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Shelley Windsor...
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curt


Nov 5, 2005, 8:13 PM
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Shelley Windsor...
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...rock_diva here at RC.com, was killed in a climbing accident today at Paradise Forks. I don't have any further information--so, if anyone does, please post it here.

Curt


climbsomething


Nov 5, 2005, 8:20 PM
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Just called Kole, the unofficial PIO of Flagstaff climbing, figured he'd know something. No answer. Don't know anything more.

I remember Shelley's first trad lead, at Indian Creek no less. And that she won the PBC women's local, and that she'd have won it again if she had entered again. And that she had a sweet gear shop that I told all my friends to go to. She was a high school math teacher and a really fun gal, an absolutely fearless adventurer. This is absolutely terrible. I'm in shock.

I know she has a lot of friends here. Manny, Jon, Chris, Dale, Rick, Erica, please, if you know something, post it. I want to read that it isn't true, but if it is, please post information.

The first armchair speculation or flame, so help me god...


ldsclimber


Nov 5, 2005, 9:00 PM
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Shelly was a good friend to everyone and I loved to climb with her I watched her get the red point of incredible hand crack in ic. She was an inspiring friend and will be missed dearly This caomes as shuch a shock, and hope that everyone that knew her will be comforted. She had a deep love for the Lord her family and her friends. She served a mission to russia and know that many hearts there will be saddened to know that she has left us. I will never be able to climb a the forks again with out having fond memories of my dear friend. I'm sorry that we have lost such a gem.


goodguy


Nov 5, 2005, 9:26 PM
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So this is my first post here and it saddens me to have it be in this forum.

I just got off the phone with my best friend and long time climbing partner and he informed me that he and 2 to 3 others were at Paradise Forks today and helped with Shelley for 3 hours.

I can only say that everyone involved in trying to save Shelley's life did any and everything they could. It sounds like something went wrong when Shelley went to rappel from the top of the Gold Wall?( the wall that is right of the Prow)

EMT's arrived sometime after the fall and sent down oxygen, once the oxygen ran out Shelley died shortly after. A helicopter then arrived and got Shelley and the rest of the party that was helping in her rescue out.

I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to all of Shelley's family and friends.


Josh


ldsclimber


Nov 5, 2005, 10:06 PM
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Here's a quote that's helping me."The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life."Russell M. Nelson.
Also not many of us really know her family but I do know that they loved Shelly and supported her in her adventurous life style. I want to get as many pics of her climbing as possible and get them made into a collage to give to her parents. So if you have any please let me know. The price is $180 to have this made, if any one is willing to pitch in to show your love it would be greatly apreicated and i'm shure would help her family know thet we care.


sartor


Nov 5, 2005, 10:09 PM
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Shelly -

amidst the potpourri of emotions I feel at the moment, I want to share my gratitude.
Thank you for friendly involvement in the climbing community.

Thank you for sharing your history regarding your mission work in Russia (we spoke Russian together!).

Most of all - thank you for sharing your kind and warm spirit.

You will be missed.


jason


epic_ed


Nov 5, 2005, 10:36 PM
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This breaks my heart, and I'm in absolute denial that this could be true. There are many of us who climbed with her and knew her well and this will stick with me for a mighty long time.

We'll miss you, Shelly.

Ed


curt


Nov 5, 2005, 10:44 PM
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Shelley was a friend of mine too, and I will miss her dearly. Does anyone have additional information as to what actually happened?

Curt


climbsomething


Nov 5, 2005, 11:35 PM
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I dove deep into my archives for a few shots of Shelley from a trip in 2002. They're not great, but they're all I've got.

If anybody wants to submit some non-climbing shots of Shelley and wants to get around the under-48k size requirement, I'll make exceptions. Maybe just put a note in the descrip in case I'm not the ed who's approving at that moment- I'm sure whoever is will understand.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64033

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64034

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64035

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64036

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64037


climbsomething


Nov 5, 2005, 11:43 PM
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And I apologize if this is premature, but sometimes being bossy is how I cope with... lots of things, actually ;)

But we should have a memorial climbing outing. Not too many of us were as strong as Shelley, but we met her through climbing and should celebrate her that way too. If anybody has any suggestions on Shelley's favorite areas, we should get together.

It need not be any big priority right now... just putting it out there.


otc


Nov 6, 2005, 2:18 AM
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Hello Everyone,

I was Shelley's business partner at Over The Crux, and I am forever her dear friend and hold her memory close to my heart. I spent the evening with her family last night not long after finding out that she had passed. As Aaron mentioned above, they were very supportive and by all means proud of her lifestyle as a climber and lover of everything outdoors. To quote her father, "She died doing what she loved." They are a very compassionate and close knit family. I will be staying in close contact with her family and her memorial is tentatively set for Saturday, November 12, 2005 in Mesa but I will post the exact date, time and location when it is determined with their approval. I have posted a slide show on our company website at http://www.overthecrux.com of some of the photos I have of Shelley and welcome more photos of Shelley to be added to that slide show by emailing them to shelleypics@overthecrux.com. It is impossible to describe the feelings that are running through me right now. However, it is not impossible to describe the feelings I have when I think about the times we shared. Love. I know that each of her friends shared a special bond with her and I know that she shared her soul with each of us. I agree with Hillary that we should have a gathering to celebrate Shelley's life. Let us not forget that she was a high school and college teacher and our hearts need to go out to those students whose life she touched and who will find out on Monday of her passing. She made a difference to so many lives that we can't even fathom. May God be with you.

Sincerely,
Daniel Arlitt


reno


Nov 6, 2005, 7:44 AM
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Oh, no.... Oh, no, no, no.

Damn.

:cry:


Since Shelley is such a good friend to so many folks here on Rockclimbing.com, I've made this thread sticky, and it will reside at the top of the Injuries and Accidents forum until after the memorial service.


Partner j_ung


Nov 6, 2005, 8:22 AM
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Oh, hell. I don't think I ever communicated directly with her, but I certainly held her in high regard amongst the usership of this site. This is a sad day, indeed.


olejeff


Nov 6, 2005, 8:32 AM
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I'm not sure what to say...or even how to say it. Everyone here, who ever met or climbed with Shelley, knows what positive energy she shared. Let's all remember her in that light and channel those thoughts and feelings in a compasionate way to all..especially those closest to her. She will forever be remembered.


crayzlegz


Nov 6, 2005, 12:36 PM
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Hello,
I'm Hong and Shelley was a dear friend. I'm using my gf's acct to reply to this because at this moment I can collect enough brain cells to remember my login.
Shelley was climbing with Mark B. when she passed away. Mark B has requested that we get together along with friends of Shelley's at my house at 7pm so he can say his piece. I'm located right behind Phoenix Rock Gym / Four Peaks Brewery. My addr is 1409 E Don Carlos Ave, Tempe AZ 85281. The house is on a cul de sac with 2 big trees in the front and a For Sale sign. My cell is 480 363 0636

I miss you Shelley - Hong


emartinblue


Nov 6, 2005, 1:36 PM
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Hello,

I'm not a member of rock climbing.com so I'm using my fiancé’s user name to write this post. Many of you have asked for further information, so I feel compelled to write. I'm still feeling a tremendous amount of shock and I'm not sure if this is the most appropriate thing to do, but maybe my experience will help some of you deal with your pain (this may also help me deal with my own emotions and grieve). I didn't know Shelley personally, but I (and a couple others) did spend the last three hours of her life at her side.

Myself, and my climbing partners, rappelled into the canyon when we heard that someone was hurt. We found Shelley in pretty bad shape but still breathing. I don't feel that it is appropriate to go into any more detail then this. She fought hard for a very long time, but the remoteness of the area coupled with her injuries was too much for her, and us, to deal with.

It should be mentioned that Mark, Leo, Dana, and Liz fought very hard to keep Shelley with us. Their courage and strength are like nothing that I have ever witnessed before. They are true heroes and their courage should be recognized.

I have tried to piece together what I think happened and I would like to share this because it may keep someone from making a similar mistake. I should also note that I did not witness the accident and I’m no detective, so the information that I provide is merely my opinion.

1. The accident occurred on a rappel station that Shelley built herself
2. There was no obvious gear failure
3. The anchor consisted of two separate ~10ft pieces of one inch tubular webbing each tied with a separate water knot.
4. The webbing was wrapped in some way around a very sturdy pine
5. There was one single ~60m rappel rope with a figure 8 on a bite
6. The rope was “attached” to the anchor with a single locking carabiner
7. At the accident site the rope was in good shape with the knot and biner (still locked) attached
8. The anchor webbing was ~8ft from the accident site and was in sound condition with knots still tied
9. Shelley had a helmet on

As near as I can tell the webbing was wrapped around the tree in such a way that made it unclear that it was truly secure. I think this might be because the pieces of webbing used were very long, the same color, and of the one inch variety. I think the bulkiness of the set-up may have made it hard to tell if the webbing was securely attached to the tree. The biner that was attached to the rope was clipped around the pieces of webbing that were wrapped around the tree. Shelley may or may not have pulled on the anchor to test for soundness. I feel that the friction created by the bulky anchor may have given the illusion that the anchor was secure. When Shelley weighted the rappel anchor (most likely at the very edge of the cliff) the biner pulled through the webbing. The webbing, rope, and locked carabiner still attached to the knot were found at the accident site.

Please remember that this is only my opinion. I hope that by providing this information we will all remember that we need to check, double check, triple check, and test our work. I am also going to get Wilderness first aid certification as soon as possible. I now feel that this should be a mandatory requirement of any responsible climber/partner.

Lastly, I would like to mention that Paradise Forks is a truly wilderness climbing area, one with little chance of rescue if an accident does take place. When we climb in places like the Forks we must be keenly aware of the risks that we are taking (which I’m sure Shelley was). Unfortunately, some climbers (NOT including Shelley) are not fully aware of all of the dangers that are involved whenever we go outside and do what we love do to do.



Dave


emartinblue


Nov 6, 2005, 1:48 PM
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Also,
I would like to know the extent of her injuries as soon as possible.

thanks,
Dave


crackaddict


Nov 6, 2005, 2:15 PM
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I still am in shock that this happened.

I was one of her first climbing partners. We spent a lot of time together.
She was a dear friend that will sadly be missed.

I am finding it hard to put my thoughts into words right now.
She was a good person who loved life and people.
I just know that we are all better people for having known her.

I love you Shelley,

We will miss you.

Chris.


rock_diva


Nov 6, 2005, 2:34 PM
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I am not a rock climber, but I am Shelley's brother, so I hope you'll forgive my intrusion on your forum. I apologize for posting with her login, but I don't think you will mind.

To all who knew and loved Shelley, and all that knew her couldn't help but love her, I thank you. It is very obvious that many of you shared the same love for Shelley that all in her family have. In so many ways you all are Shelley's family just as much as we are. I am so very happy that Shelley was loved by so many.

Your comments have been something of a healing balm to all of her family here that have read them. Shelley was one of the strongest amongst us, and as I sit here struggling to understand why she can't be here, I pray to God that I can have her strength throughout the rest of my life. I am a much better person for having felt the touch or her hand and the love of her soul.

Shelley, there will not a day go by that someone doesn't remember you. We love you and anxiously await the day that we will have our joyous reunion. You are free and are no longer tied to the constraints of this earth. I know you will enjoy soaring with the eagles!

We love you!

Bill


jmlangford


Nov 6, 2005, 2:54 PM
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Thanks Chris(crackaddict) for the e-mail regarding Shelley. This is my first post here in some time. I climbed with Shelley and Chris in Yosemite and she is a great friend. My heartfelt prayers are with all those that were close to her. I will try to get some decent scans of the photos I took of that trip and post them.


ldsclimber


Nov 6, 2005, 3:09 PM
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As I've had time to let this all sink in and after reading what Bill shared. I just want her family to know that there are way more climbers out there who have yet to put there thoughts down and I hope they will as they are all finding out. She was such a good example of enduring to the end. Like Bill said I hope that can have the strength that she had to the end. In some ways I'm a little envious of her. I'm shure she struggled with all the temptations in life but she was alway true to the values she knew to be right. I will forever be thankful for having had the privilege of calling her my friend. Aaron


pjay


Nov 6, 2005, 4:11 PM
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Hello all,
I haven't known Shelley for long but when ever I did get to climb with her in the gym, she has always greeted me and has always also been very kind to me. I don't have anything else to say but God Bless.


Pjay


Partner macherry


Nov 6, 2005, 4:19 PM
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very sad news. my condolences to friends and family.


Partner oldsalt


Nov 6, 2005, 4:35 PM
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In reply to:
I am not a rock climber, but I am Shelley's brother, so I hope you'll forgive my intrusion on your forum. I apologize for posting with her login, but I don't think you will mind.

To all who knew and loved Shelley, and all that knew her couldn't help but love her, I thank you. It is very obvious that many of you shared the same love for Shelley that all in her family have. In so many ways you all are Shelley's family just as much as we are. I am so very happy that Shelley was loved by so many.

...

We love you!

Bill
Thanks for posting, Bill. You really hit on a key point when you said that we are part of her family. I never met her, but I am diminished whenever anyone who shares our passion goes off-belay.

My prayers and best wishes for her, you, and your entire family.


flagstaff_climber


Nov 6, 2005, 4:49 PM
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I am as sad right now as I have been in recent memory. When I opened the email from Chris informing me of Shelly’s death I literally sat there for a few minutes and stared at the screen. I could not believe it was Shelly, the first person I have ever actually known to die climbing….Not Shelly, that made no sense at all.

I spent the last hour or so looking at all of the pictures I have of you Chris and I climbing at the Forks…trying to compose this email…. it was such a beautiful day and my first time climbing there. I was so scared, I mean I was a gym climber who had lead a few 5.6s at the overlook and here I was at the Forks, but you made me feel OK…It was a beautiful day. Then I remember what a beautiful day it was here in Flag yesterday….. Probably a lot like it was that first day.

I am so proud to have climbed with you Shelly and even prouder to having been able to count you as a friend. I will do my best to think of you at the start of every climb I do….

It was a beautiful day yesterday….


Rick


jonapprill


Nov 6, 2005, 5:28 PM
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Like so many folks here Shelly was my dear friend and most trusted climbing partner. We climbed many long, multipitch adventure climbs together and formed that special bond that climbing partners form. Of all the places we visited, I think Castle Valley near Moab was our favorite. Here is a picture of Shelly during that trip. I’ll be visiting Castle Valley for the rest of my life and will always associate Shelly with this beautiful place. We’ll miss you Shelly,

Jon Apprill

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64076


grippedclimer


Nov 6, 2005, 5:45 PM
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Wow. I am just sitting here reading this and am in shock. I have never climbed with Shelly but met her at her shop just over a year ago when I bought some guide/topo fold outs of local areas. I spent about an hour in the shop just talking climbing and discussing all the areas near by to check out. We were suppose to go out and do the mace back then but never happened.

When I spoke with her, I was moved by how excited she was speaking of all the areas here in AZ. May she rest in peace - prayers/condolences to all of Shelly's family and close friends.

Mike


grippedclimer


Nov 6, 2005, 5:51 PM
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Wow. I am just sitting here reading this and am in shock. I have never climbed with Shelly but met her at her shop just over a year ago when I bought some guide/topo fold outs of local areas. I spent about an hour in the shop just talking climbing and discussing all the areas near by to check out. We were suppose to go out and do the mace back then but never happened.

When I spoke with her, I was moved by how excited she was speaking of all the areas here in AZ. May she rest in peace - prayers/condolences to all of Shelly's family and close friends.

Mike


roy_hinkley_jr


Nov 6, 2005, 5:57 PM
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Like all of you, I am saddened by this loss. I never met her and really know nothing about her beyond these posts. But I've lost well over a dozen climbing friends over the years. It never gets easier and tales like this always brings back those memories.

Sincere condolences. She sounds like an awesome spirit who will remain with you always.


bostonclimbah


Nov 6, 2005, 6:48 PM
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My heartfelt condolences to Shelley's family and friends. May you find the strength to see you through this difficult time.


Partner camhead


Nov 6, 2005, 6:55 PM
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Shit, don't know what to say.... I climbed with her for a day at Red Rocks last year, went and did Atman, had a great day, discussed mormon history. She struck me as an incredibly intelligent, strong, beautiful person. I'm devastated.

Many condolences to everyone who knew her.


ae33


Nov 6, 2005, 8:50 PM
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Hey all,
I've known Shelley for almost four years and have always admired and loved her love for life and upbeat attitude. Julie and I were talking earlier and would like to put together a book of memories and pictures for her family. I don't know about you guys, but I have some amazing pictures of Shelley and would like to share them. If you would like to participate please email myself at amyesplin@hotmail.com or julieaingram@yahoo.com. Daniel will also except submissions at his address listed above. If you would like to provide hard copies, please feel free to drop them off to Daniel at OverTheCrux inside the Phoenix Rock Gym. We will be putting everything together into a binder and would like to present it to her family after the funeral.
Thanks,
Amy


bighigaz


Nov 6, 2005, 9:22 PM
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Oh my gosh... I can't really say how I feel with much clarity right now. I'm shocked. Angry. Sad. Dissapointed. Frustrated... Some mix of all those emotions I suppose. I have few, but now cherished, memories of time spent with Shelley and friends. We also met through our love of climbing.

I met Shelley on a trip to Jacks canyon a few years back, with Aaron C., Amy E., my bro. Mark, and my a girl named Stephanie who later became my wife. That trip was full of so many events, coupled with the amusing memory of Shelley (and some of the others) insistent on harassing me about my "interest" in Stephanie... which I adamantly denied! (Looks like Shelley was right! Steph and I have been married 2 years, and we have an 8 month old daughter, who I wish Shelley could have met.)

We saw a guy deck from 20+ feet one day in the afternoon of that trip, and of course Shelley was right there to assist him however she could.

On that same trip she belayed my little brother up what I believe was his first 5.10 lead! He took a nice long whipper, but he finished the climb, with Shelley's oral support.

Around the corner, on the same day Aaron ran-out a certain 5.12 to the chains (you remember, don't ya buddy...) - barely avoiding a scary ground fall. If my memory serves me, Shelley gave him some well deserved grief about it.

Shelley was a great friend, and I always wished we could have had more climbing adventures together. We managed to chat business once in a while when we both showed up on messenger... She always had good advice for me and my business partners in Tucson, and we even talked about partnership possibilities.

A teacher, a climber, a business owner, a missionary... she really went after things in life, and I respect her so much for that.

I remember bumping in to her making rounds at the PBC the year she won her division... She seemed so mellow and humble, then I watched her send a difficult problem on her 2nd attempt. It was obvious she had come a LONG way since that trip to Jacks. My wife and I were quite impressed... it seems this was probably her manner in everything she did and loved - to do what it takes to be successful at whatever it was.

My condolences to her family. She was and is a wonderful person, and she will be missed by many.


sundevil


Nov 6, 2005, 10:24 PM
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Shelley was also a friend of mine and hearing of her passing is a little hard to digest. For Shelley to die in a climbing accident really hits home for me. I have never met a more diligent, meticulous or knowledgeable climber. Shelley took me out on my first outdoor climb and is ultimately the person responsible for my interest in the sport. Shelley was a good friend and the most graceful and beautiful climber I have ever seen. Shelley made the sickest moves with the same grace and elegance that she lived her life with. When I was needing to brush up on my math skills, Shelley was there to tutor me so I didn't embarrass myself on the GMAT. Shelley, in life, was a kind and giving soul that lived life to the fullest. It doesn't surprise me at all to hear that she fought so hard to stay alive after the accident. Anyone having the misfortune of telling Shelley she couldn't do something would then have to stand by and watch her accomplish whatever it was she was told she couldn't. She was as determined a person as I have ever met. Those that knew and climbed with her all know what a loss her passing is to her family and friends. My wife's and my prayers are with her family, her friends and with her students that will all sorely miss her. She was a great friend. We will all miss you Shelley.


sonso45


Nov 6, 2005, 10:45 PM
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I will keep the image I have of her describing her summer climbing journey in the front of my mind. If I can keep her smile and enthusiastic demeanor foremost, I can forget for a moment that she is gone. I will pray for her and her family and our friends. Goodbye Shelley, I love you. Manny


curt


Nov 6, 2005, 10:59 PM
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As disturbing as hearing of Shelley's passing is, I am additionally distressed that we may never know precisely what went wrong--and ultimately led to Shelley's death. If any good can come out of a tragedy like this, it is to learn something--so that this particular piece of history never repeats itself.

It has been reported that her single line rappel was effected by connecting the rappel rope to a locking carabiner with a figure 8 knot on a bight. The locking carabiner was then (presumably) connected to the two 10 foot pieces of one-inch tubular webbing that were (presumably) tied around the rappel tree. However, both pieces of the one-inch tubular webbing were found on the ground, next to where Shelley landed, with no knots tied in them, whatsoever.

I am completely at a loss to imagine what rappel construction scenario could lead to that result. If the two one-inch pieces of webbing were tied around the rappel tree individually, that would mean that neither of them were joined together properly, for both of them to fail. If (as I first thought) the two pieces of webbing were tied together and doubled around the tree, then only one knot would have to fail--but then the slings found on the ground should have still been tied together. I just don't get it--and it's bugging me.

Curt


lpollock


Nov 6, 2005, 11:32 PM
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I am not a rock climber, but I met Shelley when she lived in Utah (where I'm from) and have known her for a number of years. I would like to echo all of the sentiments that I have read thus far in this forum. Shelley was absolutely brilliant and was by far the toughest girl I have ever met. We started peak bagging here in Utah back in 2000 and together made the goal of hitting all 50 state highpoints...so you can imagine my shock and utter disbelief when I received the phone call. I think it will truly hit home later when I realize that I will not be going on any more adventurous trips with her.

It just doesn't make any sense. I've read the account and other info on this forum and I just don't get it. She always talked about rock climbing being completely safe if you take the proper precautions, and I can say first hand from some technical canyoneering trips that we went on that she was very careful and very thorough (as well as knowledgeable).

I will miss you very much Shelley. You were always so easy going and willing and excited to go places. This is truly a great loss for everyone that knew you.

-- Lane Pollock

P.S.

Amy, I have tons and tons of photos of Shelley from various trips that I can donate to your project. I will go through them tomorrow and pick out some of the best ones. I will post one here now, however. This is Shelley on the last trip we did together. This is a picture of our run at bagging Mount Borah in Idaho...just two months ago in September.

http://lanep.org/...gallery/P1010049.JPG


climbingsponge


Nov 6, 2005, 11:33 PM
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I am deeply saddened by this news. My best thoughts and prayers go out to all of Shelley's friends and family.
I remember when she first opened Over the Crux, she was so excited. Her enthusiasm for climbing was almost overwhelming. She is one in a million.

Matt Hoffman


epic_ed


Nov 7, 2005, 7:14 AM
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I'm sure more details will come out over the next few days -- at this point it's unclear to me who she was climbing with at the Forks. I can certainly understand that those people have had other issues to cope with and posting publically about the incident may not be high on their priority list. That said, like many of us, I want desperately to understand what happened.

Like Curt said, it just makes no sense and we may never fully figure it out, but we owe it to Shelly to learn as much from the accident as possible -- not only to hopefully avoid a similar mistake but also to help bring closure to those who are closest to her. It's hard, as a climber, to piece together the circumstances. I can only imagine how others in her family and friends of hers feel who don't have a climbing background to use as a point of reference for making sense of this tragic accident. For their sake, I hope we can get eventually get a clear picture of what went wrong.

My thoughts and prayers have been with those of you involved in the incident, and with her many close friends and family. There's a bunch of us sharing in your grief.

Ed


emartinblue


Nov 7, 2005, 7:55 AM
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I’m only providing this information because I too need to understand what happened before I came on the scene.

I hope that my previous post was not misunderstood or unclear in any way; I like the rest of you have been deeply effected by this loss and the entire experience. The more I learn about Shelley the more I wish I could have known her. I also feel that it is important for us to understand the scenario that occurred before the accident took place.

