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NEAR MISS REPORT: The stupid mistakes edition
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notapplicable


Jan 2, 2011, 10:50 AM
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NEAR MISS REPORT: The stupid mistakes edition
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I fucked up a few weeks back and although it didn’t end badly, it certainly could have.

I was at the gym climbing with two of my regular partners and had been leading most of the day. The route I was on was at my onsight limit but nothing special beyond that. What was exceptional was what I saw as I cruxed above the last bolt and glanced down to check the rope run and fall line. I noticed an extra figure-8 tied in the rope below my harness and I kinda did a double take. When I looked closer, I realized that it wasn’t an extra figure-8, it was the ONLY figure-8 and the tale end of the rope just ran through my tie-in points and draped down the front. WTF!!

Now, me being the idiot that I am, my first thought was (not joking here) “can I tie that one handed and preserve the onsight?”. Of course my second thought was “don’t be a jackass, down climb”, so I did. I got to the bolt below me and clipped in and tied the knot and shakily finished the route. Needless to say, there were some raised eyebrows waiting for me back on the ground.

I honestly can't remember what distracted me from finishing my knot but I have my suspicions. I remember wondering where I had put my shoes and I remember spotting them behind where John was sitting and I grabbed them right then and put them on, so I’m pretty sure that’s when it happened. And as usual, it was more than one event or mistake that lined up just right to allow for this kind of thing to happen. While we don’t have a perfect batting average, the group I was with that day are pretty consistent about double checking each other and overtly do so 80% of the time with another 15% done with eye contact but no verbal communication. Not sure if we were too busy talking shit or just plain forgot but this climb fell within the remaining 5%.

Certainly I'm not the most safety conscious climber in the world and I freely admit that but I try to keep and eye on the simple stupid stuff, especially after earning my avatar. Shit slips thru the cracks though and it's that shit that will kill you. I just got lucky is all. So no big lessons here, just a reminder to doublecheck yourself, and each other.

One final note. I've personally developed the habit of quickly glancing down at my harness and fall line before entering a crux or if I think I might fall and it's helped to avoid awkward or dangerous falls in the past, this time it probably kept me from getting seriously injured or killed. For those who aren't in the habit, it might be something to think about.

Mods, if you think this belongs in general, feel free to move it.


notapplicable


Jan 2, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] NEAR MISS REPORT: The stupid mistakes edition [In reply to]
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This post was inspired by reading the discussion in the 30 ft fall to the ground thread about people not posting personal accounts because of the acidic nature of the responses. I figured, as a regular poster, I should go ahead and throw myself under the bus instead of just paying lip service.

You are encouraged to do the same...Cool


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Jan 2, 2011, 11:04 AM)


Partner oldsalt


Jan 2, 2011, 11:25 AM
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Gutsy post! If your belayer isn't equally abashed, you need to find another. My guess is that it won't happen again for either of you.


dan2see


Jan 2, 2011, 11:35 AM
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One day at the crag, this sweet young thing was about to climb this route, and I was her belayer. Well I thought she was cute, and she thought I was funny.

"Climbing" she said.
"On belay" I said.

Then I looked at the rope. It was lying on the ground. All of it. I looked at my hands. They were empty. I looked at the girl's harness. No rope. She was already a few steps off the ground. No rope.

"Uhh... look at your knot", I yelled.
She looked back at me and asked, "Why?"
"Just look at your knot", I repeated.

She looked at her belay loop. No knot. Then she looked at me. No belay.

She climbed back down. We both felt pretty stupid.

"Now we'll both double-check each other!" I commanded.
"Yes sir", she replied.

So our lesson is:
When your brain is elsewhere, that's when you'll make a mistake.
If you catch it in time, you can feel stupid, but you'll live.
But it's too close, and you deserve to feel stupid.


dan2see


Jan 2, 2011, 11:37 AM
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There's a route at our gym, the route-setter put a little sign about 1/2 way up:

"Check your knot"

Sure! Laugh


lena_chita
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Jan 2, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Well, since this is the same mistake Lynn Hill has once made, you are in good company.

Two things that I've done that fall into stupid mistake category:

One time when cleaning the anchors at the end of the day I had to untie b/c the anchor rings were not big enough to put a bight or rope through, and I have re-tied the figure 8 through my leg loop, instead of the tie-in points. I caught it when I was double-checking my knot before going off direct, and re-tied the knot properly.


The other time, I was cleaning a route after leading it, and it was overhanigng enough to require a trolley. I somehow clipped the quickdraw to the rope on both sides, positioning it above the figure 8 and below the double fisherman's instead of clipping the trolley QD to my belay loop. After cleaning a few draws, the double-fisherman's got untied by the upward pressure of the quickdraw, because it was not dressed well and the tail was pretty short... and the draw shot up to the anchors, leaving me, after a big unexpected wild swing, hanging in space with no way to get back to the rock. I had to lower off, and my partner re-lead the route to get the gear.

To this day, when I think about it, in both cases, all I can think of is, "WTF?" I have no idea at all what was going though my head. Both cases happened at the end of the day, and in both cases I was more than "normally" tired.

The take-home lesson is the one we all know, but sometimes still miss: always double-check knots, gear, partner. Especially, double-check if you are tired. And don't get distracted.


sungam


Jan 2, 2011, 12:05 PM
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Re: [oldsalt] NEAR MISS REPORT: The stupid mistakes edition [In reply to]
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oldsalt wrote:
Gutsy post! If your belayer isn't equally abashed, you need to find another. My guess is that it won't happen again for either of you.
You would think that after the first time...


Good post, though, NA.




p.s. YOU WUZ IN A GYM????


jt512


Jan 2, 2011, 12:13 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
One final note. I've personally developed the habit of quickly glancing down at my harness and fall line before entering a crux or if I think I might fall and it's helped to avoid awkward or dangerous falls in the past, this time it probably kept me from getting seriously injured or killed. For those who aren't in the habit, it might be something to think about.

The middle of the pitch is no place to be checking your knot. You need to strengthen your habit of not leaving the ground until you are sure you're tied in properly.

Jay


notapplicable


Jan 2, 2011, 12:16 PM
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sungam wrote:
oldsalt wrote:
Gutsy post! If your belayer isn't equally abashed, you need to find another. My guess is that it won't happen again for either of you.
You would think that after the first time...

The first time I was consciously aware of the fact that I hadn't tied the knot correctly. Both stooooooopid mistakes, but different circumstances. I do find the similarities between the two events rather unnerving though.Unimpressed


In reply to:
p.s. YOU WUZ IN A GYM????

I consider this event further proof that gyms serve little purpose other than to cultivate and nurture gumbyism.


sungam


Jan 2, 2011, 12:33 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
oldsalt wrote:
Gutsy post! If your belayer isn't equally abashed, you need to find another. My guess is that it won't happen again for either of you.
You would think that after the first time...

The first time I was consciously aware of the fact that I hadn't tied the knot correctly. Both stooooooopid mistakes, but different circumstances. I do find the similarities between the two events rather unnerving though.Unimpressed


In reply to:
p.s. YOU WUZ IN A GYM????

I consider this event further proof that gyms serve little purpose other than to cultivate and nurture gumbyism.
Monkey see fail, monkey do fail.


notapplicable


Jan 2, 2011, 12:35 PM
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jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
One final note. I've personally developed the habit of quickly glancing down at my harness and fall line before entering a crux or if I think I might fall and it's helped to avoid awkward or dangerous falls in the past, this time it probably kept me from getting seriously injured or killed. For those who aren't in the habit, it might be something to think about.

The middle of the pitch is no place to be checking your knot. You need to strengthen your habit of not leaving the ground until you are sure you're tied in properly.

Jay

Couldn't agree more and I've never consciously used that quick check to inspect my knot. More to make sure gear on my harness hasn't gotten twisted in the rope, the last draw isn't backclipped, no features to hit, that kind of thing.

Like I said, I got lucky. That quick check allowed me the opportunity to catch it but I could have just as easily missed it like I did every other time I looked down during the climb. Hell, I clipped 5-6 draws and didn't see it.


iknowfear


Jan 2, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Here is my story: Couple of years ago, in the calanques. Due to some fuckups (stuck rope) we had to start rapelling in the dark.
I prepared my rapel:

1: Fix Prussik to leg loop, and pull up some rope
2: Feed Rope through ATC and clip ATC in Rappel Sling (this was the old rappel Sling by Mammut, not the new one with the fancy big loop)
3: Pull up rope until ATC is tight and unclip from anchor

Now, I have to say, I HATE rapelling. The multiple single points of failure, every error could be your last one etc. I hate it. Especially the moment after unclipping from the anchor untill the ATC is really loaded...

And that hate might have saved my bacon. When starting the rappel, I Noticed that my ATC was clipped AROUND the sling, and not in. So I clipped back into the anchor and clipped in my ATC. Had to wait for a few secs for the adrenaline levels and pulse to come down a bit before starting the rappel.

To this day, I triple check my setups before rappels. And I still dont like it.

Was it "really" dangerous? Maybe not. (A 30 cm shock load onto a prussik). Was it a stupid mistake: Yep


ubu


Jan 2, 2011, 1:31 PM
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Wow. Glad you're ok. That could have ended very badly.

My version of this fuck-up goes as follows. About a year ago, I was belaying my wife on top rope for a route well above her onsight limit, i.e. she would absolutely have taken a fall at the crux about 2/3 up the wall. We checked each other at the base. Belay on, climb on. As she began to ascend it suddenly hit me that when I checked her tie-in, it was perfect...for a belay! Yes, she had the rope running through the ATC clipped to her loop. It was a major wake-up moment for us both.


bill413


Jan 2, 2011, 3:07 PM
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After hearing the details of Lynn Hill's accident, I try and always practice "Once you start tying in, don't stop until you're finished tying in." If you forget your shoes, your chalk, whatever - get it after you finish your knot.

NA's experience certainly reinforces the importance of this. Thanks for sharing - everyone.


blondgecko
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Jan 2, 2011, 3:17 PM
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OK, I'll play. Two occasions come to mind:

The first was more silly than seriously dangerous. Led off up a trad line near my limit, with a crux start (overhanging, difficult to downclimb). Pulled through that, found a reasonable stance, and reached down for my nuts... which weren't there. In fact, apart from the quickdraws my entire rack was still on the ground. Since we had a few "spare" people around, it worked out easily enough - they found a stick long enough to send the rack up, and that was that (I even kept the onsight).

The other case was more serious, because we were already well off the ground (second pitch of The Bard at Mt Arapiles). Easy territory on bombproof rock, which is probably what led to me getting complacent. Anyway, I'd just led off from the belay and placed my first piece when my partner told me to stop. He'd just realized that he threaded the wrong end of the rope through his belay device, effectively giving me an entire rope length of slack. Clipped in directly to the piece I'd just placed, and waited while he fixed the problem. We finished the remaining pitches uneventfully.
Blush


airforceclmr


Jan 2, 2011, 3:23 PM
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Here is mine that has lingered in my mind for years.

About 11 years ago my wife and i met up with her family in Jasper AB for some camping and rock climbing. We headed off to Morrow Slabs to show her dad how safe rock climbing was. We were climbing on a new route to us (don't remember the name) and she set up for lead. She flashed up the climb, built an anchor and called out that she was ready to lower. The plan was to have her family top rope the climb after. I must have been too busy day dreaming, spraying to her father or enjoying the scenery because i didn't notice the lack of the half rope mark. I lowered her almost all the way down but when she was 3 feet off the ground i felt the terrible feeling of the UN-KNOTTED rope rip thru my hands and belay device. She landed on her feet beside me and gave me a "what the hell" look. None of her family seemed to pick up that this was a bad thing.

Analysis: Even thought this was a crag and my wife was not hurt, the implications were huge to me. We began to tie in both climber and belayer or knot the end after that. I like to think i now have a little more focus on middle rope management and route description. It has never happened to me again.

Andrew


Gmburns2000


Jan 2, 2011, 4:29 PM
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damn dude. glad you're OK and thanks for sharing. that was a close call indeed.


potreroed


Jan 2, 2011, 5:55 PM
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I once jumared a fixed rope most of the way up the 10th pitch of a new route I was bolting (we were living on a ledge on the ninth pitch) and was about to take a rest when I noticed that I hadn't clipped my daisies in!!!

On another occasion, after a couple of falls, I learned that the last pass through on a figure 8 knot is redundant.

I've never made either of those mistakes again.


kobaz


Jan 2, 2011, 8:39 PM
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I'm trying to think through my travels of any near misses. The closest I've come up with is the following...

The previous day I had been out sport climbing at Table Mountain in Colorado. The current day I had just finished following a warmup at Eldo on the right side of the Wind Tower. I don't remember the name, but I could probably find it online. It was the first pitch of this 50 foot 5.4 that ended in a huge ledge. I got to the ledge and immediately started untieing. My partner looked at me with her wtf? look. And I realized my error and quickly tied back in.

I wasn't in any danger at the time, the ledge was almost kitchen room sized, but still... one of my rules is 'you never untie while on multipitch' (unless for some reason you really need to). I was totally going on autopilot, continuing from the previous day of single pitch sport climbing. Up, down, untie, belay... up, down, untie, belay...

Here's another one.

One day I quickly tied in at the gym for one last lead before closing. I clip the second to last bolt right before the crux, look down at my harness and realize only my leg loop side of the tiein has my 8 going through it. I quickly put a biner through, connecting my waist loop to the rest of the system.

And one last one.

Also at the Wind Tower in Eldo, I was belaying my partner on the second pitch of a climb. I was hanging on the anchor comfortably and for some reason, zoned out and started taking in slack like I was belaying a toproper. My partner screams down, HEY, DONT PULL. Oh shit I almost pulled her off.


moose_droppings


Jan 2, 2011, 9:45 PM
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Years back I was running laps up a top rope solo using my rescucender. I'd get to the top and remove the recucender and leave it hanging off the belay loop on a locker, then switch over to my belay device and rap the route and switch back at the bottom. After several laps I got up above the crux to take a rest and happened to look down to see I hadn't reattached the rescucender. I was free soloing without knowing it. Luckily I was able to pull up some slack and throw an 8 on a bight and clip in at this rest spot and attach the rescucender. I was a half mile from the road in an area you won't see people very often. I've always tried to do double and triple checks, but this time I missed it and got lucky.


socalclimber


Jan 2, 2011, 9:50 PM
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I'll play. I just have to figure out which one to choose from. There have been plenty...


boymeetsrock


Jan 3, 2011, 6:53 AM
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I have two that stand out.

1) Lead the first of a two pitch climb and finished at a hanging belay. While hanging there @ 160' off the ground I noticed my harness felt loose. I thought to myself, 'I really though I snugged this up before leaving the ground.' Looked down and realized I hadn't doubled-back my buckles. The whole thing was sliding loose while I was hanging in it! I think I had my second on an auto-block, which made it easier to double-back the buckles while maintaining the belay.

2) In the gym and still new to lead belay with a gri-gri. I noticed I threaded the gri-gri backwards when my partner was already two or three clips up the wall. I immediately asked a third member of our group to give me a back up belay. Once the climber could clip in I re-threaded the belay. I also chastised both of us for not catching that pre-climb.


Perhaps it is the simple tasks that are most easy to overlook and that are often deadly if missed.


socalclimber


Jan 3, 2011, 6:59 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
I have two that stand out.

1) Lead the first of a two pitch climb and finished at a hanging belay. While hanging there @ 160' off the ground I noticed my harness felt loose. I thought to myself, 'I really though I snugged this up before leaving the ground.' Looked down and realized I hadn't doubled-back my buckles. The whole thing was sliding loose while I was hanging in it! I think I had my second on an auto-block, which made it easier to double-back the buckles while maintaining the belay.

