Forums: Climbing Information: Injury Treatment and Prevention:
swarmed by bees on lead
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Injury Treatment and Prevention

Premier Sponsor:

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


gblauer
Moderator

Sep 3, 2007, 5:28 PM
Post #1 of 52 (8973 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2814

swarmed by bees on lead
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I was leading a climb at the gunks this past weekend and I was 20 feet from the anchors when I disturbed a nest of yellow jackets. Like a cartoon...they swarmed out of the nest and surrounded me. They crawled up my pants, under my helmet and into my ears. I was on moderate terrain so I hightailed it to the anchors with the bees in tow. A couple of guys on the ledge anchored me in and I curled into a ball to protect my head and face. I swatted at any bee that landed on me until they finally flew away. It seemed like I was stung 10x or so, but, when I got home and counted the stings it was more like 25 stings. Strangely, I was remarkably calm through the entire event and it only really began to hurt after I rapped down. I climbed the rest of the weekend with few ill effects.

Have you ever been swarmed mid climb?

(For gunkers, the route was Dennis and it was 20 feet below the GT ledge on the right side of the climb, in a beautiful vertical crack.)


(This post was edited by gblauer on Sep 4, 2007, 8:22 AM)


wonderwoman


Sep 4, 2007, 9:37 AM
Post #2 of 52 (8855 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 14, 2002
Posts: 4269

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My God! That is so horrible! Glad you're okay, though. Good for you for keeping a cool head. That's amazing!


clee03m


Sep 4, 2007, 11:15 AM
Post #3 of 52 (8803 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 29, 2004
Posts: 782

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I don't know if it's urban legend or what, but I heard someone at RRG got surrounded by bees when he was off belay but before he put himself on rappel, and simply unclipped and fell to his death. One of those stories that really scares me. I'm glad you are OK, and I am glad to hear that it's possible to keep a cool head even in that circumstance.


EPiCJAMES


Sep 4, 2007, 11:19 AM
Post #4 of 52 (8800 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 7, 2007
Posts: 391

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

sorry to hear about your misfortune. i was talking with my buddy the other day, and he told me of a similar story. he was up a ways, put his hand in a crack, and outcomes hornets. i'll have to ask him where it was at, i don't remember. he said rapping down was a bitch. damn that would be scary.


bigfatrock


Sep 4, 2007, 11:20 AM
Post #5 of 52 (8797 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 2, 2006
Posts: 1321

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

That is scary as hell, I fear something like this because I loath bee's wasps, etc. I heard about one guy who was 20 feet off the deck and about to clip and he stuck his finger in a pocket, right into a wasp next. He got stung several times but maintained his composure some how and down climbed 20 feet.


altelis


Sep 4, 2007, 11:52 AM
Post #6 of 52 (8748 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 10, 2004
Posts: 2168

Re: [bigfatrock] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

yea, i was climbing some classic corner (forgot which...) in seneca. i had run it out quite a bit because i saw a perfect place for a piece up above in a great deep parallel crack. so i climb up, get a good stance and try to put in a cam. well i keep getting resistance and hear this sorta crunchy sound, like wax paper being balled up. the placement was above my head, so i put the cam back on my harness and climbed up to take a look. well, the resistance was coming from a hornets nest about 2 inches back into the crack. by the time i climbed up to it there were about a dozen mean looking hornets staring at me. so i said screw protection, gave a quick and X rated description of the current situation to my partner and proceeded to VERY QUICKLY free solo the rest of the pitch to the anchor. I told him, hey, the hornets might be angry....but at least you are on top belay!!!!!!


Valarc


Sep 4, 2007, 12:01 PM
Post #7 of 52 (8733 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 19, 2007
Posts: 1473

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

This is one of the things that scares me most about climbing (or any other outdoor activity, for that matter). I'm severely allergic to bees, and a sting from a hornet could mean big trouble if I'm way out in the back woods. I carry an epi pen when I go out, but really really hope I never have to use it.


blueeyedclimber


Sep 4, 2007, 12:05 PM
Post #8 of 52 (8723 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 19, 2002
Posts: 4602

Re: [altelis] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I hate wasps and hornets, as anyone that knows me will attest to. This is a scenario that enters my head all the time. I often wonder how I will react. I recently bailed off of a climb because of a hornets nest. I was coming to the crux and took a look up at the climbing above it. There it was, right under the roof. My guess was that my head would move right by it. It was a mixed climb and there was a huge bolt protecting the crux, so I took advantage of it and bailed.