I have provided all of the information that I could in a previous post about the accident. Since my post someone has added that the webbing used around the tree “did not have a knot tied in it”. When I found the webbing I’m quite sure that both pieces did have separate water knots (rewoven overhand) tied in them. If you were searching the contents of the backpack and found the webbing there may have not been knots in the webbing because we later tried to use the webbing to stabilize the backboard. The knots were likely untied at this time.

Also, as I stated in a previous post I desperately need to know the extent of Shelley’s injuries; I need to know that we made the right decision by keeping her stable. Please don’t misunderstand my reasons for needing this information. If someone knows could you please private message this account.


David Adkins


unabonger


Nov 7, 2005, 7:56 AM
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I'm sorry for your loss. Clearly she was someone who lived live fully. In that respect she was fortunate, as was everyone who knew her. Teachers are heroic and underappreciated.

If there is a scholarship fund or favorite charity of Shelley's, I'll be the first to donate.

Will


killclimbz


Nov 7, 2005, 11:00 AM
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I am so sorry to hear this.

My condolences to her friends and family.

RIP


Partner bill


Nov 7, 2005, 11:15 AM
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I am truly sad to hear about this. I didn't know Shelley all that well, but the interactions I did have with her made it obvious that she was a very kind and sweet person. My best wishes to all of her friends and family.


ebelay


Nov 7, 2005, 11:30 AM
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This is so very sad and shocking. I remember Shelley playing guitar and singing at our campsite at Enchanted Tower just a couple of months ago. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing her very well, but her endearing spirit was remarkable. We will miss you Shelley.


ktotheidwell


Nov 7, 2005, 11:36 AM
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Shelly was an incredible friend, mentor, role model, and inspiration. I am deeply saddened by her passing. I want to give my condolences to her family, and would like to say, her values and morals were as great as those of anyone i have ever met. NO words can describe her compassion for life and the people she was around. Memories of her will stay with me forever.

Chris Kidwell

Also, to Amy and Daniel - I have pictures of our climbing in Eldorado Canyon when she visited me last month. I will send them out to you as soon as I can.


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 11:36 AM
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In reply to:
I’m only providing this information because I too need to understand what happened before I came on the scene.

I hope that my previous post was not misunderstood or unclear in any way; I like the rest of you have been deeply effected by this loss and the entire experience. The more I learn about Shelley the more I wish I could have known her. I also feel that it is important for us to understand the scenario that occurred before the accident took place.

I have provided all of the information that I could in a previous post about the accident. Since my post someone has added that the webbing used around the tree “did not have a knot tied in it”...

I made the previous post that you mention. I think any miscommunication about the slings may have been between Leo and myself, when we spoke last night. After speaking this morning to Mark, it is now clear that both pieces of blue webbing were tied into individual loops with water knots--and that both of these loops were still connected to Shelley's locking carabiner when she was initially found at the bottom of the rappel area. To me, this makes far more sense, although I still wonder how Shelley had intended to secure the slings to (or around) the rappel tree.

Curt


epic_ed


Nov 7, 2005, 11:42 AM
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Pure speculation, but maybe she intended to girth-hitch the slings together in order to fully wrap around the tree. Debris and clearance may have prevented her from seeing the slings were passing through each other rather than hitched. Dunno -- just throwing it out there trying to understand.

Ed


climbaddic


Nov 7, 2005, 12:23 PM
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I have many pictures and videos of Shelley. You can find them here.

Shelley's Pictures.


katibird


Nov 7, 2005, 12:49 PM
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This is my first post here, and it's only to say that i didn't know Skelley well, and that we had only hung out a few times, but I still remember going to Four Peaks with her and having a blast. She was bright, and so sweet i got a cavity. :cry: She was just a wonderful person, and i'm so sorry she's gone, but like all the other posts have said she lived life in the way that made her happiest. If you look at the pictures of her floating around you see most are of her doing the things she loved and that for me is a comfort to know she did what she loved and loved what she did. I'm so sorry for her family, and her closest friends, sincere and teary-eyed condolances for you on the loss of such a bright and shining star.

Kat

"Death ends a life, not a relationship."
Jack Lemon


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 1:21 PM
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In reply to:
Pure speculation, but maybe she intended to girth-hitch the slings together in order to fully wrap around the tree. Debris and clearance may have prevented her from seeing the slings were passing through each other rather than hitched. Dunno -- just throwing it out there trying to understand.

Ed

I suspect that you're right. Also, I bet that when she intended to girth-hitch one sling to the other, she passed one sling through the second one--but not then back through itself. If one of the water knots was in the back of the tree, where the two slings met, the water knot could provide the illusion that the slings were truly girth-hitched because under a light force this knot may not pull through the other sling, particularly if it is being forced up against the tree. Under a larger load, however, the knot would pull through the loop of the other sling. Obviously, this scenario is mere speculation, but it is consistent with all of the facts, as I currently understand them to be.

Curt


flagstaff_climber


Nov 7, 2005, 2:09 PM
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Ed you are almost certainly right... I have been cutting and tying cordage for the last hour and this is the only thing that really makes sense. I came to the same conclusion as you....

Rick


climberchic


Nov 7, 2005, 2:23 PM
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Thanks Chris for the e-mail regarding Shelley,

I'll post when I get ahold of myself


vivalargo


Nov 7, 2005, 2:51 PM
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My most sincere condolences to Shelley Windsor and everyone who was touched by her life. This is an aweful business, and happens far too frequently.

As Curt and others have pointed out, it's crucial to try and discover what actually happened so we can warn others about making the same mistake.

That much said, the only way to really and truly know what happened is to get a very reliable description of what riging (slings, the rope, the biner, et al) was found at the bottom, after the accident, and BEFORE anyone started tying and untying stuff and breaking it all down. You have to know what was found, how everything was arranged on the rope, and do a reverse engineering job that will tell you what happened. If no one can describe pretty much exactly what was found at the bottom, in detail, we're all guessing.


JL


tempeclimber


Nov 7, 2005, 2:52 PM
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Hi, this is Julie Ingram. This is my first post to this site, although I have spent many hours over the years enjoying the pictures and info on the site. I was a good friend of Shelley's and loved hanging out and climbing with her. Shelley introduced me to my husband, Curt, on a rock climbing trip to J-tree and we were married 6 months ago. We used to joke that I needed to return the favor. Curt and I talked to her Thurs at Hong's party and tried to convince her to climb with us last Sat, I never knew it would be the last time I would see her. Curt and I have been crying off and on ever since. We feel so indebted to her, she was a close friend and we will miss her a ton.

Our friend Amy Esplin and I are putting together a memory book for her family for the funeral this Friday. Please send pictures and stories to julieaingram@yahoo.com or aesplin@nextcare.com


epic_ed


Nov 7, 2005, 3:04 PM
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John, I'll split off the commentary re: what happen and start another thread. I'll ask that all further post to this thread be to commemorate Shelly's memory and to express condolences.

Ed


imnotafraid


Nov 7, 2005, 3:14 PM
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I still can't believe this is true. I will miss climbing with Shelly in J-tree and QC or where ever. She truly was one of the most positive, nicest persons I have met. Deepest sympathy.

Bob Spak


epic_ed


Nov 7, 2005, 3:16 PM
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I have split off the appropriate posts to start a new thread titled "Learning from Shelly's accident..." Please feel free to post all factual accounts and details of the accident to that thread. I'd ask that you keep in mind the dignity of her family and friends while doing so. Our hope, of course, is to learn from the accident and come to understand as best we can what happened.

Please keep the posts in this thread dedicated to condolences, memories and stories about Shelly, and updates for funeral arrangements and commemorative gatherings.

Thanks,

Ed


tempeclimber


Nov 7, 2005, 3:17 PM
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Love the picture. Amy and I are looking forward to more great photos from you for the memory book.
Julie


reno


Nov 7, 2005, 3:22 PM
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I had the good fortune to meet Shelley through my former roomie, and was immediately drawn to the wonderful person I met. Kind, warm, inviting, and generous, she exemplifies what all of us should strive to be.

I never had the chance to rope up with her, but we'd seen each other at the crags from time to time, and she was always quick to offer a smile, a kind word, and the occasional friendly jab at my less-than-stellar technique.

This year hasn't been a banner year, as this is the third time I've had to deal with the death of a friend. But everything happens for a reason, and though I'm not of capacity to understand that reason, I accept it as so.

Dealing with life and death on a daily basis for my job, I like to think I'm tough enough to handle it. But that's a lie, and I find myself still at a loss for words.

Those who think they can just distance themselves... physically, emotionally, or spiritually, from the death of a fellow human would do well to remember John Donne's timeless words:

"No man is an island, entire of itself...Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main...Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee."

For now, I'm going to mourn my friend so I can cry, remember some stories so I can laugh, think of her place in paradise so I can smile, and hug my friends so I can move on.

I miss you, Shelley. We'll meet again, someday.

"They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We shall remember them."


reno


Nov 7, 2005, 3:29 PM
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I missed Mark's description/retelling of the accident last night, as I didn't get out of work until 1900, and arrived at the meeting around 1940.

Am I correct in my understanding that the webbing used for the anchors had NO knots in it at all?


msbrenne


Nov 7, 2005, 3:37 PM
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I know Shelley wanted to climb the Mace in Sedona every year and on our last attempt this year we got rained and snowed on. Mark B.


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 3:52 PM
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In reply to:
I missed Mark's description/retelling of the accident last night, as I didn't get out of work until 1900, and arrived at the meeting around 1940.

Am I correct in my understanding that the webbing used for the anchors had NO knots in it at all?

No. Read my posts above. According to Mark, each of the two pieces of webbing was tied into a loop using a water knot. These two loops were found still clipped into Shelley's locking anchor carabiner at the bottom of the rappel site. i.e. all of the anchor went down along with Shelley, except for the tree itself.

Curt


vivalargo


Nov 7, 2005, 4:03 PM
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Hey, Curt--

I'm not exactly sure I have it right here. In the simpliest possible terms, what was actually found on the locking biner at the bottom of the accident?

Were there two long runners, not connected to each other, but each one en tact and tied into individual loops with water knots?

JL


Partner cindylou


Nov 7, 2005, 4:08 PM
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Sincere condolences to Shelley's family and friends. She sounds like she was an amazing person. I wish I could have had the opportunity to share a rope with her.

I'm so very very sorry.


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 4:09 PM
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In reply to:
Hey, Curt--

I'm not exactly sure I have it right here. In the simpliest possible terms, what was actually found on the locking biner at the bottom of the accident?

Were there two long runners, not connected to each other, but each one en tact and tied into individual loops with water knots?

JL

Yes, according to her climbing partner that day (Mark) that is exactly the way things were found. The two slings were not connected together in any way--but each seperate circular loop was clipped into the locking anchor carabiner, as was the rope.

Curt


billl7


Nov 7, 2005, 4:29 PM
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Girth hitching one sling to another sling is a possibility. Another would be something like what is shown as the thief knot, shown here:

http://www.cherokeescouting.org/knots/Thief.htm





curt


Nov 7, 2005, 4:33 PM
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In reply to:
Girth hitching one sling to another sling is a possibility. Another would be something like what is shown as the thief knot, shown here:

http://www.cherokeescouting.org/knots/Thief.htm




That isn't a possibility here though, because the two slings in question were pre-tied into loops using water knots.

Curt


billl7


Nov 7, 2005, 4:41 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Girth hitching one sling to another sling is a possibility. Another would be something like what is shown as the thief knot, shown here:http://www.cherokeescouting.org/knots/Thief.htm
[/quote]

That isn't a possibility here though, because the two slings in question were pre-tied into loops using water knots.

Curt[/quote]

I wasn't clear. I didn't mean to tie it as shown in the animation.

Feed the end of first loop through the second loop; open that end of the first loop and pass the other end of the second loop through the just opened loop.

Kind of hard to write about but I'm sure it can be done - and is what comes to my mind for joining two slings. Try doing with arms around a tree with large slings and it might get confusing.


dirtineye


Nov 7, 2005, 4:42 PM
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This is terrible.

Rappel accidents always seem so preventable, IN HINDSIGHT, and yet, they continue to happen. There was one a year or two ago, where two experienced climbers were hurrying down a mountain, and one failed to check his partner's rappel setup, and when he looked around, the other guy was gone. Either the knot in the double ropes came out, or it was never tied.

This current event really hits hard, cause I spend a lot of time in wilderness areas, on the edge of cliffs, both exploring for new routes and setting up rappels, and as recently as yesterday, I was thinking, "Gee, one good screw up here and you're just dead." I wound up sort of ignoring the immediacy of the situation. Hell, we all do after enough time spent on the edge.

But that's wrong.

Maybe the lesson here is, stay sharp. Don't fuck up, and pay attention even if it is the 1000th time, cause if you make one mistake it could be your last.

I swear I know I've lived through a lot of climbing related potential fuck ups by luck rather than skill, and I hope I can learn to use better judgement and NEVER get complacent.


veganboyjosh


Nov 7, 2005, 5:00 PM
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my sincerest condolences to the friends and family and people who were on the scene of this accident.

i'd like to thank david and the other contributors to this thread for keeping it civil and productive.

while it saddens me deeply to learn of another climber's passing, i do appreciate the candor (not to mention difficulty for those close to the victim and/or accident) in explaining/discussing the details so that we may all learn from this tragedy.


jstreet


Nov 7, 2005, 5:02 PM
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I first meet Shelley around 5 years ago and knew her well while I lived in Arizona. I am at a loss of words about the accident, she will be missed dearly by many people. My brother was one of the sheriff's deputies on the helicopter that flew her out, he was very impressed with the work of everyone who assisted after the accident. Thank you to all that did there best to help her and God bless her family.

Jared Street


vivalargo


Nov 7, 2005, 5:12 PM
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Here's the feedback I've received so far:

"There was a roomful of people last night that got to hear the story from Shelley's partner Mark, and one of the people who tried to rescue her. Curt Shannon was there, myself, and a bunch of others. You could ask some of the attendees for details if you don't feel comfortable doing so on the public forum.

A couple of facts not listed on the rc.com dialogue:

They set up and broke down multiple rappels during the day, based on the routes they were climbing at the time. I believe that the accident was on the third rappel of the day. The third rap was in the same location -- including same tree, as mentioned by Mark -- as the first rappel of the day. For what it's worth, I believe that it was Shelley who set up the earlier rap at the same location. So, whatever she did, it worked the first time.

Single tree used, so there wasn't a back-up -- e.g., one piece of web to tree A and a second piece to tree B.

One person coiled the rope while the other set the anchor. They didn't check each other's anchors. When Shelley and I had climbed together, you didn't get to leave the ground without checking each person's harness, tie-in knot, and belay device. Good compulsive behavior, but partners hardly ever check my anchors when we're outside.

There was some discussion that the two pieces of web were short (10 feet) and the same color, and that this may have contributed to a mix-up. For TR anchors, I carry two 30' pieces of web -- one red and the other purple to help keep strands distinct.

Hope this helps."

This description suggests that Shelly had previously set up and successfully rapped from the same tree earlier in the day--and quite possibly if not probably set the first rap up, she believed, the same way she rigged the failed rap.

In the clearest terms, Curt described to me what was found on the rope at the bottom of the cliff, after the accident.

"There were two pieces of blue one-inch webbing, each of which was tied into a loop with a water knot. When Shelley was found, she was connected to the single line rappel by her belay / rap device and carabiner. The rope was connected to the anchor carabiner with a figure-eight knot on a bight. The anchor carabiner (still locked) also had both loops of the blue one-inch webbing locked into it. So, when she fell, the entire anchor (except the tree) went to the bottom with her.

I am guessing that she meant to tie the two one-inch loops of webbing together with a girth-hitch, but didn't actually girth hitch the webbing. I suspect that she may have reached around the tree and passed one sling through the other sling and then pulled the slings through until she felt something become tight. However, I am further guessing that what "came tight" was merely one of the water knots coming up against the loop of the other piece of webbing--i.e. the knot merely jammed in the other piece of webbing.

She then took the free ends of the webbing loops, closest to the rappel point, clipped them together, and clipped the rope and locker to the slings. Such a scenario would result in being able to pull with some force on the rappel point carabiner before the water knot "popped" through the other looped sling. Once fully weighted, however, the knot pulled through leading to complete anchor failure."

In investigating these accidents, with such a precise description as Curt has supplied, you can reverse engineer the scenario and draw reliable conclusions. First you eliminate the impossible. For instance, the runners could not have been girth hitched together because once weighted, girth hitched slings, connected via a locking biner, cannot magically become un hitched. It's a physical impossibility. The only other possibility was that the two runners found on the locking biner had once been connected by either another sling, or a biner, either of which broke in the process of the belay and could likely be found behind or by the tree. Because this is so unlikely (and could be ruled out if anyone inspected the tree), Curt's description is almost certainly what actually happened since there are virtually no other possible options.

The last two missing details are, what is the position of the tree and how thick is it, and, how far down the rope, beneath the locker, did Shelley get before the anchor failed. A water knot snagged on another runner could actually hold for awhile if the tensions were just so, but the first little bounce on the rap and I can only believe that the knot/snag would pull through.

The position of the tree and how thick it was can possibly allow us to recreat how the riging accident happened. If the tree was somewhat thick and in the back of an alcove or lee, or was in a position where getting behind it was difficult, I can imagine Shelley reaching one hand around the tree with a runner, and reaching around the other side of the tree with the other hand holding another runner. She would be left to feed one runner through the other to form the girth hitch. Doing so only on feel, rather than by sight, she didn't thread the one runner back through itself to accomplish the girth hitch. Rather, as Curt described, when the water knot hung up on the other runner, she though the girth hitch was mint. The snagged water knot probably held while she weighted the rope before rapping off the lip. I'd imagine that it didn't hold for long, however, and that, at the bottom, her belay/rap devise was positioned on the rope mere feet below that point on the rope where it passed over the brink.

This is only a provisional, but in my mind, pretty plausible explanation, though my exact description is just what I have imagined, not knowing the girth or position of the tree.

The thing to remember is that we should always girth hitch the slings together BEFORE we wrap them around the tree, so we can visually varify that the hitch is indeed secure.

JL


climbaddic


Nov 7, 2005, 5:13 PM
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So far speculation is this

In front of the tree was like this (nothing wrong in this side)
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64149

Where back of the tree was something like this:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64150

Two webbings on the back of tree should have been girth hitched. However, it was much more confusing due to same color of webbings and water knot was much closer to the "girth hitch".


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 5:13 PM
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In reply to:
...I bet that when she intended to girth-hitch one sling to the other, she passed one sling through the second one--but not then back through itself. If one of the water knots was in the back of the tree, where the two slings met, the water knot could provide the illusion that the slings were truly girth-hitched because under a light force this knot may not pull through the other sling, particularly if it is being forced up against the tree. Under a larger load, however, the knot would pull through the loop of the other sling. Obviously, this scenario is mere speculation, but it is consistent with all of the facts, as I currently understand them to be...

I have now been able to recreate this anchor scenario around an 18" diameter tree in my yard. It works pretty much as I speculated. The surprising finding was that I could occasionally get the water knot of one sling to "jam" in the second sling so tightly (when pulled against the tree) that it could hold far more force than I thought it would.

Curt


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 5:19 PM
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In reply to:
So far speculation is this

In front of the tree was like this (nothing wrong in this side)
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64149

Where back of the tree was something like this:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64150

Two webbings on the back of tree should have been girth hitched. However, it was much more confusing due to same color of webbings and water knot was much closer to the "girth hitch".

Except, in your second picture pass one of the water knots through the loop formed by the other sling--and then pull the slings tight, up against the back of a tree. The water knot will effectively jam in the second sling, up against the tree, perhaps giving a false sense that an actual hitch has been tied there.

Curt


climbsomething


Nov 7, 2005, 5:22 PM
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In reply to:
I know Shelley wanted to climb the Mace in Sedona every year and on our last attempt this year we got rained and snowed on. Mark B.
Are you the same Mark B who was with Shelley on Saturday?

If so... just know that you've got a lot of people who will be there for you.


squierbypetzl
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Nov 7, 2005, 5:25 PM
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Tragic thing to hear about...
Best wishes to her family and (numerous) friends.


shelleys_bro


Nov 7, 2005, 5:29 PM
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Shelley's brother John here. The latest on the funeral is it will be Saturday morning (casket viewing at 9, funeral at 10). Once the location has been determined, I will post that and Daniel will post on www.overthecrux.com. My family has been reading posts on this site and are very appreciative of all that has been said.

Thanks to all for your condolences and kind words. I'm collecting pics, video clips and will be throwing them on a DVD for family members and will make sure copies are accessible to any others. Already I have over 3GB of content. I look forward to getting her photo albums and scanning them in.

If you have photos or video clips you can email them to me at john.windsor@gmail.com


paganmonkeyboy


Nov 7, 2005, 5:37 PM
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wow...
speechless...
:( :cry: :cry:


otc


Nov 7, 2005, 5:38 PM
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The main issue I have with this theory is that the webbing was not found on the ground attached to the carabiner, according to Dave it was found 8 feet away. If you try this scenario yourself as described by Charlie and Curt, which I have, you end up with the slings still attached to the carabiner. The second issue I have with this whole situation is that Shelley always doubled up her rap anchors. I know for a fact that she always carried a 25 foot piece of cordolette with her so she definitely had the means to back up this anchor.

Does anybody know how big around the tree was?

Daniel


gullwing19


Nov 7, 2005, 5:51 PM
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My deepest aplogies to all those involved. What a terrible thing to be apart of.

Someone mentioned earlier about a wilderness first aid class which is an awesome idea. Being a paramedic, I have used that knowledge more than once in the backcountry and am so thankful that I had it at the time.

I would go a step further than the first aid class and recommend an EMT-Basic class to everyone which goes into much more detail about things like airway, breathing, and circulation, immobilization of the cervical spine etc. etc. I personally believe this is training that everyone should have, not just those of us who play outside. You can contact your local department of health for class info.

Again, my thoughts and prayers are with you guys.


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 5:58 PM
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In reply to:
The main issue I have with this theory is that the webbing was not found on the ground attached to the carabiner, according to Dave it was found 8 feet away. If you try this scenario yourself as described by Charlie and Curt, which I have, you end up with the slings still attached to the carabiner...

otc,

Mark (her climbing partner that day) claims otherwise--that the two independent loops of one-inch webbing were indeed still connected to the anchor carabiner, when Shelley was first found on the ground.

Leo also said that the slings were found some distance away, but since he was giving CPR to Shelley for 45 minutes, I suspect (guessing again) that the slings being moved were not his highest priority. I was told that the slings were potentially going to be used to secure Shelley to a backboard, so it appears likely that they were not left as they were originally found--and that Dave also saw the slings after they had been removed from the anchor carabiner, and placed aside.

Obviously, if someone who was actually there could confirm that the two loops of webbing were removed from Shelly's anchor carabiner by someone present, that would add one more piece to this puzzle.

Curt


climbaddic


Nov 7, 2005, 6:14 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
So far speculation is this

In front of the tree was like this (nothing wrong in this side)
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64149

Where back of the tree was something like this:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64150

Two webbings on the back of tree should have been girth hitched. However, it was much more confusing due to same color of webbings and water knot was much closer to the "girth hitch".

Except, in your second picture pass one of the water knots through the loop formed by the other sling--and then pull the slings tight, up against the back of a tree. The water knot will effectively jam in the second sling, up against the tree, perhaps giving a false sense that an actual hitch has been tied there.

Curt

More like this.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64151


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 6:26 PM
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Yes. If you pull that yellow knot a bit farther through the loop in the red sling, and then tighten the two against a tree--you will see that it is quite likely that the yellow water knot will jam in the loop formed by the red sling.

Curt


vivalargo


Nov 7, 2005, 6:34 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
The main issue I have with this theory is that the webbing was not found on the ground attached to the carabiner, according to Dave it was found 8 feet away. If you try this scenario yourself as described by Charlie and Curt, which I have, you end up with the slings still attached to the carabiner...

Mark, her climbing partner that day claims otherwise--that the two independent loops of one-inch webbing were indeed still connected to the anchor carabiner, when Shelley was first found on the ground.

Curt

Both of these descriptions cannot be true, and before the fumbled girth hitch theory can be established, the first description--that the slings were found 8 feet away, detached from the rope--must definatively be ruled out.

