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gblauer
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Oct 3, 2010, 3:56 PM
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Gunks Accidents this weekend(s)
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Anybody have any updates on the Saturday accident at Middle Earth? I also heard there was an accident today.

Is everyone ok?


(This post was edited by gblauer on Oct 11, 2010, 8:23 AM)


autoxfil


Oct 3, 2010, 4:20 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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I saw the guy being put into the truck on Saturday, and he looked surprisingly good for an 80' fall - the ranger I talked to said he "probably broke everything", though. That sucks, but it didn't appear life-threatening.

Any report on how it happened?


kobaz


Oct 3, 2010, 5:22 PM
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Re: [autoxfil] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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autoxfil wrote:
I saw the guy being put into the truck on Saturday, and he looked surprisingly good for an 80' fall - the ranger I talked to said he "probably broke everything", though. That sucks, but it didn't appear life-threatening.

Any report on how it happened?

Wow.. that's a big fall. I was near there a few years ago when there was a guy who feel 50 feet or so near Middle Earth. He was offroute way off to the left on a 5.9 and was very runout.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.


garyspinner


Oct 3, 2010, 5:33 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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Steve had a broken femur after his 60 foot fall.
In reply to:


gblauer
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Oct 3, 2010, 5:38 PM
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Re: [garyspinner] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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Do you know what happened? How did he have such a long fall? Did gear pull? What route was he on?

This was posted on Gunks.com

alicex4
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Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3377 Yep, he fell from the top of the first pitch, at the anchor tree. Fell 100 ft and landed on his feet. Busted femur, and maybe some ankle issues and maybe a hip injury. Apparently some miscommunication between leader and belayer. We were about 20 ft away when we heard the fall.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Oct 4, 2010, 6:20 AM)


Gmburns2000


Oct 4, 2010, 6:45 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
Do you know what happened? How did he have such a long fall? Did gear pull? What route was he on?

This was posted on Gunks.com

alicex4
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3377 Yep, he fell from the top of the first pitch, at the anchor tree. Fell 100 ft and landed on his feet. Busted femur, and maybe some ankle issues and maybe a hip injury. Apparently some miscommunication between leader and belayer. We were about 20 ft away when we heard the fall.

wow, that's a lot of miscommunication. sounds as if maybe the belayor took the climber off belay when he wasn't ready to be taken off.

hope he heals quickly and well.


gblauer
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Oct 4, 2010, 7:08 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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You know the gunks; it's noisy, crowded and I would think that it would be very easy to make that mistake!

Hope you are well Greg...

HOpe Steve recovers quickly and that his partner does too.


Gmburns2000


Oct 4, 2010, 7:12 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
You know the gunks; it's noisy, crowded and I would think that it would be very easy to make that mistake!

Hope you are well Greg...

HOpe Steve recovers quickly and that his partner does too.
yup, i can see that mistake being made in the 'Gunks for sure. P1 of Middle Earth seems an odd place for that to happen, though, as there is a clear visual line between the tree and the ground, but yeah, there are a lot of climbs in that area and ME is definitely a crowded route.

I'm well and I hope work isn't bogging you down too much. It looks as if I'll be in the 'Gunks for the final time this season the weekend of Oct 15 if you're around.


jsh


Oct 4, 2010, 7:37 AM
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Re: [kobaz] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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autoxfil, can you loosely describe the fallen climber's partner(s)? I think it may be someone I know, and saw heading that way just a short time before we heard the trucks and sirens.

I did ask the ranger on Sunday morning (not knowing it may have been someone I know), who said it was ye olde leaning back to lower without being on belay, so communication mishap.

Best wishes, whoever you are.


autoxfil


Oct 4, 2010, 8:12 AM
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Re: [jsh] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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He was with his child (10 or 12) and I believe wife (but didn't see her).

My partner and him got ropes tangled in a rappel on the previous route, and chatte as they un-twisted. I didn't actually talk to the guy.


jsh


Oct 4, 2010, 8:16 AM
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Re: [autoxfil] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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Were you over near Northern Pillar earlier?

Sounds like him :(


autoxfil


Oct 4, 2010, 8:19 AM
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Re: [jsh] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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jsh wrote:
Were you over near Northern Pillar earlier?

