American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Exceeding Abilities, Protection Pulled Out, Inadequate Protection, California, Yosemite, Lembert Dome

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

FALL ON ROCK, EXCEEDING ABILITIES, PROTECTION PULLED OUT, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

California, Yosemite, Lembert Dome

I climbed a 5.9 variant of a 5.6 route. I went over the crux successfully, but ran out too far right on 5.6 slope. I place two nuts in marginal cracks. I got to the top of the ledge, then fell and rolled down. I broke a leg and foot.

Analysis

I broke rules. At the top, I put my mid-section over the ledge and reached for a small tree. I let footing leave rocks. The placements were marginal. Poor placement. I was out of sight of belay. Belay saved my life, as did my helmet, because I hit my head enough to cause unconsciousness.

Lesson I learned: 1) Do NOT climb beyond experience level; 2) make all placements BOMB proof before proceeding; 3) do not remove hand or feet from rock, even if you know you “got it made.” The climb ain’t over until your butt is hooked in on top. (Source: Douglas Hoyt - 48)

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