Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mt. Shasta Fatality

On March 28, a 26-year old climber, Tom Bennett, died after spending the night near the summit of Mt. Shasta (14,162 feet).  The previous day, Tom and his climbing partner had reached the summit and dug a snow cave to escape strong winds.  The following morning, Tom's eyesight and balance suddenly and rapidly deteriorated.  After descending a short distance, Tom collapsed and was presumed dead.  Tom's partner secured him in another snow cave and reached civilization two days later.  The cause of death has yet to be determined.  For more details, see The Sacramento BeeThe San Francisco Chronicle, or SummitPost

On a personal note, my only experience on Mt. Shasta almost ended similarly.  One of my climbing partners nearly had her head smashed by a basketball-sized rock that careened down from the summit.  At the last instant, she whipped her head back and raised her hand.  The rock broke her hand, resulting in a helicopter rescue.

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