Sounds like him :(

We got tangled on Madam G's rap. His fall was on the next climb they did.


juliacoreyburns


Oct 4, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Re: [autoxfil] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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i was hoping to find out what exactly happened on sat, as we heard the sirens, saw the helicopter, etc... but i am just sick to hear this. most importantly i am relieved to hear that the climber will recover from his injuries. i wanted to add what i witnessed...note- i do not know the details of what actually happened in the accident and who the climber and belayer were (though it seems certain that it was the same group).

IF this is in fact the group i think it was, then autoxfil- my partner and i were rapping down madame g's just before you on sat morning. as we came down the rappel route we found they had a TR setup through the chains and a woman was climbing on it...bit of a mess there, and once we reached the ground i mentioned to them the problems w the situation etc. the climber belaying seemed like a really nice guy and immediately agreed that his friend was mistaken in setting up on the rap chains and proceeded to climb up to remove the TR w/ the woman in the party belaying.
i started reracking but quickly noticed that she did NOT know how to belay properly as she kept taking her hand of of the brake end and holding the other end. before i could say anything another guy from their group ran over to correct her mistake and give what seemed to me like a basic belay lesson as she belayed the guy up the route. it really made me nervous bc even as he was guiding her through the technique she kept saying that it didnt feel natural and the motion felt awkward. to an observer it was obvious that she did not feel confident in what she was doing. there also seemed to be some confusion once he cleaned the gear bc he didnt have a rap device w him and they were sending one up or then he was going to just lower?...there was also a young boy with the group. my partner and i started up a nearby climb and a little while later heard the sirens and saw the rangers driving down carriage road w the litter.

the terrifying thing is that this was only one of three absolutely unsafe scenarios we encountered that day!! in speaking w/ friends later in the wknd i kept mentioning this scenario at the guides wall and how i can never understand why someone would agree to belay if they were not 100% comfortable in the technique; and also, why a climber would put his or her life in the hands of an inexperienced belayer.
what i am describing i just the situation i encountered that morning, and i do not know the details of what actually happened in the accident and who the climber and belayer were (though it seems certain that it was the same group). i just hope that all parties involved in this accident will recover mentally and physically, and that some lesson is learned.


gblauer
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Oct 4, 2010, 7:26 PM
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Re: [juliacoreyburns] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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this is from Gunks.com


stranger

Registered: 10/04/10
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Loc: CT I talked to Steve last night at the hospital and he his doing OK. He had surgery Sunday morning for his broken leg and he reports it went well. Main thing is, besided some scapes and bruisers there where no other injuries. He sends his thanks to everyone who helped out and I'm sure he will respond here himself shortley.

Steve is one lucky guy. I think that very few people survive a 60 foot fall.

Steve, I hope you recover quickly. I hope your belayer does too.


juliacoreyburns


Oct 5, 2010, 3:35 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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well that is great news that the climber is already on his way to recovery! He sure is a lucky guy, given the fall he took! Steve, best wishes to you in your recovery as well as all those in your group that day.


socalclimber


Oct 5, 2010, 5:05 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
this is from Gunks.com


stranger

Registered: 10/04/10
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Loc: CT I talked to Steve last night at the hospital and he his doing OK. He had surgery Sunday morning for his broken leg and he reports it went well. Main thing is, besided some scapes and bruisers there where no other injuries. He sends his thanks to everyone who helped out and I'm sure he will respond here himself shortley.

Steve is one lucky guy. I think that very few people survive a 60 foot fall.

Steve, I hope you recover quickly. I hope your belayer does too.

So we are no closer to understanding what happened here. If the belayer was sketchy a backup belay would have helped. Not sure what exactly went down here. It will be interesting to see if we can get some facts.


divnamite


Oct 5, 2010, 6:42 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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"socalclimber wrote:
So we are no closer to understanding what happened here. If the belayer was sketchy a backup belay would have helped. Not sure what exactly went down here. It will be interesting to see if we can get some facts.
According to a report, the climber set up a top rope, leaned back and expected to be lowered. Unfortunately, he wasn't on belay.


sethg


Oct 5, 2010, 6:47 AM
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Re: [divnamite] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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That's really about the only type of accident that could occur at that location, by the way. The ledge there is pretty big, you wouldn't just fall off while setting up your anchor.


