STRANDED, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT, INEXPERIENCE
California, Yosemite National Park, Lembert Dome
On June 30, 1991, at 1230, Mary Swartz (25) came to the Toulumne Meadows Ranger Station to report that her friend Mark Fritz (26) was stranded approximately one pitch up a climb on the southeast comer of Lembert Dome. The name of the route was said to be either Human Fly Trap, Overexposure, or Neophyte. According to Swartz, the victim was not injured but wanted to discontinue the climb and rappel down. He lacked sufficient equipment to do so. Swartz said that Fritz needed another rope and stoppers to establish a rappel point.
I accompanied four members of the Toulumne Meadows SAR team to the scene. Heiskell and Allen climbed to the victim with a rope and protection and helped him rappel to the bottom of the climb.
Fritz stated that he felt that continuing the climb was beyond his ability. Fritz said that there was a bolt at the top of the pitch from which he could have set up a single rope rappel, but the bolt did not appear safe. Rescuers agreed with Fritz’s opinion.
Fritz said that he had been climbing two years and could lead 5.8 climbs. Fritz’s companion, Swartz, was described as a novice. (Source: Jeanne Gill, Ranger, Yosemite National Park)