American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stranded, Inadequate Equipment and Clothing, Weather, California, Yosemite National Park, Stately Pleasure Dome

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1993

STRANDED, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING, WEATHER

California, Yosemite National Park, Stately Pleasure Dome

On June 24, 1992, Anne Tuite (21) and Sean Costello (29) became stranded on Stately Pleasure Dome due to a rain and hail storm.

After a difficult rescue in the storm, Tuite was flown off the dome at 2040 and transported to medical facilities where she was treated for mild to moderate hypothermia. Costello and the rescue rangers rappelled off. (Source: Dave Page, Ranger, Yosemite National Park)

Analysis

Costello and Tuite became stranded because of the weather. They chose to continue climbing as they only had one rope and could not rappel. A contributing factor was their lack of warm clothing and rain gear. Both climbers were from Ireland. Costello was apparently fairly experienced; Tuite was a novice. They took only one rope, no headlamps or storm clothes because they thought they’d get off in time. They realized they’d made a potentially serious mistake. They were not cited for negligence, but, in the future, climbers in similar situations may be. (Source: John Dill, SAR Ranger, Yosemite National Park)

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