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Gmburns2000


Apr 9, 2012, 7:21 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
guangzhou wrote:

My staff, myself, and we sometime recruit our members to purposely tie-in wrong when we want to remind people to double check knots. We do the same on the belay end of the rope.


Eman

I used to think this was a good idea, but now I don't. Tying in wrong just to prove a point could simply be missed or forgotten. Why mess with fate?

To reenforce the idea that not double checking closely makes things easy to miss. The whole point of tying in wrong actually.

In reply to:
What I've done with beginners in the past is simply tie in (correctly) and keep talking until they notice I'm not climbing. When they notice, they usually have to think, "why is he not climbing? OH! I forgot."

Beginners are more likely to double check, the key is getting people to keep double checking after they gain experience.

In reply to:
I interned at a job a long time ago and was asked to proofread a document for publication. I read it and didn't find any errors. I gave it back to him and said I didn't find any errors but I was suspicious because I figured he'd throw in a few errors just to see if I was paying attention. His response: "Why? A complete waste of time. If I wanted to test you then I'd give you a test."

Anytime someone does something wrong on purpose, it is a test. They are being tested without being told. Nothing wrong with that. Just a friendly reminder to be vigilant.

We'll have to agree to disagree then. I'd hate to be that guy who tied in wrong to prove a point and then forgot about the whole thing. For me, it's do it right as much as possible. Yes, I do checks, but we're all human. I just can't say to myself that I'll be perfect all the time. Won't happen, particularly if I tempt fate, but that's just my history.


bearbreeder


Apr 9, 2012, 8:02 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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well heres a logic puzzle ...

if you are only going to be teaching them 8s .... how are they going to check bowlines should you allow them ...youd have to require every climber know how to tie an 8 AND a bowline in the gym so that they can check each other ...

IMO ... just stick with an 8 ... everyone can check it ... dont confuse with different knots in the gym ...


guangzhou


Apr 9, 2012, 9:26 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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First, only the partner of the person climbing with the bowline needs to know how to double check the knot.

Second, we teach people to ask our floor safety to check the bowline if they don't know it. Yes, we have a floor safety person at all times.

Besides, if I wanted to teach only one knot to all members, why not make it the retraced bowline instead of the figure eight.


pfwein


Apr 9, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Re: [rgold] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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Seems to me that tie-in failures happen more often with bowlines than Fig-8's, even though Fig-8's are much more commonly used. (Of course they are very rare--other than this one and Lynn Hill, I'm drawing a blank on specifics, and it's possible my suppositions are wrong--just going by my recollection as someone who pays attention to reported climbing accidents.)


guangzhou


Apr 9, 2012, 10:55 PM
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Re: [pfwein] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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pfwein wrote:
Seems to me that tie-in failures happen more often with bowlines than Fig-8's, even though Fig-8's are much more commonly used. (Of course they are very rare--other than this one and Lynn Hill, I'm drawing a blank on specifics, and it's possible my suppositions are wrong--just going by my recollection as someone who pays attention to reported climbing accidents.)

I'm not sure figure eight are much more common any more. In the states, I see the 8 most of the time. While climbing in Germany, I saw the bowline much more. When I climb in Thailand during busy season, I see both the bowline and Figure eight regularly. Never counted, so the 8 could be much more common.

Bottom line, either knot tied correctly work fine. Either knot tied incorrectly fail.
For me, the question is more about effectively checking knots to make sure whether or not the climber has tied in correctly versus which knot they should be using.

Of course, I also try to convince many European climbers that it's safe to fall on well place nuts and cams, they have a hard time believing this. I say this because we tend to go with what we know best.

For our facility, based on the meeting, we have decided to allow both knots.


guangzhou


Apr 9, 2012, 10:58 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
guangzhou wrote:

My staff, myself, and we sometime recruit our members to purposely tie-in wrong when we want to remind people to double check knots. We do the same on the belay end of the rope.


Eman

I used to think this was a good idea, but now I don't. Tying in wrong just to prove a point could simply be missed or forgotten. Why mess with fate?

To reenforce the idea that not double checking closely makes things easy to miss. The whole point of tying in wrong actually.

In reply to:
What I've done with beginners in the past is simply tie in (correctly) and keep talking until they notice I'm not climbing. When they notice, they usually have to think, "why is he not climbing? OH! I forgot."

Beginners are more likely to double check, the key is getting people to keep double checking after they gain experience.

