American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Loss of Control—Voluntary Glissade, Inexperience, Climbing Unroped, Washington, Olympic National Park

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

LOSS OF CONTROL—VOLUNTARY GLISSADE, INEXPERIENCE,

CLIMBING UNROPED

Washington, Olympic National Park

On April 23, 1988, the following accident occurred to Mona McCalley-Whitters (32) on Mount Ellinor:

This was my first mountain climb. After loss of control as I was glissading, I was unable to arrest myself with my ice ax. I then tumbled over a ledge and down an icy chute for about 500 meters vertical drop. (A friend who rescued me had an altimeter.) The first person to reach me was my husband, who was an inexperienced climber. The next person was a member of Kitsap Rescue Team. I then had to work my way back up the icy chute for two and a half hours and glissade down Mount Ellinor. I’m happy to be alive! The Kitsap Rescue Team said I was very lucky to have survived the fall. No one could believe that I did not fracture or sprain my limbs. (Source: Mona McCalley-Whitters)

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