American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection—Pulled Out, No Hard Hat, Utah, Little Cottonwood Canyon

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


Utah, Little Cottonwood Canyon

On October 9, 1988, a male climber (27) was ascending “Wheels on Fire” (5.8, 5.10- Direct) when he fell about 15 meters. Two pieces of protection pulled, and the victim received abrasions, lacerations, a sprain and fracture. (Source: H. Thad Moore, Salt Lake County Sheriffs Office)


This area is relatively clear of rock fall, but a helmet would have protected the victim’s head when he struck it on the fall. This area is also very popular for climbing, especially in the afternoons after work in fall and spring. (Source: H. Thad Moore and J. Williamson)

(Editor’s Note: There are probably many other mishaps in the Cottonwood Canyons which we don’t hear about, given the number of climbers there each day. The only other reported incident was from AAC member James Brahm, who reported that in late April a picnicker/hiker fell 30 meters to the ground from Epic Wall, probably another case of trying to imitate climbers.)

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