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Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall
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majid_sabet


Jun 24, 2007, 9:41 AM
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Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall
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FAYETTEVILLE — A Pittsburgh man was injured Saturday after falling about 40 feet while rock climbing in the New River Gorge National Park, a park ranger said.

About 3:30 p.m., the 33-year-old man fell and hit the ground in the Kaymoor area, an abandoned mining site near Fayetteville, said Frank Sellers, a ranger with the National Park Service.

The man, whose name was not released, was with one climbing partner, who attempted to break his fall using safety ropes, Sellers said.

http://sundaygazettemail.com/section/News/2007062340


lena_chita
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Jun 24, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Yeah, I heard it from my husband last night. He was there and retrieved the guy's quickdraws.

The route was Greenpiece-5.10b. The guy was almost at the shuts when he fell. I know exactly the spot b/c I've fallen there, too -- and I've seen at least 3 people fall at the same spot since then.

Except, unlike MY belayer, the girl who belayed this guy didn't catch him...

"attempted to break his fall using safety ropes"-- yeah, right. DH didn't see the fall itself, he just heard the rope swishing through the device and then a loud thud of the body... followed by a scream.

From what I heard (whatever the hearsay is worth) the belayer was very inexperienced, possibly lead belaying for the first time. The device was ATC-XP. There was probably still some friction when the belayer lost control of the rope, which slowed the guy down some, and he hit soft (relatively speaking) mud with his heels when he decked, which probably diffused some of the force, too.


Partner j_ung


Jun 24, 2007, 2:28 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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I heard about this last night, but had no details. I hope the guy's okay.


tobiasfunke


Jun 25, 2007, 9:28 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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There was no soft mud. It was hard packed dirt.

Does anybody know how the guy's doing? How bad his injuries are?

(This post was edited by tobiasfunke on Jun 25, 2007, 9:30 AM)


majid_sabet


Jun 25, 2007, 9:37 AM
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By Michelle James
Register-Herald reporter

The rock climber who was injured Saturday afternoon after falling about 40 feet in the New River Gorge area was listed in fair condition Sunday night, according to a spokesperson at Charleston Area Medical Center.

Frank Sellers, a ranger with the New River Gorge National River, said 33-year-old Weston Mark-ham of Pittsburgh, Pa., was about halfway to the top of the 75- to 80-foot rock, near the old Kaymoor Mine site in Fayetteville, when he plummeted to the ground.

Sellers said Markham, an experienced climber who had been to the area before, had traveled, with a climbing companion, down for the weekend.

Following Markham’s accident, Sellers said another climber called 911.

Because of the location of the rock, Sellers said emergency responders had to walk about a mile through the woods to get to Markham, who was carried out about 40 minutes later.

Sellers said Markham, who was transported, by HealthNet, from Fayetteville High School to Charleston Area Medical Center, was alert during the rescue and complained of pain in his arm, neck and back.

In addition to NPS officials, the Fayetteville Fire Department and the Fayette County High Angle Rescue Team also responded.


Partner j_ung


Jun 25, 2007, 12:46 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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That's about the extent of what I know, too. Talked to the climbing ranger today. He added that the two of them didn't actually know each other very well. Might be a case of not screening partners before roping up with them. He also told me the girl claimed the climber was out of sight, which I don't understand. There's clear line of sight from the base all the way up, IIRC. That leaves me wondering if perhaps it wasn't a different route. Flight of the Gumby maybe? (Yes, I see the irony. No need to point it out.)

The route in question, Greenpiece, is 10b. It's kind of a one move wonder, but the one move is tricky. Many a 5.10 climber has been surprised by it and either bailed or found him/herself airborne.


Partner j_ung


Jun 25, 2007, 12:47 PM
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Oh, also, that high crux is probably a bit higher than 40'. Closer to 60 maybe.


ja1484


Jun 25, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
That's about the extent of what I know, too. Talked to the climbing ranger today. He added that the two of them didn't actually know each other very well. Might be a case of not screening partners before roping up with them. He also told me the girl claimed the climber was out of sight, which I don't understand. There's clear line of sight from the base all the way up, IIRC. That leaves me wondering if perhaps it wasn't a different route. Flight of the Gumby maybe? (Yes, I see the irony. No need to point it out.)

The route in question, Greenpiece, is 10b. It's kind of a one move wonder, but the one move is tricky. Many a 5.10 climber has been surprised by it and either bailed or found him/herself airborne.


Greenpiece is definitely clear line of site bottom to top. Definitely sounds more like the climber was on Gumby, as that's the ONLY route I can think of in that section of Butcher's Branch where the leader can get out of sight of the belay.

Anyway, glad to hear the guy's ok, but this is why I don't pick partners lightly.


kostik


Jun 25, 2007, 1:44 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
Yeah, I heard it from my husband last night. He was there and retrieved the guy's quickdraws.

All right, I'm lena_chita's husband. This guy and the girl started with Flight of the Gumby, but I heard that it was too hard for her, so they moved to the left. The guy asked me if the route I was belaying was Boing. I said no. It was Bicycle Club and the Boing is around the corner. I pointed them at the Green Piece and Low Voltage as the easiest routes after FotG.

The guy was very cheerful and self-confident. He asked the girl if she minded to try the Green Piece. She was very shy and it looked like this was her first or one of the first climbing outdoors. They moved over. We finished with our route and the last I saw was this guy clipping the first draw on the Green Piece. He was doing it kinda awkward.

We went around the corner to the HArdcore female thrash. Then I heard girl's scream, buzz of the rope and a thud of impact. My friend next to me said, 'I don't like the sound of it.'

We went over and there was a group of climbers around the fallen guy. He was very pale, but breathing. There was some blood bubbling out of his mouth, but it could be from a broken tooth. He was complaining about lower back pain. He could move his feet and feel his toes.

His rope was clipped into the last bolt of the Green Piece. There were no draws at the chains. An ATC-XP was still on the rope a few feet above the ground.

There was a doctor and a first response expert among the climbers. They did everything very quick and professionally. The guy was extremely lucky to have them around. The FR guy was holding his head and neck still all the time until the paramedics came. The doctor was examining him, talking to him constantly to make sure he was conscious, and taking his vitals. Another young man was wiping blood and applying pads to the guy's bleeding lacerations.

So, what happened? As far as I heard, the girl and the guy had climbed together in the gym only twice. She did not even know his last name. It sounded like she was paying him the rope when he fell at the pumpy crux right below the chains. I've seen people taking 20 ft falls from this spot. It may actually benefit from an extra bolt.

She might have released her grip on the rope while giving him slack. As he fell, she panicked and could not grab the rope back.

He fell about 60 ft and hit this hard-packed dirt feet first. There were two craters. Then he skidded about 10-15 feet down the slope with rocks and roots on it.

Paramedics gave him an IV. I did not see how they transported the guy to the helicopter. Apparently it took some effort to carry him over the stream bed. With help of Melissa, an experienced trad climber from the Gunks, I took down his draws and the rope and gave them to a couple from New Jersey, Melissa and Scott. Scott ran up the hill with the guy's gear to deliver it to his car, helicopter, or whatever.

I did not climb any more that day. When we left, there were two O-shaped biners, a toothbrush and a roll of tape on a colored string on a rock, which could have belonged to the injured guy.


billcoe_


Jun 25, 2007, 2:28 PM
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Re: [kostik] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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kostik wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
Yeah, I heard it from my husband last night. He was there and retrieved the guy's quickdraws.

All right, I'm lena_chita's husband. This guy and the girl started with Flight of the Gumby, but I heard that it was too hard for her, so they moved to the left. The guy asked me if the route I was belaying was Boing. I said no. It was Bicycle Club and the Boing is around the corner. I pointed them at the Green Piece and Low Voltage as the easiest routes after FotG.

The guy was very cheerful and self-confident. He asked the girl if she minded to try the Green Piece. She was very shy and it looked like this was her first or one of the first climbing outdoors. They moved over. We finished with our route and the last I saw was this guy clipping the first draw on the Green Piece. He was doing it kinda awkward.

We went around the corner to the HArdcore female thrash. Then I heard girl's scream, buzz of the rope and a thud of impact. My friend next to me said, 'I don't like the sound of it.'

We went over and there was a group of climbers around the fallen guy. He was very pale, but breathing. There was some blood bubbling out of his mouth, but it could be from a broken tooth. He was complaining about lower back pain. He could move his feet and feel his toes.

His rope was clipped into the last bolt of the Green Piece. There were no draws at the chains. An ATC-XP was still on the rope a few feet above the ground.

There was a doctor and a first response expert among the climbers. They did everything very quick and professionally. The guy was extremely lucky to have them around. The FR guy was holding his head and neck still all the time until the paramedics came. The doctor was examining him, talking to him constantly to make sure he was conscious, and taking his vitals. Another young man was wiping blood and applying pads to the guy's bleeding lacerations.

So, what happened? As far as I heard, the girl and the guy had climbed together in the gym only twice. She did not even know his last name. It sounded like she was paying him the rope when he fell at the pumpy crux right below the chains. I've seen people taking 20 ft falls from this spot. It may actually benefit from an extra bolt.

She might have released her grip on the rope while giving him slack. As he fell, she panicked and could not grab the rope back.

He fell about 60 ft and hit this hard-packed dirt feet first. There were two craters. Then he skidded about 10-15 feet down the slope with rocks and roots on it.

Paramedics gave him an IV. I did not see how they transported the guy to the helicopter. Apparently it took some effort to carry him over the stream bed. With help of Melissa, an experienced trad climber from the Gunks, I took down his draws and the rope and gave them to a couple from New Jersey, Melissa and Scott. Scott ran up the hill with the guy's gear to deliver it to his car, helicopter, or whatever.

I did not climb any more that day. When we left, there were two O-shaped biners, a toothbrush and a roll of tape on a colored string on a rock, which could have belonged to the injured guy.

Thank you.

I gotta stop reading these stories.....


majid_sabet


Jun 25, 2007, 2:30 PM
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I should write a book full of stories


carabiner96


Jun 25, 2007, 3:02 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
I should write a book full of stories

I'd read it, provided it was all illustrated with microsoft art.


bent_gate


Jun 25, 2007, 3:42 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
I should write a book full of stories

About you and your omniscient expertise in the area? Someone already beat you to it:



Wink


alpinismo_flujo


Jun 25, 2007, 4:54 PM
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Yeah these reports are bummers. Man I have to be more selective on choosing belayers....

Hope the dude is ok.

Thanks to everyone that helped him! Cool


Partner drector


Jun 25, 2007, 5:23 PM
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Re: [alpinismo_flujo] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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alpinismo_flujo wrote:
Yeah these reports are bummers. Man I have to be more selective on choosing belayers....

Hope the dude is ok.

Thanks to everyone that helped him! Cool

I see people belaying and letting go of the rope with their brake hand on every trip to any crag. I'm not surprised that strnagers don't say anything but it sucks. I'm going to start being an ass and telling people they are belaying wrong.

I too hope the dude is okay. I also hope the belayer doesn't get too wrapped up in feeling like crap. It's likely that no one told her that catching a fall is hard and that letting go of the rope for any amount of time, no matter how short, can be diasterous.

Dave


medicus


Jun 25, 2007, 8:28 PM
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drector wrote:
alpinismo_flujo wrote:
Yeah these reports are bummers. Man I have to be more selective on choosing belayers....

Hope the dude is ok.

Thanks to everyone that helped him! Cool

I see people belaying and letting go of the rope with their brake hand on every trip to any crag. I'm not surprised that strnagers don't say anything but it sucks. I'm going to start being an ass and telling people they are belaying wrong.

I too hope the dude is okay. I also hope the belayer doesn't get too wrapped up in feeling like crap. It's likely that no one told her that catching a fall is hard and that letting go of the rope for any amount of time, no matter how short, can be diasterous.

Dave

Yeah... I have been reading through so many accidents that are belayer error... It made me realize that I am going to have to be more selective of who belays for me too. Which unfortunately leaves me with about 2 people that I'll let belay for me that I regularly climb with.


mikitta


Jun 25, 2007, 9:02 PM
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Glad the guy is in stable condition and hoping he won't have any residual issues (other than a hightened sense of safety and awareness of who he picks to belay his leads from now on).

You know what is really freaky? About a week ago (Father's Day) I took the kids hiking at NRG. We only did the top of the Endless Wall trail system and never went down any of the ladders. But the night before we went, I had this vision of someone grounding like that right in front of me. It's totally coincidental I'm sure, simply a product of my own imagination - as I often run over in my mind what I would do in such a circumstances. I even do it when I get ready for a road trip - think about how to deal with a MVA with multiple injuries and patients (I used to be an EMT and worked search and rescue and ski patrol - so it's an old habit). Really kind of disturbing that a real fall should occure so soon after my visit that is so similar to my personal musings.

I'll be adding this guy and his belayer to my prayers.

God Bless,
mik


wolfski


Jun 25, 2007, 9:02 PM
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Re: [medicus] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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i see people taking there breaking hand off the rope all the time when i go climbing. this is my first year climbing so i feel a little out of place being the noob and calling someone out, but do you think i should mention it to them? ive never taken my breaking hand off the rope but i do see people switch hands (always leaving one had on the rope), granted i dont think i would ever practice this technique because i could totally see it leading to bad habbits but do you guys consider it a safe means of belaying?


mikitta


Jun 25, 2007, 9:25 PM
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I was taught it is a cardinal sin to ever have a hand off the break. If you have to scratch your anatomy, you keep a hand on the break side of the rope. Period. I think it is ackward to hold the break with my left hand (opposing side from where I usually belay) so I try to keep scratching to my left hand so my right is ALWAYS on the break. With that said, there are a few times I've held the break with left hand to readjust something - but never near a crux and always with pleanty of communication with my lead climber - preferably when they are at a stance or tucked in bomb proof on a crack so I can do what ever it is fast and get back to being a safe belayer.

God Bless,
mik


squamishdirtbag


Jun 25, 2007, 9:42 PM
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What about palms up on the brake hand?
I always go palms down, but see people all the time goin up, totally doesn't seem right at all. Anyone held a big whip palms up?


crackrn


Jun 25, 2007, 9:48 PM
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Caught my husband on a 25 footer at Indian Creek with palms up. Not the hugest whip but pulled me up a decent amount. That's how he taught me to belay; tried it palm down after reading some posts here and felt totally insecure.


aerili


Jun 25, 2007, 10:09 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
From what I heard (whatever the hearsay is worth) the belayer was very inexperienced, possibly lead belaying for the first time.

Regardless of whether or not this girl was inexperienced, the story highlights the crucially serious role the lead belayer plays in climbing situations and how little regard some climbers look upon the skill involved.

In other "do I know how to belay?" threads on here, I have actually read posts by climbers who said they did not see what the big deal was, it only takes about five or ten minutes to learn how to lead belay properly, it's not rocket science, yadda yadda. I take note to avoid these people like Phoenix asphalt on a July day.


medicus


Jun 25, 2007, 10:40 PM
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aerili wrote:
I take note to avoid these people like Phoenix asphalt on a July day.

Lol... I don't know if it is just that I have been browsing the forums for too long today or what, but I found this funny.


