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Major Accident on the zorro face
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brendenshowers


Sep 26, 2009, 5:44 PM
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Major Accident on the zorro face  (North_America: United_States: Pennsylvania: Southeastern_Region: Birdsboro)
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Does anyone have all the details about the poor girl who fell from the top of the Zorro shuts today? I was climbing on the lower slabs when we all heard a deck followed by screams. I don't want to say anything because i don't know for sure, all i know is that a slew of cops and medics came. I hope the girl is OK but I'm pretty sure it was really really serious. Any info or word is appreciated.


MikeJohnson


Sep 26, 2009, 6:16 PM
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Re: [brendenshowers] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I dont know any details, but I was there today. I called 911. They asked where I was and I told them I was at the old quarry on 82 where the police target shoot. I told them what was on the board. They kept asking for further directions, so I told them about the North entrance but how you cant get cars to the quarry from the north. I live in Reading so I have never come in from the south. If anyone who comes from the south can leave detailed instructions on how to get to the quarry it would be appreciated. God forbid somethign happens again there may be better directions to give the 911 operator.

Secondly, I too was climbing on the lower slabs. When I was leaving for the day a cop told me "if you are ever behind that fence again you will be arrested". I think he may be uninformed, there are three climbing areas down there. Has anyone else ever heard that the lower slabs or lower big wall or west face was out of bounds?


gblauer
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Sep 26, 2009, 7:33 PM
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Re: [MikeJohnson] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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Holy cow...I was there today, left in the 530ish range. Must have happened right after I left. I saw the ambulances running up old 82.

I hope it wasn't the group of women that I directed to that climb. They were new to the Bird, looking for moderate climbs.

Post when you know something!


abobo123


Sep 26, 2009, 7:53 PM
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Re: [brendenshowers] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I was there today as well. I talked to two women who were on their way to that wall to do the inside corner around 3:00, warned them that I didn't think it was a very good climb, and loose and you could use a .5 camalot to add some extra pro to it. Around 4 we walked past it and there were 3 people standing at the bottom, but I don't know who.


wonderwoman


Sep 26, 2009, 8:12 PM
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Re: [brendenshowers] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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Moved from regional to accidents & injuries by ww.


rockgoat


Sep 27, 2009, 6:31 AM
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Any updates? I was walking out when all the fire fighters drove by.
Wish a speedy recovery.


gblauer
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Sep 27, 2009, 6:49 AM
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Re: [rockgoat] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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This is speculative based on the accounts of nearby climbers. This is NOT confirmed.

THe general thinking is that she was cleaning the anchors, getting ready to rap and did not clip her ATC to her harness. She released her personal anchors, sat back and fell to the ground. (It's about 40 feet to a chossy landing.) According to climbers, she was awake and in a lot pain when they took her out of the quarry.

Prayers to the climber and all who care for her.

Thanks to our fellow climbers for their quick response and calling 911 and directing the police/fire and ambulance to our quarry.


caveandclimb


Sep 27, 2009, 7:27 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I was there yesterday as well, and from what I heard, I agree with gblauer. The place was crawling with volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel - we stopped to ask the fire chief if there was anything we could do to help and then cleared out of the way. They seemed to have things well under control when we felt comfortable leaving.

I hope the injured woman is OK - I've been through an accident like this before and I'm just glad she was conscious and responsive when she came out. That's much better shape than what I feared.

I guess the important thing to say is that if the victim or her friends stumble across this post: I know what you're going through / have gone through, and I wish you all the strength in the world. Feel free to PM me if you guys need anything.

Climb on.

-Kyle


spam23


Sep 27, 2009, 9:48 AM
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Re: [caveandclimb] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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My partner and I left the big wall yesterday around 4:00 and saw this group of women working Zorro corner.

My heart goes out to this climber and her partners. I wish her the best and a rapid recovery. I also have friends who have been through similarly traumatic experiences and I'm sure they would be able to offer some insight and support if the anyone in the group is interested.

The frequency of accidents at Birdsboro is quite alarming. We are very lucky to have this area to climb and to share with the locals. I think its worth starting a conversation on how we might make this area safer for beginner and advanced climbers alike(training, registration with the county, etc.). With access around Pennsylvania continually threatened, I believe it is very important for the climbing community to be proactive both in protecting our climbers and assuring access for future generations. I'd be interested to hear other people's feelings on this.


coolcat83


Sep 27, 2009, 9:56 AM
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Re: [spam23] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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spam23 wrote:
I think its worth starting a conversation on how we might make this area safer for beginner and advanced climbers alike(training, registration with the county, etc.).

I think that is a discussion for another thread, but inviting more gov. regulation leads down a slippery slope to that point that we'll all have to take climbing courses, exams, get licenses and who knows what else, I for one don't want that.


MikeJohnson


Sep 27, 2009, 10:17 AM
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Re: [spam23] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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Besides the accident yesterday I had only heard of one other accident. I dont think that is a high frequency of accidents. My basic understanding has been that both, unfortunately, have been due to human error. I think the bird is a safe place to climb. The only suggestion I would put forward is placing some shuts at the bottom of 1 climb so begginers could learn how to correctly and safely clean a climb.


gblauer
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Sep 27, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Re: [MikeJohnson] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I agree with Mike. We have only had three accidents:
1) Mountain biker rode off the top of cliff near Zorro, she was badly injured, but survived (this was maybe 4 years ago)
2) Climber rapped off the end of his rope also near zorro (I beleive it was the new climb, face is great...choss is not)
3) Yesterday's accident

While we can't protect everyone, we can protect each other. As irritating as it might get, ALWAYS ask your partner to retrace their rope etc when cleaning. Do not remove your personal anchors until you feel you belayer (getting ready to lower you) or your feel yourself on rappel.

If the accident occured as we are speculating, it was entirely avoidable. A quick reminder by your climbing partner to re-trace can save your life. (In my short [7 year] climbing career, I have failed to thread the anchors 2x while cleaning. Of course I retraced and found my errors.)


I gave those girls a tour of the Bird at around 2PM, it was their first time there. I do not know where they were from or where the normally climb. They asked for some moderates (5.7-5.9) and I gave them some suggestions including the Zorro area. The steadfastly stated that they were not interested in 6's as a warmup.

If any one finds out her identity, please let me know, we would like to send her a get well card from all of the local area climbers.

Thanks again to all who assisted.


gblauer
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Sep 27, 2009, 4:30 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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From the newspaper:

ROBESON TWP.

Visitor injured in fall while rock climbing

A 36-year-old Washington, D.C., woman was injured in a rock-climbing accident Saturday at the former H&K quarry in Robeson Township, township police said.

Vanessa Little was climbing with two friends and was changing ropes when she fell 35 feet to the bottom of the quarry, landing on her back, Officer Matthew Smith said.

Little, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered a cut to her head and a leg injury in the 5:40 p.m. fall at the quarry off the closed portion of Route 82. Firefighters, paramedics and police from Robeson and Birdsboro responded and carried her to an ambulance. She was taken to Reading Hospital, where she was listed in fair condition late Saturday.

"She was lucky," said Smith, who added that rescuers were able to go through locked gates and use a walking trail to get to Little.

The quarry is owned by Birdsboro, which permits rock climbing there, police said.

I called the hospital, she is in intensive care and cannot receive phone calls at this time. Visitors are allowed.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Sep 27, 2009, 4:51 PM)


gblauer
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Sep 27, 2009, 7:34 PM
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Re: [curt] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I heard from one of her climbing partners. She pretty much confirmed the description of the accident and indicated that Vanessa has a badly broken hip and is being monitored for internal bleeding.

