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The primary purpose of these experience reports and the Annual Report of Accidents in North American Mountaineering is to aid in the prevention of accidents.
On January 12, 2002, EG went sport climbing for the first time, with a friend. They hiked to the Dihedrals area of Smith Rock State Park, 20 miles north of Bend Oregon. The route was Easy Reader, rated 5.6 and three stars, full bolted, described by Alan Watts in his Climber’s Guide to Smith Rocks as follows: “This low angled face is among Smith’s best beginning sport routes.”
On her very first climb, on top rope belay, she fell and sprained her ankle. Her friend carried her
on his back about a quarter mile to the bridge over the Crooked River where the Park Ranger transported her in his rig to their car.
EG is not sure what happened and did not want to give the name of the belayer friend. She does not plan to go climbing again.
Analysis of Accident: What knowledge and techniques will help prevent future accidents?
We were puzzled by this fall of a novice on a heavily bolted quality route, while on top rope belay, but risk is part of the equation.
Report filed by Robert Speik for the 56th edition of ANAM, year 2003
Copyright© 2003 by Robert Speik. All Rights Reserved.
American Alpine Club
Oregon Section of the AAC
Accidents in North American Mountaineering