Forums: Climbing Information: Accident and Incident Analysis:
Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Accident and Incident Analysis

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next page Last page  View All


majid_sabet


Jun 24, 2007, 9:41 AM
Post #1 of 159 (16521 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8367

Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

 

FAYETTEVILLE — A Pittsburgh man was injured Saturday after falling about 40 feet while rock climbing in the New River Gorge National Park, a park ranger said.

About 3:30 p.m., the 33-year-old man fell and hit the ground in the Kaymoor area, an abandoned mining site near Fayetteville, said Frank Sellers, a ranger with the National Park Service.

The man, whose name was not released, was with one climbing partner, who attempted to break his fall using safety ropes, Sellers said.

http://sundaygazettemail.com/section/News/2007062340


lena_chita
Moderator

Jun 24, 2007, 12:49 PM
Post #2 of 159 (16450 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5801

Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yeah, I heard it from my husband last night. He was there and retrieved the guy's quickdraws.

The route was Greenpiece-5.10b. The guy was almost at the shuts when he fell. I know exactly the spot b/c I've fallen there, too -- and I've seen at least 3 people fall at the same spot since then.

Except, unlike MY belayer, the girl who belayed this guy didn't catch him...

"attempted to break his fall using safety ropes"-- yeah, right. DH didn't see the fall itself, he just heard the rope swishing through the device and then a loud thud of the body... followed by a scream.

From what I heard (whatever the hearsay is worth) the belayer was very inexperienced, possibly lead belaying for the first time. The device was ATC-XP. There was probably still some friction when the belayer lost control of the rope, which slowed the guy down some, and he hit soft (relatively speaking) mud with his heels when he decked, which probably diffused some of the force, too.


Partner j_ung


Jun 24, 2007, 2:28 PM
Post #3 of 159 (16371 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18689

Re: [lena_chita] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I heard about this last night, but had no details. I hope the guy's okay.


tobiasfunke


Jun 25, 2007, 9:28 AM
Post #4 of 159 (16100 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 19, 2006
Posts: 18

Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

There was no soft mud. It was hard packed dirt.

Does anybody know how the guy's doing? How bad his injuries are?

(This post was edited by tobiasfunke on Jun 25, 2007, 9:30 AM)


majid_sabet


Jun 25, 2007, 9:37 AM
Post #5 of 159 (16073 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8367

Re: [tobiasfunke] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

By Michelle James
Register-Herald reporter

The rock climber who was injured Saturday afternoon after falling about 40 feet in the New River Gorge area was listed in fair condition Sunday night, according to a spokesperson at Charleston Area Medical Center.

Frank Sellers, a ranger with the New River Gorge National River, said 33-year-old Weston Mark-ham of Pittsburgh, Pa., was about halfway to the top of the 75- to 80-foot rock, near the old Kaymoor Mine site in Fayetteville, when he plummeted to the ground.

Sellers said Markham, an experienced climber who had been to the area before, had traveled, with a climbing companion, down for the weekend.

Following Markham’s accident, Sellers said another climber called 911.

Because of the location of the rock, Sellers said emergency responders had to walk about a mile through the woods to get to Markham, who was carried out about 40 minutes later.

Sellers said Markham, who was transported, by HealthNet, from Fayetteville High School to Charleston Area Medical Center, was alert during the rescue and complained of pain in his arm, neck and back.

In addition to NPS officials, the Fayetteville Fire Department and the Fayette County High Angle Rescue Team also responded.


Partner j_ung


Jun 25, 2007, 12:46 PM
Post #6 of 159 (15876 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18689

Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

That's about the extent of what I know, too. Talked to the climbing ranger today. He added that the two of them didn't actually know each other very well. Might be a case of not screening partners before roping up with them. He also told me the girl claimed the climber was out of sight, which I don't understand. There's clear line of sight from the base all the way up, IIRC. That leaves me wondering if perhaps it wasn't a different route. Flight of the Gumby maybe? (Yes, I see the irony. No need to point it out.)

The route in question, Greenpiece, is 10b. It's kind of a one move wonder, but the one move is tricky. Many a 5.10 climber has been surprised by it and either bailed or found him/herself airborne.


Partner j_ung


Jun 25, 2007, 12:47 PM
Post #7 of 159 (15872 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18689

Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Oh, also, that high crux is probably a bit higher than 40'. Closer to 60 maybe.


ja1484


Jun 25, 2007, 12:52 PM
Post #8 of 159 (15856 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 10, 2006
Posts: 1935

Re: [j_ung] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

j_ung wrote:
That's about the extent of what I know, too. Talked to the climbing ranger today. He added that the two of them didn't actually know each other very well. Might be a case of not screening partners before roping up with them. He also told me the girl claimed the climber was out of sight, which I don't understand. There's clear line of sight from the base all the way up, IIRC. That leaves me wondering if perhaps it wasn't a different route. Flight of the Gumby maybe? (Yes, I see the irony. No need to point it out.)

