American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stranded, Inadequate Equipment, Exceeding Abilities, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Lumpy Ridge

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

STRANDED, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT, EXCEEDING ABILITIES

Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Lumpy Ridge

On September 2, 1992, at 1615, Nan Derkiss (30) and John Quackenbush became stranded when they got their rope stuck on the second pitch of Pear Buttress II (5.8+) on the Book on Lumpy Ridge. Banger Scott Metcalfe and Colorado Mountain School guide Lawrence Stuempke ascended to free the Derkiss/Quackenbush rope, and then led the couple on the remainder of the four pitch route using Metcalf's ropes.

Analysis

The second pitch of Pear Buttress begins with a short traverse before a move upward into a long crack system. It is advisable to do the short traverse as a single pitch, and then do the crack system as another pitch. Many parties get hung up at this particular spot. However, any party on a multiple pitch route should be competent at self-rescue. Carrying a set of prusik loops would allow one to anchor the rope and ascend or descend to the source of trouble. (Source: Jim Detterline, Longs Peak Supervisory Climbing Banger, Rocky Mountain National Park)

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