On topic though, I would like to compile a list of belayer related accidents. Not necessarily just fatality related, so I don't know that the "statistical publication" is really what I am looking for... but just a list of different cases where the belayer should have saved the climber and didn't... After all the reading I've done today, I'd like to read what mistakes and/or techniques have led to ground falls and whatnot. Besides just searching through this site thread by thread, any suggestions from anyone? I may resort to just compiling a list of things on rc.com, but I don't want the list to have a bias of some sorts by just containing stuff from here.


overlord


Jun 26, 2007, 12:30 AM
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wolfski wrote:
i see people taking there breaking hand off the rope all the time when i go climbing. this is my first year climbing so i feel a little out of place being the noob and calling someone out, but do you think i should mention it to them? ive never taken my breaking hand off the rope but i do see people switch hands (always leaving one had on the rope), granted i dont think i would ever practice this technique because i could totally see it leading to bad habbits but do you guys consider it a safe means of belaying?

definitely. i even keep my hand on the break end even when belaying with a grigri (unless im feeding slack).


majid_sabet


Jun 26, 2007, 12:52 AM
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As I mentioned this many times before, such incidents are all about the leader with most experience.

The belayer did not know any better, you as the most senior and most experienced member of your 2 party team must insure that your life is in the right hand and well protected .

You put your life in the hands of a beginner, you are asking for injuries and or death.


socalclimber


Jun 26, 2007, 5:42 AM
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God I don't know how many times I have to say this, but if you are climbing with a person with limited to no experience, you might as well be soloing. Take this attitude, and you'll live a lot longer.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Jun 26, 2007, 5:43 AM)


notapplicable


Jun 26, 2007, 6:49 AM
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wolfski wrote:
i do see people switch hands (always leaving one had on the rope), granted i dont think i would ever practice this technique because i could totally see it leading to bad habbits but do you guys consider it a safe means of belaying?


The short answer would be that yes it is a safe practice while belaying and can add to your comfort and functionality under alot of circumstances, especially multipitch routes.

The longer answer, IMO would add the qualification that its only appropriate if you are ambidextrous enough to handle the rope properly and efficiently. The problem there (obviously) is that if a climber havent been belaying long enough to properly evaluate the safety of a belay tecnique then they could get your self into real trouble.

For all intents and purposes, I'm not ambidextrous. I can't eat, write or brush my teeth left handed but I can and do belay left handed (often placing the rope on that side of the ATC), I have caught falls that way and am completely comfortable. I would hate to recommend that you practice switch hitting and it go terribly wrong for you but I do think it is a useful tool to have at your disposal especially if you need to stay mobile to shorten a fall and using one hand over the other keeps the rope out from under your feet or when your belaying from above and you need to coil the rope on one side or the other.

If your not comfortable doing it and you can get by with out then dont. Just be aware that someday you may need to (even if its just to nurse a hand injury while hauling rope up a route with alot of drag) and then you may have to learn under less than ideal circumstances.


curator


Jun 26, 2007, 6:51 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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I was down there sunday as well. It sucked. And it made me rethink many of my views on climbing. I'm a guide here at the New and have had climbing training shoved down my throat for many years. I've always been told that folks should learn to use an atc and be proficient with it before picking up a grigri. It's the way I was taught as well. Also, as a guide, I find myself leading routes (well within my ability level) with someone that I just taught to belay.....aka soloing. I think this whole mentality needs to change. Give a beginner a grigri. If she had a grig this guy would be walking around right now, not dealing with years of rehab. And this girl wouldn't have to spend the rest of her life feeling guilty for almost killing a dude she barely knew. People think it's so important that the proper progression be used in teaching rock climbing. Tell me that again when you're standing there looking at a guy that is all fucked up and can barely breath. Most of these beginners will not go on to learn to trad climb, multi-pitch, etc. The majority of people at the crag on any given weekend are noobs and will remain so for life. Who gives a shit if they've never used atc's. Now the argument will come up....."Well, it's easy to fuck up with a grigri also, and drop someone if you don't already know how to use an atc." That's wrong. If you fuck up with a grigri it locks and gives an extra second to figure out what is happening. That same second that it takes for a body to fall 60 feet. From now on I'll be teaching beginners how to "look at the picture" and properly load a grigri, and how atc's are for advanced climbers only. As for the suggestion that green piece needs another bolt.....that is definitely not the answer. We're not in a gym.





notapplicable


Jun 26, 2007, 7:13 AM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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curator wrote:
As for the suggestion that green piece needs another bolt.....that is definitely not the answer. We're not in a gym.


Thank you for that. Dumbing down the route is never the answer to keeping dumb people safe.


curator wrote:
From now on I'll be teaching beginners how to "look at the picture" and properly load a grigri, and how atc's are for advanced climbers only.


This approch sounds reasonable aslong as people understand (as you obviously do) that grigri's are not a license to get relaxed. I think people are so dependent on technology (in every area of our lives) that some people act as though the grigri is going to do the belaying for them. People get dropped all day long with auto lockers and although there is a back up built into the device it is only as safe as the person using it is knowledgeable.

Again, dont take this the wrong way I agree with you that most beginners should learn with grigri's (redundancy is an integral part of safety in this sport) but I'm confident you would agree that if used improperly a grigri is just as deadly as any other belay device.


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 7:27 AM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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curator wrote:
Give a beginner a grigri. If she had a grig this guy would be walking around right now, not dealing with years of rehab. And this girl wouldn't have to spend the rest of her life feeling guilty for almost killing a dude she barely knew. People think it's so important that the proper progression be used in teaching rock climbing. Tell me that again when you're standing there looking at a guy that is all fucked up and can barely breath.

Mike, with all due respect, you're citing one accident and ignoring all the others that involved beginners with Gri-gris. I think you're missing the common thread, which is the inexperienced belayer. The only truly safe approach to this conundrum is not to lead AT ALL with an inexperienced belayer holding your rope alone, no matter what type of device he or she is using.

(Now, I know you're guiding and, sometimes, that's what guides do. But you also have the opportunity to exert a lot of control over your circumstances. You have skill and insight -- which the average climber does not possess -- that you can use to mitigate certain risks and bring them down to an acceptable level. And even then, as you mentioned, for all intents and purposes you're soloing.)

In reply to:
As for the suggestion that green piece needs another bolt.....that is definitely not the answer. We're not in a gym.

Damn right. Countless people have taken that fall and walked away unscathed. The belayer does his or her job and it simply isn't a problem.


bobruef


Jun 26, 2007, 7:29 AM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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The device is not the issue here. She could have just as easily messed up with a gri gri. There is no mechanical panacea for a beginner's impropper technique.


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 7:31 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
curator wrote:
From now on I'll be teaching beginners how to "look at the picture" and properly load a grigri, and how atc's are for advanced climbers only.


This approch sounds reasonable...

...under no circumstances I can imagine. Gri-gri or tube-style device is a false dichotomy. There are a whole range of other options.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jun 26, 2007, 7:33 AM)


Partner cracklover


Jun 26, 2007, 7:57 AM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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First off, my best wishes for a full and a speedy recovery to the fallen climber, and my best wishes to the belayer and all the friends and family.

Second, a big thanks to everyone who helped out!

Now... Curator, I know how shocking and how sad it is to be involved in an accident. And I feel for you. Honestly. So I'm tempted to let your statement slide. But I'm sorry, I can't do that, because I've seen where that mindset leads: to thinking that a gri-gri can substitute for a good belayer. If this is actually what you think, I'm sorry, but you're dead wrong.

I've been involved with carryouts where the belayer was using a gri-gri. I almost had to do one this last weekend at Rumney. There's nothing wrong with using a gri-gri, and in some situations, they're superior to an ATC, but in an incompetent belayer's hands, they're just as bad or worse than an ATC.

A gri-gri absolutely, positively, cannot replace a competent belayer.

I don't want to get into the stuff I've seen. This isn't the place. Maybe I'll start another thread. Not that it hasn't all been said before...

GO


curator


Jun 26, 2007, 8:02 AM
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Re: [bobruef] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Jay, of course you're right. i'm citing one incident. And of course my entire philosophy on rock climbing instruction cannot be summed up in a paragraph on the internet. But in response to bobruef's claim that "the device is not the issue here. She could just as easily messed up with a gri gri." Of course the belayer was at fault not the device but.....in this case in particular if she had a grigri this wouldn't have happened. That is a fact. If the belayer had a grigri instead of an atc we wouldn't have a seriously injured climber in the hospital. No one can argue that. She didn't catch the fall, the grigri would have done it for her. I don't want to berate the poor girl who dropped her partner, I feel bad for her. All I'm suggesting is, why not make climbing as safe as possible and as easy to learn as possible for the beginner. When you've got a beginner with a blank slate of a brain it's just as easy to teach proper grigri use as it is to teach proper atc use. And as a bonus the grigri offers an extra margin of safety. I apologize for my emotionally charged previous post and admit that it was a touch close minded. But I think this is a worth while debate to have and hope that knowledgeable folks will respond.


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 8:33 AM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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curator wrote:
Of course the belayer was at fault not the device but.....in this case in particular if she had a grigri this wouldn't have happened. That is a fact. If the belayer had a grigri instead of an atc we wouldn't have a seriously injured climber in the hospital. No one can argue that. She didn't catch the fall, the grigri would have done it for her.

I don't think we can safely make that assumption. I've seen and heard of substantially more accidents involving belayer-Gri-gri error than belayer-ATC error, so I'm left with the conclusion that Gri-gris are more difficult to operate safely. Add to this that I know how to use both and still think that an ATC is wildly simpler to use and I have to disagree with you on that point. All things being equal, if, by the end of the day, I'll be leading with an inexperienced belayer and I have teach him/her either the Gri-gri or the ATC, I think I'll still chose the ATC.

Not that it matter, though. The only circumstance in which I can picture myself actually leading like that is if I'm guiding. And as we discussed, if I'm guiding, I'm virtually soloing. I will assume that a fall means death and I'll rappel before I'll lower.

In reply to:
All I'm suggesting is, why not make climbing as safe as possible and as easy to learn as possible for the beginner.

I absolutely agree. I only disagree that this...

In reply to:
When you've got a beginner with a blank slate of a brain it's just as easy to teach proper grigri use as it is to teach proper atc use. And as a bonus the grigri offers an extra margin of safety.

Is the way to do it. I think the Gri-gri decreases the margin of safety in the hands of a beginner.

In reply to:
I apologize for my emotionally charged previous post and admit that it was a touch close minded. But I think this is a worth while debate to have and hope that knowledgeable folks will respond.

Dood, no apologies necessary. Smile


Dillbag


Jun 26, 2007, 8:39 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Let's debate the merits of belay devices in another thread and attempt for the first time in RC.com history to keep this one about the accident.

Wishing the best to the injured climber!


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 8:44 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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I posted this in a thread that actually spun off from this one, I think. Notice that, at no point in my post, does the type of belay device being used enter into the equation. Instead, it's entirely an issue of trust and belayer competency. Mike, I'll concede that some people are undoubtedly capable of teaching good Gri-gri use to a beginner, but even then, that beginner would be in my fourth tier.

j_ung wrote:
For me to really push my limits -- onsighting -- I have to be with one of those in the top tier. I don't pick the people in it. My trust in them, which is absolute and unflinching, is not something I can choose to give. When I'm maxed out, cruxing way above gear and I know the catch will have to be a gold glove winner, I'll either trust or not, commit or not, and there isn't an iota of conscious thought that goes into the decision. It's all gut instinct.

My second tier is a big one. I trust those folks, but only enough to push through a hard redpoint burn or on routes that are a little below my max. I have to convince myself to go for it. They hear, "Watch me," fairly often. They're close to top tier, but they just haven't quite earned my subconscious trust. They haven't done anything to not be in the top tier, but I like I said, I can't choose who's up there. Most of my regular partners are in this tier.

Third tier contains many people I've never climbed with and people who I think are good belayers, but maybe they haven't proven themselves yet. I'll climb with them, but I want to see them belay and hold falls first, and even then, I probably won't push it.

I won't let anybody in the fourth tier belay me without a back-up belayer who I trust. These folks are either inexperienced belayers or I've seen them belay and it scares me. Some of them are accidents waiting to happen. Some of them have dropped climbers. Some of them just don't seem quite comfortable with it yet, or maybe they use a belay technique that I don't like.


I'll add that the entire tiered system kind formed itself. It existed long before I ever recognized it and put it into words.


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 8:47 AM
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Re: [Dillbag] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Dillbag wrote:
Let's debate the merits of belay devices in another thread and attempt for the first time in RC.com history to keep this one about the accident.

Wishing the best to the injured climber!

You're probably right, but I think the fact that the prognosis is so good allows us a little leeway (as long as it stays polite). Had it turned out worse, I never would have gone there.

If a moderator wants to split the thread, I certainly won't complain.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jun 26, 2007, 8:49 AM)


majid_sabet


Jun 26, 2007, 9:15 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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If you are using a n00b to do your belay PLEASE
GIVE THEM A GRI GRI AND NOT an ATC


The chances of them locking a Gri Gri is 1%

The chances of them locking the rope with ATC is 0

Zero% vs. 1%

Which one sound better?

Ps
That 1% is by act of god when rope flies in to Gri Gri and get locked by a some miracle knot


markc


Jun 26, 2007, 9:35 AM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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curator wrote:
Of course the belayer was at fault not the device but.....in this case in particular if she had a grigri this wouldn't have happened. That is a fact.

I will agree that with a Gri-Gri the mode of failure would have been different. However, an inexperienced belayer could still fail to protect the leader with a Gri-Gri. I've heard of an accident where a belayer was pinching the cam to feed rope to the leader. When his partner fell, the belayer didn't release the cam and the climber decked. I've personally witnessed someone pulling the handle on a Gri-Gri all the way without a hand on the brake strand. It was very lucky that she released the handle when the climber yelled. An inexperienced belayer may have to do a bit more work to hurt someone with a Gri-Gri, but quite a few people have been willing to put forth that effort.


notapplicable


Jun 26, 2007, 9:49 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
curator wrote:
From now on I'll be teaching beginners how to "look at the picture" and properly load a grigri, and how atc's are for advanced climbers only.


This approch sounds reasonable...

...under no circumstances I can imagine. Gri-gri or tube-style device is a false dichotomy. There are a whole range of other options.

True, true, I've belayed many a slab pitch around the waist.Wink

Sure you can get a third person to back up the belay or use a back up above or below the device much like you would on rappel and under alot of circumstances this approach is appropriate. That being said an auto locking device doesnt rely on the belayer to create the friction needed to stop a fall and that (all things being equal, device threaded properly and belayer knowledgeable of its use) IMO reduces the potential for human error in catching a fall. Auto lockers are not the answer to fuck ups fucking up but I can see the logic in useing them to teach beginners aslong as the same care in teaching proper use of the device is take as you would with any other device, tube style, friction plate, 8, hip, foot, tree, etc...


overlord


Jun 26, 2007, 9:53 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
curator wrote:
Give a beginner a grigri. If she had a grig this guy would be walking around right now, not dealing with years of rehab. And this girl wouldn't have to spend the rest of her life feeling guilty for almost killing a dude she barely knew. People think it's so important that the proper progression be used in teaching rock climbing. Tell me that again when you're standing there looking at a guy that is all fucked up and can barely breath.

Mike, with all due respect, you're citing one accident and ignoring all the others that involved beginners with Gri-gris. I think you're missing the common thread, which is the inexperienced belayer. The only truly safe approach to this conundrum is not to lead AT ALL with an inexperienced belayer holding your rope alone, no matter what type of device he or she is using.

ditto that. i was actually dropped by an experienced belayer who was using a grigri for the first time. it switched hes brake hand and he tried to brake with the lead part of the rope (which would normally be the brake end). i was luckier than he though, he got some really nasty ropeburn.

and there have been other instances of ppl being dropped with a grigri. a guy that sometimes climbs with me in a gym (we havent yet been outdoors together) broke hes heel that way.


dbrayack


Jun 26, 2007, 11:04 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
If you are using a n00b to do your belay PLEASE
GIVE THEM A GRI GRI AND NOT an ATC


The chances of them locking a Gri Gri is 1%

The chances of them locking the rope with ATC is 0

Zero% vs. 1%

Which one sound better?