2) In the gym and still new to lead belay with a gri-gri. I noticed I threaded the gri-gri backwards when my partner was already two or three clips up the wall. I immediately asked a third member of our group to give me a back up belay. Once the climber could clip in I re-threaded the belay. I also chastised both of us for not catching that pre-climb.


Perhaps it is the simple tasks that are most easy to overlook and that are often deadly if missed.

I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.


sungam


Jan 3, 2011, 7:34 AM
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You're the man, I'm the hand! Pre climb chant every time.


gblauer
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Jan 3, 2011, 7:40 AM
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I am Glad you are ok!

A guy at our gym did the same thing, only he finished the climb and sat back. He hit the deck and broke his ankle very badly.


billl7


Jan 3, 2011, 8:13 AM
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Great thread and some good analysis. Thanks for starting it.

We tend to go after actual climbing accident investigation in a "leave no stone unturned" approach. Good to apply that to these reports here such as Jay's comment about strengthening the habit of checking systems before leaving the ground.

Back to the topic, I've proven to myself I'm not immune: unknotting a tied-off belay and then realizing I've got the wrong strand in the break hand (fortunately, no one fell); top roping a pitch with belay from below while not realizing the pitch is longer than half a rope length (fortunately, belayer remained tied in to that end of the rope); and being over-critical of my partner leading to lack of team work (fortunately, my partner was willing to work through it). In those cases, the common theme for me seems to be mounting hurried-ness and/or impatience.


kobaz


Jan 3, 2011, 8:45 AM
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socalclimber wrote:
I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

Every single time I attach a grigri, or someone else attaches a grigri whose belaying me, I will pull on the climbing side to make sure it locks.


notapplicable


Jan 3, 2011, 8:55 AM
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moose_droppings wrote:
Years back I was running laps up a top rope solo using my rescucender. I'd get to the top and remove the recucender and leave it hanging off the belay loop on a locker, then switch over to my belay device and rap the route and switch back at the bottom. After several laps I got up above the crux to take a rest and happened to look down to see I hadn't reattached the rescucender. I was free soloing without knowing it. Luckily I was able to pull up some slack and throw an 8 on a bight and clip in at this rest spot and attach the rescucender. I was a half mile from the road in an area you won't see people very often. I've always tried to do double and triple checks, but this time I missed it and got lucky.

That is terrifying.

The fact that simple injury can = death makes it all the more so, too. I love TR soloing in the mountains but I also get a weird feeling like I need to be looking over my shoulder or something. Kind of spooky IMO.


jt512


Jan 3, 2011, 9:00 AM
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kobaz wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

Every single time I attach a grigri, or someone else attaches a grigri whose belaying me, I will pull on the climbing side to make sure it locks.

That's pretty much maximizing the disrespect for your belayer.

Jay


boymeetsrock


Jan 3, 2011, 9:08 AM
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sungam wrote:
You're the man, I'm the hand! Pre climb chant every time.

I like that one! Will have to use that in the future.

The gri-gri mistakes are all too easy, as evidenced by all the gri-gri accident threads. I personally do not care for them. It's all the gym allows for though, and its another arrow in the quiver. It is always important to be extra vigilant with unfamiliar equipment. ...It's always important to be extra vigilant.


sp115


Jan 3, 2011, 9:12 AM
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jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

Every single time I attach a grigri, or someone else attaches a grigri whose belaying me, I will pull on the climbing side to make sure it locks.

That's pretty much maximizing the disrespect for your belayer.

Jay

As a belayer I consider it my responsibility to show my partner that it was threaded properly by giving the rope a tug and seeing it lock. If I didn't do that, I would expect him/her to pull the rope to make the point that I didn't do it.


kobaz


Jan 3, 2011, 9:14 AM
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jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

Every single time I attach a grigri, or someone else attaches a grigri whose belaying me, I will pull on the climbing side to make sure it locks.

That's pretty much maximizing the disrespect for your belayer.

Jay


Mistakes happen.

Does double checking that your partner has their harness double backed also count as maximizing disrespect?

What about asking if you are on belay? What about calling down "got me?". What about the dozens of other checks and double checks that are done all the time to climber and belayer when climbing?

Would you forgo a 1 second check to maximize your own safety?


notapplicable


Jan 3, 2011, 9:23 AM
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oldsalt wrote:
Gutsy post! If your belayer isn't equally abashed, you need to find another. My guess is that it won't happen again for either of you.

Missed this earlier, some how.

Yeah, he was really embarrassed and pissed off about missing it. He seemed to take it harder than I did actually.

My personal philosophy is that I am allowed to endanger myself, that is my privilege (not sure if that is the right word to convey what I want to express). I am not allowed to endanger other people and, to my knowledge, have never done so in any way that exceeds the generally accepted risks associated with climbing.

I think that is why I was able to take it in stride. Where as if I had been the belayer who missed my climbers botched tie-in, I would be much more disturbed by my role in the whole affair.


i_h8_choss


Jan 3, 2011, 9:40 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
I fucked up a few weeks back and although it didn’t end badly, it certainly could have.

I was at the gym climbing


ouch. bummer dude. you fucked up. Sly

seriously, glad everything turned out o.k. I developed a habit that kinda helps with this sorta thing. After tying my knot, I'll yank upwards on the rope to simulate what it would look like if I fell. It's always comforting to see my knot get tightened up a bit before I leave the ground.


Gmburns2000


Jan 3, 2011, 10:01 AM
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I've had two that stick out:

1) rapping off Dark Shadows in RR. Got to the ledge before the final rap, took myself off rappel, leaned back...fell into my partner's arms who noticed i hadn't locked in yet. have never made that mistake again.

2) was rapping with two different length ropes (didn't actually know this at the time as we both thought the ropes were the same length) and was paying more attention to the scary rock above me than I was the ends below me. the short rope whipped right through the ATC with about 50 feet to go and I was suddenly moving much faster than before. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that I wasn't falling, however, and then it dawned on me that I had been saved by the knot at the top.

have had a couple instances where I've fed the grigri wrong, but I always check it before my climber climbs, so I've never had a situation where the climber ever started climbing.


billl7


Jan 3, 2011, 10:37 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
was rapping with two different length ropes (didn't actually know this at the time as we both thought the ropes were the same length) and was paying more attention to the scary rock above me than I was the ends below me. the short rope whipped right through the ATC with about 50 feet to go and I was suddenly moving much faster than before. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that I wasn't falling, however, and then it dawned on me that I had been saved by the knot at the top.

Well worded. Makes me wobbly-legged just imagining the rapid-fire sequence of sensations. I've also heard of close calls like this when the person on rappel was focused on looking for the next anchor location.

I'm not a big fan of knotting the rope ends - rarely do (much less than 1% of the time). However, weekend before last we did because we were too lazy to find the middle of an unmarked rope.

Bill L


majid_sabet


Jan 3, 2011, 10:46 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
I fucked up a few weeks back and although it didn’t end badly, it certainly could have.

I was at the gym climbing with two of my regular partners and had been leading most of the day. The route I was on was at my onsight limit but nothing special beyond that. What was exceptional was what I saw as I cruxed above the last bolt and glanced down to check the rope run and fall line. I noticed an extra figure-8 tied in the rope below my harness and I kinda did a double take. When I looked closer, I realized that it wasn’t an extra figure-8, it was the ONLY figure-8 and the tale end of the rope just ran through my tie-in points and draped down the front. WTF!!

Now, me being the idiot that I am, my first thought was (not joking here) “can I tie that one handed and preserve the onsight?”. Of course my second thought was “don’t be a jackass, down climb”, so I did. I got to the bolt below me and clipped in and tied the knot and shakily finished the route. Needless to say, there were some raised eyebrows waiting for me back on the ground.

I honestly can't remember what distracted me from finishing my knot but I have my suspicions. I remember wondering where I had put my shoes and I remember spotting them behind where John was sitting and I grabbed them right then and put them on, so I’m pretty sure that’s when it happened. And as usual, it was more than one event or mistake that lined up just right to allow for this kind of thing to happen. While we don’t have a perfect batting average, the group I was with that day are pretty consistent about double checking each other and overtly do so 80% of the time with another 15% done with eye contact but no verbal communication. Not sure if we were too busy talking shit or just plain forgot but this climb fell within the remaining 5%.

Certainly I'm not the most safety conscious climber in the world and I freely admit that but I try to keep and eye on the simple stupid stuff, especially after earning my avatar. Shit slips thru the cracks though and it's that shit that will kill you. I just got lucky is all. So no big lessons here, just a reminder to doublecheck yourself, and each other.

One final note. I've personally developed the habit of quickly glancing down at my harness and fall line before entering a crux or if I think I might fall and it's helped to avoid awkward or dangerous falls in the past, this time it probably kept me from getting seriously injured or killed. For those who aren't in the habit, it might be something to think about.

Mods, if you think this belongs in general, feel free to move it.

There is no such thing as "AUTO-PILOT" switch in climbing.

Everything must be manually check and recheck by pilot and co-pilot before takeoff


Gmburns2000


Jan 3, 2011, 11:06 AM
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billl7 wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
was rapping with two different length ropes (didn't actually know this at the time as we both thought the ropes were the same length) and was paying more attention to the scary rock above me than I was the ends below me. the short rope whipped right through the ATC with about 50 feet to go and I was suddenly moving much faster than before. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that I wasn't falling, however, and then it dawned on me that I had been saved by the knot at the top.

Well worded. Makes me wobbly-legged just imagining the rapid-fire sequence of sensations. I've also heard of close calls like this when the person on rappel was focused on looking for the next anchor location.

I'm not a big fan of knotting the rope ends - rarely do (much less than 1% of the time). However, weekend before last we did because we were too lazy to find the middle of an unmarked rope.

Bill L

Thanks.

It took me several minutes to catch my breath when I got to the bottom, but I oddly had the presence of mind to hold the rope so that my partner couldn't get into the system at the top. Once I had enough time to gather my thoughts and communicate them, he rapped down to the intermediate anchor that we were trying to avoid, and did it in two raps.

I remember when I realized I had been saved by the knot, too. I didn't slow the rap down because I wasn't 100% sure that the knot wouldn't pull through, so I wanted to get down as quickly as I could.

I'm a big proponent of tying knots, but I don't always (wind in RR is an example of when I don't do it). We didnt this time because we saw the longer rope clearly on the ground. We didn't see the shorter rope on the ground for two reasons: 1) obviously because it wasn't, but we didn't know this because; 2) it had fallen over a bulge and we couldn't see the ground over that bulge. The longer rope had fallen to the side of the bulge where we could see straight down.


jt512


Jan 3, 2011, 12:42 PM
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kobaz wrote:
jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

Every single time I attach a grigri, or someone else attaches a grigri whose belaying me, I will pull on the climbing side to make sure it locks.

That's pretty much maximizing the disrespect for your belayer.

Jay


Mistakes happen.

Does double checking that your partner has their harness double backed also count as maximizing disrespect?

What about asking if you are on belay? What about calling down "got me?". What about the dozens of other checks and double checks that are done all the time to climber and belayer when climbing?

Would you forgo a 1 second check to maximize your own safety?

I would—and do—ask my belayer to yank on the rope to see if it catches in the grigri. I don't tug on him. That's just rude.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jan 3, 2011, 12:42 PM)


james481


Jan 3, 2011, 1:49 PM
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jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

Every single time I attach a grigri, or someone else attaches a grigri whose belaying me, I will pull on the climbing side to make sure it locks.

That's pretty much maximizing the disrespect for your belayer.

Jay


Mistakes happen.

Does double checking that your partner has their harness double backed also count as maximizing disrespect?

What about asking if you are on belay? What about calling down "got me?". What about the dozens of other checks and double checks that are done all the time to climber and belayer when climbing?

Would you forgo a 1 second check to maximize your own safety?

I would—and do—ask my belayer to yank on the rope to see if it catches in the grigri. I don't tug on him. That's just rude.

Jay

I kindly ask the people that I climb with to leave the pedantic rules of etiquette for afternoon tea and crumpets on the veranda. When life and death are on the line (as they are for every climb), I don't consider myself on belay until I have physically checked the belayer's rigging by grabbing the belay biner to ensure that it's locked and giving the rope a yank to ensure that the belay device is threaded correctly, and having the belayer both visually and physically yanking to confirm that my knot is correctly tied and holding weight. I do this every time I tie in, gym, crag, or mountains, without exception. I've probably annoyed a couple of people who think that I'm being overly cautious, but much more importantly, I've never gotten half way up a pitch only to discover my knot isn't tied or my belayer threaded the device wrong.


Partner j_ung


Jan 3, 2011, 2:13 PM
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jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

Every single time I attach a grigri, or someone else attaches a grigri whose belaying me, I will pull on the climbing side to make sure it locks.

That's pretty much maximizing the disrespect for your belayer.

Jay


Mistakes happen.

Does double checking that your partner has their harness double backed also count as maximizing disrespect?

What about asking if you are on belay? What about calling down "got me?". What about the dozens of other checks and double checks that are done all the time to climber and belayer when climbing?

Would you forgo a 1 second check to maximize your own safety?

I would—and do—ask my belayer to yank on the rope to see if it catches in the grigri. I don't tug on him. That's just rude.

Jay

I like the yank check, too, but like Jay, I'm satisfied if I see the belayer do it. BUT, I also have a few climbing partners I can yank around by the belay device and not endanger the relationship.


fresh


Jan 3, 2011, 2:22 PM
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NA,
nice post, glad it worked out. actually I was similarly inspired to post a question because of the thread you mentioned:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/...d;page=unread#unread

I think it's really important to air out mistakes and near misses. it's too much of a burden to keep quiet about.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 3, 2011, 3:11 PM
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j_ung wrote:
jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
jt512 wrote:
kobaz wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

Every single time I attach a grigri, or someone else attaches a grigri whose belaying me, I will pull on the climbing side to make sure it locks.

That's pretty much maximizing the disrespect for your belayer.

Jay


Mistakes happen.

Does double checking that your partner has their harness double backed also count as maximizing disrespect?

What about asking if you are on belay? What about calling down "got me?". What about the dozens of other checks and double checks that are done all the time to climber and belayer when climbing?

Would you forgo a 1 second check to maximize your own safety?

I would—and do—ask my belayer to yank on the rope to see if it catches in the grigri. I don't tug on him. That's just rude.

Jay

I like the yank check, too, but like Jay, I'm satisfied if I see the belayer do it. BUT, I also have a few climbing partners I can yank around by the belay device and not endanger the relationship.

I yank mine in for a pre-climb kissWink

Josh


blueeyedclimber


Jan 3, 2011, 3:30 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:

There is no such thing as "AUTO-PILOT" switch in climbing.

Everything must be manually check and recheck by pilot and co-pilot before takeoff

Instead of passing judgment, how about offering your own stories. There is no climber alive that hasn't done something stupid (except maybe Jay).

Here's two that come to mind:
1) First time in Red Rocks, first route. My partner had been there before so gave me the first lead. We were in Black Velvet Canyon and the higher profile climbs were occupied, so we decided on Sour Mash. In all my excitement, I tied in chalked up and headed up on lead.......without the rack. I didn't notice until reaching for the first piece. I down climbed back to the base, grabbed the rack, and headed back up, a little red-faced. The climbing was pretty easy to start so I wasn't in any danger, just a little embarrassed.

2) Rappelling off a route. I "ALWAYS" attach my rappel device and THEN attach my backup. For some reason, one time, I put my backup on first. I guess in my mind I was all set to go, since I had just put my backup on. It was hot, I was tired, I wasn't thinking. I went to lean back on it when Tiff stopped me.

NO ONE is above mistakes. You can say "It won't happen to me" until you're blue in the face, but guess what....being human is well, part of being a human.

