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Accident while lowering at City of Rocks
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socalclimber


Sep 13, 2010, 12:34 PM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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Snipped out some stuff.

robdotcalm wrote:

Socal wrote: « I cannot stress enough how important it is to close the system when top roping. I don't care if there is 40 feet of excess rope laying on the ground…This is one of my (many) lessons I teach when guiding..close the system… even when there is a an excess of rope on the ground… »

Not all guides are so wise. Last October, I had a day of guided climbing at Yosemite. Near the end of a day that had gone fine, the guide set up a top rope. Before I started to climb, I asked him to tie a knot in the rope. He said it wasn’t necessary as he always knew where the end of the rope was. I ceremoniously tied a big knot in the rope and told him that me feel more comfortable.

Cheers,
Rob.calm

I understand your sentiment, and I also understand the guides position. YMS does not hire flakes for guides. The biggest reason I do what I do is to ensure that beginner and intermediate clients start to think this way. Every guide has their own style of teaching. I work from a basic set of standards and rules, then I add too them as I see fit. Usually this involves discussions with my fellow guides and what their opinions are. Believe me, my fellow guides here in Josh have a ton more time and experience than I do. I respect their opinions. I don't take them as the letter of law as much as a good sound advice.

One other thing I do is to inform my clients in the beginning to feel free to question what I am teaching/doing. THEY ARE ALWAYS ENCOURAGED TO CONFRONT ME IF THEY ARE UNCOMFORTABLE OR IN DISAGREEMENT.

The only time I take exception is when I know I'm correct, and our safety is at risk.

THEN I RULE. PERIOD.

Don't like it, go home.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Sep 13, 2010, 12:36 PM)


socalclimber


Sep 13, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Re: [welle] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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welle wrote:
sspssp wrote:

I know that 5m is with thinking about the leader setting up the belay. But if this is the point, it is too short. By the time there is only 5m left, the belayer can usually tell that and 5m isn't always enough to find a good belay. If that is the reason, I would say 10m would be better. For the belayer, it is difficult to tell 10m of rope from 20m when it is flaked. 10m gives the leader more options for finding a good belay spot (without downclimbing).

are you visualizing what 10m are? It is almost 33 feet, some climbs are that tall. And having end-marks that(!!) close to the center of the rope will make it even more dangerous.

1m would be only enough to tie in to the harness.

sspssp wrote:
Backup systems are called a backup for a reason. A mark a meter or two from the end would be one more backup that would prevent a few poor sobs from making a dreadful mistake.

"Backup" systems need to be by definition redundant. I don't see any redundancy in some visual mark at end of the rope relying on presumed attention of the belayer. A true backup would be a knot tied in or a second belayer.

Regardless, relying on the rope markers gives a false sense of security. If the belayer hasn't noticed the middle-mark passing through the belay device when the leader was climbing (and thus alerting of the possible issues with lowering off), why would one assume they would notice the end marks?

Unfortunately, this will be lost on the bulk of people on this site. They are gear happy, middle mark happy. Anything but taking any responsibility for their lack of experience and accountability.

Yes, very experienced climbers with decades of time under their belts screw up. But, when you look at the bulk of the accidents these days, it ain't 20+ year veteran climbers.

Expect another dozen or more responses informing all of us about the benefits of middle marks, rope marks, powdered glass shards embedded in the rope to remind us of how much rope is either in or out of the system and the benefits. They will post anything that will absolve them of their own incompetence.

BTW, I commend the OP for standing up, and giving a straight forward, no bullshit report.

Good for them!


iknowfear


Sep 13, 2010, 2:27 PM
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Re: [acorneau] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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acorneau wrote:
Someone should start making a bi-weave rope with 5m marks.

That way there is no way to mistake an end mark as the middle, and you get to have "you're getting to the end of your rope" marks.

I just made some company a million dollars. I want my royalty check!

sorry. mammut used to make a triodess http://www.justropes.com/...tegory.aspx?catid=50. looks like they stopped. i doubt it was because they made too much money with it...


Partner robdotcalm


Sep 13, 2010, 2:46 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
Snipped out some stuff.

robdotcalm wrote:

Socal wrote: « I cannot stress enough how important it is to close the system when top roping. I don't care if there is 40 feet of excess rope laying on the ground…This is one of my (many) lessons I teach when guiding..close the system… even when there is a an excess of rope on the ground… »

Not all guides are so wise. Last October, I had a day of guided climbing at Yosemite. Near the end of a day that had gone fine, the guide set up a top rope. Before I started to climb, I asked him to tie a knot in the rope. He said it wasn’t necessary as he always knew where the end of the rope was. I ceremoniously tied a big knot in the rope and told him that me feel more comfortable.

