American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, No Helmet, Quebec, Gatineau Park, Western Cwm

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1990

FALL ON ROCK, NO HELMET

Quebec, Gatineau Park, Western Cwm

On October 8, 1989, Steve Adcock (32) was leading an attempt on a new route. He had just completed the crux of the route, estimated at 5.10, and moved onto an easier section, about 5.4, when he fell. Since he had placed Friends just below, the fall was limited to about five meters. Nevertheless, his head hit against the rock, leaving him unconscious. His two climbing companions and the members of a climbing school carried him out, using a stretcher that was stored at a nearby farm for such an eventuality. (Source: Steve Adcock, Ottawa)

Analysis

The cause of the fall is not known, since neither of his climbing companions saw what happened, and the concussion wiped out Steve’s memory of the event. One possibility, since the route was a new one, is that a hold came away. One of the ropes of the double-rope belay ran diagonally across his fall line. As it came taut, it may have flipped him into the rock. A helmet would have reduced the injury. (Source: Steve Adcock)

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