American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow, Unable to Self-Arrest, Faulty Use of Crampons--Failed to Put Them On

Oregon, Mt. Hood, South Side Route

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year: 2012
  • Publication Year: 2013

On February 4, while ascending the South Side Route, Andy Kim (age unknown) stopped at the 9,500-foot elevation to put on his crampons. As he was leveling a platform for the transition, he slipped and slid about 500 feet. He lost his ice axe while attempting self-arrest. Joe Owens, a guide and mountain rescue leader, witnessed the fall and attended to Kim, who had suffered a forehead wound (and broken helmet) and sore limbs. Owens escorted Kim by short rope to a Timberline snowcat for ski patrol evacuation.

Analysis

Kim delayed donning crampons needed for purchase on the frozen snow surface. These conditions also made self-arrest problematic. (Source: Jeff Scheetz, Portland Mountain Rescue.)

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