Cheers,
Rob.calm

I understand your sentiment, and I also understand the guides position..

I think I understood the guide's position, and it was inappropriate, especially in a situation where the guide is looked to as an authority figure.

R.c


socalclimber


Sep 13, 2010, 3:23 PM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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Point taken!


sspssp


Sep 13, 2010, 5:09 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
welle wrote:
sspssp wrote:

I know that 5m is with thinking about the leader setting up the belay. But if this is the point, it is too short. By the time there is only 5m left, the belayer can usually tell that and 5m isn't always enough to find a good belay. If that is the reason, I would say 10m would be better. For the belayer, it is difficult to tell 10m of rope from 20m when it is flaked. 10m gives the leader more options for finding a good belay spot (without downclimbing).

are you visualizing what 10m are? It is almost 33 feet, some climbs are that tall. And having end-marks that(!!) close to the center of the rope will make it even more dangerous.

1m would be only enough to tie in to the harness.

Regardless, relying on the rope markers gives a false sense of security. If the belayer hasn't noticed the middle-mark passing through the belay device when the leader was climbing (and thus alerting of the possible issues with lowering off), why would one assume they would notice the end marks?

Unfortunately, this will be lost on the bulk of people on this site. They are gear happy, middle mark happy. Anything but taking any responsibility for their lack of experience and accountability.

Yes, very experienced climbers with decades of time under their belts screw up. But, when you look at the bulk of the accidents these days, it ain't 20+ year veteran climbers.

Expect another dozen or more responses informing all of us about the benefits of middle marks, rope marks, powdered glass shards embedded in the rope to remind us of how much rope is either in or out of the system and the benefits. They will post anything that will absolve them of their own incompetence.

Having a mark 10m from the end would be easier to confuse for a middle mark. However, I don't actually use any ropes with middle marks. All of the ropes I use are bi-color so the middle is easy to tell. But for those that don't use bi-color, I agree it would be easier to confuse for a middle mark.

Yes I know what 30 feet is. I climb plenty of easy, alpinish types climbs. When my partner tells me I have 10m left (we have added a 10 meter mark to our lead ropes) I have a good since of how far I have left before setting up an anchor.

If the end mark is a piece of thread, you don't have to "see it". You feel it pass through your hand and you feel the "bump" as it passes through the belay device. So I think it would catch most peoples attention even if they weren't paying attention. An end mark a meter from the end is to keep you from lowering/rapping off the end. If you are tied into the end, then obviously you are not going to do either of those.

As far as incompetence goes... Let'us get rid of all the safety gear on power tools. Only an idiot would cut their hand off on a table saw. Let's get rid of airbags. Let quit double checking each other since only an idiot would not tie-in/double back correctly in the first place. Let's go back to swami-belts and hip belays, since only an idiot would drop a leader.

If you have this attitude, may I thoughtfully suggest that you start reading Accidents in North American Mountaineering and have a little humbler attitude about safety.

I'm two years shy of being a "20-year veteran". I don't expect to ever need to rely on an end mark a meter or two from the end to keep from lowering/rapping off the end. But I think overall it would add to safety and if I could purchase ropes with this for a minor increase in cost, I would.

cheers


(This post was edited by sspssp on Sep 13, 2010, 5:11 PM)


socalclimber


Sep 13, 2010, 5:19 PM
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Re: [sspssp] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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sspssp wrote:

....

If you have this attitude, may I thoughtfully suggest that you start reading Accidents in North American Mountaineering and have a little humbler attitude about safety.

cheers

I ran the park service SAR team for over 5 years. I've packed more than my fair share of climbers into helicopters and dealt with the grieving partners and family members as well as being involved in the accident analysis.

The accidents that I responded to like this one could have been prevented 100% by closing the system. Period.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Sep 13, 2010, 5:21 PM)


acorneau


Sep 13, 2010, 5:54 PM
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Re: [iknowfear] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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iknowfear wrote:
sorry. mammut used to make a triodess http://www.justropes.com/...tegory.aspx?catid=50. looks like they stopped. i doubt it was because they made too much money with it...


