Safety Stories

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Learning from Near Misses: Situational Awareness Averts Catastrophe on The Tooth

A climber on rappel dislodged a piece of rock the size of a small computer or a VCR. It fell 10-15' and pinched one strand of the rappel rope against a thin ledge on the second to last rappel on the descent, severing it clean through. Read more…

Near Miss: West Fork Foss Lakes - Thunder, then Floods

A group of ten hikers with the Seattle Conditioning Hiking Series set out from the West Fork Foss 1064 trailhead for an out-and-back hike of Trout, Malachite, Copper and (if time allowed) Little Heart Lakes. Read more…

Steve's Near Miss in Aasgard Pass Brings Awareness to Hidden Hazard

As many of you know, we recently published Education Manager Steve Smith's story "Lessons Learned - Glissading into a 30-foot Hole - Aasgard Pass."

The response has been pretty astounding. To date, the blog has been viewed 24,000 times with hundreds of shares on social media. Local news took note, leading to an interview with NWC Life Channel and an upcoming story with KOMO, as well as other requests from various media outlets. Read more…

Lessons Learned - Glissading into a 30-foot Hole - Aasgard Pass

After climbing for over 20 years in the Cascades, I have lived through a few incidents and near-misses. This is the story of how I almost died glissading down Aasgard Pass in the Enchantments. Read more…

Vantage Near Miss - Climbing on Someone Else's Rope

While we were climbing on the south side of the Feathers, one of our Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC) instructors noticed that the party climbing next to us had a strange anchor set up for their toprope. On closer look, we realized that their anchor was a non-locking carabiner at the end of each chain, with single webbing loop going through both non-locking carabiners, and the rope was running directly through the webbing loop. Read more…

The Tooth - Off Rappel, Then A Long Spinning Slide on Hard Snow

After summiting the Tooth, we were descending from Pineapple pass around 4pm and had set up a single rope rappel to get a student down the rock step onto the steep snow below. Read more…

Mazama Ridge, Mount Rainier - Assist Given to Lost Snowshoers

We were camped on a small ridge above a large snowfield north of Mazama Ridge. At around 5:45 a student reported seeing two people signaling for help from the snowfield below. We could hear them shouting that they were lost. Read more…

Emergency Contacts: The Most Important People

Three years ago, my friend Loren died in a skiing accident. A huge February storm rolled through the Pacific Northwest, and a bunch of us took extra days off to go skiing. He and a friend were skiing Crystal in-bounds on a Wednesday when Loren fell into a tree well. He suffocated before he could be rescued. Read more…

Don't Get Tripped Up

You’re done with the “hard part” of the trip. It’s all downhill now. On a trail. You’re tired. So is the rest of the team. Suddenly someone lets out a surprising loud “ouch!” He heard a pop. And now, your car seems so far away. Read more…

How To: Remember Your Gear

We all know how important good planning and preparation are to a successful outing. Familiarizing yourself with your route, having the proper equipment, checking the forecast, and reading past trip reports are all things that we can do to make our excursions more successful, regardless of whether they be a paddle, hike, climb or ski. Read more…