Thoughts and prayers to all who are involved.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Sep 28, 2009, 5:51 AM)


adh24


Sep 28, 2009, 6:22 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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My prayers out to the injured woman for a speedy recovery. I cringe just thinking of the landing below the climbs in this area. My partner was the one injured this time last year and he was lucky as well, falling on some of the more ďsofterĒ ground that was present. A little to the left or right of his decking and the injuries would have been far worse.


arthurdeko


Sep 28, 2009, 6:39 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I agree with Mike. We have only had three accidents:
1) Mountain biker rode off the top of cliff near Zorro, she was badly injured, but survived (this was maybe 4 years ago)
2) Climber rapped off the end of his rope also near zorro (I beleive it was the new climb, face is great...choss is not)
3) Yesterday's accident

While we can't protect everyone, we can protect each other.

Being #2 on the injury list, I can attest to the importance of a partner as a second pair of eyes. I accept full responsibility for my fall, and I would not have fallen had I asked my partner to check up on me. I even remember noticing that I was having trouble focusing while I was on the anchors, but I kept that to myself. He didn't check on me because he never expected me to something as stupid as not feeding enough rope through the anchors. It's good to know now, that i am that stupid.

Anyway, my heart goes out to the woman who fell. Not only does it hurt, but it's terrifying. God bless you.


socalclimber


Sep 28, 2009, 7:57 AM
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Re: [arthurdeko] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I don't know the area, therefore don't know the anchor setup for the climb. Was she on top of the route, or was she on a stance at the anchors?

You know there is a real simple way to prevent these types of accidents from happening. Connect yourself to the anchor with a sling girth hitched to your harness, load your rap device for the rap. Once your ready, pull your self in tight with your rap device thus taking your weight off of the sling. If everything is ready and solid you're good to go, if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.


reg


Sep 28, 2009, 8:00 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt


socalclimber


Sep 28, 2009, 8:08 AM
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Re: [reg] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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reg wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt

Uh no, maybe I should be a little more specific. By short I mean to the tune of 6" inches to a foot. All's you're going to do is fall on the sling.

If you can hurt yourself this way, then you really shouldn't be climbing.


JAB


Sep 28, 2009, 8:14 AM
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reg wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt

Maybe you misunderstood what he meant? A 5-10 inch fall onto a sling will not hurt you.


socalclimber


Sep 28, 2009, 8:20 AM
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I guess I'd better add one caveat, DON'T DO THIS ON MANKY ANCHORS. It's fine for sport setups or where you know the anchor is bomber.


dlintz


Sep 28, 2009, 8:42 AM
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Re: [reg] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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reg wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt

I bet it hurts a lot less than finding out your rappel wasn't set up properly.

d.


zlatica


Sep 28, 2009, 8:58 AM
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I am sending reiki to the girl right now, if somebody is able to do it too, together is it stronger. I will continue sending for the next one hour, she needs a lot!

Zlatica.


mojomonkey


Sep 28, 2009, 11:03 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
arthurdeko wrote:
In reply to:
I agree with Mike. We have only had three accidents:
1) Mountain biker rode off the top of cliff near Zorro, she was badly injured, but survived (this was maybe 4 years ago)
2) Climber rapped off the end of his rope also near zorro (I beleive it was the new climb, face is great...choss is not)
3) Yesterday's accident

While we can't protect everyone, we can protect each other.

Being #2 on the injury list, I can attest to the importance of a partner as a second pair of eyes. I accept full responsibility for my fall, and I would not have fallen had I asked my partner to check up on me. I even remember noticing that I was having trouble focusing while I was on the anchors, but I kept that to myself. He didn't check on me because he never expected me to something as stupid as not feeding enough rope through the anchors. It's good to know now, that i am that stupid.

Anyway, my heart goes out to the woman who fell. Not only does it hurt, but it's terrifying. God bless you.

Since you were that honest to talk about the problems leading to your accident, I got few questions for you;

1- why did not you ask your partner to check on you ?
2- you said:you had trouble focusing and what was the reason ?

Thanks

That discussion should probably move to the corresponding thread, not this one.


dingus


Sep 28, 2009, 11:44 AM
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spam23 wrote:
I think its worth starting a conversation on how we might make this area safer for beginner and advanced climbers alike(training, registration with the county, etc.). With access around Pennsylvania continually threatened, I believe it is very important for the climbing community to be proactive both in protecting our climbers and assuring access for future generations. I'd be interested to hear other people's feelings on this.

The thought of being a 'registered climber' makes my skin crawl. I'd rather see razor wire and tunnel under it then submit to the Man for Permission to Climb, SIR!

But that's just me. I live out west where we still have room for such attitudes.

DMT


dingus


Sep 28, 2009, 11:50 AM
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Re: [reg] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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reg wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt

Its SOP for multirap, dude. Gotta deal with it, or strick to the shorties.

DMT


markc


Sep 28, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Re: [reg] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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reg wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt

I realize that falls on static materials are jarring compared with falling on dynamic materials. If given the choice, I'd rather go for a short fall on a sling rather than plummeting to the base of the route. YMMV. If it does, I question your judgment.

Virtually everyone I know rigs rappels in this method because it assures you that you're rigged properly before you disconnect your personal anchor. After rigging your rappel, you pull just enough rope to get some slack in your personal anchor. We're talking several inches at best. You weigh the device, give everything a final check, then disconnect your now-slack anchor and rappel.

If you find such a widely used practice disconcerting, I'd be interested in learning what system you employ when transferring to rappel.

Someone else mentioned a backup. I don't generally employ them. If you're make sure your rope won't jam the anchor before loading, I've not had an issue cleaning one-handed.


gblauer
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Sep 28, 2009, 1:52 PM
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Re: [markc] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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The particular climb that she was cleaning has a crappy stance at the anchors. You are hanging on your personal anchor(s) the whole time, as there are really no feet. (It's a big slab).


I called the hospital again today. She is still in ICU. I plan to drive out to Reading tomorrow to visit her in person.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Sep 28, 2009, 2:07 PM)


dingus


Sep 28, 2009, 2:06 PM
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gblauer wrote:
I plan to drive out to Reading tomorrow to visit her in person.

Good call. Speaking from personal experience this is powerful curing medicine, to do this.

DMT


gblauer
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Sep 29, 2009, 9:29 AM
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I went to visit Vanessa today. Unfortunately, I arrived five minutes after they took her off to surgery. On Saturday they did a small surgery to insert a pin so that they could put traction on her hip. Today, they took her in for reconstruction of her hip and pelvis. Sugery is expected to last 5-6 hours. Once her hip/pelvis is stable (2 weeks or so) she will have to have her spine fused (L5 and sacrum?). She is in surgical ICU at Reading Hospital in Reading PA. Please send her your prayers and good wishes, she has a long road to recovery.

I met her father Willie, brother Jason and friend Steve. They are in from Colorado, Georgia and Colorado respectively. They will need to go back and forth to their homes, so it would be great if we could organize some visitors for Vanessa. She is from DC and doesn't really have a support network in PA.

I would think by Friday she would be ready to have some outside visitors.


mojomonkey


Sep 29, 2009, 9:40 AM
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Thanks for updating us, and for you going to check in on her. I'm sure she and her family appreciate it.


notapplicable


Sep 29, 2009, 1:10 PM
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gblauer wrote:
I went to visit Vanessa today. Unfortunately, I arrived five minutes after they took her off to surgery. On Saturday they did a small surgery to insert a pin so that they could put traction on her hip. Today, they took her in for reconstruction of her hip and pelvis. Sugery is expected to last 5-6 hours. Once her hip/pelvis is stable (2 weeks or so) she will have to have her spine fused (L5 and sacrum?). She is in surgical ICU at Reading Hospital in Reading PA. Please send her your prayers and good wishes, she has a long road to recovery.

I met her father Willie, brother Jason and friend Steve. They are in from Colorado, Georgia and Colorado respectively. They will need to go back and forth to their homes, so it would be great if we could organize some visitors for Vanessa. She is from DC and doesn't really have a support network in PA.

I would think by Friday she would be ready to have some outside visitors.