In reply to:
I interned at a job a long time ago and was asked to proofread a document for publication. I read it and didn't find any errors. I gave it back to him and said I didn't find any errors but I was suspicious because I figured he'd throw in a few errors just to see if I was paying attention. His response: "Why? A complete waste of time. If I wanted to test you then I'd give you a test."

Anytime someone does something wrong on purpose, it is a test. They are being tested without being told. Nothing wrong with that. Just a friendly reminder to be vigilant.

We'll have to agree to disagree then. I'd hate to be that guy who tied in wrong to prove a point and then forgot about the whole thing. For me, it's do it right as much as possible. Yes, I do checks, but we're all human. I just can't say to myself that I'll be perfect all the time. Won't happen, particularly if I tempt fate, but that's just my history.

How would a instructor tying in wrong on purpose in this situation be different from him tying in wrong on purpose during a test.

This would be a random pop-quiz basically.


Gmburns2000


Apr 10, 2012, 5:02 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
guangzhou wrote:

My staff, myself, and we sometime recruit our members to purposely tie-in wrong when we want to remind people to double check knots. We do the same on the belay end of the rope.


Eman

I used to think this was a good idea, but now I don't. Tying in wrong just to prove a point could simply be missed or forgotten. Why mess with fate?

To reenforce the idea that not double checking closely makes things easy to miss. The whole point of tying in wrong actually.

In reply to:
What I've done with beginners in the past is simply tie in (correctly) and keep talking until they notice I'm not climbing. When they notice, they usually have to think, "why is he not climbing? OH! I forgot."

Beginners are more likely to double check, the key is getting people to keep double checking after they gain experience.

In reply to:
I interned at a job a long time ago and was asked to proofread a document for publication. I read it and didn't find any errors. I gave it back to him and said I didn't find any errors but I was suspicious because I figured he'd throw in a few errors just to see if I was paying attention. His response: "Why? A complete waste of time. If I wanted to test you then I'd give you a test."

Anytime someone does something wrong on purpose, it is a test. They are being tested without being told. Nothing wrong with that. Just a friendly reminder to be vigilant.

We'll have to agree to disagree then. I'd hate to be that guy who tied in wrong to prove a point and then forgot about the whole thing. For me, it's do it right as much as possible. Yes, I do checks, but we're all human. I just can't say to myself that I'll be perfect all the time. Won't happen, particularly if I tempt fate, but that's just my history.

How would a instructor tying in wrong on purpose in this situation be different from him tying in wrong on purpose during a test.

This would be a random pop-quiz basically.

It's not different, of course, but that's not the point. Why teach it wrong? Why even practice doing it wrong? It takes a person long enough to be comfortable with tying a new knot correctly let alone learning to see it incorrectly, too.

And what if the instructor is actually climbing with the students that day? Or what if he somehow gets used to tying it incorrectly? Or his brain malfunctions for a second and he ties it incorrectly without noticing? Honestly, these scenarios don't seem so far fetched.


shockabuku


Apr 10, 2012, 6:37 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Climbing instructor Alison Taylor said the standard knot is a figure of eight which tightens and does not need a stopper.

"A bowline will come undone under pressure unless it has a stopper knot and some climbing centres only allow a figure of eight knot," she added.

More bad (as well as inaccurate) press for the bowline.


Partner cracklover


Apr 10, 2012, 8:36 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
In reply to:
Climbing instructor Alison Taylor said the standard knot is a figure of eight which tightens and does not need a stopper.

"A bowline will come undone under pressure unless it has a stopper knot and some climbing centres only allow a figure of eight knot," she added.

More bad (as well as inaccurate) press for the bowline.

Agreed. The trouble with that sentence is the word "pressure", which is so general that it loses all meaning. Replace the word with the phrase "ring load" and you have something accurate. But I doubt the knot was ring loaded. Most likely, as RG suggested, it was never tied properly in the first place.

GO


bearbreeder


Apr 10, 2012, 9:29 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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your gym, your rules

the reality of it though is that after a while a partner is less and less likely to ask a floor person to check the bowline on every subsequent tie in ...

theres been "incidents" with the bowline IMO ... whatever the cause ...

http://www.rockandice.com/...cle/324-not-the-knot

http://www.rockfax.com/...1/12/04/knot-safety/


shockabuku


Apr 10, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
In reply to:
Climbing instructor Alison Taylor said the standard knot is a figure of eight which tightens and does not need a stopper.

