American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, North Carolina, Crowders Mountain State Park

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

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

North Carolina, Crowders Mountain State Park

On August 30,1993, Jeff Rosenkrans (17) fell 80 feet when the anchor system he and his three friends installed for their rappel came out. He sustained massive head injury and several broken bones. (Source: The Charlotte Observer, August 30, 1993)

Analysis

Crowders Mountain is a popular climbing area, both because it is good climbing and easy to reach. Currently, about 160,000 people visit the park annually, of which 7,000 are rock climbers. Of the four state parks that have cliffs good for climbing, Crowders is the easiest to get to, and is near the population centers of Charlotte and Gastonia. An average of four a year are injured in falls in the 2500-acre park, and these include hikers. Three of the four fatalities in the past nine hears were hikers who wandered off the trails.

Many of the climbing accidents, like this one, happen to young and/or inexperienced climbers. As one climber was quoted regarding Crowders Mountain, “It’s Crowded up there.” (Source: Jed Williamson)

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