Starlight Peak, California – On Sunday, August 6, 2017 Tom Zajicek of Durango, Colorado, suffered a fatal fall while descending Starlight Peak in the Sierra Mountains in California.
Zajicek was climbing with Laura Scull when the tragedy occurred. The duo had ascended the Starlight Buttress and summited Starlight Peak at around 2 PM. Upon their descent they left the northwest ridge to rappel down the face. The accident occurred when their system failed while rappelling. When this happened, the rope detached from the rock.
Luckily the rope tangled on a rock feature and arrested the fall. The climbing partner climbed to a ledge on the rock face where she stayed until she was rescued approximately 26 hours later.
According to SierraWave.net, authorities were notified about the incident via satellite phone by a climbing guide in the area at approximately 7 AM on Monday. Another alert was sent out via a PLB in the Palisades area.
Starlight Peak is a 14,200′ peak in the Sierra Mountains of California. It is a sub-peak of North Palisade.
See Also: List and Map of the California 14ers