American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, New York, Adirondacks, Upper Washbowl Cliff

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2011

FALL ON ROCK

New York, Adirondacks, Upper Washbowl Cliff

On August 16, Dennis Murphy (35) had reached the top of a climbing route on Upper Washbowl Cliffs in Keene Valley at about 6:10 p.m. when he lost his footing and fell more than 100 feet. New York State forest rangers and Keene Fire Department Wilderness Rescue personnel found Murphy near the bottom of the rock face.

Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman David Winchell said Murphy climbed up either Hesitation or Weissner. “Dennis, from what I understand, was a very good climber,” Winchell said. Murphy and a companion had planned to rappel down Partition, a descent with a fixed anchor for the ropes. “There was an obstacle that he was walking around while his partner was tying off. Dennis came around this obstacle and slipped and fell.” (Source: Edited from a report by Kim Smith Dedham and Michelle Besaw, Keene-Valley News)

(Editor's Note: Perhaps failing to be anchored in contributed to this fall. It is all too common to untie once at the top while preparing anchors to rappel or belay.)

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