No contamination on Skinner?s harness

by Angus M Thuermer Jr, Jackson Hole News&Guide An investigation of the climbing harness that failed and sent Lander, Wyo. climber Todd Skinner plunging to his death in Yosemite National Park last October found no signs of contamination that might have weakened the safety webbing. The report by Yosemite ranger M. Faherty has been awaited by climbers worldwide who were stunned by the death of Skinner, a well-known pioneer, and the unusual failure of his safety gear. The Jackson Hole News and Guide obtained a copy of the report Friday through the Freedom of Information Act. Climbers know that a critical part of the nylon webbing harness, a belay loop, broke and caused Skinner, 47, to fall 800 feet from the overhanging wall of Leaning Tower. At the time of his death, Skinner was descending the face after a day of climbing, sliding down a rope using a friction device linked to the belay loop. Climbers also know that Skinner?s harness was worn, that his climbing partner, James Hewitt, commented on its poor condition, and that Skinner agreed the harness needed replacing. Full article