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Risk and Consequence
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tarzan


Nov 20, 2008, 9:23 PM
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Risk and Consequence
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As climbers we all assume that we all understand the great risks involved with what we do. Every time I step up to the rock I take a deep breath and accept the fact that I might not walk away from this one. In the end consequences don't matter to me. Whether I send or fall climbing is what I love. But recently I was hit with a rude awakening.

It is a long story but here it is in short. I was on a short, one pitch trad route. My belayer was new to the sport but I totallly trusted him. The climb starts on a ledge that is thirty feet up the side of a huge boulder. So basicly, gear pulled, I fell and pulled the belayer over the ledge with me.

I realize now that when you tie in with someone you are binding your fate. You may accept the risk but you also have to be damn sure that they understand what could happen to them. I'm sure he did, but there is a difference between knowing and KNOWING. I walked away with stiches in my head. The Belayer broke his femer, ankle, and wrist. It could have been a lot worse. I'm just thankful that I get to learn from this without fucking someone's life up for good.


majid_sabet


Nov 20, 2008, 9:26 PM
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Re: [tarzan] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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tarzan wrote:
As climbers we all assume that we all understand the great risks involved with what we do. Every time I step up to the rock I take a deep breath and accept the fact that I might not walk away from this one. In the end consequences don't matter to me. Whether I send or fall climbing is what I love. But recently I was hit with a rude awakening.

It is a long story but here it is in short. I was on a short, one pitch trad route. My belayer was new to the sport but I totallly trusted him. The climb starts on a ledge that is thirty feet up the side of a huge boulder. So basicly, gear pulled, I fell and pulled the belayer over the ledge with me.

I realize now that when you tie in with someone you are binding your fate. You may accept the risk but you also have to be damn sure that they understand what could happen to them. I'm sure he did, but there is a difference between knowing and KNOWING. I walked away with stiches in my head. The Belayer broke his femer, ankle, and wrist. It could have been a lot worse. I'm just thankful that I get to learn from this without fucking someone's life up for good.

ok,take a big deep breath and give us the long story please.


moose_droppings


Nov 20, 2008, 9:36 PM
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Re: [tarzan] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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tarzan wrote:
I realize now that when you tie in with someone you are binding your fate.

I would of thought this would of occurred to you sooner in your climbing career.

Like the first time you tied in with another person maybe.

Thanks for your honesty and story. Glad you lived to tell it and learned from it.


suilenroc


Nov 20, 2008, 10:55 PM
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Re: [tarzan] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I realize now that when you tie in with someone you are binding your fate.

Excellent point. I am sorry to hear of your miss happening... I too would like to hear the longer version.


onceahardman


Nov 21, 2008, 5:19 AM
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Re: [tarzan] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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I think this is a good illustration of the new format...

The accident, and it's causes, belong on the "Accident Analysis" heading. The injuries suffered by you and your belayer belong here.

Best wishes for a full recovery.


dingus


Nov 21, 2008, 6:13 AM
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ACJ


Nov 21, 2008, 6:39 AM
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Re: [tarzan] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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tarzan wrote:
As climbers we all assume that we all understand the great risks involved with what we do.

I realize now that when you tie in with someone you are binding your fate. You may accept the risk but you also have to be damn sure that they understand what could happen to them. I'm sure he did, but there is a difference between knowing and KNOWING. I walked away with stiches in my head. The Belayer broke his femer, ankle, and wrist. It could have been a lot worse. I'm just thankful that I get to learn from this without fucking someone's life up for good.

Do climbers really understand all of the risks? I doubt it.

I think it is important to recognize that when you (anyone) is out climbing that everyone in the area is at risk. Whether it is an incident like yours where the belayer gets hurt or another where someone needs a rescue for whatever reason, which in turn puts the rescue team at risk.

If we really look at the consequences and worst case scenarios we can make climbing sound really scary and dangerous. On the reverse side of that if we don't think about it at all it's pretty narcissistic.

Hope you both heal quick and heal well so that no ones life is "fucked up for good" as you said.


lodi5onu


Nov 21, 2008, 6:41 AM
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Re: [tarzan] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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tarzan wrote:
As climbers we all assume that we all understand the great risks involved with what we do. Every time I step up to the rock I take a deep breath and accept the fact that I might not walk away from this one. In the end consequences don't matter to me. Whether I send or fall climbing is what I love. But recently I was hit with a rude awakening.

