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Joshua Tree Screw Up
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GlowingAscender


Nov 12, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Joshua Tree Screw Up
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Frown Okay well most of you will probably laugh at me for this one.... but thought this would be a good reminder for all on how important rope management is...

I was leading (Trad) at Joshua Tree on a 3 pitch route called "The Swift"... it turned out to not be so "swfit"...

1st time on the route and got to what was basically a ledge... not really a precarious part of the climb but no place to place any pro... so I had to go way right on the ledge and find a crack where I could stick in a nut and then sling it way back over to the left.... did this and felt pretty good about it....

so I continued on and being my 1st time on the route ended up slightly off-route on the variance... figured this out but decided to go on rather than down climb and get back on... well made the small roof and lost my footing and fell... no big deal other than a bruised ass and ego...

however what I didn't know would later bite me in the ass....

after the fall I decided to go back to the original route... got up onto the face of the dihedral and suddenly realized that I wasn't getting any slack in the rope... I yelled down to my belayer and he said he was giving me rope but I couldn't pull it up...

to make a really long story shorter... when I fell the rope got pulled into the crack of the flake at the ledge below... so now instead of a rope with a belay on the end I had a tension line attached to me....Crazy

in the end I built an anchor point and my belayer had to basically "free climb" up to where the rope got stuck and get it free...

so my error in making sure the rope was managed properly put us both at risk.... we made it the rest of the way and back down again but it could have turned out bad....


coolcat83


Nov 12, 2008, 11:14 AM
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Re: [GlowingAscender] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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good report, always good to learn. my only thought is, what do you mean anchor point? one piece of gear? or an anchor, if an anchor i'd probably anchor the rope rap it then ascend it therefore not risking your belayer sloloing


GlowingAscender


Nov 12, 2008, 11:24 AM
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Re: [coolcat83] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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coolcat83 wrote:
good report, always good to learn. my only thought is, what do you mean anchor point? one piece of gear? or an anchor, if an anchor i'd probably anchor the rope rap it then ascend it therefore not risking your belayer sloloing

Yes, I built a Four point anchor.... but I was tied into the end and couldn't pull anymore rope up to me... so I don't think what you are talking about was possible... unless I am missing something which could be possible....Tongue


coolcat83


Nov 12, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Re: [GlowingAscender] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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GlowingAscender wrote:
coolcat83 wrote:
good report, always good to learn. my only thought is, what do you mean anchor point? one piece of gear? or an anchor, if an anchor i'd probably anchor the rope rap it then ascend it therefore not risking your belayer sloloing

Yes, I built a Four point anchor.... but I was tied into the end and couldn't pull anymore rope up to me... so I don't think what you are talking about was possible... unless I am missing something which could be possible....Tongue

if you were stuck with a rope that you couldn't pull and a anchor pp you couldn't lower then i suppose my option is out.


majid_sabet


Nov 12, 2008, 11:30 AM
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Re: [GlowingAscender] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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you passed the self-rescue 101A course. Now let's see if you could do it with the same thing except this time, rope become stuck in some crack but then the lower part breaks and falls to belayer.


colatownkid


Nov 12, 2008, 11:37 AM
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Re: [coolcat83] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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coolcat83 wrote:
GlowingAscender wrote:
coolcat83 wrote:
good report, always good to learn. my only thought is, what do you mean anchor point? one piece of gear? or an anchor, if an anchor i'd probably anchor the rope rap it then ascend it therefore not risking your belayer sloloing

Yes, I built a Four point anchor.... but I was tied into the end and couldn't pull anymore rope up to me... so I don't think what you are talking about was possible... unless I am missing something which could be possible....Tongue

if you were stuck with a rope that you couldn't pull and a anchor pp you couldn't lower then i suppose my option is out.

not true. clip into the anchor with a sling. untie. tie the end of the rope to the anchor to fix the line. rappel the rope to the point at which it is stuck. unstick the rope. ascend the line however you desire. clip back into anchor. tie back in. break down anchor. resume climbing.


GlowingAscender


Nov 12, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
you passed the self-rescue 101A course. Now let's see if you could do it with the same thing except this time, rope become stuck in some crack but then the lower part breaks and falls to belayer.

Yeah I would have to say that would suck big time... although another funny part about it was I was only about 10 feet from the top of the climb... so if it had broke I could have finished the climb (basically a scramble up at this point) and then would have had to scramble down (class 4) get another rope from the ground... scramble back up... set up an anchor... and then repel down to my partner and do it again....Unsure


jdefazio


Nov 12, 2008, 11:38 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
you passed the self-rescue 101A course. Now let's see if you could do it with the same thing except this time, rope become stuck in some crack but then the lower part breaks and falls to belayer.

Remove tractor tire from anchor, climb inside, and bombs away!


coolcat83


Nov 12, 2008, 1:00 PM
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Re: [colatownkid] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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colatownkid wrote:
coolcat83 wrote:
GlowingAscender wrote:
coolcat83 wrote:
good report, always good to learn. my only thought is, what do you mean anchor point? one piece of gear? or an anchor, if an anchor i'd probably anchor the rope rap it then ascend it therefore not risking your belayer sloloing

Yes, I built a Four point anchor.... but I was tied into the end and couldn't pull anymore rope up to me... so I don't think what you are talking about was possible... unless I am missing something which could be possible....Tongue

if you were stuck with a rope that you couldn't pull and a anchor pp you couldn't lower then i suppose my option is out.

not true. clip into the anchor with a sling. untie. tie the end of the rope to the anchor to fix the line. rappel the rope to the point at which it is stuck. unstick the rope. ascend the line however you desire. clip back into anchor. tie back in. break down anchor. resume climbing.

notice i said if you couldn't lower the pp, maybe out of gear, unprepared ect... and u just repeated what i said


qqac


Nov 12, 2008, 1:39 PM
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Re: [GlowingAscender] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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By describing your second as basically free climbing up to the point where the rope was stuck, do you mean the person just climbed up trailing a growing loop of slack from his tie-in, with no other safety backup? A safer way would be for your second to rig a self-belay, treating the rope coming down from above as a fixed line. He could do this with an autolocking belay device, or an ascender, or even a friction knot using a sling, with the occasional backup knot tied into the trailing side of the fixed line.


GlowingAscender


Nov 12, 2008, 2:13 PM
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qqac wrote:
By describing your second as basically free climbing up to the point where the rope was stuck, do you mean the person just climbed up trailing a growing loop of slack from his tie-in, with no other safety backup? A safer way would be for your second to rig a self-belay, treating the rope coming down from above as a fixed line. He could do this with an autolocking belay device, or an ascender, or even a friction knot using a sling, with the occasional backup knot tied into the trailing side of the fixed line.

Yeah that was basically the situation.... not sure if he did rig up a self-belay or not... it is a great suggestion... to be completely honest I got so caught up in my end of it I forgot to ask how he did do it....Unsure

once he got the rope free of the crack I had him on belay and then we were caught up with trying to get up and through the Class 4 scramble back down before it got completely dark...


socalclimber


Nov 15, 2008, 7:22 AM
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Re: [GlowingAscender] Joshua Tree Screw Up [In reply to]
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"in the end I built an anchor point and my belayer had to basically "free climb" up to where the rope got stuck and get it free... "

Yup, you screwed up. You likely will again. But, you did exactly what you needed to do. You were thinking. There were other things you could have done to protect the second, but at least you got the situation under some form of control.

Thinking is without a question the biggest thing missing in climbing these days.

Do you think I'm kidding? Go over the last few years of accident reports on this site alone.

Good for you. Now, don't be stupid and forget the lessons you learned!


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