American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled Out, Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Big Cottonwood Canyon

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


Utah, Wasatch Mountains, Big Cottonwood Canyon

On June 23, Bryce Perkins fell while leading a climbing route in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Mr. Perkins’ fall of approximately 60 feet, resulted in injuries to his head, back and one ankle. His belayer indicated that Perkins slipped while making a move, and as he fell, all of his protection pulled, slowing his descent, but landing him in a precarious position on a ledge. The Sheriff's SAR team responded to the scene, approximately 1500 feet above the canyon highway, stabilized the victim, and lowered him to the highway, where he was transported to the hospital.


This particular area of the canyon is not often frequented by the climbing community, as a long, steep approach through loose scree fields is required to reach this buttress. We are seeing a higher incidence of accidents involving protection placement problems. (Source: G. Banks, Salt Lake County Sheriff SAR)

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