Monday, October 12, 2009

Helmets are cool!



Helmets are cool... Helmets are sexy... Helmets apparently save lives! Steve wears a helmet... and lives.....

One day we are having a BBQ celebrating the brief return of a great old friend and the next thing we know there is news that a boulder, courtesy of those infamous goats on Snow Creek Wall in Leavenworth tried to take the cheer out of our good Friend Steve's birthday. Silly goats! Steve likes beer not rocks! Well thanks to his great new partner Suz, he was in the hands of an extremely capable climber/partner. I am so impressed by what I have heard of her stunning ability to deal with an injury in the alpine. Kudos to you for being prepared and knowing what to do. My heart goes out to you! AND teaches me that I need to be prepared! Shit happens and it happens to anyone. I have climbed this route at least a half dozen times with several different partners.



Hi,This is NOT Steve, but his climbing partner Susan using his account. I live in the Tetons so don't have an account here.I can clarify what unfolded October 9th at Snow Creek Wall. Steve Murphy and I had finished Outer Space and were walking off when the accident occurred not far from the base. At 5:20pm Steve, wearing his helmet, was struck on his torso by a head-sized rock dislodged by a goat. The impact knocked him off his feet, down 10’ of scree/slab, and over a 20+ foot drop. He landed on rocks on somewhat of a ledge.Two climbers, Brian and Eric, were just below us and helped me assess and treat Steve’s injuries: concussion, facial laceration, broken molar(s), jaw, ribs, and ankle and the associated abrasions and contusions. The ankle required surgery. The two climbers played an instrumental role, especially in having a phone and going to the car to get sleeping bags to insulate our patient. The goats sporadically knocked more small rocks and scree down over the next few hours. Search and Rescue response was delayed because personnel were busy on other calls. The team that arrived included a couple of Chelan County Sheriffs deputies in addition to members of the all-volunteer Chelan County Mountain Rescue Team, one of whom was both an emergency room doctor and a climber. We were fortunate to work with a great team.The evacuation involved belaying the litter for 7 or 8 pitches, mostly traversing and also some down through the logs of the old burn. Many thanks to all the wonderful people who assisted. We arrived at the trailhead and the ambulance around 6:15 the following morning. Two corrections to the article: Steve is only 46… as of the day of this event. We do not know why the goat thought Steve would appreciate a chunk of granite for his birthday. He prefers beer. He recently moved from Bellingham (now on an extended road trip). Key points: wear a helmet anytime you’re potentially exposed to rockfall especially at crags that goats are known to inhabit. A few days prior, we observed goat-generated rockfall at Pearly Gates and noted that goats could be a serious hazard. Responses to this incident reinforce the frequency of goat-generated rockfall. Without the helmet Steve would not have survived.Also, learn and practice field-based first aid skills. This is more important than a first aid kit. I am an experienced Wilderness First Responder and recommend this level of training because it is more field appropriate and relevant, especially with the gear we carry as climbers, than Wilderness EMT. Snow Creek Wall is not a remote crag… until one gets injured. Safe Climbing and Sweet Cracks, Suz


Steve I am so glad you are okay! The BBQ this time is going to be courtesy of John. He has something waiting for you.... very special.......

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