Fall on Rock — Rappel Error, Oregon, Beacon Rock State Park

Publication Year: 2012.


Oregon, Beacon Rock State Park

On July 24, Nathan Turner (30) was on the second rappel of Jill’s Thrill at Beacon Rock. But he had threaded the single rope through a fixed anchor with both ends of the rope over the ledge. This left the rope ends not visible. He then mistakenly centered the rope on the manufacturer’s warning marking – six meters from the end. The uneven rope went un-noticed, as part of it was hung up out of view on a lower ledge. Without stopper knots and no belay backup device, Turner rappelled about 15 feet before his belay device passed the short end of the rope resulting in a 100-foot fatal free fall. (Source: Jeff Scheetz, Portland Mountain Rescue)

(Editor’s Note: Too many examples of this kind of error.; which is why we have included the instructional section on rappelling this year.)