American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fatal Tie-in Error in Maple Canyon

Utah, Maple Canyon

  • Accident Reports
  • Author: The Editors
  • Accident Year: 2016
  • Publication Year: 2017

On July 23, an experienced climber died after falling to the ground from the anchor of a sport climb. We did not receive a firsthand report, but an online analysis from a close friend who was belaying at the time stated that the climber was likely distracted after passing the rope through the anchor chains. It is believed she threaded the rope through the tie-in points in her harness without beginning or completing her usual retraced figure-8 knot. She is believed to have tied an overhand knot, intended as a backup, that briefly held her weight after she unclipped her tethers and before she fell.

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