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Moore's wall accident
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JasonsDrivingForce


Jul 10, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Moore's wall accident
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I hoped I would never have to post one of these about someone I knew. However, Eric Metcalf was a regular at our gym. He was such a good kid and was a role model for the younger kids on the team.

He will be deeply missed.

Is there any more information on what happened?

http://thestokesnews.com/bookmark/19251496

http://www.wral.com/...iefs/story/11299638/

These are some videos of how talented this young man was.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvWn1-xTIWM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvWn1-xTIWM


(This post was edited by JasonsDrivingForce on Jul 10, 2012, 1:00 PM)


alexiskai


Jul 10, 2012, 1:53 PM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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Also being discussed here:
http://www.mountainproject.com/...es-wall-nc/107695727
http://www.reddit.com/...is_weekend_redditor/

And more video:
http://www.inspiredclimbing.com/?p=1471
https://www.youtube.com/scrithe (piano)


(This post was edited by alexiskai on Jul 10, 2012, 1:55 PM)


gblauer
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Jul 10, 2012, 2:07 PM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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I am so sorry for your loss.

Condolences to his friends and family, such a sad loss.


majid_sabet


Jul 10, 2012, 7:37 PM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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Very sad to hear this. In mountain project,someone mentioned that he rap off the end of the line. is this confirmed ?


notapplicable


Jul 10, 2012, 9:01 PM
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majid_sabet wrote:
Very sad to hear this. In mountain project,someone mentioned that he rap off the end of the line. is this confirmed ?

Wow. 19 is so young. This must be hitting his family and friends really hard right now. Condolences all around.

If he really did fall the reported 270 foot, it would be nearly impossible for the cause to be rapping off the end of a rope. That section of cliff is not much taller than 200 foot in most places. It seems more likely that the fall occurred from the anchor or cliff top.


pendereki


Jul 11, 2012, 6:34 AM
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My take was that he did not rap off the ends, rather he only threaded one strand through the belay device and fell from the anchors.


csproul


Jul 11, 2012, 7:10 AM
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pendereki wrote:
My take was that he did not rap off the ends, rather he only threaded one strand through the belay device and fell from the anchors.
I agree. This is about the only way one could fall from the top of Sentinel. Rapping off the ends from that anchor, you would only fall 10 ft or so onto the crow's nest and it would be almost impossible to fall the rest of the way to the ground.


majid_sabet


Jul 11, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Re: [csproul] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
pendereki wrote:
My take was that he did not rap off the ends, rather he only threaded one strand through the belay device and fell from the anchors.
I agree. This is about the only way one could fall from the top of Sentinel. Rapping off the ends from that anchor, you would only fall 10 ft or so onto the crow's nest and it would be almost impossible to fall the rest of the way to the ground.


what is the distance from top of anchor to ground ?


csproul


Jul 11, 2012, 1:26 PM
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It is around 200 ft to the ground from the top anchor. There is a large ledge at 110ft that you rap to, walk across and then rap another ~80 to the ground. If you were to rap off the ends of the rope from the top anchor, you would fall onto this ledge and it would only be about 10ft. It would be virtually impossible to miss the ledge if this was the case. The only way to come up with a fall anywhere near 200ft would be to fall from the top of the cliff and go all the way to the ground. The most likely scenario for such a fall would be to only clip one strand of the rope into the rap device and then begin to rappel.


alexiskai


Jul 11, 2012, 1:34 PM
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This seems to be the consensus among myself and others given the very scant information we have and no first-hand accounts as yet.

If anyone's in the area, there is a memorial service at his gym on Sunday.
https://www.facebook.com/events/319044821518082/


moose_droppings


Jul 11, 2012, 2:16 PM
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My condolences to all of his family and friends.

It would seem that it was off the top. There are a couple scenarios I can think of that could of happened but am not going to speculate here. I'm sure with time we'll get a more detailed report.


