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climbaddic


Nov 9, 2005, 12:03 PM
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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?

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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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
Post #206 of 280 (34104 views)
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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
Post #207 of 280 (34104 views)
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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
Post #208 of 280 (34104 views)
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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
Post #209 of 280 (34104 views)
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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
Post #210 of 280 (34104 views)
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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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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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In reply to:
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.

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