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Accident while lowering at City of Rocks
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raingod


Sep 6, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
No one EVER noticices a middle or end mark when loweing a climber off the end of a rope. .....
You are supposed to notice it when they are on the way up.


sspssp


Sep 6, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
No one EVER noticices a middle or end mark when loweing a climber off the end of a rope. the focus is always on the climber untill the rope slips through the device.

If you wrap thread around the rope (and I carefully "sew" the thread into the rope sheath, to keep the thread from slipping up or down the rope and changing the location of the mark), you can feel it go past your hand and then feel it again as it goes through the belay device. So if you did this near the ends of the rope, it would offer some additional protection against lowering/rapping off the end.

I'm a little surprised that rope makers don't do something to the ends of their ropes so that you can feel the end coming up (thread or something else).

My strategy is to keep the end of the rope always tied: either to the rope bag or the belayer. But no system is perfect. I came inches away from dropping a climber. He had lead the climb on his rope, which was not tied into his rope bag. Relying on the habbits of others can be problematic.


(This post was edited by sspssp on Sep 6, 2010, 11:27 AM)


bill413


Sep 6, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Re: [sspssp] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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sspssp wrote:
I'm a little surprised that rope makers don't do something to the ends of their ropes so that you can feel the end coming up (thread or something else).

Some models do have marks located ca. 5m from the ends of the ropes. There are several stories about these marks being mistaken for the middle mark when rigging rappels. So, there is debate on their usefulness. (It's one of the reasons I don't trust middle marks, but verify from the ends that I've rigged raps correctly.)

"Closing the system" by knotting the ends (to themselves or a rope bag), and still visually checking (since I've seen end knots come untied from jostling) are, to my mind, better practices than relying on marked ropes.


redlude97


Sep 6, 2010, 2:55 PM
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Re: [raingod] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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raingod wrote:
tradmanclimbs wrote:
No one EVER noticices a middle or end mark when loweing a climber off the end of a rope. .....
You are supposed to notice it when they are on the way up.
Exactly. Sure having a backup knot is a good idea, but if you get to the point where the backup is into the belay device you are already in for an epic. I have always payed attention for the midpoint of my rope, especially when there is any question the climb is close to 100'. I let my partner know when they've past the halfway point of the rope, which should only occur on a multi-pitch route with a second rope or rap stations/walkoff.


jt512


Sep 6, 2010, 3:26 PM
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Re: [redlude97] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:
raingod wrote:
tradmanclimbs wrote:
No one EVER noticices a middle or end mark when loweing a climber off the end of a rope. .....
You are supposed to notice it when they are on the way up.
Exactly. Sure having a backup knot is a good idea, but if you get to the point where the backup is into the belay device you are already in for an epic. I have always payed attention for the midpoint of my rope, especially when there is any question the climb is close to 100'. I let my partner know when they've past the halfway point of the rope, which should only occur on a multi-pitch route with a second rope or rap stations/walkoff.

In my experience it is pretty common to have the middle mark pass the belay device on a single-pitch sport climb, and still be able to lower the climber to the ground with rope stretch. Seeing the middle mark go by should be nothing more than a reminder that the pitch is a rope stretcher, since both the climber and the belayer should have been aware of this before beginning the route.

Jay


redlude97


Sep 6, 2010, 3:36 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
raingod wrote:
tradmanclimbs wrote:
No one EVER noticices a middle or end mark when loweing a climber off the end of a rope. .....
You are supposed to notice it when they are on the way up.
Exactly. Sure having a backup knot is a good idea, but if you get to the point where the backup is into the belay device you are already in for an epic. I have always payed attention for the midpoint of my rope, especially when there is any question the climb is close to 100'. I let my partner know when they've past the halfway point of the rope, which should only occur on a multi-pitch route with a second rope or rap stations/walkoff.

In my experience it is pretty common to have the middle mark pass the belay device on a single-pitch sport climb, and still be able to lower the climber to the ground with rope stretch. Seeing the middle mark go by should be nothing more than a reminder that the pitch is a rope stretcher, since both the climber and the belayer should have been aware of this before beginning the route.

