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Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall
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johanna2430


Jun 27, 2007, 7:58 PM
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Re: [rockrat512] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [johanna2430] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [tantrikclimber] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [medicus] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [tantrikclimber] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [healyje] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [healyje] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [tantrikclimber] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [papounet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [lena_chita] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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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Re: [clausti] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
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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...

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