AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Fall on Rock, Climbing Alone and Unroped, California, Yosemite Valley, Sunnyside Bench

FALL ON ROCK, CLIMBING ALONE AND UNROPED

California, Yosemite Valley, Sunnyside Bench

On August 7, 1994, James Howell (21) free-soloed Lazy Bum, a 5.10d route on Sunnyside Bench. To get back to the ground he traversed several yards left and down to a large flake that required underclinging. As he was downclimbing around the flake, his feet slipped and he fell 20-25 feet to the ground.

When rescuers reached the scene, they found Howell sitting on the ground, alert but complaining of pain in his left wrist and forehead, which sported a three-inch laceration. The team immobilized him in a full-body vacuum splint, administered oxygen and an IV and carried him several hundred yards to the ambulance.

At the clinic he was diagnosed as suffering a fractured talus in one foot and a Colles fracture of one wrist in addition to the forehead cut. He also had an old (healed) L-5 fracture from a previous free-solo attempt. (Source: Rick Foulks & Chris Pergiel, NPS Rangers)