American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Various Falls on Snow on Descent, California, Mount Shasta, Avalanche Gulch

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2005

VARIOUS FALLS ON SNOW ON DESCENT

California, Mount Shasta, Avalanche Gulch

At least ten or twelve people slipped on snow descending Avalanche Gulch on Mount Shasta. Most appear to have been inexperienced. For example, one woman was carrying her ice ax upside down, so when she fell, the pick actually penetrated her neck and trachea! Most falls resulted in fractures or dislocations. These incidents happening on descent account for over 30 percent of this year’s number in that category.

There was one fatality in March. A young man (21) climbing with his brother on the Casaval Ridge route was close to the 12,000 foot level when he tripped and fell 1,000 feet. He could not self-arrest. This route is not classified as technical climbing but is very exposed and long falls occur almost yearly, according to the rangers. (Source: From reports submitted by Matt Hill, Lead Climbing Ranger and Eric White, Climbing Ranger)

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