Jay
While thats probably true, my partner and I usually don't put ourselves in that situation. Our most common solution is to use a 70m rope if there is any question about the length, and a 60m rope covers 95% of the other single pitch routes encountered. Leavenworth, which has a number of 100-120' routes often requires the use of a 70m and is indicated as such in the guidebooks.


acorneau


Sep 6, 2010, 6:06 PM
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Re: Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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I agree with most of what has been said, however one simple thing that no one has mentioned yet...

When lowering your climber put both hands on the break side of the rope*. That way you've got two break hands on the rope.

* Obviously this doesn't work when using a device where you need one hand to manipulate a lever like a Grigri, Cinch or Eddy.


socalclimber


Sep 6, 2010, 6:39 PM
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Re: [acorneau] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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Relying on middle marks is just stupid. This simplest and best way to prevent these accidents is to either A) tie a knot at the end, or B) have the belayer tie into their harness.


brianinslc


Sep 6, 2010, 6:44 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
Relying on middle marks is just stupid. This simplest and best way to prevent these accidents is to either A) tie a knot at the end, or B) have the belayer tie into their harness.

Bingo.


socalclimber


Sep 6, 2010, 6:51 PM
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Re: [brianinslc] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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brianinslc wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
Relying on middle marks is just stupid. This simplest and best way to prevent these accidents is to either A) tie a knot at the end, or B) have the belayer tie into their harness.

Bingo.

Yeah, it just amazes me how much discussion is needed to solve a simple problem. Those who are middle mark happy will most likely end as the target of one of these discussions.


curt


Sep 6, 2010, 10:45 PM
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Re: [bill413] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:
sspssp wrote:
I'm a little surprised that rope makers don't do something to the ends of their ropes so that you can feel the end coming up (thread or something else).

Some models do have marks located ca. 5m from the ends of the ropes. There are several stories about these marks being mistaken for the middle mark when rigging rappels. So, there is debate on their usefulness.

That's because they are not at all useful.

Curt


bill413


Sep 7, 2010, 5:41 AM
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Re: [curt] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
bill413 wrote:
sspssp wrote:
I'm a little surprised that rope makers don't do something to the ends of their ropes so that you can feel the end coming up (thread or something else).

Some models do have marks located ca. 5m from the ends of the ropes. There are several stories about these marks being mistaken for the middle mark when rigging rappels. So, there is debate on their usefulness.

That's because they are not at all useful.

Curt

I didn't say the debate wasn't one sided. Wink


socalclimber


Sep 7, 2010, 6:46 AM
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Re: [bill413] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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There has been at least one death related to this type of rope that I know of, lord knows how many close calls.


viciado


Sep 7, 2010, 7:12 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
Yeah, it just amazes me how much discussion is needed to solve a simple problem. Those who are middle mark happy will most likely end as the target of one of these discussions.

What amazes me is that the point was essentially made in the original post and pointed out by others, yet it seems that so many want to re-invent the wheel.

Tie a knot or tie in and be done. Unsure

(edit for punctuation)


(This post was edited by viciado on Sep 7, 2010, 7:13 AM)


billl7


Sep 7, 2010, 7:24 AM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
No one EVER noticices a middle or end mark when loweing a climber off the end of a rope. the focus is always on the climber untill the rope slips through the device. Knowing these facts from the many accidents that we get to analize it is a no brainer that the way to avoid this typ of accident is to tie into the other end of the rope.
Saved my bacon a few years back. After we'd climbed a single-pitch route, I lowered my partner to the deck. Then my partner lowered me so I could top rope the pitch. Only I was stopped about 30 feet off the deck by my partners exclamation that there was about six inches of rope left. Man am I glad she had stayed tied in.

I'm embarassed to say that the rope had an accurately placed middle mark.

This episode gave me a vibrant nightmare that I recalled the morning after. It remains burned into my brain to this day although I'm still just as much a numbskull as I was back then.

Bill L


rangerrob


Sep 7, 2010, 7:51 AM
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Re: [billl7] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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Or we could just admit that climbing is dangerous, and human error accounts for the bulk of the accidents. In case we have forgotten, we are all human and subject to making mistakes. Even the humans with combined decades od safe climbing under their belts. We are ALL susceptible to making a mistake like this. If you think you aren't, well then you probably shouldn't be climbing.