"the last 7 meters of each end of the rope is clearly marked by a change of sheath weave pattern, similar to the midpoint of the rope."


See, that's the problem. The "end" marks are the same as the middle mark.

In my suggestion the middle mark is a change in sheath pattern and the end mark is a black mark on the rope... two completely different indicators that you can't mistake for the other.

[edit for correction, bolded]


(This post was edited by acorneau on Sep 14, 2010, 4:54 AM)


socalclimber


Sep 13, 2010, 7:11 PM
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Re: [acorneau] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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acorneau wrote:
iknowfear wrote:
sorry. mammut used to make a triodess http://www.justropes.com/...tegory.aspx?catid=50. looks like they stopped. i doubt it was because they made too much money with it...


"the last 7 meters of each end of the rope is clearly marked by a change of sheath weave pattern, similar to the midpoint of the rope."


See, that's the problem. The "end" marks are the same as the middle mark.

In my suggestion the middle mark is a change in sheath pattern and the end mark is a black mark on the rope... two completely different indicators that you can mistake for the other.

Yup, all the markers on the rope serve no purpose. I learned from people who have 30+ years of climbing time. People with 40+ El Cap/Wall routes behind them, more first ascents than you can count. NONE of them have ever rapped off the ends of ropes, or dumped their partner on the ground.

Know where you're ends are at all times (pay attention), close the system.


Partner j_ung


Sep 14, 2010, 5:39 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
"A mark a meter or two from the end would be one more backup that would prevent a few poor sobs from making a dreadful mistake. "

You're funny. "End" markers have already been attributed to one death as it is. I would not be surprised to learn there have been more mistakes thanks to these "comfort" markers.

I've said it before, STOP relying on markers, and start paying attention. Close the system. Otherwise, your only other choice to stay "safe" is in the gym we you mostly likely belong.

I agree with this, but IMO, a 200-foot rope on a 50-foot single pitch climb (route height picked specifically to make the point) is, for all intents and purposes, closed. It bugged me no end that I could fail an AMGA exam for not tying off the far end in just such a situation.

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 5:58 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
"A mark a meter or two from the end would be one more backup that would prevent a few poor sobs from making a dreadful mistake. "

You're funny. "End" markers have already been attributed to one death as it is. I would not be surprised to learn there have been more mistakes thanks to these "comfort" markers.

I've said it before, STOP relying on markers, and start paying attention. Close the system. Otherwise, your only other choice to stay "safe" is in the gym we you mostly likely belong.

I agree with this, but IMO, a 200-foot rope on a 50-foot single pitch climb (route height picked specifically to make the point) is, for all intents and purposes, closed. It bugged me no end that I could fail an AMGA exam for not tying off the far end in just such a situation.

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

That's fair enough. I guess a lot of my pedantic babble about closing the system is more aimed at the beginner "experts" who now plague both climbing and the web. Believe me, I don't always do this either when I'm on my own with other experienced climbers. But, yes I do check to make sure there is more than enough rope on the ground.

The big problem here is that climbing has become infected by recreational climbers who really don't have a clue as to what they are doing, thus the end result can be bad. This is why I am so dogmatic about teaching this to my clients. I must repeat it 20 times a day, close the system, always know where the ends of your rope are.

As far as the AMGA test, I have VERY strong feelings for the way they conduct their exams. IMHO YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FAILED FOR THAT. They love to fail people on their exams and then dress it up as being thorough.

If you totally blow a self rescue scenario or something major fine, but that was obviously not the case with you! Sorry to hear that. People I have talked to who failed for trivial reasons were so pissed about it they never went back to re-test. I don't blame them.


dynosore


Sep 14, 2010, 6:10 AM
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sspssp wrote:
As far as incompetence goes... Let'us get rid of all the safety gear on power tools. Only an idiot would cut their hand off on a table saw. Let's get rid of airbags. Let quit double checking each other since only an idiot would not tie-in/double back correctly in the first place. Let's go back to swami-belts and hip belays, since only an idiot would drop a leader.

This analogy does not work. Wood can kick back in a table saw even though you did everything right (ever hit a nail?). Someone can run into you even though you're a safe driver. BUT, if you are paying attention like you're supposed to you will NEVER run out of rope and drop someone. Not because you're infallible, but because it is such a basic responsibility of the belayer to know how much rope is left.

