American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Stranded, Weather, Inadequate Clothing, Food, and Equipment, California, Yosemite Valley, Higher Cathedral Rock

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2006

STRANDED, WEATHER, INADEQUATE CLOTHING, FOOD, AND EQUIPMENT

California, Yosemite Valley, Higher Cathedral Rock

On May 15, Christopher Simmons (26) and Emily Craft (28) became benighted on the eleventh pitch of the North East Buttress route on Higher Cathedral Rock. They were rescued by park personnel, who went to the summit and lowered fifty feet to the climbers, providing them with dry clothing and then hauled them to the summit. They walked down.

Analysis

Simmons is 5.12 sport and 5.10 trad leader. Emily leads 5.11 sport, but had done no trad leads. This was their first long route. It has lots of chimneys but they had never climbed chimneys before this. They had left headlamps behind, had insufficient clothes, only one rope, and made a late start. The top pitch is confusing and they got lost at dark. They tried to find a way out and finally called for help by cell phone. (Source: John Dill, NPS Ranger, Yosemite National Park)

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