gblauer
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Oct 5, 2010, 6:55 AM
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Re: [sethg] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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This is from Gunks.com

beau
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Registered: 05/26/09
Posts: 18 The info I got was that he thought his belayer was going to lower him, and that he weighted the rope without asking if he was on belay, which he wasn't.


socalclimber


Oct 5, 2010, 7:00 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
This is from Gunks.com

beau
stranger

Registered: 05/26/09
Posts: 18 The info I got was that he thought his belayer was going to lower him, and that he weighted the rope without asking if he was on belay, which he wasn't.

That would sum it up. I guess those belay signals are useful after all...


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Oct 5, 2010, 7:12 AM)


MS1


Oct 5, 2010, 7:33 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
gblauer wrote:
This is from Gunks.com

beau
stranger

Registered: 05/26/09
Posts: 18 The info I got was that he thought his belayer was going to lower him, and that he weighted the rope without asking if he was on belay, which he wasn't.

That would sum it up. I guess those belay signals are useful after all...

Or else he could have taken the simple precaution of maintaining a direct connection to the anchor until he had tested the belay by weighting it. Takes two seconds and makes this sort of accident much less likely.


socalclimber


Oct 5, 2010, 7:39 AM
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Re: [MS1] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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MS1 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
gblauer wrote:
This is from Gunks.com

beau
stranger

Registered: 05/26/09
Posts: 18 The info I got was that he thought his belayer was going to lower him, and that he weighted the rope without asking if he was on belay, which he wasn't.

That would sum it up. I guess those belay signals are useful after all...

Or else he could have taken the simple precaution of maintaining a direct connection to the anchor until he had tested the belay by weighting it. Takes two seconds and makes this sort of accident much less likely.

Yup! 100% right on that one.


fresh


Oct 5, 2010, 8:18 AM
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Re: [juliacoreyburns] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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juliacoreyburns wrote:
i started reracking but quickly noticed that she did NOT know how to belay properly as she kept taking her hand of of the brake end and holding the other end. before i could say anything another guy from their group ran over to correct her mistake and give what seemed to me like a basic belay lesson as she belayed the guy up the route. it really made me nervous bc even as he was guiding her through the technique she kept saying that it didnt feel natural and the motion felt awkward. to an observer it was obvious that she did not feel confident in what she was doing. there also seemed to be some confusion once he cleaned the gear bc he didnt have a rap device w him and they were sending one up or then he was going to just lower?...
I'm not doubting your account or anything, but I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't even the same group. this crap happens so frequently.

one habit that might help (which certainly isn't a substitute for clear communication) is to grab the rope from the side that is coming from the belayer, and slowly weight the rope until you feel the belayer locking you off.

best wishes for the recovery.


welle


Oct 5, 2010, 8:50 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
Steve is one lucky guy. I think that very few people survive a 60 foot fall.

Steve, I hope you recover quickly. I hope your belayer does too.

This is all 3rd person account, but friends who witnessed the accident, said the slabby nature of the wall created much friction and slowed down the fall. My partner and I were on the Arrow wall and heard the fall - the thud came distinctly delayed after the initial scream.


jt512


Oct 5, 2010, 9:16 AM
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Re: [divnamite] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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divnamite wrote:
"socalclimber wrote:
So we are no closer to understanding what happened here. If the belayer was sketchy a backup belay would have helped. Not sure what exactly went down here. It will be interesting to see if we can get some facts.
According to a report, the climber set up a top rope, leaned back and expected to be lowered. Unfortunately, he wasn't on belay.

I got a lot of flack for posting this in another thread, but this would prevent 100% of these type of accidents:

jt512 wrote:
[Y]ou shouldn't rely on a verbal "got" from your belayer. Rather, before lowering, you should grab the belayer's side of the rope with both hands. Then, after getting the verbal "got," gradually settle onto the rope, not letting go until you're certain that your belayer actually does have you.

