American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Inadequate Equipment, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Mount Moran

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2008

FALL ON ROCK, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Mount Moran

On July 28th, Alison Arnold (53) fell approximately ten to 15 feet while descending the CMC route on Mount Moran. Arnold was down-climbing into the Drizzlepuss Notch near the bottom of the CMC route as she slipped and fell. While falling, Arnold struck her face on a rock, then landed on her feet, causing damage to her face and ankles. Arnold’s partners helped her ascend to the top of the Drizzlepuss Notch, then down the East Face of The Drizzlepuss to a location where they spent the night.

Early on the morning of July 29th the Arnold party was encountered by another climbing party that had a cellular phone and was able to contact NPS Dispatch. A subsequent rescue was conducted utilizing a helicopter short-haul insertion of rescue personnel and extraction of the patient.

Analysis

Alison stated that she has been climbing in and around the Teton Range for about 40-plus years. Alison’s footwear consisted of hiking shoes with non- sticky rubber soles. She was not wearing a helmet and was down-climbing unroped. After a successful ascent of Mount Moran on the CMC route, she was descending near the bottom of the CMC route into the Drizzlepuss Notch. About 6:30 p.m., her feet slipped, and as she fell, her head struck the rock and her feet hit a small ledge that flipped her onto her back.

She was wearing a small backpack along with a climbing rope coiled across her back. The fall caused her to land flat on her backpack and rope, saving her from possible serious injury. (Source: Chris Harder, Ranger and Incident Commander)

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