JL


stick233


Nov 7, 2005, 6:34 PM
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I am very sad. Shelley will be missed very much. I met her very early on in my climbing career, when I first came to AZ. Every time we climbed together you could see the love for life and climbing with every move she made. I am very glad to have been able to meet her. She's an honestly GOOD person, a trait often hard to come by. I am glad that she lived the way she wanted to.

My condolences to her family... please know that she touched MANY peoples lives and I garauntee she was admired by all she met. :cry:

Rob


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 6:44 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
The main issue I have with this theory is that the webbing was not found on the ground attached to the carabiner, according to Dave it was found 8 feet away. If you try this scenario yourself as described by Charlie and Curt, which I have, you end up with the slings still attached to the carabiner...

Mark, her climbing partner that day claims otherwise--that the two independent loops of one-inch webbing were indeed still connected to the anchor carabiner, when Shelley was first found on the ground.

Curt

Both of these descriptions cannot be true, and before the fumbled girth hitch theory can be established, the first description--that the slings were found 8 feet away, detached from the rope--must definatively be ruled out.

JL

Agreed. And in this respect, it would be excellent to hear from the first person to reach Shelley after the accident.

Curt


imnotafraid


Nov 7, 2005, 6:47 PM
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I still can't believe this is true. I will miss climbing with Shelly in J-tree and QC or where ever. She truly was one of the most positive, nicest persons I have met. Deepest sympathy.

Bob Spak


Partner grovehunter


Nov 7, 2005, 6:53 PM
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This is terrible. My deepest sympathies go out to all family and friends.
JL mentioned that a properly rigged girth hitch will hold and it is Virtually impossible to seperate. (Short of an act of God) Is this rig safe as a single rappel anchor or should it have been backed up at least once? John also mentioned that the system was not triple checked by all present while the anchor was set up. JL reinforces the Idea in His book Rock Climbing. This is something I will never take for granted. Check it, double check it, triple check it and test it. Make sure the anchor system is REDUNDANT, EQUALIZED with NO EXTENSIONS. Any doubt at all - DON'T USE IT!
This is so sad. It also sounds by all accounts like this tradgedy could have been avoided. God bless you Shelley and Godspeed!!


sonso45


Nov 7, 2005, 7:14 PM
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I've used many trees for anchors at Paradise Forks. I always try to have a second as a backup but have done it with a single tree. I recommend the timberline hitch. It is just the rope wrapped at least three times around the tree and connected with a locker to the strand you will rap on. The friction is great enough that the locker isn't even weighted when you rap. I will take this as a lesson to be more humble and double check all my anchors.


climberchic


Nov 7, 2005, 7:14 PM
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John~thank you for thinking about Shelley's friends at the most difficult time in your life. We all really appreciate you keeping us up on when and where to pay our respects. I can't imagine what you must be going through. My deepest, sincerest, heartfelt apologies to you and your whole family.

When I got the message that I had a PM from Chris today, my first thought was "Wow! I haven't heard from him in a few years! He must have started climbing again since getting married and starting a family and wants to get together" Happy!

When I saw the title of the PM - "Shelley" and I thought, "Oh god, no". I stared at it for a moment convincing myself that Shelley broke her leg or arm or something mend-able and she was in the hospital and I was to come visit her and cheer her up.

I opened the e-mail and read the horrible news. I am still trying to cope with what I've read and I haven't even talked to her in months. I got an e-mail from PRG saying that Over the Crux had moved to the gym and was going to call her to see how the business was going and just catch up in general - Shelley was one of those people you become friends with and you know you'll be friends with for life, so what's a few months without catching up? But gee, I've been SO BUSY lately and just haven't found the time. Besides, I was going to see her at the AZ gathering in October. She was one of a very small handful of people I was looking forward to seeing again - my now once a year visits since I moved to Colorado - but unfortunately, it was rained out. I can't tell you how much I regret not just taking 5 minutes out of my day to give her a call.

I just feel... shock right now. I really can't believe that she's gone.

And scared. Shelley was THE SAFEST CLIMBER I knew. If this could happen to her, how could I not be vulnerable?

And such deep sorrow. Shelley was really one of the great people you meet in a lifetime. I've never heard her say something bad about another person and I've never heard anyone say anything even remotely negative about her. The words that first come to mind to describe Shelley:

Positive
Cheerful
Friendly
Strong
Smart
Outgoing
Humble
Happy

I remember when she won her division for the PBC a few years ago. She ran up to me and said "I got first! Seriously, can you believe it? Isn't that crazy?", as if she had won a door prize or raffle or something, not by her own merit.

My only condolence right now is that she truly lived her life to the fullest during her time here. More so than some people who live to be 80. She really did everything that she desired to do, instead of putting it off, like some of the rest of us. She just LOVED LIVING.

This is the last PM I received from Shelley. I invited her and a friend of ours, John, up for Christmas and New Years last year. We had just moved to Colorado and they were psyched to come up, see the cabin, and do some snowboarding. A perfect example of how Shelley lived her life - a real do-it-all attitude.

"Hey Erica,

So John and I have been talking and we seriously want to come out to Colorado and visit.. hit some slopes... John has taken some vacation time around Christmas and I have a school break. I don't remember the exact dates John has off - I'm sure he'll call you soon to see if it's okay for us to come those days. If it's not a good time, please let us know!

One of these days I'll hopefully run into you at the gym again... although this week I'm lucky enough to be going to Moab - woohoo! Jon Apprill is going to lead up the Rectory and I get to follow.. then a couple of days at Indian Creek should really beat me up.

Hope all is going well with you!

Shelley"

For her friends and her family, please know that she will be supremely missed. The world was a much better place with her in it and I feel a sadness for all of the people that didn't, and won't, get to meet her and be inspired by her, as I was, before she died. I feel deeply privileged for having known her and know that my life is better for it.

This poem by Henry Scott Holland has helped me through a few difficult times, I hope it does for you too. In the relatively little I knew about Shelley, I think would have wanted to be thought of this way...

"Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.

I am I,
and you are you;
whatever we were to each other,
that, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used,
put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air
of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever be
the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all
that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well."

Erica Messinger


billl7


Nov 7, 2005, 7:38 PM
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In reply to:
Here's the feedback I've received so far:

".... There was some discussion that the two pieces of web were short (10 feet) and the same color, and that this may have contributed to a mix-up. For TR anchors, I carry two 30' pieces of web -- one red and the other purple to help keep strands distinct. ...."

A minor side-note here would be that, of course, different colored ropes would not help if the girth hitch were tied out of sight (debris, lack of clearance) and not visually inspected afterwards. But that note pales in comparison to the person's point, which is quoted above, on how well two colors can help during knot/hitch inspection.

I especially appreciate the revelation which surfaced here about a sling's knot catching and feeling like a "mint" girth hitch (Ed/Curt combo I think).

These things highlight to me the significance of visual inspections over solely feel/touch whenever possible.

I know that there are still open issues as to what actually happened but learning the above from you all has been helpful to me. I didn't know Shelly Windsor but she sure sounds to have had the kind of character that I would wish for my own kids to attain.

Bill


squierbypetzl
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Nov 7, 2005, 8:41 PM
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Ok, before I write anything else, know that I mean no disrespect by putting forward the following theory (ie, I´m going to speculate on what happened).

After reading through the posts in this thread and seeing climbaddic´s pics of what might have gone wrong with a girth hitch in the webbing, I see another possibility.


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64151

In this picture, we see a the knot pinned below the other sling and, when the 2 are pulled tight around, say, a tree, the bottom loop´s knot would be pulled up against loop above it, effectively pinning it down against the tree trunk.

Now see these pictures:


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64167

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64168

(sorry, don´t have any webbing nearby so I used 2 different cordlettes)

Now, in the pics above, the lower loop´s knot is also pinned under above loop (loop = webbing). The key difference is that the lower loop was actually passed through the above loop.

In climbaddics pics, if the person putting up the webbing were to release pressure of it against the tree, the two pieces of webbing would separate (unless caught against the bark). In my pics, you can see that 1 of the loops is threaded through the other, as you would do in beginning a girth hitch.

(I promise to clean up the language immedietely and make it clearer; I just wanted to put this idea out as fast as I could in support of family and friends)


yolanda


Nov 7, 2005, 8:54 PM
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:cry: Im a student of shelley's at mcc. I've had the honor of knowing miss shell. she is the greatest math teacher ever. today we all came to class like any normal day. clicking away on the computers before class. playing games checkin e mails, not a one prepared for the devastating news. then it came, a voice from the back of the room. silence was all over the room, no more clicking, no talking. only the sounds of sniffling, long sighs, wimpers of those of us who could not hold back the tears.

she is so amazing, the stories she told of her climbs, the pics she would share from computer. well she had to explain all those cuts and scrapes that she let show. she always was so proud of her climbs even with every little injury.

this is my 3rd semester with shelley, we're the same age. I've learned so much in her class. she is so dedicated. she was so proud of my grades this semester, I was actually learning everything. she made it easy to understand. she was so patient. I love her and I will miss her. everything about her.

Im no rock climber by any means. I just thought Id let Ya'll know. A different view. god bless to all those who's hearts she touched.

sincerely her math class at mcc monday & weds. nights :(


vivalargo


Nov 7, 2005, 9:10 PM
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In reply to:
Ok, before I write anything else, know that I mean no disrespect by putting forward the following theory (ie, I´m going to speculate on what happened).

After reading through the posts in this thread and seeing climbaddic´s pics of what might have gone wrong with a girth hitch in the webbing, I see another possibility.


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64151

In this picture, we see a the knot pinned below the other sling and, when the 2 are pulled tight around, say, a tree, the bottom loop´s knot would be pulled up against loop above it, effectively pinning it down against the tree trunk.

Now see these pictures:


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64167

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64168

(sorry, don´t have any webbing nearby so I used 2 different cordlettes)

Now, in the pics above, the lower loop´s knot is also pinned under above loop (loop = webbing). The key difference is that the lower loop was actually passed through the above loop.

In climbaddics pics, if the person putting up the webbing were to release pressure of it against the tree, the two pieces of webbing would separate (unless caught against the bark). In my pics, you can see that 1 of the loops is threaded through the other, as you would do in beginning a girth hitch.

(I promise to clean up the language immedietely and make it clearer; I just wanted to put this idea out as fast as I could in support of family and friends)

I can't imagine that Shelley DIDN'T thread the runner through the other one--it's just that it seems she didn't pass the loop BACK THROUGH on itself to form the girth hitch. Exactly how the knot snagged on the sling is anyone's guess. My guess is that she fed sling through the other (blindly), and simply pulled the same end till the knot came too on the other sling, believing she had looped it back through itself by virtue of the knot snag.

For now, I think Curt's explanation has covered all the fine points, and Squierbypetzl's pics--even though it's not of a sling--show how a knot can get snagged.

I'd still be interested in knowing the dimensions and position of the tree, and how far she got down the rope before the anchor failed.

Above and beyond all of this technical talk, I feel very sad for all her friends and family. I'm very sorry this ever happened to someone I never had the pleasure of knowing.

JL


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 9:12 PM
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In reply to:
Ok, before I write anything else, know that I mean no disrespect by putting forward the following theory (ie, I´m going to speculate on what happened).

Now see these pictures:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64167

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64168

(sorry, don´t have any webbing nearby so I used 2 different cordlettes)

Now, in the pics above, the lower loop´s knot is also pinned under above loop (loop = webbing). The key difference is that the lower loop was actually passed through the above loop...

That is exactly the scenario I described earlier, except that water knots were tied in webbing.

Curt


leo4aclimb


Nov 7, 2005, 9:16 PM
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Hello everybody.

I would like to open with an apology for taking so long before actually typing my own account of Shelley’s accident. I had some reflecting to do, and I needed time to emotionally recover, even if only partially.
It was about 1:15 pm on that beautiful day at the forks. The temperature was perfect, the air smelled brisk, and we were done warming up on pillow wall, about to go to Davidson wall and bag harder routes in the sun. Emily and Dave were already on their way to the wall, while I was picking up my rack and talking with a climber named John, when I saw Mark running towards us. His words "someone got hurt, call 911" didn't even echo at the canyon’s floor as all of us sprung into action. John ran to the parking lot, while Mark and I ran to gold wall. Mark wrapped the rope around a sturdy pine, but the rope did not make it to the ground. I set up the rap station for a single line rappel, checked mark's harness, belay device and locking biner and he started his descent. Right before he started lowering we agreed that what ever it looked like down there, we'd keep a level head.
As he lowered, I ran to the parking lot to make sure that john managed to call 911 and that a chopper had been requested. John then drove to meet the ambulance at I-40 and garland prairie Rd, and I ran back to gold wall, rappelled to the canyon, and started tending to Shelley.
She was lying on her stomach, facing the canyon floor, head towards gold wall. She was breathing, and I started tending to her wounds. I put a tourniquet on her left arm and Mark held it tight while I tried to feel Shelley’s body, looking for hidden injuries that needed immediate attention. Through out that time Mark and I were talking to Shelley, reassuring her that help is on its way. At that point my climbing partner Dave and my wife Dania appeared at the accident site. They hiked down from the north fork and brought with them Dave’s little first aid kit. We all shed our shirts and jackets, turning them into bandages as well as trying to keep Shelley warm. Dania took over talking to Shelley, and indeed tried to keep Shelley’s will to live kindled through three hours of the struggle, while Dave took upon himself to communicate with the E.M.T who by that time arrived to the scene, and were sending medical supplies from the top of the canyon. He also timed us, so we can release the tunicate every 15 minutes, trying to prevent toxins from building up in her arm. At a certain point a man showed up, exchanged words with Dave, and hiked up the canyon, sending his wife Liz, a pediatric nurse, to help us. Upon her arrival, the E.M.T sent us an I.V., and Liz managed to locate a blood vessel.
As Shelley’s breaths became shallower, we received an oxygen bottle, but the way Shelley was laying, it was impossible to mask her and we put the mask as close as we could to her nose and mouth, and she indeed began to breath deeper.
Once the oxygen bottle ran out, her breaths became shallower and shallower, and eventually stopped breathing. By that time a back board was already lowered to us, and we placed Shelley on it. I began chest compressions, while mark used the mask to resuscitate her. From that moment on, I was really unaware of my surrounding, and cannot describe the events. At some point a climber who was also an army medic took over resuscitating shelly, while I kept compressing. Finally the chopper arrived, and took Shelley away.
Once returning to phoenix, I talked to a friend of mine, a
Fourth year med student, and described Shelley’s symptoms. She is convinced that Shelley was unconscious the entire time, unaware of pain. This confirms what the E.M.T told us.
I will not comment on any other accident report, and enough theories have been posted. I discussed this with Dave, and in my opinion his account is quite accurate.
I would also like to thank Shelley's friend and family for their warmth and kindness. Despite our failure to save Shelley's life, they have accepted me and Dania as if we were part of them all along. That, along with the pictures of Shelley climbing, bouldering, mountaineering, laying on the beach and all the stories about her that will help both me and my wife to recover from this awful tragedy.
Shelley, I'm sorry there wasn't anything else I could do to help you. I hope that one day we will all meet, and if there's a cliff somewhere in heaven, I'll be honored to share a rope with you. You are an angel now, and maybe if you see me struggling on a climb, extremely run out or just frightened, you could lend me a hand.


Leo.


brentar14


Nov 7, 2005, 9:17 PM
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I am the roommate of Lane Pollock, (lpollock, 2nd post 3rd page) and met Shelley through peak bagging with him. First peak I ever bagged with Lane, Cascade Mountain near Orem, Utah, Shelley went with us. It was a really hard hike, but she was encouraging and upbeat throughout. Next time I went hiking with Lane and her, me and another person got stuck up near the summit on another really tough hike to Broads Fork Twin Peaks. When we finally found the trail down, it was getting really dark, and Joel and I didn't have any flashlights with us. It was Shelley who volunteered to go back up the steep trail with flashlights to find us. Find us she did, nearly an hour up the trail after she'd already been through a grueling day. We were sure glad to see her as it had gotten to the point we couldn't see. She called it "Damsel rescued the distressed." All the glowing adjectives stated by previous posts are consistent with the person I knew. I am proud to be an alumnus of the same mission as her, Russia, St. Petersburg. We know where she is now. Do sveedonia, Shelley,

Brent Fredrickson


curt


Nov 7, 2005, 9:26 PM
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Thanks for posting that account Leo--and don't beat yourself up about what theoretical actions could have potentially resulted in a more favorable outcome. It's clear that you did everything you possibly could have--and then some.

Curt


jmlangford


Nov 7, 2005, 9:29 PM
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Erica, your post brought tears to my eyes. Shelley's incessant smile and upbeat attitude was contagious. What a fun person to be around!

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4


laura28


Nov 7, 2005, 9:32 PM
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from all of us at Red Mountain College, Math 121, we would just like to send our deepest condolences to her family and friends that were climbing with her that day, we LOVED, to hear all her stories, she was and will always be the BEST math teacher we could ever have, we MISS her and we all LOVE her, :cry: , but we will carry her memories, and know she is in a better place. Laura


laura28


Nov 7, 2005, 9:44 PM
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From all of us in her Math 121 class @ Red Mountain, we were all shocked to hear her accident, and we are in deep sorrow that it happened, we will all miss her, she was and will always be the BEST math teacher anyone could ever have, we MISS her dearly, and will always have a special place in our heart,for her and all that she had taught us, WE LOVE YOU Shelley... You are now in a better place... :( :(


bighigaz


Nov 7, 2005, 10:21 PM
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Sorry to post a second time, but I thought I would suggest that the people involved in putting her memory book together include the many wonderful and sincere posts contained in this forum. If you need any help putting everyones words in to a single document, I'll be happy to take the time. Just let me know... I know there will probably be many more heartfelt messages to come... I won't be able to attend the services, I'm sorry to say, but if I can at least help in some way it would be nice.

Somebody also suggested finding out Shelley's favorite charity, so others can make donations in her behalf. I think this is a great idea.

Updated: From her loving friends and business partners at Over the Crux, I noticed they had informed us of Shelley's charity of choice:

Anyone looking to donate to a charitable cause in Shelley's honor should donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. http://www.cff.org/home/
-Daniel Arlit

Thanks Daniel.


climbsomething


Nov 7, 2005, 10:23 PM
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I am especially touched by the posts from her students... we know Shelley was about more than just climbing, but the notes from her students just bring it home.


climbsomething


Nov 7, 2005, 10:30 PM
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Hey Daniel, can you post pic 66 from your slide show? It's really cute. She looks so happy... made me stop and smile :)


veganboyjosh


Nov 7, 2005, 10:38 PM
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In reply to:
Thanks for posting that account Leo--and don't beat yourself up about what theoretical actions could have potentially resulted in a more favorable outcome. It's clear that you did everything you possibly could have--and then some.

Curt

ditto. thanks for sharing that.


Partner philbox
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Nov 7, 2005, 10:56 PM
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Lost for words here and that is a pretty rare thing. All I can do is to add my condolonces to the others. I do not want to sound cliche at all. What I do wish to say is that reading through the posts in this thread makes my heart glad to be associated with a world wide community of people who care what happens to a person with a like passion. I did not know Shelley but would have gladly tied in with her on a climb.

http://www.sallad.net/...oses%20033-thumb.jpg


Partner philbox
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Nov 7, 2005, 11:20 PM
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Leo, we are all indebted to you for having commited to writing that account down. Bravo mate, thanks.

As to the anchor failure, I`m now even less a fan of girth hitching. I`m always telling my students not to girth hitch. The only time I ever girth hitch is for my personal daisey tie in to my harness. Comments made with the greatest respect. If anyone thinks that they are made in poor taste then I shall remove them immediately.


majid_sabet


Nov 7, 2005, 11:50 PM
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My deepest condolences to the friends and family.

In my opinion; if you measure both webbing with knots and if the length is exactly even, then most likely anchor pulled (which was set on a single tree). Another suggestion ; may be both webbing were supposed to be also wrapped a round the anchor in a loop but somehow only one side of the webbing was clipped in to the biner and not the other side and it was left loose. There is also a possibility that may be there were two independent anchors (If webbing lengths are not the same) and both pulled or failed. Always check your system many times and back it up.


overlord


Nov 8, 2005, 2:19 AM
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nice account leo. kudos to you for at least trying to help.

and the not girthhitched sligs theory sounds pretty good to me.


dennyg


Nov 8, 2005, 4:42 AM
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I do hate to hear of these things and I don't know my ass from first base.

But what I know is, what u guys are feeling. I call it, Ghost in my closet. Memories and sounds of days gone by. The thoughts are in the back of my mind, waiting for the time to come to the front. As time goes by they fade, but never forgotten. Seems the older I get, the more Ghost I get... I think it helps to keep me safe. Check check check check again.

may peace be with u my friends

I was climbing with some new ppls a few yrs. ago, when one of climbers rap a "single" ps. of 1" webbing around a tree {raped severial times}and called it good. When I questioned this, I got the long drawn out spew about Friction...then u wouldn't mind if I put a knot in it then.
But what do I know...natta


yes
may my peace be ur's


epic_ed


Nov 8, 2005, 7:08 AM
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Leo, thanks for posting up about the accident. I'm sure it has been difficult to gather thoughts into words these past few days. Don't let the "what if's" haunt you -- it's clear you and everyone involved did everything possible to help. In a trauma situation like this, time is everything and everyone who has climbed at the Forks knows that a speedy rescue just isn't possible. I'm guessing that even if there were a dozen WFR's and six EMTs down there that it wouldn't have been enough to save Shelley without getting her to an advance life care unit. You folks bought her as much time as possible, and by all accounts I've heard everyone is grateful for your heroic efforts.

I hope, like Shelley's friends and family, that time will bring you peace and understanding with the events that occured and the action that was taken to try to save Shelley's life. You did what we all hope we could do if faced with a similar situation -- you did your best.

Ed


Partner jammer


Nov 8, 2005, 7:10 AM
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I did not know Shelly or remember talking to her on these pages, but as I read all the posts, a deep sadness engulfed me and I realize that I missed a chance of a life time. My heart does go out to all of you who had the privilage of knowing her.

Alan


hendicrimpin


Nov 8, 2005, 7:53 AM
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My deepest sympathy....I can honestly say that every memory I have of climbing with Shelley involve her smiling and positive vibes. I can't say that about many people.

matt


c_larson


Nov 8, 2005, 8:09 AM
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Hi, I first met Shelley 6 years ago when she was living in Utah. We were in the same singles ward along with Lane Pollock, Mike Kniephof. It is a very tragic accident and Shelley will be missed. My thoughts go out to Shelley's family and friends and I know that Shelley is in a better place then the rest of us. One of my memories of her is one year there was a group of us and we all went tubing up American Fork Canyon. Tad Warren, was able to take a picture of Shelley just as she went off a jump, her facial expression was so damn funny. Shelley Windsor, I will miss you and I look forward to seeing you in the life to come.


Casey Larson


vivalargo


Nov 8, 2005, 8:34 AM
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Thanks for that account, Leo.

By the sound of it, that fall was fatal (most long ground falls are) even if Shelley had gotten immediate medical care. You did all you could possibly do, Leo. Sounds like everyone did. It was totally out of your hands, which is a mighty hard thing to accept--that in some cases, we are basically powerless to reverse things. God forbid, but if I should ever again be put in your position I hope I can make the same effort you did.

