American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Intoxication — Fall on Rock, Free Solo Climbing, West Virginia, New River Gorge National River

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


West Virginia, New River Gorge National River

In early July about 11:45 a.m., Charles G. Fredricks Jr. (39) fell while free solo climbing Angel’s Arete (5.10) in the Bridge Buttress area. National Park Service rangers were on the scene within minutes and stabilized Fredricks using a backboard and placing him into a litter before transporting him. He was badly injured and suffered multisystem trauma from the fall.


A witness to the fall reported that Fredricks had been drinking, and noted that he had consumed a fifth of vodka and at least three beers. (Source: Edited from a post on

(Editor’s Note: We have to include this in the data, but the primary cause has nothing to do with climbing.)

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