Jay


bearbreeder


Oct 5, 2010, 12:36 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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stay tethered into yr anchor until you can physically confirm its ready for a lower

or at the very least grab the chains ...


glytch


Oct 5, 2010, 1:03 PM
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Re: [jt512] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
[Y]ou shouldn't rely on a verbal "got" from your belayer. Rather, before lowering, you should grab the belayer's side of the rope with both hands. Then, after getting the verbal "got," gradually settle onto the rope, not letting go until you're certain that your belayer actually does have you.

I think doing this is important, but the single most important step to reducing lowering accidents is never taking a climber off belay. If you are going to lower, establish with the belayer that they are NOT to take you off of belay until you are back on the ground. You climb to the anchor and clip in, but stay on belay and just ask for whatever requisite slack you need to thread the anchor; once the anchor is threaded and you are clipped or tied in, you lean into the rock and ask the belayer to take. You should still be backed up by your anchor tether, but the belayer should have your weight.

Saying "off belay" when you arrive at the anchor [edit: and plan to be lowered] is asking for trouble, whether it was the specific cause of this accident or not.


(This post was edited by glytch on Oct 5, 2010, 2:33 PM)


socalclimber


Oct 5, 2010, 5:22 PM
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It still amazes me why, it was good advice.


notapplicable


Oct 5, 2010, 7:19 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
It still amazes me why, it was good advice.

You're amazed that good advice got panned on the Knob?

Are you new here?


socalclimber


Oct 5, 2010, 7:23 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
It still amazes me why, it was good advice.

You're amazed that good advice got panned on the Knob?

Are you new here?

Apparently...


ClimbClimb


Oct 9, 2010, 7:40 AM
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Re: [glytch] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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glytch wrote:
I think doing this is important, but the single most important step to reducing lowering accidents is never taking a climber off belay. If you are going to lower, establish with the belayer that they are NOT to take you off of belay until you are back on the ground.

+1... for this kind of single-pitch top-roping / anchor-cleaning, it really better. Give then 10 feet of slack if you must... at worst, if something happens, they'll take a 10 foot fall, not a 100 foot one. Also, no reason not to clip that bight onto the belay loop instead of a gear loop when re-tying in.


gblauer
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Oct 11, 2010, 8:21 AM
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There were a couple more accidents on Saturday/Sunday. On Saturday a kid was climbing near us and he took a whip and appeared to break some bones in his heel.

On Sunday an experienced climber fell 30 feet at the slime wall, pulled two pieces and hit his head. No helmet, head injury, lots of blood.


Partner rgold


Oct 11, 2010, 9:54 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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It is bizarre to me that Jay's advice was criticized, since it constitutes what I'd view as utterly basic common sense.

Lowering accidents involving miscommunication with the belayer have become rather common. Heaping scorn on the participants cannot change the increasingly obvious fact that such misunderstandings are not at all unlikely to occur, and this means one ought to operate in a way that (1) recognizes the possibility of misunderstanding no matter how careful everyone is, and (2) protects against the effects of misunderstanding. Here are a few thoughts:

(1) The leader who expects to be lowered should never, ever, call "off belay" upon reaching the anchor. I don't think one needs to say any more about why this is a very bad idea. Don't say anything that would cause the belayer to relax. Quietly thread the anchor and call for take.

(2) The loweree should always begin with some kind of back-up, either a long tether, both hands on the rope, etc. Just leaning back on the expected or perceived rope tension has by now been proven risky over and over again.

(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.

Surely the extra ten seconds it takes to do this can't be a serious consideration, the anchor load is substantially reduced as compared to the belayer doing the lowering, and the climber is back in charge of their own destiny, as it should be. Is there some downside to this I'm missing?


olderic


Oct 11, 2010, 10:26 AM
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rgold wrote:
(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.

Surely the extra ten seconds it takes to do this can't be a serious consideration, the anchor load is substantially reduced as compared to the belayer doing the lowering, and the climber is back in charge of their own destiny, as it should be. Is there some downside to this I'm missing?

Sounds to me like you are advocating what amounts to a single strand rap? Except the rope will be sliding through the anchor. Sure it will work but you've got potential issues if the rope is slick and or skinny - generating enough friction. And is the end coming from the ground still going through gear that needs to be cleaned on the way down? All sorts of potential issues in that scenerio.


billl7


Oct 11, 2010, 10:50 AM
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rgold wrote:
(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.

