FALLS ON ROCK AND SNOW, UNABLE TO SELF-ARREST, INADEQUATE PROTECTION, AVALANCHE, ETC.
There were 18 accidents reported from Washington this year, none of which resulted in fatalities. Fourteen involved falls—nine on snow, of which seven were during the descent. In eight of these cases, the victims were unable to self arrest, mostly from lack of experience or inadequate equipment. In some cases, there should have been a belay. One of the falls on snow came after the climber came off the end of his rappel rope. There was one accident involving falling rock and ice. Only one avalanche was reported, and in this case, the climbers were in unstable snow conditions, partly brought on by warm weather, and in a poor position at the bottom of a couloir. Three victims called in their accident using cellular telephones.
There was a near fatality, but it happened to two women (35 and 15) sliding on snow on a plastic garbage bag. She gained a lot of speed and slid into a moat. They were in a broad, snow filled gully at the foot of Mount Baker’s Coleman Glacier. (Source: Reports sent to editor by Fred Stanley, Louis McCrohan, and Daniel Smith)