American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Object, Inadequate Protection, Fall on Rock, California, Yosemite Valley

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


California, Yosemite Valley

On June 22, 1989, about 1100, Trenton Cladouhos (23) was on the sixth pitch of the standard route, Northwest Face, Half Dome, climbing and trailing a haul line. His haul bag was on a ledge, unclipped, near the belay at the top of pitch five, from where his partner, Richard Treadwell (22) was belaying. The haul bag fell from the ledge, pulling Cladouhos off the wall, causing him to fall about 20 meters. He pulled one piece of protection, and was held by a red Tri-cam on Treadwell’s belay.

Cladouhous then clipped to a piece of protection, Treadwell took him off belay, and lowered the haul bag, and lowered Cladouhos. Treadwell then cleaned the pitch (6), and both climbers rappelled to the base of the climb, arriving at 1500.

Treadwell said that Cladouhos did not lose consciousness, and that he had said that he wished to continue climbing until he put weight on his left foot, at which time he realized he could not.

Treadwell then got Cladouhos set with sleeping gear and food at the base, and went to the Ranger Station, where he contacted Ranger Russell Jensen, who with Treadwell and his brother Paul, returned to the base of the climb with sleeping bags and medical assessment gear. Jensen looked at Cladouhos’ foot, but did not have stabilization/ splinting supplies. He then returned to his station. A rescue was organized, and on June 3, Cladouhos was carried, flown, and then driven to the hospital. (Source: John Christiansen, Ranger, Yosemite National Park)

about two meters down and to the right. That sling blew, and he continued penduluming to his right, to another sling. That second sling was described as an 11/16" (1.7 cm) runner which was two meters to the right of the previous sling. It also broke. About one meter to the right of the second sling was a bolt by a dihedral. The bolt held, and Kristy continued his pendulum into the dihedral, where he impacted about ten meters below the bolt. Kristy estimated he fell 20 meters total.

He said he then climbed up to the bolt, and pulled his haul bag up. He said that he was going to continue the pitch, then started, but could not continue because of the pain. Kroeker, who was on belay, then took the lead. The two were able to make it to the top by Kristy jummarring up, arriving at the top around 2130. (Source: Greg Jackson, Ranger, Yosemite National Park)

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