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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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Re: [jt512] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [notapplicable] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ClimbClimb] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [rgold] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [rgold] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [rgold] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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


Partner rgold


Oct 11, 2010, 11:11 AM
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Re: [billl7] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [billl7] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [marc801] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [rgold] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [rgold] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [olderic] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [rgold] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [rgold] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [ensonik] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [olderic] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [kachoong] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [divnamite] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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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Re: [rgold] Gunks Accidents this weekend (October 2/3rd) [In reply to]
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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)

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