Way to be an ambassador for the sport Gail. Strong work.

Being seriously injured and stuck in a hospital far from friends and family would be really rough. I don't know much about it but I would imagine hip/pelvis injuries like that would require a protracted hospital stay.


jefffski


Sep 29, 2009, 1:54 PM
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Best wishes to Vanessa.

Always weight the rappel before removing your personal anchor.


(This post was edited by jefffski on Sep 29, 2009, 3:32 PM)


gblauer
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Sep 29, 2009, 2:52 PM
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Latest update from Vanessa's father:

Vanessa's surgery went very well, she was only in there a couple of hours. The Doctors were very pleased with how things went.

She was awake and talking on the phone at 530PM.

She will be at Reading Hospital for 2 weeks and then will either have her back surgery there or move to another hospital.


socalclimber


Oct 1, 2009, 9:55 PM
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Glad to hear things are going well for her.

Good news indeed.


dingus


Oct 2, 2009, 5:47 AM
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gblauer wrote:
Latest update from Vanessa's father:

Vanessa's surgery went very well, she was only in there a couple of hours. The Doctors were very pleased with how things went.

She was awake and talking on the phone at 530PM.

She will be at Reading Hospital for 2 weeks and then will either have her back surgery there or move to another hospital.

Will you get the chance for another shot at a visit?

DMT


adh24


Oct 2, 2009, 5:58 AM
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gblauer wrote:
Latest update from Vanessa's father:

Vanessa's surgery went very well, she was only in there a couple of hours. The Doctors were very pleased with how things went.

She was awake and talking on the phone at 530PM.

She will be at Reading Hospital for 2 weeks and then will either have her back surgery there or move to another hospital.

Any thoughts on get some local climbers to throw together a care package for her to help the 2 weeks she's in reading be a little more brighter?


gblauer
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Oct 2, 2009, 6:29 AM
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She has been transferred to HUP for her spinal fusion. I am going to go there after work this evening to check on her.

Once I understand where she will be, I will try and get a group of volunteers to come out to see her.

She is in much less pain since they repaired her hip/pelvis and is in good spririts. Would like to help her stay in good spirits...


dingus


Oct 2, 2009, 6:33 AM
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gblauer wrote:
She has been transferred to HUP for her spinal fusion. I am going to go there after work this evening to check on her.

Once I understand where she will be, I will try and get a group of volunteers to come out to see her.

She is in much less pain since they repaired her hip/pelvis and is in good spririts. Would like to help her stay in good spirits...

Such life altering consequences from a momentary lapse of concentration apparently. She will be revisiting this in her mind over and over and over. Its really good for her that her tribe is there to help her. She will be thinking 'I will never climb again' or something similar, perhaps far darker thoughts.

Just being there.... don't even have to say anything of import

glauber you rock

DMT


wonderwoman


Oct 2, 2009, 6:37 AM
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dingus wrote:
glauber you rock

I was just about to post this same exact thing. DMT beat me to it!

Gail, you are just plain awesome! It's so wonderful that you are doing this!


IsayAutumn


Oct 2, 2009, 8:17 AM
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wonderwoman wrote:
dingus wrote:
glauber you rock

I was just about to post this same exact thing. DMT beat me to it!

Gail, you are just plain awesome! It's so wonderful that you are doing this!

Yes, this is excellent work. I am relatively new to climbing and don't have a whole lot of climbing friends yet, but it is great to see such support for a fellow climber, even from people who don't know her! I am a DC-area climber myself, and although I don't think I know this inured climber, I would love to contribute to any kind of care package, or anything else, for that matter. Gail, props to you. PM me if I can help.


socalclimber


Oct 3, 2009, 6:18 AM
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Re: [dingus] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
gblauer wrote:
She has been transferred to HUP for her spinal fusion. I am going to go there after work this evening to check on her.

Once I understand where she will be, I will try and get a group of volunteers to come out to see her.

She is in much less pain since they repaired her hip/pelvis and is in good spririts. Would like to help her stay in good spirits...

Such life altering consequences from a momentary lapse of concentration apparently. She will be revisiting this in her mind over and over and over. Its really good for her that her tribe is there to help her. She will be thinking 'I will never climb again' or something similar, perhaps far darker thoughts.

Just being there.... don't even have to say anything of import

glauber you rock

DMT

Yes, these are indeed life changing events. She definately will need some long term support. Gail, you might want to delicately (at some point) ask how she's sleeping or if she's having nightmares about the event. These can be symptoms to very serious issues which should probably be dealt with professionaly.

Post incident trauma is a big problem for some. I have spoken with a few people I helped rescue a while later and some of them were not doing so well.

The after effects of these types of accidents can change people permantly and not always for the better. Depression can a big artifact of these kinds of accidents.


wanderlustmd


Oct 4, 2009, 3:19 PM
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dingus wrote:
spam23 wrote:
I think its worth starting a conversation on how we might make this area safer for beginner and advanced climbers alike(training, registration with the county, etc.). With access around Pennsylvania continually threatened, I believe it is very important for the climbing community to be proactive both in protecting our climbers and assuring access for future generations. I'd be interested to hear other people's feelings on this.

The thought of being a 'registered climber' makes my skin crawl. DMT

No kidding


wanderlustmd


Oct 4, 2009, 3:26 PM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
dingus wrote:
glauber you rock

I was just about to post this same exact thing. DMT beat me to it!

Gail, you are just plain awesome! It's so wonderful that you are doing this!

Yeah, it's nice that you are making the effort, especially if she is without people close by. I'm sure she appreciates/will continue to appreciate it more than you know.


gblauer
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Oct 4, 2009, 5:35 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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Latest update.

Vanessa had surgery on Friday to fuse her L5 with S1. They realigned her spine and put some screws in. Additionally, they discovered that Vanessa had a broken left arm. With the broken arm, she will have to be in a wheelchair, as she cannot use crutches.

Her brother and father are still in town. They are hoping to move Vanessa to Georgia or Colorado for her recuperation. The doctors need a few more days to determine when Vanessa can be moved.

I am going to see her tomorrow with a care package from all of her well wishers on RC.com.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Oct 4, 2009, 6:55 PM)


jt512


Oct 5, 2009, 8:18 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
arthurdeko wrote:
In reply to:
I agree with Mike. We have only had three accidents:
1) Mountain biker rode off the top of cliff near Zorro, she was badly injured, but survived (this was maybe 4 years ago)
2) Climber rapped off the end of his rope also near zorro (I beleive it was the new climb, face is great...choss is not)
3) Yesterday's accident

While we can't protect everyone, we can protect each other.

Being #2 on the injury list, I can attest to the importance of a partner as a second pair of eyes. I accept full responsibility for my fall, and I would not have fallen had I asked my partner to check up on me. I even remember noticing that I was having trouble focusing while I was on the anchors, but I kept that to myself. He didn't check on me because he never expected me to something as stupid as not feeding enough rope through the anchors. It's good to know now, that i am that stupid.

Anyway, my heart goes out to the woman who fell. Not only does it hurt, but it's terrifying. God bless you.

Since you were that honest to talk about the problems leading to your accident, I got few questions for you;

1- why did not you ask your partner to check on you ?
2- you said:you had trouble focusing and what was the reason ?

Thanks

3 - Why were you rappelling a sport route in the first place? It's safer and faster to lower.

Jay


dingus


Oct 5, 2009, 8:25 AM
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jt512 wrote:
3 -Why were you rappelling a sport route in the first place? It's safer and faster to lower.

Jay

This whole 'anchor wear' bullshit about not lower off of or doing TR laps through, sport anchors... leads directly to exposure to the risk that led to this accident.

I am 100% on board with JTs solution and have been for a few years now. Much less potential for mayhem. And yes, it wears out the $3 quicklinks (or what have you) faster... so fucking what?

$3 = broken back + permanent disability???

I don't think so.