Think about it this way: I've driven for 19 years and never hit anyone, but I know that doesn't mean I'm a perfect driver, or that I might never cause an accident. But I CAN guarantee this: I won't let go of the steering wheel, close my eyes, and drift into the other lane and hit someone head on. These duties are so fundamental to driving in my mind that it just isn't going to happen. Just like knowing how much rope is left is fundamental to belaying. People clearly aren't taking belaying responsibility seriously, and we've all seen it many times. I won't climb with those people, period. My 2c.


Partner j_ung


Sep 14, 2010, 7:23 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
"A mark a meter or two from the end would be one more backup that would prevent a few poor sobs from making a dreadful mistake. "

You're funny. "End" markers have already been attributed to one death as it is. I would not be surprised to learn there have been more mistakes thanks to these "comfort" markers.

I've said it before, STOP relying on markers, and start paying attention. Close the system. Otherwise, your only other choice to stay "safe" is in the gym we you mostly likely belong.

I agree with this, but IMO, a 200-foot rope on a 50-foot single pitch climb (route height picked specifically to make the point) is, for all intents and purposes, closed. It bugged me no end that I could fail an AMGA exam for not tying off the far end in just such a situation.

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

That's fair enough. I guess a lot of my pedantic babble about closing the system is more aimed at the beginner "experts" who now plague both climbing and the web. Believe me, I don't always do this either when I'm on my own with other experienced climbers. But, yes I do check to make sure there is more than enough rope on the ground.

The big problem here is that climbing has become infected by recreational climbers who really don't have a clue as to what they are doing, thus the end result can be bad. This is why I am so dogmatic about teaching this to my clients. I must repeat it 20 times a day, close the system, always know where the ends of your rope are.

As far as the AMGA test, I have VERY strong feelings for the way they conduct their exams. IMHO YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FAILED FOR THAT. They love to fail people on their exams and then dress it up as being thorough.

If you totally blow a self rescue scenario or something major fine, but that was obviously not the case with you! Sorry to hear that. People I have talked to who failed for trivial reasons were so pissed about it they never went back to re-test. I don't blame them.

Oh, I didn't fail it. I closed the system just as required, but not without sufficient grumbling. Laugh


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 7:34 AM
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Re: [dynosore] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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dynosore wrote:
sspssp wrote:
As far as incompetence goes... Let'us get rid of all the safety gear on power tools. Only an idiot would cut their hand off on a table saw. Let's get rid of airbags. Let quit double checking each other since only an idiot would not tie-in/double back correctly in the first place. Let's go back to swami-belts and hip belays, since only an idiot would drop a leader.

This analogy does not work. Wood can kick back in a table saw even though you did everything right (ever hit a nail?). Someone can run into you even though you're a safe driver. BUT, if you are paying attention like you're supposed to you will NEVER run out of rope and drop someone. Not because you're infallible, but because it is such a basic responsibility of the belayer to know how much rope is left.

Think about it this way: I've driven for 19 years and never hit anyone, but I know that doesn't mean I'm a perfect driver, or that I might never cause an accident. But I CAN guarantee this: I won't let go of the steering wheel, close my eyes, and drift into the other lane and hit someone head on. These duties are so fundamental to driving in my mind that it just isn't going to happen. Just like knowing how much rope is left is fundamental to belaying. People clearly aren't taking belaying responsibility seriously, and we've all seen it many times. I won't climb with those people, period. My 2c.

I couldn't agree with you more.


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 7:36 AM
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j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
"A mark a meter or two from the end would be one more backup that would prevent a few poor sobs from making a dreadful mistake. "

You're funny. "End" markers have already been attributed to one death as it is. I would not be surprised to learn there have been more mistakes thanks to these "comfort" markers.

I've said it before, STOP relying on markers, and start paying attention. Close the system. Otherwise, your only other choice to stay "safe" is in the gym we you mostly likely belong.

I agree with this, but IMO, a 200-foot rope on a 50-foot single pitch climb (route height picked specifically to make the point) is, for all intents and purposes, closed. It bugged me no end that I could fail an AMGA exam for not tying off the far end in just such a situation.

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

That's fair enough. I guess a lot of my pedantic babble about closing the system is more aimed at the beginner "experts" who now plague both climbing and the web. Believe me, I don't always do this either when I'm on my own with other experienced climbers. But, yes I do check to make sure there is more than enough rope on the ground.

