American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inexperience, California, Yosemite National Park, Daff Dome

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2002

FALL ON ROCK, INEXPERIENCE

California, Yosemite National Park, Daff Dome

On September 15 at 1520, Anne Venturelli (33) had top-roped about 30 feet of a 5.7 climb known as “Western Front” on Daff Dome. Venturelli was unable to complete the pitch and was attempting to tension traverse across the face to get in line with the top anchor so she could be lowered. She slipped and spun across the face, striking her head and back against a ledge. She was wearing a helmet but received a laceration in the basal skull area. She lost consciousness and came to rest on a ledge.

By the time two companions had climbed to her, she had regained consciousness. Another companion went to the road and reported the incident to a 911 dispatcher.

Park rangers responded to the scene by 1530. Rangers ascended to her and provided patient care while a ten-person rescue team was assembled to conduct a litter lowering, which was accomplished by 1743. She was then transported by wheeled litter and, after reaching Tioga Road, was transferred to an ambulance. (Source: Maura Longden, SAR Ranger.)

Analysis

In an interview with Jeff Schimon (27), one of her companions, he indicated that Ms. Venturelli did not have much outdoor climbing experience. He offered that if she had had more experience outdoors, including falling, she might have fared better. He also indicated that she has not been climbing since. “Her husband won’t let her. He won’t climb if she doesn’t. They’re both in it together.” (Source: John Dill, NPS Ranger, Yosemite National Park)

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