JL


hayleyp


Nov 8, 2005, 8:35 AM
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im not a climber - but ms windsor was my math teacher at heritage academy from 8th - 10th grade. she was my student council advisor, and my basketball teacher.

reading all of your posts really drove home how special she was to so many people, and i just wanted to share a quick memory of her. we never had a really good relationship, shelley and i. in fact, we butted heads all through out my high school career, but she was always there. my ex boyfriend used to go climbing with her, and i finally wrote her a letter regarding why i felt we had a bad student/teacher relationship. the letter she wrote back was so heartfelt and honest, explaining that it had all been a misunderstanding and she wanted to be friends. if at any time i needed to call her or anything, she was there. ms windsor was a wonderful math teacher and a wonderful person. she was so hilarious - one time at student council camp, she went against the rules of the other advisor, peeked her head into our room at the cabin and shouted "hey girls, lets go on the roof" .. we layed up on the roof for hours talking about school, life.. aliens, you name it. it was awesome to see that side of her. even when we got back to school, she snuck up in our famous orange tower and wrote her name up there with us. she was such a rebel, haha. man, she really did light up the lives of many students at that school - and she changed my life for sure. she taught me a lot of things about how to deal with people, and improve relationships. i really hope she knows how much she really did mean to me, even if i didnt show it. my senior year we kinda lost touch, except for when she'd occasionally tease me about my crush on another teacher. i feel lucky that i got to see her a couple weeks ago, one of only two teachers i have seen since i graduated.
my prayers go out to her friends and family, she will be missed.


reno


Nov 8, 2005, 8:45 AM
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Leo:

Thanks for taking the time to share your account of the events that tragic day. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to type it all out.

I will tell you this: From a medical care standpoint, there is nothing... NOTHING you could have done differently that would have made any difference in Shelley's outcome. Nothing. The world's finest trauma surgeon could have been standing at the bottom of the canyon, and that wouldn't have made any difference.

(I've been doing emergency trauma care for nigh on 10 years, so I'm well-versed in such things.)

You should rest easy, knowing that you did the very best thing you could have: You stayed by your friend in her last minutes and didn't let her die alone. That's honorable, and I'm humbled by such actions.


reg


Nov 8, 2005, 9:11 AM
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I did not know Shelly and I don't climb at her level but after reading and listening and lookin - I get a sence of her. I can see a hugh smile, hear a great laugh and my gut feels she was special with an open heart and zest for life. This is the greatest thing you all can do for her - giving her life after death. Thank You.


climbaddic


Nov 8, 2005, 9:16 AM
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In reply to:
Ok, before I write anything else, know that I mean no disrespect by putting forward the following theory (ie, I´m going to speculate on what happened).

After reading through the posts in this thread and seeing climbaddic´s pics of what might have gone wrong with a girth hitch in the webbing, I see another possibility.


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64151

In this picture, we see a the knot pinned below the other sling and, when the 2 are pulled tight around, say, a tree, the bottom loop´s knot would be pulled up against loop above it, effectively pinning it down against the tree trunk.

Now see these pictures:


http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64167

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64168

(sorry, don´t have any webbing nearby so I used 2 different cordlettes)

Now, in the pics above, the lower loop´s knot is also pinned under above loop (loop = webbing). The key difference is that the lower loop was actually passed through the above loop.

In climbaddics pics, if the person putting up the webbing were to release pressure of it against the tree, the two pieces of webbing would separate (unless caught against the bark). In my pics, you can see that 1 of the loops is threaded through the other, as you would do in beginning a girth hitch.

(I promise to clean up the language immedietely and make it clearer; I just wanted to put this idea out as fast as I could in support of family and friends)

John,

That makes perfect sense. This is my guess from hearing Mark’s story and reading the posts on the web. If you have been to Paradise Fork, most of the routes in the Paradise Fork are very hard to TR with cams and nuts. Most TR routes are setup by sling them around a tree. Since Shelley moved the slings from one tree to another tree, she may have thought that two slings were already girth hitched together from visual inspection?

Shelley’s friend
Charlie


epic_ed


Nov 8, 2005, 9:36 AM
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This one really hits home. I've had to explain my tears here at work on more than one occasion after reading some of these posts. Shelley was a friend to everybody -- easy with a smile, and always a quick hello. And tough -- damn, that girl could climb! I was climbing at Pinnacle Peak a couple of years ago and watched her and Dale do a couple of wicked-thin routes. She could hang with Dale, and that's really saying something.

I remember back at the second AZ gathering at QC, she had asked me to take her aid climbing sometime. She wanted to learn just enough aid to be able to go do some routes in Zion. I was flattered -- me, of all people, being able to teach her something about climbing. Seemed silly at the time. She was very humble. I wish I had taken her up on it.

Like tragedies tend to do, it has me taking a look at who else in my life I have been "planning" to get together with soon to do something or other, but just haven't made the time. How do our priorities get so out of whack sometimes? I'm still in denial that she's gone.

I'll miss her, but I'm very grateful that our paths crossed a few times over the years -- at the gym, out at the crags, and at her shop. I hope we can all get together soon to help celebrate her life, and have a party/climbfest fitting of her memory.

Ed


billl7


Nov 8, 2005, 9:40 AM
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In reply to:
Since Shelley moved the slings from one tree to another tree, she may have thought that two slings were already girth hitched together from visual inspection?

If the leading theory is correct as to how the knot would catch in an incorrectly applied girth hitch then the tree plays a major part in causing the knot to catch. Removing the slings from another tree would remove that key component and the slings would likely just fall apart or slip in a way that would make the non-girth hitch obvious IMHO. Of course, this only considers the leading theory.


vivalargo


Nov 8, 2005, 9:48 AM
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Charlie wrote: "Since Shelley moved the slings from one tree to another tree, she may have thought that two slings were already girth hitched together from visual inspection?"

I can't make any sense out of this comment, Charlie. If you have "visual inspection," even with slings of the same color, you can clearly see if the slings are girth hitched--or not. Moving two slings--unconnected--from one tree to another . . . well, an experienced climber would know if she was holding two seperate runners, or two runners hitched together. And I can't imagine that in moving the slings from one location to another -- if indeed this happened -- that the slings stayed connected by a mere snag. The snag really only keps the slings "together" when they are under pressure. Also, if the slings were NOT girth hitched in the previous set up, then that set up would have failed.

I don't want to be a stickler here, but in describing any of these things you HAVE TO USE VERY PLAIN, CLEAR, AND PRECISE LANGUAGE, or everything can get totally bungled up. Descriptions like, "the biner pulled through the webbing" are just horrendous to try and sort out. Read Curt's description.

JL


tammarak


Nov 8, 2005, 9:50 AM
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Shelly was such an inspiration to us! We arrived in Utah from Canada in late November of last year to visit Aaron (idsclimber). Even before we had a chance to flinch we were on our way to the Creek to meet Shelly and Jon who had under blustery cold conditions baged up a couple of highy notable climbs (Fine Jade and NF of Caselton!?) WOW -We were embraced with kindness and infected with an unbounded sense of adventure. I'll never forget this kindness as it changed the way I viewed myself as a climber. She set the bar for what it means to be a humble, highly motivated and spiritual adventurer. I know my girl friend will be very sadened to hear the news but I know that the motivation Shelly belted out while her little fists fiddled for purchase in supercrack on that blizzard of a day in November will never be forgotton. You are forever in our hearts and Souls!


paganmonkeyboy


Nov 8, 2005, 10:03 AM
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In reply to:
Leo, we are all indebted to you for having commited to writing that account down. Bravo mate, thanks.

...


curt


Nov 8, 2005, 10:22 AM
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In reply to:
...I remember back at the second AZ gathering at QC, she had asked me to take her aid climbing sometime. She wanted to learn just enough aid to be able to go do some routes in Zion. I was flattered -- me, of all people, being able to teach her something about climbing. Seemed silly at the time. She was very humble. I wish I had taken her up on it...

Ed, that's just classic Shelley isn't it? I last saw Shelley a few weeks ago at the AZ On The Rock climbing gym. We talked about getting out and going bouldering again sometime soon. She said "I always boulder better when I boulder with you." She just always had something incredibly positive and uplifting to say.

Curt


oldrnotboldr


Nov 8, 2005, 10:26 AM
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I did not know Shelly, but from reading the postings by those who do made me think of this poem by Mary Frye:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.

I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room,
I am the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

My deepest condolences and prayers to all.


camsticker


Nov 8, 2005, 10:44 AM
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It is rare to find such a person in this world that makes such an impression on so many in such a short lifetime. Shelley was one of those amazing few. Shelley always had a kind word, a quick laugh, and a generous heart for just about everyone she met.

And that way I will always remember her.

My deepest condolences to all the family and friends . We will ALL miss you!

Peace to you Shelley...............


climblouisiana


Nov 8, 2005, 11:01 AM
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Shelley and I shared some special times together a couple years back. I am deeply saddened by her passing and would like to offer my condolences to her family and friends. It has been difficult for me to comprehend what has happened. I do not think that I can choose words and create sentences that truly explain the positive effect that she has had on people including myself.

I have never met anyone with her spirit of adventure, strength and convictions. I believe that she has moved onto a greater purpose then she could serve on this earth. Even though her physical being is gone, I know that her spiritual being will continue.

I’d like to tell a story about the time that we climbed a classic spire in Sedona. It would be our first time on the route and I suggested that we do the leap across from the higher summit to the lower summit where the rap anchors are located. I had heard that it could be scary but thought it would be appropriate since this is how the first ascent party did it (it is possible to rap off the summit register).

We arrived at the base of the spire and even though Shelley was not feeling well, we pressed on and climbed to the top of the higher summit in good style. We relaxed and had a good time on the higher summit for a while before we decided to make the jump. When the time came to jump, she wanted to go first. I would take pictures and give her a belay with a large loop so as not to interfere with her jump. She made it to the jumping platform and hesitated for a second or two before she made the jump. She made a successful jump and moved to the anchor to get ready to belay me. I asked her how the jump was and she said, “it’s not too bad, easier then it looks.” I made my way to the jumping platform and stood there for a while before getting the nerve up to jump. I made the leap and landed on both feet and felt instant pain in the heels of my feet. “I hurt my heel too,” she said,” but didn’t want to tell you because I knew that it would make you nervous to make the jump.” She had landed on one foot creating a much more painful and bone breaking situation then mine. She held her pain in because she knew that I really wanted to do the jump and did not want to scare me out of it.

We made it down the several rappels which were very painful on my feet. I can’t imagine the pain that she felt in her foot. After we made it to our packs I suggested that I could carry most of the weight in my packs instead of having it divided equally like we did on the approach. She did not want to hear of it and insisted that we keep the weight equally divided. The one mile hike took a long time as we hobbled our way out. She went to the doctor two days later and was informed that she had broken her heel.

What a tough and inspiring woman! And now she’s gone. I love you Shelley Dawn Windsor. I will always remember the times we shared together and the adventures that we had.

~Dale Fox~


oldrnotboldr


Nov 8, 2005, 11:16 AM
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I remember a time trying to hurry on setting up an anchor and missing the loop while tying a girth hitch. By pure luck it fell apart in my hands.

From Dirtineye:
In reply to:
I swear I know I've lived through a lot of climbing related potential fuck ups by luck rather than skill, and I hope I can learn to use better judgement and NEVER get complacent.

Curt's theory makes a lot of sense. Sitting in my office chair, I found it not difficult to miss the loop while tying a girth hitch behind my back- behind the chair. I was able to catch a knot and make it hold until I shook one loop a bit.


climblouisiana


Nov 8, 2005, 11:25 AM
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In reply to:

3. The anchor consisted of two separate ~10ft pieces of one inch tubular webbing each tied with a separate water knot.
4. The webbing was wrapped in some way around a very sturdy pine

Can anyone confirm the actual length of the webbing? Can anyone confirm the actual diameter or circumference of the tree?

Knowing the actual length of webbing is important in analyzing the situation.


curt


Nov 8, 2005, 11:50 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:

3. The anchor consisted of two separate ~10ft pieces of one inch tubular webbing each tied with a separate water knot.
4. The webbing was wrapped in some way around a very sturdy pine

Can anyone confirm the actual length of the webbing? Can anyone confirm the actual diameter or circumference of the tree?

Knowing the actual length of webbing is important in analyzing the situation.

Dale,

I really think we ought to take the two actual slings in question back to the very same tree and try to recreate the same circumstances--as closely as we can, based on what we currently believe. We can then perhaps see what makes the most sense. I'm willing to bet that the Coconino County folks wouldn't mind some assistance with figuring out this accident.

Curt

Edited to add that I contacted the Coconino County Sheriff's Department and was told that their primary Search and Rescue person would call me back.


vivalargo


Nov 8, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Curt, et al:

Going back to that the exact tree with the exact slings, configured to the single rap line with the 8 on a bight via a locker--that's the last step in reverse engineering the accident, and my bet is that you'll find that the bungled girth hitch happened just as described. I'm going on the supposition that Shelley rigged the anchor while reaching behind the tree (I replicated this by reaching around a person standing in front of me), and did this on feel. Still no report on the size and position of the tree, which you guys will soon discover.

JL


billl7


Nov 8, 2005, 1:00 PM
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If the effort is made to return to the tree with Shelly's anchor material then you might want to take with you more than one theory: i.e., pick the most likely two or three theories (might want to solicit for other theories) and try them all.

Bill

Edited to clarify: I don't mean to try everything that anyone might champion. Clearly, the most likely scenario is the knot-not-girth-hitch theory; more than one here has supported that theory with home-based testing. Could limit this to theories that have similar investigative basis. I would suggest that Curt and John make the decision as to which theories will be explored.


otc


Nov 8, 2005, 2:01 PM
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When I got this picture from Dale, it hit me like it probably hit you Hillary. This picture is the epitome of Shelley's personality.

http://www.overthecrux.com/...eshow/shelley/66.jpg

It is Shelley on top of the Mace, one of her all time favorite climbs. Shortly thereafter, as Dale explained, she broke her heel on the jump across.

http://www.overthecrux.com/...eshow/shelley/60.jpg

Here she is hiking back. She was AMAZING! Thanks for sharing this with us Dale!

Daniel


vivalargo


Nov 8, 2005, 2:08 PM
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Bill,

I'd encourage you to post an alternative theory beyond the one Curt has advanced, one that would result in the anchor end of the single rap line containing: a) a figure 8 on a bight, b) a single locker, c) two largish 1 inch nylon slings clipped into the locker. And nothing else.

Unless the two slings were previously held together by another sling or biner, which somehow broke and will likely show up by the tree when Curt returns, I can't imagine anything beyond what is being postulated in the previous threads. The only thing that I can think of that could provide another "theory" would involve Shelley rapping off somethng other than the tree, and we have eye witnesses stating she DID rap off the tree.

JL


ebelay


Nov 8, 2005, 2:23 PM
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Since the idea of alternate theories has been proposed, here's one that is similar to the knot-jamming...

There's a chance that a piece of debris (such as a stick or root) could have gotten caught in the loop which, when tugged, could give one the impression that the hitch cinched properly. I've played with the knots, as others have, but they really do fall apart easily when not under pressure.

Below is a diagram to illustrate I'm talking about.

Step A shows the beginning of a girth hitch with one sling being threaded through the other. As the sling is pulled through (gray arrow), a piece of debris could easily be caught in the webbing. If the hitch is being tied blindly behind the tree, one may not notice the obstruction and feel as if the hitch has cinched.

Step B shows the completed set-up with the hitch not threaded properly, but with a piece of debris locking the webbing together. When weighted, the debris breaks or gives way, triggering the fall.

http://www.ericrak.com/images/anchor.gif

Edited for clarity.


crackaddict


Nov 8, 2005, 2:25 PM
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Leo Thank You and Mark for all that you did. You truley are heros to me. I was one of Shelleys first and closest climbing partners. Her and I went on many trips and she was very dear to me.
Thank you again. She was in the best hands.

I have thought about how she could possibly have missed that hitch. My brother and I came up with another possibility that goes along with what has been said. If the the hitch were loose. She could have easily grabed the wrong loop while reaching for the sling around the tree. This would untie the hitch and put it into the knot snag position that has been determined to be why the anchor felt solid to her.
This is just another possibility. I know for a fact that
Shelley was a very competent climber and she was very safe. That is why this is all so shocking to all that know her. Her accident is a wake up call to all of us.

I am sorry that it came at such a great loss!!
Chris.


trenchdigger


Nov 8, 2005, 2:33 PM
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My heartfelt condolences to everyone involved :(

I believe someone mentioned this was not her first rappel of the day. If not, what was the anchor setup at previous rappels? That may shed some light on what she had intended to do with this anchor.


markguycan


Nov 8, 2005, 2:39 PM
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as a regular climber at the Forks, I believe the simplest anchor is the safest. When setting up a rap line in, I usually tie figure 8 into a long bight of rope, wrap it around the tree and then thread back thru the figute 8. It's as bomber as the tree and the rope, and it's easy to recognize if it's not done right.
condolences to Shelly, rest in peace.


crackaddict


Nov 8, 2005, 2:47 PM
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Otc,

Both of those pics explains Shelleys charactor and spirit. Thank you!

Reading these post really hit home.

It brought up a lot of memories of the time I spent with her.
I was one of her first partners and I was able to watch her grow from a inexperienced beginer to very competent and hard climber.
I showed her climbing and she showed me what it was to be true to your convictions and a have strong spirit. She was strong in her faith. I found that to be very inspiring at the time I was coming back from incactivity in the LDS church.

To all her family, my condolences go out to you. Thank you for supporting her in all that she could be. I enjoyed the time we spent together, her spirit, and testimony of the gospel that she sheared with me.

I will miss her.
Until we meet again.

Chris Greevers.


mrsbentley


Nov 8, 2005, 2:51 PM
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Like some here, I'm not a climber, but I attended Heritage Academy and remember Ms. Windsor; I felt I should share a few things. Though I was never one of her students, my brother, Daniel (Bynum), was. He became pretty good friends with her, and they went climbing quite a few times. I remember him saying how awesome she was and how much fun he had climbing. I received news of her passing from an old friend of Dan's and I felt pretty crushed for him. He's currently serving his mission and isn't able to be here for the services (our mom contacted the mission home and he has since been informed). I was here reading the comments yesterday from those who knew or had met her before and it made me even more sad. Though I've only shared very few words with her I always thought she seemed like she'd be a cool person. After finding out the things she was interested in and the many things she did throughout her life, it makes me sad that I didn't get a chance to know her. I felt impressed to say a little something on here for my brother and share the little I know of how he admired her. I know that he would want to express his love and respect for her and his deep gratitude for her help and friendship. My prayers and best thoughts are with you, her friends and family. May the Lord bless you and give you comfort.


mother_sheep


Nov 8, 2005, 2:55 PM
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Its incredible how circumstances such as this, tug at our heart strings even when the fallen one is someone we never even met.

I remember when I first joined RC. I was searching through photos and I saw a pic of Shelley bouldering in Yosmeite (I think). I remember thinking how strong she looked and how I hoped to someday look as strong and confident as she did in that photo. She inspired me and she didn’t even know it. I barely even knew how to tie a knot at that time.

To all of her friends and family, I offer you my deepest sympathies. I didn’t personally know Shelley but I can tell from the wonderful things being said about her, that she was a wonderful person.


billl7


Nov 8, 2005, 3:03 PM
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In reply to:
I'd encourage you to post an alternative theory beyond the one Curt has advanced, one that would result in the anchor end of the single rap line containing: a) a figure 8 on a bight, b) a single locker, c) two largish 1 inch nylon slings clipped into the locker. And nothing else.

Right. Honestly, I don't mean to be dramatic about other unspoken theories; that would be insenstive to the extreme which I hope I am not.

As briefly stated before, I have some thoughts about the thief's knot in lieu of the girth hitch - but everything else is about the same including a water knot catching. I'll play with some slings this evening and post something.

Other's may have simple-to-try secondary theories but are holding back because the current one seems so plausible. But the current one may not hold up so well to an on-sight check else why go out there to try it? That said, and like a lot of folks here, the current theory has my highest confidence given the above facts.


iknowfear


Nov 8, 2005, 3:07 PM
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First of all I would like to give my heartfelt condolecence to the family and friends of Shelley.

About the hitch: if you have a sewn sling and get the seam exactly at the point where the hitch is supposed to be, the hitch will pass quick visual examination and even resist a "bump" test, if you pull on BOTH strings of one or both slings.

Things I've learned and try to think about next time I rig something:
-To test a Hitch, I will only pull on one string at the time. (with a "mint" hitch, there is no slippage.)
-The knot (or seam) should be visible, and never near the Hitch. (that point is more obvious, but I've been sloppy before)

And I would encourage people to try and rig a "false" hitch and test it at home. As curt said, it is surprising how much force it withstands.

http://i30.photobucket.com/...obberysod/False1.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/.../sobberysod/true.jpg

I hope the two pictures illustrate what I mean by quick visual check. (Sorry for the Image quality)

peace
Sim


rockrabbi


Nov 8, 2005, 3:13 PM
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Thank you for all of your thoughts and memories about Shelley. I will remember her very fondly and am grateful for the kindness (and the beta!) that she was always happy to provide.

Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the funeral, but I would like to send a note to her parents. Does anyone have an address where they can be reached?

Thank you.


nikegirl


Nov 8, 2005, 3:13 PM
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Goddess Bless.

:(


vivalargo


Nov 8, 2005, 3:28 PM
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You guys are really buckling down on this one, which is a good thing. I've seen this cycle play out in many accidens and unless we all binge on this right after it happend, we all get busy, lifes pushes up on and nothing ever gets resolved to everone's satisfaction.

Anyhow, in postulating these alternatives, or any theory, I think it's crucial to try and work through all stages of the thing as though you were actually setting up the anchor. For instance, you couldn't really be dragging two separate slings thrugh the forest, pick up a twig in one sling and thn somehow think they were girth hitched together. I do think that it is possible that a twig OR the knot had jammed in the sling, giving the impression that the slings had been girth hitched.

The other theory: "If the the hitch were loose. She could have easily grabed the wrong loop while reaching for the sling around the tree. This would untie the hitch and put it into the knot snag position that has been determined to be why the anchor felt solid to her."

This is a little difficult--but by no means impossible--to imagine how this would play out when Shelley was constructing the anchor. If I picture this corectly, Shelley would have in her hands two slings that were loosly girth hitched together. She would then reach around the tree with one end of the hitched slings, and with the other hand, grab the free end and pull it around. If in the process of doing this the sling got bunched behind the tree, if the slings were VERY loosly hitched, and if she grabbed the wrong loop, she could have pulled it till it snagged on the knot and never know--without visually inspection--that she had unhitched the girth.

The question here is how the slings got girth hitched together BEFORE she fed them around the tree. If she used slings alrady girth hitched together, chances are they had already been used and weighted, in which it is improbably the hitch would have loosened. If she girth hitched them together herself, it's improbable that an experienced climber would have not cinched hem snug, since it's a one second process and sort of automatic.

But all of this assumes the tree was pretty god sized around, and was in a position that was difficult to get around, meaning she probably reached around the tree with the slings. As yet, no one has described eiher the girth of the tree or its position.

Beyond just wanting to find out what happened, we try and learn from this to save others. The fine points don't help us that much--if a twig or a knot jammed, or if she pulled this loop or that one. What maters--if our theories are correct--is that a climber thought she was securing an anchor with a girth hitch wrapped around a tree. But apparently without visually inspecting the knot, the hitch was not secure, and the accident occured.

IKNOTFEAR has laid out the rules clearly:

Things I've learned and try to think about next time I rig something:

-To test a Hitch, I will only pull on one string at the time. (with a "mint" hitch, there is no slippage.)

-The knot (or seam) should be visible, and never near the Hitch. (that point is more obvious, but I've been sloppy before)


JL


rockkon


Nov 8, 2005, 3:57 PM
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All of us who knew Shelley, knew her as an awesome climber and sweet person. She always had a hug and smile for me when I'd see her. Every climbing day with her was great. She inspired me and always will. Words cannot express how this has affected me... how it's impacted all of us. The loss is huge to our climbing community. She will always be remembered for the sweet spirit that she had. I do believe she will be with each and everyone of us, as we continue climbing, and helping us to keep us safe ANNNNND perhaps smiling down knowing that she was better than most of us ever will be. I love you, Shelley. You are in my heart now and forever. No regrets.

Biz


ha_student


Nov 8, 2005, 4:00 PM
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hello, im a student at Heritage Academy where Shelley Windsor taught and I was very sad ( i dont know how to explain it) when i was told of her accident on saturday. she was a wonderful volleyball coach and she was a very dear friend to me. I am trying to make movie-ish type thing to commemorate her and would greatly appreciate it if anyone could send me pictures to use. if at all possible, please send them to
master_yoda@juno.com
ASAP. Thank you so... much, I really appreciate it.


tempeclimber


Nov 8, 2005, 4:23 PM
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That is a great idea! I will get started on it right away. If you want to help email me at julieaingram@yahoo.com We can figure out how to divide the task.
Julie


tradrenn


Nov 8, 2005, 4:34 PM
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My deepest condolences to family and friends.

