Todd Skinner dies in accident on Leaning Tower

by Tom Markiewicz on October 25, 2006

Much has been going around the internet about Todd Skinner’s death Monday while rapping off the Leaning Tower in Yosemite. I received an email today from a climbing partner who just moved out to California. His friend and fiance were on Leaning Tower right before Skinner. They were rapping down as he was jugging up and helped afterwards. Their report from the scene is that

His harness broke.  It was old and worn out, and he had a new one on the way in the mail.

If that isn’t a sad reminder for all of us to check our gear regularly, I don’t know what is.

The SuperTopo forum has a long thread with a lot of stories memorializing Todd. Will Gadd (Gravsports) and Dougald MacDonald (The Mountain World) relate their thoughts about Todd and there is some more media coverage at MSNBC, MountEverest.net and The Mercury News.

UPDATE: More from my friend on the accident and the harness failure:

what he heard from one of their SAR friends was that the belay loop gave out

Again, remember to check your gear…

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