- Mandatory Machete Climbing Closure
(posted: Feb 03, 2018)
The southern portion of the Machete Ridge rock formation and access trails are closed to all climbing and off-trail hiking.
Serious Climbing Accident on Discovery Wall
posted: April 15, 2004
On Wednesday, March 31st, rangers received a report of a fallen and unconscious climber near Fern Grotto. The climbers believed that they were following the Portent route on Discovery Wall, but started to climb back down after realizing that they were mistaken. As the climber was retreating, they slipped off the rock about five feet above the last piece of protection, an Alien one-inch cam. The cam pulled out and the climber tumbled approximately 30 feet to the ground and was knocked unconscious. A nearby hiker ran down a trail to report the fall to rangers.
Responding park EMTs and First Responders treated the climber and transferred them to a litter. Eighteen staff members and on-scene volunteers raced to evacuate the litter to the trailhead. The climber was then helicoptered to San Jose Medical Center.
Injuries included a concussion, open fracture of the left humerus, seven cracked ribs in the front, five cracked ribs in the back, and a collapsed and punctured lung.
Had the climber not been wearing a helmet, the head injuries would undoubtedly have been much worse.
Staff members from every division in the monument participated in the incident and should be commended.
Friends Of Pinnacles is withholding the identity of the climber until notified that it is okay to release.