Ps
That 1% is by act of god when rope flies in to Gri Gri and get locked by a some miracle knot

I concur, except the "The chances of them locking a Gri Gri is 99.9%"


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 11:55 AM
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Re: [dbrayack] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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dbrayack wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
If you are using a n00b to do your belay PLEASE
GIVE THEM A GRI GRI AND NOT an ATC


The chances of them locking a Gri Gri is 1%

The chances of them locking the rope with ATC is 0

Zero% vs. 1%

Which one sound better?

Ps
That 1% is by act of god when rope flies in to Gri Gri and get locked by a some miracle knot

I concur, except the "The chances of them locking a Gri Gri is 99.9%"

In no way, shape or form is that an acceptable percentage to me. As mentioned above the best option -- by far -- is simply not to lead with an inexperienced belayer who isn't backed up. I can't imagine circumstances (outside of guiding) in which I have to lead climb so badly that I'll choose otherwise. I'll pick toproping (maybe) or bouldering, if I absolutely must climb and the only other person I can find has a 1 in 1000 chance of dirting me.

And FYI: Gri-gri-related accidents also occur when leaders fall while belayers are feeding rope, when belayers short rope lead climbers in the middle of desperate clips, and when belayers attempt to hold the load line instead of the brake when catching and lowering.

Actual accidents don't seem to bear out this notion that slapping a Gri-gri into the hands of an inexperienced belayer equals safety. Don't mistake what I'm saying here. I'm not telling you using an ATC is safer than using a Gri-gri. I'm telling you that, unless your belayer is competent, neither is really all that safe.

I can't even count the number of threads on this very site in which somebody was dropped by an inexperienced belayer with a Gri-gri. And in those threads, that person is inevitably told that what they needed wasn't a Gri-gri, it was to pick a better belayer.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jun 26, 2007, 12:07 PM)


dbrayack


Jun 26, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Personally, I think that the Gri-Gri and similar devices are making the ATC and the likes obsolete for most cases.

cough sputter cough Angelic


noell


Jun 26, 2007, 12:13 PM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Hey Mike,

Sorry you were down there for this whole thing, but then again, I am glad you were. I am sure that you and the others that were down there played a vital role in helping this guy out, and for that we thank you.

My brief $.02:

I have taken that ride many a-times when I was starting to lead 5.10's. Safe ride. No need for extra bolts.

I learned to belay w/an ATC, then a gri-gri. I was telling my partner last night how glad I was this was the order I learned to belay. If someone falls when I am belaying, the instinct is for me to lock down w/the brakehand, NOT to let go, NOT to clamp down on the gri gri, but to hold on to the rope the same way whether its w/a gri gri or ATC - LOCK down! Don't let go! Brake hand!!!

If I had learned w/a gri gri first, I don't know of my reflexes would be the same....

And to ditto what others said - I have heard of more stories of someone decking (Red, Rifle, Maple, Obed, New, whatever) while on belay w/a gri gri than ATC. But my experience is limited to a couple of years and to mainly sport crags.

Thanks again Mike. And to the others that helped. I will probably be down there this weekend! Yahoo!


dbrayack


Jun 26, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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I agree with you Jay, but just to argue the other point for kicks:

Consider the case when a climber is soloing on a Gri-Gri. Essentially, there is NO belayer whatsoever; You're just trusting the device to do its job. Granted this is not official use of a Gri-Gri, people do it all the time (and safely.) How is much different from handing a newer belayer a Gri-Gri, giving them a short lesson and then going for it?

Of course, common practice is to tie catastrophe knots (figure 8s so you don't zip all the way).

We really should talk about this in another forum.

WHen we get an update from the climber who fell, I'd certainly like to hear how he is doing. That sucks big time, you're in our prayers dude.

-Danno


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 12:18 PM
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Re: [noell] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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noell wrote:
Hey Mike,

Sorry you were down there for this whole thing, but then again, I am glad you were. I am sure that you and the others that were down there played a vital role in helping this guy out, and for that we thank you.

My brief $.02:

I have taken that ride many a-times when I was starting to lead 5.10's. Safe ride. No need for extra bolts.

I learned to belay w/an ATC, then a gri-gri. I was telling my partner last night how glad I was this was the order I learned to belay. If someone falls when I am belaying, the instinct is for me to lock down w/the brakehand, NOT to let go, NOT to clamp down on the gri gri, but to hold on to the rope the same way whether its w/a gri gri or ATC - LOCK down! Don't let go! Brake hand!!!

If I had learned w/a gri gri first, I don't know of my reflexes would be the same....

And to ditto what others said - I have heard of more stories of someone decking (Red, Rifle, Maple, Obed, New, whatever) while on belay w/a gri gri than ATC. But my experience is limited to a couple of years and to mainly sport crags.

Thanks again Mike. And to the others that helped. I will probably be down there this weekend! Yahoo!

I don't think I said it yet, but my thanks as well. It reaffirms my faith in the climbing community when an accident response is as thorough and effective as yours obviously was. Good on ya!

And, I've been climbing longer than any Gri-gri has and I concur. I've heard of more Gri-gri-related accidents than any other, except perhaps rappelling.


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Re: [dbrayack] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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dbrayack wrote:
Consider the case when a climber is soloing on a Gri-Gri. Essentially, there is NO belayer whatsoever; You're just trusting the device to do its job. Granted this is not official use of a Gri-Gri, people do it all the time (and safely.) How is much different from handing a newer belayer a Gri-Gri, giving them a short lesson and then going for it?

In the latter, you've added a person who may very well be incompetent to the equation. Your (in the figurative sense -- not YOU, DBRAYACK Tongue) mistake is in thinking that this is somehow better than letting a Gri-gri do its thing unmolested or, in the case of rope soloing, minded by the hopefully experienced climber.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jun 26, 2007, 12:29 PM)


medicus


Jun 26, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
If you are using a n00b to do your belay PLEASE
GIVE THEM A GRI GRI AND NOT an ATC


The chances of them locking a Gri Gri is 1%

The chances of them locking the rope with ATC is 0

Zero% vs. 1%

Which one sound better?

Ps
That 1% is by act of god when rope flies in to Gri Gri and get locked by a some miracle knot

That chances of my falling off a route where I would ACTUALLY allow an inexperienced belayer to lead belay me...
ATC- 1% because I can at least move up if s/he doesn't pay out slack quickly enough
Gri-Gri- 99% because it will indefinitely lock up when slack needs to be paid out pulling me off the climb.


That being said, I won't lead with an inexperienced belayer.


Partner j_ung


Jun 26, 2007, 12:30 PM
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Re: [medicus] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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medicus wrote:
That being said, I won't lead with an inexperienced belayer.

<high five> Word. Smile


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jun 26, 2007, 12:31 PM)


dbrayack


Jun 26, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
medicus wrote:
That being said, I won't lead with an inexperienced belayer.

<high five> Word. Smile

The thing is, Jay and I have climbed together for about a year now...but the first time we climbed together, I had no idea of his belay history. I just had to take it for granted that he was a competant belayer.

And granted, I had a really good indication that he was based on past histories, but imagine you show up at the crag solo, gravitate to a group and are climbing with them.

We ALL do this. Can anyone here say that they've never climbed with someone when they did not know their competence as a belayer?

Wouldn't you rather they belay you with a Gri Gri than an ATC?

Just a thought...

-Dan


papounet


Jun 26, 2007, 12:37 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
curator wrote:
Of course the belayer was at fault not the device but.....in this case in particular if she had a grigri this wouldn't have happened. That is a fact. If the belayer had a grigri instead of an atc we wouldn't have a seriously injured climber in the hospital. No one can argue that. She didn't catch the fall, the grigri would have done it for her.

I don't think we can safely make that assumption. I've seen and heard of substantially more accidents involving belayer-Gri-gri error than belayer-ATC error, so I'm left with the conclusion that Gri-gris are more difficult to operate safely. Add to this that I know how to use both and still think that an ATC is wildly simpler to use and I have to disagree with you on that point. All things being equal, if, by the end of the day, I'll be leading with an inexperienced belayer and I have teach him/her either the Gri-gri or the ATC, I think I'll still chose the ATC.

it is not only how many accident are reported with one device which is important, to really understand the risk; we would have to know how many novices use grigri vs. how many use tube-like devices.
If they were 2x as much accidents reported with grigri but 4x times as many operated by novice, then teh risk would be half.....

There are now more and more devices which do not have the "weakness" of the grigri ( under stress one may grip the handle and let the rope go).
Even the old Gigi does autoblock but it is a pain to use.

Although for an experienced belayer, the TRE deserve some very serious considerations for its multi-purposes and autoblocking features, the safest to date belay (not absolutely safest, just the safest to date) device is the EDDY (too bad it cost 25% more than the grigiri and 5x more than a tube device).

No, I am not getting any % from Edelrid. I wish I would ;-)

the eddy is lightly heavier than the grigri, it is also operated by one lever: pull a little to give slack WITH the colombus egg safety: pull too much , the rope is locked.


medicus


Jun 26, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Re: [dbrayack] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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dbrayack wrote:
j_ung wrote:
medicus wrote:
That being said, I won't lead with an inexperienced belayer.

<high five> Word. Smile

The thing is, Jay and I have climbed together for about a year now...but the first time we climbed together, I had no idea of his belay history. I just had to take it for granted that he was a competant belayer.

And granted, I had a really good indication that he was based on past histories, but imagine you show up at the crag solo, gravitate to a group and are climbing with them.

We ALL do this. Can anyone here say that they've never climbed with someone when they did not know their competence as a belayer?

Wouldn't you rather they belay you with a Gri Gri than an ATC?

Just a thought...

-Dan

The few times I have merged with a group, I observed a bit before I climbed and was able to assess which person I would pick to belay for me. I ended up having this one girl belay for me, and later on through discussion found out she had been climbing for 9 years, 4 of which she started trad leading.

Thinking back to all the people who I have allowed to belay for me, the only ones who have lead belayed me were experienced and competent. I have taught some people to belay at the gym, and I never climb higher than I'm comfortable taking a ground fall until I am able to assess that they are starting to catch on. Even then, I usually have a more experienced belayer standing there watching them, and they stick to top rope belaying...

I'm too freaked out at heights to not have a lot of confidence in my belayer.


dbrayack


Jun 26, 2007, 12:54 PM
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Re: [medicus] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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When I'm with someone knew, I tend to just not fall for the first couple...or say "FALLING" if i'm going to.


medicus


Jun 26, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Re: [dbrayack] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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dbrayack wrote:
When I'm with someone knew, I tend to just not fall for the first couple...or say "FALLING" if i'm going to.

If I am in a situation where I had to be belayed (assuming not just teaching in the gym or whatever) by someone inexperienced... I would treat it as free soloing... so I would not climb a hard route at all, and if for some chance I were to start to fall, I would think I'd yell too. I guess it's all about just minimizing risks... but at the same time, I have sat out numerous climbs because I did not feel comfortable with the belayers nearby... until the people I felt comfortable with made it back to the group I just had fun observing.


duckbuster_13


Jun 26, 2007, 1:10 PM
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Re: [carabiner96] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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carabiner96 wrote:
I'd read it, provided it was all illustrated with microsoft art.

ZING!


pylonhead


Jun 26, 2007, 1:22 PM
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Re: [dbrayack] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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dbrayack wrote:
When I'm with someone knew, I tend to just not fall for the first couple...or say "FALLING" if i'm going to.

I usually yell "falling" even with my experienced partners. I figure I might as well give that heads up to the person who is about to save my life.


curator


Jun 26, 2007, 6:00 PM
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Re: [pylonhead] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Just got back from work. I figured there would be a couple more pages on this topic and there are. I also had plenty of time to think about this in further detail. I read through all the previous posts. The general theme seems to be "the device is insignificant, it's the person holding it that matters." i agree. All I'm trying to say at this point is that the grigri adds an extra margin of safety. Let me tell ya a little story:
I was lowering Elissa off of 'tales of the sperm' at the obed. It's steep and traversing so as she gets closer to the ground it becomes increasingly difficult to clean the draws. Instead of cleaning the final draw and taking a huge swing into the forest i suggest that she stay clipped to my end of the rope, I'll build a ground anchor clip in and she'll slide down the rope toward me eliminating the giant swing. Anyone that's climbed with me knows that I have a ridiculous petzl freino biner for my grigri. (it's the one with that weird wire gate on the spine) So I clip my ground anchor to the wire gate on the back even knowing that it's not full strength I assume that it will hold for this minor task. Elissa unclips the first draw, comes taught on my rope, the wiregate pops open, and I'm dragged at high speed into a giant boulder. It hurt and I'm pretty sure my brakehand came off.
Ok. first off....I fucked up. I made a minor mistake that could have had huge consequences. I have over ten years experience using atc's. I've climbed thousands of pitches. I'm a rock climbing instructor. And yet I still managed to fuck up and make a mistake that could have killed my partner. IF I was using an atc. Which I wasn't, and now Elissa is enjoying a PBR instead of physical therapy. If Chuck Norris was belaying me with an atc I'd be pretty comfortable cause he's bad ass. But if a rock fell and hit Chuck Norris, or Chuck Norris was attacked by a swarm of bees, right at the moment I took a lead fall.... Chuck Norris would be carrying me out (not that that would be hard for him). Last point is: We can't look at climbing accident statistics to get an idea of which is more dangerous, atc's or grigris. Just like someone mentioned earlier we don't know statistically how many people use either one. And we don't know how many accidents were averted by grigris (like mine). Elissa is obviously not a statistic because the only injury was my bruised ass, thanks to the grig. I say....Use one, Chuck Norris would.
And one more thing: just to stir the pot a bit more...
Jay, explain to me how this accident at Kaymoor could still have occurred with a grigri in the equation. We only have to assume two things.
1. the belayer's brakehand was not sufficiently holding the brakeline and,
2. the rope was moving very quickly through the device. (it was, as evidenced by the injuries to the climber)
The device would have locked, there is no maybe about it.


(This post was edited by curator on Jun 26, 2007, 7:11 PM)


wolfski


Jun 26, 2007, 9:49 PM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Chuck Norris was attacked by a swarm of bees
chuck norris doesnt get stung by bees, bees get chucked norrised, dah


majid_sabet


Jun 26, 2007, 10:09 PM
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Re: [wolfski] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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I been posting accident report for years and never seen a post like this

Stories are coming out of dark room like never heard before

Chuck Nories
Climbing instructor
Flying in to wall with belay device.

I just have to wait for the next guy with his story.

keep it coming, just keep it coming , my eyes and ears are all yours.


bent_gate


Jun 26, 2007, 10:28 PM
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Re: [dbrayack] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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dbrayack wrote:
We ALL do this. Can anyone here say that they've never climbed with someone when they did not know their competence as a belayer?

Wouldn't you rather they belay you with a Gri Gri than an ATC?

Just a thought...

-Dan

It's interesting how everyone has their own equipment bias. Dan, to answer your question honestly, I feel safer with a "just met" belayer who has an ATC rather than a Gri Gri. Just my personal preference, perhaps because it is the device I prefer.

My main bias is if they seem new to the sport. On occasion I have asked a person I've just met specifically what their belay experience is. It probably sounds rude to some, but I feel if someone asked me the question it would be legitimate, and I would never be offended. I know people have to build up the psychological trust to climb well, and so I don't take it personally. But I have also skipped asking people about their belay experience plenty of times. (so what do I know)

Shouldn't people expect to have their belay experience questioned when they belay for a new person? Is there a reason that this is not part of the "Pre-Climb" safety check-list?

