FALLS ON ROCK (16), FALLING ROCK (1), RAPPEL ERROR (1), INADEQUATE PROTECTION (10), PROTECTION PULLED OUT (4), INADEQUATE BELAY (3), NO HARD HAT (1)
New York, Mohonk Preserve, Shawangunks, Various Routes
Eighteen reports were submitted for 2008, with dates ranging from March through November. Most incidents occur in July and August.
The average length of the falls was sixteen feet, with seven of them ending up on the ground, mostly because of inadequate protection on the first pitch. The average age of the individuals injured was about 46 and the level of difficulty of the routes averaged 5.7. Eleven of the individuals directly involved were experienced climbers. Most injuries were relatively minor, with sprains and strains being the most common (10).
The rappel error incident was the result of a climbing rope mid-point not being correctly marked. The climber (59), who had 36 years of experience, rappelled off one end of the rope—luckily for only ten feet.
There was one fatality. An experienced climber (5 8) was on a route rated 5.2-53. He climbed out of sight beyond his belayer. He fell past the belayer to the ground. There was a cam and sling behind him, indicating that either he was in the process of setting protection or that it had come out.
This was only the eighth climbing-related fatality in the Shawangunks in the last 45 years. With an estimate of 10,000 climbers visiting this area each year for the past two decades and about 50,000 climbs being attempted annually, this means an extremely low fatality rate. (Source: From reports submitted by Mohonk Preserve)