American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park (6)

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1957

Wyoming, Grand Teton National Park (6)—On September 1, 1956 Miss Julie Griffin (21) and other members of the party were approaching the summit of the Durrance Ridge on Symmetry Spire. The belay rope running from Miss Griffin to her belayer caught under a loose flake of rock. When the belayer took up the slack in the rope, the flake of rock fell hitting Miss Griffin causing injuries to her head, shoulder, and left hand. The other members of the party administered first aid and were able to assist Miss Griffin off the ridge and down without further aid.

Source: W. Ward Yeager, Acting Superintendent, Grand Teton National Park.

Analysis: (W. W. Yeager). Accidents of this nature are difficult to prevent in all circumstances. Apparently the climber was unable to see far enough up rope to observe the fact that the rope had lodged behind the flake of rock. Normally it is standard procedure to attempt to free the rope before giving tension to the person below. Sometimes this action cannot be accomplished effectively.

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