American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Oregon, Columbia River Gorge, Broughton Bluff

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

Oregon, Columbia River Gorge, Broughton Bluff

On May 28, Kurt Gierlich (42) fell 60 feet to the ground from a route on Broughton Bluff. Someone with a portable phone called 911, and a rescue followed. Twelve rescuers spent an hour lowering him 500 feet to a point where a Life Flight helicopter could pick him up.

He suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries. (Source: From a report in the Oregonian, May 28, 1996)

(Editor’s Note: Gierlich was wearing a harness and rope, but there was no indication how he fell or what his partner was doing. It is interesting to note that Tom Layton, a chief in Fire District 14, said, “This is a real common occurrence. We pull about five or six climbers out of here every year. ”)

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