American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Equipment Failure—Wired Nut Broke, Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled, California, Yosemite Valley, El Capitan

  • Accident Reports
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  • Publication Year: 1996

EQUIPMENT FAILURE—WIRED NUT BROKE, FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION PULLED

California, Yosemite Valley, El Capitan

On October 6, about 1900, Baek Man (27) was leading the pitch off Camp 5 on the Nose, using aid. He had placed a few pieces of protection and was standing on a fixed wired nut when it broke. A small Friend he had placed pulled out during his fall, and he landed hard on Camp 5, 15 feet below

Baek and his partner, Min Yeon Sik (30) spent the night at Camp 5 and, for unknown reasons, did not yell for help until 0700 the next day. They indicated that Man was complaining of mid-back pain. The NPS rescue team flew to the summit and lowered a ranger-paramedic 900 feet to the scene. He immobilized Man in a vacuum body splint and litter. Because of the back pain and the long haul to the summit, Man was hoisted directly from Camp 5 by the helicopter from Naval Air Station Lemoore, with a Navy medic as the litter attendant. Man's spine was not fractured, but he did have ankle and wrist fractures. He was released from the Yosemite Clinic that day.

Both climbers have ten years of climbing experience, and both were wearing helmets. (Source: Lane Baker, John Dill, NPS Rangers)

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