soloist falls from Fairview Dome 7/9/2011


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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 11, 2011 - 04:16am PT
He fell from the first pitch of the Regular Route, and lived.
Fell into the moat between snow and rock, and walked out on his own.
A bit shaken up but apparently not (seriously) injured.

I heard this from a couple of guys who were waiting to do the route on Saturday, but eventually gave up due to a slow party above them. We talked with them at the base of Serenity Crack late in the day.

Gym climber
wussing off the topout on Roadside Attraction
Jul 11, 2011 - 04:32am PT
"I planned that!"


Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 11, 2011 - 05:26am PT
Jeebus! It suddenly seems like it's raining climbers. WTF!

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 11, 2011 - 08:33am PT
Regarding free soloing- falling early is often the best strategy.
Dick Erb

June Lake, CA
Jul 11, 2011 - 10:01am PT
Good advice, Jim.

Jul 11, 2011 - 10:08am PT
For the million times I have gone up that thing without a rope I occasionally wondered (looking down from higher up on the face) if one would simply slide down if they blew it on that greasy ass first pitch. Now I guess we know.
Glad the individual is ok. I don't think a whole lot of soloists who've fallen get to chat about it later. Though, I do know a few! :)

So, who is the lucky surfer?

Bob J.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
Jul 11, 2011 - 10:10am PT
What, no Pads?

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Jul 11, 2011 - 10:22am PT
Having coffee on a cool and beautiful morning, I hesitated to open this thread not wanting to start the week thinking about another climbing tragedy.
Glad the dude(?) is relatively ok.

At an average of 1hr per solo, it took you 114.15 years to solo that thing a million times.
Way to go old man !

Jul 11, 2011 - 10:33am PT
Alright, alright. I gave an inflated number of times I've soloed it, but I guess you get the point.

Its simply very important for me that you know how cool I am.

I know its probably easy for most minds, but are you a math man? Obviously, I'm not. :)

Bob J.

Trad climber
Somewhere halfway over the rainbow
Jul 11, 2011 - 10:36am PT
Regarding free soloing- falling early is often the best strategy.

Is that dry wit or wry wit?

Trad climber
Northern California
Jul 11, 2011 - 12:32pm PT
" heard this from a couple of guys who were waiting to do the route on Saturday, but eventually gave up due to a slow party above them."

They watched a soloist crater, stuck around to finish the route, then gave up because the team above was too slow?

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 11, 2011 - 02:02pm PT
There is a story of a WW II Russian aviator who fell out of a plane. He hit tree branches first, then a snow bank, and he lived. So, when you free solo, just make sure you have a nice fir tree directly below, with 20 ft. of snow underneath.

Boulder climber
Jul 11, 2011 - 02:39pm PT
"Soloist" is being too complimentary, no?

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jul 11, 2011 - 02:56pm PT
Last week, while hanging out right at the base of the water streaks on Lembert Dome, I dissuaded some non-climbers (i.e. zero roped experience, no knowledge of 5.whatever ratings) from soloing up... saved ST from another falling thread!

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Jul 11, 2011 - 03:30pm PT
Vesna's got 'em beat.
Twenty-two year old, Vesna Vulovic, was a flight attendant on Yugoslav Airlines DC-9 enroute from Stockholm to Belgrade. A bomb, which may have been planted in the front baggage compartment of the plane, exploded onboard when the aircraft was at 33,330 ft. Vulovic was in the tail section that fell to Earth. It landed at just the right angle on a slope of snow covered mountains. She was the only survivor among the 28 passengers and crew. She broke both her legs and was paralyzed from the waist down. She was in a coma for 27 days. Her recovery took 17 months. She continued to fly with Yugoslav Airlines for 20 more years.

She holds the world record, according to the Guinness Book of Records, for surviving the highest fall without a parachute: 10,160 meters (33,333 feet).
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 11, 2011 - 03:54pm PT
> They watched a soloist crater, stuck around to finish the route, then gave up because the team above was too slow?

I believe they were waiting at the base when he fell.
They said they looked right at him when he was leaving and looked shaken up but was able to leave.
I don't know if they actually started up the route, or how long it was between when he fell and they left.
It could kinda deflate one's enthusiasm, no?

Social climber
Jul 11, 2011 - 04:25pm PT
hey there say, all... yeah, i was afraid to open and read this too, but i know how important it is to support others, after, but still... could have been very sad, :(

glad to hear he is uninjured and could go home...

also, say, pud:

thanks for the story about vesna....

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
Jul 11, 2011 - 04:29pm PT
well I'm glad the person is ok. I wonder if that will change their whole perspective on soloing forever? It would for me. I doubt we will hear from this person, though it would be great to hear their thoughts on the matter.

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 11, 2011 - 04:37pm PT
When I opened this thread, I "knew" the bro was going to be OK.

Still, kinda puts my recent near-death karma points in second place!



Trad climber
Josh, CA
Jul 11, 2011 - 05:07pm PT
"It could kinda deflate one's enthusiasm, no?"

That would certainly take away my happy thoughts...
A to Z

Bishop, CA
Jul 11, 2011 - 05:08pm PT
So, the story I heard was...
Up at the crux on the the first pitch it was wet and sandy. So the soloist chose to downclimb. All went well until about 20 feet off the deck where he fell off.
Then he went bouldering.
A to Z

Bishop, CA
Jul 13, 2011 - 04:48pm PT
So, what are the stories you have heard. There is my version... it is hearsay. How big was the fall in the other versions?

Trad climber
The Illuminati -- S.P.E.C.T.R.E. Division
Jul 13, 2011 - 04:52pm PT
In case you missed it.

The eyewitness account:

Mountain climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jul 13, 2011 - 04:57pm PT
That's a good read.

hanging from an ice pick and missing my mama.
Jul 13, 2011 - 05:01pm PT
Ever hear of the walking dead? Dude should have gotten himself checked out. You never know how bad you are until later on. I remember feeling fine right after an accident and one day later being unable to move my arm with an injured back and neck that has never recovered.

Plus, even though I really have no room to talk since I dated a soloist... I'm very sick of dead people. Because of my personal baggage, I have fallen in love with the idea of everyone staying roped up.

Please stay safe folks, it matters.


Boulder climber
Jul 13, 2011 - 05:05pm PT
"I turned to see the soloist facing away from the wall and skidding down the slab at a terrifying rate of speed. He had fallen at the crux nearly 100' above my position. The soloist miraculously landed on the lip of the snow patch ... he hopped up and announce that it was, "time to go home." He then walked past my wife, took to steps onto the snow patch, lost his footing and fell again. This time he slid down the snow patch nearly 100 meters and narrowly missed two mid size boulders at the base."
A to Z

Bishop, CA
Jul 13, 2011 - 05:16pm PT
The next time i see my friend i will try to get the whole story out of him. When i was talking to him at the boulders it did not seem like he was telling me the whole story. For the amount of fear in him.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Jul 13, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
The stories jive if you consider that 20 feet into the 5th class is easily 100 feet off the deck. It seems doubtful that someone would skid 20 feet down the 3rd class slabs and have the story come out that they "decked while free soloing".

I climbed the route less than a week before it happened and the snow was fully connected to the rock at that point. When I started reading I was hoping for a snowey landing. The route was surprisingly not as wet as it often is in spite of the full snow traveled required at the time to reach the base.

Big Wall climber
Jul 24, 2011 - 12:25pm PT
i heard this guy driving a brown dodge van had fell on the reg route the day before, so when the people next to us cooking dinner the next day had a brown van, i had to investigate. after a little small talk, i popped the question

"did you hear about the guy who fell soloing the reg route yesterday"

and he responds

"yeah, that was me!"

so, he said he was downclimbing because it was so wet and it did not feel right. he slipped below the crux and went forty feet into the snow. he said the rock felt like snow as he slid down on his ass. guy's name was mike, i think. he had done oz that day, so pretty much unhurt from the fall. pretty lucky. shipoopoi

Jul 24, 2011 - 02:24pm PT


Ha! Ha!
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