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curt


Nov 8, 2005, 10:22 AM
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...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.

Id 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, its 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 didnt 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 cant 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 shes 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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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 didnt 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 didnt 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.

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