American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak

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

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, Longs Peak

On August 5, James A. Guest (32) took a 30-foot lead fall on Pervertical Sanctuary (V 5.10) on the Diamond of Longs Peak. Guest impacted hard against both feet, resulting in fractures to both legs. His partner, Brent Moore, assisted by additional Diamond climbers Charles Lewinsohn and Eric Wass, lowered Guest down the 800-foot Lower East Face to Mills Glacier, where they were met by the park rescue team for a helicopter evacuations.

Analysis

Guest’s protection did arrest his fall, but had that protection been closer to the fall initiation point, he might not have attained the destructive force necessary to fracture both legs. Guest and Moore did a fantastic job with self-rescue, which emphasizes the importance of studying these skills. Most endearing is the example of Lewinsohn and Wass, who showed that the code of the mountains (drop your goal to help a fellow climber in need) is alive and well. (Source: Jim Detterline and Mark Magnuson, NPS Rangers, RMNP)

This ANAM article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.