How would you feel if I asked about your belay experience at a crag? I really wonder if others feel the same. Are others offended?


majid_sabet


Jun 26, 2007, 10:41 PM
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Re: [bent_gate] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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If you know how to climb trad crack, I will not ask you a question.


notapplicable


Jun 27, 2007, 4:17 AM
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Re: [bent_gate] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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bent_gate wrote:
It's interesting how everyone has their own equipment bias. Dan, to answer your question honestly, I feel safer with a "just met" belayer who has an ATC rather than a Gri Gri. Just my personal preference, perhaps because it is the device I prefer.

I'm a bit conflicted when it comes to this issue. On one hand I suspect that the safest device for someone to use is the one they are the most comfortable with because it make sense to me that experience and knowledge of a device should = proficiency and proficiency should (to some degree) = safety. I personaly have only used a grigri a handful of times, all in a gym setting and I can tell you right now that I would not be nearly as comfortable belaying with and autolocker as a tube style. I believe that to some degree I would be more prone to mistakes with an autolocker than I would an ATC which I have used for years.

On the other hand I am more comfortable with being belayed with a tube style because of my familiarity with it and the subconscious trust I have it the simplicity and intuitive nature of the devices use.

The same thing applies to belay techniques. Being belayed with the palms up pinch and slide makes me very uncomfortable but when I try to look at it objectively I have assume that a persons proficiency with the method makes them safer than if I forced them to use my method. I know that I would be very awkward trying to belay using an alternative method from my own and I have to assume the same is true for other people.

So I guess what it comes down to is trust in the individual and their ability to use what ever methods and devices are most comfortable for them in a safe manner. Granted the climber needs to feel comfortable to push themselves but if you handed me a grigri and said "I would feel safer if you used this" I'm pretty sure you would in fact not be safer. Ultimantely its the person not the device that makes the belay safe or deadly.


bent_gate wrote:
Shouldn't people expect to have their belay experience questioned when they belay for a new person?

Yes.

bent_gate wrote:
How would you feel if I asked about your belay experience at a crag? I really wonder if others feel the same. Are others offended?

I wouldnt be at a offended, actualy it would make me feel a little better about partnering up with them if I knew they were giving conscious thought to our ability to climb safely together.


dbrayack


Jun 27, 2007, 4:52 AM
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Re: [bent_gate] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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bent_gate wrote:
dbrayack wrote:
We ALL do this. Can anyone here say that they've never climbed with someone when they did not know their competence as a belayer?

Wouldn't you rather they belay you with a Gri Gri than an ATC?

Just a thought...

-Dan

It's interesting how everyone has their own equipment bias. Dan, to answer your question honestly, I feel safer with a "just met" belayer who has an ATC rather than a Gri Gri. Just my personal preference, perhaps because it is the device I prefer.

My main bias is if they seem new to the sport. On occasion I have asked a person I've just met specifically what their belay experience is. It probably sounds rude to some, but I feel if someone asked me the question it would be legitimate, and I would never be offended. I know people have to build up the psychological trust to climb well, and so I don't take it personally. But I have also skipped asking people about their belay experience plenty of times. (so what do I know)

Shouldn't people expect to have their belay experience questioned when they belay for a new person? Is there a reason that this is not part of the "Pre-Climb" safety check-list?

How would you feel if I asked about your belay experience at a crag? I really wonder if others feel the same. Are others offended?

Yes, but there-in lies the problem.

What if they lie to you. Whether you ask them their experience or not, if they are inexperienced, they probably won't tell you because they don't want to be demeaned.

They may think that they're qualified enough, when reality they're not.

What if they're really just nervous about being put on the spot or maybe feel like they're not part of the group if they reveal their in-ability...

In my experience a good belayer is one who knows how to give me a good, easy "working a route" belay...you know, when you reef back up to a bolt after you fall, you don't get let down any. When you clip a sketchy bolt, they're ready to catch you if you blow it. If you're in a dangerous position, they know how to do their best...If its a clean fall, they let you fall a long way instead of taking tight. (Falling does not necessarily mean "take")

I have friends who prefer the Gri Gri and I have friends who prefer the ATC...if I'm working a route, I'd rather have a person belay me on a GRI GRI so they don't lower me 3 inches every time I take etc...

My brains not fuctioning yet...pardon the in-coherence.


markc


Jun 27, 2007, 6:04 AM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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curator wrote:
Jay, explain to me how this accident at Kaymoor could still have occurred with a grigri in the equation. We only have to assume two things.
1. the belayer's brakehand was not sufficiently holding the brakeline and,
2. the rope was moving very quickly through the device. (it was, as evidenced by the injuries to the climber)
The device would have locked, there is no maybe about it.

See my earlier post in the thread. As I said, the mode of failure would be different, but there are a couple plausible scenarios.


(This post was edited by markc on Jun 27, 2007, 6:04 AM)


Partner j_ung


Jun 27, 2007, 6:14 AM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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curator wrote:
Jay, explain to me how this accident at Kaymoor could still have occurred with a grigri in the equation. We only have to assume two things.
1. the belayer's brakehand was not sufficiently holding the brakeline and,
2. the rope was moving very quickly through the device. (it was, as evidenced by the injuries to the climber)
The device would have locked, there is no maybe about it.

No maybe?

Gri-gris have several potential failure modes. If the belayer applies pressure to the load strand, the cam won't lock. If it's threaded backwards, the cam won't lock. If the belayer is pinching the cam for slack as the climber falls, the cam won't lock. If the cord is too thin, the cam might not lock. If there's dirt/grit under the cam, it might not lock. If the belayer pulls the lever to lower without holding the brake, the rope will run free. Take your pick!

That similar accidents have occurred at all with Gri-gris completely disproves your assertion that there's no maybe about it.

I'm not saying there definitely would have been accident if she had been using a Gri-gri. I'm saying she's obviously not yet a competent belayer and, had she been using a Gri-gri, there still would have been an array of mistakes waiting to occur. Hence, we can't say for certain that she would have prevented this deck with a Gri-gri. IMO, his poor girl with less than minimal experience was a ticking time bomb regardless of the device.

The accident was caused by an error of judgment. Period. The climber shouldn't have left the ground with an inexperienced belayer. The belayer shouldn't have agreed to do so. Other, similar accidents, have occurred with Gri-gris. A quick search of RC.com's own forums reveals about an equal number of drops with tube-style devices and Gri-gris. This tells me -- beyond a shadow of a doubt -- that the device is irrelevant. What matters is the belayer's competency... or lack thereof.

To convince me otherwise, you'll have to show me a substantially greater number of ATC drops than Gri-gri drops. I don't believe you can do that.


markc


Jun 27, 2007, 7:18 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
Gri-gris have several potential failure modes. If the belayer applies pressure to the load strand, the cam won't lock. If it's threaded backwards, the cam won't lock. If the belayer is pinching the cam for slack as the climber falls, the cam won't lock. If the cord is too thin, the cam might not lock. If there's dirt/grit under the cam, it might not lock. If the belayer pulls the lever to lower without holding the brake, the rope will run free. Take your pick!

To add a couple more scenarios:

If the route is a slab, a fall might not generate sufficient force to engage the cam.

Other features can block the free movement of the cam. This could happen if the belayer is pulled into the rock or up to the first bolt. Fairly rare, but possible.


whoa


Jun 27, 2007, 7:39 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
A quick search of RC.com's own forums reveals about an equal number of drops with tube-style devices and Gri-gris. This tells me -- beyond a shadow of a doubt -- that the device is irrelevant. What matters is the belayer's competency... or lack thereof.

To convince me otherwise, you'll have to show me a substantially greater number of ATC drops than Gri-gri drops. I don't believe you can do that.

This reasoning would make sense if the total number of noob ATC and GriGri users were about the same. But I'd guess there are lots more ATC users, especially among beginners. So if there really are about equally many drops with both, that means not that the device is irrelvant but that the ATC is safer.

But your qucik forum search obviously isn't an ideal basis for estimates about total numbers of drops. I wonder if there are better stats to be had? Maybe from gyms that insist on one sort of device?


climbinwv


Jun 27, 2007, 8:18 AM
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I think woah is right. The average nOOb goes into a climbing store and buys a harness, rope, shoes, couple of biners, webbing, and probably an atc b/c they figure they are saving 50$ and it looks easier to use. Additionally, the person at the store probably reccomends an atc based on the fact that a person buying all this stuff at once is obviously either a nOOb or someone who got all their gear jacked. Based on my experience I usually don't see nOObs with bright shiny new grigri's. My point is that there are probably more nOObs with atc's in their soft supple hands. So it would stand to reason that there would be more atc accidents(nOObs=accidents) then with grigri's(which usually is something bought once a person has gotten more into the sport). My personal feeling is that a climber should learn how to safely use every belay device b/c you never know when you may need to use a device other than the one(s) you carry in your pack.


johanna2430


Jun 27, 2007, 9:47 AM
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Re: [climbinwv] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Seeing that I myself work at a climbing shop, I will agree that myself, and everyone else that works here would sell a newbie who walks into our shop who is looking to get a brand new set up, an ATC over any other device. And, I never really though about it until I started reading this thread, but, its not like something our whole staff stood around one day discussing what is better, or like our bosses made this rule that we all have to sell all beginners that walk into the shop an ATC. I think there are reasons for this. Personally, mine are the same as others mentioned in this thread. But mostly, its because it is what I learned on, and it has become intuitive. I have tried using a Gri Gri before, (just b/c it was required in a gym), and I felt totally insecure, and it made me feel like I never belayed before in my life. I would absolutely never use one outdoors. However, I can see the original guy's point that, had I say learned on a GriGri instead of a ATC, it could be just as intuitive for that person, and just as counter intuitive for them to say use an ATC one day. It is really neither here nor there. Its personal preference, and you should use what you know.

The point I wanted to contribute to your particular comments, was to disagree with the assumption that it is more likely that a beginner will start out with an ATC, and then as they gain more experience, will perhaps aquire a GriGri. I totally disagree, as I personally understand the Gri Gri to be more of a beginners belay device to begin with, which is why it is used by so many climbing gyms around the country, for its supposed "fail safe" self-locking mechanism for beginners who do not otherwise know how to properly belay with the more standard ATC device. Which really, the "self-locking mechanism" just sounds good on paper for insurance companies for the gyms, as any experienced climber knows that they are just as prone to accidents as anything else. It boils down to the person using it.

Not to mention the fact that, from the day climbing ever became a sport, back in the early part of the century, but for this argument I'll say the 1950's and on, the basic idea of belay devices had not changed too dramatically, in the case of the ATC (Im a firm believer in the "If its not broke, dont try to fix it" mentality). That is until, gym climbing became so popular 15 yrs. ago or so. I am not even 30, and I personally witnessed gym climbing blow up. I remember specifically when the local climbing store started carrying these new things called GriGri's, and when they first started selling them, I was told it was made for sport climbing primarily. I think the guy even even told me it was a piece of junk ! (although I will agree that the technology for GG's is probably much better even compared to then).

But, in general, other than for maybe the occasional self-belaying uses for soloing, or a very small margin of particular use, I personally dont know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device. And I work and live in one of the best climbing areas on the east coast. I see alot of old climbers and new climbers every day. Maybe its just that way where I live, and not so in other places. Ill never really know.

Bottom line: I think what makes a beginner come in and ask us about buying a Gri Gri vs. a ATC, (which again is rare actually), has more to do with them having a slightly more experienced, yet still begginner friend who tells them to buy one (and I quote," My friend, who is a really good climber at our local gym in the city, told me this is what I needed to buy), OR, its b/c they see this seemingly easy, more technical looking, sexy piece of shiny equipment hanging on the pegboard, and they have daddy's money to burn through, and want to look cool at the gym, and choose to buy it, assuming that it is better without ever using it. Seriously. These are the reasons. People have even admitted to them. I have even straight up had a guy come in and say they wanted to buy a gri gri b/c he saw a cool ad in a magazine for one.

And so. Honestly, I personally dont have anything against a GriGri. I just think people should use what they know the best. I personally would have no problem jumping on a rope with a belayer using one, as long as they know it like a part of their own body. I just mainly wanted to share my personal experience with the types of people that I see buying them from a retail standpoint.

Hope this helps :)


climbinwv


Jun 27, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Re: [johanna2430] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Belay devices have not changed that much in 60yrs? WTF!!!! Your lucky my dad can't figure out how to use the internet or you would be getting flamed right now! I showed my dad a Cinch and he just shook his head and pulled an old beat up figure 8 out of his gear closet and made me feel like a loser for spending 70$. What do these newfangled belay devices do for climbers? Nothing any old-timers with a figure 8 or sticht plate couldn't do 60yrs ago. Shouldn't you be able to use/demonstrate proper belay with all devices you sell in your store? If not maybe you should just stay in the shoe/crashpad section. This thread has degenerated from a horrible story of a climbing accident to johanna's history of climbing/retail sales background. Let's face it, people are always gonna argue about which belay device is best. I'm selling all my devices on e-bay and going back to the Old School Hip/Body Belay....anyone wanna go climbing?


johanna2430


Jun 27, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Re: [climbinwv] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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climbinwv wrote:
In reply to:
Belay devices have not changed that much in 60yrs? WTF!!!!
Well actually, I was referring to a figure 8 device in addition to an ATC, as they both have 2 SEPERATE HOLES where the rope gets fed thru. SAME BASIC IDEA. I was saying that the GRIGRI is much different from a basic ATC and/or Figure 8. Excuse me for not being more articulate.
In reply to:
Shouldn't you be able to use/demonstrate proper belay with all devices you sell in your store?
And how did you somehow extract the idea from what I wrote, that we DONT show our customers how to use a GRIGRI? Obviously we do. We wouldnt be one the most renowned rock/ice stores on the east coast if we didnt. I guess I made the mistake of assuming that it goes without saying.
In reply to:
If not maybe you should just stay in the shoe/crashpad section. This thread has degenerated from a horrible story of a climbing accident to johanna's history of climbing/retail sales background.
Sounds to me like you have way too much time on your hands, and on the contrary, your unecessary, not so constructive comments are more about your own need to GRANDSTAND on this otherwise constructive forum, than it is about me sharing my personal experience from a retail perspective on the particular subject of gri gris. Which, needless to say, so far has been alot more valuable than yours.


bobruef


Jun 27, 2007, 11:15 AM
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Re: [johanna2430] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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johanna2430 wrote:
And how did you somehow extract the idea from what I wrote, that we DONT show our customers how to use a GRIGRI? Obviously we do. We wouldnt be one the most renowned rock/ice stores on the east coast if we didnt. I guess I made the mistake of assuming that it goes without saying.

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh


markc


Jun 27, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Re: [climbinwv] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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climbinwv wrote:
Belay devices have not changed that much in 60yrs? WTF!!!! Your lucky my dad can't figure out how to use the internet or you would be getting flamed right now! I showed my dad a Cinch and he just shook his head and pulled an old beat up figure 8 out of his gear closet and made me feel like a loser for spending 70$.

To check out the progression of belay devices, check out a stitch plate and a figure 8. Compare that to the ATC and the Pyramid. Now check out the Jaws, ATC-XP, etc. Then look at the Reverso and ATC-Guide. That's not examining the Gri Gri or the Cinch. You'd be hard-pressed to find one area of climbing where R&D has stagnated. Look at skinny slings and ropes, new cam developments, and ultra-light biners.

climbinwv wrote:
What do these newfangled belay devices do for climbers? Nothing any old-timers with a figure 8 or sticht plate couldn't do 60yrs ago.

