AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Fall on Ice, No Experience, New Hampshire, Cathedral Ledge

FALL ON ICE, NO EXPERIENCE

New Hampshire, Cathedral Ledge

In February, two inexperienced climbers in their early 20s (never climbed ice before) signed out boots, crampons, and ice tools from the demo people at the annual IMCS Mount Washington Valley Ice Festival. They bought some used ice screws and headed for Cathedral Ledge. Witnesses stated that they looked shaky at best as the leader headed up the pitch. At the third screw placement, the leader fell, leaving both tools in the ice. The second lowered him to the ground and untied him. With some leg injuries and a cut face, they headed for the hospital. Climbers reported the axes, rope, and screws were left in the ice. The demo people went to Cathedral and retrieved their gear. Boots and crampons were returned after the hospital visit, and we returned the ropes and screws to the climbers. (Source: Rick Wilcox, International Mountain Equipment)

Analysis

We don’t even like to count this one as a climbing accident. But it is. One important question for people who are responsible for handing out demo gear of any kind is whether they can/should refuse to lend the gear if they believe the individuals requesting it are not experienced enough. (Source: Jed Williamson)