"A bowline will come undone under pressure unless it has a stopper knot and some climbing centres only allow a figure of eight knot," she added.

More bad (as well as inaccurate) press for the bowline.

Agreed. The trouble with that sentence is the word "pressure", which is so general that it loses all meaning. Replace the word with the phrase "ring load" and you have something accurate. But I doubt the knot was ring loaded. Most likely, as RG suggested, it was never tied properly in the first place.

GO

Did you mean ring loading or cyclical loading?


Partner cracklover


Apr 10, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
cracklover wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
In reply to:
Climbing instructor Alison Taylor said the standard knot is a figure of eight which tightens and does not need a stopper.

"A bowline will come undone under pressure unless it has a stopper knot and some climbing centres only allow a figure of eight knot," she added.

More bad (as well as inaccurate) press for the bowline.

Agreed. The trouble with that sentence is the word "pressure", which is so general that it loses all meaning. Replace the word with the phrase "ring load" and you have something accurate. But I doubt the knot was ring loaded. Most likely, as RG suggested, it was never tied properly in the first place.

GO

Did you mean ring loading or cyclical loading?

I meant ring loading. I suppose, though, that in some ropes a single bowline would eventually pull a few inches of tail through with cyclical loading. Still seems unlikely to me that that's what happened, though. As for a double bowline, do you really think that cyclical loading could pull through much rope through a double bowline? I really doubt it, but I'd have to play around with a few ropes to be sure.

Personally, I use a double bowline with a double fisherman backup.

GO


guangzhou


Apr 10, 2012, 7:06 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
your gym, your rules

the reality of it though is that after a while a partner is less and less likely to ask a floor person to check the bowline on every subsequent tie in ...

theres been "incidents" with the bowline IMO ... whatever the cause ...

http://www.rockandice.com/...cle/324-not-the-knot

http://www.rockfax.com/...1/12/04/knot-safety/

Agreed, my gym and alternately, I'll be asked to make the final call. With that, I rey on my key staff's input to make decisions, all have to give their opinions: Pros and Cons. Personally, I like the idea of Figure 8s only, I wrote it int he original SOP, now that members are asking, we're visiting the issue.

Agree, they will rely less and less on the floor safety as they become more and more confident in their ability to check the knot.

While I disagree with the article, as do many, the links above both mention bowlines and I am talking about a retraced bowline.

I also like the Yosemite bowline, which your article above also mentions as safe. The retraced bowline isn't mentioned in either.

A properly tied figure eight, bowline (Yosemite and retrace as well) doesn't fail. Knots come undone when the user has tied them incorrectly.

Again, it's what you're use too, so changing is difficult. When I was learning to climb, I learned to tie a double fisherman to join two ropes. A few years later, I learned to join two ropes together with a retraced figure 8. I felt strange at first, but I have stopped using the double fisherman. I teach it in climbing classes.

When I join two ropes together, I use the retrace eight now, and most of the time rap on a overhand bend the AKA "Euro Death Knot."

Pick a knot and use it, that's the key. Double Check Double Check, have your partner do the same.

Both UIAA and BMC find that the Bowline is acceptable for tying in.

AMGA now has added the Bowline to it's Curriculum for the SPI Course.

Anyways, this is becoming a circular argument. Simple, if you don't like or distrust the Bowline or any of it's variants, do use it.

On a side note, I wasn't asking anyone on this forums opinion of what knot to use or not use in my gym. I've not climbed or met any of you, so your opinion on this issue isn't very useful to me. I have no idea what your real world experience actually is.

I have no idea who is or isn't behind the keyboard. (I think I met RG years ago, but not sure.)


(This post was edited by guangzhou on Apr 10, 2012, 7:20 PM)


shockabuku


Apr 11, 2012, 5:40 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
cracklover wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
In reply to:
Climbing instructor Alison Taylor said the standard knot is a figure of eight which tightens and does not need a stopper.

"A bowline will come undone under pressure unless it has a stopper knot and some climbing centres only allow a figure of eight knot," she added.

More bad (as well as inaccurate) press for the bowline.

Agreed. The trouble with that sentence is the word "pressure", which is so general that it loses all meaning. Replace the word with the phrase "ring load" and you have something accurate. But I doubt the knot was ring loaded. Most likely, as RG suggested, it was never tied properly in the first place.

GO

Did you mean ring loading or cyclical loading?