The route in question, Greenpiece, is 10b. It's kind of a one move wonder, but the one move is tricky. Many a 5.10 climber has been surprised by it and either bailed or found him/herself airborne.


Greenpiece is definitely clear line of site bottom to top. Definitely sounds more like the climber was on Gumby, as that's the ONLY route I can think of in that section of Butcher's Branch where the leader can get out of sight of the belay.

Anyway, glad to hear the guy's ok, but this is why I don't pick partners lightly.


kostik


Jun 25, 2007, 1:44 PM
Post #9 of 159 (15768 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 26, 2005
Posts: 275

Re: [lena_chita] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

lena_chita wrote:
Yeah, I heard it from my husband last night. He was there and retrieved the guy's quickdraws.

All right, I'm lena_chita's husband. This guy and the girl started with Flight of the Gumby, but I heard that it was too hard for her, so they moved to the left. The guy asked me if the route I was belaying was Boing. I said no. It was Bicycle Club and the Boing is around the corner. I pointed them at the Green Piece and Low Voltage as the easiest routes after FotG.

The guy was very cheerful and self-confident. He asked the girl if she minded to try the Green Piece. She was very shy and it looked like this was her first or one of the first climbing outdoors. They moved over. We finished with our route and the last I saw was this guy clipping the first draw on the Green Piece. He was doing it kinda awkward.

We went around the corner to the HArdcore female thrash. Then I heard girl's scream, buzz of the rope and a thud of impact. My friend next to me said, 'I don't like the sound of it.'

We went over and there was a group of climbers around the fallen guy. He was very pale, but breathing. There was some blood bubbling out of his mouth, but it could be from a broken tooth. He was complaining about lower back pain. He could move his feet and feel his toes.

His rope was clipped into the last bolt of the Green Piece. There were no draws at the chains. An ATC-XP was still on the rope a few feet above the ground.

There was a doctor and a first response expert among the climbers. They did everything very quick and professionally. The guy was extremely lucky to have them around. The FR guy was holding his head and neck still all the time until the paramedics came. The doctor was examining him, talking to him constantly to make sure he was conscious, and taking his vitals. Another young man was wiping blood and applying pads to the guy's bleeding lacerations.

So, what happened? As far as I heard, the girl and the guy had climbed together in the gym only twice. She did not even know his last name. It sounded like she was paying him the rope when he fell at the pumpy crux right below the chains. I've seen people taking 20 ft falls from this spot. It may actually benefit from an extra bolt.

She might have released her grip on the rope while giving him slack. As he fell, she panicked and could not grab the rope back.

He fell about 60 ft and hit this hard-packed dirt feet first. There were two craters. Then he skidded about 10-15 feet down the slope with rocks and roots on it.

Paramedics gave him an IV. I did not see how they transported the guy to the helicopter. Apparently it took some effort to carry him over the stream bed. With help of Melissa, an experienced trad climber from the Gunks, I took down his draws and the rope and gave them to a couple from New Jersey, Melissa and Scott. Scott ran up the hill with the guy's gear to deliver it to his car, helicopter, or whatever.

I did not climb any more that day. When we left, there were two O-shaped biners, a toothbrush and a roll of tape on a colored string on a rock, which could have belonged to the injured guy.


billcoe_


Jun 25, 2007, 2:28 PM
Post #10 of 159 (15692 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2002
Posts: 4668

Re: [kostik] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

kostik wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
Yeah, I heard it from my husband last night. He was there and retrieved the guy's quickdraws.

All right, I'm lena_chita's husband. This guy and the girl started with Flight of the Gumby, but I heard that it was too hard for her, so they moved to the left. The guy asked me if the route I was belaying was Boing. I said no. It was Bicycle Club and the Boing is around the corner. I pointed them at the Green Piece and Low Voltage as the easiest routes after FotG.

The guy was very cheerful and self-confident. He asked the girl if she minded to try the Green Piece. She was very shy and it looked like this was her first or one of the first climbing outdoors. They moved over. We finished with our route and the last I saw was this guy clipping the first draw on the Green Piece. He was doing it kinda awkward.

We went around the corner to the HArdcore female thrash. Then I heard girl's scream, buzz of the rope and a thud of impact. My friend next to me said, 'I don't like the sound of it.'

We went over and there was a group of climbers around the fallen guy. He was very pale, but breathing. There was some blood bubbling out of his mouth, but it could be from a broken tooth. He was complaining about lower back pain. He could move his feet and feel his toes.

His rope was clipped into the last bolt of the Green Piece. There were no draws at the chains. An ATC-XP was still on the rope a few feet above the ground.

