American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Falls into Crevasse, Climbing Unroped, Off Route, Washington, Mount Rainier, Interglacier

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


Washington, Mount Rainier, Interglacier

On July 22, Thomas Porro (41) fell into a crevasse on the Interglacier. He was traveling with a partner, Mike Spillane, but they were not roped. Porro said he saw a snow bridge and crevasse on each side, but decided not to follow the trail around the crevasse. The bridge collapsed while he was crossing. He fell at least 50 feet to a ledge. He believes his pack saved his life by breaking the fall. His partner lowered a rope and Porro was able to tie in before hypothermia and shock reduced his mobility.

Rangers effected a rescue. They found that Mr. Porro had a fractured right foot, sprained left knee, and a contusion and laceration of the right eye orbit. He was extricated from the crevasse, then helicoptered from the mountain. (Source: David Orsatti, NPS Ranger, Mount Ranier National Park)

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