I meant ring loading. I suppose, though, that in some ropes a single bowline would eventually pull a few inches of tail through with cyclical loading. Still seems unlikely to me that that's what happened, though. As for a double bowline, do you really think that cyclical loading could pull through much rope through a double bowline? I really doubt it, but I'd have to play around with a few ropes to be sure.

Personally, I use a double bowline with a double fisherman backup.

GO

The double? No, in my experience (though I use it mostly for anchoring and rarely for tying in) the double is pretty bomber. I notice a single, without a backup/finish, tends to works itself loose with cyclical loading.


adelphos


Apr 13, 2012, 11:54 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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What a tragedy, and my condolences to the family.

After reading more than a few knot failure death notices on this site and having had a few close calls myself, my policy is both check and touch both sides.

I don't climb unless my belay partner has physically touch the knot and verified I did it right.

I don't belay unless my climber has physically checked that I have hooked the rope into my device correctly.

Some partners might be offended by this, and that's fine. I can always find someone else to climb with.

I for one am tired of seeing this accident get repeated over and again.


maldaly


Apr 13, 2012, 12:50 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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bearbreeder, that's the single best reason to tie in with a fig 8 in the United States. It's so ubiquitous that almost everyone will recognize it. It's why so many gyms require it. They can not possibly train their poorly paid staff to recognize every singe knot that's safe to tie in with.

Regardless, when I'm on my own or in a gym that doesn't care, I used the retraced double bowline. (BTW, I recently heard that this is the official tie-in knot recommended by the DAV). But if I'm in a gym that asks for fig 8, I tie a fig 8.

CBBLAK,
maldaly


theguy


Apr 13, 2012, 1:03 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
I notice a single, without a backup/finish, tends to works itself loose with cyclical loading.

This is interesting: single-bowlines (without a stopper) are the usual sailing knot for sheets, which particularly on jibs/genoas would seem to be the poster-child for cyclic loading.


roninthorne


Apr 13, 2012, 1:10 PM
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Anything done by human beings is subject to error. thus, we dispose of the idea that any knot is foolproof when tied by mortal hands.

Been climbing on a retraced bowline with a backup since the mid-90s, pretty much because when a six-foot-tall, 195 pound climber takes more than one whipper on a figure of 8, it is easier to cut the rope off than untie it. At least, that was the case for this one... your results may vary, as they say in the ads.

I've used the retraced bowline for all-day project sessions, multi-pitch, for 8+ hours of theatrical/concert rigging and for mixed 4th and 5th class alpine, and I've never had one come anywhere near slipping out or working loose.

I've also never ended the day wishing I could just hack the rope off of my harness instead of tearing out my fingernails trying to untie.

Just sayin'.


jt512


Apr 13, 2012, 1:53 PM
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jt512 wrote:
maldaly wrote:
Just a head's up kiddies. A properly tied bowline--single, double or retraced--will not slip regardless of whether or not it has a stopper knot.

I think you're flat-out wrong about an unbacked-up single or double bowline. Without constant tension, those knots can work loose and become untied.

To verify to myself that this is true, I just tied in to a single unbacked-up bowline. The knot was well dressed and pre-tensioned. By simply shaking the standing end of the rope, I was able to get the knot to completely untie itself in about 20 seconds. That is not a safe tie-in knot.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Apr 13, 2012, 10:43 PM)


billcoe_


Apr 15, 2012, 8:01 PM
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JT nailed it. The reason well over 90 percent of climbers tie in with 8's is because there WERE deaths back in the day with the bowline coming untied. There are a couple of other versions of that knot which do knot fall apart so easily, and I know 2 very experienced folks using one of them, but I can't tell if it's tied right so if they climb with me, what do I check? (I do look and try to discern that it's good). If Rgold or anyone wants to use that knot, have at it. However, I like the fact that can spot a correctly (or incorrectly) tied figure 8 from a long distance away.

As far as the story goes: it's a news story, they screw things up badly on a regular basis. We may never know what really occurred.

Quoted for posterity/longevity:
In reply to:
Climber's death due to wrong knot inquest told

Thursday, April 05, 2012


AN EXPERIENCED climber fell to his death from a popular indoor climbing wall because he did not knot his rope properly, a coroner has ruled.

Retired aerospace engineer David Rothman, 73, was described to the Gloucester inquest as a "meticulous" man who had been climbing for more than 50 years.

But on November 7, the dad of two, of Blenheim drive, Bredon, near Tewkesbury, fell about 30ft from the wall at the Warehouse climbing centre in Gloucester.

