Forums: Climbing Information: Accident and Incident Analysis:
Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Accident and Incident Analysis

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All


dynosore


Mar 9, 2011, 6:51 AM
Post #26 of 70 (4681 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 29, 2004
Posts: 1760

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Glad you came out ok, close call for sure.

I wonder if skinny ropes are exacerbating this phenomenon. Not that it excuses bad belaying, but a 10.5 is certainly going to be more forgiving in an ATC than a 9.9 if you are a second late in arresting a fall.


lena_chita
Moderator

Mar 9, 2011, 7:31 AM
Post #27 of 70 (4649 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5587

Re: [dynosore] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

dynosore wrote:
I wonder if skinny ropes are exacerbating this phenomenon. Not that it excuses bad belaying, but a 10.5 is certainly going to be more forgiving in an ATC than a 9.9 if you are a second late in arresting a fall.

Sure, skinny ropes are more likely to slide through the ATC easily. Our gym uses these really thick ropes for TRs, and sometimes you almost have to push them through the ATC, to lower someone lightweight.

But the belay device that was used in the accident, if I understand correctly, was the one that had a high-friction mode (those teeth), and 9.9 is not super-skinny...

Getting a thicker rope in order to mitigate a glaring belay error, hoping that next time the rope will get stuck in an ATC even if the belayer screws up? That's just fucked up.


lena_chita
Moderator

Mar 9, 2011, 7:38 AM
Post #28 of 70 (4643 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5587

Re: [rrrADAM] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

rrrADAM wrote:
Personally, I've never been dropped, but I would have a LOT of confidence in a belayer with experience who HAS dropped someone in the past, as they would most likely be the most attentive belayers from that experience.


I am of two minds about it. If the belay mistake was due to inattention, or too relaxed and cavalier attitude, then yes, I can see that the person could learn the lesson and become the most attentive belayer ever. Something like what onrockandice mentioned, the OH SHIT wake-up call that you never forget.

But if it was due to a problem with their belay technique, then I am not sure. It is very hard to change an ingrained habbit after 10 years, I would be worried that the person would revert to the more familiar comfortable (but incorrect) stroke, or just continue doing what they were doing, maybe even unconsciously.

And as a climber who fell, you probably can't judge very well what was the reason for the mistake. Was the guy talking to friends? Gawking at a hot girl climbing Convicted? Did he trip and bump his arm? Or was he a walking timebomb who has been belaying the same incorrect way for 10 years, and it was simply a matter of time and chance, before he dropped someone?


TradEddie


Mar 9, 2011, 9:11 AM
Post #29 of 70 (4589 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 29, 2007
Posts: 164

Re: [rrrADAM] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

rrrADAM wrote:
Glad you are OK, brutha... I remember watching Mike Reardon get dropped by a very experienced belayer some time ago at Malibu.

Personally, I've never been dropped, but I would have a LOT of confidence in a belayer with experience who HAS dropped someone in the past, as they would most likely be the most attentive belayers from that experience.

My experience was slightly different, while I now trusted that the belayer who previously dropped me would never again be so distracted by adjacent cleavage, he kept the belay so tight that I simply couldn't climb at all...

It's hard to accept that even an experienced, competent, attentive belayer could make a mistake at just the wrong moment, but in my opinion that's the reality, and if you can't accept it, you shouldn't be climbing. I may be flamed for this by many experienced, competent, attentive belayers who say they've never dropped anyone, but that doesn't prove anything.
All you can do is try stack the odds in your favor; pick your belayer carefully. People spend hours discussing and comparing the best gear before buying, yet are prepared to let almost anyone belay them.

Glad it worked out well for the OP, in my case, I missed work for a week, sore neck for 6 months, and 8 years later still hate falling at the 4th bolt in the gym...

TE


davyanderson


Mar 9, 2011, 9:28 AM
Post #30 of 70 (4572 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 3, 2006
Posts: 1

Re: [jt512] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

jt512 wrote:
onrockandice wrote:

I was on belay . . .

No, you were belaying. Your partner was on belay.

In reply to:
I reached down as fast as I could to rub that pebble off (with my brake hand) and as I came back up his eyes and mine made contact.

Correction. You weren't belaying, and your partner was not on belay.

