American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow — Faulty Use of Crampons — Washington, North Cascades National Park, Mount Shuksan

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

FALL ON SNOW – FAULTY USE OF CRAMPONS

Washington, North Cascades National Park, Mount Shuksan

On September 19, a group of six Seattle Mountaineers were descending the “Winnie’s Slide” section of the Fisher Chimney route on Mount Shuksan when one member fell and arrested within ten feet. However, he was unable to move. He said he had heard and felt a “snap” when he fell.

He was rescued by helicopter and flown to a hospital. He had fractured his fibula.

Analysis

The victim said that part of the group had chosen not to use crampons, but that he was wearing them, and that it was quite possible that the snow build up in them contributed to his fall. (Source: From a report written by Kelly Bush, Ranger at NCNP)

(There were several other reports from North Cascades National Park that did not get entered into the data. These included five overdue climbers, one of whom, though uninjured, took a helicopter ride. Two hikers got into climbing situations and wound up falling. One fellow who deliberately went off trail on Cascade Pass realized that he had made a “foolish choice” when he jumped off a rock bluff in a mixed snow and rock area. He fractured his ankle.)

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