American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow/Ice—Unable to Self-Arrest, Inadequate Protection, Oregon, Mount Hood, South Side

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2007

FALL ON SNOW/ICE-UNABLE TO SELF-ARREST, INADEQUATE PROTECTION

Oregon, Mount Hood, South Side

On June 17, Aaron Dunlap (31), Jeremy Hawkins (32), and Brad Wood (30), were just below the Pearly Gates when two of them lost their footing and slid down the 50-degree slope, stopping about 450 feet below in the Devil’s Kitchen area about the 11,000-foot level.

The impact during the fall caused serious injuries (fractures, abrasions, lacerations) to Dunlop and Hawkins. One climbing helmet was broken during the fall. Wood was able to walk off the mountain.

Analysis

The icy conditions caused the climbers to place protection, but the force of the fall ripped out the piece. Roped teams must be proficient at self-arrest, and group arrest. (Source: Jeff Scheetz, Portland Mountain Rescue, and an article from The Seattle Times on June 18)

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