Josh


bearbreeder


Jan 3, 2011, 3:32 PM
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once i was putting someone on belay ... had a PAS girth hitched that was the same colour as my belay loop ... i clipped the ATC to the PAS girth hitch instead of the belay loop ... caught it before the first 10 feet fortunately

got a daisy that was bright neon orange the next day (i'm sure some people will start ranting about OMG yr gonna die daisies now Tongue)

don't girth hitch anything of the same colour as yr belay loop to yr harness ...

of and i always check my partner's tie in knot ... especially if they are hawt gurls and wearing those tight yoga pants ... in that case it calls for a physical hands on inspection Wink


majid_sabet


Jan 3, 2011, 3:58 PM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:

There is no such thing as "AUTO-PILOT" switch in climbing.

Everything must be manually check and recheck by pilot and co-pilot before takeoff

Instead of passing judgment, how about offering your own stories. There is no climber alive that hasn't done something stupid (except maybe Jay).

Here's two that come to mind:
1) First time in Red Rocks, first route. My partner had been there before so gave me the first lead. We were in Black Velvet Canyon and the higher profile climbs were occupied, so we decided on Sour Mash. In all my excitement, I tied in chalked up and headed up on lead.......without the rack. I didn't notice until reaching for the first piece. I down climbed back to the base, grabbed the rack, and headed back up, a little red-faced. The climbing was pretty easy to start so I wasn't in any danger, just a little embarrassed.

2) Rappelling off a route. I "ALWAYS" attach my rappel device and THEN attach my backup. For some reason, one time, I put my backup on first. I guess in my mind I was all set to go, since I had just put my backup on. It was hot, I was tired, I wasn't thinking. I went to lean back on it when Tiff stopped me.

NO ONE is above mistakes. You can say "It won't happen to me" until you're blue in the face, but guess what....being human is well, part of being a human.

Josh

I done stupid thing and I am no different than anyone else however, I am probably more aware of fuc*ups than most climbers (thanks to reading thousands of accident reports and documenting what went wrong) but I also learned that we need to have pre-flight check list like how pilots do it every time both before they takeoff or land. I am an ex airplane mechanic and we check, recheck and triple check everything we put together and practicing of checking twice and cutting once has saved me in so many situations. As an instructor who deals with climbers and rescuers, I personally can not effort any fuc*ups. An error, injuries or death when my name or organization's reputation is involved means death . I always say this; everything is against us in climbing and any error means trouble if not death so best thing we have to defend ourselves against close calls is the safety check list and we have to do religiously.

we can talk BS all day long here and post and joke about our fuc*ups but out there, climbing is a serious business and we need to treat our safety like how we did in the beginning.

Remember those days........fig 8 check ?, belay check ? on belay ? belay on, climbing ? climb on .....


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Jan 3, 2011, 3:59 PM)


Gmburns2000


Jan 3, 2011, 4:19 PM
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jt512 wrote:


Incidentally, in 25 years of climbing, I have never even once had a partner grab the rope and jerk it, and hence, jerk me. On the other hand, every time I belay with a grigri, I give the rope a jerk myself, preferably while my partner is watching.

Jay

you know, for prosperity


jakedatc


Jan 3, 2011, 4:20 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:

There is no such thing as "AUTO-PILOT" switch in climbing.

Everything must be manually check and recheck by pilot and co-pilot before takeoff

Instead of passing judgment, how about offering your own stories. There is no climber alive that hasn't done something stupid (except maybe Jay).

Here's two that come to mind:
1) First time in Red Rocks, first route. My partner had been there before so gave me the first lead. We were in Black Velvet Canyon and the higher profile climbs were occupied, so we decided on Sour Mash. In all my excitement, I tied in chalked up and headed up on lead.......without the rack. I didn't notice until reaching for the first piece. I down climbed back to the base, grabbed the rack, and headed back up, a little red-faced. The climbing was pretty easy to start so I wasn't in any danger, just a little embarrassed.

2) Rappelling off a route. I "ALWAYS" attach my rappel device and THEN attach my backup. For some reason, one time, I put my backup on first. I guess in my mind I was all set to go, since I had just put my backup on. It was hot, I was tired, I wasn't thinking. I went to lean back on it when Tiff stopped me.

NO ONE is above mistakes. You can say "It won't happen to me" until you're blue in the face, but guess what....being human is well, part of being a human.

Josh

I done stupid thing and I am no different than anyone else however, I am probably more aware of fuc*ups than most climbers (thanks to reading thousands of accident reports and documenting what went wrong) but I also learned that we need to have pre-flight check list like how pilots do it every time both before they takeoff or land. I am an ex airplane mechanic and we check, recheck and triple check everything we put together and practicing of checking twice and cutting once has saved me in so many situations. As an instructor who deals with climbers and rescuers, I personally can not effort any fuc*ups. An error, injuries or death when my name or organization's reputation is involved means death . I always say this; everything is against us in climbing and any error means trouble if not death so best thing we have to defend ourselves against close calls is the safety check list and we have to do religiously.

we can talk BS all day long here and post and joke about our fuc*ups but out there, climbing is a serious business and we need to treat our safety like how we did in the beginning.

Remember those days........fig 8 check ?, belay check ? on belay ? belay on, climbing ? climb on .....

This thread was purposely started to AVOID your holier than thou comments and judgments. If you don't like the conversation then don't post. I still have not seen proof that you climb.


mine: Have only threaded one of the tie ins on a few different occasions. This has led me to thread from the top down so that at least my waist belt will be the one tie in i will hit all the time and i think is less likely to invert you. this summer i caught myself at the first bolt, clipped in direct and fixed it.

I do the Man/Hand check and a quick yank with my Cinch, other partners do it with their Gri gri's. If they yank on the rope themselves i could really care less. if my skin was that thin i'd have stopped climbing with them a long time ago. Would probably be taunted and laughed at until they left on their own if someone took themselves that seriously.


Gmburns2000


Jan 3, 2011, 4:21 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:


Incidentally, in 25 years of climbing, I have never even once had a partner grab the rope and jerk it, and hence, jerk me. On the other hand, every time I belay with a grigri, I give the rope a jerk myself, preferably while my partner is watching.

Jay

you know, for prosperity posterity

fucking keyboard


blueeyedclimber


Jan 3, 2011, 4:35 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:

I done stupid thing and I am no different than anyone else .....BLAH BLAH BLAH....

We are waiting, Majid......



Josh


james481


Jan 3, 2011, 4:40 PM
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I'll throw in one of my own stories from this past season: I was doing a full length (100 ft) rappel after setting up a TR anchor. I'm a long hair rocker type dude, so I normally extend out my device on a sling or PAS to help prevent getting anything (like my hair) stuck in there, particularly on free-hanging raps. This particular rappel started fairly low angle at the top and then steepened up to past vertical at the bottom, but for whatever reason I didn't think to extend out my device.

Of course, as soon as I hit the free hanging part, I turn around to spot my landing and my hair goes straight into the device (older style reverso) and sticks up in there good. A few leg wraps and a foot prussic was all that it took to pull it out, but I'm much more careful now about extending my device off my belay loop when needed. Cool


(This post was edited by james481 on Jan 3, 2011, 4:42 PM)


majid_sabet


Jan 3, 2011, 5:10 PM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:

I done stupid thing and I am no different than anyone else .....BLAH BLAH BLAH....

We are waiting, Majid......



Josh

I married a non-climber once and that should explain a lot


blueeyedclimber


Jan 3, 2011, 5:20 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:

I done stupid thing and I am no different than anyone else .....BLAH BLAH BLAH....

We are waiting, Majid......



Josh

I married a non-climber once and that should explain a lot

Heh. Me too. Laugh


wonderwoman


Jan 3, 2011, 7:24 PM
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My biggest doozy was a n00b mistake that should never be repeated & is worth mentioning. On one of my first trips to the Gunks & before I had ever led anything, I have a friend who was my key mentor. He knew a lot, was strong & made sure that I had a hands on role in everything that was involved when we climbed together. He was a huge part of my education & I still learn a lot from him.

So, my party of 3 topropers meet up with him at the end of the day so that he can take us up a cool route with a 5.6 Gunks roof (Drunkard's Delight). Because we're n00bs, he thinks it's best to break this long route into 2 pitches (which is how it's described in the guidebook).

I am the most experienced n00b so I get to belay the leader on both pitches, then bring up my second (Josh) and leave him below the roof to belay up n00b #3 (first mistake).

So, I am at the top with the leader & we can tell it's taking forever for poor n00b #3 to get off the ground. By the time he gives up, it's completely dark & now we just have to bring up n00bie Josh from where he's hanging out under Drunkard's roof. Only we can't hear a damn thing he's yelling BECAUSE HE'S ANCHORED IN UNDER A ROOF. (and n00b # 3 went off to the car to look for a headlamp at the car, so he could not be our intermediate screamer).

We finally get our crap together & bring Josh up in the pitch dark & start setting up the rappel. My buddy decides, in the dark, that he's going to show me a new knot to rap with because all I know how to do is attach two ropes via fisherman's. So, my mentor puts a SQUARE KNOT in my hands (in the dark) & instructs me to tie a back up fisherman on each end. Not a good idea & I really did not want to touch any knot that was going to be relied on to get us down. But I did, anyway. Maybe I wanted to seem competent. Nobody double checked me in the dark. And even if they had, would they have seen anything?

So, leader & Josh go down first. Noob #3 returns sans headlamp (because it's actually in his backpack). I get down & pull the rope, which upon examination, has no back up knots. My fisherman's were actually over hand knots & probably came out shortly after I placed them.

So, I nearly killed my friend & also my now husband. Awesome. Brilliant.

So. Don't put your n00b friends in charge of knots that your life depends on unless she can be supervised & double checked. Don't try to teach fancy shmancy inadequate knots in the dark when a standard fisherman's will do. Try not to kill your friends. It's not very nice.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 3, 2011, 7:39 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:
My biggest doozy was a n00b mistake that should never be repeated & is worth mentioning. On one of my first trips to the Gunks & before I had ever led anything, I have a friend who was my key mentor. He knew a lot, was strong & made sure that I had a hands on role in everything that was involved when we climbed together. He was a huge part of my education & I still learn a lot from him.

No wonder he had me go down first on the exploding knot Unsure


pendereki


Jan 3, 2011, 7:59 PM
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Wonderwoman, thanks for recounting your "casual chain of events" that led to such a scary scenerioWink

This has been a good thread, thanks to the OP for starting it. In the textbook for my flight school, there is a whole chapter devoted to watching for and breaking the chain of events that lead to accidents. This thread already contains a multitude of little things to watch out for in order to avoid the big thing we really do not want to happen. Keep the stories coming!

Fortunately all of my mistakes (unlocked belay biner, bad knot, mistake cleaning anchor) have been caught by standard checks---either by buddy check or personal procedure. I plan to keep it that way.


socalclimber


Jan 3, 2011, 8:06 PM
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As far as the gri gri checks go, you don't need to yard on the rope. Just look at how it is threaded through the device. That's what I mean by triple checking. You don't have tow your partner around the crag repeatedly to check if the gri gri has been set up properly.


notapplicable


Jan 3, 2011, 9:01 PM
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So far only two people who have posted to this thread have not fessed up. They also happen to be two of the most doggedly critical of other peoples mistakes on this site.

Jay, Majid, please share with the group. It's ok, your in a safe place. No one will judge you here.


notapplicable


Jan 3, 2011, 9:13 PM
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wonderwoman wrote:
My biggest doozy was a n00b mistake that should never be repeated & is worth mentioning. On one of my first trips to the Gunks & before I had ever led anything, I have a friend who was my key mentor. He knew a lot, was strong & made sure that I had a hands on role in everything that was involved...

There's a fine line there, unfortunately it's a blurry one. You can't coddle the nOObs but you also can't forget too early or often that they are infact nOObs.

I find it's hard to strike the right balance when the people you are teaching are adults and in every other sense your peers. Especially if your friendship predates climbing together. Not that it's ever caused any problems, I just find it a bit awkward on a personal level. Perhaps because I never had a mentor myself?


jt512


Jan 3, 2011, 10:43 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
So far only two people who have posted to this thread have not fessed up. They also happen to be two of the most doggedly critical of other peoples mistakes on this site.

Jay, Majid, please share with the group. It's ok, your in a safe place. No one will judge you here.

Prior to becoming any sort of climber, I'd logged over 1000 skydives and over 1200 pilot-in-command hours, activities which ingrain the importance of systematic equipment checks, and in which you are far less likely to get a second chance to survive an equipment failure than in (free) climbing, where your equipment is a backup for your climbing skill. Perhaps that is the reason I've never made a life-threatening error wrt my climbing equipment. I've never left the ground without my harness doubled back or my knot properly tied. I've never had a partner leave the ground with my grigri threaded backward (I've threaded my grigri backward a handful of times, but I've always caught the mistake). I've never unclipped from the anchor while improperly rigged to rappel or to be lowered (I've made mistakes doing both, but have always caught them before unclipping from the anchor). So, it's not that I'm inherently immune from errors, but rather that I have systems that catch such errors before there is any consequence to them—a concept that some of you boneheads might want to take a little more seriously.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jan 3, 2011, 10:47 PM)


bearbreeder


Jan 3, 2011, 11:06 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
So far only two people who have posted to this thread have not fessed up. They also happen to be two of the most doggedly critical of other peoples mistakes on this site.

Jay, Majid, please share with the group. It's ok, your in a safe place. No one will judge you here.

never happen ... some people are just never wrong ... on the internet anyways Tongue

that alone should tell you something ...


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Jan 3, 2011, 11:08 PM)


majid_sabet


Jan 3, 2011, 11:44 PM
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35 years of messing around with shit and list is just too long but a picture can talk a thousand words






socalclimber


Jan 4, 2011, 2:41 AM
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This one falls under the category of How Not to Find the Descent.

A bazillion years ago we were bagging some routes in Indian Cove. At the end of the day we decided to grab one last route. Once on top, and with darkness closing in, we started to look for the decent. We did a very cursory glance around and decided that there was only one possible way off. There was this horrible semi steep very loose gully about 100 feet long. We decided the best option was to get one LOUSY stopper in a very LOUSY rotten crack. We figured what the hell, one biner, a sling and a stopper are not the worse things in the world to leave behind. I set up the rappel, and just as I was starting to lean back on the anchor I saw this eight year old kid standing behind my partner asking "Hey, what are you guys doing?".

I stopped and asked how he got up here. "Over there, it's just like stairs". Sure enough, I walk over, and where the edge of the universe domed over, there was a two foot step down and pretty much a stair case to the bottom.

I still shudder to think what may have happened if that kid had not come along.

I now spend a little more time looking for the descent before committing to something potentially dangerous.


blondgecko
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Jan 4, 2011, 3:23 AM
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jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
So far only two people who have posted to this thread have not fessed up. They also happen to be two of the most doggedly critical of other peoples mistakes on this site.

Jay, Majid, please share with the group. It's ok, your in a safe place. No one will judge you here.

Prior to becoming any sort of climber, I'd logged over 1000 skydives and over 1200 pilot-in-command hours, activities which ingrain the importance of systematic equipment checks, and in which you are far less likely to get a second chance to survive an equipment failure than in (free) climbing, where your equipment is a backup for your climbing skill. Perhaps that is the reason I've never made a life-threatening error wrt my climbing equipment. I've never left the ground without my harness doubled back or my knot properly tied. I've never had a partner leave the ground with my grigri threaded backward (I've threaded my grigri backward a handful of times, but I've always caught the mistake). I've never unclipped from the anchor while improperly rigged to rappel or to be lowered (I've made mistakes doing both, but have always caught them before unclipping from the anchor). So, it's not that I'm inherently immune from errors, but rather that I have systems that catch such errors before there is any consequence to them—a concept that some of you boneheads might want to take a little more seriously.