Jay

I lol'd


potreroed


Mar 9, 2011, 10:03 AM
Post #31 of 70 (4539 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2001
Posts: 1448

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'm glad you're OK. I'm going to get a lot of shit for saying this but I believe that if your belayer had been using a gri-gri this would not have happened. Gri-gris really do give you that extra edge of safety.


spikeddem


Mar 9, 2011, 10:11 AM
Post #32 of 70 (4535 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 27, 2007
Posts: 6319

Re: [potreroed] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

potreroed wrote:
I'm glad you're OK. I'm going to get a lot of shit for saying this but I believe that if your belayer had been using a gri-gri this would not have happened. Gri-gris really do give you that extra edge of safety.
I believe that in this case, you're likely correct. Although, I'd rather say that there is only a "good chance" that it may have been prevented. A gri-gri may not automatically grab a rope without any braking hand action (and should absolutely not be belayed with in such a way), but it at least does have a chance.

That being said, I stick by my usual statement that if I don't trust someone to belay me with a tube-style device, then I wouldn't trust them to belay me with a gri-gri.


socalclimber


Mar 9, 2011, 11:06 AM
Post #33 of 70 (4505 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 2431

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The attitude of handling the grigri is correct. Just because "auto" locking devices are supposed to, does not mean they will.

Years ago I was solo aid climbing with a grigri and while I was cleaning dirt and crap out of a shallow crack. Some of it managed to lodge in the device preventing the cam from operating properly. I found this out when a piece pulled and I started sliding down the rope slowly to the backup knot.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Mar 9, 2011, 11:12 AM)


ClimbSoHigh


Mar 9, 2011, 11:38 AM
Post #34 of 70 (4469 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 28, 2008
Posts: 208

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
That is correct. It definitely wasn't 100% free fall. It's about what you'd imagine if you tried to catch a fall with the climber's waist about 4-5' above the last bolt, but used your wrists to brake--which is, of course, what happened. Hard to say if I could feel the friction. I do know that I could hear the rope whizzing over a material (probably the belayer's jacket and/or wrist). With a complete free fall, I'm not sure if I would have heard that at all.

I'm just trying to think how much friction an arm jammed in the middle of the ropes would produce and I feel it would be very minimal at slowing a free fall. Possibly a kink in the rope temporarily jamming in the atc might have played a hand in your remarkable outcome? Any feeling of a slight snag for a second? Just trying to picture how anyone could crater from that high and literally walk away. You are a very luck man, but you already know that.

If I rub your belly, can I get some of your good luck?


spikeddem


Mar 9, 2011, 11:53 AM
Post #35 of 70 (4457 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 27, 2007
Posts: 6319

Re: [ClimbSoHigh] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

ClimbSoHigh wrote:
In reply to:
That is correct. It definitely wasn't 100% free fall. It's about what you'd imagine if you tried to catch a fall with the climber's waist about 4-5' above the last bolt, but used your wrists to brake--which is, of course, what happened. Hard to say if I could feel the friction. I do know that I could hear the rope whizzing over a material (probably the belayer's jacket and/or wrist). With a complete free fall, I'm not sure if I would have heard that at all.

I'm just trying to think how much friction an arm jammed in the middle of the ropes would produce and I feel it would be very minimal at slowing a free fall. Possibly a kink in the rope temporarily jamming in the atc might have played a hand in your remarkable outcome? Any feeling of a slight snag for a second? Just trying to picture how anyone could crater from that high and literally walk away. You are a very luck man, but you already know that.

My acceleration towards the ground felt constant, but that's all I can really say. My guess is that the wrist of his left hand was compressing the brake side of the rope and that he did the same thing with his right hand but his coat protected him from the rope burn. With both wrists compressing the brake strand of the rope into his stomach, I can imagine a decrease in speed relative to a free fall (especially with the jacket).

In reply to:
If I rub your belly, can I get some of your good luck?

Laugh


notapplicable


Mar 9, 2011, 2:21 PM
Post #36 of 70 (4399 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 17766

Re: [TradEddie] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

TradEddie wrote:
It's hard to accept that even an experienced, competent, attentive belayer could make a mistake at just the wrong moment, but in my opinion that's the reality, and if you can't accept it, you shouldn't be climbing.

