Jul 23, 2013
There was an accident on Otter Cliffs on 6/16/13 where a guide and client fell onto another client after rope failure:
And an accident on Old Town at the Precipice on 7/17/13 where I guide was injured descending either by being lowered off the end of the rope or rappelling off the end of the rope-- it's unclear which:
There was also an accident on Old Town on 4/28/13 where a climber suffered a ground fall after he fell and his protection pulled:
In the more recent accidents, the injuries were serious but not critical. Since guides were involved, I believe the AMGA will investigate and report on them. The fact that the same popular guiding service was involved in both incidents is causing a little bit of stir in northern New England-- more out of interest and sympathy than suspicion. The Park Service is meeting with the guide service about the incidents, which both occurred within a national park.
In the april accident, the climber suffered a major head trauma but last I heard (through the grapevine) was doing better. He was not wearing a helmet and there was some discussion (also through the grapevine so take it for what it's worth) that had he been wearing a helmet he would not have been as badly injured. Who knows.
Both the accidents on Old Town involved falls from roughly the same place but from totally different causes. The fact that two accidents occurred there is more likely due to the popularity of the climb than its nature. It's maybe worth noting, though, that Old Town is a striking line at an appealing grade but the first 25 feet or so is the crux and gear is strenuous to place and a little awkward to see well. I've seen many climbers throw in bad pro there and cruise to the next section. That's obviously something every climber does at some point but there are consequences when it goes awry.