SOrry to hear it, but glad you're all right.

Josh


dbrayack


Sep 4, 2007, 12:08 PM
Post #9 of 52 (8717 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 16, 2002
Posts: 1260

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I got swarmed once while Soloing...it sucked...luckily, they kept stinging me on the top (no flesh to inject venom) of the head, so I climbed fast past them....killed a bunch and now have a good story.


ant_zacchino


Sep 4, 2007, 12:28 PM
Post #10 of 52 (8693 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 4, 2007
Posts: 53

Re: [dbrayack] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

On our last day at NRG, over Labor day weekend, I was walking up on a small two foot wide ledge covered with dirt and grass that rose along the cliffs and away from the ground. I was about 15 or 20 feet up from the ground (which was covered in small rocks and boulders) when I felt something sharp on my right ankle and then heard the cacophony of buzzing. I stepped on a yellow jackets nest. Man where they pissed. What seemed like hundreds swarmed me and I barley kept myself from falling to certain injury by jumping and leaping and swinging off tree branches in what I am told was a rather comical looking dance. I ran while screaming "Get'em off me! Get'em OFF Me!" apparently in a rather comical voice. So I guess, overall the event was pretty funny. Total I have over 15 stings all though it felt like double that while it was happening. Several on my ankles and thighs. A few on my ribs (I was not wearing a shirt) lower back, upper back and triceps and one nasty one on the back of my neck. If I was even slightly allergic, I probably would not be sending this post. The rest of the day my body was pretty sore and numb for most of the day. I was feeling much better the next morning and only a few of the stings were still sore to the touch. Bees suck!


onceahardman


Sep 4, 2007, 2:52 PM
Post #11 of 52 (8635 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 3, 2007
Posts: 2473

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

back in the day...

i worked as a climbing guide at an area near the gunks. i had some little kids, 12 years old or so. i rigeed a top rope, and never saw a wasp nest under a small overhang as i rapped the route. while i was belaying the 2nd kid, i saw a couple wasps buzzing around, and spotted the nest, and warned the kid clibing to watch out. well, doesn't he start sketching, and give the nest a solid, but accidental kick! so here is this first timer, 30 feet off the deck (on top rope, but understandably scared) getting stung, but afraid to let go, just taking a beating. finally he let go, and i lowered him fairly quickly.

he didn't sign up for any more climbing that summer.


lena_chita
Moderator

Sep 6, 2007, 8:19 AM
Post #12 of 52 (8522 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5701

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Ouch!! I'm glad you were O.K. Kudos for keeping a cool head in the middle of it.

I've never been swarmed, but I did almost step on a wasp nest on the ledge on one of the climbs at NRG. It would not have been pleasant.


Gmburns2000


Sep 6, 2007, 8:30 AM
Post #13 of 52 (8509 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 6, 2007
Posts: 15152

Re: [lena_chita] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've been swarmed and stung by bees like that before, but never while climbing. Even when you can run away, there's no way to get away from them until they quit. I was with my dad at the time and he ran the other way because he is allergic. Not knowing if I was, he rushed me to the hospital and told the nurse the situation (that i was stung, that he is allergic and we don't know if I am). I don't remember what she did, but she told the doc the same thing over the phone rather urgently. We waited, waited, waited for him to arrive. My dad was freaking out. Twenty minutes later he comes strolling in, whistling and pretty much ignoring my existence. He then turned around and explained the reason why he didn't rush down was because if I were allergic then I would have been dead before even arriving at the hospital. I guess it's one of those things where you want to be pissed at the doc for being right, but not really. Crazy

PS - Poke-O-Moonshine - watch out for hornets at the bottom of Libido in the bottom crack.


campo


Sep 6, 2007, 11:49 AM
Post #14 of 52 (8456 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 18, 2004
Posts: 212

Re: [Gmburns2000] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

You get an extra two letter grades for climbing while being chased.

The Gunks are notorious for having yellow jacket nests in bad places. Bouldering can be the pits when you find a nest int he ground the hard way.


Gmburns2000


Sep 6, 2007, 12:17 PM
Post #15 of 52 (8442 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 6, 2007
Posts: 15152

Re: [campo] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

campo wrote:
You get an extra two letter grades for climbing while being chased.

The Gunks are notorious for having yellow jacket nests in bad places. Bouldering can be the pits when you find a nest int he ground the hard way.