JasonsDrivingForce


Jul 11, 2012, 3:33 PM
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Re: [csproul] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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Is the area just to the left of center in this picture?




csproul


Jul 11, 2012, 3:39 PM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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Yes, assuming the news article has the correct location.


(This post was edited by csproul on Jul 11, 2012, 3:44 PM)


socalclimber


Jul 11, 2012, 9:43 PM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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Sorry for the loss. My condolences.

Here's how you make sure this doesn't happen to you.

I always keep a couple of shoulder length slings with me. I rappel tons for work. What I do is to girth hitch a sling or two together from my harness. Then I clip the anchor with the sling(s) that are girth hitched to my harness.

Next I set up my rap and test it. The worst case is if I blow the setup, I only take a short static fall on the sling(s) girth hitched to my Harness. Once I AM SURE THE SYSTEM IS CORRECTLY SETUP, I DISCONNECT THE "TETHER" and start the rap.

This is the best and in my opinion, the only way to safely setup a rap and know that you won't end up on the deck from a screw up.

It's easy to screw up, and it's also easy to use this system so you don't end up on the ground in a bad way.

Sorry to hear this.

Robert


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Jul 11, 2012, 9:44 PM)


alexiskai


Jul 12, 2012, 5:52 AM
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More details - not sure if this confirms or rules out the working hypothesis we had. They make it sound like the anchor could have given way.
http://thestokesnews.com/bookmark/19251496


patto


Jul 12, 2012, 7:10 AM
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Re: [alexiskai] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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alexiskai wrote:
More details - not sure if this confirms or rules out the working hypothesis we had. They make it sound like the anchor could have given way.
http://thestokesnews.com/bookmark/19251496

You must be reading a different article to me. As far as I can see this is consistent with the climber not threading both sides of the rope.

socalclimber wrote:
Here's how you make sure this doesn't happen to you.
Agreed. There is no excuse not to weight your rappel while still safe. Every year there are a good half dozen of accidents reporting on this forum that would be prevented by this simple technique. Lives can be saved.


(This post was edited by patto on Jul 12, 2012, 7:13 AM)


forkliftdaddy


Jul 23, 2012, 3:05 PM
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Below is a personal account of the accident that I received from one of Eric's partners. Per the family's request, I've been holding onto this message for a while, giving them time to grieve and prepare themselves for the techinical details of the accident.

"Eric was going to be the first to rappel down to the landing of Sentinel Butress. I don't know if you know the climb, but it is two pitches. The first is ~150ft and the second is ~100ft. I know this climb was nearly second nature for Eric, but on Sunday we were using my friend Mitchell's rope instead of Eric's. Mitchell's rope was a good bit shorter, and lacked a mid-way marker, but we knew that it should have reached even when doubled over. Eric did a quick check to make sure the ropes were the same length and told us, "I can see both ends of the rope" before he started his descent. None of us know exactly what happened, but what makes the most sense to me is that these two ends were not quite the same length. The next thing we knew, an end of the rope whipped through the bolt and my friend Mitchell saw Eric laying on the landing. I don't think that he fell more than 30 ft or so, and we could hear him moaning loudly. A few seconds later he slipped off and fell more than the remaining pitch. It was quite a freak accident. It is sad to think that he may have been alright after his first fall, but unfortunately he did not realize the danger he was in. I quickly ran to help him and felt his last heartbeat, but I regret to say that I wasn't able to save him. It is quite difficult to lose a friend, but it eases the pain to know that he died happily doing what he loved."


redlude97


Jul 23, 2012, 3:49 PM
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forkliftdaddy wrote:
Below is a personal account of the accident that I received from one of Eric's partners. Per the family's request, I've been holding onto this message for a while, giving them time to grieve and prepare themselves for the techinical details of the accident.