Yep. I like to say that there are really only two things that can go wrong while climbing. Anything and Everything.

People are fallible and there is no way to escape that fact.


potreroed


Mar 9, 2011, 3:06 PM
Post #37 of 70 (4371 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2001
Posts: 1448

Re: [socalclimber] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

socalclimber wrote:
The attitude of handling the grigri is correct. Just because "auto" locking devices are supposed to, does not mean they will.

Years ago I was solo aid climbing with a grigri and while I was cleaning dirt and crap out of a shallow crack. Some of it managed to lodge in the device preventing the cam from operating properly. I found this out when a piece pulled and I started sliding down the rope slowly to the backup knot.

After just once aid soloing with a gri-gri I went back to my trusty Soloist.


socalclimber


Mar 9, 2011, 3:28 PM
Post #38 of 70 (4355 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 2431

Re: [potreroed] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yeah, I had the soloist, I actually prefer the solo-aid more.


bearbreeder


Mar 10, 2011, 12:49 AM
Post #39 of 70 (4286 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Posts: 1960

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

all it takes is one moment of inattentiveness .... even the most "experienced" can have a lapse in judgement

the worst is when someone starts talking to the belayer ... happens quite often in the gym or more popular crags ... usually its some guy trying to hit on some girl

just this weekend i caught a girl i knew take her brake hand off the gri gri when some guy i knew started chatting her up ... i quickly reminded her that her climber is now "dead"

if i see my belayer yaking away or flirting ... i just lower down and tell em to go flirt instead of climb ...


sp115


Mar 10, 2011, 8:17 AM
Post #40 of 70 (4234 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 17, 2007
Posts: 515

Re: [bearbreeder] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

bearbreeder wrote:
all it takes is one moment of inattentiveness .... even the most "experienced" can have a lapse in judgement

the worst is when someone starts talking to the belayer ... happens quite often in the gym or more popular crags ... usually its some guy trying to hit on some girl

just this weekend i caught a girl i knew take her brake hand off the gri gri when some guy i knew started chatting her up ... i quickly reminded her that her climber is now "dead"

if i see my belayer yaking away or flirting ... i just lower down and tell em to go flirt instead of climb ...

Yup, I typically don't make a scene, but have had to on occasion remind a new belayer, in a polite tone to simply STFU.

I always approach bealying with a slight sense of nervousness, or at least a heightened sense of focus. And truthfully, I hope that feeling never goes away.


onrockandice


Mar 14, 2011, 3:57 PM
Post #41 of 70 (4057 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 16, 2009
Posts: 351

Re: [Rudmin] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

It was the swing pitch. I had stacked rope over my left foot as I brought him up. Then as he climbed past I payed rope off the stack of 15' coils (70m rope stack), (my left foot had the rock in the pad at the front). I had tried to rub it on the ropes hanging down. I was belaying using my right hand as the brake hand. I had slid my hand down to the rope stack with my right hand and I had tried to get it with one finger. The ropes made it hard and I was almost dropping the stack. I tried reaching in with my left but when I did it put more pressure on whatever was poking me (rock/pebble) as I had to weight my left foot to lean that way. I rotated my foot outward so the pad was facing me. I reached over with my left hand and grabbed the brake side of the rope, I then lost my balance (I over-balanced to the left as my ankle rolled and my left foot dropped forcing me right again), the rope stack started to slide, I took my left hand to catch the rope stack and put my right hand back on the brake all at the same time. So for a second the brake was loose, I was off balance and my leader looked at me with a WTF expression. He saw the transfer, juggle and then me let go as I started to fall into the wall with my feet sliding downward.

In retrospect I should have let the rope stack fall and kept the rope under control. That would have avoided the "almost". We could have re-stacked the rope. As it happened he climbed up to a bolt clipped the bolt and then I fixed the whole mess, restacked the rope and he took off. This was when I had been climbing for about 11 months but had done lots of multi-pitch and about 200 outdoor climbs in total.

He showed me a different way to belay, stacking the rope over a sling I would extend up to the belay anchors which keeps my feet free in case I need to move to dodge a falling rock or debris. We never discussed my lapse but we did start me belaying differently on multi-pitch routes.