DMT


tradmanclimbs


Oct 5, 2009, 8:29 AM
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jay, it certainly is faster to lower.. not nessicarly safer though. Rapping you control your own destiny. Pleanty of lowering accidents out there to show that it is not all that safe.. Some climbs with roofs and rough rock chew the heck out of your rope lowering.. Lowering burns out the anchors and can twist the heck out of the hangers leading to spinners. Lowering certainly faster and lazier. safer? Naa. All that being said I am usually lazy and lowerWink


photoguy190


Oct 5, 2009, 8:32 AM
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How is it any safer to lower off on belay then repel? Both ways you have to untie from the rope, you can forget to clip your atc or forget to tie in. Both are stupid mistakes but I don't see how that one or the other would be less likely to make. You just need to double check ever thing and and weight it before you unclip your safety.


dingus


Oct 5, 2009, 8:34 AM
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photoguy190 wrote:
How is it any safer to lower off on belay then repel? Both ways you have to untie from the rope, you can forget to clip your atc or forget to tie in. Both are stupid mistakes but I don't see how that one or the other would be less likely to make. You just need to double check ever thing and and weight it before you unclip your safety.

Fewer ways to get the chop.

Do as you please. I know I do.

DMT


tradmanclimbs


Oct 5, 2009, 8:38 AM
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Dingus, I feel that both rapping and lowering are dangerous. Possibly more ways to blow it lowering than rapping simply because there are two people involved. That being said I lower 99% of the time on spurt routs simply because it is faster and easier. Just the type of fast easy envornment that fosters brain fade.....


jt512


Oct 5, 2009, 8:42 AM
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gblauer wrote:
The particular climb that she was cleaning has a crappy stance at the anchors. You are hanging on your personal anchor(s) the whole time, as there are really no feet. (It's a big slab).

Then there is really no excuse for not weighting the rappel rope before unclipping. I can see how if you are at a good stance, you might be tempted unclip before weighting the rope, but when you're hanging at the anchors, it is difficult to see how you could even unclip without weighting the rappel rope first, in order to unweight your slings.

Jay


dingus


Oct 5, 2009, 8:46 AM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Dingus, I feel that both rapping and lowering are dangerous. Possibly more ways to blow it lowering than rapping simply because there are two people involved. That being said I lower 99% of the time on spurt routs simply because it is faster and easier. Just the type of fast easy envornment that fosters brain fade.....

OK, you're at the last bolt of a sport climb, one run below the anchors. You've already clipped the bolt.

Is it safer, right then, to just lower off, or continue to climb to the anchors, anchor in with 1 or probably 2 slings, untie, rethread, then rig rap, and then self-lower?

Clearly.... from a cumulative risk standpoint, lowering off from the bolt is faster and less risky.

Since we have already invested life-trust in the belayer we are not incurring additional riskm by asking that belayer to do his duty, ie lower the lead climber.

So no.... it is not an additional person added to the lower off equation - that person has already added his risk to the equation, before the leader ever got to the anchors.

What it comes down to is efficiency and elimination of unnecessary steps that each come with additional risk.

I get to an anchor, clip one draw, boom. I hang on that draw. Without doing anything else I grab some slack in the lead line, pass the bite through the anchor links, tie a bog ole figure 8 on a bite on the other side and clip that with a locker to my belay loop.

Untie my original knot and pull the tail through the anchors links.

Other than unclipping that draw, I'm done.

Dirt me.

Yes I understand some sport anchors are situated poorly and rapping may be better. In those times I would rap.

But the simplicy of the feed through method is elegant and since the belayer never goes off belay its safer too.

DMT


jt512


Oct 5, 2009, 8:49 AM
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photoguy190 wrote:
How is it any safer to lower off on belay then repel? Both ways you have to untie from the rope, you can forget to clip your atc or forget to tie in. Both are stupid mistakes but I don't see how that one or the other would be less likely to make. You just need to double check ever thing and and weight it before you unclip your safety.

Anyone who thinks that to avoid a rappelling accident "you just need to" do some particular thing is an ignorant fool.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Oct 5, 2009, 9:01 AM)


tradmanclimbs


Oct 5, 2009, 9:01 AM
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Dingus, that is exactly what i do.

Just pointing out that folks seem to mess it up and go splat enough that it must not be foolproofWink Seems like they get dropped lowering more often then they blow the retie/thread process though they do that ocasionaly as well. leads me to believe that adding the belayer into the mix adds to the danger.


jakedatc


Oct 5, 2009, 9:07 AM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Dingus, that is exactly what i do.

Just pointing out that folks seem to mess it up and go splat enough that it must not be foolproofWink Seems like they get dropped lowering more often then they blow the retie/thread process though they do that ocasionaly as well. leads me to believe that adding the belayer into the mix adds to the danger.

If they do it that way then the climber is never off belay and there shouldn't be any more risk than you had going up the route. Having a belayer in the mix is always present..

add in the fact that it is FAR safer to down clean a route on lower than on rappel. and before you say having a rap back up makes it Ok then you're trusting a piece of sling more than your belayer and that should say something bout your belayer.


jt512


Oct 5, 2009, 9:20 AM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Dingus, that is exactly what i do.

Just pointing out that folks seem to mess it up and go splat enough that it must not be foolproofWink Seems like they get dropped lowering more often then they blow the retie/thread process though they do that ocasionaly as well. leads me to believe that adding the belayer into the mix adds to the danger.

I read about as many rappelling accidents as lowering accidents in sport climbing, especially among beginners, and the rappelling accidents generally seem to be more serious. When you consider that lowering is far more prevalent in sport climbing than rappelling, it is apparent that the risk per descent from rappelling is greater than from lowering.

Even if you have to untie and thread the anchors to lower, there are more things that can (and do) go wrong rappelling than lowering. Setting up a rap requires more work on the part of the climber than setting up to lower. Just failing to ensure that the ends are both down has caused numerous accidents and near misses reported on this site. At least three climbers have reported accidents or near misses from the incredible mistake of thinking that their rope's end warning marks were the middle markótalk about complacency! Additionally, controlling a descent on rappel is more difficult than controlling a descent by lowering, a difference that is magnified if you have to clean the route.

Like Dingus said, when you're sport climbing, you're already relying on your partner to catch your falls, "take" on command, lower you down to work a move, etc. You're not really relying on them for anything new by lowering off the route; you're just relying on them for a little longer.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Oct 5, 2009, 9:22 AM)


tradmanclimbs


Oct 5, 2009, 9:33 AM
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Seems simple enough but they do mess it up. I used to rock rat a lot and there have been several times where I rapped simply because i had lost confidence in the belayer. My instructions often go allong the lines of Give me pleanty of slack, DO NOT PULL ME OFF!!.. the last 6 or so years I have been soloing much more and hooking up with strangers a lot less.... yes adding that second person into the mix does add to the danger. Leading i am trusting them only IF I fall. lowering i literaly put my life in their hands at all times.


jt512


Oct 5, 2009, 9:46 AM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
yes adding that second person into the mix does add to the danger.

This is a bit of climbing lore that is simply false. Believing that adding a second climber to the team makes the descent more dangerous is analogous to believing that adding a copilot to the flight crew makes flying more dangerous. If the belayer is competent then lowering is safer than rappelling because the hard work is done by a second person who is safely on the ground, instead of by someone hanging a hundred feet in the air, who may be excited or tired from having just finished a challenging climb. If you are foolish enough to climb with incompetent partners, it's a different story.

Jay


tradmanclimbs


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Jay, when you guide beginners you unfourtunatly run into dozens of situations where that partner endangers your life. While it is nessicary to teach them to lower safly with you as the live crash test dummy at times there are many situations where i simply choose to rap VS putting my life in the hands of a student.


jakedatc


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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Seems simple enough but they do mess it up. I used to rock rat a lot and there have been several times where I rapped simply because i had lost confidence in the belayer. My instructions often go allong the lines of Give me pleanty of slack, DO NOT PULL ME OFF!!.. the last 6 or so years I have been soloing much more and hooking up with strangers a lot less.... yes adding that second person into the mix does add to the danger. Leading i am trusting them only IF I fall. lowering i literaly put my life in their hands at all times.