"Eric was going to be the first to rappel down to the landing of Sentinel Butress. I don't know if you know the climb, but it is two pitches. The first is ~150ft and the second is ~100ft. I know this climb was nearly second nature for Eric, but on Sunday we were using my friend Mitchell's rope instead of Eric's. Mitchell's rope was a good bit shorter, and lacked a mid-way marker, but we knew that it should have reached even when doubled over. Eric did a quick check to make sure the ropes were the same length and told us, "I can see both ends of the rope" before he started his descent. None of us know exactly what happened, but what makes the most sense to me is that these two ends were not quite the same length. The next thing we knew, an end of the rope whipped through the bolt and my friend Mitchell saw Eric laying on the landing. I don't think that he fell more than 30 ft or so, and we could hear him moaning loudly. A few seconds later he slipped off and fell more than the remaining pitch. It was quite a freak accident. It is sad to think that he may have been alright after his first fall, but unfortunately he did not realize the danger he was in. I quickly ran to help him and felt his last heartbeat, but I regret to say that I wasn't able to save him. It is quite difficult to lose a friend, but it eases the pain to know that he died happily doing what he loved."
Is the second pitch 150ft from the ground or 150ft total(above the first 100ft pitch)?


csproul


Jul 23, 2012, 4:47 PM
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This email makes it a little confusing. The actual route "sentinel buttress" 1st pitch is about 80 ft and ends on a large ledge called the Crows Nest. Many routes end on this ledge and you could rap back to the ground in about 80 ft. Some of these other routes (eg Superdirect) are more like 120 ft to the Crows Nest and these are in direct line with the second pitch. The 2nd pitch is a little more than 100 ft. Typically, when rapping with a 60m rope the 1st rap (2nd pitch) back to Crows Nest comes up 5-10ft short and you have down limb just a bit of easy terrain, although some long 60m ropes have gotten me all the way. The Crows Nest is a good sized ledge, maybe 10-12ft deep and 20 ft wide and is large enough to comfortably and safely walk around on unroped. The typical rap is 80 ft from the Crows Nest to the ground, but a direct line to the ground (opposite side of the ledge from the rappel) is more like 120-150 ft.


moose_droppings


Jul 23, 2012, 5:00 PM
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In reply to:
The next thing we knew, an end of the rope whipped through the bolt

That does sound like only one side of the rope was through the rappel device.

Again, my condolences to all family and friends.


notapplicable


Jul 23, 2012, 10:27 PM
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moose_droppings wrote:
In reply to:
The next thing we knew, an end of the rope whipped through the bolt

That does sound like only one side of the rope was through the rappel device.

Again, my condolences to all family and friends.

Yes but it also says that he likely fell less than 30 ft. and the length of the rope and lack of middle mark was definitely emphasized. It would appear that he somehow rapped off the end of one strand and fell far enough to cause the loose end to pull thru the anchor.

When in doubt, knot the ends.


majid_sabet


Jul 23, 2012, 10:37 PM
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they should add the rope and drop it off the anchor just to confirm it was short by 30 feet.


moose_droppings


Jul 24, 2012, 7:37 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
In reply to:
The next thing we knew, an end of the rope whipped through the bolt

That does sound like only one side of the rope was through the rappel device.

Again, my condolences to all family and friends.

Yes but it also says that he likely fell less than 30 ft. and the length of the rope and lack of middle mark was definitely emphasized. It would appear that he somehow rapped off the end of one strand and fell far enough to cause the loose end to pull thru the anchor.

When in doubt, knot the ends.

Yes, your right. I must of glossed over the underlined part of your response above.


wonderwoman


Jul 24, 2012, 8:45 AM
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First off, I am so sorry to hear about this horrible accident. My condolences to the family, friends, and especially those climbers who were at the scene. It must have been so painful to witness this happen to a friend.

