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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 desertís sand.
Let my soul float free in some far and foreign land.
Let it be in summerís 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 someoneís 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.

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