I'm not too concerned about having enough friction with the above set up compared to being lowered.

One concern would be if there is a tangle down below and I load it: am I prepared to somehow get that mess unloaded?

Bill


curt


Oct 11, 2010, 11:08 AM
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rgold wrote:
(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.

Surely the extra ten seconds it takes to do this can't be a serious consideration, the anchor load is substantially reduced as compared to the belayer doing the lowering, and the climber is back in charge of their own destiny, as it should be. Is there some downside to this I'm missing?

I've done this many times, as a substitute for rapping.

Curt


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Oct 11, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Single strand rap is not a problem; you are only holding about 1/2 bodyweight.

On climbs in the Gunks, often when the leader is lowered the second still cleans the pitch. In a number of cases, at least some of the gear has to stay in to keep the second protected. In these situations, cleaning gear is not an issue for the leader and self-lowering seems like the best option to me.

If the leader is going clean the pitch, then the leg-wrap tie-off is available as usual, but for sheer efficiency being lowered by the belayer wins in this case.


marc801


Oct 11, 2010, 12:16 PM
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billl7 wrote:
One concern would be if there is a tangle down below and I load it: am I prepared to somehow get that mess unloaded?
Why would there be a tangle? Has the belayer been asleep the entire time?


billl7


Oct 11, 2010, 12:29 PM
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marc801 wrote:
billl7 wrote:
One concern would be if there is a tangle down below and I load it: am I prepared to somehow get that mess unloaded?
Why would there be a tangle? Has the belayer been asleep the entire time?
Once off belay, that fucker always falls asleep on me.

... or went to belay someone else.

... or had to take a shit.

... or whatever.


ClimbClimb


Oct 11, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Well said, as usual.

rgold wrote:
(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.
...
Is there some downside to this I'm missing?

I think the downsides are the same as for rapping -- which is that it seems to have a worse safety record than even the lowering / mistakenly-off-belay accidents.


boadman


Oct 11, 2010, 1:05 PM
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It doesn't work very well if the leader needs to clean the gear and the route is either over-hanging, or traversing in nature.


Partner rgold


Oct 11, 2010, 1:37 PM
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I was a bit too quick to reply to Olderic's second comment about the end still running through the gear. If the lowering path runs straight down the gear path, then the self-lowerer can simply clean the gear, perhaps reclipping a piece or two.

But if the lowering path is significantly different from the gear path, either because the route diagonals or traverses or because it is overhanging or because the anchor is off to the side, then self-lowering would involve pulling the rope through all the gear while still leaving the gear in place, at the same time providing a much worse belay for the second. This would be a much worse option and ordinary lowering would definitely be called for.


billl7


Oct 11, 2010, 3:32 PM
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This will sound off-topic at first:

Of course, some routes require double-rope raps. I have seen a second trail that second rope so that the leader and the second don't have to carry the whole second rope. Makes me uneasy should that trailing rope get stuck somehow (e.g., poorly stacked rope) although this is usually not cause for great alarm.

... back on topic ...

Lowering yourself, as suggested, is not too different in that a rope is being pulled up the route possibly untended. But in this case there are a couple possibly mitigating circumstances:

i) the moving rope is not free to go where ever it wants since it follows the pieces of protection;

ii) theoretically, there is someone on the ground who can "tend the stack" if they catch a problem in time.

On the other hand, the modes of "self-rescue" from a stuck rope in the two cases can be quite different. When self lowering, the "trailing strand" can become loaded. The person lowering could then be on their own if the stickage is too high for a lone person on the ground to manage.

Relatedly, I think of the tried and true adage to avoid rapping below a point where the rope has snagged.

Bill L (a.k.a. Nervous Ned)


ensonik


Oct 12, 2010, 9:31 AM
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rgold wrote:
(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.

I'll be the one to say it; I think I understand the setup here, and I most definitely see the benefit, but could someone draw this out for us?


fresh


Oct 12, 2010, 10:39 AM
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this is what I thought rgold was saying. let me know if it's wrong.




mtl_climber


Oct 12, 2010, 11:52 AM
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gblauer wrote:
There were a couple more accidents on Saturday/Sunday. On Saturday a kid was climbing near us and he took a whip and appeared to break some bones in his heel.