My example above was finding a ground nest while swatting my fourth shot from the deep rough. They didn't like my hacks.

I've also heard there are stories of snakes in cracks and on ledges in the Gunks. That would freak me more than anything. Anyone had that happen?


divad


Sep 9, 2007, 6:24 AM
Post #16 of 52 (8325 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 15, 2006
Posts: 17

Re: [Gmburns2000] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Yup, Not at the Gunks but at Ragged Mt. in Ct. Put my hand in a crack around a corner and felt something soft. Pulled my hand back, waited a while and then peeked around into the crack to find mysellf eyeball to eyeball with a blacksnake.
Oh.....I was soloing at the time.


rudolphluciani


Sep 11, 2007, 7:48 AM
Post #17 of 52 (8225 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 13, 2006
Posts: 63

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I was swarmed slightly once, but not stung on Don't Take Your Guns to Town at the Red. I stuck three fingers in a pocket and like fifty bees poured out. I skipped the hold and moved on.


cchildre


Sep 11, 2007, 8:14 AM
Post #18 of 52 (8203 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 5, 2004
Posts: 671

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Happy to hear you had escaped relatively in tact. Scary stuff.

My experience. Sitting Bull Falls has a active bee hive, said to contain killers, but we debate that fact. Anyhow, the hive is next to a couple of routes, and my buddy working on one away from the bees, about 30' away. Bee flew up his sleeve, and he got stung trying to crush it. Then a sting to the face, he fell, called bees and to be lowered. Belayer dropped him and basically caught him just off the deck and was yarding rope as he ran for the lower wall. Bees exploded out of the hive, and swarmed the spot where he got stung. Drew ended up climbing the route in long pants, rain coat on , hood up, with the sleeves taped. Dodged a bullet.

Remember, a bee sting, releases a pheremoan that incites the hive to swarm and attack the mark. You get stung by more than one, run, and be sure to go away from the hive, not to it, LOL. Don't jump into a lake, as the bees just wait on the surface where you come up and attack you again. Best to run, and keep running till your positive the pursuit is off. I am no expert, but I did stay in a Holiday Inn....


billcoe_


Sep 11, 2007, 9:20 AM
Post #19 of 52 (8156 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 30, 2002
Posts: 4668

Re: [cchildre] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

yup, happened to me last Sat. for the first time ever. I posted this on Cascade Climbers and this is essentially a copy.

Working on my wildlife understanding skills. It seemed like @ 2000 Yellow-Jacket Hornets and I had about a 15 second conversation that seemed to take at least 20 min. Basically we agreed that our communication skills are poor to non-existent.

I don't understand their buzzing noise and need for space very well, and they seem to think that loud little girl screams and arm waving means keep stinging some more.


I though it was 20-30 stings, but the next day I was able to count some of them (where I didn't not know they'd even hit) , and it looks to be easily over 200 total stings for sure. I suppose it would have been a 2 day weekend, but it just seemed like taking Sunday off and watching the swelling would be easier. Went for a bike ride with family and stayed on pavement.



I was to the right of the chimney in this picture about 300' right, out of sight.

I was rapping about a 250' cliff with a 165' rope and another 50m rope in the backback. Had a ground spotter about a 1/4 mile out from the wall to direct me to the line were were trying to get on. With little lightweight travel binocs, he could see the swarm on my face and surrounding me. I was fully locked off with a Cinch and getting ready to saw on a tree limb at the time: and I was unprepared for the swarm, as I unfu*ked myself and started rapping again, the rope got tangled and stuck. I totally forgot about the saw in my haste to bail, glad it didn't cut the rope.

Fortunately, they stopped following. I was @ 20' under the nest. I was happily right next to the only tree in the area, and that next rope barely reached to the ground. After 5 min of catching my breath and sawing a few dead limbs off, I slung the tree, left a rap ring, tied off the rope and bailed.

Fu*kers probably were unaware that I had a can of raid in my car which I'd used to off their brothers who had unfortunately chosen the middle of the trail in to this area for a home just the week before. Rapped down, hiked out and got the can. Hiked back in, then up and my buddy - who had better clothes, rapped down and did em in after we determined that the rope wouldn't pull up. Pretty much that's how my whole day went. We pulled some rocks off the route as well.