Jay

I think that's rather the point of this thread, isn't it? People who don't have the benefit of such extensive training receiving wake-up calls that convinced them to take safety more seriously - and sharing their mistakes so that others know to watch out for them too.


sp115


Jan 4, 2011, 4:24 AM
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socalclimber wrote:
This one falls under the category of How Not to Find the Descent.

A bazillion years ago we were bagging some routes in Indian Cove. At the end of the day we decided to grab one last route. Once on top, and with darkness closing in, we started to look for the decent. We did a very cursory glance around and decided that there was only one possible way off. There was this horrible semi steep very loose gully about 100 feet long. We decided the best option was to get one LOUSY stopper in a very LOUSY rotten crack. We figured what the hell, one biner, a sling and a stopper are not the worse things in the world to leave behind. I set up the rappel, and just as I was starting to lean back on the anchor I saw this eight year old kid standing behind my partner asking "Hey, what are you guys doing?".

I stopped and asked how he got up here. "Over there, it's just like stairs". Sure enough, I walk over, and where the edge of the universe domed over, there was a two foot step down and pretty much a stair case to the bottom.

I still shudder to think what may have happened if that kid had not come along.

I now spend a little more time looking for the descent before committing to something potentially dangerous.

I hope this doesn't sound critical, becasue it's not in any way intended to be - but I just find this story hysterical.


sungam


Jan 4, 2011, 4:30 AM
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I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked


lonequail


Jan 4, 2011, 5:06 AM
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Several good suggestions and reinforcement for double checks/cross checks and the following by bill:

In reply to:
quote "bill413"]After hearing the details of Lynn Hill's accident, I try and always practice "Once you start tying in, don't stop until you're finished tying in." If you forget your shoes, your chalk, whatever - get it after you finish your knot.

Also after Lynn Hill's accident I instigated a similar guideline to not talk to or inturrupt a climber while they are tying their knot.


notapplicable


Jan 4, 2011, 5:33 AM
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sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

It's ok, he fucked up and tied in with me 2 weeks after the OP happened.

I did tell him about it though. Just not on the first day.Angelic


blueeyedclimber


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jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
So far only two people who have posted to this thread have not fessed up. They also happen to be two of the most doggedly critical of other peoples mistakes on this site.

Jay, Majid, please share with the group. It's ok, your in a safe place. No one will judge you here.

Prior to becoming any sort of climber, I'd logged over 1000 skydives and over 1200 pilot-in-command hours, activities which ingrain the importance of systematic equipment checks, and in which you are far less likely to get a second chance to survive an equipment failure than in (free) climbing, where your equipment is a backup for your climbing skill. Perhaps that is the reason I've never made a life-threatening error wrt my climbing equipment. I've never left the ground without my harness doubled back or my knot properly tied. I've never had a partner leave the ground with my grigri threaded backward (I've threaded my grigri backward a handful of times, but I've always caught the mistake). I've never unclipped from the anchor while improperly rigged to rappel or to be lowered (I've made mistakes doing both, but have always caught them before unclipping from the anchor). So, it's not that I'm inherently immune from errors, but rather that I have systems that catch such errors before there is any consequence to them—a concept that some of you boneheads might want to take a little more seriously.

Jay

Jay,

You're such a coward. For 2 reasons. One, because you refuse to open up and share and resort to calling people who do it boneheads. Two, you would never dare say that to rgold, who has repeatedly in many posts said over and over again, that no one is above mistakes and that he has made many himself. The important thing is to learn from them so that you don't make them again.

I realize that things are different in your cute little world of single pitch sport climbing, but give me a break.

Josh


edge


Jan 4, 2011, 5:47 AM
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majid_sabet wrote:
35 years of messing around with shit and list is just too long but a picture can talk a thousand words

[IMG]http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/8195/screenhunter04.jpg[/IMG]


In focus it would only take 500 words.


socalclimber


Jan 4, 2011, 5:50 AM
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sp115 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
This one falls under the category of How Not to Find the Descent.

A bazillion years ago we were bagging some routes in Indian Cove. At the end of the day we decided to grab one last route. Once on top, and with darkness closing in, we started to look for the decent. We did a very cursory glance around and decided that there was only one possible way off. There was this horrible semi steep very loose gully about 100 feet long. We decided the best option was to get one LOUSY stopper in a very LOUSY rotten crack. We figured what the hell, one biner, a sling and a stopper are not the worse things in the world to leave behind. I set up the rappel, and just as I was starting to lean back on the anchor I saw this eight year old kid standing behind my partner asking "Hey, what are you guys doing?".

I stopped and asked how he got up here. "Over there, it's just like stairs". Sure enough, I walk over, and where the edge of the universe domed over, there was a two foot step down and pretty much a stair case to the bottom.

I still shudder to think what may have happened if that kid had not come along.

I now spend a little more time looking for the descent before committing to something potentially dangerous.

I hope this doesn't sound critical, becasue it's not in any way intended to be - but I just find this story hysterical.

Laugh a way! It is both funny and stupid.


Gmburns2000


Jan 4, 2011, 5:52 AM
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sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

I once made the mistake of forgetting to cut your fucking rope when I had the chance! Mad




Tongue



Devil


Gmburns2000


Jan 4, 2011, 5:54 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

It's ok, he fucked up and tied in with me 2 weeks after the OP happened.

I did tell him about it though. Just not on the first day.Angelic

heh, you know, when I read your OP I thought to myself that this sounded familiar, but for the life of me I couldn't remember where I'd read it. It appears my instincts are better than my memory.


boymeetsrock


Jan 4, 2011, 6:53 AM
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In reply to:
I don't mind catching falls. That's what I'm there for. I do (or would) mind some condescending asshole jerking on a rope I'm tied into, implying that he doesn't trust me enough to do my job. There are other belayers, after all.

Jay


Coming from you that is really saying something.


boymeetsrock


Jan 4, 2011, 7:04 AM
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sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburnsAngry ShockedShockedShockedShocked


Fixed, if I remember the story correctly. Tongue


billl7


Jan 4, 2011, 7:18 AM
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socalclimber wrote:
A bazillion years ago we were bagging some routes in Indian Cove. At the end of the day we decided to grab one last route. Once on top, and with darkness closing in, we started to look for the decent. We did a very cursory glance around and decided that there was only one possible way off. There was this horrible semi steep very loose gully about 100 feet long. We decided the best option was to get one LOUSY stopper in a very LOUSY rotten crack. We figured what the hell, one biner, a sling and a stopper are not the worse things in the world to leave behind. I set up the rappel, and just as I was starting to lean back on the anchor I saw this eight year old kid standing behind my partner asking "Hey, what are you guys doing?".

You wouldn't by chance have been on Apparition Rock?
http://www.mountainproject.com/...ndian_cove/105720846

I had nearly the same exact thing happen there. I was belaying up my second, fretting over what I'd heard was an iffy descent, when this ~10 year old's head pops out above me asking if I'd seen some gear.

Bill L

P.S. I still found the descent an eye opener. Crazy


billl7


Jan 4, 2011, 7:32 AM
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jt512 wrote:
Prior to becoming any sort of climber, I'd logged over 1000 skydives and over 1200 pilot-in-command hours, activities which ingrain the importance of systematic equipment checks, and in which you are far less likely to get a second chance to survive an equipment failure than in (free) climbing, where your equipment is a backup for your climbing skill. Perhaps that is the reason I've never made a life-threatening error wrt my climbing equipment. I've never left the ground without my harness doubled back or my knot properly tied. I've never had a partner leave the ground with my grigri threaded backward (I've threaded my grigri backward a handful of times, but I've always caught the mistake). I've never unclipped from the anchor while improperly rigged to rappel or to be lowered (I've made mistakes doing both, but have always caught them before unclipping from the anchor). So, it's not that I'm inherently immune from errors, but rather that I have systems that catch such errors before there is any consequence to them—a concept that some of you boneheads might want to take a little more seriously.

I gave this four stars ... would have been five if the last sentence had been left off.

But Jay's right. The important thing is to look at the errors, ask where processes are lacking, and decide whether and where to make changes ... preferrably before risking the error.

Bill L


IsayAutumn


Jan 4, 2011, 8:20 AM
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billl7 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Prior to becoming any sort of climber, I'd logged over 1000 skydives and over 1200 pilot-in-command hours, activities which ingrain the importance of systematic equipment checks, and in which you are far less likely to get a second chance to survive an equipment failure than in (free) climbing, where your equipment is a backup for your climbing skill. Perhaps that is the reason I've never made a life-threatening error wrt my climbing equipment. I've never left the ground without my harness doubled back or my knot properly tied. I've never had a partner leave the ground with my grigri threaded backward (I've threaded my grigri backward a handful of times, but I've always caught the mistake). I've never unclipped from the anchor while improperly rigged to rappel or to be lowered (I've made mistakes doing both, but have always caught them before unclipping from the anchor). So, it's not that I'm inherently immune from errors, but rather that I have systems that catch such errors before there is any consequence to them—a concept that some of you boneheads might want to take a little more seriously.

I gave this four stars ... would have been five if the last sentence had been left off.

But Jay's right. The important thing is to look at the errors, ask where processes are lacking, and decide whether and where to make changes ... preferrably before risking the error.

Bill L

I agree with that. I gave it 5 stars. I guess I don't mind being called a bonehead.

Also, kudos to those willing to offer up their horror stories for the benefit of us all.


jt512


Jan 4, 2011, 8:34 AM
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blondgecko wrote:
jt512 wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
So far only two people who have posted to this thread have not fessed up. They also happen to be two of the most doggedly critical of other peoples mistakes on this site.

Jay, Majid, please share with the group. It's ok, your in a safe place. No one will judge you here.

Prior to becoming any sort of climber, I'd logged over 1000 skydives and over 1200 pilot-in-command hours, activities which ingrain the importance of systematic equipment checks, and in which you are far less likely to get a second chance to survive an equipment failure than in (free) climbing, where your equipment is a backup for your climbing skill. Perhaps that is the reason I've never made a life-threatening error wrt my climbing equipment. I've never left the ground without my harness doubled back or my knot properly tied. I've never had a partner leave the ground with my grigri threaded backward (I've threaded my grigri backward a handful of times, but I've always caught the mistake). I've never unclipped from the anchor while improperly rigged to rappel or to be lowered (I've made mistakes doing both, but have always caught them before unclipping from the anchor). So, it's not that I'm inherently immune from errors, but rather that I have systems that catch such errors before there is any consequence to them—a concept that some of you boneheads might want to take a little more seriously.

Jay

I think that's rather the point of this thread, isn't it? People who don't have the benefit of such extensive training receiving wake-up calls that convinced them to take safety more seriously - and sharing their mistakes so that others know to watch out for them too.

Hopefully that will be the effect of the thread, rather than, as implied by notapplicable, an opportunity for catharsis and to falsely convince ourselves that these mistakes are normal. No, they're not. Hopefully, this thread is an unrepresentative sample.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jan 4, 2011, 8:35 AM)


jomagam


Jan 4, 2011, 8:49 AM
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I've pulled a Lynn Hill too in a gym. Started tying in and then belayer said that he'll grab something to drink and never finished the figure eight before starting to climb.


billl7


Jan 4, 2011, 8:49 AM
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jt512 wrote:
Hopefully that will be the effect of the thread, rather than, as implied by notapplicable, an opportunity for catharsis and to falsely convince ourselves that these mistakes are normal.

If there truly is such an implication, I believe it is simply backlash from another tendancy which is to sweep things under the rug (i.e., to not learn and to not help learn) - encouraged to some degree by arrogance, different styles of learning, ignorance, etc..

There's room here to be more constructive.

Bill L


spikeddem


Jan 4, 2011, 9:25 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:


Incidentally, in 25 years of climbing, I have never even once had a partner grab the rope and jerk it, and hence, jerk me. On the other hand, every time I belay with a grigri, I give the rope a jerk myself, preferably while my partner is watching.

Jay

you know, for prosperity

I don't know why this would be quoted "for posterity." I would quote it because I agree with it 100%.

When I see my partner's eyes come over to my setup, I yank the rope upwards, and (assuming the gri-gri showed that it was properly functioning) I immediately pinch the gate of my locking biner towards the spine. I do it forcefully enough to make sure we can both hear the sound of the gate's locking part against the rest of the biner.

There's no need for them to toy with my junk. We have checked ourselves and each other visually, demonstrably, and audibly.

Moreover, to avoid any issues like NA had, I always, always, always tug on my rope above my knot before I start climbing. It's like how I check my gri-gri, but with more force.


majid_sabet


Jan 4, 2011, 9:31 AM
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edge wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
35 years of messing around with shit and list is just too long but a picture can talk a thousand words

[IMG]http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/8195/screenhunter04.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/9327/screenhunter05.jpg[/IMG]

In focus it would only take 500 words.

well, on the same expedition, I used a cheap entry level crampons and half way on the 660 footer 70 degree ice wall, one of the crampon popes right of the boot . hanging mid air on one foot,20K high I am trying to patch up the crampon with little frozen duck-tape I had on the ice axe. 20 min later,half ass I made it to top.

$1000 gortex suit. $400 boot, tons of other expensive shit messing around with a $39 Italian made crampon in high altitude.

lesson learned


majid_sabet


Jan 4, 2011, 9:34 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburnsAngry ShockedShockedShockedShocked


Fixed, if I remember the story correctly. Tongue

If I could remember the story Angry was belying him with gri gri right ?


Gmburns2000


Jan 4, 2011, 9:38 AM
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spikeddem wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:


Incidentally, in 25 years of climbing, I have never even once had a partner grab the rope and jerk it, and hence, jerk me. On the other hand, every time I belay with a grigri, I give the rope a jerk myself, preferably while my partner is watching.

Jay

you know, for prosperity

I don't know why this would be quoted "for posterity." I would quote it because I agree with it 100%.

When I see my partner's eyes come over to my setup, I yank the rope upwards, and (assuming the gri-gri showed that it was properly functioning) I immediately pinch the gate of my locking biner towards the spine. I do it forcefully enough to make sure we can both hear the sound of the gate's locking part against the rest of the biner.

There's no need for them to toy with my junk. We have checked ourselves and each other visually, demonstrably, and audibly.

Moreover, to avoid any issues like NA had, I always, always, always tug on my rope above my knot before I start climbing. It's like how I check my gri-gri, but with more force.

1) regarding the typo, you got GU'd (see my post below the post you quoted)

2) put your mind in the gutter and go back and read it again


spikeddem


Jan 4, 2011, 9:50 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
spikeddem wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:


Incidentally, in 25 years of climbing, I have never even once had a partner grab the rope and jerk it, and hence, jerk me. On the other hand, every time I belay with a grigri, I give the rope a jerk myself, preferably while my partner is watching.

Jay

you know, for prosperity

I don't know why this would be quoted "for posterity." I would quote it because I agree with it 100%.

When I see my partner's eyes come over to my setup, I yank the rope upwards, and (assuming the gri-gri showed that it was properly functioning) I immediately pinch the gate of my locking biner towards the spine. I do it forcefully enough to make sure we can both hear the sound of the gate's locking part against the rest of the biner.

There's no need for them to toy with my junk. We have checked ourselves and each other visually, demonstrably, and audibly.

Moreover, to avoid any issues like NA had, I always, always, always tug on my rope above my knot before I start climbing. It's like how I check my gri-gri, but with more force.

1) regarding the typo, you got GU'd (see my post below the post you quoted)

2) put your mind in the gutter and go back and read it again

I wasn't correcting your typo. I somehow doubt that Jay would suddenly realize the inyourendo in his post and go back and edit it. Haha.


fresh


Jan 4, 2011, 9:51 AM
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jomagam wrote:
I've pulled a Lynn Hill too in a gym.
sick, they have the Nose in your gym?

the worst thing I can think of that I've done was when I was while rapping off of poke-o-moonshine with a friend and my girlfriend. we tied knots in the ends, and I went first on the first of three raps. I had to swing about twenty feet to the left to get to the next rappel tree.

