American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Distraction, Poor Position, Pennsylvania, Ralph Stover State Park

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


Pennsylvania, Ralph Stover State Park

On October 22, 1989, Phillipp Grout (40) took a six-meter fall to the ground while leading the center crack on the practice wall. Climbing a meter to the right of a top rope, he protected about three meters off the ground. About six meters off, he stopped to protect himself again. After placing a stopper, he stepped up to get a better look at the placement. Meanwhile, the top-roped climber had moved into the same crack and her rope crossed Grout’s shoulder. This distraction caused Grout to lose his focus. Air time! Ground fall. Fractured left heel. (Source: Phillipp Grout)


Always clip in, even if you don’t trust the placement. Be aware of climbers around you. And no matter how easy a climb may seem, don’t take it lightly. Stay focused and concentrate. (Source: Phillipp Grout)

(Editor’s Note: The other reports we have from Pennsylvania this year include two stranded “climbers” who were cited for disorderly conduct after requiring rescue from an aerial fire ladder. These fellows were on a shale cliff above a pullout on U.S. 209. Another example of how nonclimbers end up proving that climbing is hazardous.)

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