I am just curious to know how the other climbers were able to get down if the fallen climber took the rope with him. It is described as the rope going whipping through the bolt. I assume that means the rope was pulled through the anchor?


csproul


Jul 24, 2012, 9:37 AM
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majid_sabet wrote:
they should add the rope and drop it off the anchor just to confirm it was short by 30 feet.
There is almost no way a rope could be short by 30 ft unless it was not even. A 60 m rope is short by 10 ft at the most. I guess if it was a 50m rope that would make it an extra 5m higher and make it ~25ft short to the ledge. But in any case, the rope would have to really be uneven to pull one side down and cause the rope to pull through the anchor.


iknowfear


Jul 24, 2012, 11:42 AM
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notapplicable wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
In reply to:
The next thing we knew, an end of the rope whipped through the bolt

That does sound like only one side of the rope was through the rappel device.

Again, my condolences to all family and friends.

Yes but it also says that he likely fell less than 30 ft. and the length of the rope and lack of middle mark was definitely emphasized. It would appear that he somehow rapped off the end of one strand and fell far enough to cause the loose end to pull thru the anchor.

When in doubt, knot the ends.

yep.

What I generally do (not for accident prevention, but simply to be quicker in my setup) is to set up my prussik as soon as the first climber leaves the belay. I just thought about it, it might also stop the rope beeing pulled trough.


majid_sabet


Jul 24, 2012, 11:55 AM
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csproul wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
they should add the rope and drop it off the anchor just to confirm it was short by 30 feet.
There is almost no way a rope could be short by 30 ft unless it was not even. A 60 m rope is short by 10 ft at the most. I guess if it was a 50m rope that would make it an extra 5m higher and make it ~25ft short to the ledge. But in any case, the rope would have to really be uneven to pull one side down and cause the rope to pull through the anchor.


recently, inexperienced climber was left alone in the anchor by a semi-experienced climber to rig and rap down and she fell in similar situation off end of the line by some 90 feet , landed on both foot and survived but they amputated both legs three days later.


forkliftdaddy


Jul 25, 2012, 11:48 AM
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wonderwoman, I believe that being a party of 3 (or possibly 4) they had another rope with which to rap.


wonderwoman


Jul 25, 2012, 12:13 PM
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forkliftdaddy wrote:
wonderwoman, I believe that being a party of 3 (or possibly 4) they had another rope with which to rap.

That makes sense. I guess I wasn't thinking too hard when I posted. Condolences, again.


Gmburns2000


Jul 25, 2012, 1:45 PM
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iknowfear wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
moose_droppings wrote:
In reply to:
The next thing we knew, an end of the rope whipped through the bolt

That does sound like only one side of the rope was through the rappel device.

Again, my condolences to all family and friends.

Yes but it also says that he likely fell less than 30 ft. and the length of the rope and lack of middle mark was definitely emphasized. It would appear that he somehow rapped off the end of one strand and fell far enough to cause the loose end to pull thru the anchor.

When in doubt, knot the ends.

yep.

What I generally do (not for accident prevention, but simply to be quicker in my setup) is to set up my prussik as soon as the first climber leaves the belay. I just thought about it, it might also stop the rope beeing pulled trough.

several years ago I was saved by the knot used to tie two ropes together. the tag line wasn't the length we thought it was. I was lucky that day.


Partner robdotcalm


Jul 25, 2012, 5:34 PM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
several years ago I was saved by the knot used to tie two ropes together. the tag line wasn't the length we thought it was. I was lucky that day.

Does that mean that the knot tieing the ropes together jammed against the anchor and that's what saved you?

r.c


Gmburns2000


Jul 26, 2012, 7:00 AM
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robdotcalm wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
several years ago I was saved by the knot used to tie two ropes together. the tag line wasn't the length we thought it was. I was lucky that day.

Does that mean that the knot tieing the ropes together jammed against the anchor and that's what saved you?

r.c

yes. I was watching to see if the rope above was rubbing against any loose rock above me (or what I feared was loose rock) and didn't see the end of the short rope. The short end whipped through my device and I continued to safely, albeit rather alarmingly, rap on the other strand. The knot joining the ropes together jammed against the anchor and that prevented me from falling. If we had threaded it the other way then I would have fallen about 30 feet or so.