:cry:


curt


Nov 8, 2005, 5:45 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I'd encourage you to post an alternative theory beyond the one Curt has advanced, one that would result in the anchor end of the single rap line containing: a) a figure 8 on a bight, b) a single locker, c) two largish 1 inch nylon slings clipped into the locker. And nothing else.

Right. Honestly, I don't mean to be dramatic about other unspoken theories; that would be insenstive to the extreme which I hope I am not.

As briefly stated before, I have some thoughts about the thief's knot in lieu of the girth hitch - but everything else is about the same including a water knot catching. I'll play with some slings this evening and post something.

Other's may have simple-to-try secondary theories but are holding back because the current one seems so plausible. But the current one may not hold up so well to an on-sight check else why go out there to try it? That said, and like a lot of folks here, the current theory has my highest confidence given the above facts.

There are a couple of other theories that would result in the same findings, but I believe they are more problematic--and raise more questions than they answer. One theory that has been mentioned to me by two different people is that the two slings (tied into loops with water knots) were, in some way, wrapped around the tree several times and that Shelley clipped the anchor carabiner and rope into the "wrong" two ends of these slings before rappeling.

There are six possibile ways to clip two ends of two individual slings tied into loops. Only four of those possible ways would lead to this type of failure. I'll call the slings "sling 1" - and "sling 2." Each individual sling, when pulled in two diametrically opposite directions, will have two ends. I'll call the ends "A" and "B."

So the two ends of sling 1 are designated "1A" and "1B" while the corresponding ends of the second sling are designated "2A" and "2B." Here are the six possible combinations of any two ends that can be clipped:

1A to 1B
1A to 2A
1A to 2B
1B to 2A
1B to 2B

2A to 2B

Obviously, there are four "ends" of the slings to be accounted for. If Shelley had clipped all four or any three of four ends into the locking anchor carabiner, this accident could not have happened. Additionally, if she clipped into either the "1A to 2A" or "1B to 2B," end combinations above, this particular accident could not have happened. Clipping into the other combinations of sling ends (in red) above, could have resulted in the same findings as reported at the scene.

However, I think it is important to note that the combinations in red above could have only been believed to be safe if it was thought that sling 1 and sling 2 were either properly tied or clipped together. So, even if this theory is correct, the root cause of the accident is the same. The two slings were not properly joined together.

Another possibility is that the two slings were tied together in some inappropriate way (like with a granny knot or something) prior to being passed around the tree--and this was simply not noticed. Sometimes, at the end of a climbing day I will, for convenience, knot all my slings together in a way that joins the slings together--but would in no way be appropriate for any climbing application. I personally think this theory is unlikely, but it can not be ruled out completely, because it is not inconsistent with the findings. In any event, the root cause of the accident would again remain the same, that the two slings were not properly joined together.

I personally believe that the original theory I proposed here is the most likely, but I am in no way excluding any other possibilities that are consistent with the known facts.

Curt


climbsomething


Nov 8, 2005, 6:09 PM
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Is anybody going to trek up to the Forks sometime soon and replicate the anchor set-up? I have nothing to add, other than... if you find the exact tree, I'd like to lay a flower at its base, that's all.


raymondjeffrey


Nov 8, 2005, 6:26 PM
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After reading all of the thoughtful comments I am reminded of the sentiments of John McCain when referring to Pat Tillman:

'Although many people will live a longer life, few will live a fuller one'.

Carry On,

Jeff Raymond


vivalargo


Nov 8, 2005, 6:26 PM
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Curt--

To know if the example you presented could be possible, you'd have to know the diameter of the tree (something I've been pressing to know since my first post), and see if the exact slings that were found on Shelley's rope could have possibly been used. Obviously, each sling would have to be large enough to fit around the tree with some extra for a tie in, etc.

I fiddled with some two slings in the way you described and it was easy to get considerable friction just by having the slings a bit intertwined, or running over each other a few times on the back of the "tree"--they held about 30 pounds of direct pressure before slipping though.

Again, we have to know the diameter of the tree. Looks like you're gonna have to trudge back up there, Curt. Not an enviable job, but worthwhile I believe.

JL


curt


Nov 8, 2005, 6:32 PM
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Curt--

To know if the example you presented could be possible, you'd have to know the diameter of the tree (something I've been pressing to know since my first post), and see if the exact slings that were found on Shelley's rope could have possibly been used. Obviously, each sling would have to be large enough to fit around the tree with some extra for a tie in, etc.

I fiddled with some two slings in the way you described and it was easy to get considerable friction just by having the slings a bit intertwined, or running over each other a few times on the back of the "tree"--they held about 30 pounds of direct pressure before slipping though.

Again, we have to know the diameter of the tree. Looks like you're gonna have to trudge back up there, Curt. Not an enviable job, but worthwhile I believe.

JL

I fully intend to do that.

Curt


Partner coldclimb


Nov 8, 2005, 6:34 PM
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:(


squierbypetzl
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Nov 8, 2005, 6:35 PM
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if you find the exact tree, I'd like to lay a flower at its base, that's all.

Please do, from all of us here and the community at large.
(very good idea climbsomething)


swimming_dragon


Nov 8, 2005, 6:43 PM
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How can my eyes be brimming with tears for a person I never met?

I believe that the answer is in the outpouring of love and grief from the hearts of the many people whose lives she touched with the richness and joy of her spirit. I feel something has changed in me from reading about her. So I'm resolving to live my life to the fullest and utmost of my abilities with the time I have left.
If I can touch the lives of others with laughter and light, even better.

Thankyou Shelley Windsor, for touching my life too

May your soul be ever filled with peace and love,

Will Swinson


billl7


Nov 8, 2005, 7:32 PM
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So, even if this theory is correct, the root cause of the accident is the same. The two slings were not properly joined together.

I fiddled a bit with two loops of 1 inch tubular webbing, trying out the thief knot (looks just like a square knot when done correctly). It seems clearer in my mind than how it looks written down, maybe because a square knot is by itself so simple. It goes like this:

a) I drape/thread the first sling behind the tree so its ends extend out to my left and right; I'm facing the "front" of the tree; maybe that helps me because that sling now won't (can't?) fall away from me;

b) take the righthand end of the first sling and through its loop feed an end of the second sling and then continue threading the second sling around the back of the tree from my right to my left;

c) there are now two ends extending to my left, one end for each sling; I feed the left end of the first sling through the loop formed by the left end of the second string;

d) now pull the left end of the first sling and the right end of the second sling which will make a thief's knot behind the tree; and then biner the those pulled ends together; I don't have to tie a knot at a location directly behind the tree;

If at "c" one reverses and so instead feeds the left end of the second sling through the left end/loop of the first sling then there is no knot and pulling as in "d" can cause the slings to simply slip apart - unless one of the waterknots hangs (or a twig).

I tested 1 inch slings around my bedpost which is roughly 5 inches by 5 inches square with a caught knot in the middle of the flat side of the post, perhaps simulating a large diameter tree. By "caught knot" I mean with the knot of one sling is passed through the loop in the other sling; but the knot is not folded back on its sling as in the theory based on the girth hitch (folding back doesn't fit the thief knot scenario). I did not pull to failure but the caught knot held 10's of pounds before the bed started to move (queen sized bed on a wooden floor - no rollers).

In this set-up, one does __all__ of the knot tieing business out in plain sight. It only takes one to mistake as to which end goes in which at one point but one still goes through all the "right" motions for making the thief knot.

Edited to clarify step "b" - no change to the technique.

Edited a second time to add: One would have to prefer this knot over the girth hitch because with one sling draped around the tree it would be very simple and to, in entirely clear view, girth hitch the second sling to one end of the first - and then slide the hitch to the back of the tree.


goodguy


Nov 8, 2005, 7:47 PM
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I was at the Forks 1 month before Shelley after talking to Dave the tree that Shelley rappelled from was the Large pine above East of Eden. It sits back from the cliff edge about 15-20ft. I hope this helps.

Josh


leo4aclimb


Nov 8, 2005, 8:03 PM
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inspite of my decision not to comment on the technical part of Sheley's accident, there seems to be many questions that needed to be answered.

1. Mark clearly recalls both slings attached to the locking biner.

2. After the chopper evacuated Shelley we cleaned the bottom of the canyon moving the slings and other items.

3. My wife suggested that the diameter of the tree was approximately 20 inches which would make the the circumference of the tree over 5 feet around. This would make it necessary to extend one sling with another. This would support a hitch theory. (to prevent excessive side pull on the biner)


Dania&Leo


dief


Nov 8, 2005, 8:20 PM
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When I've lost friends in the past I've always read this poem by river runner Vaughn Short from the book "Two Worlds".


Make It Simple

Too many friends have passed this life,
An ordeal of tubes and surgeons knife,
Too many loved ones gone too slow,
Lord make it simple when I go.

Let my bones lie bleaching on some blazing desert’s sand.
Let my soul float free in some far and foreign land.
Let it be in summer’s still or where the winds of winter blow,
But Lord make it simple when I go.

Let it be on frigid slope in some deep and dark crevasse.
Let it be on ice slick rock in some high and windy pass.
Let it be on granite face or buried in thundering snow,
But Lord make it simple when I go.

By lazy tropic stream let me find my grave.
Let it be on stormy sea by wild and wind swept wave.
Let it be in water white where only the bravest row,
But Lord make it simple when I go.

It matters not so much the place,
Just breathing room and open space
And no even needs to know.
Lord make it simple when I go.

It matters not much when or how,
Years or months or even now.
Just make it swift, that final blow
Lord make it simple when I go.

Let not there flow sad tears of grief.
Let the eulogies be light and brief.
No sad good-byes, just smile and say hello.
Lord make it simple when I go.

Should to pay homage be someone’s desire
Then let them light a little fire
And watch the embers burn down low.
Lord make it simple when I go.


climblouisiana


Nov 8, 2005, 8:53 PM
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3. My wife suggested that the diameter of the tree was approximately 20 inches which would make the the circumference of the tree over 5 feet around.

I don't believe it is possible for Shelley with a 63" wingspan (I measured this myself a couple years ago) to reach around a tree that is 18" in diameter. This was tested with two girls that have a 63" wingspan. They tried to reach around an 18" tree and were unable.

A 10' long piece of webbing will result in a sling that is capable of wrapping around a tree that is apx. 50"-53" in circumference.

If it was possible for Shelley to reach around a tree, then it would not have been necessary to girth hitch two slings together.


curt


Nov 8, 2005, 8:59 PM
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The circumference of an 18" diameter tree is 56.55 inches. Why would it not be possible for a person with a 63" wingspan to reach around such a tree? Also, I don't see exactly what you are getting at. Could you please clarify?

Curt


crazyblindchick


Nov 8, 2005, 9:00 PM
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Shelley and I were in the same grad program at ASU - I met her in a class we had of just four students, so plenty of time to chat. I remember my initial impression of her could be summed up in one word: passionate. When she'd talk about climbing, it made me want to learn to climb (and I did.) She would show us all pictures of her business idea and website while Over the Crux was still just forming - she'd bubble with joy in anticipation for it. When she'd tell stories about her students - those she coached and those she helped get higher scores on the AIMS test - you could just hear in her voice how much she cared. I wish I'd stayed in touch with her, but I just think it's so amazing how one strong woman touched a whole community. What an absolutely fantastic person- I just can't believe this happened. My condolensces to - everyone. :cry:


jmlangford


Nov 8, 2005, 9:14 PM
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Here is a picture of Shelley spotting Chris Greevers on Bachar Cracker at Camp 4 a couple of years ago. The other picture is Shelley and Chris looking at a photo album in Camp 4 the same day. I only knew Shelley from that one wonderful day of climbing in Yosemite and from e-mail correspondence after that, but that one day was enough for her to make an indelible mark on my memory. She had a way of doing that.
http://jodylangford.tripod.com/...derpictures/sw2a.jpg
http://jodylangford.tripod.com/...derpictures/sw8a.jpg


kachoong


Nov 8, 2005, 9:26 PM
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A 10' long piece of webbing will result in a sling that is capable of wrapping around a tree that is apx. 50"-53" in circumference.

If it was possible for Shelley to reach around a tree, then it would not have been necessary to girth hitch two slings together.
On the contrary.... sure, you can wrap a 5' sling (10' of webbing) around a 55" tree, but how much do you have left? Two slings girth hitched (10' of sling) will provide an anchor point enough distance from the tree to sufficiently reduce the angle created by the two ends at the locking biner.


phxtradrock


Nov 8, 2005, 9:35 PM
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I think the best thing for us to get out of shelly's accident is to check ourselves and for our partners to do the same. two or more people are more likely to notice a mistake than just one person by themselves. Shelly's accident makes it all that much more apparent that even the safest of climbers can make a mistake. I did not know shelly very well, but I know Mark and others who knew Shelly... unanimous opinion: she was a very safe climber. Working at Phoenix Rock Gym also leads me to believe that the most accidents are attributed to "that one careless mistake" made by a very safe climber. I wont mention any names but I have seen plenty of experienced climbers make mistakes, some resulting in injury, simply because they got to used to their partner doing things the right way and didnt bother to really check. One guy fell from 20 feet because he ran the rope through his harness but never tied it in the midst of a conversation. He was lucky not to break any bones or die. I think the lesson learned is slow the F*$# down and take the time to check for our own safety and the safety of our friends. Even the safest climbers can make mistakes


climblouisiana


Nov 8, 2005, 9:35 PM
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The circumference of an 18" diameter tree is 56.55 inches. Why would it not be possible for a person with a 63" wingspan to reach around such a tree? Also, I don't see exactly what you are getting at. Could you please clarify?

Curt

Yes, but the circumference of a person reaching around a tree is much less. Erin, who has apx. 64" wingspan, could barely reach around a tree with a circumference of 56" (only the tips of her middle fingers touched).

I think that Shelley, who has a 63" wingspan, would have a hard time reaching around a tree that is greater then 14 to 15 inches and be able to attempt to tie a girth hitch. If the tree was 14 to 15 inches in diameter, a ten foot piece of webbing tied into a sling with a water knot should have been able to reach around the tree.

I think that if a faulty girth hitch was tied, it must have been tied prior to being wrapped around the tree or the tree was smaller then originally thought.

I agree that we need to obtain the webbing that was used and take a look at the tree that was used as the rap station.

Talk to you soon.
Dale


aimeerose


Nov 8, 2005, 9:45 PM
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I did not know Shelley, but as a Northern Arizona climber, I can't help but think I've seen her. I look at all her pictures and realize we visited the same areas- her on Anorexic (a long-time project for me), her on the Mace (a favorite of mine too)... it's sad to lose a climber from our community, but especially to lose a stong female who took it upon herself to lead sport and trad, set anchors, and share the responsibility for climbing, not just be a passive second as so many women let themselves do. And then to hear it happened at the Forks, a place that has always given me so much happiness. I can only hope having left this world in such a beautiful setting will give her eternal happiness. May she rest in peace and my condolences to her family and friends.


sistertoshelley


Nov 8, 2005, 10:19 PM
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As we have looked through some of Shelley's papers today we found a number of letters from parents and students thanking her for the great teacher she has been.

The following is typical of what we have been reading:

"Dear Ms. Windsor,

There aren't words that can express my appreciation to you. YOU ARE THE BEST TEACHER AT HERITAGE ACADEMY!!!!! I mean it. I love the way you teach. We rarely had homework on the weekends. You taught the material so everybody could understand it, and if they didn't you were willing to help them until they did. You are such an awesome woman. You helped make math FUN!!

"I hope you will continue teaching at Heritage, so you can touch more lives for the better. Your friendship means the world to me. Taking the time out of your morning to help me with math really shows me that you care about my education. Thank you.

"Thank you for everything, for every timie you smiled, for every time you laughed, for every time you had to repeat things to the class because they were talking, for every time you came to school when you wish you could have stayed home. Thank you for being a perfect example to me. I want to be just like you when I get older. I love you and wish you the best that life can give.

"I always liked learning math but being in your class I have come to love math. YOU ARE MY FAVORITE TEACHER. I have learned so much in your class that will help me in years to come. I just want you to know I love you and will never forget you. You will always have a place in my heart."
=====
We all love Shelley so very much and miss her terribly! Thanks to all of you for posting such wonderful memories of our dear daughter and sister. It's very comforting to know she was loved by so many and touched so many lives.

Thanks again,
Suzanne (Shelley's sister)


jumpingrock


Nov 8, 2005, 10:29 PM
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I don't have much to add but in support of Curt's original theory, I just did some testing with the back of my chair.

If the knot on the "hitching" sling was exactly on the opposite side of the loop, then in my limited expirimentation, 3 outta 4 attempts ended with the knot hooked as postulated. A significant amount of force was needed to cause a failure.

figures:

Notice the knot on the opposite side of the loop from the byte(sp?)
http://www.ualberta.ca/...girth/girthfail1.gif

If the user is not aware, not paying attention, hurrying, concerned about the next lead, whatever, then it is easy to see the possible mistake of missing the loop but thinking it was through.
http://www.ualberta.ca/...girth/girthfail2.gif

When the red sling is pulled tight it is easy to see, in probably something approaching 75% of the time, (this value is made up based on my simple tests but feel free to test it yourself) how the knot could easily have locked.
http://www.ualberta.ca/...girth/girthfail3.gif

This will not fail until either a large enough force is put on the anchor, or the knot is pulled around the tree by pulling on one of the two slings.

In conclusion, with a large enough tree, even by pulling only one side of the slings, it would be difficult to see this failure without pulling the knot far enough to be visually inspected. Therefore, regardless of whether this is what happened or not, this is a danger that all of us should be aware of.


climbsomething


Nov 9, 2005, 1:57 AM
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Obituary in the East Valley Tribune

16 children in all! What amazing parents! Anybody who knew Shelley knew they did a good job.


granitegod


Nov 9, 2005, 4:15 AM
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And if I go, while you're still here,
know that I still live on,
vibrating to a differeint measure,
behind a veil you cannot see through.
You will not see me, so you must have faith.

I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
both aware of each other.
Until then, live your life to the fullest.
And when you need me,
just whisper my name in your heart,
I will be there.

-- Paula Hitchcock.

Again....I am just bewildered. Another climber I did not know personally...but looks so familiar. I hope these words may bring some comfort to her firends and family.


billl7


Nov 9, 2005, 6:29 AM
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I think the best thing for us to get out of shelly's accident is to check ourselves and for our partners to do the same. two or more people are more likely to notice a mistake than just one person by themselves.

I totally support the above sentiment. We just need to (and I think are) get down to or be reminded of the finer points of the self-check, the kind of self-checks that present enough objective evidence that things are okay.

Note that Shelly may have "checked" her set-up as it has been established that a caught waterknot could pass the bump test. I don't know if there was anyone nearby to inspect her set-up (Edited: "inspect" was "test" - inspect was intended), very frequently there is not.


aadkins1972


Nov 9, 2005, 6:37 AM
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My brother David was with Shelley for the last few hours of her life. Our family has all her friends and family in our prayers. My brother is also a school teacher and has been climbing for many years. This tragedy has made a profound impact on our family.


daithi


Nov 9, 2005, 7:43 AM
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The circumference of an 18" diameter tree is 56.55 inches. Why would it not be possible for a person with a 63" wingspan to reach around such a tree?

Because the bones in the arm are rigid and can't form a perfect circle of circumference 63"!

Edited to add: Sorry I see this was already answered.

Maybe I have missed this already but is it not possible to walk behind this tree? Everyone seems to be assuming she was tying the hitch blindly while reaching around the tree. If she could barely reach around the tree, would she not girth hitch the slings first and then attempt to pass them around the tree. It is a lot easier to grab the end of sling if you can barely reach around than to attempt to girth hitch them together at your maximum reach!


trenchdigger


Nov 9, 2005, 8:08 AM
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In reply to:
The circumference of an 18" diameter tree is 56.55 inches. Why would it not be possible for a person with a 63" wingspan to reach around such a tree?

Because the bones in the arm are rigid and can't form a perfect circle of circumference 63"!

Edited to add: Sorry I see this was already answered.

Maybe I have missed this already but is it not possible to walk behind this tree? Everyone seems to be assuming she was tying the hitch blindly while reaching around the tree. If she could barely reach around the tree, would she not girth hitch the slings first and then attempt to pass them around the tree. It is a lot easier to grab the end of sling if you can barely reach around than to attempt to girth hitch them together at your maximum reach!

You don't have to be able to reach around a tree to girth hitch it. Take one sling and swing it around one side of the tree so the end (preferrably where the knot is for added momentum) swings around the other side of the tree and you grab it. Thread the other runner through, make your girth hitch and pull both ends tight. I could easily see how this could happen even if the person could not reach around the tree. I wouldn't discount this theory based solely on that fact.


leo4aclimb


Nov 9, 2005, 8:15 AM
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Hi guys,
This is Dania (Leo's wife). I've been reading about everyone's theories and everyone's memories of Shelley in the past couple days trying to learn more and also to heal myself. I want to extend my condolences to her family, friends, and all the people she touched. It sounds like it would have been an honor to know her. I could only have wished to know her in this lifetime. I pray now that she is among the angels that look down on me from heaven. One day we'll meet again.

I'd would also like to help her friends and family heal and learn from this tragedy. People have asked alot of questions about recreating the scene and I think the only way to do that is for us to go back up there and recreate what we saw. Each of us has our own scars and recollections. For me I don't ever remember looking at her ropes or slings. At that point the only thing I cared about was saving Shelley's life.

What I do remember is that when I finally got to the top I wanted to see the tree because I was still in disbelief. The tree was large and sturdy. It was approximately 20 inches in diameter which would make the circumference aproximately 63 inches. I know that some had stated that Shelley had a 63 inch wingspan but I don't believe she could have reached around the tree and have her hands touch. From what I can envision in my mind I don't think that I would have been able to reach around the tree and have my hands touch either. (my wingspan in slightly larger 65-66inches) Remember a wingspan is measured when the arms are straight not when they are curled around an object. A person's reach is considerably shorter when curled around something. I just tried it at home around a basket that was 56 inches around and my hands barely touched.

I would like to help in any way I can and if people plan on going back up there to re-create the scene to help learn and to help heal from this I would like to be a part of that. My numbers are just estimates of how my memory serves me and I would really like to know too.

Again my condolences to all she knew...she's climbing with the angels now.

My Deepest Regrets,
Dania


billl7


Nov 9, 2005, 8:42 AM
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For healing purposes, it does seem clear that anyone involved in the accident and/or its immediate aftermath as well as anyone truely close to Shelly (family decides) should be invited if this can be done safely.

It's obvious but wanted to state it. Perhaps this is already in the works.


jonapprill


Nov 9, 2005, 8:44 AM
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Another idea: This was Shelly's third or fourth rappel station of the day. While she was breaking down the previous station, she only partially undid a girth-hitch holding the two slings together.......in essence creating the jammed knot scenerio. When she went to create the new rappel station, she saw the slings were joined (somehow) and assumed they were still girth-hitched together. She threw the two sling combo around the tree and attached the rope.


curt


Nov 9, 2005, 8:46 AM
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In reply to:
...If the user is not aware, not paying attention, hurrying, concerned about the next lead, whatever, then it is easy to see the possible mistake of missing the loop but thinking it was through.
http://www.ualberta.ca/...girth/girthfail2.gif

Perhaps Shelley was not reaching around the back of the tree to tie the knot--I don't think that part is a critical element to my proposed rappel failure mechanism. Perhaps (as trenchdigger suggested) she "whipped" one sling around the back of the tree and then fed the other one through it--as in the above drawing by jumpingrock. This makes Shelly's wingspan a non-issue.

In reply to:
When the red sling is pulled tight it is easy to see, in probably something approaching 75% of the time, (this value is made up based on my simple tests but feel free to test it yourself) how the knot could easily have locked.
http://www.ualberta.ca/...girth/girthfail3.gif

As jumpingrock indicates, when the slings are then tightened (and absent a girth-hitch actually being tied) the knot still has a fairly high probability of jamming and creating the scenario in question.