Verdict: Gumby

I already know this is not a defense of what happened. Someone asked me why I didn't use my other hand so I am just offering an answer, not a justification. Dumb is dumb. A core rule that is the backbone of a rope-team's trust was broken. I know that. I regret that and you know... it bothers me every time I put someone on belay. I kind of feel like I'm the idiot that played with a loaded gun and shot someone. I remember it every time I put someone on belay. I'm thankful for that reminder but many climbers are able to go through the entire gauntlet of climbing without *that* reminder.

I fully deserve whatever abuse you have. There is no excuse but I knew that when I posted it. I was willing to eat it all over again (crow that is) because it was an accident that didn't involve a ground-fall but there is no denying an accident happened. The story needs told as it (and the @$$ kicking) adds to the collective experience here.

It's a memory I cannot shake.


majid_sabet


Mar 14, 2011, 5:00 PM
Post #42 of 70 (4029 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8347

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

two questions

1- belay device brand/model
2-how old was your rope


spikeddem


Mar 14, 2011, 5:54 PM
Post #43 of 70 (4014 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 27, 2007
Posts: 6319

Re: [majid_sabet] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
two questions

1- belay device brand/model
2-how old was your rope

I already gave as best a description of the belay device as I could (its in the OP). The rope was ~a year old. That said, I only use the 70m in areas where I will actually use the 70m (otherwise I use my 60m). Thus, I never use it in my home crags. It's probably been used on less than 50 pitches.


(This post was edited by spikeddem on Mar 14, 2011, 5:55 PM)


majid_sabet


Mar 14, 2011, 7:36 PM
Post #44 of 70 (3993 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8347

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

spikeddem wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
two questions

1- belay device brand/model
2-how old was your rope

I already gave as best a description of the belay device as I could (its in the OP). The rope was ~a year old. That said, I only use the 70m in areas where I will actually use the 70m (otherwise I use my 60m). Thus, I never use it in my home crags. It's probably been used on less than 50 pitches.

ok, just wanted to know ,if your rope was very new cause I have noticed newer ropes slip little more in tube type devices specially with the older generation of ATCs .


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Mar 14, 2011, 7:37 PM)


KeitaroHoshi


Mar 15, 2011, 12:09 AM
Post #45 of 70 (3944 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 6, 2010
Posts: 171

Re: [majid_sabet] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

Be carefull with those figure 8 belay devices.
They can provide 'little to no friction' and unscrew your screwgate.

IF used incorrectly.


(This post was edited by KeitaroHoshi on Mar 15, 2011, 12:14 AM)


erisspirit


Mar 15, 2011, 11:35 AM
Post #46 of 70 (3910 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 14, 2004
Posts: 3749

Re: [KeitaroHoshi] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

KeitaroHoshi wrote:
Be carefull with those figure 8 belay devices.
They can provide 'little to no friction' and unscrew your screwgate.

IF used incorrectly.

A figure 8 wasn't used in this accident


boymeetsrock


Mar 15, 2011, 12:12 PM
Post #47 of 70 (3893 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 11, 2005
Posts: 1709

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Glad your OK spike. Good luck getting back on the horse.


Stoves


Mar 15, 2011, 7:55 PM
Post #48 of 70 (3845 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 23, 2011
Posts: 75

Re: [spikeddem] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Glad you are ok as well.

Scary how people who have been climbing for so long would make such a mistake!

On a higher note you can count on me to lead belay you after I take this one class!


potreroed


Mar 21, 2011, 5:06 PM
Post #49 of 70 (3673 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2001
Posts: 1448

Re: [onrockandice] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'll never understand why people drape the rope over a foot. I see that a lot and I just don't get it. When I'm on belay I want to be able to dance and move about.


csproul


Mar 22, 2011, 6:30 AM
Post #50 of 70 (3629 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 4, 2004
Posts: 1767

Re: [potreroed] Red River Gorge -- Motherlode Accident [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

potreroed wrote:
I'll never understand why people drape the rope over a foot. I see that a lot and I just don't get it. When I'm on belay I want to be able to dance and move about.
It's a good way to keep your feet from being sunburned when you take your shoes off at the belayWink

First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Information : Accident and Incident Analysis

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook