American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Protection, Exceeding Abilities, California, Tuolemne Meadows, Lembert Dome, Northwest Books

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

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE PROTECTION, EXCEEDING ABILITIES

California, Tuolumne Meadows, Lembert Dome, Northwest Books

On July 15, Amit Singh (27) fell while climbing the third pitch (rated 5.9) of Northwest Books on Lembert Dome. He had placed a cam just above the belay and had started to climb the difficult section. Ten feet up, he placed a #5 nut and continued to climb another five to ten feet. He told me (park ranger) he had difficulty at the top of the crack, that he was struggling to hold on and place gear.

His partner, Anthony Baraff, said Singh struck his head and went unconscious for about 15 to 20 seconds. Singh could not remember what had happened. Baraff yelled for help and in about 15-20 minutes nearby climbers responded and went for help. Park rangers from the SAR team rescued Singh.

Analysis

These climbers had about two years of experience, mostly in the Gunks and mostly sport climbing. They were just starting trad climbing and said they were comfortable leading 5.7 to 5.8 routes.

The most important lesson here is that they were wearing helmets. (Source: George Paiva, Yosemite Valley SAR Ranger)

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