I had ten or fifteen feet left to go in the ropes when I got to the tree.

my friend came down next, and I had him on fireman's belay, so I helped him get to my stance by pulling the ends in. he's heavier, and had about fifteen feet left to go in the rope. since there seemed to be plenty of rope left on the ends, I untied the stopper knots.

then my girlfriend came down. she is lighter, and hence does not stretch the rope as much when rappeling. I still had her on fireman's, but wasn't thinking much about the ends of the rope. she got to a stance about five feet away from the rappel tree. but my fireman's belay was giving her trouble, and she was almost within arms reach, so I let go of the ends. then I saw that she had about five feet left before the (un-knotted) ends.

I immediately told her, and she was able to get to our stance without feeding any more rope through. but I still have that image of her rapping through the strands and falling 300 feet to the deck. not a good feeling.

what I take from this for me is that I can convince myself "it'll be fine" much too easily. I don't think I'll be so lucky if I continue to make that kind of justification in the future.

OK well that was just about the opposite of cathartic! I need some lolcats.


Gmburns2000


Jan 4, 2011, 10:01 AM
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spikeddem wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
spikeddem wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
jt512 wrote:


Incidentally, in 25 years of climbing, I have never even once had a partner grab the rope and jerk it, and hence, jerk me. On the other hand, every time I belay with a grigri, I give the rope a jerk myself, preferably while my partner is watching.

Jay

you know, for prosperity

I don't know why this would be quoted "for posterity." I would quote it because I agree with it 100%.

When I see my partner's eyes come over to my setup, I yank the rope upwards, and (assuming the gri-gri showed that it was properly functioning) I immediately pinch the gate of my locking biner towards the spine. I do it forcefully enough to make sure we can both hear the sound of the gate's locking part against the rest of the biner.

There's no need for them to toy with my junk. We have checked ourselves and each other visually, demonstrably, and audibly.

Moreover, to avoid any issues like NA had, I always, always, always tug on my rope above my knot before I start climbing. It's like how I check my gri-gri, but with more force.

1) regarding the typo, you got GU'd (see my post below the post you quoted)

2) put your mind in the gutter and go back and read it again

I wasn't correcting your typo. I somehow doubt that Jay would suddenly realize the inyourendo in his post and go back and edit it. Haha.

I think he intended the innuendo, to be honest, but I wanted it saved just in case he didn't.


sp115


Jan 4, 2011, 10:02 AM
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fresh wrote:
..., so I let go of the ends. then I saw that she had about five feet left before the (un-knotted) ends.

... I still have that image of her rapping through the strands and falling 300 feet to the deck.

Holy shit.

As a person who climbs with his wife, I can completely relate to that.


boymeetsrock


Jan 4, 2011, 10:22 AM
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majid_sabet wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburnsAngry ShockedShockedShockedShocked


Fixed, if I remember the story correctly. Tongue

If I could remember the story Angry was belying him with gri gri right ?

Don't pretend Majid. We all know you have every word or every Angry post burned into your head. Sly


But, that story would fit well into this thread. I'd bet JT512 would never, ever, EVER allow something like that to happen. Oh, wait... He only belays singly pitch from the ground. So maybe he wouldn't. Crazy


Plus, somegrams almost dies in that story so it should be repeated ad nauseum. Tongue


mr.tastycakes


Jan 4, 2011, 10:23 AM
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Here's a pretty classic noob lower-off close call:

A few summers ago I took a 4 day trip up to the Adirondacks for some climbing. On the last day of our trip, we went over to Poko to climb the moderate classic Gamesmanship. My partner and I were both viciously hungover, and the temperature and humidity had been rising steadily throughout our trip. On this particular day it was 90+ degrees, with 90% humidity...typical northeastern steam bath summer conditions. On top of that, Poko is a black cliff, and gets direct sunlight for the first half of the day.

Anyway, I set off leading the first pitch, a ~150 ft. handcrack. 40 feet up the thing I had already sweat through my shirt, and I felt awful. At about 80 feet, sweat was running into my eyes and I was seeing black spots. I recall puking a little in my mouth, and I felt like I might pass out. Anyway, I soldiered on for 30 or so more feet before realizing I had used both my #2 and #3 camalots down low, and I'd have to run it out a good 40 feet to the anchors.

Fuck this, I thought. I down-climbed a bit to my last piece, and called for my partner to lower me off. I planned to retrieve the #2 or #3 on the way down and re-lead the damn thing.

When I got back down to the ground, I saw that there was maybe 2-3 feet of brake strand remaining in my partner's hand. Without rope stretch I would have been lowered right off the end, as I was certainly >100 feet off the deck with a 60 meter rope. My partner sheepishly admitted he hadn't noticed how little rope was left, but I deserve part of the blame too...after all, I'm the one who said, "lower me" without considering whether I had enough rope to make it down the long pitch.

Anyway, I guess the lesson is to be careful bailing off of long pitches. Both climber and belayer should be thinking about how much rope is available Also, it's easier to make a mistake when you're distracted - feeling like shit, tired, hurrying to avoid that oncoming storm, etc.


billl7


Jan 4, 2011, 10:26 AM
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fresh wrote:
... we tied knots in the ends, and I went first ...

... then my girlfriend came down ... I saw that she had about five feet left before the (un-knotted) ends.

I immediately told her ...

The difference in rope stretch due to varying person weight is interesting / subtle. But I still tend to hold the rappeler as nominally responsible for watching the rope ends.

But there's an issue here with setting up a partner's expectations and then changing without notice. She may have not felt a need to watch the rope ends since she expected knots. And of course it could be something else besides whether there are knots in the ends of the rope. This - breaking a partner's expectations - may have been your point but thought it worth stating.

Thanks. Bill


Rudmin


Jan 4, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Last winter I was on a snow slog in the Pyrenees. We were looking for a notch to get over a ridge. It was supposed to be a short scramble down. It was pretty white out, so from the top I couldn't see very far down and was about to start scrambling when my partner insisted that I rope up. This turned out to be a good idea (roping up, a better idea would have been to go back). The scramble got steeper and steeper until I was on rappel. I still couldn't see the ground but I decided we were in the right place still, and maybe it was only because of the snow and ice that it seemed so steep.

So one pitch down, I set up another anchor (a loop over a frozen block about the size of a small fridge) and went down for another 100 ft of rappelling. My partner later told me that the block moved and he sat on it to keep it in place. By this time the slope was vertical with some overhangs and ledges. By the end of the rope, I still couldn't see the ground. I was also at the knots about 10 feet above a snowy ledge. With no anchors around, I just kind of kicked out a seat in the snow and told my partner to look for better anchors above.

Well he came down to where I was without bothering to look, so I prussiked back up. While ascending I was acutely aware that the top of the rope was simply looped over a big rock and there wasn't any anchor below me. Our plan if the anchor gave away was to try to both end up on opposite sides of a big rock and hopefully not slip over it. It was frightening. Eventually I found where someone else had been here and chopped off the end of their rope and tied it around a kind of flake/horn in a corner. This was also backed up with a camera strap. I added a sling and a carabiner and we finally had a decent anchor. Luckily the last rope length got us to the snowpack at the base of the cliff.

We abandoned our plans for the day and crossed back over through the actual notch which did not require any ropes and was about 500 m downhill. In hindsight, one or both of us could have died pretty easily.

The biggest lesson I guess was routefinding (trust what you see, not what you think you know), and don't stay out in whiteout conditions. Also, I should have ascended back up after the first rope length instead of committing to something unknown.

I found a photo of the start of the rappel:
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/5850/rappel.jpg

And the actual notch we came back over:
http://img22.imageshack.us/...ortillonsuperior.jpg


(This post was edited by Rudmin on Jan 4, 2011, 11:13 AM)


fresh


Jan 4, 2011, 11:14 AM
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mr.tastycakes wrote:
On the last day of our trip, we went over to Poko to climb the moderate classic Gamesmanship.
that's funny, we had finished the same route!

bill7,
that's a good point. we had decided toether to tie the ends before rappeling, so that's what she was expecting. in any case, I still felt responsible because I had been leading the way that day.


sungam


Jan 4, 2011, 11:39 AM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburnsAngry ShockedShockedShockedShocked


Fixed, if I remember the story correctly. Tongue
Heh, yeah. I almost forgot about that.

Here's my story of danger and overlooked risk.

Angry and I were climbing in Ouray when John started lowering me. I'm a fatass and Angry is tiny so ofcourse he got slapped into the chains real hard and the chains pushed the grigri lever back and dropped me.

Luckily he regained control (I doubt anyone else would have but, you know, he's a bit of a badass) and I tapped the deck enough to hurt my knees but not much else.

So remember people, weight difference matters...


sungam


Jan 4, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

I once made the mistake of forgetting to cut your fucking rope when I had the chance! Mad




Tongue



Devil
Oh yeah, instead you tried to kill me by throwing an enormous fucking rock at my head. Thanks, Greg.




tee hee hee Angelic


blueeyedclimber


Jan 4, 2011, 11:48 AM
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jt512 wrote:

Hopefully that will be the effect of the thread, rather than, as implied by notapplicable, an opportunity for catharsis and to falsely convince ourselves that these mistakes are normal. No, they're not. Hopefully, this thread is an unrepresentative sample.

Jay

No one is saying that these mistakes are normal, in the sense that you are saying. The purpose of this thread, as I see it, is not to be cathartic, but to admit your mistakes in the hopes that other people can learn from them. I don't want to speak for everyone, but I do not take lightly any mistake I have made. People make mistakes. If you are as perfect as you claim to be, then YOU are the unrepresentative sample.

Josh


Gmburns2000


Jan 4, 2011, 11:49 AM
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sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

I once made the mistake of forgetting to cut your fucking rope when I had the chance! Mad




Tongue



Devil
Oh yeah, instead you tried to kill me by throwing an enormous fucking rock at my head. Thanks, Greg.




tee hee hee Angelic

My only regret was that it wasn't big enough, both in size and surprise.Tongue


edit: I'm tired dammit, and haven't had my afternoon nap. I hate typos.


(This post was edited by Gmburns2000 on Jan 4, 2011, 11:50 AM)


sungam


Jan 4, 2011, 12:11 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] NEAR MISS REPORT: The stupid mistakes edition [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

I once made the mistake of forgetting to cut your fucking rope when I had the chance! Mad




Tongue



Devil
Oh yeah, instead you tried to kill me by throwing an enormous fucking rock at my head. Thanks, Greg.




tee hee hee Angelic

My only regret was that it wasn't big enough, both in size and surprise.Tongue


edit: I'm tired dammit, and haven't had my afternoon nap. I hate typos.
It wasn't that big a surprise. "Greg, wait! Don't throw that rope"
*rockfall ensues*

"What? I couldn't hear you over the sound of me TRYING TO END YOUR LIFE."


Partner cracklover


Jan 4, 2011, 12:14 PM
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Re: [fresh] NEAR MISS REPORT: The stupid mistakes edition [In reply to]
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Lots of good stories. Thanks for posting them!

I've only really fucked up once.

It was the end of a long day and I was leading the crux last pitch of Book of Solemnity. I was pretty zonked and it was a long and very difficult lead for me. I had never been on it before, and was hoping to onsight.

Adding to the complexity, I had two seconds I was planning to bring up, and I was leading on double ropes. So I was putting a lot of thought into where to put gear both to protect me, and also each of the two seconds. And if any of you have done the climb, you know there are some spots on the pitch that are very dangerous for the second.

(EDITED to add that in all the pictures, the second rope is removed for simplicity.)

Anyway, I had made it to the top, clean, and was tired but happy. I thought I had set everything up perfectly for both my seconds so they would be protected at the crux, and also at the top of the climb, where there's a very tricky move just to traverse over to the belay slab.

So up starts second number one. He gets to the crux and I realize that I've done something really stupid. Here was the situation:



I had extended myself ten feet down a steep slab from the anchors so as to be able to see over the lip and keep track of my seconds. The belay rope was going over five feet and up ten into a piece I had placed to protect the second for the final traverse move to the anchor. Well I'm sure you can see as well as I how dumb that seems. If the second were to fall anywhere on the pitch and that piece were to blow, the second would fall 20+ feet, plus rope stretch!

And, at the crux of the route, 50 feet below me, the second fell! The piece held, but I got really nervous. As the second was hanging on the rope, I decided I didn't care any more about being able to see him, I cared more about that 20 feet of slack in the rope if the piece were to blow. So I hiked myself up to near the piece, pulling in slack as I went.

Here's how it looked now:



My second continued to try the crux move, and fell several times. Each time the piece held. And then he fell and I heard the pop. There was a moment of slack and then I was flipped over backwards and dragged upside-down to the bottom of the slab.



He had only dropped the ten feet I'd been dragged down the slab, and fortunately it was steep below him, so he hadn't hit anything. But I felt like such an idiot. To endanger yourself, as a leader, is one thing. But to needlessly endanger your second like that is so much worse.

I sure as hell learned my lesson about directionals that day.

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Jan 4, 2011, 12:20 PM)


sp115


Jan 4, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Awesome story AND we got pictures!


Gmburns2000


Jan 4, 2011, 12:29 PM
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Re: [sungam] NEAR MISS REPORT: The stupid mistakes edition [In reply to]
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sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

I once made the mistake of forgetting to cut your fucking rope when I had the chance! Mad




Tongue



Devil
Oh yeah, instead you tried to kill me by throwing an enormous fucking rock at my head. Thanks, Greg.




tee hee hee Angelic

My only regret was that it wasn't big enough, both in size and surprise.Tongue


edit: I'm tired dammit, and haven't had my afternoon nap. I hate typos.
It wasn't that big a surprise. "Greg, wait! Don't throw that rope"
*rockfall ensues*

"What? I couldn't hear you over the sound of me TRYING TO END YOUR LIFE."

heh, that was funny to read. not quite accurate, but funny.

if I remember correctly, you were specifically told not to start jugging the first pitch until after I finished jugging the second pitch, and you were hit with rockfall as I was jugging P2 after you didn't listen to us. hehe...ah, that was a great three days...


ClimbSoHigh


Jan 4, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] NEAR MISS REPORT: The stupid mistakes edition [In reply to]
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In reply to:
boymeetsrock wrote:I have two that stand out.

1) Lead the first of a two pitch climb and finished at a hanging belay. While hanging there @ 160' off the ground I noticed my harness felt loose. I thought to myself, 'I really though I snugged this up before leaving the ground.' Looked down and realized I hadn't doubled-back my buckles. The whole thing was sliding loose while I was hanging in it! I think I had my second on an auto-block, which made it easier to double-back the buckles while maintaining the belay.

2) In the gym and still new to lead belay with a gri-gri. I noticed I threaded the gri-gri backwards when my partner was already two or three clips up the wall. I immediately asked a third member of our group to give me a back up belay. Once the climber could clip in I re-threaded the belay. I also chastised both of us for not catching that pre-climb.


Perhaps it is the simple tasks that are most easy to overlook and that are often deadly if missed.

I've seen that gri gri screw a number of times over the years. I am very paranoid and triple check them every time. Great devices, but people seem to do this a lot.

II have a suggestion for gri gri's that I do not see many climbers do, that will help mitigate gri gri failures. Everytime I lead a sport climb, I double check the knots and set ups like most people do/should. As most posters have hinted to, even with this double and tripple check, we all get distracted once in a while and glance over things and a back threaded gri gri doesn't jump out like "dude, your not tied in" does. My advice before every climb with a gri gri belayer, is to do your check on knots, biners, belay device, and harness, then do the tug test. I simply grab my tie in (to make sure I am tugging on the right end, and to tripple check that knot after making a knot mistake years ago), walk my hands along the rope to where it is connected to my belayer, then I give it a yank to verify the gri gri is threaded correctly, and is not gummed up or frozen. It gives my physical proof the device is working and will lock in a fall before I leave the ground.

