American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled Out, Inadequate Protection, West Virginia, Seneca Rocks, Prune

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

FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION PULLED OUT, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

West Virginia, Seneca Rocks, Prune

John Markwell, owner of the Gendarme Climbing Shop at Seneca Rocks, reported that there had only been one severe accident there this year. On the second pitch of Prune, there is a stance just below a finger crack, where most climbers place protection, and then two or three moves above. If climbers can place protection above these moves, they are generally in good shape in the event of a fall. The victim’s belayer was able to stop him three feet from the ground after an 80-90 foot screamer. However, John reports that this spot on Prune claims an injury almost every year.

Last year, there was a fatality, and this year a climber suffered a broken arm, fractured skull, and knee damage. He fell just above the ledge and pulled out all of his protection on the way down. (Source: Jim Yester)

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