American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Nut Pulled Out, Washington, Icicle Creek Buttress

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1992


Washington, Icicle Creek Buttress

On May 17, after several attempts on a pitch (short) on Eight Mile Buttress, Jeff Wright (37) climbed back to the high point to clean the protection. Because he was already fatigued, he clipped into a fixed nut at the high point to rest before down climbing. That nut pulled out, and he fell full force onto a slab 15 feet below and rolled another 20 feet before being stopped by the belay. Subsequent treatment for fractured vertebrae and ankle and technical litter evacuation was accomplished by a rescue team from Tacoma Mountain Rescue training nearby. (Source: Compiled from reports by Jeff Wright and Tacoma Mountain Rescue)


Closer inspection of the fixed nut and/or back-up protection would have prevented this fall. This incident was caused by my complacency. I violated my standards of practice. Kudos to the Tacoma Mountain Rescue for a quick, professional rescue. Without

their expertise, I would most likely be paralyzed from the waist down. Support your local Rescue Group! (Source: Jeff Wright)

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