And for my 2 stories that come to mind...

1. A bunch of years ago I worked out the moves to my first 5.12a climb but was too weak at the end of the day to send. The next morning I ran to my climb, tied in, threw my shoes on, and started rehearsing my moves in the air while my buddy caught up and set up the belay. After a quick safty check, I was off, and flashed it. Totally psyched I clipped the quick clips, yelled take in excitement, leaned back into my harness once I felt the rope go tight, and suddenly started to invert. Shocked I quickly grabbed my rope and corrected myself, then looked down and saw that I had only tied in to my leg loop tie in (the 8 was well dressed though!). Wouldn't have decked or anything, but could have had a nasty inverted helmetless whipper into a block had I blown the final crux. I went from pure excitement and joy, to ashamed and disapointed with myself, before I even got back to the ground. So my first 12a is actually an embarasing memory, not a triumphant one, and I flashed it none the less.

More recently really hung over, I went trad climbing with a buddy. He was on something well within his abilities, but was rehabbing an injury. Tired with a stiff neck i sat down on a natural chair that angled my head up, like I do for TR'ing often, still paying attention and locked off, but clearly not belaying as well if I was standing. My buddy got into the crux and got hung up for a minute, he looked down and yelled at me to get my ass up. I still feel embarased about this as I really should not be sitting for any belaying (although I still do for TR), nor climbing/belaying very hung over which I know plenty of climbers do even though we know we shouldn't, even the pro's do it... Just ask Jason Kruk how hangover went...)
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/...r-for-the-weekend-56


sungam


Jan 4, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

I once made the mistake of forgetting to cut your fucking rope when I had the chance! Mad




Tongue



Devil
Oh yeah, instead you tried to kill me by throwing an enormous fucking rock at my head. Thanks, Greg.




tee hee hee Angelic

My only regret was that it wasn't big enough, both in size and surprise.Tongue


edit: I'm tired dammit, and haven't had my afternoon nap. I hate typos.
It wasn't that big a surprise. "Greg, wait! Don't throw that rope"
*rockfall ensues*

"What? I couldn't hear you over the sound of me TRYING TO END YOUR LIFE."

heh, that was funny to read. not quite accurate, but funny.

if I remember correctly, you were specifically told not to start jugging the first pitch until after I finished jugging the second pitch, and you were hit with rockfall as I was jugging P2 after you didn't listen to us. hehe...ah, that was a great three days...
Yeah, I started early but the rockfall was from you throwing the rope. I was at the belay station and I defnitely remember first being hit by rope, looking up to shout at you then seeing the rock...


boymeetsrock


Jan 4, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Damn Gabe. That's a good one! Glad all were OK in the event. Did you consider ascending to the anchor and redirecting again off of that, as apposed to ascending to the directional. Still would have been a longer fall for the second, but at least you wouldn't have flipped.

Good illustrations too.


sungam


Jan 4, 2011, 12:46 PM
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sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

I once made the mistake of forgetting to cut your fucking rope when I had the chance! Mad




Tongue



Devil
Oh yeah, instead you tried to kill me by throwing an enormous fucking rock at my head. Thanks, Greg.




tee hee hee Angelic

My only regret was that it wasn't big enough, both in size and surprise.Tongue


edit: I'm tired dammit, and haven't had my afternoon nap. I hate typos.
It wasn't that big a surprise. "Greg, wait! Don't throw that rope"
*rockfall ensues*

"What? I couldn't hear you over the sound of me TRYING TO END YOUR LIFE."

heh, that was funny to read. not quite accurate, but funny.

if I remember correctly, you were specifically told not to start jugging the first pitch until after I finished jugging the second pitch, and you were hit with rockfall as I was jugging P2 after you didn't listen to us. hehe...ah, that was a great three days...
Yeah, I started early but the rockfall was from you throwing the rope. I was at the belay station and I defnitely remember first being hit by rope, looking up to shout at you then seeing the rock...

p.s. for everyone reading, it is worth understanding that I waiting till Greg was *almost* done jugging it's just that he jugs slower then me so I finished P1 just after he finished P2.


spikeddem


Jan 4, 2011, 12:48 PM
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ClimbSoHigh wrote:
I have a suggestion for gri gri's that I do not see many climbers do, that will help mitigate gri gri failures. Everytime I lead a sport climb, I double check the knots and set ups like most people do/should. As most posters have hinted to, even with this double and tripple check, we all get distracted once in a while and glance over things and a back threaded gri gri doesn't jump out like "dude, your not tied in" does. My advice before every climb with a gri gri belayer, is to do your check on knots, biners, belay device, and harness, then do the tug test. I simply grab my tie in (to make sure I am tugging on the right end, and to tripple check that knot after making a knot mistake years ago), walk my hands along the rope to where it is connected to my belayer, then I give it a yank to verify the gri gri is threaded correctly, and is not gummed up or frozen. It gives my physical proof the device is working and will lock in a fall before I leave the ground.

Ugh. See above for this. Stop tugging your partners.

In reply to:
And for my 2 stories that come to mind...

1. A bunch of years ago I worked out the moves to my first 5.12a climb but was too weak at the end of the day to send. The next morning I ran to my climb, tied in, threw my shoes on, and started rehearsing my moves in the air while my buddy caught up and set up the belay. After a quick safty check, I was off, and flashed it. Totally psyched I clipped the quick clips, yelled take in excitement, leaned back into my harness once I felt the rope go tight, and suddenly started to invert. Shocked I quickly grabbed my rope and corrected myself, then looked down and saw that I had only tied in to my leg loop tie in (the 8 was well dressed though!). Wouldn't have decked or anything, but could have had a nasty inverted helmetless whipper into a block had I blown the final crux. I went from pure excitement and joy, to ashamed and disapointed with myself, before I even got back to the ground. So my first 12a is actually an embarasing memory, not a triumphant one, and I flashed it none the less.

Wanna make a bet that you flashed it?

In reply to:
More recently really hung over, I went trad climbing with a buddy. He was on something well within his abilities, but was rehabbing an injury. Tired with a stiff neck i sat down on a natural chair that angled my head up, like I do for TR'ing often, still paying attention and locked off, but clearly not belaying as well if I was standing. My buddy got into the crux and got hung up for a minute, he looked down and yelled at me to get my ass up. I still feel embarased about this as I really should not be sitting for any belaying (although I still do for TR), nor climbing/belaying very hung over which I know plenty of climbers do even though we know we shouldn't, even the pro's do it... Just ask Jason Kruk how hangover went...)
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/...r-for-the-weekend-56
You sat down when you're belaying? That's a stupid "choice" not a stupid "mistake," which is what this thread is about.


boymeetsrock


Jan 4, 2011, 12:51 PM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
jt512 wrote:

Hopefully that will be the effect of the thread, rather than, as implied by notapplicable, an opportunity for catharsis and to falsely convince ourselves that these mistakes are normal. No, they're not. Hopefully, this thread is an unrepresentative sample.

Jay

No one is saying that these mistakes are normal, in the sense that you are saying. The purpose of this thread, as I see it, is not to be cathartic, but to admit your mistakes in the hopes that other people can learn from them. I don't want to speak for everyone, but I do not take lightly any mistake I have made. People make mistakes. If you are as perfect as you claim to be, then YOU are the unrepresentative sample.

Josh

I agree. I would add that I'm not really expecting anyone to learn from my mistakes directly, or from many of other peoples mistakes. Most of these mistakes are failures to adhere to very basic "rules". What this thread provides is an acknowledgment that most of us do make mistakes. Further, these mistakes often result from a lapse of concentration.

If anything, this thread is a reminder to be vigilant and that none of us are infallible.


Gmburns2000


Jan 4, 2011, 12:58 PM
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sungam wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
sungam wrote:
I once made the grave error of tying in with gmburns ShockedShockedShockedShocked

I once made the mistake of forgetting to cut your fucking rope when I had the chance! Mad




Tongue



Devil
Oh yeah, instead you tried to kill me by throwing an enormous fucking rock at my head. Thanks, Greg.




tee hee hee Angelic

My only regret was that it wasn't big enough, both in size and surprise.Tongue


edit: I'm tired dammit, and haven't had my afternoon nap. I hate typos.
It wasn't that big a surprise. "Greg, wait! Don't throw that rope"
*rockfall ensues*

"What? I couldn't hear you over the sound of me TRYING TO END YOUR LIFE."

heh, that was funny to read. not quite accurate, but funny.

if I remember correctly, you were specifically told not to start jugging the first pitch until after I finished jugging the second pitch, and you were hit with rockfall as I was jugging P2 after you didn't listen to us. hehe...ah, that was a great three days...
Yeah, I started early but the rockfall was from you throwing the rope. I was at the belay station and I defnitely remember first being hit by rope, looking up to shout at you then seeing the rock...

p.s. for everyone reading, it is worth understanding that I waiting till Greg was *almost* done jugging it's just that he jugs slower then me so I finished P1 just after he finished P2.

OK, I'll concede. I don't remember the specifics that much. I definitely thought I was still jugging when the rock came off.


Partner cracklover


Jan 4, 2011, 12:59 PM
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sp115 wrote:
Awesome story AND we got pictures!

Thanks. Thought it would be too hard to explain without the pics.

GO


Rudmin


Jan 4, 2011, 1:06 PM
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I set up some top ropes with a friend belaying me. I assumed that he knew more than he did (having gone through a very long climbing skills course (one session per week for many weeks and had climbed with him indoors many times).

So anyways, the first climb, I topped out and moved the anchors. On the second climb, I called "take" at the top, sat back and fell halfway down the cliff.

He had assumed that I was moving the anchors again, and take meant that I was taking the rope up with me. He had fed out a handful of slack before the rope went tight and zipped through his loose hands. He caught it in time to keep me from hitting the ground and suffered burns to his hands. I got some bruises and ripped my shirt.

I think the lesson is obvious.


Partner cracklover


Jan 4, 2011, 1:34 PM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
Damn Gabe. That's a good one! Glad all were OK in the event.

Me too. Had my partner been seriously injured, I would have been devastated.


In reply to:
Did you consider ascending to the anchor and redirecting again off of that, as apposed to ascending to the directional. Still would have been a longer fall for the second, but at least you wouldn't have flipped.

Not until afterward. Also, because my second was hanging on the rope, it would have been tricky to do so, since I'd have had to block off the belay rope to get both hands free to ascend to the anchor, and that would have lowered my partner into open air. There are plenty of solutions to that issue that occurred to me after the fact. But really, thinking back, the best solution would have been to A - double up the protection (now I ALWAYS do) on the redirect, and B - also redirect the rope through the anchors.

At least I didn't lose control of the belay as I got yanked over backwards and down the slab.

In reply to:
Good illustrations too.

Heh. I can draw stick figures with the best of 'em.

GAngelic


boymeetsrock


Jan 4, 2011, 1:52 PM
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cracklover wrote:
A - double up the protection (now I ALWAYS do) on the redirect, and B - also redirect the rope through the anchors.

Yes


In reply to:
At least I didn't lose control of the belay as I got yanked over backwards and down the slab.


YES! Well done!


Partner cracklover


Jan 4, 2011, 2:04 PM
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boymeetsrock wrote:
cracklover wrote:
A - double up the protection (now I ALWAYS do) on the redirect, and B - also redirect the rope through the anchors.

Yes


In reply to:
At least I didn't lose control of the belay as I got yanked over backwards and down the slab.


YES! Well done!

Well, as Jay would be the first to remind me, as a belayer, it's no big deal to keep control as you're being scraped forcibly and with great speed, head first, down a slab.

Seriously, though, it was, quite literally, the *least* I could do after screwing up so badly.

GO


boymeetsrock


Jan 4, 2011, 2:09 PM
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cracklover wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
cracklover wrote:
A - double up the protection (now I ALWAYS do) on the redirect, and B - also redirect the rope through the anchors.

Yes


In reply to:
At least I didn't lose control of the belay as I got yanked over backwards and down the slab.


YES! Well done!

Well, as Jay would be the first to remind me, as a belayer, it's no big deal to keep control as you're being scraped forcibly and with great speed, head first, down a slab.

Seriously, though, it was, quite literally, the *least* I could do after screwing up so badly.

GO

You know, I almost said the same thing. Laugh Figured I'd given Jay enough shit for one day (even though he's not reading it). I even toned back my comment so as not to CDB for doing your job as a belayer.

You're right, though. It was the *least* you could do. heh


Gmburns2000


Jan 4, 2011, 2:11 PM
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cracklover wrote:
boymeetsrock wrote:
cracklover wrote:
A - double up the protection (now I ALWAYS do) on the redirect, and B - also redirect the rope through the anchors.

Yes


In reply to:
At least I didn't lose control of the belay as I got yanked over backwards and down the slab.


YES! Well done!

Well, as Jay would be the first to remind me, as a belayer, it's no big deal to keep control as you're being scraped forcibly and with great speed, head first, down a slab.

Seriously, though, it was, quite literally, the *least* I could do after screwing up so badly.

GO

I mean, what was the fall factor in the end? It was nothing!


Partner cracklover


Jan 4, 2011, 2:24 PM
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jt512 wrote:
Hopefully that will be the effect of the thread, rather than, as implied by notapplicable, an opportunity for catharsis and to falsely convince ourselves that these mistakes are normal. No, they're not. Hopefully, this thread is an unrepresentative sample.

Jay

Hmm... Jay, you know I respect you, but I don't know how better to say this, so I'll just spit it out.

In my opinion, to think that you can have a long career of adventurous climbing and never be saved from your own mistakes by plain old good fortune displays something worse than the ability to make a mistake. It shows plain and simple hubris and overconfidence.

You can stack all the odds in your favor with a full bag of tricks, a good head on your shoulders for solving problems, and a lot of good habits, but... you cannot guarantee that you will never err.

GO


moose_droppings


Jan 4, 2011, 4:11 PM
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cracklover wrote:
Thanks. Thought it would be too hard to explain without the pics.

GO

A couple dozen red and green arrows in the pic would help.


erisspirit


Jan 4, 2011, 4:33 PM
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Nothing really crazy yet...

Once I tied my figure 8, only tieing into the loop at the leg loops, and not the one at the waist. Luckily my boyfriend who was newly returning to the sport was pretty paranoid about double checking each other, so he caught my error before I left the ground.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 4, 2011, 5:56 PM
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cracklover wrote:

Hmm... Jay, you know I respect you, but I don't know how better to say this, so I'll just spit it out.

Respect him? Why? There is no doubt that Jay is very smart in certain fields, but is one of the most disrespectful human beings I've never had the displeasure of meeting and lacks the basic social skills that one learns in preschool.

I'm starting to think he has plonked me, however, since he hasn't responded to me in a while. Oh well.
In reply to:

In my opinion, to think that you can have a long career of adventurous climbing and never be saved from your own mistakes by plain old good fortune displays something worse than the ability to make a mistake. It shows plain and simple hubris and overconfidence.

You can stack all the odds in your favor with a full bag of tricks, a good head on your shoulders for solving problems, and a lot of good habits, but... you cannot guarantee that you will never err.

GO

Well said.

Josh


jt512


Jan 4, 2011, 6:59 PM
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cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Hopefully that will be the effect of the thread, rather than, as implied by notapplicable, an opportunity for catharsis and to falsely convince ourselves that these mistakes are normal. No, they're not. Hopefully, this thread is an unrepresentative sample.

Jay

Hmm... Jay, you know I respect you, but I don't know how better to say this, so I'll just spit it out.

In my opinion, to think that you can have a long career of adventurous climbing and never be saved from your own mistakes by plain old good fortune displays something worse than the ability to make a mistake. It shows plain and simple hubris and overconfidence.

