American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Broken Rock Flake, Alaska, Mount Johnson

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

FALL ON ROCK, BROKEN ROCK FLAKE

Alaska, Mount Johnson

On July 12, 1989, Seth Shaw (31) and Bob Ingle were attempting a new route on the East Buttress of Mount johnson in the Ruth Gorge. They were about 300 meters above the Ruth Glacier by 1600. Shaw was leading on a 100-meter rope and was 50 meters above the belay. He put a skyhook on a small flake and tugged on the etrier attached to it. It seemed solid, so he climbed up the steps, and as he did so, the rock that the Skyhook was on broke. He fell three meters, hitting a ledge and injuring his right ankle and foot. Ingle lowered Shaw to the belay. Shaw then rappelled and was lowered to the glacier. Shaw packed ice around his ankle and foot and spent the night with Ingle at the base of Mount Johnson. On the 13th there was a rainstorm preventing movement of the party. On July 14, Shaw was sledded to a camp at the base of Mount Dickey by the rest of his party. On the 15th Shaw was sledded to the Mountain House and flown out to Talkeetna. He went to Anchorage for x-rays for a possible fractured ankle and foot. (Source: Ralph Moore, Mountaineering Ranger, Denali National Park)

Analysis

This is a good example of an effective self-rescue by a competent party. (Source: Ralph Moore, Mountaineering Ranger, Denali National Park)

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