American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled Out, Climbing While Intoxicated, Washington, Leavenworth, Icicle Creek Canyon

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


Washington, Leavenworth, Icicle Creek Canyon

It was a warm, spring afternoon, and we left Seattle to do a little climbing. We had been climbing for three or four hours on practice pitches ranging from 5.5 to 5.9 when we stopped and had lunch, including a bottle of wine. Unfortunately, I had most of the bottle of wine. After lunch, the victim (25) attempted a pitch with which he was unfamiliar. About 30 meters from the belay, while ascending a 5.9, the victim came off, and a #1 Camelot, which was placed about three meters below, came off as well. Victim fell about eight meters to a ledge, landing on feet and buttocks. The victim rappelled off and was driven to the hospital by his partner and treated for a fractured ankle and assorted fractured foot bones. (Source: Victim wishes to remain anonymous)


The climb was well within the climber’s abilities—if sober. It should be stressed that while many climbers approach “practice cliffs” with somewhat relaxed attitudes, these areas can be a source of season-ruining injuries. So don’t drink before you climb. It dulls the senses. (Source: Same as above!)

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