Safety Stories

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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…

Risk Management Review - Meet Our Consultants

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. This affirms our ongoing commitment to safety and ensures our programs and trips are conducted in the most professional manner possible.  Read more…

After Rock Severs Finger, Scrambler Directs Her Own Care

After a successful summit, while descending back into the Snow Lake Basin down a 20 degree boulder field, a scrambler knocked loose a rock. This rock was supporting several other rocks, triggering a slide above her. Other party members recall seeing somewhere between "several" and "many" "large" rocks sliding down from above where she had been. Somehow in this mayhem, one of the rocks hit the scrambler. Read more…

The Art of Bailing: North Twin Sister and her Seductive Cairns

We were so close (we think) to the summit. Darkness was still a few hours away, and we had a fleeting glimpse of hope that we’d be able to find the route and regain the ridge to the top. Passing anxious scramblers - dodging scree and loose rocks they were kicking down on each other while down-climbing a sketchy section of rock  - put a damper on our spirits.  Read more…

How To: Prevent and Treat Heat Related Illness

June was an interesting month in the mountains. We had “June-uary” conditions, giving us lots of new snow, rain, and wind. We also had scorchingly high temperatures with places like Leavenworth and Vantage reaching close to 100°F.  As we progress through the summer, we need to be mindful of the dangers on these hot, sunny days - even if we are out on snow or a glacier.  Read more…