Incidents:Broken Ankle in Parkett

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Broken Ankle in Parkett
Date 2022/09/21
Location Parkett Creek
Severity Injury
Canyoneering-related Yes
SAR involvement No
Navigation problem No
Environmental problem No
Communication problem Yes
Planning problem No
Skills problem No
Body movement problem Yes
Rigging problem No
Rappel problem No
Insufficient gear No
Gear failure No


One member of a 4-person team (2 experienced canyoneers, 2 novices) misjudged a short jump, striking a rock and rolling the left ankle. Group was able to splint the ankle and self-rescue, scrambling ~400 feet up the canyon wall with rope protection before bushwacking back to the vehicle. Upon X-ray, determined to be a fractured left tibia.

For reference, it took about 3 hours from the time of injury to reach the main parking area. The canyon beta notes that Parkett is a very bad place for an injury, and I can now confirm this to be the case.

Ultimately, as the injured party, I can say this was a careless mistake. The jump was short, maybe 2', into shallow water--I could have easily avoided the injury by simply downclimbing. Additionally, it is worth noting that canyoneering is a team sport: the first person to notice a hazard, such as a loose rock or a rock obscured under the surface of the water in a pool/jumping spot, can and should point out the hazard to subsequent members of the group. As the most experienced member of the group, I held responsibility for coaching newer members in this information-sharing practice and setting an example by pointing out hazards to them earlier on in the canyon. This practice is important because when one member of the team is injured, it becomes everyone's problem.