American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Bag of Rocks—Haul Rope Severed, Poor Position, Inexperience, California, Yosemite Valley, El Capitan

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1999

FALLING BAG OF ROCKS–HAUL ROPE SEVERED, POOR POSITION, INEXPERIENCE

California, Yosemite Valley, El Capitan

On October 8 at 1430, Daniel Gibson was practicing haul techniques by raising a 40 pound bag of rocks to his belay point. The bag became hung up on an overhang approximately 75 feet in the air. The rope failed, causing the bag of rocks to fall, hitting Helen Gibson (30) on the right side of her body, injuring her right arm and right leg. Rangers arrived on scene at 1440, immobilized, treated, and packaged Gibson. She was transported by litter reaching Medic 3 ambulance at 1558. (Source: Loren Fazio, Yosemite National Park)

Analysis

Apparently the rope abraded on a sharp edge on the overhang. Attention to where one is positioned relative to the fall line under such circumstances is a critical factor. Learning can be painful sometimes. (Source: Jed Williamson)

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.