Upon throwing the ropes from the top, the two ends went over a bulge mid-way down. The long end went to the left of the bulge and we could clearly see lots of rope on the ground. It very clearly reached. The short end went to the right and we couldn't see it on the ground, but we also couldn't see the ground from that vantage point either, so thinking that both ropes were 60m it was obvious that the other reached, too.

We didn't think to put the non-visible rope on the other side of the bulge because, well, it was a fairly simple rappel and we figured we had all the information we needed: ropes were the same length, the one we could see was clearly on the ground, it was a rather short rappel that would use two ropes (a 70m probably would have worked easily, but a 60 was apparently too short), etc.

A knot in the end would have saved me, but so would have looking down the whole time. However, I was worried about potentially loose rock above me, too.


majid_sabet


Jul 26, 2012, 10:15 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
several years ago I was saved by the knot used to tie two ropes together. the tag line wasn't the length we thought it was. I was lucky that day.

Does that mean that the knot tieing the ropes together jammed against the anchor and that's what saved you?

r.c

yes. I was watching to see if the rope above was rubbing against any loose rock above me (or what I feared was loose rock) and didn't see the end of the short rope. The short end whipped through my device and I continued to safely, albeit rather alarmingly, rap on the other strand. The knot joining the ropes together jammed against the anchor and that prevented me from falling. If we had threaded it the other way then I would have fallen about 30 feet or so.

Upon throwing the ropes from the top, the two ends went over a bulge mid-way down. The long end went to the left of the bulge and we could clearly see lots of rope on the ground. It very clearly reached. The short end went to the right and we couldn't see it on the ground, but we also couldn't see the ground from that vantage point either, so thinking that both ropes were 60m it was obvious that the other reached, too.

We didn't think to put the non-visible rope on the other side of the bulge because, well, it was a fairly simple rappel and we figured we had all the information we needed: ropes were the same length, the one we could see was clearly on the ground, it was a rather short rappel that would use two ropes (a 70m probably would have worked easily, but a 60 was apparently too short), etc.

A knot in the end would have saved me, but so would have looking down the whole time. However, I was worried about potentially loose rock above me, too.


very lucky


iknowfear


Jul 26, 2012, 1:38 PM
Post #34 of 34 (1426 views)
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Re: [Gmburns2000] Moore's wall accident [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
several years ago I was saved by the knot used to tie two ropes together. the tag line wasn't the length we thought it was. I was lucky that day.

Does that mean that the knot tieing the ropes together jammed against the anchor and that's what saved you?

r.c

yes. I was watching to see if the rope above was rubbing against any loose rock above me (or what I feared was loose rock) and didn't see the end of the short rope. The short end whipped through my device and I continued to safely, albeit rather alarmingly, rap on the other strand. The knot joining the ropes together jammed against the anchor and that prevented me from falling. If we had threaded it the other way then I would have fallen about 30 feet or so.

Upon throwing the ropes from the top, the two ends went over a bulge mid-way down. The long end went to the left of the bulge and we could clearly see lots of rope on the ground. It very clearly reached. The short end went to the right and we couldn't see it on the ground, but we also couldn't see the ground from that vantage point either, so thinking that both ropes were 60m it was obvious that the other reached, too.

We didn't think to put the non-visible rope on the other side of the bulge because, well, it was a fairly simple rappel and we figured we had all the information we needed: ropes were the same length, the one we could see was clearly on the ground, it was a rather short rappel that would use two ropes (a 70m probably would have worked easily, but a 60 was apparently too short), etc.

A knot in the end would have saved me, but so would have looking down the whole time. However, I was worried about potentially loose rock above me, too.

yikes! glad you made it out of that one.


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