You can stack all the odds in your favor with a full bag of tricks, a good head on your shoulders for solving problems, and a lot of good habits, but... you cannot guarantee that you will never err.

GO

You quoted me out of context. The "these mistakes" I was referring to were in this sentence from my previous post: "I've never made a life-threatening error wrt my climbing equipment." I've certainly made life-threatening judgment errors, but I was talking about the types of equipment errors discussed in the thread (some of which I went on to enumerate). I think you absolutely can go through a "long career of adventure climbing" without ever forgetting to double back your harness, mis-rigging your rappel, or half-tying your tie-in knot, and so on. I think the majority of climbers do go through their careers without making such mistakes. And I can tell you from personal experience that there are plenty of activities where you don't get a second chance after making an equipment error, so you'd better never make one.

Jay


notapplicable


Jan 4, 2011, 8:00 PM
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jt512 wrote:
blondgecko wrote:
I think that's rather the point of this thread, isn't it? People who don't have the benefit of such extensive training receiving wake-up calls that convinced them to take safety more seriously - and sharing their mistakes so that others know to watch out for them too.

Hopefully that will be the effect of the thread, rather than, as implied by notapplicable, an opportunity for catharsis and to falsely convince ourselves that these mistakes are normal. No, they're not. Hopefully, this thread is an unrepresentative sample.

Jay

Catharsis? I was think more along the lines of solidarity, but perhaps one comes with the other in this type of discussion. Hadn't really considered it.

I'm not even so optimistic as to assume that anyone will take away some specific lesson from these stories. The best I'm hoping for, and I think it's a reasonable thing to hope for, is that this thread may drag back to the surface a bit of the caution and paranoia that insists on triple checking the simple stupid stuff. Even if only for awhile.

Not speaking for anyone else here but I seem to have some back corner of my mind to which it slips on occasion.


jakedatc


Jan 4, 2011, 8:31 PM
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cracklover wrote:
Lots of good stories. Thanks for posting them!

I've only really fucked up once.

It was the end of a long day and I was leading the crux last pitch of Book of Solemnity. I was pretty zonked and it was a long and very difficult lead for me. I had never been on it before, and was hoping to onsight.

Adding to the complexity, I had two seconds I was planning to bring up, and I was leading on double ropes. So I was putting a lot of thought into where to put gear both to protect me, and also each of the two seconds. And if any of you have done the climb, you know there are some spots on the pitch that are very dangerous for the second.

(EDITED to add that in all the pictures, the second rope is removed for simplicity.)

Anyway, I had made it to the top, clean, and was tired but happy. I thought I had set everything up perfectly for both my seconds so they would be protected at the crux, and also at the top of the climb, where there's a very tricky move just to traverse over to the belay slab.

So up starts second number one. He gets to the crux and I realize that I've done something really stupid. Here was the situation:

[IMG]http://i55.tinypic.com/zinmn5.jpg[/IMG]

I had extended myself ten feet down a steep slab from the anchors so as to be able to see over the lip and keep track of my seconds. The belay rope was going over five feet and up ten into a piece I had placed to protect the second for the final traverse move to the anchor. Well I'm sure you can see as well as I how dumb that seems. If the second were to fall anywhere on the pitch and that piece were to blow, the second would fall 20+ feet, plus rope stretch!

And, at the crux of the route, 50 feet below me, the second fell! The piece held, but I got really nervous. As the second was hanging on the rope, I decided I didn't care any more about being able to see him, I cared more about that 20 feet of slack in the rope if the piece were to blow. So I hiked myself up to near the piece, pulling in slack as I went.

Here's how it looked now:

[IMG]http://i55.tinypic.com/9sguup.jpg[/IMG]

My second continued to try the crux move, and fell several times. Each time the piece held. And then he fell and I heard the pop. There was a moment of slack and then I was flipped over backwards and dragged upside-down to the bottom of the slab.

[IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/29c9uz5.jpg[/IMG]

He had only dropped the ten feet I'd been dragged down the slab, and fortunately it was steep below him, so he hadn't hit anything. But I felt like such an idiot. To endanger yourself, as a leader, is one thing. But to needlessly endanger your second like that is so much worse.

I sure as hell learned my lesson about directionals that day.

GO

WOO! That was me! (the 2nd 2nd... i didn't fall) Don't remember hearing about the upside down slab sliding bit though Shocked


majid_sabet


Jan 4, 2011, 10:14 PM
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cracklover wrote:
Lots of good stories. Thanks for posting them!

I've only really fucked up once.

It was the end of a long day and I was leading the crux last pitch of Book of Solemnity. I was pretty zonked and it was a long and very difficult lead for me. I had never been on it before, and was hoping to onsight.

Adding to the complexity, I had two seconds I was planning to bring up, and I was leading on double ropes. So I was putting a lot of thought into where to put gear both to protect me, and also each of the two seconds. And if any of you have done the climb, you know there are some spots on the pitch that are very dangerous for the second.

(EDITED to add that in all the pictures, the second rope is removed for simplicity.)

Anyway, I had made it to the top, clean, and was tired but happy. I thought I had set everything up perfectly for both my seconds so they would be protected at the crux, and also at the top of the climb, where there's a very tricky move just to traverse over to the belay slab.

So up starts second number one. He gets to the crux and I realize that I've done something really stupid. Here was the situation:

[IMG]http://i55.tinypic.com/zinmn5.jpg[/IMG]

I had extended myself ten feet down a steep slab from the anchors so as to be able to see over the lip and keep track of my seconds. The belay rope was going over five feet and up ten into a piece I had placed to protect the second for the final traverse move to the anchor. Well I'm sure you can see as well as I how dumb that seems. If the second were to fall anywhere on the pitch and that piece were to blow, the second would fall 20+ feet, plus rope stretch!

And, at the crux of the route, 50 feet below me, the second fell! The piece held, but I got really nervous. As the second was hanging on the rope, I decided I didn't care any more about being able to see him, I cared more about that 20 feet of slack in the rope if the piece were to blow. So I hiked myself up to near the piece, pulling in slack as I went.

Here's how it looked now:

[IMG]http://i55.tinypic.com/9sguup.jpg[/IMG]

My second continued to try the crux move, and fell several times. Each time the piece held. And then he fell and I heard the pop. There was a moment of slack and then I was flipped over backwards and dragged upside-down to the bottom of the slab.

[IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/29c9uz5.jpg[/IMG]

He had only dropped the ten feet I'd been dragged down the slab, and fortunately it was steep below him, so he hadn't hit anything. But I felt like such an idiot. To endanger yourself, as a leader, is one thing. But to needlessly endanger your second like that is so much worse.

I sure as hell learned my lesson about directionals that day.

GO

I looked at first drawing and i am ok, redirect and then saw the second one and wtf but then the third one crack me up dude.


socalclimber


Jan 5, 2011, 4:50 AM
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erisspirit wrote:
Nothing really crazy yet...

Once I tied my figure 8, only tieing into the loop at the leg loops, and not the one at the waist. Luckily my boyfriend who was newly returning to the sport was pretty paranoid about double checking each other, so he caught my error before I left the ground.

I've done that. Fortunately it was on a top rope. Imagine my surprise when I inverted during a very minor fall.


socalclimber


Jan 5, 2011, 5:05 AM
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billl7 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
A bazillion years ago we were bagging some routes in Indian Cove. At the end of the day we decided to grab one last route. Once on top, and with darkness closing in, we started to look for the decent. We did a very cursory glance around and decided that there was only one possible way off. There was this horrible semi steep very loose gully about 100 feet long. We decided the best option was to get one LOUSY stopper in a very LOUSY rotten crack. We figured what the hell, one biner, a sling and a stopper are not the worse things in the world to leave behind. I set up the rappel, and just as I was starting to lean back on the anchor I saw this eight year old kid standing behind my partner asking "Hey, what are you guys doing?".

You wouldn't by chance have been on Apparition Rock?
http://www.mountainproject.com/...ndian_cove/105720846

I had nearly the same exact thing happen there. I was belaying up my second, fretting over what I'd heard was an iffy descent, when this ~10 year old's head pops out above me asking if I'd seen some gear.

Bill L

P.S. I still found the descent an eye opener. Crazy

No, it wasn't there, the site was one in the lower 40's. Can't remember which site it was. They renumbered the sites after that. I have been on Apparition though, great route.


ClimbSoHigh


Jan 5, 2011, 6:46 AM
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In reply to:
ClimbSoHigh wrote:I have a suggestion for gri gri's that I do not see many climbers do, that will help mitigate gri gri failures. Everytime I lead a sport climb, I double check the knots and set ups like most people do/should. As most posters have hinted to, even with this double and tripple check, we all get distracted once in a while and glance over things and a back threaded gri gri doesn't jump out like "dude, your not tied in" does. My advice before every climb with a gri gri belayer, is to do your check on knots, biners, belay device, and harness, then do the tug test. I simply grab my tie in (to make sure I am tugging on the right end, and to tripple check that knot after making a knot mistake years ago), walk my hands along the rope to where it is connected to my belayer, then I give it a yank to verify the gri gri is threaded correctly, and is not gummed up or frozen. It gives my physical proof the device is working and will lock in a fall before I leave the ground.

Ugh. See above for this. Stop tugging your partners.


In reply to:And for my 2 stories that come to mind...

1. A bunch of years ago I worked out the moves to my first 5.12a climb but was too weak at the end of the day to send. The next morning I ran to my climb, tied in, threw my shoes on, and started rehearsing my moves in the air while my buddy caught up and set up the belay. After a quick safty check, I was off, and flashed it. Totally psyched I clipped the quick clips, yelled take in excitement, leaned back into my harness once I felt the rope go tight, and suddenly started to invert. Shocked I quickly grabbed my rope and corrected myself, then looked down and saw that I had only tied in to my leg loop tie in (the 8 was well dressed though!). Wouldn't have decked or anything, but could have had a nasty inverted helmetless whipper into a block had I blown the final crux. I went from pure excitement and joy, to ashamed and disapointed with myself, before I even got back to the ground. So my first 12a is actually an embarasing memory, not a triumphant one, and I flashed it none the less.

Wanna make a bet that you flashed it?


In reply to:More recently really hung over, I went trad climbing with a buddy. He was on something well within his abilities, but was rehabbing an injury. Tired with a stiff neck i sat down on a natural chair that angled my head up, like I do for TR'ing often, still paying attention and locked off, but clearly not belaying as well if I was standing. My buddy got into the crux and got hung up for a minute, he looked down and yelled at me to get my ass up. I still feel embarased about this as I really should not be sitting for any belaying (although I still do for TR), nor climbing/belaying very hung over which I know plenty of climbers do even though we know we shouldn't, even the pro's do it... Just ask Jason Kruk how hangover went...)
http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/...r-for-the-weekend-56
You sat down when you're belaying? That's a stupid "choice" not a stupid "mistake," which is what this thread is about.

I should really start proof reading my posts but maybee some other time. That first part, about the gri gri's, I just read the first page and a half and didn't realize that it was already discussed in depth, my bad. Most of my partners don't mind when I give them a little tug to make sure the cam is working and not slipping. I think it is important to start with my knot to make sure the right rope end is being tugged. I could easily see someone asking their belayer to yank on the rope, watching the gri gri cam up, but not realize that the belayer yanked on the brake end to lock it, hence you still have a back threaded gri gri. Since my friends are OK with me giving them a little tug, I do, and if Jay doesn't like that than I guess I'll just not climb with him. (He seems like a pretty negative person anyways. I personally like a little more than visual confirmation, since many people visually confirm things that were not set up right. I just am not as great as your perfect self but I think you have a few more years under your belt to gain skills and ego than me) I don't know why some think tugging the rope is such a big deal, since when I fall, I am tugging that rope just a tad more. I'm not dragging my friend around the base pre climb. I am OK with having my partners click their own biner tho since you can't click the wrong side.

2. Thanks for catching that, meant redpoint.

3. This is very intersting insight, I always thought every mistake was due to a poor choice. (choosing to grab shoes half way through tieing your knot, choosing to start a decent without looking further, choosing to not bring a head lamp and getting caught at night) but I agree, It was a very bad choice on my part lead belay sitting, which I believe stemmed from my practice of sitting durring TR belays. I can try to blame the hangover for it, but clearly I just was not thinking that day/belay, and ended up endangering my friend which is why I feel so sick over this choice I made. I'm happy nobody got hurt, and all I can do now is to use this experience to remind myself to extra vigilant while belaying, and if I am hungover to the point I really need/want to sit, I need to let my partner know and not belay. I guess it is better to let you buddy down by bailing, rather than be a danger while belaying.

Got me thinking about sitting for a TR belay... Can't dodge falling rock as well, can't move to position rope out of climbers way, limited range of motion. Bringing up a second though I usually try to find a good seat when possible, but then again I usually set up my belay off the anchor in autoblock. I am now currious if others elsewhere belay single pitch TR sitting sometimes, as I know many people that do where I live. Also do people ever TR belay by feel to avoid belayers neck? (just feel for the slack rather than crank your neck up all day, particularly when the climber wants a tight belay and communication is great).


bill413


Jan 5, 2011, 8:19 AM
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ClimbSoHigh wrote:
Got me thinking about sitting for a TR belay... Can't dodge falling rock as well, can't move to position rope out of climbers way, limited range of motion. Bringing up a second though I usually try to find a good seat when possible, but then again I usually set up my belay off the anchor in autoblock. I am now currious if others elsewhere belay single pitch TR sitting sometimes, as I know many people that do where I live. Also do people ever TR belay by feel to avoid belayers neck? (just feel for the slack rather than crank your neck up all day, particularly when the climber wants a tight belay and communication is great).

BITD - when I learned to climb, we belayed TR from the top of the cliff. Since you frequently couldn't see the climber, you had to develop a feel. Hearing of people that have to _see_ their climber to belay properly immediately makes them a suspect belayer; they don't have what I consider to be an important skill.

So, since I'm comfortable belaying by feel, yes, I will not watch my climber full time. However, if I can see them, and they are at a sketchy point, I will certainly focus on them with multiple senses.


fresh


Jan 5, 2011, 8:37 AM
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jt512 wrote:
james481 wrote:
Yes, of course these things can be verified visually, and I think that most climbers do verify these things visually. And yet, people are severely injured or killed when "visually verified" knots or belay devices turn out to not be set up properly.

Then they weren't visually verified, were they?
this strikes me as a tautology. it's like saying, "visual verification works, therefore if it didn't work, it wasn't visual verification." if normal people look at their setup twice and still fail to perform "visual verification" because they're not thinking and are on auto-pilot, doesn't that mean it's an incomplete protocol?

maybe the problem lies with going on auto-pilot and not with the procedure, but it does happen.

btw I don't jerk others and I agree it's kinda rude, but I'm always looking for ways to prevent my inherent absent-mindedness from killing me.


jt512


Jan 5, 2011, 8:58 AM
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fresh wrote:
jt512 wrote:
james481 wrote:
Yes, of course these things can be verified visually, and I think that most climbers do verify these things visually. And yet, people are severely injured or killed when "visually verified" knots or belay devices turn out to not be set up properly.

Then they weren't visually verified, were they?
this strikes me as a tautology. it's like saying, "visual verification works, therefore if it didn't work, it wasn't visual verification." if normal people look at their setup twice and still fail to perform "visual verification" because they're not thinking and are on auto-pilot, doesn't that mean it's an incomplete protocol?

maybe the problem lies with going on auto-pilot and not with the procedure, but it does happen.

btw I don't jerk others and I agree it's kinda rude, but I'm always looking for ways to prevent my inherent absent-mindedness from killing me.

You're criticizing a minor point I was making. Like I said earlier, a "yank check" of the grigri should always be performed, but by the belayer, not the climber.