The big problem here is that climbing has become infected by recreational climbers who really don't have a clue as to what they are doing, thus the end result can be bad. This is why I am so dogmatic about teaching this to my clients. I must repeat it 20 times a day, close the system, always know where the ends of your rope are.

As far as the AMGA test, I have VERY strong feelings for the way they conduct their exams. IMHO YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FAILED FOR THAT. They love to fail people on their exams and then dress it up as being thorough.

If you totally blow a self rescue scenario or something major fine, but that was obviously not the case with you! Sorry to hear that. People I have talked to who failed for trivial reasons were so pissed about it they never went back to re-test. I don't blame them.

Oh, I didn't fail it. I closed the system just as required, but not without sufficient grumbling. Laugh

Oops, sorry. I must have mis-read your post. Which course was this by the way? The Top Rope Mgt. class, now known as the single pitch instructor course?


Partner j_ung


Sep 14, 2010, 7:49 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
"A mark a meter or two from the end would be one more backup that would prevent a few poor sobs from making a dreadful mistake. "

You're funny. "End" markers have already been attributed to one death as it is. I would not be surprised to learn there have been more mistakes thanks to these "comfort" markers.

I've said it before, STOP relying on markers, and start paying attention. Close the system. Otherwise, your only other choice to stay "safe" is in the gym we you mostly likely belong.

I agree with this, but IMO, a 200-foot rope on a 50-foot single pitch climb (route height picked specifically to make the point) is, for all intents and purposes, closed. It bugged me no end that I could fail an AMGA exam for not tying off the far end in just such a situation.

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

That's fair enough. I guess a lot of my pedantic babble about closing the system is more aimed at the beginner "experts" who now plague both climbing and the web. Believe me, I don't always do this either when I'm on my own with other experienced climbers. But, yes I do check to make sure there is more than enough rope on the ground.

The big problem here is that climbing has become infected by recreational climbers who really don't have a clue as to what they are doing, thus the end result can be bad. This is why I am so dogmatic about teaching this to my clients. I must repeat it 20 times a day, close the system, always know where the ends of your rope are.

As far as the AMGA test, I have VERY strong feelings for the way they conduct their exams. IMHO YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FAILED FOR THAT. They love to fail people on their exams and then dress it up as being thorough.

If you totally blow a self rescue scenario or something major fine, but that was obviously not the case with you! Sorry to hear that. People I have talked to who failed for trivial reasons were so pissed about it they never went back to re-test. I don't blame them.

Oh, I didn't fail it. I closed the system just as required, but not without sufficient grumbling. Laugh

Oops, sorry. I must have mis-read your post. Which course was this by the way? The Top Rope Mgt. class, now known as the single pitch instructor course?

Yeah, that's the one. The cert is required for leading groups and guiding solo at the New.


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 8:00 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
"A mark a meter or two from the end would be one more backup that would prevent a few poor sobs from making a dreadful mistake. "

You're funny. "End" markers have already been attributed to one death as it is. I would not be surprised to learn there have been more mistakes thanks to these "comfort" markers.

I've said it before, STOP relying on markers, and start paying attention. Close the system. Otherwise, your only other choice to stay "safe" is in the gym we you mostly likely belong.

I agree with this, but IMO, a 200-foot rope on a 50-foot single pitch climb (route height picked specifically to make the point) is, for all intents and purposes, closed. It bugged me no end that I could fail an AMGA exam for not tying off the far end in just such a situation.

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

That's fair enough. I guess a lot of my pedantic babble about closing the system is more aimed at the beginner "experts" who now plague both climbing and the web. Believe me, I don't always do this either when I'm on my own with other experienced climbers. But, yes I do check to make sure there is more than enough rope on the ground.

The big problem here is that climbing has become infected by recreational climbers who really don't have a clue as to what they are doing, thus the end result can be bad. This is why I am so dogmatic about teaching this to my clients. I must repeat it 20 times a day, close the system, always know where the ends of your rope are.

As far as the AMGA test, I have VERY strong feelings for the way they conduct their exams. IMHO YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FAILED FOR THAT. They love to fail people on their exams and then dress it up as being thorough.

If you totally blow a self rescue scenario or something major fine, but that was obviously not the case with you! Sorry to hear that. People I have talked to who failed for trivial reasons were so pissed about it they never went back to re-test. I don't blame them.

Oh, I didn't fail it. I closed the system just as required, but not without sufficient grumbling. Laugh

Oops, sorry. I must have mis-read your post. Which course was this by the way? The Top Rope Mgt. class, now known as the single pitch instructor course?

