California, Yosemite National Park, Lost Arrow Direct. On 6 April Roy Naasz (20) and Andrew Embick (19) were climbing the Lost Arrow. Naasz was leading the last pitch of the South Face. He later described the nailing as very difficult and his third pin as A4. The crack was unusual for Yosemite. It was built as if one had inserted a bottle-shape into the granite and run it vertically up the cliff. A pin enters the narrow portion, then passes through a void before it touches bottom. The granite was weathered and friable in the crack. The third pin, a two-inch bong appeared to seat fairly well, but when Naasz put his weight on it, it rotated out of the crack. He fell about 25 feet, zippering the remaining pins to the bolt at Second Terror. He struck the ledge at Second Terror and broke his femur. His companion Embick, after securing Naasz, went for help. Rescue party returned to Naasz for night bivouac. Rescue accomplished the next day. Source: Peter Thompson, YNP Ranger, Kimbrick, and Naasz. Analysis: A3 or A4 nailing in a rotten crack on a Grade VI route is difficult for anyone.
Andy Embick told Clint Cummins about this accident in the late 70s. He said Naasz was not properly tying off his bongs, which caused them to rotate and zipper out. They tried yelling for help, but the noise from Yosemite Falls was too much. Next they tried making a HELP sign with white cloth tape on the wall, but realized the rock was also white, so it was not very visible.
Wendell Smith has recalled that Naasz was secured on Salathe' Ledge, and Andy rappelled to the notch between the spire and main wall, then self-belayed the aid pitches out of the notch to the rim. Finally, Andy ran down the trail to initiate the rescue.