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Fall in Ice, Protection Pulled Out, Exceeding Abilities, North Carolina, Doughton Park


North Carolina, Doughton Park

On January 19, Shawn Hansen (30) died after the anchors he was using to support his friend on an ice floe broke loose.

Hansen's friend, Ed Williams (30) of Raleigh was climbing up the ice floe at Ice Rocks, a popular ice climbing area in Doughton Park, when he fell off the ice, apparently causing the anchors attached to Hansen to give way. Hansen fell about 80 feet, hit ice and rocks, then rolled another 70 feet down the rocky slope. Hansen was dead when rescue crews arrived on the scene at 10:55 a.m. Williams fell to the base of the slope, but the rope slowed his fall and he was not injured.

Hansen and Williams had been rock climbing together for about four years, but they were fairly inexperienced ice climbers. (Source: “News and Observer,” Raleigh, NC, January 20, 1997).

(Editor's Note: Aram Attarian, who helps collect data from North Carolina, indicates that this is the second fatality from ice climbing in ten years.)