American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stranded—Rappel Rope Too Short, Arizona, Camelback Mountain

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2001


Arizona, Camelback Mountain

On March 15, a person who wishes to remain anonymous was attempting to rappel from a rock face that is 400 feet high. He started rappelling, and when he got close to the end of his rope, he realized he was still 150 feet from the ground. His partner realized he was in trouble and called 911. The Fire Department came to his rescue. He was not injured—except for his ego—as the rescue was video-taped and shown on three major television stations. (Source: Kathy Reichert, Park Manager, City of Phoenix)

(Editor’s Note: This is by far the largest error in estimating the length of rope needed for a rappel. Enough said.)

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