There was a doctor and a first response expert among the climbers. They did everything very quick and professionally. The guy was extremely lucky to have them around. The FR guy was holding his head and neck still all the time until the paramedics came. The doctor was examining him, talking to him constantly to make sure he was conscious, and taking his vitals. Another young man was wiping blood and applying pads to the guy's bleeding lacerations.

So, what happened? As far as I heard, the girl and the guy had climbed together in the gym only twice. She did not even know his last name. It sounded like she was paying him the rope when he fell at the pumpy crux right below the chains. I've seen people taking 20 ft falls from this spot. It may actually benefit from an extra bolt.

She might have released her grip on the rope while giving him slack. As he fell, she panicked and could not grab the rope back.

He fell about 60 ft and hit this hard-packed dirt feet first. There were two craters. Then he skidded about 10-15 feet down the slope with rocks and roots on it.

Paramedics gave him an IV. I did not see how they transported the guy to the helicopter. Apparently it took some effort to carry him over the stream bed. With help of Melissa, an experienced trad climber from the Gunks, I took down his draws and the rope and gave them to a couple from New Jersey, Melissa and Scott. Scott ran up the hill with the guy's gear to deliver it to his car, helicopter, or whatever.

I did not climb any more that day. When we left, there were two O-shaped biners, a toothbrush and a roll of tape on a colored string on a rock, which could have belonged to the injured guy.

Thank you.

I gotta stop reading these stories.....


majid_sabet


Jun 25, 2007, 2:30 PM
Post #11 of 159 (15687 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8367

Re: [billcoe_] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

I should write a book full of stories


carabiner96


Jun 25, 2007, 3:02 PM
Post #12 of 159 (15642 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 10, 2006
Posts: 12556

Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [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:
I should write a book full of stories

I'd read it, provided it was all illustrated with microsoft art.


bent_gate


Jun 25, 2007, 3:42 PM
Post #13 of 159 (15585 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 1, 2004
Posts: 2620

Re: [majid_sabet] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
I should write a book full of stories

About you and your omniscient expertise in the area? Someone already beat you to it:



Wink


alpinismo_flujo


Jun 25, 2007, 4:54 PM
Post #14 of 159 (15500 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 13, 2006
Posts: 603

Re: [billcoe_] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yeah these reports are bummers. Man I have to be more selective on choosing belayers....

Hope the dude is ok.

Thanks to everyone that helped him! Cool


Partner drector


Jun 25, 2007, 5:23 PM
Post #15 of 159 (15460 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 27, 2002
Posts: 1037

Re: [alpinismo_flujo] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

alpinismo_flujo wrote:
Yeah these reports are bummers. Man I have to be more selective on choosing belayers....

Hope the dude is ok.

Thanks to everyone that helped him! Cool

I see people belaying and letting go of the rope with their brake hand on every trip to any crag. I'm not surprised that strnagers don't say anything but it sucks. I'm going to start being an ass and telling people they are belaying wrong.

I too hope the dude is okay. I also hope the belayer doesn't get too wrapped up in feeling like crap. It's likely that no one told her that catching a fall is hard and that letting go of the rope for any amount of time, no matter how short, can be diasterous.

Dave


medicus


Jun 25, 2007, 8:28 PM
Post #16 of 159 (15373 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 1, 2006
Posts: 727

Re: [drector] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

drector wrote:
alpinismo_flujo wrote:
Yeah these reports are bummers. Man I have to be more selective on choosing belayers....

Hope the dude is ok.

Thanks to everyone that helped him! Cool

I see people belaying and letting go of the rope with their brake hand on every trip to any crag. I'm not surprised that strnagers don't say anything but it sucks. I'm going to start being an ass and telling people they are belaying wrong.

I too hope the dude is okay. I also hope the belayer doesn't get too wrapped up in feeling like crap. It's likely that no one told her that catching a fall is hard and that letting go of the rope for any amount of time, no matter how short, can be diasterous.

Dave

Yeah... I have been reading through so many accidents that are belayer error... It made me realize that I am going to have to be more selective of who belays for me too. Which unfortunately leaves me with about 2 people that I'll let belay for me that I regularly climb with.


mikitta


Jun 25, 2007, 9:02 PM
Post #17 of 159 (15336 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 6, 2007
Posts: 301

Re: [medicus] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Glad the guy is in stable condition and hoping he won't have any residual issues (other than a hightened sense of safety and awareness of who he picks to belay his leads from now on).

You know what is really freaky? About a week ago (Father's Day) I took the kids hiking at NRG. We only did the top of the Endless Wall trail system and never went down any of the ladders. But the night before we went, I had this vision of someone grounding like that right in front of me. It's totally coincidental I'm sure, simply a product of my own imagination - as I often run over in my mind what I would do in such a circumstances. I even do it when I get ready for a road trip - think about how to deal with a MVA with multiple injuries and patients (I used to be an EMT and worked search and rescue and ski patrol - so it's an old habit). Really kind of disturbing that a real fall should occure so soon after my visit that is so similar to my personal musings.