Well, some do let you belay directly off the anchor and go hands-free if you wish. Some let you belay two seconds at once, which a figure 8 doesn't lend itself to. I wouldn't be in a rush to go back to the good old days of hemp and hip belays, despite your kind offer.


climbinwv


Jun 27, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Re: [johanna2430] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Gotcha! You said you felt totally uncomfortable using a grigri, but you feel comfortable enough to teach someone how to use it? Secondly, this is NOT a constructive forum...This forum was supposed to be about a climber who fell. There are plenty of belay device forums for your oh so informative discourse. Maybe it's that the grigri is too phallic for you. This would explain your preference for devices with 2 holes, something you are more familiar with.Tongue


johanna2430


Jun 27, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Re: [climbinwv] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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You have got to be kidding. You are an idiot. Grow up.


(This post was edited by johanna2430 on Jun 27, 2007, 11:43 AM)


Partner j_ung


Jun 27, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Re: [markc] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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markc wrote:
To check out the progression of belay devices, check out a stitch plate and a figure 8.

But start with hips and hands!


roy_hinkley_jr


Jun 27, 2007, 11:48 AM
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Re: [climbinwv] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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climbinwv wrote:
What do these newfangled belay devices do for climbers? Nothing any old-timers with a figure 8 or sticht plate couldn't do 60yrs ago.

Errr, neat trick since the belay plate and figure-8 didn't exist back then. The Sticht wasn't invented until about 1968 and the first figure-8 from Clog dates to around 1972. Before that it was basically the waist belay (or some even older versions).


markc


Jun 27, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
markc wrote:
To check out the progression of belay devices, check out a stitch plate and a figure 8.

But start with hips and hands!

You're right that you need to go back to the old hip belay if you want to get in at the ground floor (if you allow that the body is a device). It's good to have in the bag of tricks, but nothing I want to use with regularity!


medicus


Jun 27, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Re: [bent_gate] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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bent_gate wrote:
dbrayack wrote:
We ALL do this. Can anyone here say that they've never climbed with someone when they did not know their competence as a belayer?

Wouldn't you rather they belay you with a Gri Gri than an ATC?

Just a thought...

-Dan

It's interesting how everyone has their own equipment bias. Dan, to answer your question honestly, I feel safer with a "just met" belayer who has an ATC rather than a Gri Gri. Just my personal preference, perhaps because it is the device I prefer.

My main bias is if they seem new to the sport. On occasion I have asked a person I've just met specifically what their belay experience is. It probably sounds rude to some, but I feel if someone asked me the question it would be legitimate, and I would never be offended. I know people have to build up the psychological trust to climb well, and so I don't take it personally. But I have also skipped asking people about their belay experience plenty of times. (so what do I know)

Shouldn't people expect to have their belay experience questioned when they belay for a new person? Is there a reason that this is not part of the "Pre-Climb" safety check-list?

How would you feel if I asked about your belay experience at a crag? I really wonder if others feel the same. Are others offended?

I totally would not feel offended, but I would probably feel more comfortable climbing with you. Now if we climbed together a lot and you always asked me... I might get mad. But that's the only way you would offend me there.


Partner j_ung


Jun 27, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Re: [medicus] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Laugh

"Hey, have you belayed a lead climber before?"

"You mean... other than you for the past five years in a row?"


reg


Jun 27, 2007, 11:57 AM
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Re: [markc] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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markc wrote:
j_ung wrote:
markc wrote:
To check out the progression of belay devices, check out a stitch plate and a figure 8.

But start with hips and hands!

You're right that you need to go back to the old hip belay if you want to get in at the ground floor (if you allow that the body is a device). It's good to have in the bag of tricks, but nothing I want to use with regularity!
also: across the shoulder blades and over the shoulder if belay from the top - be sure to lash the belayer to a tree


climbinwv


Jun 27, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Re: [roy_hinkley_jr] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Sorry, I just used the 60yrs b/c that is when joanna decided modern climbing started. I realize that belay devices didn't begin to develop until climbing really started to catch on in the early 70's. My dad swears he has a figure 8 he bought in the summer of love (69'). Before that...clove hitch?


markc


Jun 27, 2007, 12:06 PM
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Re: [climbinwv] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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climbinwv wrote:
Before that...clove hitch?

That would be a damn slow belay. I'd go with the munter.

Edit to add I have no idea when the munter hitch came into use.


(This post was edited by markc on Jun 27, 2007, 12:09 PM)


Partner cracklover


Jun 27, 2007, 12:10 PM
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Re: [johanna2430] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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Johanna, respectfully - stick to what you know. The part about what you sell to newbies actually *is* informative.

By the way, where exactly is it that you work?

Cheers,

GO


iknowfear


Jun 27, 2007, 12:22 PM
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Foot belay - never Forget !!!

scnr ;-)


climbinwv


Jun 27, 2007, 12:25 PM
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my bad....that's what i meant....i switch'ed my hitch'ed!Crazy


johanna2430


Jun 27, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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well, thanks markc for all of your comments. After all of this, you bet I will stay away from making broad sweeping statements for the sake of streamlining an argument. Instead, I'll prepare myself with lots of juicy facts from the internet. P.s - thanks to those of you who did the homework for me, and who made otherwise valuable contributions to this thread :)

Cracklover: As to where I work, well. Im sure you can understand how I wouldnt want to disclose that info. The risk of having nutjobs from internet forums coming in to "show me a thing or two" about climbing, is alot more likely than I previously imagined :P


(This post was edited by johanna2430 on Jun 27, 2007, 12:29 PM)


medicus


Jun 27, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Re: [johanna2430] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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johanna2430 wrote:
well, thanks markc for your comments. After all of this, you bet I will stay away from making broad sweeping statements for the sake of streamlining an argument. Instead, I'll prepare myself with lots of juicy facts from the internet. P.s - thanks to those of you who did the homework for me, and who made otherwise valuable contributions to this thread :)

As to where I work, well. Im sure you can understand how I wouldnt want to disclose that info. The risk of having nutjobs from internet forums coming in to "show me a thing or two" about climbing, is alot more likely than I previously imagined :P

Lmao


microbarn


Jun 27, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Re: [markc] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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markc wrote:
climbinwv wrote:
Belay devices have not changed that much in 60yrs? WTF!!!! Your lucky my dad can't figure out how to use the internet or you would be getting flamed right now! I showed my dad a Cinch and he just shook his head and pulled an old beat up figure 8 out of his gear closet and made me feel like a loser for spending 70$.

To check out the progression of belay devices, check out a stitch plate and a figure 8. Compare that to the ATC and the Pyramid. Now check out the Jaws, ATC-XP, etc. Then look at the Reverso and ATC-Guide. That's not examining the Gri Gri or the Cinch. You'd be hard-pressed to find one area of climbing where R&D has stagnated. Look at skinny slings and ropes, new cam developments, and ultra-light biners.

Sounds like a challenge....

Tape

underwear (weaker because I know there are wicking underoos now, but generally only alpine climbers use them)


markc


Jun 27, 2007, 1:03 PM
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microbarn wrote:
markc wrote:
climbinwv wrote:
Belay devices have not changed that much in 60yrs? WTF!!!! Your lucky my dad can't figure out how to use the internet or you would be getting flamed right now! I showed my dad a Cinch and he just shook his head and pulled an old beat up figure 8 out of his gear closet and made me feel like a loser for spending 70$.

To check out the progression of belay devices, check out a stitch plate and a figure 8. Compare that to the ATC and the Pyramid. Now check out the Jaws, ATC-XP, etc. Then look at the Reverso and ATC-Guide. That's not examining the Gri Gri or the Cinch. You'd be hard-pressed to find one area of climbing where R&D has stagnated. Look at skinny slings and ropes, new cam developments, and ultra-light biners.

Sounds like a challenge....

Tape

underwear (weaker because I know there are wicking underoos now, but generally only alpine climbers use them)

Yeah, that underwear comment won't hold water! I think you have me on the tape, though. Since it's athletic tape, can we claim the other sports are holding us back?


Partner cracklover


Jun 27, 2007, 1:19 PM
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Re: [johanna2430] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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johanna2430 wrote:
Cracklover: As to where I work, well. Im sure you can understand how I wouldnt want to disclose that info. The risk of having nutjobs from internet forums coming in to "show me a thing or two" about climbing, is alot more likely than I previously imagined :P

Hey, with a name like Cracklover, I've got to be kind of a nutjob, don't I!?

Seriously, though I can understand if you're worried about your privacy. All I meant was that if, for example, you worked at a certain famous shop in New Paltz, that would of course radically bias the gear you sold, as well as the outlook in general.

See, it's a great big world out there, and having a regional bias is fine, until you start using it to refer to universal issues, or to issues where different rules apply. That's something that causes a lot of argument/misunderstanding on the net. I guess it kind of does that everywhere in life, huh?

Cheers!

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Jun 27, 2007, 1:20 PM)


havass


Jun 27, 2007, 2:09 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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I just read in the paper about how a boyscout was also injured at the gorge. Apparently the troop was using one of the access ladders at Endless Wall. To my understanding, the boy slipped and fell a little over 15 ft into a crack. I am not aware of the extent of his injuries
In reply to:


majid_sabet


Jun 27, 2007, 2:22 PM
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havass wrote:
I just read in the paper about how a boyscout was also injured at the gorge. Apparently the troop was using one of the access ladders at Endless Wall. To my understanding, the boy slipped and fell a little over 15 ft into a crack. I am not aware of the extent of his injuries
In reply to:

He felt 30 feet in two steps but not by climbing or bouldering

Guys please stay within topic or I will ask MODS to ban you all.


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Jun 27, 2007, 2:22 PM)


rockrat512


Jun 27, 2007, 2:48 PM
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Re: [johanna2430] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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to quote johanna2430

"I personally dont know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device. And I work and live in one of the best climbing areas on the east coast. I see alot of old climbers and new climbers every day. Maybe its just that way where I live, and not so in other places. Ill never really know"

Wow..it took this post to bring me out of the wood work. I agree with all of the posters who suggest that its not device failure but human failure. One should be exposed to a myriad of devices.. but use what they are most comfortable with and applicable to a given situation. Ive been climbing for 36 years and I stay pretty light during climbing season. When I started it was with a hip belay and I held some whips with much heavier climbers and it wasn't fun. When Sticht plates came along I embraced that technology once I got over initial concerns, and onward through tube styles to the Gri-gri.The Gri-gri remains my device of choice for most any situation other than multi-pitch where I dont dont want to carry an additional device for descent. Johanna, I'm guessing you work near the Gunks and I could possibly see where the Gri-gri hasnt taken hold given its dearth of sport climbs but the inference that "advanced climbers" dont use Gri-gris is a pretty broad statement and smacks of eliteism..I climb with older very experienced climbers (some of us still bumbling up 13s
as we enter our "back 50") as well as strong young folks and it boils down to preference...but the vast majority actually have embraced the Gri-gri. A Gri-gri or other auto locker very well may have salvaged a very sad situation here..maybe not...however the debate over equipment is all mental masturbation..WHATEVER someone chooses to use to belay, it is their responsibility to be competent in its use or defer belaying until they are and its the leaders ultimate responsibility to know a little bit about whom they are trusting their life to.


curator


Jun 27, 2007, 2:54 PM
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All right Jay, it's on. you and me, greenpiece. You belay, I take the whip ten times onto a grigri with five feet of slack between it and your brakehand. I aint scared. If at any time it fails and your brakehand becomes a factor in catching my skinny carcass....I'll eat my hat. We can even pack that bitch with dirt and use a 9.0 mil line. Then we'll try it with an atc and see what happens. uhhhh.... Ok I'm kidding about the atc part. Lets keep this lighthearted and productive. Let me backpedal a little. An inexperienced belayer is a timebomb and as you said "an array of mistakes was waiting to occur". Climbing is inherently dangerous and there are always an array of mistakes waiting to occur. All I'm trying to drive home at this point is that in my opinion the grigri adds one more element of safety. let's go ahead and say "in an experienced belayers hands". Of course if you grab the load strand the cam on the grigri may not lock but it certainly won't lock on an atc. O% chance. This incident in particular...inexperienced belayer using atc doesn't catch lead fall. Would there have been a greater chance of catching that fall with a grig? I think 100% personally but I guess we'll have to settle for "a greater chance". And what we're trying to do is stack the odds in our favor. I would like to hear from the belayer in this scenario. It's possible that she's been following along in utter disgust at our desensitization to this horrible accident. Would she have liked a little mechanical advantage to help catch the whip? How about the guy in the hospital? So the response to that is "well lots of people get dropped by grigri's" lets ask them as well. I'm guessing that there are lots of atc dropped people thinking "man, I wish they had had a grigri", and very few people dropped by grigri's thinking "man, I wish they had had an atc". If you get dropped by a grigri the same scenario could have happened with an atc. if you hold the grigri wide open with no brakehand the climber decks, no brakehand with an atc the climber decks. same same. The grigri is essentially an atc with a moving cam. at the core of the grig is an atc. It just happens to lock up when it gets jerked. If we took a grigri and a torch welder and welded that cam arm to the housing we'd be left with an atc. granted it would run a bit smooth, not as much friction as these new toothy devices, but essentially we'd have an atc. so with equivalent amount of training, (there is a way to feed slack through the grigri without taking off the brakehand, similar to an atc) we can add an element of safety to climbing. Whatever, I'm done. I hate this soapbox feeling. Jay and I can talk about this some time at the crag when he's catching my ten whips. i'm sure we'll talk and laugh and agree to disagree. And Jay, I very much respect your opinions and have enjoyed playing devil's advocate.


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Jun 27, 2007, 3:04 PM
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curator wrote:
All right Jay, it's on. you and me, greenpiece. You belay, I take the whip ten times onto a grigri with five feet of slack between it and your brakehand. I aint scared. If at any time it fails and your brakehand becomes a factor in catching my skinny carcass....I'll eat my hat.

LaughLaugh

Wait... what kind of hat is it?

Right back atcha on the respect thing, Mikey. Whip ten times on anything and I got your back. Smile


curator


Jun 27, 2007, 3:16 PM
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Re: [rockrat512] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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rockrat, high five. I know I said I'd be gone but i just read this and felt like my head would explode....Johanna 2430 "I personally don't know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a grigri for their main belaying device." Uhhhhh.....Whether we like it or not, advanced climbers use grigri's almost one hundred percent. Locals here at the new....everyone I climb with uses a grigri and I think we're climbing "advanced" routes. Trad and sport. I've been to nearly every major climbing destination in the states and some outside and seen grigris outnumber atc's three to one. And if you think that me and the people I see at the crag aren't "advanced" enough. Get on youtube and watch the hundreds of movies starring Chris Sharma, David Graham, Tommy Caldwell, climbing sport and trad. Rumney or el cap. I challenge you to find an atc in the picture. Jesus Christ, I have to get out of here.


medicus


Jun 27, 2007, 3:57 PM
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"I think 100% personally"

This is where the problem with the gri gri is... I own a gri gri, I use a gri gri, but I do not rely on the gri gri locking mechanism 100%. I still brake on a gri gri like I would with my ATC. For a first time belayer, I prefer to teach on the ATC, develop the habit of keeping a hand on the break all the time, then transitioning into the gri gri if they want to. That way, less reliance is placed on the devices locking mechanism, and the few times that the gri gri doesn't lock, the belayer will hopefully be experienced enough to know that they can still brake on it like an ATC. I just personally think it teaches better belay habits for a beginner to learn on the ATC than transition if s/he feels it is appropriate. I think I developed this philosophy about the gri gri, because I watched an inexperienced belayer drop a friend a good 25 feet or so before she finally released the lever and the rope was able to catch the falling climber. At this point, the rope stretch actually allowed him to smack the ground, and then it kind of pulled him up a bit to where he was no longer on the ground. No one got hurt, but I got to see the whole inexperienced issue factor into the barely avoided fall. I think it is far to easy to have more confidence in the gri gri than the atc...and so teaching practices are often more relaxed with the gri gri. This is what happened with the nearly dropped climber. Lol, his name is Jay actually too... but he is not on this forum, so don't confuse that with the many jay's on here. I think I feel more comfortable with a belayer who is at least competent enough to use an ATC. If the belayer is not competent enough to use the ATC, I don't really want to climb with him/her using a gri gri.