LOL so you trust them to make an instantaneous action without warning when you fall but don't trust them to do a very controlled, self initiated action with plenty of warning. Crazy


jdefazio


Oct 5, 2009, 9:57 AM
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"jt512 wrote:
3 - Why were you rappelling a sport route in the first place? It's safer and faster to lower.

Jay

Jay,
I'm not sure about the route in question, but this area has/had some routes where the bolted anchors simply consist of large hangers, i.e. without rings or chains.

Gail?


jt512


Oct 5, 2009, 10:02 AM
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jdefazio wrote:
"jt512 wrote:
3 - Why were you rappelling a sport route in the first place? It's safer and faster to lower.

Jay

Jay,
I'm not sure about the route in question, but this area has/had some routes where the bolted anchors simply consist of large hangers, i.e. without rings or chains.

Gail?

Is "large hangers" supposed to mean "Metolius rap hangers", or something else?

Jay


tradmanclimbs


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Jake its called guiding. You know you are soloing and that you CAN NOT FALL. The rope is there for the client or beginner that you are teaching. They get to learn how to do all this fun stuff but you would be a fool to trust them to catch a leader fall. Why not just set them up with a gri gri? They need to learn to belay with a standard belay device so the gri gri would be counter productive in this situation...


Seriously guys 99% of the time I lower off of sport climbs and i never guide on sport climbs.. we are basically in agreement... I just don't buy that lowering is significantly safer than rapping. You can get chopped either way..


(This post was edited by tradmanclimbs on Oct 5, 2009, 10:14 AM)


jdefazio


Oct 5, 2009, 10:09 AM
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jt512 wrote:
jdefazio wrote:
"jt512 wrote:
3 - Why were you rappelling a sport route in the first place? It's safer and faster to lower.

Jay

Jay,
I'm not sure about the route in question, but this area has/had some routes where the bolted anchors simply consist of large hangers, i.e. without rings or chains.

Gail?

Is "large hangers" supposed to mean "Metolius rap hangers", or something else?

Jay

The ones I've come across were not nearly as friendly for lowering as the Metolius rap hangers, with sharper edges. This was a few years ago, however.


jt512


Oct 5, 2009, 10:13 AM
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jdefazio wrote:
jt512 wrote:
jdefazio wrote:
"jt512 wrote:
3 - Why were you rappelling a sport route in the first place? It's safer and faster to lower.

Jay

Jay,
I'm not sure about the route in question, but this area has/had some routes where the bolted anchors simply consist of large hangers, i.e. without rings or chains.

Gail?

Is "large hangers" supposed to mean "Metolius rap hangers", or something else?

Jay

The ones I've come across were not nearly as friendly for lowering as the Metolius rap hangers, with sharper edges. This was a few years ago, however.

If they weren't Metolius rap hangers, then you shouldn't be rapping directly off them, either.

Jay


jakedatc


Oct 5, 2009, 10:13 AM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Jake its calld guideing. You know you are soloing and that you CAN NOT FALL. The rope is there for the client or beginniner that you are teaching. They get to learn how to do all this fun stuff but you would be a fool to trust them to catch a leader fall. Why not just set them up with a gri gri? They need to learn to belay with a standard belay device so the gri gri would be counter productive in this situation...


Seriously guys 99% of the time I lower off of sport climbs and i never guide on sport climbs.. we are basicly in agreement... I just don't buy that lowering is significantly safer than rapping. You can get chopped either way..

Ok then you should have said that. Clearly Jay and I both thought that you were picking up random people to belay you.

we are in agreement except the fact that we don't think that lowering is as dangerous as rapping.

I don't buy that you've seen as many lowering issues than even threads about people rapping of the ends.. loosing control of their rap. threading their rope to only the 15m mark


tradmanclimbs


Oct 5, 2009, 10:23 AM
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jake i used to rock rat. do that very rarely now and then usualy to be a nice guy and show a noob arround. I put myself in guide mode for that.

Recently a guide posted about falling off of WG and the client letting them fall a LOOOONG ways.. My only comment was, that is what clients are supposed to do. its up to the guide to NOT fall when guideing;)

As for all those rapping accidents most are not at sport areas. If you look you will most likly find that most of the lowering accidents are sport related and most of the rapping accidents are other.


jakedatc


Oct 5, 2009, 10:30 AM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
jake i used to rock rat. do that very rarely now and then usualy to be a nice guy and show a noob arround. I put myself in guide mode for that.

Recently a guide posted about falling off of WG and the client letting them fall a LOOOONG ways.. My only comment was, that is what clients are supposed to do. its up to the guide to NOT fall when guideing;)

As for all those rapping accidents most are not at sport areas. If you look you will most likly find that most of the lowering accidents are sport related and most of the rapping accidents are other.

That's because most sport climbers who are worth anything are LOWERING OFF. you don't see lowering accidents at trad areas because they are not doing it!

you don't see motorcycle accidents at car races either


tradmanclimbs


Oct 5, 2009, 11:09 AM
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jake. i thought we wre talking about sport climbing? jay mentioned the ratio of rap accidents to lowering accidents. i was pointing out that while the lowering accidents were mostly sport related the rap accidents were all accross the spectrum so it is not a stat that can be easily computed...


jakedatc


Oct 5, 2009, 11:15 AM
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
jake. i thought we wre talking about sport climbing? jay mentioned the ratio of rap accidents to lowering accidents. i was pointing out that while the lowering accidents were mostly sport related the rap accidents were all accross the spectrum so it is not a stat that can be easily computed...

Ok so how can you say that lowering is more dangerous than rappelling?

we've pointed out that there is less chance for error in lowering, you keep stating statistic giberish that has no correlation


dingus


Oct 5, 2009, 11:19 AM
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There are no stats to cite.

Its all opinion mates. Let's not lose sight of the fact we have no facts...

in my opinion lowering off sport routes after a lead is not just a little safer, but a LOT safer, for ME and mine.

Your mileage may vary. Its your ass - YOU protect it!

DMT


gblauer
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Oct 5, 2009, 11:39 AM
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All,

I went to see Vanessa today. She is resting more comfortably now that they operated on her spine. She is still on pain medication, but, she is feeling better. She is a very strong woman and her spirits are good.

Unfortunately, just as I was leaving, her cardiologist conducted more tests on her aorta. It turns out that she may have damaged her aorta during the fall and the docs (real time/right now) are trying to figure out the next plan of action. If her aorta is damaged, she will have to immediately undergo open heart surgery to repair. Needless to say, Vanessa is upset and anxious.

Please send her your prayers and good thoughts. She is going to need them.

Gail


dingus


Oct 5, 2009, 11:46 AM
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gblauer wrote:
All,

I went to see Vanessa today. She is resting more comfortably now that they operated on her spine. She is still on pain medication, but, she is feeling better. She is a very strong woman and her spirits are good.

Unfortunately, just as I was leaving, her cardiologist conducted more tests on her aorta. It turns out that she may have damaged her aorta during the fall and the docs (real time/right now) are trying to figure out the next plan of action. If her aorta is damaged, she will have to immediately undergo open heart surgery to repair. Needless to say, Vanessa is upset and anxious.

Please send her your prayers and good thoughts. She is going to need them.

Gail

Thanks again glauber.

DMT


joeforte


Oct 5, 2009, 5:40 PM
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unrest wrote:
I spent 2 days doing all sorts of self-rescue last week. I dedicated 6 hours each day to getting myself into and out of some text book snares. I had a TR anchor rigged with an ascender and a backup knot on my rear haul loop. I had backup knots ever 6 feet and I was on a seriously over-hung pitch. I had a dry-bag with 2 books by Leuben about climbing and rescue and I pretty much lived it out. I rigged some static lines that held bags with all my gear and I started with nothing and tried to solve the problems and only use gear and books when I was totally stumped.