Curt


billl7


Nov 9, 2005, 8:50 AM
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In reply to:
Another idea: This was Shelly's third or fourth rappel station of the day. While she was breaking down the previous station, she only partially undid a girth-hitch holding the two slings together.......in essence creating the jammed knot scenerio. When she went to create the new rappel station, she saw the slings were joined (somehow) and assumed they were still girth-hitched together. She threw the two sling combo around the tree and attached the rope.

Possible - yes. But from the limited testing I have done it seems that the "tree" plays a part in keeping the knot caught - things seem to reliably come apart when the "tree" is removed. Again, possible - yes.

But along these lines, I've thought once or twice that it would also be good to know the size of the other tree and how close to the cliff - and whether anyone _knows_ how the anchor was arranged on this other tree. Might resolve some questions that keep resurfacing.


jonapprill


Nov 9, 2005, 8:50 AM
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Deleted....double post.


littlefingers


Nov 9, 2005, 8:54 AM
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Shelly sounds like an amazing person, without a doubt. From reading these posts, it's clear to see she is a rolemodel for myself and many others. My heart goes out to all of you who are grieving.

Regarding theories posted in this thread; I question the theory that she would reach around the tree to make the girth hitch if her arms would not reach around the tree- this seems both risky and awkward. Would it have made more sense for her to have girth hitched the slings, and then tossed one end around the tree? Apparently there was a lot of debris. When tossing, the farther end, could it have gotten snagged on a branch and through fumbling have caused the girth hitch to loosen- then when reaching around the other side of the tree, she could have pulled the wrong loop- which would have un-did the girth hitch completely. A snagged knot could have given the illusion the set up was solid when clipping in. This is just another possible theory.

In memory of Shelly, I am emphatically promising myself that I will always check and recheck my own and my partners knots, anchors, and harnesses in all future climbing excursions. I wish everyone safe climbing.

-megan


billl7


Nov 9, 2005, 8:59 AM
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I agree that the caught knot idea can still occur even if the tree was too large to reach both arms around (bear hug style). IMHO, a knot could catch any time the slings are against the tree a little (not much) circumferentially before and after the knot.


wage22


Nov 9, 2005, 9:10 AM
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Shellys fearless spirit does stick out in my memory bank. I had the pleasure of climbing with her a handful of times and it was enough to catch a breath of fresh positive air. She slithered her way up those rocks and had such a style when she did it. And Erica was right, she was an incredibly safe climber...makes me a little nervous.

My thoughts are with her friends and family.
Amanda


daithi


Nov 9, 2005, 9:16 AM
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In reply to:
Would it have made more sense for her to have girth hitched the slings, and then tossed one end around the tree?

This was my point. Surely you would girth hitch the two slings before you attempt to put them around the tree. It is unlikely in my opinion she attempted to tie this knot unsighted due to the dimensions of the tree and the impracticalities of doing it. The current theory as I understand is..

In reply to:
...other, she passed one sling through the second one--but not then back through itself. If one of the water knots was in the back of the tree, where the two slings met, the water knot could provide the illusion that the slings were truly girth-hitched...

In reply to:
I am guessing that she meant to tie the two one-inch loops of webbing together with a girth-hitch, but didn't actually girth hitch the webbing. I suspect that she may have reached around the tree and passed one sling through the other sling and then pulled the slings through until she felt something become tight.

In my opinion it is improbable that she tied this girth hitch unsighted which also reduces the probability of not tying it correctly. Given what was found (or at least what was posted on this forum), the most likely cause was indeed incorrectly girth hitching two slings together. However, I cannot imagine the events that caused this girth hitch to be incorrectly tied.


curt


Nov 9, 2005, 9:35 AM
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I think that looking again at this drawing is particularly useful.

http://www.ualberta.ca/...girth/girthfail2.gif

Notice, at this point, that if either of the two red loops is passed through the other red loop, a girth hitch will result. Also notice, however, that if it is believed that this has been done--but in fact it has not, that this can lead to the "jammed knot" scenario, when the red loop without the knot is the one that is pulled tight.

Curt


paulv7


Nov 9, 2005, 10:29 AM
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To throw another idea out.

Was this their last rap of the day?

I am wonder if she was planning on leaving the webbing and biner behind. Maybe she had the slings around a horn or a broken branch with the hopes of flicking it off. The webbing could of rolled off a horn. She may not have used the tree at all. Just some other thoughts.


roy_hinkley_jr


Nov 9, 2005, 10:44 AM
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This was my point. Surely you would girth hitch the two slings before you attempt to put them around the tree. It is unlikely in my opinion she attempted to tie this knot unsighted due to the dimensions of the tree and the impracticalities of doing it.

In my opinion it is improbable that she tied this girth hitch unsighted which also reduces the probability of not tying it correctly. Given what was found (or at least what was posted on this forum), the most likely cause was indeed incorrectly girth hitching two slings together. However, I cannot imagine the events that caused this girth hitch to be incorrectly tied.

Agreed, the previous theories just don't make sense. Just seems too illogical to be futzing when it's so much easier to pre-girth and toss. Has the area really been searched for other evidence?


curt


Nov 9, 2005, 11:02 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
This was my point. Surely you would girth hitch the two slings before you attempt to put them around the tree. It is unlikely in my opinion she attempted to tie this knot unsighted due to the dimensions of the tree and the impracticalities of doing it.

In my opinion it is improbable that she tied this girth hitch unsighted which also reduces the probability of not tying it correctly. Given what was found (or at least what was posted on this forum), the most likely cause was indeed incorrectly girth hitching two slings together. However, I cannot imagine the events that caused this girth hitch to be incorrectly tied.

Agreed, the previous theories just don't make sense...

Unless you can offer a better explanation of what actually happened (that is consistent with all of the known facts) this rather broad statement is totally unwarranted.

Curt


qqac


Nov 9, 2005, 11:45 AM
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Question for Shelley's regular climbing partners: Did Shelley like to use bowlines? Did she tie bowlines one-handed, which tends to result in shorter tails? Was she in the habit of not tying backup knots on the tail?

A 10 foot sling (measured as a loop, end to end) would go completely around the large 5 foot circumference pine at East of Eden and leave plenty of length to tie a bowline. The bowline would be tied treating the flattened loop as a single strand. I am not talking about a double bowline or a conventional bowline on a bight, although this bowline technically would be on a bight.

HYPOTHESIS:

She could have tied each sling as a bowline, leaving a loop at the load end to clip into. She could have tied two slings separately this way for redundancy, and clipped both load-end loops. This rig would not allow the anchor biner to go below the edge, but she was descending to the climb on a single, fixed strand so rope rubbing over the edge was not an issue. Even under the girth hitch theory, two 10 foot slings girth hitched together around a 20" diameter tree would not have reached the edge 15-20 feet away anyway--it would only have reached about 8 feet from the tree. This bowline rig had the benefit of allowing her to approach the edge safely on rappel beginning close to the tree.

FAILURE MODE:

If not dressed tightly and with a solid backup knot, a bowline tied in webbing can collapse and slip completely apart. (A bowline in rope is much more resistant to collapsing).

In this failure scenario, each sling would be left in a separate loop, with no knots other than the water knot joint, and each sling would be clipped to the anchor biner, consistent with the findings.

REFERENCES:

Josh "goodguy" stated from firsthand observation the pine is 15-20 feet back from the edge.

Dania "leo4aclimb" stated from firsthand observation the tree was about 20" in diameter, 5 feet in circumference.

Other witnesses have settled that the anchor biner was clipped to each of two, separate, 10' webbing loops, and the loops had no knots other than the joining water knot and had no signs of damage.

http://img484.imageshack.us/...4/3294/bw17bx.th.jpg

http://img484.imageshack.us/...4/5645/bw26fg.th.jpg

http://img484.imageshack.us/...4/9078/bw34aj.th.jpg

http://img484.imageshack.us/...84/512/bw49sh.th.jpg

http://img441.imageshack.us/...1/8423/bw52qd.th.jpg


boulderinemt


Nov 9, 2005, 11:49 AM
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god...this is the first time i've looked at this thread for awhile. and i saw this.... i really don't know what to say. everybody was supportive of those of us who lost dwight, so now its our turn to be supportive. it seems like we lose too many good people every year. i didn't know shelley that well, we only talked a couple of times, but her posts usually gave me a grin and a laugh. she will be missed by all, anyone who every talked to her was made a better person. my condolences to her family and friends.


epic_ed


Nov 9, 2005, 11:51 AM
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In reply to:
To throw another idea out.

Was this their last rap of the day?

I am wonder if she was planning on leaving the webbing and biner behind. Maybe she had the slings around a horn or a broken branch with the hopes of flicking it off. The webbing could of rolled off a horn. She may not have used the tree at all. Just some other thoughts.

No. Paradise Forks is a canyon. You have to rappel in to get to the start of any climb. You are always going to be returning to the point of rappel before heading back to the parking lot.

Ed


melekzek


Nov 9, 2005, 11:55 AM
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In reply to:
However, I cannot imagine the events that caused this girth hitch to be incorrectly tied.

have you ever tied a girth hitch in a hurry or distracted, and two slings just pass through each other ?

I know I did, and more than once. You stare at the slings, and tie again, and forget about the incident.


qqac


Nov 9, 2005, 11:56 AM
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One more thing: a webbing bowline is particularly vulnerable to collapsing when the two legs behind the knot are not able to equalize the load (such as when wrapped around a large tree with rough bark) and when the load is placed more on the "rabbit hole" strand (where the knot is not carefully centered with the direction of load).


curt


Nov 9, 2005, 11:58 AM
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In reply to:
Question for Shelley's regular climbing partners: Did Shelley like to use bowlines? Did she tie bowlines one-handed, which tends to result in shorter tails? Was she in the habit of not tying backup knots on the tail?

A 10 foot sling (measured as a loop, end to end) would go completely around the large 5 foot circumference pine at East of Eden and leave plenty of length to tie a bowline. The bowline would be tied treating the flattened loop as a single strand. I am not talking about a double bowline or a conventional bowline on a bight, although this bowline technically would be on a bight.

HYPOTHESIS:

She could have tied each sling as a bowline, leaving a loop at the load end to clip into. She could have tied two slings separately this way for redundancy, and clipped both load-end loops. This rig would not allow the anchor biner to go below the edge, but she was descending to the climb on a single, fixed strand so rope rubbing over the edge was not an issue. Even under the girth hitch theory, two 10 foot slings girth hitched together around a 20" diameter tree would not have reached the edge 15-20 feet away anyway--it would only have reached about 8 feet from the tree. This bowline rig had the benefit of allowing her to approach the edge safely on rappel beginning close to the tree.

FAILURE MODE:

If not dressed tightly and with a solid backup knot, a bowline tied in webbing can collapse and slip completely apart. (A bowline in rope is much more resistant to collapsing).

In this failure scenario, each sling would be left in a separate loop, with no knots other than the water knot joint, and each sling would be clipped to the anchor biner, consistent with the findings.

REFERENCES:

Josh "goodguy" stated from firsthand observation the pine is 15-20 feet back from the edge.

Dania "leo4aclimb" stated from firsthand observation the tree was about 20" in diameter, 5 feet in circumference.

Other witnesses have settled that the anchor biner was clipped to each of two, separate, 10' webbing loops, and the loops had no knots other than the joining water knot and had no signs of damage.

That's certainly possible, but failure of both bowline knots would be required for the accident to happen as you describe.

Curt


climbaddic


Nov 9, 2005, 12:03 PM
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In reply to:
Question for Shelley's regular climbing partners: Did Shelley like to use bowlines? Did she tie bowlines one-handed, which tends to result in shorter tails? Was she in the habit of not tying backup knots on the tail?

As her climbing partner and her friend. I will make some common habit she had.

1) She is 5 feet 3 inches tall with -2 Ape Index. She always made a comment about her Ape Index. That would make her 5 feet 1 inch reach.
2) She NEVER used Bowline.
3) I have personally NEVER seen her use single point anchor. This is the one that botters me the most. Was there no other tree or natual anchor around? Did anyone clean up anchor for rescue purpose? Perhaps Mark backup anchor to rap down to Shelley?

Did she miss the girth hitch by accident? Maybe she thought she pulled one side into a loop into another side to complete a girth hitch, but maybe missed a loop?

I would love to hear from Mark about the anchor setup they did all day.


epic_ed


Nov 9, 2005, 12:04 PM
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In reply to:
Question for Shelley's regular climbing partners: Did Shelley like to use bowlines? Did she tie bowlines one-handed, which tends to result in shorter tails? Was she in the habit of not tying backup knots on the tail?

Possible, but not probable. I didn't know her well enough to know if she even knew how to tie a bowline, but given the choice between a quick, easy, and more secure girth-hitch, I have no idea why anyone would consider joining the two slings using a bowline in this situation.

Ed


qqac


Nov 9, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Curt,
Yes, both would have to fail the same way. . . but we are creatures of habit, good or bad. That's why I asked what her habits were. She could have done it exactly the same way for both slings. Both slings would have suffered from the inability to equalize their two legs around the tree due to all the friction.

Ed,

My suggestion is not that the slings were bowlined together, but that they were each separately bowlined around the tree. I tie bowlines one-handed in about 1.5 seconds. It's no harder than a girth hitch.


billl7


Nov 9, 2005, 12:11 PM
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In reply to:
_That's certainly possible, but failure of both bowline knots would be
required for the accident to happen as you describe.

If one bowline is going to fail then probability of both failing could be very high - if the climber doesn't tie backup knots to either bowline and doesn't check that the two slings are equalized. In this case the non-backed, unequalized bowlines would simply fail sequentially. But does that sound like this climber? Edited: climbaddic added that Shelly's noted climbing habits never included the bowline.


otc


Nov 9, 2005, 2:38 PM
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As Shelley's business partner, good friend and a regular climbing partner of hers for a while I would like to add the facts as I have accumulated them outside of this forum from those involved an from personal knowledge of Shelley and her climbing habits.

1. Shelley was 5'5" with a -2" Ape Index (We measured each other's ape indexes at the store one day). So her wingspan was 63 inches.
2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.
3. The sling loops were tied using water knots, not bowline knots. She always used water knots.
4. The tree was between 16 and 20 inches in diameter. Either way, making it implausible that she would reach around the tree.
5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.
6. Shelley was fanatical about having multiple points of failure. A single point of failure as provided by the girth hitch theory is improbable according to Shelley's habits. (She taught me and always stressed 3 points of failure when possible and at the very least 2 if 3 are not available)
7. The accident took place at approximately 1:30pm, with plenty of daylight left. No need to hurry, though I have never known her to hurry when rigging an anchor anyhow.
8. The tree was 15-20 feet from the edge of Gold Wall.
9. She had clipped to the anchor using a single locking carabiner attached to a figure-8 on a bight to do a single line rappel into the canyon.
10. When Mark arrived at the bottom of the canyon, the two slings were still clipped into the locking carabiner and the locking carabiner was still attached to the rope.
11. The rope was still looped through the belay/rappel device and clipped to her harness properly.

Thanks,
Daniel


jumpingrock


Nov 9, 2005, 2:47 PM
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I wonder if perhaps assuming anchor failure is the wrong trail? Perhaps she had set up most of the anchor, gone to the edge to toss the rope over, or just look for where the rope would go and slipped or lost balance? It wouldn't be the first time something like that happened.


roy_hinkley_jr


Nov 9, 2005, 2:48 PM
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Were both slings intact? Asking because it's very common for 1" webbing on spools to have splices of masking tape.


trenchdigger


Nov 9, 2005, 2:52 PM
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In reply to:
As Shelley's business partner, good friend and a regular climbing partner of hers for a while I would like to add the facts as I have accumulated them outside of this forum from those involved an from personal knowledge of Shelley and her climbing habits.

1. Shelley was 5'5" with a -2" Ape Index (We measured each other's ape indexes at the store one day). So her wingspan was 63 inches.
2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.
3. The sling loops were tied using water knots, not bowline knots. She always used water knots.
4. The tree was between 16 and 20 inches in diameter. Either way, making it implausible that she would reach around the tree.
5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.
6. Shelley was fanatical about having multiple points of failure. A single point of failure as provided by the girth hitch theory is improbable according to Shelley's habits. (She taught me and always stressed 3 points of failure when possible and at the very least 2 if 3 are not available)
7. The accident took place at approximately 1:30pm, with plenty of daylight left. No need to hurry, though I have never known her to hurry when rigging an anchor anyhow.
8. The tree was 15-20 feet from the edge of Gold Wall.
9. She had clipped to the anchor using a single locking carabiner attached to a figure-8 on a bight to do a single line rappel into the canyon.
10. When Mark arrived at the bottom of the canyon, the two slings were still clipped into the locking carabiner and the locking carabiner was still attached to the rope.
11. The rope was still looped through the belay/rappel device and clipped to her harness properly.

Thanks,
Daniel

I'm not sure if anyone has pointed this out, but for a tree of that size, a single runner tied from 10' of webbing with a water knot will yield a runner that's only about 48-54" long. Just like Shelley's arm span, that would not be enough to sling the tree unless the water knot was untied, then retied in a loop around the tree - an impossible scenario considering the evidence. Therefore, the rappel anchor setup noted in #5 above would be impossible with a tree of that size and the given materials.

If she found that the loops were too short to sling the tree, girth hitching them together seems a likely alternative assuming no other gear was available. Also, I frequently "whip" webbing slings around trees too large to reach around in the process of setting up slacklines. It's easy to do and a natural way to get the webbing around a tree that's just a little too big to reach around.


dingus


Nov 9, 2005, 2:55 PM
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In reply to:
2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.
4. The tree was between 16 and 20 inches in diameter. Either way, making it implausible that she would reach around the tree.
5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.

Thanks for posting that otc. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

I'm confused by your post however, and hope you can help me understand. How can a 10 inch sling be wrapped around a 20 inch tree? I'm nit picking, just trying to understand the previously used setups is all.

Has anyone been back up to the tree yet to see if any slings are laying behind the tree?

Cheers and thanks for posting in what must be a devastating time.

DMT


d1ll1gaf


Nov 9, 2005, 3:00 PM
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I wish to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to Shelley's family and friends.

Based on Daniel's description of Shelley's climbing habits and the two slings being found clipped to the harness, there may be another scenario to consider:

Did Shelley remember to lock the carabiner? If the carabiner was not locked and the slings had become tangled together, it would be possible for two loops to slip out of the carabiner during a moment of gate flutter.


vivalargo


Nov 9, 2005, 3:03 PM
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New info:

"4. The tree was between 16 and 20 inches in diameter. Either way, making it implausible that she would reach around the tree.

5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch."

What is not included here--and I've done everything but beg for this information--is: How is the re positioned on the ledge? Is it up against a wall, or stuck back in an alcove, or is it freestanding like a flagpole? It's important to know this so we can determine how hard it was to get BEHIND the tree. If getting behind the tree was dificult, then anyone wanting to rap off same would have to face the tree and REACH AROUND it to rig the slings.

In number 4 of the above--I'm not sure why a 16-20 inch tree would make it improbable for someone to reach around it. Why so?

Number 5 is most telling--that twice before that very day, folks had rapped off that tree via two individual runners slung around the tree, with all 4 ends clipped to a locker on the rap line.

What isn't described here is if the slings were already in place on the tree from the previous raps. Seems unlikely since they wold be loose and just sitting there. If Shelley rigged these slings for her tragic rappel, then it is looking likely that Curt's sling explanation -- of clipping off the wrong ends -- is likely. What is not making sense is that foloks had repeatdly said that Shelley never trusted or used just one sling or one anything, that she always backed stuff up. If the double sling--wrong end--theory is to stand, that means she violated her usual MO and only clipped one sling. It also means she rigged two slings around the tree and only clipped of to one of them, albeit to the wrong ends.

Curious . . .

JL


jt512


Nov 9, 2005, 3:06 PM
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In reply to:
10. When Mark arrived at the bottom of the canyon, the two slings were still clipped into the locking carabiner and the locking carabiner was still attached to the rope.

It's beginning to seem unlikely to me that she intended to girth hitch the slings together. Usually, after girth hitching two slings together, you would pass the connect slings around the tree, pass one end of the connected slings through the other, and then clip just one end of the sling. The fact that the both slings were found independently clipped to the biner shades the evidence against girth hitching.

Is it conceivable that she intended to clip 4 loops, only clipped 2, and that both slings momentarily got stuck on something, and then gave way under full body weight?

Jay


epic_ed


Nov 9, 2005, 3:20 PM
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Not necesairily, Jay. If she ended up with the end loops of both slings in close proximity, it may have been just as easy to clip both loops, instead of passing one loop through the other and then just clipping one loop as you're suggesting.

This is the clipping scenario I've been envisioning:

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64149

Ed


dingus


Nov 9, 2005, 3:23 PM
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I've done it both ways. I might use the triaxle way if I wanted to keep the rap rope anchor point higher off the ground (than it would have been via a loopback), to ease the transition over a lip. I know its weaker that way, but for rapping...

Just a personal observation.

Q: Did she lead the route or TR it? I don't recall.

DMT


epic_ed


Nov 9, 2005, 3:27 PM
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In reply to:

Q: Did she lead the route or TR it? I don't recall.

DMT

Not relevant in this case -- she was rappeling into the canyon to get to the start of a route.

Ed


otc


Nov 9, 2005, 3:29 PM
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I do have another possible theory:

She wrapped the two slings independently around the tree and for some reason only clipped two of the ends, maybe she was busy talking to her partner about the climbs or weather or something and forgot to double check the rappel. She then walked to the edge and clipped into the rope to rappel down. Meanwhile the slings are around the base of the tree and there is enough slack on the line to not move the slings. She then tossed the rest of the rope over the lip and leaned back into the unattached slings.

Thanks,
Daniel


kachoong


Nov 9, 2005, 3:35 PM
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Is it conceivable that she intended to clip 4 loops, only clipped 2, and that both slings momentarily got stuck on something, and then gave way under full body weight?
This is plausible, especially if she was distracted momentarily and if the slings are of the same colour.
This is a crude diagram, but shows the wrong two loops being clipped. Also, diagonally opposite loops could have been clipped ie. still only one end of each sling. This would cause both slings to be pulled around the tree, increasing the chance for the knots/slings to jam for a short period, before being pulled completely free.

All assuming the slings reach around the tree in the first place. I guess, this needs to be established.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64280

edited to clarify.....


Partner cracklover


Nov 9, 2005, 3:38 PM
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2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.
4. The tree was between 16 and 20 inches in diameter. Either way, making it implausible that she would reach around the tree.
5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.

How is this possible? The slings wouldn't have reached. Is it possible that the slings were longer? If so, this brings up another possible failure mode.

It could be that she did exactly what you say above, intending to clip the locking biner into all four loops of webbing, but somehow the nose of the biner wound up going through two of the loops, but *between* the two others. Perhaps if they were lying loosely on the ground, tangle in each other, this might be possible to do.

I'm still curious to understand how a 4 foot sling can reach around a 4.75 foot circumferance tree.

GO


climbinganne


Nov 9, 2005, 3:40 PM
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i am at a loss for words over shelley's death...because it seems so senseless

her life had so much meaning

i read about her friends and the people who loved her so much, how sad

she left us, such a short visit in time

she hopefully came to teach us; a moment in her time, is our reality

*deep breath*

Shelley, you did good in your short life here...


daithi


Nov 9, 2005, 3:46 PM
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I'm not sure if anyone has pointed this out, but for a tree of that size, a single runner tied from 10' of webbing with a water knot will yield a runner that's only about 48-54" long. Just like Shelley's arm span, that would not be enough to sling the tree.

This is indeed strange. I make it a runner of length 60" minus the length lost in the water knot. This would have made it quite a squeeze to use one runner. Can't imagine she would have been happy with this as it probably would have resulting in cross loading the biner. I can only assume the runner was 120" when tied making a bit more sense.

If it can be determined they were actually tied from 10' webbing then she would have had to join them somehow to extend them, probably using a girth hitch. Can we have a clarification on this point please otc?

