American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Climbing Unroped, No Hard Hat, Arizona, Oak Creek Overlook, Griffo

  • Accident Reports
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  • Publication Year: 2002


Arizona, Oak Creek Overlook, Griffo

On September 28, a rock-climbing teacher died after falling more than 60 feet from a route called Griffo (5.6) at the Oak Creek Overlook on Highway 89A South of Flagstaff.

According to the Highlands Fire Department, Glennon Wessellman (34), of Cottonwood, sustained massive injuries in the fall, which happened just before 11:00 a.m. Rescue crews hiked to him, and it took about 20 minutes to get Wessellman moved to an awaiting Department of Public Safety helicopter because of the terrain. He was then flown to Flagstaff Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Sgt. Randy Service of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said Wessellman was a teacher at a Cottonwood charter school. At the time of his fall, he was instructing five students, ages 15 to 19, on how to rock climb.

He was setting an anchor into the rock wall when he lost his balance and fell, Service said. He was not wearing a helmet or a safety rope at the time of the fall. (Source: Arizona Daily Sun, September 29, 2001)

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