FALL ON ROCK, COLD FINGERS
Oregon, French's Dome
On September 4, Joe Leineweber (29) was leading a 5.8 to 5.9 bolted route on French’s Dome. The weather was somewhat damp and there were wet places on the rock. Leineweber was reaching for a bolt when he fell about 20-30 feet. During the fall his right foot hit a projecting ledge, causing him a serious fracture of his tibia and fibula.
His climbing partner and a bystander lowered him to the ground. The climbing partner drove to cell phone coverage to call for an ambulance. Meanwhile three climbers (including two Portland Mountain Rescue members) backed of a nearby route to provide care until the ambulance arrived. Leineweber was carried to the ambulance by firefighters, ambulance crew, PMR members and other climbers.
The slip was probably a result of the cold’s affect on his fingers’ ability to perceive variation in the rock. In the Leineweber’s opinion, wet rock was not a factor. (Source: From a report by Hal Lilywhite, Portland Mountain Rescue, and Joe Forrester)