In reply to:
In number 4 of the above--I'm not sure why a 16-20 inch tree would make it improbable for someone to reach around it. Why so?

This gives a circumference of between 50" and 62". Considering her arm span was 63" this makes it a tight squeeze due to the length lost due to the deflection of the elbow joint. But back to my point alluded to earlier, why would anyone attempt to tie a girth hitch unsighted behind a tree and at full stretch with their finger tips? I can't think of a single reason. Even if the tree was only a few inches in front of a concrete wall one would still tie the girth hitch first and then attempt to pass the slings around the tree.

In reply to:
have you ever tied a girth hitch in a hurry or distracted, and two slings just pass through each other ?

I know I did, and more than once. You stare at the slings, and tie again, and forget about the incident.

Since I have a hard time believing she attempted to tie this unsighted it would have been immediately apparent to her that the girth hitch wasn't tied properly, just as it was to you!


plund


Nov 9, 2005, 3:46 PM
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First of all I would like to give my heartfelt condolecence to the family and friends of Shelley.

About the hitch: if you have a sewn sling and get the seam exactly at the point where the hitch is supposed to be, the hitch will pass quick visual examination and even resist a "bump" test, if you pull on BOTH strings of one or both slings.

Things I've learned and try to think about next time I rig something:
-To test a Hitch, I will only pull on one string at the time. (with a "mint" hitch, there is no slippage.)
-The knot (or seam) should be visible, and never near the Hitch. (that point is more obvious, but I've been sloppy before)

And I would encourage people to try and rig a "false" hitch and test it at home. As curt said, it is surprising how much force it withstands.

http://i30.photobucket.com/...obberysod/False1.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/.../sobberysod/true.jpg

I hope the two pictures illustrate what I mean by quick visual check. (Sorry for the Image quality)

peace
Sim

Very frightening photos...GREAT safety advice...Shelly must have been a very admirable person to inspire this much reasonable discussion...

Heartfelt condolences to her family, friends & climbing partners...it sounds like she was the kind of person who would INSIST on this kind of analysis, to keep others safe....


curt


Nov 9, 2005, 3:47 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
10. When Mark arrived at the bottom of the canyon, the two slings were still clipped into the locking carabiner and the locking carabiner was still attached to the rope.

It's beginning to seem unlikely to me that she intended to girth hitch the slings together. Usually, after girth hitching two slings together, you would pass the connect slings around the tree, pass one end of the connected slings through the other, and then clip just one end of the sling. The fact that the both slings were found independently clipped to the biner shades the evidence against girth hitching.

Is it conceivable that she intended to clip 4 loops, only clipped 2, and that both slings momentarily got stuck on something, and then gave way under full body weight?

Jay

That seems unlikely. Daniel posted:

In reply to:
2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.

4. The tree was between 16 and 20 inches in diameter. Either way, making it implausible that she would reach around the tree.


If he is correct about both of these things, one sling would not, by itself reach around the tree.

Curt


epic_ed


Nov 9, 2005, 3:54 PM
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Well, we'll find out more when we go up with the slings and find the tree -- yes, I'm volunteering to join.

I'm betting that one tied sling, by itself, will not make it around the tree -- or if so, it will barely circle it making it improbable she clipped them as single slings. I think it's much more likely she felt she needed some extra length and attempted to girth hitch the two slings together.

Ed


curt


Nov 9, 2005, 3:58 PM
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In reply to:
...This is indeed strange. I make it a runner of length 60" minus the length lost in the water knot. This would have made it quite a squeeze to use one runner. Can't imagine she would have been happy with this as it probably would have resulting in cross loading the biner. I can only assume the runner was 120" when tied making a bit more sense.

If it can be determined they were actually tied from 10' webbing then she would have had to join them somehow to extend them, probably using a girth hitch. Can we have a clarification on this point please otc?

Indeed, this question must be resolved before we can determine which possible scenario may be more likely than another.

Curt


majid_sabet


Nov 9, 2005, 3:58 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Is it conceivable that she intended to clip 4 loops, only clipped 2, and that both slings momentarily got stuck on something, and then gave way under full body weight?
This is plausible, especially if she was distracted momentarily and if the slings are of the same colour.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...p.cgi?Detailed=64280

I pointed out your theory for this set up on page 4 but then I kind of questioned it. Each side of webbing is rated @ 4000 lbs x 8 = 32000 lbs give it or take, so if she was rappelling, you can easily do it with one webbing warped not two and there is absolutely no reason to multiply it by 8 times unless she was planning to pull some heavy haul bag or set up a rescue system. If some one could examine the inside of the webbing for any trace of abrasions or any sign of minor tear or damages then there is possibility that this was setup on a two separate anchors and both failed.


epic_ed


Nov 9, 2005, 4:03 PM
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Just a quick update -- according to the obituary posted by Hillary in the link above, funeral arrangments are as follows:

In reply to:
The viewing will be held on Friday, November 11, 2005 at Bunker's University Chapel located at 3529 E. University Drive, Mesa, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints chapel located at 1718 N. Date, Mesa, on Saturday, November 12, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., with a prior viewing at 9:00 a.m.


hugepedro


Nov 9, 2005, 4:14 PM
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My condolences to all who knew her.

Here's one lesson to be learned.

Whenever I am doing anything with tied slings, I always keep my water knots in view, that way they cannot interfere with the "business" area of the anchor.

If the "Caught Knot" theory is correct, it may have been preventable by this simple practice.


daithi


Nov 9, 2005, 4:23 PM
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Each side of webbing is rated @ 4000 lbs x 8 = 32000 lbs give it or take, so if she was rappelling, you can easily do it with one webbing warped not two and there is absolutely no reason to multiply it by 8 times unless she was planning to pull some heavy haul bag or set up a rescue system.

Where are you getting 8 from? The picture shows 2 runners. One would have sufficed but she used two for redundancy (or else the two were girth hitched together to reach all the way around the tree).

In reply to:
If some one could examine the inside of the webbing for any trace of abrasions or any sign of minor tear or damages then there is possibility that this was setup on a two separate anchors and both failed.

I believe the tree is still standing so at least one of the anchors held!


billl7


Nov 9, 2005, 5:35 PM
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Well, we'll find out more when we go up with the slings and find the tree -- yes, I'm volunteering to join.

I'm betting that one tied sling, by itself, will not make it around the tree -- or if so, it will barely circle it making it improbable she clipped them as single slings. I think it's much more likely she felt she needed some extra length and attempted to girth hitch the two slings together.

I've had similar thoughts about them just reaching independently - but then the tri-axial load on the locking biner motivated a change from what someone else did the first time on that tree; but I'm making at least a couple of assumptions.

I know I've weighed in on favoring one or another theory. But we should set those aside during the on-sight as objectivity is really important. Organized on-sights are not easily replayed. And, IMHO, give overall priority to the healing aspect of why folks might go. Probably nothing new here; I'm just a freak about planning such things and I'm not even involved!

Peace,
Bill


hand_sandwich


Nov 9, 2005, 6:20 PM
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I never had the pleasure of meeting Shelley, but based on the the incredible response here, she was a kindred spirit that I would have been blessed to have known. I lost a friend at the Gold Wall at Paradise Forks a few years ago, and want her family and friends to know that she spent her last moments in a place of absolute serenity, doing what she loved. The Forks are a tangible piece of Heaven on earth, from the vanilla-scented, crisp air, the sounds of play as the swifts and ravens dart through the air, the dark basalt flows from the rim to the canyon floor, dotted by the ever-reflecting Gold and Silver ponds, the happy little frogs that look like little "X"s as they float on the water, the yellow water snakes that highlight the ponds as they swim about, the blueness of the sky, that shines as its own light, to the wild roses, the brilliant lichen, and the rambuctuous squirrels, who know when packs are unsupervised. It took us a few months to return to the spot after our friend's passing, but when we did, we realized we could ask for no better place to remember him at. It was tough at first, to challenge ourselves with climbing at a place where we had lost a friend, but his memory added to the beauty and splendor of the place ... and so will Shelley's. God Bless.

Justin


climbz_with_z


Nov 9, 2005, 7:46 PM
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She made a great impact on my life as a climber and a person. When I started climbing at PRG I didn't know anyone. Learning from watching other climbers I progressed over time. I relied much on strength until I met Shelley and Daniel in the bouldering area. Shelley's climbing style and body movement started a fire inside of me to learn to climb like her. She could move so fluid, controlled, and despite longer moves would still flow up the wall. Much later from this date, I got a chance to climb with her in Jack's Canyon. I remember working a 12b with her, just in shock how smooth and completely different she did the moves.

The same day as the accident, I was at jacks at that very same wall. I brought up that day to my partners because it was such a awesome feeling to climb with her. My last memories of her are the best and I will forever use that to aid in my love of this sport.

The sunday after I went into the gym and gave it my all as I know she would want us to continue. She would also want to smile's despite the pain we bare, even that she would spare us if it was possible. I am sorry to all the friends and family for not making it to the thing at Hung's house. I would have liked to have been able to tell of my gratitude and admiration of her to all of you. To close, thank you Shelley and Daniel for being the first of many amazing people I have got to meet in the climbing world. People like you are the real reason this sport is filled with close friendship's and a passion to climb.

Your friend,
Chris Zambito


xcire


Nov 9, 2005, 8:53 PM
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this is BS why does F%#@ up Shit happen to good people. Thanks for the support on my first trad lead. Well keep you with us forever.


bweide


Nov 9, 2005, 9:26 PM
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I think if any lesson can be learned from this tragic accident it is the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of eliminating single points of failure in an anchor system by having at least two entirely independent anchor points. Either of the two plausible anchor failure scenarios could have been prevented or their likelihood significantly decreased if this rule had been followed.

If Shelley incorrectly girth hitched the first set of slings together, a second independent set of slings also girth hitched around the tree would have probably prevented the fatal fall, as it is highly unlikely she would have duplicated the same knot tying mistake twice.

If Shelley tried to clip together the ends of the two slings, each independently wrapped around the tree, one locking carabiner clipped through the ends of one sling with a second locking carabiner clipped through the ends of the second sling would have greatly reduced the chances of only clipping one end of each sling, as might have occurred with a single carabiner.

A friend posted that Shelley was adamant about never depending on a single anchor but the use of a single locking carabiner to clip into the slings seems to indicate she was not as careful about being dependent on a single failure point elsewhere in the anchor system. It is critical that the anchor system not have a single point of failure anywhere between the actual anchor point and the tie in. This means multiple independent anchors, multiple independent slings and multiple independent carabiners.

The other lesson here is the importance of having a second set of eyes check all critical links in the climbing safety system. Having a second person check the anchors can sometimes catch a obvious flaw that is invisible to the person who set up the anchor. I once set up a top rope anchor using three pieces of pro while giving two new climbers a lecture on the importance of eliminating all single points of failure. As soon as I declared my anchors finished one of the new climbers pointed out a single point of failure that I had overlooked.

Life is too precious to risk because we can't spare a couple of minutes to rig a better anchor or to have someone check our work. ALWAYS DOUBLE UP AND DOUBLE CHECK


curt


Nov 9, 2005, 9:37 PM
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I think if any lesson can be learned from this tragic accident it is the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of eliminating single points of failure in an anchor system by having at least two entirely independent anchor points. Either of the two plausible anchor failure scenarios could have been prevented or their likelihood significantly decreased if this rule had been followed.

If Shelley incorrectly girth hitched the first set of slings together, a second independent set of slings also girth hitched around the tree would have probably prevented the fatal fall, as it is highly unlikely she would have duplicated the same knot tying mistake twice.

If Shelley tried to clip together the ends of the two slings, each independently wrapped around the tree, one locking carabiner clipped through the ends of one sling with a second locking carabiner clipped through the ends of the second sling would have greatly reduced the chances of only clipping one end of each sling, as might have occurred with a single carabiner.

A friend posted that Shelley was adamant about never depending on a single anchor but the use of a single locking carabiner to clip into the slings seems to indicate she was not as careful about being dependent on a single failure point elsewhere in the anchor system. It is critical that the anchor system not have a single point of failure anywhere between the actual anchor point and the tie in. This means multiple independent anchors, multiple independent slings and multiple independent carabiners.

The other lesson here is the importance of having a second set of eyes check all critical links in the climbing safety system. Having a second person check the anchors can sometimes catch a obvious flaw that is invisible to the person who set up the anchor. I once set up a top rope anchor using three pieces of pro while giving two new climbers a lecture on the importance of eliminating all single points of failure. As soon as I declared my anchors finished one of the new climbers pointed out a single point of failure that I had overlooked.

Life is too precious to risk because we can't spare a couple of minutes to rig a better anchor or to have someone check our work. ALWAYS DOUBLE UP AND DOUBLE CHECK

No. In my opinion that is not the lesson that should be learned--although that is certainly something something to keep in mind.

Curt


claramie


Nov 9, 2005, 9:43 PM
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There is nothing that we can say or do that really makes this type of thing palatable. I knew Shelley pretty well, climbed with her in the gym often and outside when we could manage. When I heard about this Saturday night I was shocked... I am still shocked. Shelley was a standard of the local climbing community and will always be dearly remembered.

I wish I could have been at Hong's on Sunday to support Mark as everyone gathered together. I was there in spirit.

Shelley, you will always be with us in memories.

Clayton


oldrnotboldr


Nov 10, 2005, 7:16 AM
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Curious, does anyone know about how much rope was run out between the anchor slings and Shelley's rappel device? When people go to the site this would help show about where she was when the anchor failed.


steelmonkey


Nov 10, 2005, 7:18 AM
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vivalargo wrote:
In reply to:
What is not included here--and I've done everything but beg for this information--is: How is the re positioned on the ledge? Is it up against a wall, or stuck back in an alcove, or is it freestanding like a flagpole? It's important to know this so we can determine how hard it was to get BEHIND the tree. If getting behind the tree was dificult, then anyone wanting to rap off same would have to face the tree and REACH AROUND it to rig the slings.

John,

I haven't seen anyone respond with this info, so I'll try... I've been climbing at the Forks for 15 years, and often in the area where this occurred. I'd expect this tree was fairly well back from the canyon rim (8 feet or more) and you would be able to walk completely around it. Some of the smaller trees there have brush around the base and branches low to the ground, making it difficult to get an anchor established, but given the indicated size of this one, I would not expect it to have much of anything around it's base (the larger trees there tend to be pretty clean at their base). Consider this informed speculation.

G.


sonso45


Nov 10, 2005, 7:26 AM
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Whenever I go to the Forks I see many rap and anchor lines dependent on a single large Ponderosa pine. I think that so many folks go there and use this setup for speed and because it's everywhere around you, you can get sucked into believing that's ok. The place is a toproper's dream, you can walk to any climb of any grade and just throw a rope over. Whatever knot or setup you use is your decision. But, we are influenced by what we see near us and especially after having used a single tree there, you would most likely feel comfortable with that setup. What she did was not so unusual at the Forks. M


global_wowo


Nov 10, 2005, 8:15 AM
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In reply to:
I think if any lesson can be learned from this tragic accident it is the ABSOLUTE NECESSITY of eliminating single points of failure in an anchor system by having at least two entirely independent anchor points. Either of the two plausible anchor failure scenarios could have been prevented or their likelihood significantly decreased if this rule had been followed.

...If Shelley tried to clip together the ends of the two slings, each independently wrapped around the tree, one locking carabiner clipped through the ends of one sling with a second locking carabiner clipped through the ends of the second sling would have greatly reduced the chances of only clipping one end of each sling, as might have occurred with a single carabiner.

A friend posted that Shelley was adamant about never depending on a single anchor but the use of a single locking carabiner to clip into the slings seems to indicate she was not as careful about being dependent on a single failure point elsewhere in the anchor system. It is critical that the anchor system not have a single point of failure anywhere between the actual anchor point and the tie in. This means multiple independent anchors, multiple independent slings and multiple independent carabiners.


In June of 2004, Shelly graciously helped me with a climbing/rappelling event that I conducted for a church youth group (25 teenage boys and girls - most were first time climbers). I know first hand that she was meticulous about eliminating single failure points, as we talked about anchoring systems while she double checked my anchors.

While I tend to favor the plausibility of the girth hitch theory, allow me to advance a variation of the "two independent slings" idea. Perhaps the intent was to pass each sling around the tree and clip into the ends with a separate locking carabiner creating a redundant system (i.e., two slings, each with its own carabiner) with the only single failure point being the tree itself.

If, however, one end from each sling was clipped into each carabiner, the multiple slings and carabiners are no longer independent. Failure of any one piece results in catastrophic failure. This mistake would be easy to make since both slings are the same color. If the webbing crossed anywhere, even a quick visual inspection might not readily reveal the problem. An unlocked carabiner could have its gate opened by tangled webbing.

Admittedly, I am making some assumptions here:
1. The slings were long enough to reach around the tree (i.e. 10ft slings made from 1 inch webbing vs. slings made from 10ft of webbing).
2. There was a 2nd carabiner.

As mentioned elsewhere, the slings used need to be measured to determine the true length.

As to the existence of another carabiner, given the traumatic nature of the event and the fact that a locked carabiner was still attached to the rope, it probably never occurred to anyone to even look for a 2nd failed carabiner. Also, if the carabiner failed structurally, it could have been pulled a fair distance from the tree before falling off the slings, or even flung completely clear of the area as the whole system went over the edge.

I'm just throwing this out as another possibility to consider, but I think it does more adequately accommodate the observed equipment at the fall site, Shelly's known penchant for eliminating single failure points, as well as Daniel's statement that:
In reply to:
The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.

Warren


billl7


Nov 10, 2005, 8:16 AM
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.... But, we are influenced by what we see near us and especially after having used a single tree there, you would most likely feel comfortable with that setup. What she did was not so unusual at the Forks. M

What Shelly did is still involves a lot of speculation. We'll have a better idea after the on-sight.

The tree that has been discussed very likely weighs well in excess of 10,000 pounds. I haven't heard that it was dead, unhealthy, or otherwise compromised. If it fails during a rap then its not even a fair crap shoot as to whether some backup anchor would hold the tree. Anyway, IMHO that's a plenty big tree by itself for the intended application as long as it is alive, healthy, etc.. Given that, the issue of redundancy is reduced to how the rap rope was attached to the tree (Edited to add: assuming there is no question about whether the discussed tree was actually used by Shelly).

Bill


qqac


Nov 10, 2005, 8:27 AM
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With Daniel's new information about the slings being made of 10 ft. lengths of webbing, resulting in approximately 4-5 ft. length runners that would likely need to be joined in order to reach around the tree, perhaps different ways of joining the two slings behind the tree should be explored. Girth-hitching, as has been discussed, seems the most straightforward. An alternative might be that she tied the slings together with an EDK that rolled apart.

If the runners were 10 ft. loops, it might be more likely she just tied the ends rather than dragging the entire 10 ft. through in a girth hitch.

http://img466.imageshack.us/.../4681/edk10ds.th.jpg

http://img466.imageshack.us/.../8262/edk25rp.th.jpg

http://img466.imageshack.us/.../7242/edk34xu.th.jpg


vivalargo


Nov 10, 2005, 8:58 AM
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I'm going to hold off any more speculation till Curt and friends go out there with the very slings she used--or replicas of same--and go through the motions of reverse engineering the accident. That likely will tell us as much as we'll ever know, and we can go from there. For now, we're starting to talk in circles.

JL


shelleys_bro


Nov 10, 2005, 11:02 AM
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This week has felt like a month! Since posting my email address out there to gather stories and pictures of Shelley, I have received so much content. From the rock climbing community, people she knew from her LDS mission in St Petersberg Russia, from her Heritage Academy and MCC students, and long time family friends.

My family is reading her journals (she was good about writing often). A couple of things to note:

Shelley loved her Heavenly Father above all. She is strong in her faith, and loved her family and friends very much. to honor her memory, I will follow her example to align my life with the way she lived hers. Our family has been sealed together for "time and all eternity" That is the greatest gift we could ask for. Therefore, living in such a way to not compromise that eternal relationship is very important to us.

I miss swooping down and catching Shelley off-guard as I would get her in the 'fireman's carry' and spin her around to make her feel dizzy...something little brothers do I guess. Or practicing the latest wrestling move on her. :) even when Shelley went moutnain biking for the first time on a newly purchased GT at South Mountain. I was impressed at her natural talent!

Shelley loved many and was loved by many. We are expecting a very large turnout at the funeral. If you need information you can email me at john.windsor@gmail.com, or contact via cell ph. 480-203-8442.

Thank you for the kind words - these posts will be included in the DVD I am compiling.

John Windsor


Partner cracklover


Nov 10, 2005, 11:29 AM
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In reply to:
2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.
5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.

I'd still like clarification on this point. If the tree was as large as everyone is saying, it seems like the above is an impossibility. So at least one of the three "facts" below is not true.

1 - The anchor tree is 16"-20" in diameter.
2 - Two slings were used, each made of 10' of 1" webbing, tied in a loop with a water knot (presumably with at least a couple inches of tail behind each knot)
3 - The anchor Shelly had made on this tree earlier in the day was not done by connecting these sling end-to-end, rather each was wrapped around the tree, and the four ends were all clipped together.

Until you figure out which one of these is correct and which is not, I don't see you can possibly make a reasonable guess as to what happened.

GO


vivalargo


Nov 10, 2005, 1:08 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.
5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.

I'd still like clarification on this point. If the tree was as large as everyone is saying, it seems like the above is an impossibility. So at least one of the three "facts" below is not true.

1 - The anchor tree is 16"-20" in diameter.
2 - Two slings were used, each made of 10' of 1" webbing, tied in a loop with a water knot (presumably with at least a couple inches of tail behind each knot)
3 - The anchor Shelly had made on this tree earlier in the day was not done by connecting these sling end-to-end, rather each was wrapped around the tree, and the four ends were all clipped together.

Until you figure out which one of these is correct and which is not, I don't see you can possibly make a reasonable guess as to what happened.

GO

Totally true in my mind, GO. Till Curt goes to the sherif's office on Sat. and gets the exact slings (or sees how big they are and fashions two exactly like them) and goes to the exact tree and starts fiddling around, we're working with no hard facts. Till Curt checks back in, I'm hanging tight.

JL


climbs4fun
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Nov 10, 2005, 1:56 PM
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I only met Shelley once, at the Gathering last year in Flagstaff. Her laughter and smile were infectious. She will be missed by so many.


Partner cracklover


Nov 10, 2005, 2:47 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.
5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.

I'd still like clarification on this point. If the tree was as large as everyone is saying, it seems like the above is an impossibility. So at least one of the three "facts" below is not true.

1 - The anchor tree is 16"-20" in diameter.
2 - Two slings were used, each made of 10' of 1" webbing, tied in a loop with a water knot (presumably with at least a couple inches of tail behind each knot)
3 - The anchor Shelly had made on this tree earlier in the day was not done by connecting these sling end-to-end, rather each was wrapped around the tree, and the four ends were all clipped together.

Until you figure out which one of these is correct and which is not, I don't see you can possibly make a reasonable guess as to what happened.

GO

Totally true in my mind, GO. Till Curt goes to the sherif's office on Sat. and gets the exact slings (or sees how big they are and fashions two exactly like them) and goes to the exact tree and starts fiddling around, we're working hard facts. Till Curt checks back in, I'm hanging tight.

JL

Agreed. Let me make one last point, though. Let's say for the moment that otc is correct, and it was possible to wrap each sling independently around the tree and clip all four ends. If so, and if it turns out that the slings were 10' long, rather than 10' of material, then that leads to another failure mode that seems more likely than the "knot where you think you have a girth" mode. Here's how it would work:

Take the two slings, and clip the locking biner into both of them. Then take the free end of the slings and wrap them around the tree and set them down on the ground. You now have a situation that looks like this:

http://im1.shutterfly.com/...00000016103BauWzVoxY

Then lets say she brings the biner over to clip them into the other two slings, and does so in the middle of the other two slings, like this:

http://im1.shutterfly.com/...00000016103BauWzVoxY

If you think about it, if both of the slings are the same color, you can clip through two slings, and have it either attached to the slings, or attached to *nothing*, and you cannot tell which.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/...00000016103BauWzVoxY

Curt and folks should seriously consider this possibility if it does turn out that the slings are long, not short.