Yeah, that's the one. The cert is required for leading groups and guiding solo at the New.

Yup, that appears to be the norm for most guide schools these days. Hopefully the AMGA has stricter guide lines for who they let take the course BEFORE they take their money. When it was the Top Rope Mgt. class, they'd let anybody take it. I ran into so many people who had their super secret AMGA decoder ring from that class that had no business teaching anything.

Glad it worked out for you.

Fortunately I don't have to mess with all that. My boss was in the very first AMGA class ever offered along with another friend and fellow guide. He came to me, not the other way around. I asked about the certs and he said "what I care about is do you know what you are doing. I wouldn't be calling you if I thought otherwise."


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 8:02 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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Oh, I should be honest and state that I have a very selfish reason for my pedantic ways, nothing will end a guides career faster than a client getting injured or killed.

Not on my watch.


jt512


Sep 14, 2010, 11:22 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
"A mark a meter or two from the end would be one more backup that would prevent a few poor sobs from making a dreadful mistake. "

You're funny. "End" markers have already been attributed to one death as it is. I would not be surprised to learn there have been more mistakes thanks to these "comfort" markers.

I've said it before, STOP relying on markers, and start paying attention. Close the system. Otherwise, your only other choice to stay "safe" is in the gym we you mostly likely belong.

I agree with this, but IMO, a 200-foot rope on a 50-foot single pitch climb (route height picked specifically to make the point) is, for all intents and purposes, closed. It bugged me no end that I could fail an AMGA exam for not tying off the far end in just such a situation.

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

So it took about 100 posts, but someone finally said something realistic.

This thread has demonstrated a complete disconnect between theory and practice. A handful of climbers preaching that we should always knot the end of the rope (or otherwise "close" the system), on the one hand, and the reality that, on a single-pitch sport climb, almost no one ever does. Yes, "closing" the system would prevent 100% of accidents caused by lowering off with too short a rope. But the practical problem about preaching that we must always "close the system" is that (on single-pitch sport climbs) it's rarely actually useful. Even if every climber were taught to always do it, I predict that the practice would still extinguish itself in most climbers. Some day the climber would look up at his 50-foot sport route, down at his 200-foot rope, and say, "Fuck it. I'm not going to bother with the knot."

Just as in rappelling, in lowering, the answer to the too-short rope problem is not "always knot the end(s)." It's "always pay attention." Know the length of your rope, the height of the climb, and how to divide by 2. Then, put a knot in the end of your rope when there won't be a comfortable safety margin of rope left over when the climber returns to the ground. Always take into consideration that the belayer may not lower you from the exact position they belayed you (many walk back from the wall, for instance) and that you may not be lowered directly down the route you climbed.

Jay


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 4:25 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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I disagree. There has been lots of reality in this thread. For the most part, it's clear that people are A) incapable of taking their job as a belayer/partner seriously, B) they are incapable of estimating the length of a single pitch route, C) incapable of judging or paying attention to how much rope is in use, and D) a blind reliance on things like middle marks and 10 meter marks to do their jobs for them.

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

How many times in your 20+ years have you dropped someone? My guess, none. Why is that? You pay attention to what is going on, you checked the length of the route.


jt512


Sep 14, 2010, 5:09 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Sep 14, 2010, 5:12 PM)


redlude97


Sep 14, 2010, 5:19 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay
At the same time many single pitch sport climbers use rope bags/tarps so they "close the system" unknowingly


bill413


Sep 14, 2010, 5:37 PM
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Re: [redlude97] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:
At the same time many single pitch sport climbers use rope bags/tarps so they "close the system" unknowingly

Or knowingly.


bill413


Sep 14, 2010, 5:45 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

5) You and your belayer did not assess the length of the route & the length of the rope. (JT, it's on your list)


Recently I was lowered off the end of the rope. Luckily, my landing was such that there was no big injury. I don't blame my belayer any more than I blame myself (we both made mistake 5 (&1 & 2)). I'm posting this to emphasize that it was as much my mistake as her's (especially as I was the more experienced climber).

I have climbed since with that person as my belayer, quite comfortably.


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 6:09 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay

First off, points taken, and I do understand this. If at least one person listens, then all the better.

Will it change anything about my approach, or how I teach my classes/clients? Not on your life, or mine for that matter.

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