I think it just worries me that so many people put SO much trust into the gri gri, and not necessarily using common sense with belay techniques.

Another friend of mine (same group that taught the girl to belay with the gri gri) was doing a simul. rap. with a gri gri. The route was slightly overhanging for its entire 80 foot length. Near the top when he had just gone over the edge his foot got caught in a crack. Instead of just releasing the lever he panicked and ended up being held upside down by his foot in the crack. It's the simple things in easy to resolve situations where someone that has really only used gri gri just panics and ends up getting hurt or hurting someone else.

The ATC by all means is not a "fail proof" device, and it's obvious. With my personal experiences though, people who learn with the ATC are more attentive and keep better habits when learning. The gri gri just allows sloppy technique early on that when a situation where panic can step in, the established braking associated with the ATC could prevent such stories.

I think it's this "fail proof" attitude that is given to the gri gri that ends up getting people hurt. Establishing a belief that that no matter what the belayer is personally responsible for keeping a climber from being dropped is much easier on the ATC than it is the gri gri because, "Hey it's alright the gri gri will catch them if anything goes wrong. Just make sure you let go of everything and it will do all the work for you!" You cannot say that in any shape way or form with the ATC... because it WILL not catch the climber if the user does not use it properly. I think the ATC just teaches the proper mind set much easier than a gri gri will.

All that being said, I'll reiterate; I belay with both and climb with the rope down below attached to both.


(This post was edited by medicus on Jun 27, 2007, 4:05 PM)


johanna2430


Jun 27, 2007, 7:58 PM
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but the inference that "advanced climbers" dont use Gri-gris is a pretty broad statement and smacks of eliteism..
In reply to:


Look. I was not trying to infer anything of the sort; I was just stating my personal experience about what I have SEEN with my own eyes; on the mountains and in the shop. I agree with cracklover's idea that it may have alot to do with the general region I have been climbing (although I have been climbing in more than one state, so Im not sure if this theory makes up for 100% of my experience), or even that it may have to do with whom I am climbing with. However, I did try my best to offer an objective point of view, and make it clear that this is only my own personal experience. This is also precisely why I included several disclaimers of saying that I myself dont have anything against GRIGRIs, and that device choice is more of a personal preference, etc, etc. I think I left room for muliple disclaimers in there.....

Anyway, other than making the mistake of not being more articulate in my argument that the basic idea of belay devices having 2 holes for a rope to feed through, which sounded like much more of a broad sweeping statement than I originally intended, I certainly wasnt inferring anything that you are saying.

My goodness, I think this may be the second time I have ever posted on one of these public boards, and I have certainly learned alot from it. About how easily people take offense. Especially about their belay device of choice....


(This post was edited by johanna2430 on Jun 27, 2007, 8:09 PM)


tantrikclimber


Jun 27, 2007, 9:58 PM
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johanna2430 wrote:

....I personally dont know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device. And I work and live in one of the best climbing areas on the east coast. I see alot of old climbers and new climbers every day. Maybe its just that way where I live, and not so in other places. Ill never really know.

I don't know what your definition of "advanced climber" is but I'll tell you that in sport-climbing in North America, 90% + climbers who climb atleast 5.12 and over use GGs...that percentage goes up as the grades get harder. period.


medicus


Jun 27, 2007, 10:07 PM
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tantrikclimber wrote:
johanna2430 wrote:

....I personally dont know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device. And I work and live in one of the best climbing areas on the east coast. I see alot of old climbers and new climbers every day. Maybe its just that way where I live, and not so in other places. Ill never really know.

I don't know what your definition of "advanced climber" is but I'll tell you that in sport-climbing in North America, 90% + climbers who climb atleast 5.12 and over use GGs...that percentage goes up as the grades get harder. period.

Around here, that is not necessarily true. I would guess this is probably more in the 50/50. So not period. As someone mentioned earlier, this could very well be an argument based on different regions.


majid_sabet


Jun 28, 2007, 12:24 AM
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Weston Markham smashed his elbow and needed surgery on his spine to walk again after falling about 40 feet during a rock climb in the New River Gorge.

Rescuers trekked a mile through the woods to get to Markham at an abandoned mining site in the Kaymoor area on Saturday, and he was carried out 40 minutes later and flown to Charleston.

Despite the harrowing experience, Markham hopes to be discharged in a day or two and plans to be climbing again as soon as he's able.

"Yeah, definitely," Markham said Wednesday from his room at Charleston Area Medical Center's General Division. "It's worth it to me."

First, with the help of family and friends, there will be outpatient visits to a trauma center back home in Pittsburgh and months of rehabilitation.

The New River Gorge National River, which is visited by more than 1 million people each year, is a popular climbing area in the eastern United States with more than 1,400 established routes. The sandstone cliffs range from 30 to 120 feet in height with an abundance of crack and face routes that favor the experienced climber, according to the National Park Service.

Markham, 33, has been to the gorge countless times since he started going while attending Virginia Tech. After a long hiatus, he got back into rock climbing last summer and resumed his weekend trips to the gorge.

Markham is a sport climber, a common form in which safety ropes are clipped to anchors or bolts that are already secured in the rock. There also are the more extreme forms of trad (ropes and tools but no bolts) and solo (no bolts or ropes) climbing.

The goal of sport climbing is "to push yourself to the limit as to how hard you can climb, and the rope is there in case you do fall," Markham said. "I fell, but the rope did not catch me."

Markham didn't want to go into detail about why it happened. National Park Service Ranger Frank Sellers said a climbing partner tried to break Markham's fall using the rope on the 75-to-80-foot cliff.

"Someone made a mistake," Markham said. "Essentially it did boil down to human error, as do many climbing accidents."

At least four people have died in rock-climbing accidents in West Virginia since 2001. Two deaths occurred in Pendleton County, one was at Pinnacle Rock State Park in Mercer County and the other occurred in woods in rural Fayette County.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates 3,875 people were treated in emergency rooms for mountain climbing-related injuries in 2006, compared with 4,078 people in 2005 and 4,051 in 2004. The statistics include injuries related to rock climbing, its apparel and equipment.

Markham wasn't even the latest hurt in a fall in the gorge. On Tuesday, a 14-year-old boy fell 30 feet while climbing in the area.

The boy, whose name wasn't released, was part of a Boy Scout troop based in Stafford, Va., said Chief Park Ranger Gary Hartley. A rescue team raised him up a cliffside by rope and he was conscious when transported to Charleston Area Medical Center, Hartley said.

It wasn't immediately known how many Scouts and guides were present or the type of equipment involved. The Park Service didn't immediately return a telephone message Wednesday

Markham, who also enjoys hiking and biking, said the key to sport climbing is to understand exactly what's going to happen at all times, including what might happen in case of a fall.

"Some of that unfortunately is experience, but as a beginner you can have somebody tell you all the rules," he said. "When you're sport climbing, you always have someone else there. Make sure if you see somebody doing something that doesn't seem safe, to let them know."


healyje


Jun 28, 2007, 1:29 AM
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tantrikclimber wrote:
I don't know what your definition of "advanced climber" is but I'll tell you that in sport-climbing in North America, 90% + climbers who climb atleast 5.12 and over use GGs...that percentage goes up as the grades get harder. period.

Grigri use goes up with grades in direct proportion to the amount of dogging going on. Dogging routes working them is the principal if not the sole reason why the grigri is used by 90% of sport climbers. A lot of noise is often made to the contrary - but it's the hanging, not the climbing, that drives what device most folks use.


lena_chita
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Jun 28, 2007, 7:19 AM
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majid_sabet wrote:
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Weston Markham smashed his elbow and needed surgery on his spine to walk again after falling about 40 feet during a rock climb in the New River Gorge.

...

Despite the harrowing experience, Markham hopes to be discharged in a day or two and plans to be climbing again as soon as he's able.
...

Thanks for an update. I hope his rehab and recovery goes as smoothly as possible...


Partner j_ung


Jun 28, 2007, 7:50 AM
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healyje wrote:
tantrikclimber wrote:
I don't know what your definition of "advanced climber" is but I'll tell you that in sport-climbing in North America, 90% + climbers who climb atleast 5.12 and over use GGs...that percentage goes up as the grades get harder. period.

Grigri use goes up with grades in direct proportion to the amount of dogging going on. Dogging routes working them is the principal if not the sole reason why the grigri is used by 90% of sport climbers. A lot of noise is often made to the contrary - but it's the hanging, not the climbing, that drives what device most folks use.

Ding! Winner. Laugh


binrat


Jun 28, 2007, 7:55 AM
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Majid:
Thanks for the update. To echo Lena definitely hope his recovery goes well.

Binrat


Partner j_ung


Jun 28, 2007, 8:02 AM
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majid_sabet wrote:
On Tuesday, a 14-year-old boy fell 30 feet while climbing in the area.

The boy, whose name wasn't released, was part of a Boy Scout troop based in Stafford, Va., said Chief Park Ranger Gary Hartley. A rescue team raised him up a cliffside by rope and he was conscious when transported to Charleston Area Medical Center, Hartley said.

It wasn't immediately known how many Scouts and guides were present or the type of equipment involved.

FYI: This accident occurred at the Fern Point climbers' access. Typically, people using this access do so off belay; the type of equipment involved was a hand line.

Wendy and I went out there Tuesday afternoon to volunteer to schlep gear or a litter. But when we got there, the kid was already in the ambulance and ready to hit the road. Word is he was also awake and alert for the whole thing. Apparently, he lost his grip on the handline, which is pretty easy to do if you're climbing out pumped from a hard day and loaded with a pack. He first hit ground at the middle section next to the tunnel, rolled backward and took the bonus ride. Ugh! Glad he's okay.


tantrikclimber


Jun 28, 2007, 9:44 AM
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healyje wrote:
tantrikclimber wrote:

Grigri use goes up with grades in direct proportion to the amount of dogging going on. Dogging routes working them is the principal if not the sole reason why the grigri is used by 90% of sport climbers. A lot of noise is often made to the contrary - but it's the hanging, not the climbing, that drives what device most folks use.

Yup, I refuse to belay somebody without a GG on their projectCool


majid_sabet


Jun 28, 2007, 11:23 AM
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Smile

this is where you want the best of the best to belay you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHQ9pWEG9dE


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Jun 28, 2007, 12:12 PM)


papounet


Jun 28, 2007, 12:07 PM
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j_ung wrote:
healyje wrote:
tantrikclimber wrote:
I don't know what your definition of "advanced climber" is but I'll tell you that in sport-climbing in North America, 90% + climbers who climb atleast 5.12 and over use GGs...that percentage goes up as the grades get harder. period.

Grigri use goes up with grades in direct proportion to the amount of dogging going on. Dogging routes working them is the principal if not the sole reason why the grigri is used by 90% of sport climbers. A lot of noise is often made to the contrary - but it's the hanging, not the climbing, that drives what device most folks use.

Ding! Winner. Laugh

I would have said hanging and ease to give slack
Which is why some climbers use various devices according to the style they climb that day:
aid: 99% grigri
in the gym with preplaced rope= toprope: mostly grigri (as in France and in Belgium, if you are a beginner you can get a grigri on loan from the gym)
sport: some grigri
trad: less
mutlipitch: less and less
from moutaineering: none


Partner cracklover


Jun 28, 2007, 12:21 PM
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papounet wrote:
I would have said hanging and ease to give slack
Which is why some climbers use various devices according to the style they climb that day:
aid: 99% grigri
in the gym with preplaced rope= toprope: mostly grigri (as in France and in Belgium, if you are a beginner you can get a grigri on loan from the gym)
sport: some grigri
trad: less
mutlipitch: less and less
from moutaineering: none

I agree with the premise, but disagree with some of your numbers.

Yes, Aid = 99% grigri (it's so useful to have on hand)
Gym = depends on where you are. If you're in an area which is mostly trad climbing, (New England) you'll see gyms with mostly ATC use. That's why France and Belgium...
Sport = >85% gri gri
Trad = <10% gri gri

GO


forkliftdaddy


Jun 29, 2007, 6:18 AM
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j_ung wrote:
He first hit ground at the middle section next to the tunnel, rolled backward and took the bonus ride. Ugh! Glad he's okay.

Dang, I've considered that fall a few times, looked over the edge, and considered how I would try to spot someone headed that way. Quite a fall, and it is amazing to me that kid is okay.


Partner j_ung


Jun 29, 2007, 6:28 AM
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forkliftdaddy wrote:
j_ung wrote:
He first hit ground at the middle section next to the tunnel, rolled backward and took the bonus ride. Ugh! Glad he's okay.

Dang, I've considered that fall a few times, looked over the edge, and considered how I would try to spot someone headed that way. Quite a fall, and it is amazing to me that kid is okay.[/quote

No kidding. But, better that ladder than the Honeymooners. That one scares the crap outta me sometimes. Somebody PM-ed me about a month ago and told me the handline in the Honeymooners crevice was about to go. I jogged out there the next day with a new rope and, sure enough, the bowline at the end was on on it's very last leg. The end of the rope was less than a mm from disappearing into the knot. If you're backing down that thing using the handline and it fails, you're dead and so is everybody behind you.

I hope everybody here knows (and if not, you do now) there are several ways to get something dangerous fixed at the New.

1. Fix it yourself. Replace old tat. Snug up loose bolt hangers (just snug, do not overtighten).
2. Report it via the NRAC website -- www.newriverclimbing.net
3. PM me here at RC.com. I can usually get out and fix whatever the problem is within a week or so. And if not, I'll pass it on to somebody who can.


lena_chita
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Jun 29, 2007, 7:10 AM
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j_ung wrote:
I hope everybody here knows (and if not, you do now) there are several ways to get something dangerous fixed at the New.

1. Fix it yourself. Replace old tat. Snug up loose bolt hangers (just snug, do not overtighten).
2. Report it via the NRAC website -- www.newriverclimbing.net
3. PM me here at RC.com. I can usually get out and fix whatever the problem is within a week or so. And if not, I'll pass it on to somebody who can.

Good to know.

My very first trip to the New, we brought my then-2yo daughter. We didn't know anything, didn't have guidebook-- nothing. And the guy who took us on that trip thought nothing of taking us to the Endless wall via Honemooner's ladder. I don't know what he was thinking-- I guess he wasn't? Kostik carried her in the backpack up and down that ladder, and luckily we didn't become an accident statistics from something random like the toddler grabbing DH's hair at the wrong time. I still can't believe that I didn't veto it! From then on, we have been sticking to the "kids with us = no Endless wall" rule. I hate the part when you are stepping from the top of the ladder to the rock as it is, without worrying about my child in the pack.


clausti


Jun 29, 2007, 8:04 AM
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j_ung wrote:
forkliftdaddy wrote:
j_ung wrote:
He first hit ground at the middle section next to the tunnel, rolled backward and took the bonus ride. Ugh! Glad he's okay.

Dang, I've considered that fall a few times, looked over the edge, and considered how I would try to spot someone headed that way. Quite a fall, and it is amazing to me that kid is okay.

No kidding. But, better that ladder than the Honeymooners. That one scares the crap outta me sometimes. Somebody PM-ed me about a month ago and told me the handline in the Honeymooners crevice was about to go. I jogged out there the next day with a new rope and, sure enough, the bowline at the end was on on it's very last leg. The end of the rope was less than a mm from disappearing into the knot. If you're backing down that thing using the handline and it fails, you're dead and so is everybody behind you.

I hope everybody here knows (and if not, you do now) there are several ways to get something dangerous fixed at the New.

1. Fix it yourself. Replace old tat. Snug up loose bolt hangers (just snug, do not overtighten).
2. Report it via the NRAC website -- www.newriverclimbing.net
3. PM me here at RC.com. I can usually get out and fix whatever the problem is within a week or so. And if not, I'll pass it on to somebody who can.

I, too have considered that fall out of the chute at the fern ladders. glad that kid is gonna be OK!! that is a hell of a ride.

for what its worth, i usually cant/dont climb that handrope (at fern) in the up direction with my pack on, for that exact reason. i climb it unencumbered and then have my pack passed up to me, or pass it up first. concerning the honeymooner ladders, climbing those things at the end of a long day scares the crap out of me pretty much always. i've long joked that they are 5.2r/x, though i very much hope we have no occasion to solidify those ratings.

thanks for fixing that tat, jay!!!


clausti


Jun 29, 2007, 8:12 AM
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in a separate post, so as not to confuse them...

i am really glad the guy that fell at kaymoor is gonna be OK, though it sucks *horribly* that this happened. as for you ppl in the grigri/atc debate, in this case it truly is completely irrelevant. what the belayer HAD was an atc, and a terrible accident happened.

as far as the implied neccecity of a "mechanical advantage" in the form of a gri gri, for catching that whip.... i have caught that particular whip myself a couple of times. i lead belay with an ATC. (i find the proccess of feeding slack on a grigri to be too slow, and to be awkward) i have never found it to be a problem. though my climbing partners usually outweigh me by 30-40 lbs or more, i have never dropped someone, i have never accidentally let the rope slip too far, i have never let go, no matter how high i was pulled up, where i was kicked, whose ass ended up in my face. the problem is NOT the belay device.


bobruef


Jun 29, 2007, 8:29 AM
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j_ung wrote:


I hope everybody here knows (and if not, you do now) there are several ways to get something dangerous fixed at the New.

1. Fix it yourself. Replace old tat. Snug up loose bolt hangers (just snug, do not overtighten).
2. Report it via the NRAC website -- www.newriverclimbing.net
3. PM me here at RC.com. I can usually get out and fix whatever the problem is within a week or so. And if not, I'll pass it on to somebody who can.

You da man Jay!


mikitta


Jun 29, 2007, 9:09 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I hope everybody here knows (and if not, you do now) there are several ways to get something dangerous fixed at the New.

1. Fix it yourself. Replace old tat. Snug up loose bolt hangers (just snug, do not overtighten).
2. Report it via the NRAC website -- www.newriverclimbing.net
3. PM me here at RC.com. I can usually get out and fix whatever the problem is within a week or so. And if not, I'll pass it on to somebody who can.

Good to know.

My very first trip to the New, we brought my then-2yo daughter. We didn't know anything, didn't have guidebook-- nothing. And the guy who took us on that trip thought nothing of taking us to the Endless wall via Honemooner's ladder. I don't know what he was thinking-- I guess he wasn't? Kostik carried her in the backpack up and down that ladder, and luckily we didn't become an accident statistics from something random like the toddler grabbing DH's hair at the wrong time. I still can't believe that I didn't veto it! From then on, we have been sticking to the "kids with us = no Endless wall" rule. I hate the part when you are stepping from the top of the ladder to the rock as it is, without worrying about my child in the pack.


Hehe, Lena, when I took the kids to the New a few weeks ago, and we walked the Endless Wall trail - we stuck to the top. I took a look at the honeymooner ladders and said NO WAY they were getting on those things without a roped belay - and my kids are 8 and 9 years old. I can only imagine the stress you endured with your little one in a pack!

God Bless,
mik


psprings


Jun 29, 2007, 10:26 AM
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The real key in prevention is a simple secret...

Climb SLAB!

Instead of free-falling, you'll get a thorough friction-slow-down free of charge (well maybe some skin if you're wearing shorts and short sleeve shirts)!

OK, who am I kidding, it'd still be very injury inducing, but at least you'd have time to kiss the rock goodbye on the way down...


neoamhas


Jun 29, 2007, 3:52 PM
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This is an update on the guy who was dropped at Butchers, just in case any of you f*ckers care.........


"I just wanted to update you all on the condition of Weston Markham, the climber who was dropped at BB last weekend. I have visited him a few times at CAMC and he is doing remarkably well, considering the severity of the accident. He broke his elbow (he had surgery to repair it on Sunday), one of his toes, his sternum, a few teeth, and 3 of his vertebrae (1 cervical, 1 thoracic and 1 lumbar). But he is not paralyzed. The Thoracic break (T11) was the most serious and required surgery yesterday, which went very well. He is in good spirits and he and his family are very grateful for all of the help that he received at the time of the accident. His father believes that his outcome has much to do with how well he was cared for at the crag. He is hoping to be well enough to be transported to a Pittsburg hospital in the next day or two.

Thought you would be interested in hearing how he was doing."


mikitta


Jun 29, 2007, 8:01 PM
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Thank you neoamhas :)

Those are some very severe injuries (consistent with mechanism) Considering that he landed feet first it is amazing he only had one lumbar vertebra injured but didn't have any pelvic injuries as well. He will walk again, and likely he will climb again!

Still praying for he and his family through this.

God Bless,
mik


bent_gate


Jun 29, 2007, 9:09 PM
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j_ung wrote:
No kidding. But, better that ladder than the Honeymooners. That one scares the crap outta me sometimes. Somebody PM-ed me about a month ago and told me the handline in the Honeymooners crevice was about to go. I jogged out there the next day with a new rope and, sure enough, the bowline at the end was on on it's very last leg. The end of the rope was less than a mm from disappearing into the knot. If you're backing down that thing using the handline and it fails, you're dead and so is everybody behind you.

Thanks for fixing it Jay! Yeah, I was the one that PM-ed you about it, and it really is great of you to get out there so fast to fix it. It was definitely scary, and hopefully this will be a chance for those that read this to remember to give the knots and condition of the tats a look when they use them. With enough eyes on these things they can definitely get caught early enough. Thanks again man. We all owe ya!


stonefoxgirl


Jul 1, 2007, 5:22 PM
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clausti wrote:
in a separate post, so as not to confuse them...

i am really glad the guy that fell at kaymoor is gonna be OK, though it sucks *horribly* that this happened. as for you ppl in the grigri/atc debate, in this case it truly is completely irrelevant. what the belayer HAD was an atc, and a terrible accident happened.

as far as the implied neccecity of a "mechanical advantage" in the form of a gri gri, for catching that whip.... i have caught that particular whip myself a couple of times. i lead belay with an ATC. (i find the proccess of feeding slack on a grigri to be too slow, and to be awkward) i have never found it to be a problem. though my climbing partners usually outweigh me by 30-40 lbs or more, i have never dropped someone, i have never accidentally let the rope slip too far, i have never let go, no matter how high i was pulled up, where i was kicked, whose ass ended up in my face. the problem is NOT the belay device.

I have been reading for days the updates on this thread but do not want to add. Here, I will say, uh huh, what she said...


rl23455


Jul 4, 2007, 4:57 PM
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I think I will buy a Grigri or some other such device for whenever I climb with someone I don't know well enough. I have thought about alpine climbs where rockfall is more prevalent and if I have to move in a hurry to avoid rock fall, at least I wouldn't drop my leader, even if I did get hit.


wmarkham


Jul 10, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Hi there. I'm the guy who fell.

It looks like other people have already reported the accident itself accurately, so I can't think of much to add. Thanks, kostik, for retrieving my gear. Yes, that was probably my stuff (tape, toothbrush, 'biners) left behind. I expect that at least one of the biners was a "leaver biner", so I'm not really worried about getting any of it back.

Thanks as well to all of the other climbers on the scene. As has been noted already, I was well cared-for by the other climbers before the EMT's arrived. As I understand it, some of the climbers helped guide the EMT's to me, and helped carry their equipment in. Also, a number of climbers helped carry me out to the ambulance.

As I see it, a huge factor that led to the accident was my own overwhelming desire to get onto the rocks. That was the first time I had gotten out this year. Had I thought about it carefully beforehand, I don't think that I would have felt comfortable with my partner's inexperience. To the extent that I did think about it, I believed (without adequate evidence, I now think) that her belaying was awkward, but reasonably safe.

In the past, I have climbed with inexperienced belayers, and even after this experience, I think that it can be done safely. However, on those other occasions, I did two things (at least) differently that I think are important to note:

1. If I had any doubts about previous belayers' experience, I had always made it clear to them that catching a fall is their primary duty. Dealing out or taking in slack is completely secondary. So, don't let go of the brake hand (of course!) and when in doubt, keep it in the brake position.

2. In the past, I have gone out of my way to announce what is going on, as I climb. ("climbing", "clipping", "falling")

Of course it is difficult to say for sure, but either one of these could possibly have prevented the ground fall. Needless to say, not relying on this person to belay me at all would have prevented it.

My own gut feeling is that the accident would have been prevented with a grigri. Letting go of everything would have allowed it to lock on its own, even if her initial reaction had been to feed out slack.

Anyway, I broke my left elbow, three vertebrae (C6, T11, L2), and my sternum. Also, I dislocated my left pinky-toe, scraped up my back, chipped some teeth, and bit my tongue. I had surgery on my elbow shortly after arriving at the hospital. (It was an open wound.) I had surgery on the following Tuesday to fuse my T9-T13 vertebrae together. The C6 injury is just a hairline fracture, and I am wearing a collar to prevent any further injury while it heals. The L2 injury does not endanger my spinal cord, so it will be left to heal on its own. I left the hospital on Friday, June 29. I can walk and use my right arm. For the moment, my left elbow is immobilized. I can't lift anything heavy, or do anything even moderately strenuous. In general, though, my recovery is going fine. The surgeon who operated on my spine told me that I should be able to resume whatever activities I like after 6 months.

Weston


markc


Jul 10, 2007, 12:04 PM
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wmarkham wrote:
The surgeon who operated on my spine told me that I should be able to resume whatever activities I like after 6 months.

Great news. Best wishes for continued recovery, Weston.


billcoe_


Jul 10, 2007, 1:19 PM
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Weston, damn, near miss buddy. Glad this one is working out ..somewhat better than it could have been, but I'm sure it sucks worse than many of us even want to think about.

The story Majid quotes you as saying" Markham said. "I fell, but the rope did not catch me."


May I suggest you amend that to better read
"I fell, but my belayer did not catch me."

I would suggest that gri-gri or Atc debate is irrelavant: his was and probably still is a poorly trained person who almost killed you. Perhaps you yourself are as well. (Please do not think thats a slam, I do not know and we all start out there).

Spend some real time thinking this over will ya.


Btw: edited to add: My main point was - I meant to say that I think this is F*ed up thinking.
wmarkham wrote:
In the past, I have climbed with inexperienced belayers, and even after this experience, I think that it can be done safely.

Never climb with an inexperienced belayer. Never. It cannot be done safely, did your fall not just demonstrate this very clearly to you? If you choose to head out and repeat this major trauma.......well I'd be speechless fella.

Your greatest tool for self preservation is inside of your skull. You did not use it well before this accident, and that contributed to it - please re-assess that statement hey? I hope this doesn't sound too harsh, cause I think it might, but just give it a while to think on it and reflect OK?


Live long and prosper, good luck.

Bill


(This post was edited by billcoe_ on Jul 10, 2007, 1:27 PM)


Partner cracklover


Jul 10, 2007, 2:06 PM
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Weston: Thanks for posting up. Encouraging to hear that you're up and walking now, and expecting a full recovery in 6 months.

As for all the debates - that shit doesn't matter now. What's important is that it sounds like you're going to be okay. I'm guessing you'll have plenty of time to mull over what happened as time goes by.

Cheers!

GO


Partner j_ung


Jul 10, 2007, 2:16 PM
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cracklover wrote:
Weston: Thanks for posting up. Encouraging to hear that you're up and walking now, and expecting a full recovery in 6 months.

As for all the debates - that shit doesn't matter now. What's important is that it sounds like you're going to be okay. I'm guessing you'll have plenty of time to mull over what happened as time goes by.

Cheers!

GO

Ditto that. You're among the land of the living, and that's all that really counts right now! Smile


davidji


Jul 10, 2007, 2:38 PM
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Thanks for posting. Keep up that recovery!


majid_sabet


Jul 10, 2007, 2:52 PM
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In reply to:
My own gut feeling is that the accident would have been prevented with a grigri. Letting go of everything would have allowed it to lock on its own, even if her initial reaction had been to feed out slack.

Weston

I am glade you are doing well but I still see some issues over your last comment.
Autoblocking devices such as GRI GRI are not designed to do autofall autostop. you still need to treat them like any other belay devices which includes having your hands in the correct positions.


MS


Vegasheat


Jul 10, 2007, 4:10 PM
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Weston

Thanks for posting. Very happy to hear you are doing so well. I am very impressed that you still have such a great attitude and desire to climb again.

Best Wishes for a fast recovery.


bobruef


Jul 10, 2007, 5:58 PM
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Get well soon man.

Thanks for the update.


reno


Jul 10, 2007, 6:18 PM
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Here's to a speedy and uneventful recovery, guy.


healyje


Jul 10, 2007, 11:44 PM
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cracklover wrote:
As for all the debates - that shit doesn't matter now.

Gotta go with BillCoe on this one. I'm glad you're going to recover and climb again, but Bill has hauled enough bodies off rock to be entitled to speak his opinion when and where he pleases. And when he reiterates you should never leave the ground without the assurance of a solid belay I have to agree. Most climbers wouldn't leave the ground knowing the bolts on a line may not hold a fall, why would you similarly take the same chance on a belayer? And as Majid said, a device is no substitute for knowing how to belay. People who are not yet ready to belay shouldn't be trusted beyond the context of more belay training.


overlord


Jul 11, 2007, 2:11 AM
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thanks for postin. i hope you recover quicklyWink


bent_gate


Jul 11, 2007, 4:00 AM
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Weston,

I'm glad to hear you're recovering, piece by piece. While I have had spinal surgery myself, it never involved that many vertebrae, so I can only imagine the magnitude of your experience. But I do know how hard it is to be out of commission for what seems like an unending amount of time. So I just wanted to offer you my best wishes during this time and let you know that myself and many others are always hoping for the best for you.

Keep getting well, and may you encounter unexpected and amazing experiences during this!


kostik


Jul 11, 2007, 7:37 AM
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wmarkham wrote:
Hi there. I'm the guy who fell.

Weston,

I'm glad you are doing well. It was quite an epic. I expected to see a bloody dead body, but you were in a good shape and calm, composed state of mind. You did really well.

The crater from your heels under the Green Piece is now a major tourist attraction.

Btw, how's the girl doing? There has been a discussion in the climber community that she is very pretty and therefore your choice of belayer was perfectly understandable.


billcoe_


Jul 11, 2007, 7:44 AM
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My comments above sound harsh to me. I apologise for that.