A bunch of people formed an audience below and they were asking things like, "What are you doing?" and I'd answer, "Practicing self-rescue and accident avoidance." and some of the idiots were dumb enough to say, "Why?"

It was interesting. I've never learned so much in 2 days. I had a nice ledge I could do a short pendulum over to. It had water and anything else I needed. I could stand or sit comfortably.

I marvel at how little most climbers I meet know. I always ask people I climb with or near some basic questions?

1. Do you know how to ascend the rope if you fell off an overhang and couldn't climb it? If they say yes I ask them to explain in detail.

2. I say you are 4 pitches off the deck and you just dropped your rap device. Now what?

3. Your the leader and belaying from the top. Your partner just ate granite with his face when he fell tangled in the rope. How will you get to him?

4. Tell me how you would retreat off a 9 pitch climb, when you are half-way up on gear and a massive storm blows in?


I ask different questions too. Most people don't know how to build anchors. They have no clue how to answer 1-4. I never see people practicing stuff anywhere.

I'm not suprised at all by what I read. What surprises me and pisses me off are the times when I stop myself in the middle of doing something stupid.

I'm glad I know how to spot "stupid" and then back off. I see so many people who think "stupid" is right and off they go.

I watched a group of 6 climb TR on metolius sport bolts. These things will chew up a rope in no time. I walked over and asked, "Are you really belaying off the hangers?" (It's a climb I know well and that's suicide.) the guy looked at me and said, "I do it all the time. Not a big deal." I looked at him, his gear and his nearly black rope that used to be yellow. He had a sling, 2 lockers and a belay device and that was it. What was worse was 5 people with him were obviously new to the sport and he's getting them going on bad habits. If you consider that someday each of them might teach 5 people the same thing it gets a bit nauseating.

I get shit here all the time for wanting to haul a lot of gear and nobody asks why. I am constantly practicing safety (at least one day a week) and or something else. I haul it all up and try to get by on as little as possible in some scenarios knowing that some day I might have to self-rescue with only a shoe-lace. I can ascend a rope, escape a belay, bypass a knot, lock off a partner and a few other things using just a shoelace. Why? Because I practice the weird McGyver shit knowing that someday it might be a piece of duct tape, a piece of gum and a bottle of bug spray that somehow saves my ass.

It's terrifying that I don't see people practicing rescue. It's really bad that most people have no idea how to do some basic rescue stuff.

That's nice, but what does self rescue have to do with this accident?


ClimbClimb


Oct 5, 2009, 7:06 PM
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joeforte wrote:
That's nice, but what does self rescue have to do with this accident?

I actually think it does have something to do with it -- although not in the way intended. Despite all these extra skills & experience, often it is the simplest mistake (like not making sure one is connected to anchor) that leads to injury or death.

Once heard a sad story about a top-notch biker who suffered serious brain damage after falling off a bike on a street in front of his house, while not doing anything particularly dangerous. Bad things happen. Preparation is good, but it can also fool us into ignoring the basics.


unrest


Oct 5, 2009, 9:02 PM
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Taking time to learn what is safe and what isn't will allow you to spot problems before they develop. When you are practicing safety (not just self-rescue) it gets you mindful of what isn't safe.

I see people charge up a climb and clean off gear and they don't practice the simplest life saving thing. When I'm on a rope and ascending or lowering, doing anything besides climbing I set up an autoblock. In the case of this accident an autoblock would have prevented the situation completely. If you wrap both strands with an autoblock prior to starting a rappel you can rig the rappel wrong and get a 2nd chance to rig it right.

Familiarity on a rope disciplines you to habits. An autoblock is one habit many climbers lack. It would save many, many rescues if climbers had a solid grasp of the basics. Always backup your anchors. Always backup your rappel. You never place one cam on a climb. Well sometimes you have no choice but then your name is Dave McCleod. Generally you place cams and stoppers to make your protection redundant. Climbing is about redundant safety.

Practicing rescue gives you skills that span well beyond rescue. You learn to appreciate the things that can kill you and to take them more seriously.

YMMV. I practice all sorts of stuff so that I can spot the dangerous stuff and fix it or back it up.


notapplicable


Oct 5, 2009, 10:06 PM
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unrest wrote:
Always backup your rappel.

No, no I won't. Not always.

Sorry


jakedatc


Oct 5, 2009, 10:37 PM
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while sport climbing i never do.. if i can see the ground i never do.. slab nope...

what i do do is weight my rap before taking the sling i'm attached to a bolt with off. same with lowering. i take up so my sling isn't weighted then have them lower me.


jnm1


Oct 5, 2009, 11:45 PM
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gblauer
If she hasn't read it already it might be good for her to pick up Lynn Hills' Climbing Free
In the first couple chapters she talks about her fall and recovery.
Or if she's still at the Reading Hospital I'll send her a copy.

There's a preview here:
http://books.google.com/...e&q=&f=false


gblauer
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Oct 6, 2009, 4:31 AM
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jnm1 wrote:
gblauer
If she hasn't read it already it might be good for her to pick up Lynn Hills' Climbing Free
In the first couple chapters she talks about her fall and recovery.
Or if she's still at the Reading Hospital I'll send her a copy.

There's a preview here:
http://books.google.com/...e&q=&f=false

That's funny, I gave it to her yesterday!


gblauer
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Oct 6, 2009, 7:43 AM
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Good news, after additional testing the docs have determined that Vanessa's aorta was undamaged in the fall. No open heart surgery is planned.

Now she just has to get better.

Please PM me if you are local to PHL and would like to visit. I will give you directions.


gblauer
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Oct 6, 2009, 3:27 PM
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Back to Vanessa.

Latest update:

She is having another surgery tomorrow morning to do more work on her spine. She is experiencing numbness in her legs, so they need to place some additional hardware.

Vanessa is in good spirits and appreciates the kind thoughts and prayers.

PM me if you would like to get in touch with her.


ClimbClimb


Oct 6, 2009, 7:59 PM
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gblauer wrote:
Back to Vanessa.

It's really great your'e doing this.


zlatica


Oct 7, 2009, 4:43 AM
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  I donít want to judge here neither condemn, I just want to say

that it is not necessary to "prove yourself" to anyone.
Do your best. That's all you can ask of yourself. If you
did your best and things just didn't work out, you don't
owe an apology to anyone. And you certainly don't
need to feel 'bad' about it -- or, worse yet, guilty.
What happened is what happened. You're not the 'villain' here. It's
just what happened. And there is aď Soul Reasonď for that.

What about to be willing to understand the others?

Thank you gblauer for all your work, thatís all what counts. Your news make my work for Vanessa easier. Iím not able to visit her, but tell her Iím with her very often.
Zlatica.


gblauer
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Oct 8, 2009, 5:50 AM
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zlatica wrote:

Thank you gblauer for all your work, thatís all what counts. Your news make my work for Vanessa easier. Iím not able to visit her, but tell her Iím with her very often.
Zlatica.

Zlatica...She had a very long surgery yesterday to put more screws into her spine. The surgery was longer than expected, but Vanessa was awake later in the afternoon.


wonderwoman


Oct 9, 2009, 6:21 AM
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I realize that this is a delayed reaction, and apologize for that... But the cleaning of this thread is about to begin. The guidelines for posting in A & I are:

This forum is reserved for polite discussion of specific accidents. Please keep posts on subject and respectful of both the people involved and other users.

Therefore, anything not about this accident and not respectful will be hidden.

Please keep on topic. And here's to Vanessa's full recovery. Thanks, Gail for keeping us all in the loop and keeping things back on track! You are an amazing person for being there for her. There should be more people in this world like you!


losbill


Oct 9, 2009, 7:38 AM
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Best wishes for a very complete recovery to Vanessa.

