American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Joshua Tree Summary

California, Joshua Tree National Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Author: The Editors
  • Accident Year: 2017
  • Publication Year: 2018

One fatal climbing accident was reported in Joshua Tree in 2017: Samuel Boldissar, 25, died as a result of head injuries after a ground fall from Spaghetti and Chili (5.7+) on Cyclops Rock. The precise cause of the fall is not known.

Two serious injuries occurred on Spiderman (5.10) in Conan’s Corridor, including a leader (male, 26) who flipped upside down in a fall and suffered a very serious head injury (despite wearing a helmet) and a belayer whose femur was broken when a leader fall pulled the belayer off a rock and into a hole. Also notable: Two boulderers suffered tibia/fibula fractures as a result of falls.

Although there undoubtedly were many other, unreported climbing accidents in Joshua Tree during the year, official information is very limited from this park, and we rely on volunteers to submit first-person reports. Knowledgeable local climbers or first responders who would be interested in regularly contributing educational accident reports to this publication from Joshua Tree and other Southern California climbing areas are encouraged to write to us at

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