I'll be adding this guy and his belayer to my prayers.

God Bless,
mik


wolfski


Jun 25, 2007, 9:02 PM
Post #18 of 159 (15336 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 11, 2007
Posts: 41

Re: [medicus] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

i see people taking there breaking hand off the rope all the time when i go climbing. this is my first year climbing so i feel a little out of place being the noob and calling someone out, but do you think i should mention it to them? ive never taken my breaking hand off the rope but i do see people switch hands (always leaving one had on the rope), granted i dont think i would ever practice this technique because i could totally see it leading to bad habbits but do you guys consider it a safe means of belaying?


mikitta


Jun 25, 2007, 9:25 PM
Post #19 of 159 (15307 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 6, 2007
Posts: 301

Re: [wolfski] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I was taught it is a cardinal sin to ever have a hand off the break. If you have to scratch your anatomy, you keep a hand on the break side of the rope. Period. I think it is ackward to hold the break with my left hand (opposing side from where I usually belay) so I try to keep scratching to my left hand so my right is ALWAYS on the break. With that said, there are a few times I've held the break with left hand to readjust something - but never near a crux and always with pleanty of communication with my lead climber - preferably when they are at a stance or tucked in bomb proof on a crack so I can do what ever it is fast and get back to being a safe belayer.

God Bless,
mik


squamishdirtbag


Jun 25, 2007, 9:42 PM
Post #20 of 159 (15280 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 17, 2005
Posts: 115

Re: [mikitta] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

What about palms up on the brake hand?
I always go palms down, but see people all the time goin up, totally doesn't seem right at all. Anyone held a big whip palms up?


crackrn


Jun 25, 2007, 9:48 PM
Post #21 of 159 (15272 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 282

Re: [squamishdirtbag] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Caught my husband on a 25 footer at Indian Creek with palms up. Not the hugest whip but pulled me up a decent amount. That's how he taught me to belay; tried it palm down after reading some posts here and felt totally insecure.


aerili


Jun 25, 2007, 10:09 PM
Post #22 of 159 (15249 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 12, 2006
Posts: 1166

Re: [lena_chita] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

lena_chita wrote:
From what I heard (whatever the hearsay is worth) the belayer was very inexperienced, possibly lead belaying for the first time.

Regardless of whether or not this girl was inexperienced, the story highlights the crucially serious role the lead belayer plays in climbing situations and how little regard some climbers look upon the skill involved.

In other "do I know how to belay?" threads on here, I have actually read posts by climbers who said they did not see what the big deal was, it only takes about five or ten minutes to learn how to lead belay properly, it's not rocket science, yadda yadda. I take note to avoid these people like Phoenix asphalt on a July day.


medicus


Jun 25, 2007, 10:40 PM
Post #23 of 159 (15226 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 1, 2006
Posts: 727

Re: [aerili] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

aerili wrote:
I take note to avoid these people like Phoenix asphalt on a July day.

Lol... I don't know if it is just that I have been browsing the forums for too long today or what, but I found this funny.


On topic though, I would like to compile a list of belayer related accidents. Not necessarily just fatality related, so I don't know that the "statistical publication" is really what I am looking for... but just a list of different cases where the belayer should have saved the climber and didn't... After all the reading I've done today, I'd like to read what mistakes and/or techniques have led to ground falls and whatnot. Besides just searching through this site thread by thread, any suggestions from anyone? I may resort to just compiling a list of things on rc.com, but I don't want the list to have a bias of some sorts by just containing stuff from here.


overlord


Jun 26, 2007, 12:30 AM
Post #24 of 159 (15193 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 14120

Re: [wolfski] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

wolfski wrote:
i see people taking there breaking hand off the rope all the time when i go climbing. this is my first year climbing so i feel a little out of place being the noob and calling someone out, but do you think i should mention it to them? ive never taken my breaking hand off the rope but i do see people switch hands (always leaving one had on the rope), granted i dont think i would ever practice this technique because i could totally see it leading to bad habbits but do you guys consider it a safe means of belaying?

definitely. i even keep my hand on the break end even when belaying with a grigri (unless im feeding slack).


majid_sabet


Jun 26, 2007, 12:52 AM
Post #25 of 159 (15188 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8367

Re: [overlord] Gorge climber injured in 40 ft fall [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

As I mentioned this many times before, such incidents are all about the leader with most experience.

The belayer did not know any better, you as the most senior and most experienced member of your 2 party team must insure that your life is in the right hand and well protected .

You put your life in the hands of a beginner, you are asking for injuries and or death.

First page Previous page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 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?
$53.96 (10% off)
$76.46 (10% off)
$17.95 (10% off)
$12.56 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook