American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock—Dislocated Shoulder, Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Symmetry Spire

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

FALL ON ROCK-DISLOCATED SHOULDER

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park, Symmetry Spire

At 1330 on September 11, the Exum Mountain Guides’ office received a call from Guide Gary Falk, guide, on Jensen ridge of Symmetry Spire. Falk stated that a client had a dislocated shoulder and a helicopter would be needed at the base of Jensen Ridge at 1430. SAR coordinator Jim Springer was contacted by phone. In a later call Falk stated that the accident occurred at 1130 on the second pitch of the route. The subject had taken a short pendulum fall, belayed from above, and while trying to hold himself, dislocated his shoulder. Falk lowered the subject and a second client to the base of the climb.

At 1430, contract helicopter 20HX flew to the scene from the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache for recon. Helicopter 20HX inserted Ranger Chris Harder via short-haul to the base of the route at 1502. The patient was packaged, placed in a screamer suit, and, with Harder attending, was short-hauled from the scene to the Lupine Meadows Rescue Cache at 1600. The patient was then transported to St. Johns Hospital in park ambulance.

Analysis

While being belayed from his guide above, Kliger was climbing a section of 5.7 rock when he fell. In an attempt to maintain his stance, Kliger held onto the rock with one hand and subsequently dislocated his shoulder. (Source: Jim Springer, Ranger and Incident Commander)

(Editor’s Note: This accident was one of eight this year in which the climber dislocated a shoulder.

Also of note from Wyoming is that there were two backcountry fatalities that were the result of avalanches. One involved two brothers skiing in Darby Canyon, Pete Maniaci (20’s), who survived, and Paul Maniaci (also 20’s), who could not be resuscitated after his brother freed him. He had been buried four feet.

There were no details available for the other fatality, which occurred south of Jackson.)

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