Gail "Gud'on ya!!!!"

Gunks for WE, down early Sat, back late Monday. PM if you would like to tie in at any time. Bill


zlatica


Oct 9, 2009, 12:50 PM
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Gail, thank you.
I have something, what could be very useful for Vanessa at the time when all that turmoil chills out and the inner work begins. It helps to understand what happened, accept "the bad times" in our lives and show how not to stay there longer than necessary.
Maybe she will give them a chance. It is a very new book, easy to read, even for me (I never had English at the school, learning by my self).

WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGES CHANGE EVERYTHING from Neale Donald Walsch.

It is the first book that doesn't let me feel bad about not being "positive" for 24 hours a day.
This book brought many people to a fast recovery too.

I wish her for now, from the deep of my heart, lot of patience by waiting for" the full stop" of this "sentence". I believe in her, she is strong, after all, she did survive all that.

Zlatica.


gblauer
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Oct 13, 2009, 9:34 AM
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A Vanessa Update:

Thank you to those of you who have gone out of your way to visit with Vanessa. She really appreciates the visits and everyone's good wishes.

I went to see her today. She is feeling a bit better (less pain), but she is still very uncomfortable. She is not at all mobile. She needs a back brace when sitting and cannot put any weight on her right foot. Her left arm is in a full cast, further limiting her movements.

It's going to be a long trip back for Vanessa. Please continue to include her in your prayers, as this is the toughest part of her journey.


gblauer
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Oct 16, 2009, 2:36 PM
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All,

Vanessa's father has to leave for a week. This will leave her without any support in Philadelphia.

Would you be willing to visit with a fellow climber by:
1) Giving her a call on her cell?
2) If you are local, going to visit her?

Please PM me, she really needs support as she is going through a very tough recovery.

Thanks,
Gail


notapplicable


Oct 16, 2009, 4:58 PM
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Few questions -

Any idea how long Vanessa will be at her current location?

Is she lucky enough to have a TV with DVD player in her room?


If she is going to be there for a bit, has a TV and is interested, I'd like to set her up a Netflix account. If she has a computer she can go in and add movies to the queue or give me call and I'll do it for her. The first ones can be there in 2-3 days with fresh ones as fast as she can watch em. It's not much but it might help the lonely hours of the evening pass a bit faster.


gblauer
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Oct 16, 2009, 5:21 PM
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Wow, that's really kind of you.

She doesn't have a PC and she does not have a DVD player. She has a standard issue hospital TV. She is likely to move in a week or so.


notapplicable


Oct 16, 2009, 6:30 PM
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That sucks. I figured the DVD player was probably a longshot but sometimes you see the built-in combo units.

When she moves, is that likely to be back home or to another hospital? Hopefully they can set her up at home because hospitals may be a lot of things but comfortable and relaxing they are not. You need that when your trying to heal.


edit - spelling


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Oct 16, 2009, 6:31 PM)


gblauer
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Oct 16, 2009, 6:34 PM
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She will move to a rehab facility. She will be in a wheel chair for 3 months as she cannot use crutches (broken arm).


notapplicable


Oct 16, 2009, 7:48 PM
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Sounds like thats probably for the best then.


zlatica


Oct 17, 2009, 5:42 AM
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I know, to call her from Germany will bring some costs for her too,
but I have an other idea. I will PM you my cellphone number and if she is in pain or she need any calming, consolation, she can write me a text msg. at any time. Even at night, when she can't sleep, it is the perfect time because of the time difference from USA to Germany (I guess plus 10 hours from there).
Zlatica.


ukkonen


Oct 17, 2009, 6:09 AM
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An idea for while she is going through rehab if she can get a laptop with a mouse she should be able to operate Eve Online.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oq2oxt7Nrxo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNyfI4dv1dg

I know a lot of people don't like games and they aren't ideal. But I think they are better then TV and the one I mentioned is very high quality in terms of its depth. I know for me when I was injured and didn't have the option of doing the things I love to do it helps to have something that at least lets me feel like I am doing something, rather then just flipping channels all day.

The controls for that game can all be done with a mouse. Communication could be a hassle if she can't type but nearly everyone uses voice coms anyway so she shouldn't need to type.

PM me if she is interested and I can get her connected to several cool groups of people in game, and can help get past the learning curve.


dingus


Oct 17, 2009, 7:08 AM
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The power of recovery....

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...ost=2223757;#2223757

DMT


dingus


Oct 18, 2009, 9:44 AM
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I just spoke to Vanessa for a bit. She's a strong spirit but as Gail pointed out she's all alone in Philadelphia. Her father flew back home to deal with some business. She's out of ICU and in a rehab ward, starting to do initial PT. She can use all the support you folks can lend her!

DMT


gblauer
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Oct 19, 2009, 4:07 PM
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I went visit Vanessa today. Just as Dingus pointed out, she is now on a rehab floor.

She looked amazing, it's been a week since I have seen her and she is really moving well. Despite the broken sternum (yeah, I just heard about that), hip/pelvis, arm and back she is really moving around (transferring from bed to wheelchair) rather well.

She still has a long way to go, it will be between 3-6 months until she can put any weight on her leg and the same amount of time her back (she has to wear a big, hard shell back brace),

PM me if you would like her cell. She is missing her Dad and was teary when we talked about his departure.


timstich


Oct 21, 2009, 8:59 PM
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Reading this really puts a lump in my throat. I spent a semester in Philadelphia in 1986 and had some pretty bad times there. I just wanted to let Vanessa know I was thinking of her tonight and wished her well. Get strong and take care.

-Tim


gimmeslack


Oct 29, 2009, 6:26 AM
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timstich wrote:
Reading this really puts a lump in my throat. I spent a semester in Philadelphia in 1986 and had some pretty bad times there. I just wanted to let Vanessa know I was thinking of her tonight and wished her well. Get strong and take care.

-Tim

Would she be able to use a notebook/web-book if we got her one?


(This post was edited by gimmeslack on Oct 29, 2009, 8:05 AM)


gblauer
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Oct 31, 2009, 5:06 PM
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We are checking into this now. Her father will let us know. Thanks!


dingus


Nov 1, 2009, 6:30 AM
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Update: I just spoke to Vanessa on the phone. First all she sounds much better than last time we spoke (She had come out of surgery the day prior to the last call).

She can get around on her own now for important functions like eating, bathing, bathroom etc. Huge progress, that.

She has months of rehab facing her and a mountain of bills and no clear way to pay them, however. This was a life-altering event - she's going to need her support team for a long time to come.

She told me many climbers have visited her there in the hospital, most of whom she didn't know. And many more have called her.

YOU PEOPLE ROCK!

Thank you for Vanessa. Keep looking and asking after her. Now that the dust has settled she has to be beating herself up pretty bad about all this. Can't go down that road, trust me!

So hearing from and seeing kindred spirits is hugely important... keep up the good work.

You GO Vanessa. Work that PT till you want to scream! Then rest up and do it again. You've already been through the worst of it.

Thinking of you
DMT


gblauer
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Nov 1, 2009, 8:13 AM
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Vanessa has a lap top now. I will try and get her email address.


notapplicable


Nov 1, 2009, 1:22 PM
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Can you please pm it to me when/if you do.

Thanks


socalclimber


Nov 1, 2009, 5:57 PM
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I spoke with her as well. Good news about her continued recovery!


gblauer
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Nov 11, 2009, 8:41 PM
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Vanessa has a PC...PM me if you would like her email address.

She is doing much better, expected to be released from the hospital by thanksgiving. She needs her arm out of the cast so that she can use crutches or a walker.


moose_droppings


Nov 11, 2009, 9:27 PM
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Bump

Since she's got a PC maybe we can keep this somewhat on top so she can read that were all thinking about her and hoping for the best outcome possible for her.