It is a long story but here it is in short. I was on a short, one pitch trad route. My belayer was new to the sport but I totallly trusted him. The climb starts on a ledge that is thirty feet up the side of a huge boulder. So basicly, gear pulled, I fell and pulled the belayer over the ledge with me.

I realize now that when you tie in with someone you are binding your fate. You may accept the risk but you also have to be damn sure that they understand what could happen to them. I'm sure he did, but there is a difference between knowing and KNOWING. I walked away with stiches in my head. The Belayer broke his femer, ankle, and wrist. It could have been a lot worse. I'm just thankful that I get to learn from this without fucking someone's life up for good.

Unfortunately, with those injuries, the belayer's active life is "fucked up for good." Anybody who has had broken bones, especially at joint areas can tell you that. Of course it could have been worse, and YOU were only 50% responsible, but it does sound to me like a very serious accident. Hope your recoveries go as smoothly as possible.


johnwesely


Nov 21, 2008, 6:44 AM
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Re: [tarzan] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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I was wondering if you could explain this better? was it possible to belay off the ground as opposed to belaying off the ledge?


blondgecko
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Nov 21, 2008, 12:16 PM
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Re: [dingus] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
onceahardman wrote:
I think this is a good illustration of the new format...

The accident, and it's causes, belong on the "Accident Analysis" heading. The injuries suffered by you and your belayer belong here.

Best wishes for a full recovery.

Oh good god the Librarians are coming, the Librarians are coming!

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

DMT

Too late - they're here.

Moved from IT&P to A&IA.


brownie710


Nov 21, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Re: [ACJ] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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honestly i think the realization and perspective of how instantly fatal and life changing climbing can be is a point all climbers understand, sometimes. I know for myself I was initially aware as i taught/worked in an adventure program with kids so that knowledge had to be highlighted. on the other hand after countless routes that knowledge somehow slides to the back of you mind until.... a huge fall/accident where you are laid up for a while and your mortality is front and center... until another huge stretch of intense of climbing without consequences. That's just human nature i think, or it's just my insignificant opinion based on my own experiences


(This post was edited by brownie710 on Nov 21, 2008, 12:59 PM)


Partner robdotcalm


Nov 21, 2008, 8:40 PM
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Re: [brownie710] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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Not t anchoring the belayer when he was on a ledge high off the ground was a significant error. From the brief description it is difficult to know if other precautions could have been taken to minimize the risk.

Best wishes to both for good recoveries.

Cheers, r.c


camhead


Nov 21, 2008, 9:46 PM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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hey Tarzan, I think I heard about that accident; it was on the crack on Titanic Boulder, right? Best wishes for you and your belayer, that sucks.


jacques


Nov 22, 2008, 10:01 AM
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Re: [ACJ] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Do climbers really understand all of the risks? I doubt it.

If we really look at the consequences and worst case scenarios we can make climbing sound really scary and dangerous. On the reverse side of that if we don't think about it at all it's pretty narcissistic.

I have a different phylosophy. when I began to climb in Quebec, I climbed in area far from everything. Even a broken ankle can lead to death because we are alone on the cliff and in the wood. So, I always look at the consequences before I climb, and make mistake too.

In the accident, the belayer wasn't at an anchor in a position of ABC and the first pro hold, because both climbers will be down the ledge. It is a common mistake and I did it regularly when I belay in sport climbing.

When I am at the sharp end of the rope, I verify where I'm going to fall and I look at my belayer, looking at the scenery as I climbed, with all that slack rope, not in a good position for belaying...this is where it's make all the difference. A belayer who know what to do because he look at the consequences and worst case scenarios in a positive way, he is a more safer climber. As he imagine himself as the one who made the error and found the solution to avoid the injury. So, an accident report is not a time to critic and injure climber, but a time to learn security. One climber said; "if you have time to thing, there is always a solution".

As it is easier to climb than to learn, how can we favors the autonomy of beginner climber? How can we favors the capacity of climber to find solution in case of all possible mistake over climber who just accept the risk that climbing is dangerous and we have to pay for our mistake?


(This post was edited by jacques on Nov 22, 2008, 10:11 AM)


rockie


Nov 23, 2008, 2:53 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Risk and Consequence [In reply to]
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johnwesely wrote:
I was wondering if you could explain this better? was it possible to belay off the ground as opposed to belaying off the ledge?

Or tie off on something, the belayer I mean, so that they don't get pulled off with the lead climber should they take a fall, is that not a common thing to do? Just asking.


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