He suffered multiple injuries including numerous fractures and died two days later in the intensive care unit of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

The inquest heard that Mr Rothman had probably used a bowline rather than a figure of eight knot in his rope.

Experts said that a bowline knot was more likely to slip than a figure of eight unless a "stopper knot" was also tied in the rope.

But it appeared that Mr Rothman had failed to tie a stopper knot.

Mr Rothman's widow, Carol, said he was a very experienced rock climber who was always careful about his equipment and preparation and never took risks. Olga Greenslade, who was climbing with Mr Rothman, said when he landed from the fall there was no rope attached to him.

Tony Raphael, who has been climbing for 40 years, said he was belaying the rope for Mr Rothman when he felt some tension in it.

"I looked up and saw the rope separating from Dave. I saw it come away," he said. Almost immediately Mr Rothman fell.

Climbing instructor Alison Taylor said the standard knot is a figure of eight which tightens and does not need a stopper.

"A bowline will come undone under pressure unless it has a stopper knot and some climbing centres only allow a figure of eight knot," she added.

Recording an accidental death verdict, the deputy Gloucestershire coroner David Dooley said it appeared to be a tragic case of human error.

"Had a stopper knot been used, the rope probably would not have failed," he said.

"There is a direct causal link between his decision to use a particular knot without a stop knot and his fall."


Another reminder ( knot that we need yet another one) to stay vigilant no matter what our age or experience level.


knudenoggin


Apr 22, 2012, 12:24 AM
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Re: [rgold] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
The linked report says

The inquest heard that Mr Rothman had probably used a bowline rather than a figure of eight knot in his rope.

Damn lame inquest. They seem to have used a lack of evidence
as an impetus rather than impediment to making a conclusion! Crazy

In reply to:
A guy with 50 years experience, probably all of that with a backed-up bowline, ties it without a backup? As someone with the same amount of experience who has always used bowlines, I find this exceptionally unlikely. Once you start a rehearsed sequence of motions (rehearsed for half a century), you finish the sequence automatically, you don't stop in the middle for anything.

Definitely more "probable" than the inquest's reasoning.

I'm puzzled at the article : it talks of "Nov 07" yet has a current date?
--is it that the older accident is newly given an official verdict?

In reply to:
Tony Raphael, who has been climbing for 40 years, said he was belaying the rope for Mr Rothman when he felt some tension in it.
"I looked up and saw the rope separating from Dave. I saw it come away," he said. Almost immediately Mr Rothman fell.

He only then "looked up" --was he busy texting or something, prior?
From the Telegraph comes a further bit of suggestion:

In reply to:
It appeared Mr Rothman had failed to tie a stopper knot and his rope gave way just as he was beginning to descend from the top of the 11-metre high wall.

Now the question is Was he leading or on TR belay? --because in the
latter case, there shouldn't be a loosening-to-become-untied failure
of a bowline w/decent tail (knot oriented upwards, gravity pulling
tail downwards, holding it against going out. And the climber wouldn't
have been periodically handling the rope (needing some slack) to put
it into quick-draws.

In reply to:
Climbing instructor Alison Taylor said the standard knot is a figure of eight which tightens and does not need a stopper.
"A bowline will come undone under pressure unless it has a stopper knot and some climbing centres only allow a figure of eight knot," she added.

Egadz, knot knowledge is a scarce commodity. But, given that(!),
it may well serve many to stick with more *tolerant* structures.

In reply to:
A sad and terrible tragedy, but not one solved or even slightly ameliorated by banning the backed-up bowline.

Indeed sad; and worse than not being solved, but in fact by furthering
the myth of the "bowline" problem (though there can be some slight
merit in that) and hiding the real problem --that of checking
against distraction-- possibly actually harmful!

And I wonder : is a climbing gym likely to have more distractions,
compounded by maybe some sense of safety, vs. being *exposed* outdoors ?
(One might feel that Lynn Hill's outdoor circumstance was not so unlike
a gym's, too.) Complacency breeds carelessness?

RGold, I've backed up your remarks to DRaleigh (sad that you had to
reiterate what was clearly stated initially (sad that most of my text
lost its paragraph breaks!? WTF? (they were such nice breaks ...)).