On Sunday an experienced climber fell 30 feet at the slime wall, pulled two pieces and hit his head. No helmet, head injury, lots of blood.

Is Sundance Route on Slime Wall ?
I saw a climber being evacuated on the carraige road below the WASP route.

Then when rapping off Moondance, I cleaned some gear / quicdraw and slings which I gave to the ranger.


Anybody known what happened exactly. ?


Thanks


kachoong


Oct 12, 2010, 12:18 PM
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olderic wrote:
rgold wrote:
(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.

Surely the extra ten seconds it takes to do this can't be a serious consideration, the anchor load is substantially reduced as compared to the belayer doing the lowering, and the climber is back in charge of their own destiny, as it should be. Is there some downside to this I'm missing?

Sounds to me like you are advocating what amounts to a single strand rap? Except the rope will be sliding through the anchor. Sure it will work but you've got potential issues if the rope is slick and or skinny - generating enough friction. And is the end coming from the ground still going through gear that needs to be cleaned on the way down? All sorts of potential issues in that scenerio.

At least though you are controlling your own decent.


olderic


Oct 12, 2010, 1:39 PM
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kachoong wrote:
olderic wrote:
rgold wrote:
(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.

Surely the extra ten seconds it takes to do this can't be a serious consideration, the anchor load is substantially reduced as compared to the belayer doing the lowering, and the climber is back in charge of their own destiny, as it should be. Is there some downside to this I'm missing?

Sounds to me like you are advocating what amounts to a single strand rap? Except the rope will be sliding through the anchor. Sure it will work but you've got potential issues if the rope is slick and or skinny - generating enough friction. And is the end coming from the ground still going through gear that needs to be cleaned on the way down? All sorts of potential issues in that scenerio.

At least though you are controlling your own decent.

And to control your own descent is a decent goal Smile

If you really don't trust your belayer/lowerer - n00b with a Gr-Gri - sure. But if you had that little faith I'm not sure I'd want him belaying me either. I just think the complicating factor of the rope sliding through the anchors and any intermediate pro negates the advantage in most cases. And if you need to do something additionsl so you can go hands free to clean that is further complicating things


kobaz


Oct 13, 2010, 8:33 AM
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divnamite wrote:
According to a report, the climber set up a top rope, leaned back and expected to be lowered. Unfortunately, he wasn't on belay.

I've seen the leadup to this too many times. Even once is too many.

Even this past weekend (oct 10th). Right after seeing a climber evac'd out, I see a belayer take her climber off belay and then realized the climber wanted to be lowered, and quickly switched back to belaying.

Before I untether, I always call down 'on you' and 'lowering'. And try to visually check that the rope is still connected to my belayer.


jsh


Oct 13, 2010, 9:29 AM
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rgold wrote:
It is bizarre to me that Jay's advice was criticized, since it constitutes what I'd view as utterly basic common sense ... Heaping scorn on the participants cannot change the increasingly obvious fact that such misunderstandings are not at all unlikely to occur,

All of these methods are secondary to this: the awareness that you may not be on belay. That comes first.

You can do a number of things to back yourself up or ensure your safety while you check the system - but you have to have the idea first that the system needs to be checked at all.

So all of the Monday-morning quarterbacking of different ways to anchor in, etc., do sometimes seem scornful when they don't address the real problem. That's likely why Jay's advice was criticized. Not that it was wrong, but that it was fussing with the locking mechanism on the barn door while the horse was already long gone. That can easily be read as scornful, in such a sensitive situation.


(This post was edited by jsh on Oct 13, 2010, 9:39 AM)


livinonasandbar


Oct 13, 2010, 10:46 AM
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Decide and agree with your belayer, before you leave the ground, if you'll be rapping or lowering off from the top of the pitch.


olderic


Oct 13, 2010, 11:01 AM
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livinonasandbar wrote:
Decide and agree with your belayer, before you leave the ground, if you'll be rapping or lowering off from the top of the pitch.

