Tehipite Dome - ref. to accident with waist suffocation
(rappel accident at Pinnacles N.M. 5/15/1976)

15 Jul 1976 - by Clint Cummins

In RJ Secor's report of a dangerous stream crossing near Tehipite Dome, he wrote:

Here is your report: "Accidents in North American Mountaineering", 1977, p.19-20, and also "Off Belay", December 1976.

Mitchell R. Haydon died while rappelling at Pinnacles National Monument. He was using a prusik backup to the rappel. The prusik caught, and he could not release it. The prusik was connected to a "waist tie of 6 loops of 1 inch tubular nylon webbing", and he was unable to release it. His breathing was constricted, and after about 25 minutes, he lapsed into unconsciousness, and started convulsive vomiting. 10 minutes later, he was lowered to the ground, but his airway was blocked and CPR efforts failed.

Clint Cummins
submitted 10/22/2002

[WEBMASTER'S NOTE: This accident is also written up on RockClimbing.org, where the author notes "Tension must be eased within ten minutes or unconsciousness can result."]


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