You had a real, real hard fall, Just reading about it jars a person, damn, I'm glad you're still with us.


wmarkham


Jul 11, 2007, 8:31 AM
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billcoe_ wrote:
Btw: edited to add: My main point was - I meant to say that I think this is F*ed up thinking.
wmarkham wrote:
In the past, I have climbed with inexperienced belayers, and even after this experience, I think that it can be done safely.

Never climb with an inexperienced belayer. Never. It cannot be done safely, did your fall not just demonstrate this very clearly to you? If you choose to head out and repeat this major trauma.......well I'd be speechless fella.
I appreciate the feedback. I do recognize this as being, on some level, messed-up thinking. In part, this is why I put it out there. However, let me first point out that there is a distinction to be made between "inexperienced" and "improperly trained". But also, I recognize that there is an additional risk involved in climbing with an inexperienced belayer. It is my belief that in most cases, this additional risk is relatively small. Every belayer was once inexperienced. As far as I know, there is no way to fully get that experience without actually belaying someone on lead, and actually catching lead falls. Those who are now experienced did this. I suspect that in most cases, they did not have a second belayer as backup. (Am I wrong about this?) And as far as I know, few of their instructors suffered serious injuries. I hope it is obvious that I don't think that any idiot off the street can belay with just a few minutes of instruction. But neither do I think that it is simply not possible to climb safely with an inexperienced belayer. Each climber should carefully assess how much risk they are taking with any given belayer, and decide accordingly whether or not that risk can be reduced to a level that is acceptable to them.

Weston


billcoe_


Jul 11, 2007, 1:09 PM
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wmarkham wrote:
However, let me first point out that there is a distinction to be made between "inexperienced" and "improperly trained". But also, I recognize that there is an additional risk involved in climbing with an inexperienced belayer. It is my belief that in most cases, this additional risk is relatively small. Every belayer was once inexperienced. As far as I know, there is no way to fully get that experience without actually belaying someone on lead, and actually catching lead falls. Those who are now experienced did this. I suspect that in most cases, they did not have a second belayer as backup. (Am I wrong about this?) And as far as I know, few of their instructors suffered serious injuries. I hope it is obvious that I don't think that any idiot off the street can belay with just a few minutes of instruction. But neither do I think that it is simply not possible to climb safely with an inexperienced belayer. Each climber should carefully assess how much risk they are taking with any given belayer, and decide accordingly whether or not that risk can be reduced to a level that is acceptable to them.

Weston

I agree with your first point concerning the distinction to be made between "inexperienced" and "improperly trained" Weston. Sometimes it is difficult to know the difference.

There is a way to get that experience without holding an instructor on a lead fall though. Thats just the way gyms are doing it now, not necessarily the correct way. I've trained hundreds of climbers. Many of whom went on to train others and outclimb me by a factor of 2 or 3. Some became guides and one of whom started a guide business. (I do not do this any more since climbing has gotten crowded ).

What I have learned is that although everyone is different, almost everyone, with proper emphasis on how important this skill is: can learn it perfectly in what is a relatively short time period. I don't mean 5 min in a gym and holding a lead fall.

I don't know why one cannot look at any N00b learning this and say right too them "THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU MUST LEARN, SO YOU WILL LEARN IT FIRST - YOU MUST LEARN IT PERFECTLY 100 PERCENT PERFECT AND PERFORM IT CORRECTLY 100 PERCENT OF THE TIME, IF YOU FAIL TO PERFORM THIS JOB EVEN ONE BRIEF MOMENT AND YOU WELL MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. You will have anothers life in your hands, conversly, your life will be in their hands as well when they belay you. THERE IS NO MARGIN FOR ERROR, IT MUST BE 100 PERFECT 100 PERCENT OF THE TIME, you cannot climb if you do not learn it perfectly first." Then you explain what perfect means, about never taking your brake hand off the rope, and why its important etc etc. Then you show them how to do it and then have them do it then once they figure it out have them practice it over and over standing next to them on flat ground with them taking in most of a rope length until it seems second nature and smooth. Then have them change hands so the other hand is braking and do another rope length. Periodically you pull the rope and/or yell falling.

Then you tie them into somthing and as you are walking on flat ground you have them belay you, occasionally you run the opposite direction and do not yell falling...you are watching their movements as they do this to make sure that they have you locked off in an eyeblink, perfect, everytime.

They do it until it becomes rote and they can do it perfectly without thinking about it. You might even sent them home with a hank of rope and an atc to practice practice practice it all week before the next weekend. They haven't even gone climbing yet, nobody has even held an actual fall, despite the fact that you might be right at a climbing area. That re-emphasises how important this skill is. If you are in a building, same thing applies. Maybe you get people out in a hallway and one simulates climbing as they walk along and the other side are all belaying. Then they trade responsibility with the "climbers" becomineg the "belayers".

Later, as you get on the rocks, you can use backup belays, where a 3rd party has a hold of the tail of the rope in case a belayer "forgets" that the brake hand should be on the rope and not in their nose say. However, I've found you do not need this, at this point, and it may only be less than an hour of actually practice practice practice, these folks are generally ready to roll and do it 100 percent perfect 100 percent of the time. Occasionally you have a few folks who can't do it perfect, who seem a tad dyslexic, but you can see them doing poorly on the flat ground, so you have them practice some more and mayhaps do a backup belay if you are not 100 percent sure, or if it would make them more comfortable.

Only later you move to doing actual practice falls, and at that only on top rope, they have to fall as well and have another belayer lock off and hold them, but at that point, climbers and belayers know what's coming and are experinced enough to perform perfectly. Climbers learn the skill of realizing that they have a responsibility too. I regularly climbed with people I had taught and did so for many many years till they got old or moved away.

Use to do the same thing on snow slopes to train people how to self arrest. Later, there were plenty of playful instances where myself or anyone in play mode would take off running downhill hellbent to leather trying to catch offguard and pull an entire rope team off backwards and down the slope. It was great training. It is damn empowering when the snow gets steep and scary while you are looking at a fatal fall into some rocks, to know, with 100 percent absolute certainty and confidence, that on this slope, with these snow conditions, that you can hold 3 or 4 people if someone falls, cause you've practiced it over and over on many safe runout slopes, manybe seeper and with more people pulling and harder snow conditions.

Long ago, I use to hook up with just about anybody to climb when I was young, and I've told that story before of the young stud I met up with in Yosemite and learned on a 5.11 lead that he couldn't keep his brake hand on the rope (I looked down and caught him twice gesturing with both hands - when he should have been belaying me -as he hit on some touron chicas). So I'm not any smarter than anyone else about this, altough I am a lot more cautious as I age as I realize how lucky I've been.

When I started climbing, people would often just head out and it was trial and error with maybe (later) a Royal Robbins Rockcraft book. Most of the people I know experinced a near death or dumb accident experience. Myself included for sure. Around a campfire and a few beers these stories usually come out. It is then, at that point after an accident, that we realized the full import of the knowledge we needed, but did not know that we did not yet have enough knowledge to know what knowledge we accually needed to be safe that we became immensely safer.

Later, climbing schools and classes would impart these lessons much less painfully to people as they learned our craft.

One issue with the climbing gyms, is they do not share this goal, and thus not only short change people, but leave them into thinking they have it figured out and are OK when they most definatly do not.

{End Rant}

I wish there was something we could do as a group, without government involvement, that could get this back on track. Sigh......(I know that I sound like the ravings of an old F*for sure) But there's not, so I guess the rest of us just hold our breaths when we see a group of 6 noobs standing at the edge of the cliff unroped like I saw last night.

You might have used up at least 4 of your 9 lives
with that one Weston, and I'm happy that you didn't use them all up. Big time congrats.


notapplicable


Jul 11, 2007, 5:57 PM
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Good words. Thank you.


overlord


Jul 12, 2007, 2:02 AM
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billcoe_ wrote:
I don't know why one cannot look at any N00b learning this and say right too them "THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU MUST LEARN, SO YOU WILL LEARN IT FIRST - YOU MUST LEARN IT PERFECTLY 100 PERCENT PERFECT AND PERFORM IT CORRECTLY 100 PERCENT OF THE TIME, IF YOU FAIL TO PERFORM THIS JOB EVEN ONE BRIEF MOMENT AND YOU WELL MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR KILLING ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. You will have anothers life in your hands, conversly, your life will be in their hands as well when they belay you. THERE IS NO MARGIN FOR ERROR, IT MUST BE 100 PERFECT 100 PERCENT OF THE TIME, you cannot climb if you do not learn it perfectly first." Then you explain what perfect means, about never taking your brake hand off the rope, and why its important etc etc. Then you show them how to do it and then have them do it then once they figure it out have them practice it over and over standing next to them on flat ground with them taking in most of a rope length until it seems second nature and smooth. Then have them change hands so the other hand is braking and do another rope length. Periodically you pull the rope and/or yell falling.

ditto that. i think one of the reasons beginners do not pay attention to belaying lessons its because its boring (lets face it, compared to what they actually want to do (climb), belaying is BORING) and no one hammered it into them just how important this boredom is.


binrat


Jul 12, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Weston,
Good luck on your recovery. The Pinky toe I bet will be the 1 to slow you down for climbing again.

Binrat


limeydave


Jul 16, 2007, 5:45 PM
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kostik wrote:
wmarkham wrote:
Hi there. I'm the guy who fell.

Weston,

I'm glad you are doing well. It was quite an epic. I expected to see a bloody dead body, but you were in a good shape and calm, composed state of mind. You did really well.

The crater from your heels under the Green Piece is now a major tourist attraction.

Btw, how's the girl doing? There has been a discussion in the climber community that she is very pretty and therefore your choice of belayer was perfectly understandable.

If she was that hot, surely she'd be the one on the wall and he'd be the attentive belayer? Wink

Good luck with your recovery wmarkham.


calfcramp


Jul 17, 2007, 1:19 PM
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I can't believe I read the whooooole thing!

Glad to hear the story had a happy ending, sorta. Get well soon.

I don't know how to use a grigri. (For the stats...)


stymingersfink


Jul 17, 2007, 2:22 PM
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Re: [curator] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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curator wrote:

2. the rope was moving very quickly through the device. (it was, as evidenced by the injuries to the climber)
The device would have locked, there is no maybe about it.
unless, of course, the device were accidentally threaded backward.

OOPS!Crazy

MY BAD!Blush


stymingersfink


Jul 17, 2007, 2:35 PM
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johanna2430 wrote:
I personally don't know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device.

Seems to be the only device I carry lately, unless I'm climbing ice, i guess.

You may work at the best store in the best climbing area in the best state in the best nation in the world... but that doesn't mean it doesn't all boil down to a belayer's experience levels.


majid_sabet


Jul 17, 2007, 3:13 PM
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stymingersfink wrote:
curator wrote:

2. the rope was moving very quickly through the device. (it was, as evidenced by the injuries to the climber)
The device would have locked, there is no maybe about it.
unless, of course, the device were accidentally threaded backward.

OOPS!Crazy



MY BAD!Blush

And few months back, a leader while rapping via his GG had it backward and worse than that, the end of top rop was attached to belayer at the base who had his own GG rigged backward.

Leader fell some 40+ feet to base


limeydave


Jul 17, 2007, 3:43 PM
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stymingersfink wrote:
johanna2430 wrote:
I personally don't know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device.

Seems to be the only device I carry lately, unless I'm climbing ice, i guess.

You may work at the best store in the best climbing area in the best state in the best nation in the world... but that doesn't mean it doesn't all boil down to a belayer's experience levels.

I know some very experienced folks (strong too) that have moved to GriGri's from ATC's for single pitch sport - ease of use and smaller belayer not being worried about slamming into the rock and losing the brakehand grip - were cited as reasons.

Whatever you're most comfortable with is probably the best option 99/100 IMHO.


majid_sabet


Jul 17, 2007, 5:24 PM
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limeydave wrote:
stymingersfink wrote:
johanna2430 wrote:
I personally don't know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device.

Seems to be the only device I carry lately, unless I'm climbing ice, i guess.

You may work at the best store in the best climbing area in the best state in the best nation in the world... but that doesn't mean it doesn't all boil down to a belayer's experience levels.

I know some very experienced folks (strong too) that have moved to GriGri's from ATC's for single pitch sport - ease of use and smaller belayer not being worried about slamming into the rock and losing the brakehand grip - were cited as reasons.

Whatever you're most comfortable with is probably the best option 99/100 IMHO.

There is no such thing as AUTOLOCKING belay device. if you do not trigger the locking mechanism on a typical so called " Autolocking belay devices" with your belay hand ,your rope will continues to pass thru it as easy as letting your hands go off a typical tube type belay device.

People are choosing the Autolocking belay devices for the wrong reasons and that has been proven with accidents for more 100 times.

If there was such thing as AUTOLOCKING belay device then WTF belayer are doing, standing like a nail watching their leader climb all day long ?

Why not just tie the AUTOLOCKING belay device to BFT and let it do its ATUO FALL STOP ?


limeydave


Jul 17, 2007, 5:39 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
limeydave wrote:
stymingersfink wrote:
johanna2430 wrote:
I personally don't know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device.

Seems to be the only device I carry lately, unless I'm climbing ice, i guess.

You may work at the best store in the best climbing area in the best state in the best nation in the world... but that doesn't mean it doesn't all boil down to a belayer's experience levels.

I know some very experienced folks (strong too) that have moved to GriGri's from ATC's for single pitch sport - ease of use and smaller belayer not being worried about slamming into the rock and losing the brakehand grip - were cited as reasons.

Whatever you're most comfortable with is probably the best option 99/100 IMHO.

There is no such thing as AUTOLOCKING belay device. if you do not trigger the locking mechanism on a typical so called " Autolocking belay devices" with your belay hand ,your rope will continues to pass thru it as easy as letting your hands go off a typical tube type belay device.

People are choosing the Autolocking belay devices for the wrong reasons and that has been proven with accidents for more 100 times.

If there was such thing as AUTOLOCKING belay device then WTF belayer are doing, standing like a nail watching their leader climb all day long ?

Why not just tie the AUTOLOCKING belay device to BFT and let it do its ATUO FALL STOP ?

What device do you use when swapping leads with your climbing partner?


medicus


Jul 17, 2007, 5:43 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
limeydave wrote:
stymingersfink wrote:
johanna2430 wrote:
I personally don't know even one single advanced climber, trad or sport, that uses a Gri Gri for their main belaying device.

Seems to be the only device I carry lately, unless I'm climbing ice, i guess.

You may work at the best store in the best climbing area in the best state in the best nation in the world... but that doesn't mean it doesn't all boil down to a belayer's experience levels.

I know some very experienced folks (strong too) that have moved to GriGri's from ATC's for single pitch sport - ease of use and smaller belayer not being worried about slamming into the rock and losing the brakehand grip - were cited as reasons.

Whatever you're most comfortable with is probably the best option 99/100 IMHO.

There is no such thing as AUTOLOCKING belay device. if you do not trigger the locking mechanism on a typical so called " Autolocking belay devices" with your belay hand ,your rope will continues to pass thru it as easy as letting your hands go off a typical tube type belay device.

People are choosing the Autolocking belay devices for the wrong reasons and that has been proven with accidents for more 100 times.

If there was such thing as AUTOLOCKING belay device then WTF belayer are doing, standing like a nail watching their leader climb all day long ?

Why not just tie the AUTOLOCKING belay device to BFT and let it do its ATUO FALL STOP ?

majid_sabet wrote:
My point is that you guys are too fu8ing serious and sensitive to every little things and you need to take it easy on a lot of issues and do not take things too personal.


jakedatc


Jul 18, 2007, 8:09 AM
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