And that exact scenario is the cause of many accidents because the climber changes his mind or forgets that he said A and does B. Communicate with your partner immediately before committing to some act that depend on him. Cant communicate? Then do not do any thing that depends on the partners actions 100%. Obviously there are exceptions and you have to rely on previously agreed upon default behavior. But in the simple 1/2 pitch climbing situation that we are talking about here there should be very few times when the partners can't confirm again (and again) what is going to happen.


reverse_dyno


Oct 13, 2010, 1:22 PM
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If you are so stupid that you can not even handle remembering what you told your belay you were going to do when you got to the top of the climb, then you shouldn't be climbing.

There is such a thing as being tooooooo paranoid. That can cause accidents as well. Like not moving quickly when a storm is coming in because you can not trust your belayer.

Shit happens, not trusting your belayer isn't going to help it not happen. If you can not trust them 100%, whether or not you can communicate with them, do not climb with them!


kobaz


Oct 13, 2010, 3:43 PM
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reverse_dyno wrote:
If you can not trust them 100%, whether or not you can communicate with them, do not climb with them!

I view that as a very strange statement to make. And a very strange attitude to have towards a partner.

I trust that my belayer will catch a fall and have me on belay at all times until told otherwise. But I still verbally/visually/physically check things that he does because we are human and make mistakes, mishear things, and misinterpret things.

There's trust... and then there's making assumptions. Assumptions kill.

In reply to:
whether or not you can communicate with them,

How can you possibly have trust in your belayer to do what you want your belayer to do, without communication? Is there something I missed?


Partner robdotcalm


Oct 13, 2010, 4:44 PM
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reverse_dyno wrote:
not trusting your belayer isn't going to help it not happen. If you can not trust them 100%, whether or not you can communicate with them, do not climb with them!

Ronald Reagan to Gorbachev: "Trust but verify."

r.c


Gmburns2000


Oct 13, 2010, 6:09 PM
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reverse_dyno wrote:
If you are so stupid that you can not even handle remembering what you told your belay you were going to do when you got to the top of the climb, then you shouldn't be climbing.

There is such a thing as being tooooooo paranoid. That can cause accidents as well. Like not moving quickly when a storm is coming in because you can not trust your belayer.

Shit happens, not trusting your belayer isn't going to help it not happen. If you can not trust them 100%, whether or not you can communicate with them, do not climb with them!

lots of things happen enroute that can change things. don't discount that. I've told my belayor many times that I'd probably rap off only to realize that it would be easier to clean a route, let's say, while being lowered.

I've also been so focused on a climb that I have completely forgotten what was said before the climb started. If that makes me stupid then OK, but I'd rather be that kind of stupid and communicate with my partner than the kind of stupid who isn't willing to change course based on scenarios.


olderic


Oct 13, 2010, 6:42 PM
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reverse_dyno wrote:
If you are so stupid that you can not even handle remembering what you told your belay you were going to do when you got to the top of the climb, then you shouldn't be climbing.

There is such a thing as being tooooooo paranoid. That can cause accidents as well. Like not moving quickly when a storm is coming in because you can not trust your belayer.

Shit happens, not trusting your belayer isn't going to help it not happen. If you can not trust them 100%, whether or not you can communicate with them, do not climb with them!

There is a difference between being on an alpine ridge when a storms a brewing ("Quick lets simul rap off this 3 year old tat") and being out for a day of boasting and bragging at some over bolted grade inflated outdoor rock gym - which is primarily what the context of this thread is about (yes I know that it is supposed to be about the Gunks). If you can't adjust your level of paranoia and safety procedures to be context specific - well then you are even more uptight and inflexible then the average Swiss


livinonasandbar


Oct 14, 2010, 5:53 AM
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I think we've aboot worn this thread oot. Carry on...


dagger


Oct 18, 2010, 7:03 PM
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Steve just blogged about his accident. If you're interested in reading his firsthand account it's posted at http://ultramtnsteve.blogspot.com/...er-me-surviving.html


gblauer
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Oct 18, 2010, 7:19 PM
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Wow, Steve, you are one lucky and resilient guy!

Wishing you (and your loved ones) a very speedy recovery.


sethg


Oct 18, 2010, 8:28 PM
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Holy crap, just a broken femur? Amazing. Very very lucky. I wish Steve and his family a full and speedy recovery.


bill413


Oct 19, 2010, 5:44 AM
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ClimbClimb wrote:
Well said, as usual.

rgold wrote:
(3) I know this will never catch on, but I don't understand why people don't mostly "self-lower." After threading the rope through the anchor, run it through your belay device on your harness or a Munter and lower yourself.
...
Is there some downside to this I'm missing?

