American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Ice, Inadequate Knot, Colorado, Ouray Ice Park

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

FALL ON ICE, INADEQUATE KNOT

Colorado, Ouray Ice Park

On March 19, Greg Kowalsky (age unknown) fell 70 feet when his knot came undone as he was preparing to be lowered by his partner who was belaying him from the ground.

Despite efforts of emergency crews and four nearby climbers, Kowalsky succumbed to his multiple injuries. (Source: The Ridgeway Sun, Week of March 19–25, 1998)

(Editor’s Note: This park was featured on the cover of last year’s ANAM journal. Though this was the first fatality in the four years of operation of the facility, many stories of “near misses” involving similar problems are passing down the grapevine. It’s a place where many individuals are trying ice climbing for the first time.)

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