Safety Stories

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Climbing Gym Auto Belay – Clipped In? Uhh...

Excerpts from the personal blog of Bill Ashby, Mountaineers Director of Operations.   Read more…

Risk Management Review - Status Update

In mid-July, at the direction of the board, CEO Tom Vogl signed a contract with Outdoor Safety Institute (OSI) to conduct a risk management review of Mountaineers programs. The next step for our volunteer leaders is to participate in a risk management survey. Read more…

How To: Recognize and Treat a Concussion

When someone mentions concussions, most people think of car accidents or full contact sports like football, rugby, or hockey. But with such an increased chance of an impact to our heads - whether it be from a falling rock from above, or us falling and hitting our heads - climbers have a serious chance of sustaining a concussion. Read more…

Safety Incident Updates - October 2016

Incidents reported in October 2016.  (Just one) Read more…

Inter Glacier, Mount Rainier - Rockfall Bomb

Our party approached the Inter Glacier around 1:30pm and evaluated options for ascending from the boulder fields at its terminus onto the slopes above. We had been advised by the Park Service that rock fall had been observed recently. Read more…

How To: Navigate Loose Rock

Rock fall is one of the more common causes of injuries in both climbing and scrambling. The rock in the Olympics is notorious for its poor quality, and the Cascades, although overall it is of much better quality, has its share of choss piles as well. A friend of mine used to joke about climbing in the Olympics, “if you don’t like your options for handholds, pick the rock up and move it somewhere else.” Read more…

2016 Incident Charts - September

The data below was extracted from the Safety Incident reports submitted in 2016 (January thru September) by trip leaders and participants. Interpretation of the incident narrative was  done to best categorize the incidents.

A look at incidents reported in September 2016 (only 4), and an examination of  the terrain where incidents occurred in 2016 (it appears that trails are the most dangerous places to be). Read more…

Vantage - A big loop of slack

I was climbing a 35' sport route at River View wall in Echo Basin (Vantage). The route was within, but towards the top range of, my ability. So falling was a definite possibility. Read more…

2016 Incident Charts (January-August)

The data below was extracted from the Safety Incident reports submitted by trip leaders and participants. Interpretation of the incident narrative was  often done to best categorize the incidents. Read more…