I think the downsides are the same as for rapping -- which is that it seems to have a worse safety record than even the lowering / mistakenly-off-belay accidents.

Along with this, we've heard (or seen) accidents where the rope was shorter than required for the rappel. In this setup, there can be no knot at the end of the rope; so if the climb is longer than half a rope length the climber falls. (Yes, they would be stuck partway down if being lowered by a partner, but at least a knot could keep them from the deck.)


boymeetsrock


Oct 19, 2010, 7:34 AM
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Yikes! Heal well Steve. Wishing you a smooth and full recovery.


majid_sabet


Oct 19, 2010, 8:20 AM
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Thank god that Yosemite,Zion, Teton, Indian....are not anywhere near Gunks or RRG.

Those two areas broke the accident records in North America


gblauer
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Oct 19, 2010, 8:36 AM
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Majid, Are you saying that the RRG and Gunks broke records for most accidents this year?


majid_sabet


Oct 19, 2010, 10:21 AM
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gblauer wrote:
Majid, Are you saying that the RRG and Gunks broke records for most accidents this year?

very much. for the volume of climbing traffic, these two area are moving up fast on the scale and I like to figure out why.

I speculate that most of the accidents in these area is concentrate around the younger and least experienced trad climbers who are rushing too fast in to harder routes without understanding the basic principle of climbing, in particular, placing solid protection .


boymeetsrock


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Re: [majid_sabet] Gunks Accidents this weekend(s) [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
gblauer wrote:
Majid, Are you saying that the RRG and Gunks broke records for most accidents this year?

very much. for the volume of climbing traffic, these two area are moving up fast on the scale and I like to figure out why.

I speculate that most of the accidents in these area is concentrate around the younger and least experienced trad climbers who are rushing too fast in to harder routes without understanding the basic principle of climbing, in particular, placing solid protection .

If that is your assumption I would suggest you may not be paying enough attention to the accident reports... Lots of variety in the age of injured parties, and many accidents occurring at the belay.


majid_sabet


Oct 19, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Re: [boymeetsrock] Gunks Accidents this weekend(s) [In reply to]
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boymeetsrock wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
gblauer wrote:
Majid, Are you saying that the RRG and Gunks broke records for most accidents this year?

very much. for the volume of climbing traffic, these two area are moving up fast on the scale and I like to figure out why.

I speculate that most of the accidents in these area is concentrate around the younger and least experienced trad climbers who are rushing too fast in to harder routes without understanding the basic principle of climbing, in particular, placing solid protection .

If that is your assumption I would suggest you may not be paying enough attention to the accident reports... Lots of variety in the age of injured parties, and many accidents occurring at the belay.

I been paying attention more than most people so in the past 11 years of monitoring climbing accidents in USA, trust me, I know what I am talking about. Now, if you asked me where we had the most fatalities in the US, I would tell you that CO Rockies had the most record in 2010.

here is what i post not to long ago in RC

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_16283929?_requestid=8522159


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Oct 19, 2010, 10:34 AM)


jakedatc


Oct 19, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gunks Accidents this weekend(s) [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
gblauer wrote:
Majid, Are you saying that the RRG and Gunks broke records for most accidents this year?

very much. for the volume of climbing traffic, these two area are moving up fast on the scale and I like to figure out why.

I speculate that most of the accidents in these area is concentrate around the younger and least experienced trad climbers who are rushing too fast in to harder routes without understanding the basic principle of climbing, in particular, placing solid protection .


as usual, you are wrong. Move along now. buh bye


sethg


Oct 19, 2010, 12:33 PM
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Re: [jakedatc] Gunks Accidents this weekend(s) [In reply to]
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By the way, the crazy crowding on moderate classics isn't unique to the Gunks. Check out this Supertopo thread about a dispute on Frogland in Red Rocks. Pretty funny stuff.

http://www.supertopo.com/...vior-On-route-Thread


Forums : Climbing Information : Accident and Incident Analysis

 


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