American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled Out, Inadequate Belay, No Hard Hat, Arizona, Oak Creek Canyon Overlook

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994

FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION PULLED OUT, INADEQUATE BELAY,

NO HARD HAT

Arizona, Oak Creek Canyon Overlook

On May 22, 1993, on a climb called “Crack Up” (5.9), Richard Forbes (34) was leading above his belayer, Sandra Draus (46), who was apparently 25 feet above the ground on a ledge. Witnesses indicated that Forbes was about 30 feet above his belayer when he fell unexpectedly, pulling all protection between him and his belayer. As he fell past the belay, he pulled the belayer off her position, wherein she fell a good distance to the ground. Apparently the belayer did not tie into any protection. Both were seriously injured, with Draus suffering severe head injuries. (Source: Reed Thome, Captain—Sedona Fire Department)

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