Good that some other sites have at least challenged some of the bad
conclusions of the coroner, rather than just endorsed them!
(what's the term : "junk science" ?! Tongue )

*kN*


(This post was edited by knudenoggin on Apr 22, 2012, 10:08 AM)


Partner rgold


Apr 22, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Re: [knudenoggin] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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KN, thanks for chiming in. There have been a number of detachment accidents in which no one knows what occurred that have been blamed on the bowline by investigating authorities who are more interested in facile "explanations" than in understanding what really happened. The result is that any detachment accident in which nothing is left on the climber's end of the rope is blamed on a "mistied bowline."

Why climbing pundits, who might be expected to understand the range of possible causes for an unexplained event better than, say, a coroner, insist on leaping on the mistied bowline hypothesis in the absence of evidence is a mystery to me.

Personally, I couldn't care less what knot a climber chooses to use, and fully agree that people who are not able to attend to the details of tying a properly finished bowline---every time they tie it---should most emphatically be using another knot. I also think, contrary to current popular opinion, that climbers should be checking their own knots and should not be delegating this most essential oversight to anyone else. Heaven forfend they ever have to do some roped soloing, either by choice or by force of circumstances!

Billicoe mentions that people switched to the retraced 8 because of the bowline coming untied BITD. This doesn't correspond to anything I can remember; I don't recall ever hearing about a bowline coming untied during the many years it was the only knot we used. Which is not to say it didn't happen, since a plain bowline without some appropriate finish is not a safe knot for climbing, and it is unfortunate that we are stuck in a semantic trap that relegates the enormous difference between finished and unfinished bowlines to modifying adjectives. But what I am sure about it that there was no wave of accidents that drove people away from the bowline.

I do remember at one point that, with the combination of the retraced-8 for tying in, a figure-8 on a bight for anchoring, and the Flemish bend for joining two ropes, it was said that climbers only needed to learn a single knot. I suspect that, as with much of climbing today, practices that were appropriate for guides were spread uncritically to the general climbing population, regardless of whether those practices were optimal in all situations for non-guided parties. And then of course, the gyms came and, for perfectly understandable reasons, cemented the deal with respect to the retraced-8.

Although I have no hard or even soft data, my impression is that there has been an explosion of accidents related to inattention. I suspect that, paradoxically, this is related to the increased knowledge of safety procedures and the vast improvement in equipment, some of which relieves the climber of the necessity to act on their own or their partner's behalf. For example, guide plates have made belaying the second just one of a constellation of multitasking activities.

Back in the day, I think we we more scared more of the time. We didn't have things that would lock, rappelling was potentially excruciatingly painful, letting go of the brake hand was an absolute death sentence for belayers and rappellers, and no one was going to check your knot and point out your errors. I'm not saying any of this was good and I'm not in the grip of any nostalgia for it. But I do wonder whether the aura of safety that surrounds climbing today isn't just a little too warm and fuzzy for the underlying reality.


(This post was edited by rgold on Apr 22, 2012, 10:14 AM)


Partner robdotcalm


Apr 22, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Re: [rgold] Gym Death- Knot Failure [In reply to]
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"rgold wrote:
I don't recall ever hearing about a bowline coming untied during the many years it was the only knot we used.

I do. Sometime in the mid-70s there was an accident reported in Accidents in North American Mountaineering where a woman using a bowline had it come undone with fatal results. There was also another accident here in Colorado with a similar outcome. I was probably still tying directly into the rope at that time with a bowline on a coil.

Cheers, rob.calm


sbaclimber


Apr 22, 2012, 1:13 PM
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rgold wrote:
Back in the day, I think we we more scared more of the time. We didn't have things that would lock, rappelling was potentially excruciatingly painful, letting go of the brake hand was an absolute death sentence for belayers and rappellers, and no one was going to check your knot and point out your errors. I'm not saying any of this was good and I'm not in the grip of any nostalgia for it. But I do wonder whether the aura of safety that surrounds climbing today isn't just a little too warm and fuzzy for the underlying reality.
Nothing I could ever write would make this paragraph any better, so I will just quote it.
rgold, gold again!


tradmanclimbs


Apr 23, 2012, 10:20 AM
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In 30 years of climbing I have never not been able to untie a figuer eight. I have tested and found that you can tie only 2/3 of a figuer eight and it still holds body weight. If you forget to finish a fig 8 you still have a chance. forget to finish a bowline and you are toast! I do use the bowline in many other climbing aplications such as my 6mm chalkbag cord and my 9mm home made adjustable daisy. Bowlines loosen up, Fig 8's do not. pretty simple stuff.

INMOP anyone still tying in with a bowline in the USA is either trying to be cool or a stuborn old fart who dislikes chamgeWink

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