Winter Climbing Gone Bad

Mixed Climbing Avalanche Accident

As told to Scott Yorko

Money Comment: “Potent reminder that surviving the fall is only the start of your troubles in alpine climbing. Heal fast.”
Cameraman:
Ed Warren, 26, of West Lebanon, New Hampshire
After 25 minutes anchored to ice screws, I turned off my GoPro. Belaying makes boring video, even when you’re 450 feet up a 70-degree slope. My partner, Brice, was a rope length above me, chopping through snow slabs that blocked the chute we’d been climbing in Wyoming’s Snowy Range since 8 a.m. Brice triggered the avalanche and fell with it for almost 200 feet before the rope caught him. When it hit me, the snow was going 70 mph and knocked me off the wall. After it stopped, Brice was fine, but I was hanging upside down with a crampon pressed into the flesh of my shattered ankle. I was shocked to be alive. I instinctively turned my helmet cam back on as soon as I righted myself, rappelled down the cliff, and then crawled two miles back to the car, filming the whole way.

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