Was able to then rappel in an orderly manner and pull the rope.


gmasterb


Sep 11, 2007, 9:31 AM
Post #20 of 52 (8148 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 29, 2005
Posts: 12

Re: [gblauer] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I had a climbing partner inform me that he was highly allergic to bee stings and that I should be careful to watch him closely but not too closely because too tight of a belay would cause the rope to hit the bees nest. This was while we were seven pitches up the original route on Whitesides in NC. Oh yeah, he never carried an eppy pen. Sometime it amazes me who I will trust my life to.


tradmanclimbs


Sep 11, 2007, 10:10 AM
Post #21 of 52 (8120 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 24, 2003
Posts: 2599

Re: [gmasterb] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Once on a thin face climb at the Beer walls, Daks. run out on a thin face climb. stayed cool and got a blue alien in then climbed FAST. Only got 3 or 4 stings. i would blw on the wasps as they landed on my arms. they were nested in the crack i stuck my fingers into. Once 4th classing up to the start of lost Soles. Whitehorse NH


bent_gate


Sep 11, 2007, 10:48 AM
Post #22 of 52 (8103 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 1, 2004
Posts: 2620

Re: [Valarc] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Valarc wrote:
This is one of the things that scares me most about climbing (or any other outdoor activity, for that matter). I'm severely allergic to bees, and a sting from a hornet could mean big trouble if I'm way out in the back woods. I carry an epi pen when I go out, but really really hope I never have to use it.

About a 100 people die in the US each year from stings and account for more deaths in the United States than any other envenomation.

50% of deaths occur within 30 minutes of the sting, and 75% occur within 4 hours.

Remember that the EpiPens effectiveness is only for 10 to 20 minutes. If you have a longer retreat to civilization than that, you may be in trouble as it wears off.

You should also carry some Benadryl or chewable Chlortrimeton . As soon as you administer the EpiPen, you should administer the Benadryl. So hopefully, when the epinephrine wears off, the Benadryl will be enough to stave off the reaction.

And enjoy the climb!


bent_gate


Sep 11, 2007, 11:46 AM
Post #23 of 52 (8075 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 1, 2004
Posts: 2620

Re: [bent_gate] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

And here are some other Bee/Wasp sting situations and accidents from this site alone:

Killer Bees at Lower Devil's Canyon (Queen Creek, AZ)
Bees Render Climber Unconscious

Climber dies at Camelback Mountain
Sting-y bastige

A sad Majid-esque montage of injury and death. Frown


microbarn


Sep 11, 2007, 12:25 PM
Post #24 of 52 (8051 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 12, 2004
Posts: 5920

Re: [ant_zacchino] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

ant_zacchino wrote:
On our last day at NRG, over Labor day weekend, I was walking up on a small two foot wide ledge covered with dirt and grass that rose along the cliffs and away from the ground. I was about 15 or 20 feet up from the ground (which was covered in small rocks and boulders) when I felt something sharp on my right ankle and then heard the cacophony of buzzing. I stepped on a yellow jackets nest. Man where they pissed. What seemed like hundreds swarmed me and I barley kept myself from falling to certain injury by jumping and leaping and swinging off tree branches in what I am told was a rather comical looking dance. I ran while screaming "Get'em off me! Get'em OFF Me!" apparently in a rather comical voice. So I guess, overall the event was pretty funny. Total I have over 15 stings all though it felt like double that while it was happening. Several on my ankles and thighs. A few on my ribs (I was not wearing a shirt) lower back, upper back and triceps and one nasty one on the back of my neck. If I was even slightly allergic, I probably would not be sending this post. The rest of the day my body was pretty sore and numb for most of the day. I was feeling much better the next morning and only a few of the stings were still sore to the touch. Bees suck!

Were you on Beer Wall on Sunday? We were the group that arrived just after you and hit up the easy climbs to the left of you guys. Didn't your partner also find a nest on the 5.11 to the right of St. Pauli Girl too?


scotchie


Sep 11, 2007, 12:54 PM
Post #25 of 52 (8040 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 30, 2004
Posts: 260

Re: [bent_gate] swarmed by bees on lead [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The Camelback fatality is documented in Accidents in North American Mountaineering. I think the year was 2005 but I'm not sure.

The analysis said their only chance was a tandem or counterweight rappel. There wasn't enough time for any other option.

I've heard that we should assume all bees in Arizona could be Africanized "killer bees", and that it is a better option to let it sting you than to swat at it, or else it will surely release an "attack pheromone".

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

Forums : Climbing Information : Injury Treatment and Prevention

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook