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Slip on Rock, Unroped, No Hard Hat — Ontario, Milton, Buffalo Crag

SLIP ON ROCK, UNROPED, NO HARD HAT

Ontario, Milton, Buffalo Crag

On Sunday, March 28 F.M. (26) was scouting out the cliff top at Buffalo Crag, apparently hoping to set up a top rope on a climb called “Rainy Day Women.” He had on a harness but was not tethered to an anchor. About 1300 he was seen falling, trying first to clutch at rocks and cedars, then tumbling to the rough talus 80 feet below. He suffered terrible head and internal injuries and possible broken bones. He was not wearing a helmet. He remained conscious for about an hour while climbers obtained the help of the Milton Fire Department rescue team. An air evacuation was requested, but the climber died as he was being transferred to the helicopter near the Rattlesnake Point Gatehouse.

Analysis

Beyond the obvious reminders to tether in and wear a helmet, it should be noted that this accident occurred in early spring, when melt-water increases cliff top hazard. The clay and the fine-grained dolomitic limestone at Buffalo Crag are very slippery when damp. (Source: David Henderson)