American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falling Ice, No Hard Hat, Climbing Alone, Vermont, Smuggler's Notch

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

FALLING ICE, NO HARD HAT, CLIMBING ALONE

Vermont, Smuggler’s Notch

On December 30, a man (41) was five or six feet off the ground on a climb when he was struck by a piece of falling ice three feet in diameter. He was knocked off his ice route and fell an additional 30–40 feet down-slope. He suffered lacerations, a concussion and multiple skull fractures.

Fortunately, there were climbers nearby who reported the incident to the Stowe Hazardous Terrain Evacuation team. He was lowered and transported to Burlington. After six weeks in the hospital, he was released, having lost sight in his right eye, but with no other “permanent deficit.” The victim called with the rescue team to thank them, and to say that he feels lucky to be alive. (Source: From a report by Neil Van Dyke, Stowe Hazardous Terrain Evacuation Team)

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