American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Equipment, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Big Cottonwood Canyon

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT

Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Big Cottonwood Canyon

On April 26, Brandon Keller (22) fell while leading “Skyscraper,” a one pitch climb, in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Keller suffered injuries to his head, neck, and back as a result of the fall. Witnesses indicated that Keller was leading, and was up approximately 25 feet when he tried to place some protection, which he missed, and fell to the base of the climb. The victim was lowered to the highway by litter, and transported to the hospital by Life Flight Helicopter.

Analysis

No other protection was found, and it appears that the subject climber was trying to place his first piece of protection (25 feet) when he fell. Upon interviewing the witness, it appears that no one was even on active belay. (Source: G. Banks, Salt Lake County Sheriff SAR)

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