Positive thoughts for you Vanessa.


timstich


Nov 12, 2009, 8:40 PM
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I just got off the phone with Vanessa. What a nice conversation, and so unexpected. I had called last week, but she had a visitor. It turns out it was the friend she had gone to Philly to see, so he was able to come see her at the rehab hospital frequently. Her pop came out for three weeks right after the accident and her brother came twice from Georgia.

None the less, it's still been tough being alone in a strange place and messed up to boot. But Vanessa was so cheerful and upbeat on the phone, you would never guess that.

We talked about all sorts of things. I shared my days just out of high school living in Philly and being a bit overwhelmed there. I ran down the list of other injured climbers recovering right now, like Marty Karabin, and some that have long since gotten back to climbing and their lives, like ryhang. Oh, and that Dingus guy. He got messed up BITD as I recall!

I'll definitely be calling again to see when she gets released, which hopefully will be before Thanksgiving. Vanessa really appreciates all of the calls and messages she has gotten from you all. It makes it a lot less dull around the ward. Ha.

Also, since I have never spoken to Dingus over the phone or met him in person, I had to ask her if he sounded like he was nutty. You know, I don't think she answered the question! I guess it can't be explained, like the Matrix; you have to experience it for yourself.


(This post was edited by timstich on Nov 12, 2009, 8:43 PM)


dingus


Nov 13, 2009, 4:42 AM
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Spent time in Philli didjya Tim? I worked for a Philly firm for right at a decade. I never lived there but visited plenty. I love Philadelphia, what a cool city.

But you can't tour the city from a hospital bed I'm pretty sure.

Email is working with Vanessa. Hope she gets out of there soon. Keep thinking the positive thoughts my friends.

And no she wouldn't remember stich... the end of each conversation is :

"You will forget the sound of my voice."

"You know I forgot the sound of your voice."

But the Force runs strong on that one.

DMT


Climbhigh1123


Nov 13, 2009, 8:44 AM
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Best wishes to Vanessa on her recovery! It's great to see how all of us can pull together to help each other in our community, it's very humbling.


ClimbSoHigh


Nov 13, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Probably the wrong place for this but it might prevent a future accident. If you are going direct to the anchors with sling, be wary of spectra. You would be fine with a short 6" to 1ft fall as described but keep in mind spectra has no stretch and is quite weak to shock forces. (it is very strong statically however) I see way too many people with a 48" runner to an achor at the gunks, standing on a ledge 4" from the anchor point. They think they are safe, but even a 2 foot fall combined with a sharp edge can break your sling, or at least hurt like a bitch. This is why most retailers add the colored nylon strands to slings to give it some stretch and prevent shock loading. (trad draws are ok as the rope's nylon will stretch dampening the shock loading, but a bolt to a person directly this is not the case) My opinion, use nylon slings, or be extra mindfull when using lighter spectra.

Just some food for thought.

To the victim(s), my heart goes out to you. A couple of times I too almost have become victim of this untill I went to weight the rap and realized I wasnt clipped thought the rope.

My biggest fear is rapping of the end of my rope on single pitch climbs, (my heart goes out to the other climber mentioned, I can't immagine that feeling). I almsot did a while back when a climber happened to walk by and informed me one of my ends was not touching. (I was looking at a 5 foot fall but regardless I wasn't thinking...) You never think to tie knots on single pitch, and many argue it is unnecessary. My idea is don't double check, at least tripple check!

I remember hearing somewhere that the greatest cause of climber deaths is durring a rappel. It is fun when it goes right, but can go wrong very easily.

Once again my heart goes out to all involved, and thanks to all that helped this person.


gblauer
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Nov 13, 2009, 5:37 PM
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A setback for Vanessa

They were going to release her as soon as her arm could support her weight (crutches or walker).

But, now, they have discovered a problem in her arm that will require surgery. This will set her release date back significantly.

She is understandably upset.

Reach out to her if you can.

PM me for her email address and/or phone number.


timstich


Nov 15, 2009, 1:50 PM
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OK, they fixed the problem with her arm. In any case, she will probably be released as scheduled and can spend Thanksgiving with her brother and his family, which of course rocks. Dad will then help out after that.

So if you call in a few weeks, she may not even be in the rehab place anymore. Cool


(This post was edited by timstich on Nov 15, 2009, 2:08 PM)


dingus


Nov 15, 2009, 4:04 PM
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timstich wrote:
OK, they fixed the problem with her arm. In any case, she will probably be released as scheduled and can spend Thanksgiving with her brother and his family, which of course rocks. Dad will then help out after that.

So if you call in a few weeks, she may not even be in the rehab place anymore. Cool

Great news thanks for the update!

DMT


gblauer
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Nov 23, 2009, 6:08 PM
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Vanessa has been released from the hospital and is now in Georgia with her brother. Woohoo!


milesenoell


Nov 23, 2009, 6:28 PM
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gblauer wrote:
Vanessa has been released from the hospital and is now in Georgia with her brother. Woohoo!

Excellent!

Thanks for keeping up with this gblauer. I find myself thinking about Vanessa rather frequently.


moose_droppings


Nov 23, 2009, 7:37 PM
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Good to hear that. Out in time to be with family for Thanksgiving.
I'd bet she's elated as can be expected.
woot woot


lilnesscapades


Nov 24, 2009, 3:49 PM
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hello all! this is vanessa, the one who fell at birdsboro. for some reason, i couldn't figure out how to post a message so i just thought i would respond to gail's post.

gail is most definitely a rock star and i appreciate all of her efforts to keep my spirits up during this extremely tough time. it's good to see familiar names on this forum of folks who called and/or stopped by the hospital.

anyway, i just wanted to say thanks to everyone. i'll try to keep in touch on here but i'm a little bit better with email. i read a lot of the post and just can't believe all of the support that is out there and i didn't even know it!:)

love and hugs to you all! and happy thanksgiving!:) i'm glad to be safe and sound at my brother's but am aching to get back to my place in dc and back out on the rocks asap!

i saw some peeps who wrote about depression and bad dreams and such like... yeah, all that stuff pretty much happened and keeps happening, but i am totally getting through it and just keeping my eye on the prize of getting better.

later,

ness


BeL1Eve


Nov 24, 2009, 4:28 PM
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So glad to hear you're in good such good spirits!

I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving with your brother, and get back on the mend quickly!


dingus


Nov 24, 2009, 7:42 PM
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lilnesscapades wrote:
hello all! this is vanessa, the one who fell at birdsboro. for some reason, i couldn't figure out how to post a message so i just thought i would respond to gail's post.

gail is most definitely a rock star and i appreciate all of her efforts to keep my spirits up during this extremely tough time. it's good to see familiar names on this forum of folks who called and/or stopped by the hospital.

anyway, i just wanted to say thanks to everyone. i'll try to keep in touch on here but i'm a little bit better with email. i read a lot of the post and just can't believe all of the support that is out there and i didn't even know it!:)

love and hugs to you all! and happy thanksgiving!:) i'm glad to be safe and sound at my brother's but am aching to get back to my place in dc and back out on the rocks asap!

i saw some peeps who wrote about depression and bad dreams and such like... yeah, all that stuff pretty much happened and keeps happening, but i am totally getting through it and just keeping my eye on the prize of getting better.

later,

ness

You're strong Vanessa, even when you're down. You've put the worst of it behind you. I'm very happy for you that you're out of the hospital. Thanks for posting here.

Talk to you soon,

DMT


Partner robdotcalm


Nov 24, 2009, 10:14 PM
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lilnesscapades wrote:

anyway, i just wanted to say thanks to everyone. i'll try to keep in touch on here but i'm a little bit better with email. i read a lot of the post and just can't believe all of the support that is out there and i didn't even know it!:)

And your example of courage and resolve is support for all of us. Best wishes as you continue on the path to recovery.

Cheers,
Rob.calm


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