American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled Out, New Hampshire, Cannon Cliffs, Vertigo

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

FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION PULLED OUT

New Hampshire, Cannon Cliffs, Vertigo

Daniel Chaffee (20) was climbing on Vertigo. He was on the second pitch when he fell 70 feet when his protection pulled out. Chaffee was caught by his partner Ryan McKeon. He came within 20 feet of hitting the ground.

Luckily there were plenty of climbers in the vicinity to get things started and help with the carry. The Stokes litter was passed all the way down the talus by a continuous chain of climbers, Fish & Game, and Local search & rescue people. It took 40 rescuers nearly four hours to bring Chaffee down from the mountain. The accident took place around 11:00 a.m., and he was in an ambulance by about 4:00 p.m.

Chaffee suffered serious injuries, including multiple fractures of the leg, a broken jaw, broken arm/wrist, and facial injuries. He was airlifted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and is expected to recover fully.

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