He fell 15 meters. The fall was stopped, not far from the ground, by a # 2 1/2 Friend. However, Yves suffered two broken vertebrae. (Source: Yves Laforest, Federation Quebe?oise de la Montaigne)

Analysis

The climber tested the block before stepping on it, and it seemed to be good. The loss of protection behind the block resulted in a long fall. (Source: Yves Laforest)

The rock in this range is composed of the mineral anorthosite, which is very hard. It is friable, and so subject to the kind of problem encountered here. It is also probably difficult to place secure protection in it. (Source: S. A. Morse, Geology Professor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA)

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