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The Most Portentous Moments in “Accidents in North American Mountaineering 2012”

1. “[Redacted] was wearing gloves and a lightly insulated jacket and reported having had cold fingers and toes all morning.”

2. “It moved a little bit, but it seemed like it would hold body weight.”

3. “…but [redacted] felt the terrain was moderate enough to not tie into the rope.”

4. “…but [redacted] stated that he felt fine and would prefer to take a nap.”

5. “Her partner did not check her knot.”

6. “I’d only climbed a few other pitches in Yosemite thus far and I thought, ‘Maybe this is a typical rating and it just feels harder.'”

7. “This grade and type of climbing had become comfortable for me after four months of climbing in Yosemite and to my stubborn mind it did not warrant throwing in much protection.”

8. “As I got higher, I knew that I should add a piece but the pitch was so good that I just kept thinking, ‘Another move or two.'”

9. “[Redacted] was determined to reach the summit, and continued on without them.”

10. “Then I saw blood on my face and my pants and I didn’t understand why.”

11. “‘Almost there,’ I thought.”

12. “[Redacted] again thought she heard, ‘Off Belay,’ so she removed the rope from her belay device…”

13. “This was going to be our last climb of the day.”

14. “I let go, trusting that my belayer had pulled in enough slack…”

15. “I remember looking down and checking that the left side reached the ground, but I did not check the right side. I don’t know why.”

16. “…he assumed he was back on belay.”

17. “Reportedly, he screamed once.”

18. “In the message, [redacted] included a photo of a Red Bull can resting on an area of black rock.”

19. “Prior to this trip, he had climbed once or twice at an indoor climbing gym on a route that he felt was equivalent to the difficulty he would encounter on the Grand Teton.”

17. “It started well enough.”

(Thanks for a chilling and instructive afternoon, American Alpine Club.)


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