Ice Climbing Accident - Moore's Bridge

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Ice Climbing Accident - Moore's Bridge

New postby dave » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:17 am

On valentines day, an ice climber fell from the ice flows by Moore's Bridge. Tannersville Fire department spent a considerable amount of time rescuing the sole climber. More information to follow.

Update: (2/14): The accident happen around 12:15 in the afternoon. The man was airlifted by medivac helicopter to Albany Medical Center. We are not certain of his status, but unconfirmed reports are that he is in Critical Condition. It has also been reported that he is from Connecticut. Information to be confirmed at a later date.

Update (2/14): One of our avid hikers reported that he saw the climber shortly before his accident while driving by. He reported that he was not climbing with another group of ice climbers.

Sad Update (2/15 - 6pm): Daniel Pawlik, age 40, of Stamford Connecticut has just passed away.

Update (2/15): Mr Pawlik fell 50' to the ice covered rock ledge below the rock face right next to Moore's Bridge. This ice covered rock ledge hampered rescue efforts. It has been suggested that he was free-style climbing with ice screws.

Update (2/15): We have been told by multiple sources that Mr Pawlik was free-style climbing without anchors, ropes, etc. He fell 50 feet. Reports that he was on the ground for a while before being found. Also reported, it took 30 minutes to get him to the road. We are presuming that that SAR didn't have cramp-ons or Microspikes to go out onto the ice covered rock ledge. If a SAR member fell on the icy rock ledge, it would result in them falling into the Kaaterskill Creek and it could result in their death. Luckily this didn't happen.

Update (2/15): Preliminary injuries at the accident location were reported that Daniel Pawlik received severe head injuries, and broke both legs during the fall. It is our understanding that he was unconscious, and has brain damage from the fall.

Update (2/15): It has been brought to our attention that Daniel Pawlik was a world class mountaineer, and had climbed in a team in Denali back in June of 2009.

Update (2/17): It is believed that Daniel Pawlik was setting a toprope at the top of the ledge when he fell. It is reported that he went ahead of his group to get the lines setup for the group he was climbing with. It was also reported that he was seen lying on the ledge after the fall, and was seen by a car passing by. There was a group of climbers less then 50' away. Not sure why they didn't respond to the fall. It is a little disturbing that they didn't help right away. It would be hard to claim that they didn't hear the fall. It was also reported that he was a carpenter. It was also reported that the DEC is concerned with rock and ice climbers putting in anchors because they are non-conforming structures. This rock is loose and crumbly. Not sure if the anchor he was using was good enough for this ledge. May have had something to do with the new DEC rules. Most climbers report that the DEC does not bother them when better anchors are used. Some DEC rangers are also ice climbers. It was also reported that he was born in Poland. At this time we have no information on a funeral. Some climbers plan on visiting his family.

CBS News: ... imber.html
Channel 13 News:
Times Union: ... yID=901014
WTNH: ... t-to-death

Northeast Climbing Community:
American Alpine Institute: ... iframe.asp
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Re: Ice Climbing Accident - Moore's Bridge

New postby mike » Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:42 am

I got a very late start this morning for my hike. I passed by these ice climbers not too long before the accident. I did see a group of ice climbers climbing the ice water fall next to the road (eastern side). There was also a solo climber further towards Fawn's Leap side climbing in the risker section. I thought it was odd that he was solo, but continued on to my hike.

The section he was climbing concerns me because the ice flows in sections, so there is a risk of an ice chunk to break off. Since it was warmer, break offs are more common.

I also saw climbers further up. There were also climbers going up to Kaaterskill Falls.

I also saw a group of ice climbers roping up to the ice flows at the pass on Rt 42. Falling there can be even worse, since the banks are so steep.

It has been a good year for climbing, so more people are showing up. This increases the risk of an accident.

There are also some more experienced ice climbers who have been climbing the multiple Buttermilk Falls. If an accidents occurs there, extrication would be very difficult.

I hope that he recovers from this accident.
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Re: Ice Climbing Accident - Moore's Bridge

New postby alexis » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:12 am

My condolences to his family.
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Re: Ice Climbing Accident - Moore's Bridge

New postby dave » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:16 pm

The Northeast ice climbing festival will be this weekend in the Catskill Mountains. Most will be climbing in the Kaaterskill Clove and Platte Clove. We will try to get more information this weekend.
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