Jay


ClimbSoHigh


Jan 5, 2011, 9:20 AM
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In reply to:
btw I don't jerk others and I agree it's kinda rude, but I'm always looking for ways to prevent my inherent absent-mindedness from killing me.

I don't want to paint a picture of me yanking my belayers all around, but I like my method because it forces one last check of the climbing system before I take off. I get one last chance to physically and visually check my knot, my rope out between me and my belayer, and the ability of the gri gri to lock as it is set up. I am cool with my belayer tugging the rope for me if they really don't want me to, but I still start at my knot, check the rope but when it comes time to tug, they can do it as I have no doubt anymore that they are pulling on the right end of the rope and visually checking it is threaded correctly.

IDK, I just really like to physically check stuff in addition to visually checking when possible, instead of just visually checking everything. Once I have set up my rappel, and double checked everything, I still weigh my rap device completely before going off direct to the anchor. Sure I can see that everything is set up correctly, but I just feel better about it when my entire weight (when possible) is on my rap device before going off direct. Just like I like to feel the take before letting go to be lowered. It just makes me feel better, and it should not insult anyone that I want to double check what they should be doing already.

A buddy asked me last fall if I locked my belay biner. I said I did and had even checked it seconds before he asked when he was not looking yet, but he asked for a click anyways. So I shot him for doubting me! "Screw you man for doubting what I said, can't you visually see the gate is locked!! Its a f-ing attache and you'd see red if I was lying you bonehead!!!"

...or in reality I took a second and clicked it for him and somehow managed to keep my ego in check. :)


ClimbSoHigh


Jan 5, 2011, 9:33 AM
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In reply to:
So, since I'm comfortable belaying by feel, yes, I will not watch my climber full time. However, if I can see them, and they are at a sketchy point, I will certainly focus on them with multiple senses.

I feel very comfortable belaying by feel and belaying TR from a seat, and have done so for years, but my new train of thought is that these two practices had diluted my attentaveness to belaying. Sure there are situations where you have to go by feel when you can't see or hear you climber, but the fact that I sometimes choose not to watch my climber when I can hints that avoiding a little neck cramp is more important to me than the marginal extra safety to my climber. Its the fact I belay people by feel when I don't have to that I am reaconsidering. Same thing with sitting down when there is no reason not to stand.


taydude


Jan 5, 2011, 9:51 AM
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I have a few near miss/ dangerous situation stories... though not as crazy as some on here.

I learned to set anchors at a nearby top roping area in Little Falls, NY. One of my first anchors had three legs. Two of the pieces were a bomber nut and cam. The third leg had a #4 C4 pointed DOWN in a odd crack on top of the cliff. When I rappelled down the vibrations and bad equalization made the C4 walk down into an opening. Luckily it was just a 30 foot cliff and I went back and found a better anchor configuration.

Another time I made a kinda sketchy anchor at the Gunks. I had topped out on Horseman about 10 feet right of the tree most people anchor to. The only gear I could get in near me was a pink tricam. I ended up wrapping a bight of rope around the tree, tying a figure-8 and clipping that to the tricam and belaying from there. I was worried about taking a 10ft pendulum off the cliff so i sat down and braced my feet against two rocks. Turns out there was a colony of ants right there too... :(


fresh


Jan 5, 2011, 10:17 AM
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jt512 wrote:
fresh wrote:
jt512 wrote:
james481 wrote:
Yes, of course these things can be verified visually, and I think that most climbers do verify these things visually. And yet, people are severely injured or killed when "visually verified" knots or belay devices turn out to not be set up properly.

Then they weren't visually verified, were they?
this strikes me as a tautology. it's like saying, "visual verification works, therefore if it didn't work, it wasn't visual verification." if normal people look at their setup twice and still fail to perform "visual verification" because they're not thinking and are on auto-pilot, doesn't that mean it's an incomplete protocol?

maybe the problem lies with going on auto-pilot and not with the procedure, but it does happen.

btw I don't jerk others and I agree it's kinda rude, but I'm always looking for ways to prevent my inherent absent-mindedness from killing me.

You're criticizing a minor point I was making. Like I said earlier, a "yank check" of the grigri should always be performed, but by the belayer, not the climber.

Jay
thanks Jay. my concern was that the climber should also be able to check the grigri in an effective way, but I missed where you said that you ask your belayer to tug the rope. visually verifying that your belayer did indeed tug the rope is probably sufficient!

I've generally left it up to them to check the grigri however they see fit, and just ask something like "grigri good?" I don't like telling my friends how to do things they already have a system for, but it's probably a good idea to suggest that.

despite the potential rudeness of tugging your belayer, it does have the advantage of making sure the grigri is threaded on the correct side of the rope. do you do anything special to check this? (I thread it by following it from the tie-in, but I'm all for improving things.)


jt512


Jan 5, 2011, 11:07 AM
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fresh wrote:
despite the potential rudeness of tugging your belayer, it does have the advantage of making sure the grigri is threaded on the correct side of the rope. do you do anything special to check this? (I thread it by following it from the tie-in, but I'm all for improving things.)

I look at it. I check to make sure my end is coming out of the end of the grigri that the hinge of the lever (that round thing) is on. Also, if the grigri locks up when the belayer tugs the rope, then the grigri is threaded correctly.

Within my circle of climbing partners we have evolved a system whereby the climber looks at the belayer when he is ready to start climbing, and when he makes eye contact, the belayer "yank checks" the grigri and pushes on the gate of the belay carabiner so that both partners know that it is locked. If a new partner doesn't do these two checks upon eye contact (many do—apparently there is convergent evolution), I'll ask them to.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jan 5, 2011, 11:08 AM)


spikeddem


Jan 5, 2011, 11:18 AM
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jt512 wrote:
Within my circle of climbing partners we have evolved a system whereby the climber looks at the belayer when he is ready to start climbing, and when he makes eye contact, the belayer "yank checks" the grigri and pushes on the gate of the belay carabiner so that both partners know that it is locked. If a new partner doesn't do these two checks upon eye contact (many do—apparently there is convergent evolution), I'll ask them to.

Jay

+1


onrockandice


Jan 5, 2011, 11:52 AM
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This has saved many the FUBAR FTGU (FUBAR from the ground up).

My partner and I go through a ... ritual I guess. We stand and face each other. Assert he is climbing and I'm on belay.

He says, "Climber". (I check his knot and harness. I reach out to his harness grab the rope and place it in the Gri-Gri or ATC while he watches. We do a pull test.)
I say, "Belayer". (He checks my harness and again inspects the device.)
He says: "Climbing". He checks his own knot.
I say: "Belaying". I check my knot and device.
He says: "On Belay?" (He pulls against the device.)
I say: "Belay is on." (I pay out slack for him to start.)
He says: "Climbing" (Checks the area, the fall line, etc...)
I say: "Climb On" and I move in to a protected stance away from the fall line.

It's highly pedantic but he was the instructor that certified me as a belayer at my first gym. That's the ritual they make you go through and when we went outside I asked him if we could keep doing it that way. He was fine with that and now it's just automatic. We do the whole thing in less than 10 or 15 seconds and we haven't effffffed up a climb yet.

Bar-none he has been the best rope-mate I've had. I've climbed with lots of people but he and I shared the same thoughts. We both just kind of connected that way.

We always climb even on TR with one sling and one draw just in case we need it. We always have 2 devices each just in case we drop one from 1000 feet up. He's done that. He had a spare. I laughed at him and short roped him up this slabby 5.6 (just a side-note).


erisspirit


Jan 5, 2011, 12:16 PM
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spikeddem wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Within my circle of climbing partners we have evolved a system whereby the climber looks at the belayer when he is ready to start climbing, and when he makes eye contact, the belayer "yank checks" the grigri and pushes on the gate of the belay carabiner so that both partners know that it is locked. If a new partner doesn't do these two checks upon eye contact (many do—apparently there is convergent evolution), I'll ask them to.

Jay

+1

same here... my belay device is even on a carabiner that shows red when unlocked and I still push on the gate to show the climber it is in fact locked... if I don't, they ask me to...

(They don't grab my device and do it for me.)

and vice versa


Gmburns2000


Jan 5, 2011, 12:43 PM
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with a grigri, I'll grab the rope and lift it up to visually see that it is threaded the correct way. I do that as a climber and as a belayor, too, just to be consistent. If my belayor holds the rope up for me to see then that is fine for me.

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes." Often times I'll ask again as if I didn't hear them, and if they still don't physically check with their hand squeezing the gate, I'll slowly begin to reach over. Most often this will cause a reaction where they reach down and do it themselves, but there was once when I checked and...it was unlocked.

So even though I don't like to do it, I don't have a problem doing it if my partner hasn't shown to me that it is locked.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 6, 2011, 5:27 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
with a grigri, I'll grab the rope and lift it up to visually see that it is threaded the correct way. I do that as a climber and as a belayor, too, just to be consistent. If my belayor holds the rope up for me to see then that is fine for me.

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes." Often times I'll ask again as if I didn't hear them, and if they still don't physically check with their hand squeezing the gate, I'll slowly begin to reach over. Most often this will cause a reaction where they reach down and do it themselves, but there was once when I checked and...it was unlocked.

So even though I don't like to do it, I don't have a problem doing it if my partner hasn't shown to me that it is locked.

I give my belayer a complete pat-down before I climb. In addition to checking the belay device, biner, and harness, I want to make sure that they are not concealing any drugs or weapons. You can never be too safe, IMHO.

Josh


Gmburns2000


Jan 6, 2011, 5:35 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
with a grigri, I'll grab the rope and lift it up to visually see that it is threaded the correct way. I do that as a climber and as a belayor, too, just to be consistent. If my belayor holds the rope up for me to see then that is fine for me.

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes." Often times I'll ask again as if I didn't hear them, and if they still don't physically check with their hand squeezing the gate, I'll slowly begin to reach over. Most often this will cause a reaction where they reach down and do it themselves, but there was once when I checked and...it was unlocked.

So even though I don't like to do it, I don't have a problem doing it if my partner hasn't shown to me that it is locked.

I give my belayer a complete pat-down before I climb. In addition to checking the belay device, biner, and harness, I want to make sure that they are not concealing any drugs or weapons. You can never be too safe, IMHO.

Josh

I'm not convinced that's what that was, considering your grin.









Tongue


blueeyedclimber


Jan 6, 2011, 6:29 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
with a grigri, I'll grab the rope and lift it up to visually see that it is threaded the correct way. I do that as a climber and as a belayor, too, just to be consistent. If my belayor holds the rope up for me to see then that is fine for me.

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes." Often times I'll ask again as if I didn't hear them, and if they still don't physically check with their hand squeezing the gate, I'll slowly begin to reach over. Most often this will cause a reaction where they reach down and do it themselves, but there was once when I checked and...it was unlocked.

So even though I don't like to do it, I don't have a problem doing it if my partner hasn't shown to me that it is locked.

I give my belayer a complete pat-down before I climb. In addition to checking the belay device, biner, and harness, I want to make sure that they are not concealing any drugs or weapons. You can never be too safe, IMHO.

Josh

I'm not convinced that's what that was, considering your grin.

Was that a big bro in your pocket or were you just happy to see me?

Wink


IsayAutumn


Jan 6, 2011, 6:38 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
with a grigri, I'll grab the rope and lift it up to visually see that it is threaded the correct way. I do that as a climber and as a belayor, too, just to be consistent. If my belayor holds the rope up for me to see then that is fine for me.

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes." Often times I'll ask again as if I didn't hear them, and if they still don't physically check with their hand squeezing the gate, I'll slowly begin to reach over. Most often this will cause a reaction where they reach down and do it themselves, but there was once when I checked and...it was unlocked.

So even though I don't like to do it, I don't have a problem doing it if my partner hasn't shown to me that it is locked.

I give my belayer a complete pat-down before I climb. In addition to checking the belay device, biner, and harness, I want to make sure that they are not concealing any drugs or weapons. You can never be too safe, IMHO.

Josh

I'm not convinced that's what that was, considering your grin.

Was that a big bro in your pocket or were you just happy to see me?

Wink

I'm pretty sure it was a micro nut.


sungam


Jan 6, 2011, 6:43 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
with a grigri, I'll grab the rope and lift it up to visually see that it is threaded the correct way. I do that as a climber and as a belayor, too, just to be consistent. If my belayor holds the rope up for me to see then that is fine for me.

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes." Often times I'll ask again as if I didn't hear them, and if they still don't physically check with their hand squeezing the gate, I'll slowly begin to reach over. Most often this will cause a reaction where they reach down and do it themselves, but there was once when I checked and...it was unlocked.

So even though I don't like to do it, I don't have a problem doing it if my partner hasn't shown to me that it is locked.

I give my belayer a complete pat-down before I climb. In addition to checking the belay device, biner, and harness, I want to make sure that they are not concealing any drugs or weapons. You can never be too safe, IMHO.

Josh

I'm not convinced that's what that was, considering your grin.

Was that a big bro in your pocket or were you just happy to see me?

Wink
If it was the size of a big bro then it was a big bro.
Indead if it was even noticable, there was something in his pocket.


spikeddem


Jan 6, 2011, 7:36 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes."

This would bother me. When my climber turns around to ask if I'm prepared, I honestly don't know if I verbally respond. I show them. Yank the gri-gri, squeeze the gate. They assume I've already checked myself, and what they really want is too see for themselves that I'm ready.


Gmburns2000


Jan 6, 2011, 8:06 AM
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spikeddem wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes."

This would bother me. When my climber turns around to ask if I'm prepared, I honestly don't know if I verbally respond. I show them. Yank the gri-gri, squeeze the gate. They assume I've already checked myself, and what they really want is too see for themselves that I'm ready.

yup, I want to see for myself that they are, in fact, ready. verbal communication isn't always good enough for me.


Gmburns2000


Jan 6, 2011, 8:21 AM
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sungam wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
with a grigri, I'll grab the rope and lift it up to visually see that it is threaded the correct way. I do that as a climber and as a belayor, too, just to be consistent. If my belayor holds the rope up for me to see then that is fine for me.

I have reached over to check that a locker is locked before. I don't like doing it, but I've had partners who I've asked if it was locked and they simply said "yes." Often times I'll ask again as if I didn't hear them, and if they still don't physically check with their hand squeezing the gate, I'll slowly begin to reach over. Most often this will cause a reaction where they reach down and do it themselves, but there was once when I checked and...it was unlocked.

So even though I don't like to do it, I don't have a problem doing it if my partner hasn't shown to me that it is locked.

I give my belayer a complete pat-down before I climb. In addition to checking the belay device, biner, and harness, I want to make sure that they are not concealing any drugs or weapons. You can never be too safe, IMHO.

Josh

I'm not convinced that's what that was, considering your grin.

Was that a big bro in your pocket or were you just happy to see me?

Wink
If it was the size of a big bro then it was a big bro.
Indead if it was even noticable, there was something in his pocket.

nyuk nyuk nyuk


edge


Jan 6, 2011, 8:29 AM
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cracklover wrote:


.



GO

Funny, but my eye went right to the pics first, and I thought to myself, "That looks just like Book of Solemnity. Hah!

I actually found myself up there once with Meg as my second; I think she was 15 at the time. It was really freaky leaving her "out there in space" on the first pitch belay ledge, all alone to clean the belay and follow signals with no line of sight.

Maybe because I was protecting it for my own kid, but probably because in my anal retentiveness I would have done it anyway, I placed two pieces before the traverse and then redirected through the anchor bolts as well before tying off near the brink of the slab.

Seconding, she cruised the crux and as soon as she could jam a hand in the following crack she got stung by a couple of yellowjackets. She held on and climbed through, so thankfully we never tested any of the pro.

Nice post and visuals, Gabe.


Partner cracklover


Jan 6, 2011, 10:17 AM
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