William M. Pennell II, 20, student, saved Russell H. Weigel, Jr., 19, student, from a fatal fall, Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, June 19, 1963. Weigel climbed to the top of a rocky peak in the White Mountains but then found that he had dislodged so much shale that he could not return by the same course. He descended in a chimney between that peak and another alongside it and reached a rock wedged firmly across the three-foot space a 150 feet above a talus slope, which rose steeply for 500 feet from the base of the peaks. Finding that there was no way he could move up or down, Weigel shouted for help. Pennell and two other youths, who had accompanied Weigel to the scene and had been climbing about on the peaks to a lesser degree, then were on the slope. For about three hours they vainly tried various approaches to reach Weigel. One of the youths then climbed 50 feet up a 60-degree slope of the chimney but could go no farther. Pennell climbed to the youth, took from him a 50-foot rope, and started up a 70-degree slope toward the wedged rock. He progressed slowly, feeling about above him for projecting rocks by which he drew himself upward. Once a rock crumbled, and he slid five feet before regaining his hold. Pennell was nearly exhausted when, after an hour, he reached a small ledge 40 feet below Weigel. The chimney above the ledge was smooth rock and rose at an 80-degree angle. In order to get the rope to Weigel, Pennell called to him to tie the various articles of his clothing together and lower them to him. Weigel had to tear his undershirt into strips in order to make the line of knotted clothing long enough. After Pennell had tied the rope to the clothing, Weigel drew it up and secured it to the wedged rock. He then lowered himself to Pennell on the ledge. Each descended the rest of the way to the bottom of the chimney, Weigel slipping and sliding about 20 feet on the way down.
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