Forums: Climbing Information: Accident and Incident Analysis:
Camelback Rock Climbers Have Few Options in Bee Attacks
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Dec 26, 2012, 5:11 AM
Post #26 of 26 (1357 views)

Registered: Dec 26, 2012
Posts: 4

Re: [bearbreeder] Camelback Rock Climbers Have Few Options in Bee Attacks [In reply to]
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This past Saturday 12/22/2012, I went to a sports crag in MG, Brazil, - and everything was going really well. Great amazing gigantic roof with all kind of hard sports routes.
The day was going really well. At the end of the day, my partner was working on a route when he got stung by bees almost on the end of the route. He asked me to lower him quickly and so I did.
He was not able to clear up my last 3 quick draws from the route, so he left behind. Being stubborn and somewhat no knowing what I was getting into it, I decided to wait about 30 min and I would go back there and get back the 3 quickdraws.
To make a long story short, while I was setting up on the top to be lowered, I saw myself in the middle of a mad bee hive. In the hurry of things, my daisy carabineer got stuck inside the rap anchor ring (the ring was a very small one btw), and I was not able to lowered. I had tons of bees around me on attack mode.
That was the time when I started to realize that I was really in trouble, and I had to somehow release the carabineer to be lowered. Also at that point my belayer already was being stung by lots of bees as well.
Since I knew that I was the only person that could save myself, I was able to remain calm, and focus on the task at hand, which was to release my carabineer from the rap ring. The setup was weird and the rope weight was not letting me to release it. After much struggle and praying as my focus mantra, I was able to release the weight from the system by climbing on the wall and with my right hand release everything.
I think I got around 50 stings, which was not too bad after all I think because I remained calm. My body also reacted well to the stings and after a day or two; I was OK other than a very tired and cramped body.
This was one of the scariest things I have experienced. Before, I would think that would never happen to me. But now I realize that outdoors can take turns very fast into realms we never expect.
Accidents are accumulation of little mistakes, and I think that was the case as well. The main one was to go back to recover 3 quick draws only 30 min after the first attack. From now one if attacked by bees, I would take my time to go back and If I do, I would go better prepared (Fully covered including face and eyes). Also I will be ready to leave it behind if not sure.
I wanted to share this experience 1- for myself to register the incident and learn from it and 2- so others can learn from it w/o having to experience it.
Thank you

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