GO


climbaddic


Nov 10, 2005, 2:59 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
2. The slings were made with two 10' lengths of blue 1" tubular webbing from a spool of blue webbing we had at our store.
5. The rappel anchor setups they had used on the other two occasions that day, including the first rappel setup on the same tree as the accident, were created by looping each sling around the tree and clipping into the four resulting loops. No girth hitch.

I'd still like clarification on this point. If the tree was as large as everyone is saying, it seems like the above is an impossibility. So at least one of the three "facts" below is not true.

1 - The anchor tree is 16"-20" in diameter.
2 - Two slings were used, each made of 10' of 1" webbing, tied in a loop with a water knot (presumably with at least a couple inches of tail behind each knot)
3 - The anchor Shelly had made on this tree earlier in the day was not done by connecting these sling end-to-end, rather each was wrapped around the tree, and the four ends were all clipped together.

Until you figure out which one of these is correct and which is not, I don't see you can possibly make a reasonable guess as to what happened.

GO

Totally true in my mind, GO. Till Curt goes to the sherif's office on Sat. and gets the exact slings (or sees how big they are and fashions two exactly like them) and goes to the exact tree and starts fiddling around, we're working hard facts. Till Curt checks back in, I'm hanging tight.

JL

Agreed. Let me make one last point, though. Let's say for the moment that otc is correct, and it was possible to wrap each sling independently around the tree and clip all four ends. If so, and if it turns out that the slings were 10' long, rather than 10' of material, then that leads to another failure mode that seems more likely than the "knot where you think you have a girth" mode. Here's how it would work:

Take the two slings, and clip the locking biner into both of them. Then take the free end of the slings and wrap them around the tree and set them down on the ground. You now have a situation that looks like this:

http://im1.shutterfly.com/...00000016103BauWzVoxY

Then lets say she brings the biner over to clip them into the other two slings, and does so in the middle of the other two slings, like this:

http://im1.shutterfly.com/...00000016103BauWzVoxY

If you think about it, if both of the slings are the same color, you can clip through two slings, and have it either attached to the slings, or attached to *nothing*, and you cannot tell which.

http://im1.shutterfly.com/...00000016103BauWzVoxY

Curt and folks should seriously consider this possibility if it does turn out that the slings are long, not short.

GO

You have a valid point, but Mark (her climbing partner that day) said she partually weighted by tugging on a sling. I don't think that can work in your example. I am going with unfinished girth hitch.


climberchic


Nov 10, 2005, 6:28 PM
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Certainly the girth hitch theory seems the most likely.

A few things did cross my mind though...

A few posters mentioned Shelley adamantly endorsing a multi-point failure system to them. However, it is possible that she did this to advocate by-the-book methods to promote good habits (an admirable quality). Also when responsible for many others, such as a church youth group, she was probably ultra-safe. It is possible she may have let those standards lax if it is just her a regular climbing partner, if she felt confident with her single anchor system. I certainly have been guilty of this - not practicing what I teach. Do any of her very recent, especially Forks, climbing partners remember if she used single-point anchors regularly?

This and Manny's quote below would explain her out-of-ordinary single-point system.

In reply to:
But, we are influenced by what we see near us and especially after having used a single tree there, you would most likely feel comfortable with that setup. What she did was not so unusual at the Forks. M

The other thing that I've been thinking about is way out there, but does anyone know if she set up this anchor system from scratch? She rapped off that same tree earlier that day (correct?). Is it possible that they left the system there from their earlier rap? I don't want to speculate until I know if it was or not.

Sorry if I'm adding too much to this mix. I've been following everyones posts and have been very impressed at how respectful you all have been and how much time everyone is putting in to this. The conversation just got me thinking, that's all.

Erica


tradrenn


Nov 10, 2005, 7:42 PM
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Shelley, I'm sorry there wasn't anything else I could do to help you. I hope that one day we will all meet, and if there's a cliff somewhere in heaven, I'll be honored to share a rope with you. You are an angel now, and maybe if you see me struggling on a climb, extremely run out or just frightened, you could lend me a hand.
Leo.

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
I'm speachless


liz_serraglio


Nov 10, 2005, 8:30 PM
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Reading everyone's sentiments about Shelley, it makes me wish I would have gotten to know her better. I could tell from the few interactions we had that she was full of energy and enthusiasm...and that she was an extremely strong climber! I just saw her at AZ on the Rocks last week, climbing hard and wishing I could do as well. Shelley was a very friendly and kind person and she clearly touched many lives. My thoughts and prayers go out to Shelley's family, including her family of climbing partners and friends.

Liz Serraglio


shelleys_cousin


Nov 10, 2005, 8:35 PM
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Hello everyone my name is Cindy Tucker and I'm Shelley's cousin. I want to thank everyone for all the nice things that are being said about Shelley. One night I was up until 1:00 am reading all about Shelley and I just couldn't stop crying. Hello Uncle Bill and Family. I will see you tomorrow. I know Shelly is in a better place. I know our Grand Parents and her Sister are with her now.


slowdive


Nov 11, 2005, 8:24 AM
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I didn't know Shelley very well, but we had talked together a number of times (mostly at the gym). We had talked about climbing at Mt. Lemmon, IC, or other places, but unfortunately my schedule never worked out (newly married, school, etc.). I have been shaken up ever since receiving Amy's phone call, Sunday morning. Shelley was very kind, humble, and friendly. You could tell by talking with her that she was very excited about OTC, climbing, teaching, family/friends, and life in general. She was influential to many and loved by all who knew her. She will be missed sorely.
:cry: Jer


auraseer


Nov 11, 2005, 8:31 AM
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Here's another possibility I haven't seen posted yet: perhaps the slings were connected not directly to each other, but to a carabiner or a third sling.

Some climbers recommend avoiding the girth hitch, and using a locking carabiner to connect slings. For this anchor that means the biner would end up behind the tree, out of view. If it was not locked correctly (or not lockable, or its lock jammed), the gate could have opened by pressure against debris or against the tree itself. Then either a sling pops out the open gate, or the biner itself fails because its open-gate strength is too low. Either way the biner comes loose and is not found with the rest of the anchor.

The scenario is similar if the anchor included three slings in series, A to B to C, however they were connected. If sling B failed, so would the whole anchor, and only A and C would remain actually connected to the rest of the gear.

This doesn't seem especially likely to me, but even a one-in-a-million chance can cause a tragedy.


thedtbmister


Nov 11, 2005, 9:23 AM
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I was one of Ms Windsors students and what I heard is that she tied her rope to a tree before she began repelling down the cliff and the tree broke and she fell 90 feet. And then the rescue team couldnt get to her so they passed down a oxygen tank to her. When the oxygen tank ran out she passed away and by 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night she was pronounced legally dead.


thedtbmister


Nov 11, 2005, 9:26 AM
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I was one of Ms Windsors students and what I heard is that she tied her rope to a tree before she began repelling down the cliff and the tree broke and she fell 90 feet. And then the rescue team couldnt get to her so they passed down a oxygen tank to her. When the oxygen tank ran out she passed away and by 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night she was pronounced legally dead.


billl7


Nov 11, 2005, 10:51 AM
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In reply to:
A few posters mentioned Shelley adamantly endorsing a multi-point failure system to them. However, it is possible that she did this to advocate by-the-book methods to promote good habits (an admirable quality).

I don't know Shelly and so can't comment with respect to her. I'll just add that I would not think less of anyone solely because they teach one thing and on occasion does something else (not saying you meant this). I taught my kids to drive on the right side of the yellow line but there are untold occasions when I would not fault them for crossing over. IMHO, the hard nut to crack is to recognize and take appropriate measures for the assumptions (your's and other's) that are being violated.

On the subject of joining the slings with say a second biner: this was discussed somewhere early on in the thread and I believe that Curt plans to look around in this regard.


billl7


Nov 11, 2005, 11:03 AM
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I was one of Ms Windsors students and what I heard is that she tied her rope to a tree before she began repelling down the cliff and the tree broke and she fell 90 feet. And then the rescue team couldnt get to her so they passed down a oxygen tank to her. When the oxygen tank ran out she passed away and by 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night she was pronounced legally dead.

Thank you for the information. I had not heard that it was 90 feet.

Must be hard for her students to no longer have Ms. Windsor. I didn't know Ms. Windsor and it is still not easy.

Study hard for her! That is exactly what we are doing for her and us.


curt


Nov 11, 2005, 11:16 AM
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In reply to:
Here's another possibility I haven't seen posted yet: perhaps the slings were connected not directly to each other, but to a carabiner or a third sling.

Some climbers recommend avoiding the girth hitch, and using a locking carabiner to connect slings. For this anchor that means the biner would end up behind the tree, out of view. If it was not locked correctly (or not lockable, or its lock jammed), the gate could have opened by pressure against debris or against the tree itself. Then either a sling pops out the open gate, or the biner itself fails because its open-gate strength is too low. Either way the biner comes loose and is not found with the rest of the anchor...

According to the principal SAR individual within the Coconino County Sheriff's office:
In reply to:
No other gear was located at the tree which was believed to be the anchor point. When we arrived there was a rope attached to the tree
which had been used by bystanders to rappel down to assist with patient
care.

I agree with John Long that further speculation will probably not gain us much, until we have had the chance to visit the accident site.

Curt


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Nov 11, 2005, 2:11 PM
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I shall reinforce what Curt and John have suggested and that it that we all should hold off further speculation until further investigations from the actual site have been made.

In other words stop replying to this thread. Give the guys a chance to make the site visit. We can then start in on the new information.

Thanks to everyone for keeping things civil, you need look no further for the reason that this is absolutely imperative than the post made by one of her students. Her students and relatives are keeping watch over this thread, I hope we can do justice to Shelleys memory by arriving at some very conclusive findings that will help prevent any future accidents of this nature. In the mean time I eagerly await the findings from the site visit.

We are all extremely anxious to get to the bottom of this incredibly sad event.

Please hold any further thoughts until the boys have brought back their findings.


thrasher1


Nov 11, 2005, 4:03 PM
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I have been coming to this site all week, reading all the posts and trying to compose something myself that captures all the various emotions I've been feeling. There is certainly sadness, and even anger, that someone this special is "gone" - taken way too soon - but this has softened over the week, in talking to people and reading these posts, I know that Shelley isn’t truly gone, as she will live on through all of us who were fortunate enough to have known her - even if it wasn’t as long or as well as we would have liked.

Shelley, I suppose you’re up in heaven, already out exploring new areas and scoping out some challenging routes - please be sure to also find and put up some TR’s on some easier ones for the rest of us. :o
God bless,
Larry


jmlangford


Nov 11, 2005, 4:35 PM
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Here is Shelley about 1/2 way up "Moby Dick Center" at El Cap Base.

http://jodylangford.tripod.com/...erpictures/sw11a.jpg

Here she is making Bachar's Cracker look easy.

http://jodylangford.tripod.com/...derpictures/sw1a.jpg

Here is Shelley relaxing at the base of Manure Pile Buttress.

http://jodylangford.tripod.com/...derpictures/sw5a.jpg

We'll miss you Shelley.:(


Partner cracklover


Nov 11, 2005, 4:48 PM
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To Shelley's friends and family:

I did not know her, and I'm sorry to say that I have almost nothing to offer you. What I can offer is my most sincere condolences for your loss. I'm sure you understand by now that when a climber falls, the entire community of climbers stands by her, and you. We honor and salute her life. It's a horrible, horrible thing, and happens too often. What else can we do but come together and stand by your side? Any one of us could be next.

In a very small way, I share your pain. I hold only a tiny part of it, but there are very many of us, and when we all stand by you - well I hope it helps a little.

Gabe


babycousin


Nov 11, 2005, 7:57 PM
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she was my favorite cousin and i loved her. when i was camping she told me Molly I promise you I'll teach you how to rock climb
She was my babysitter and my favorite sorry guys but Shelly was my favorite and very funny and loving her death was a Madge pain for me

molly Brooks


majid_sabet


Nov 12, 2005, 12:48 PM
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This was on the news on 11/12/05.

Ty Young
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 12, 2005 12:00 AM

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/tempe/articles/1112t-climber12Z10.html

Customers at a Tempe rock-climbing specialty store are feeling a collective loss since learning that the store's owner died in an accident last weekend.

Shelley Windsor, 31, of Mesa, died when she fell more than 90 feet at a popular climbing area 30 miles west of Flagstaff. Windsor owned Over the Crux, a climbing and rappelling gear company located in the Phoenix Rock Gym in Tempe.

Paul Diefenderfer, owner of Phoenix Rock Gym, had known Windsor for three years and was shocked to hear of her death.
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"She was a very well-rounded climber," Diefenderfer said. "She was one of the safest people out there."

Diefenderfer said Windsor often discussed safety tips with others, detailing the importance of preparing for any situation.

Fellow climber and longtime friend Helen Palmaira said the community has lost more than just a safety advocate but also a vibrant life.

"She wasn't just a climber. She did so much more," Palmaira said. "The rest of us could only hope to do a percentage of what she accomplished in her life."

Windsor and a friend were rappelling down into Paradise Forks the morning of Nov. 5. The two had completed two rappels into the canyon and were preparing for their third when Windsor fell.

Her parents said she had secured herself to a tree, but the rope unraveled as she made her descent. It was unlike her to have only one safety point when rappelling, they said.

"Other climbers would often get frustrated with her because she would go over her safety points so many times," said Lucille Windsor, Shelley's mother. "We're all still puzzled as to why this happened.

Diefenderfer and others said they will remember her life, not the details of her death.

"Some people climb for fun, others because the sport runs through their veins," he said. "She definitely had a passion for it and others couldn't help but be affected."


rachellegibson


Nov 12, 2005, 1:33 PM
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Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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My name is Rachelle Gibson. I spoke at Shelley's funeral a couple of hours ago and had a couple of things to add. As I was trying to figure out how to capture Shelley in a five-minute time frame, I was looking through a book she had given me to read: Lynn Hill's autobiography. She was an inspiration to Shelley and I decided I wanted her input and I wanted her to know who Shelley was. Unfortunately, it was midnight, but I called anyway and half-way through the answering machine message she answered. I feel terrible for calling so late, but I told her about Shelley's accident, not really sure what I wanted from her. Anyway, she listened and said that sometimes it happens and we have to move on. I appreciate that advice and thank her for it as Shelley was laid to rest today.

In addition, I had jotted down some pieces of advice that Shelley would have given if she had been speaking at her funeral. In the nervousness of speaking, I didn't realize that I hadn't shared them. Here are the top 5:

5. Always keep learning
4. Take one tablespoon of black strap molasses every morning and you won't get sick.
3. Always check your work (math and climbing)
2. Take the time to smell the roses
1. Live every day as if it was your last.

Thanks,
Rachelle


climberchic


Nov 12, 2005, 4:21 PM
Post #267 of 280 (32730 views)
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Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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Rachelle,

Thank you for this and for your very touching eulogy today. It brought tears to our eyes and we could feel the hurt you were sharing with us.

We know that Shelley is in a better place and she would have been proud of the service and the turnout...


...if she hadn't ditched her own funeral to go climbing at Joe's :wink:

~Erica


granitegod


Nov 12, 2005, 4:49 PM
Post #268 of 280 (33155 views)
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Registered: Jan 20, 2003
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     Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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While improper sling placement/connection may have been the PRECIPITATING factor.in this accident, it is possible that other factors in the anchor's construction, Shelly and her partner's decisions, and their state of mind just prior to the accident, may have been CONTRIBUTING factors. So without trying to alter the general course of this thread (anchor analysis), I thought it might be important to consider the following:

Dave, one of the first responders/climbers nearby stated:

5. There was one single ~60m rappel rope with a figure 8 on a bite
6. The rope was “attached” to the anchor with a single locking carabiner
7. At the accident site the rope was in good shape with the knot and biner (still locked) attached

Curt also states that reportedly "her single line rappel was effected by connecting the rappel rope to a locking carabiner with a figure 8 knot on a bight".


Why did she attach the rope to the biner with a fgiure 8?

Was she not pulling the rope after she rappelled? Or had they used the exact same anchor and rope to rappel twice before, using another rope to climb with. I'm not familiar with Paradise, but it sounds like setting up a single rappel with a FIXED rope would make sense if one was doing several routes in close proximity to each other.

Did Shelly rappel first, and her partner witness the anchor's failure from the top of the cliff? How did he get down to her? Is her partner able to describe what happenned?

What were Shelly and her partner planning to do after the rappel? Were they trying to "squeeze in" one more route before work, and perhaps trying to go a little faster than previous rappels?

Others have noted that Shelly was almost annoyingly cautious and meticulous; if that's the case, I have a hard time believing she rapped off a single biner. I make it practice to always rappel or TR through a minimum of 2 lockers. This makes me think perhaps Shelly was in more of a hurry than usual - adding another biner would only take a second.

I look forward to hearing from those who visited the site of the accident today, to learn how big the tree was, how far from the edge, how high the rap was, etc. Once we know the facts, we may be able reach a reasonably certain conclusion as to what happenned.


iltripp


Nov 12, 2005, 6:06 PM
Post #269 of 280 (33155 views)
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Registered: Oct 5, 2003
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     Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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Perhaps this has been covered, but is it possible that both slings were extended from the tree and then clipped into the biner. In other words, each sling goes around the tree, and both ends of both slings are clipped to the same biner. Maybe it's very unlikely, but I've experienced a non-locked biner opening and unclipping. Maybe the locker (which was the non-redundant part of the system) wasn't locked and came open. Granted, the locker would've had to open and both slings would've had to unclip for this to happen...

I may not have all the facts here, so forgive me if I suggested something that has been covered or is not a possibility. I'm very interested to hear what you all find out at the site. Keep us posted.


climbsomething


Nov 12, 2005, 11:11 PM
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Registered: May 29, 2002
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     Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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In reply to:


Why did she attach the rope to the biner with a fgiure 8?

Was she not pulling the rope after she rappelled? Or had they used the exact same anchor and rope to rappel twice before, using another rope to climb with. I'm not familiar with Paradise, but it sounds like setting up a single rappel with a FIXED rope would make sense if one was doing several routes in close proximity to each other.
The Forks is a rap-in crag, but it also has a convoluted base system, so rap lines are really only semi-fixed if you want to move around the canyon. By my understanding, they started at Pillow Wall, completing safe raps and climbing back out, then moved to Gold Wall to follow the sun. Going from Pillow to Gold requires you to move your rap station, because though it's not terribly far, the hike is a major PITA. Jungley and choady.

Small world. I know Ty Young, the Republic reporter. Worked with him for a while at the campus newspaper. He's aces.


climbsomething


Nov 12, 2005, 11:15 PM
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Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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In reply to:
As I was trying to figure out how to capture Shelley in a five-minute time frame, I was looking through a book she had given me to read: Lynn Hill's autobiography. She was an inspiration to Shelley and I decided I wanted her input and I wanted her to know who Shelley was. Unfortunately, it was midnight, but I called anyway and half-way through the answering machine message she answered. I feel terrible for calling so late, but I told her about Shelley's accident, not really sure what I wanted from her. Anyway, she listened and said that sometimes it happens and we have to move on. I appreciate that advice and thank her for it as Shelley was laid to rest today.
Lynn Hill = classy lady


granitegod


Nov 13, 2005, 8:12 AM
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     Re: Learning from Shelley's accident [In reply to]
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I was just perusing the Paradise Forks route DB, and the photos of the Gold Wall section, where it sounds like the accident occurred. There is a photo linked to this section which shows Shelly belaying crackaddict on a route. In the photo, there is a separate rope hanging from the rim to their left which appears to be a fixed rap line. So perhaps Shelly and Mark were planning to use a similar strategy on the day of the accident. In the photo, the rope runs up over the edge of the rock; no slings are visible over the lip.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photo/photo_show.php?list_sort=highest_first&list_keyword=&list_category=0&list_filter_user_id=&list_comment_user_id=&list_per_page=25&list_album_id=&list_CountryStateID=&list_AreaID=&list_SectionID=3507&list_mode=approved&list_period=None&list_start=11&id=5041


granitegod


Nov 13, 2005, 8:16 AM
Post #273 of 280 (33155 views)
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     Re: Learning from Shelley's accident [In reply to]
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I was just perusing the Paradise Forks route DB, and the photos of the Gold Wall section, where it sounds like the accident occurred. There is a photo linked to this section which shows Shelly belaying crackaddict on a route. In the photo, there is a separate rope hanging from the rim to their left which appears to be a fixed rap line. So perhaps Shelly and Mark were planning to use a similar strategy on the day of the accident. In the photo, the rope runs up over the edge of the rock; no slings are visible over the lip.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/photo/photo_show.php?list_sort=highest_first&list_keyword=&list_category=0&list_filter_user_id=&list_comment_user_id=&list_per_page=25&list_album_id=&list_CountryStateID=&list_AreaID=&list_SectionID=3507&list_mode=approved&list_period=None&list_start=11&id=5041


steelmonkey


Nov 13, 2005, 9:19 AM
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Registered: Oct 10, 2002
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     Re: Learning from Shelley's accident [In reply to]
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My understanding is that the accident occurred over by East Of Eden, on the main part of the Gold Wall. Grievous Angel is on a small wall just left of and above the Gold Pond, while East of Eden is one of the highest parts of the canyon and right of the Gold Pond.

My best approximation:

http://www.steelmonkeyaz.com/accidentmap.gif


granitegod


Nov 13, 2005, 9:47 AM
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     Re: Learning from Shelley's accident [In reply to]
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Nice diagram. I thought the photo would help some non AZ climbers get a feel of the scene. It looks like the route in the photo is significantly shorter than where Shelley fell. And the diagram also helps one see how difficult and technical an evacuation of a seriously injured climber would be, nearly impossible without a stokes litter basket, and a crew of well trained rescuers, IMO.

The route DB mentions " the huge old juniper at the top is the easiest way to find this'n. [East]"

Wonder if the "huge old juniper" mentioned was her anchor.

And I shall now refrain from further comment until the investigators post again. No disrespect intended!


billl7


Nov 13, 2005, 9:51 AM
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Registered: Oct 13, 2005
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     Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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bump ....

In reply to:
I shall reinforce what Curt and John have suggested and that it that we all should hold off further speculation until further investigations from the actual site have been made.

In other words stop replying to this thread. Give the guys a chance to make the site visit. We can then start in on the new information.

Thanks to everyone for keeping things civil, you need look no further for the reason that this is absolutely imperative than the post made by one of her students. Her students and relatives are keeping watch over this thread, I hope we can do justice to Shelleys memory by arriving at some very conclusive findings that will help prevent any future accidents of this nature. In the mean time I eagerly await the findings from the site visit.

We are all extremely anxious to get to the bottom of this incredibly sad event.

Please hold any further thoughts until the boys have brought back their findings.


epic_ed


Nov 13, 2005, 11:06 AM
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Curt and Dale are heading up there today to retrieving the slings and go to the accident site. They will have more news later, after they've had a chance to thoroughly discuss their findings with all parties involved. In the meantime, I'm locking this thead. It will be reopened for discussion once Curt contacts me and has more information to provide.

Ed


epic_ed


Nov 13, 2005, 11:07 AM
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     Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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Curt and Dale are heading up there today to retrieving the slings and go to the accident site. They will have more news later, after they've had a chance to thoroughly discuss their findings with all parties involved. In the meantime, I'm locking this thead. It will be reopened for discussion once Curt contacts me and has more information to provide.

Ed


epic_ed


Nov 13, 2005, 11:08 AM
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     epic_ed locked this thread [In reply to]
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epic_ed has locked this thread.


tempeclimber


Nov 14, 2005, 4:47 PM
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Registered: Nov 7, 2005
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Re: Shelley Windsor... [In reply to]
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Rachelle,
Thank you for the post. I thought your eulogy at the funeral was perfect and appropriate. I can't imagine how hard it was for you to give it but I was glad you did.

On another note, my husband and I finished reading Lynn Hill's autobiography Friday night before the funeral. It seemed appropriate since we had started the book as a recommendation from Shelley. We used to tease her that she was just like Lynn Hill. I really think the two are very similar in their approach to life and climbing.
Julie


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