American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Protection Pulled Out, West Virginia, New River Gorge National River

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2012

FALL ON ROCK, PROTECTION PULLED OUT

West Virginia, New River Gorge National River

During the evening of June 13, a female (25) was climbing Biohazard (5.10a) a 65’ trad route located on the Fern Creek Party Wall. She was almost at the top of the route when she fell about 15 feet and slammed into the wall, knocking herself unconscious. She had just placed a cam for protection and was leaning back to rest when the placement failed and she fell about 15 feet. The next piece of protection held and her belayer was able to hold the fall. Although wearing a helmet, the impact caused her to lose consciousness for about 30 seconds. After regaining consciousness, she was lowered to the base of the cliff and carried out to a waiting ambulance by Fayette County’s high-angle rescue team, assisted by local firefighters. She was then flown to Charleston for evaluation.

Although she complained of dizziness, hearing loss and back pain, her injuries were not deemed severe and she was soon released. (Source: Jeff West—Chief Ranger, New River Gorge National River)

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