Safety Stories

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How To: When To Put On Crampons

Crampons are an indispensable tool for any alpine mountaineer. But sometimes it's not so "cut-and-dry" as to when you should use them. Read more…

How to: Prepare for Variable Weather

With the days getting shorter and colder as we creep into winter, many climbers start looking for warmer venues for their climbing excursions. If you are looking for a weekend warm-up, we have good crags close to home, like Vantage, Tieton, and Smith Rock. However, even though these areas are usually warm during the day, they can still get bitterly cold at night. Climbers should be prepared for the temperature swings that accompany these arid, deserty crags. Read more…

Scouts' Mantra - Be Prepared!

A number of small incidents on a hike to Lake Serene perfectly illustrate the need for the Ten Essentials. Read more…

Mount Angeles - Encounter with Aggressive (Stinging) Insects

HEADS UP
Incident reports of party members getting stung by yellow jackets and wasps began arriving in mid July this year, six weeks earlier than one would normally expect.
Read more…

Eldorado Peak - Downclimbing a slab, slipping on a wet spot

On August 24, our team had an accident at the base of the Eldorado glacier during the descent from Eldorado Peak. Thanks to a great team work, and a good amount of luck, we were able to continue to the trailhead without assistance. Read more…

"Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock!": How to Avoid Rockfall

"OUCH!" screamed my instructor at the rock field trip last month. A golf ball-sized piece of Mt. Erie had just bounced off the top of her helmet and she asked her students why no one had been screaming the "rock, rock, rock!" warning. In this case, however, no climbers were above her and as best as we could figure out, an empty rope had knocked it loose earlier in a climb and it finally fell after the climber was off rappel. "Thank you" to Instructor Sherrie Trecker for that perfect demonstration why you always wear your helmet at the crag - even if you're not belaying or on a rope. Because of that, one modest "ouch" was all Sherrie had to say to convey her level of surprise: no injury was caused.  Read more…

How To: Preventing Descent Accidents

Recently, a group of 6 climbers were on Sahale Peak in the Boston Basin area of North Cascades National Park. They'd enjoyed great weather, and  climbed efficiently up the Quien Sabe Glacier on the northwest side of the peak, reaching the summit around 10:30am. Read more…

Snowfield Peak - A stumble at the rope-up point

[Leader]
I'm writing to report a minor injury that occurred on my Snowfield Peak climb this past weekend 7/11-7/13. This was my mentored glacier climb lead. Read more…