Not knowing how to prussik a rope and being stranded mid rappel and calling 911......this is not a mistake, this is irresponsible behavior

RR


sspssp


Sep 7, 2010, 12:26 PM
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Re: [bill413] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:
sspssp wrote:
I'm a little surprised that rope makers don't do something to the ends of their ropes so that you can feel the end coming up (thread or something else).

Some models do have marks located ca. 5m from the ends of the ropes. There are several stories about these marks being mistaken for the middle
mark when rigging rappels. So, there is debate on their usefulness. (It's one of the reasons I don't trust middle marks, but verify from the ends that I've rigged raps correctly.)

"Closing the system" by knotting the ends (to themselves or a rope bag), and still visually checking (since I've seen end knots come untied from jostling) are, to my mind, better practices than relying on marked ropes.

In my opinion, 5m is too far from the end. If it was 1 or 2 meters, then it would be much, much, more difficult to confuse it with a middle mark. Additionally, if it was a meter or two from the end, that is still plenty of tail to stop lowering/rapping, but it would definitely act as a "panic stop" don't think about anything else.

Yes, closed systems are better, but... Things can still go wrong. When a guy, I had recently met, asked me for a lead belay at the Creek, it didn't cross my mind that the end of his rope was not tied into his bag. When he asked to be lowered, it didn't cross my mind that maybe he didn't know how long the pitch vs his rope was (I certainly didn't). I would have had fewer "cold sweats" if the rope had had thread near the end.


retr2327


Sep 7, 2010, 12:46 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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"The more you practice good safety habits, the more ingrained they become and you will do them without thinking. . . .

Start thinking folks."

So which is it?Wink


socalclimber


Sep 7, 2010, 4:25 PM
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Re: [retr2327] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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retr2327 wrote:
"The more you practice good safety habits, the more ingrained they become and you will do them without thinking. . . .

Start thinking folks."

So which is it?Wink


SlySlySlyLaughLaughLaughLaugh

That's for me to know...


bill413


Sep 7, 2010, 4:50 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
retr2327 wrote:
"The more you practice good safety habits, the more ingrained they become and you will do them without thinking. . . .

Start thinking folks."

So which is it?Wink


SlySlySlyLaughLaughLaughLaugh

That's for me to know...

And majid to find out? Frown


socalclimber


Sep 7, 2010, 5:57 PM
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Re: [bill413] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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bill413 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
retr2327 wrote:
"The more you practice good safety habits, the more ingrained they become and you will do them without thinking. . . .

Start thinking folks."

So which is it?Wink


SlySlySlyLaughLaughLaughLaugh

That's for me to know...

And majid to find out? Frown

Don't ask, don't tell...


tradmanclimbs


Sep 7, 2010, 6:15 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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 Obviously you guys did not read what I posted. Many folks may notice the middle mark when they do NOT lower their partner off the end of the rope. However that is NOT what I posted..

I posted.. No one ever notices the middle mark WHEN THEY LOWER THEIR PARTNER OFF THE END OF THE ROPE..
The point is that when the accident happens the middle mark will NEVER save you.. If it did save you there would be no accident. With this info in mind the only sane course of action is to close the system if the climb is anything even close to 30m.


jt512


Sep 7, 2010, 6:19 PM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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tradmanclimbs wrote:
Obviously you guys did not read what I posted. [. . . . ]

I posted.. No one ever notices the middle mark WHEN THEY LOWER THEIR PARTNER OFF THE END OF THE ROPE..

We read it. We just don't understand why you wrote it.

Jay


tradmanclimbs


Sep 8, 2010, 4:02 AM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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The point that what you are supposed to notice or do is not relivent because when accidents happen it is because people don't notice what they were supposed to notice or do what they were supposed to do.


Since it has been proven time and time again that folks have a hard time judging distance and noticing marks on the rope then the obvious solution is to physicaly tie the other end of the rope to the belayer. It is a physical task that can become automatic ( so you don't have to remember it) and is easy to doubble check.


viciado


Sep 8, 2010, 7:17 AM
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Re: [tradmanclimbs] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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Tradman...
In reply to:
when accidents happen it is because people don't notice what they were supposed to notice or do what they were supposed to do

So you believe that the problem is that they were not paying attention or thinking about it?

And your solution is to intentionally learn to do something without having to pay attention or think about it?

In reply to:
automatic ( so you don't have to remember it)

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