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Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22
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Dillbag


Mar 23, 2009, 9:00 AM
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Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22
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This was a tough weekend for climbers at the Gunks, there were three reported accidents. Two Saturday, one from falling gear and another with a climber decking with serious injuries. One on Sunday with an ankle / lower leg injury.

There is already a thread on gunks.com: http://www.gunks.com/...s.php/topics/43730/1

The first accident on Saturday involved climber on the Dangler fumbled a #2 camalot and yelled rock as it bounced off of the slab below the GT ledge. Climbers at the base scattered, with one climber running towards the cliff. This climber was struck in the head with the cam (not wearing helmet) and was removed quickly. He suffered lacerations and received staples for the wound.

The second accident occured 20-30 minutes after the first at Blood Mary which is next to the more popular Drunkards Delight. The climber fell apparently as he was placing his third piece of protection. The second piece came un-clipped (it is presumed that it was back-clipped) and he fell to the ground.
The climber was unconscious and had no pulse immediately after the impact. The climbers in the immediate area responded quickly and from all reports the rescue went incredibly well. Several people began CPR and rescue breathing which continued during the evac.
At the latest report the climber (Steve from CCC) was in intensive care and was responsive and awake.

Sunday, climber apparently fell from Ape Call rated R and injured their ankle / lower leg.

Best wishes for all those injured and speedy recovery! And a great community effort by all those who pitched in with the accident on Saturday.

Stay safe!


Adk


Mar 24, 2009, 4:39 AM
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Re: [Dillbag] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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All very lucky people they are to not have more severe
injuries.


gblauer
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Mar 24, 2009, 5:19 AM
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Re: [Adk] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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Not a great start to the season. Scary stuff.
Wishing a quick recovery to all.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Mar 24, 2009, 5:53 AM)


jaablink


Mar 24, 2009, 5:34 AM
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Re: [Dillbag] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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We were there this weekend and heard roomers of a few accidents. It is good to hear everyone survived and everyone on scene did a great job to ensure such.
Hope everyone has a speedy recovery.


clausti


Mar 24, 2009, 6:33 AM
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Re: [Dillbag] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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Shocked


fresh


Mar 24, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Re: [Dillbag] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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really terrible news. glad to hear everyone is gonna be all right. just a reminder that accidents can happen to everyone.

Dillbag wrote:
The second piece came un-clipped (it is presumed that it was back-clipped) and he fell to the ground.

not to nitpick, but it'd be good to know if it actually was back-clipped, or if it was a freak unclipping. might make a case for doubling biners on critical pieces.


shoo


Mar 24, 2009, 12:51 PM
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Re: [fresh] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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fresh wrote:
not to nitpick, but it'd be good to know if it actually was back-clipped, or if it was a freak unclipping. might make a case for doubling biners on critical pieces.

I don't think there's any way to tell. It would be useful to know what kind of draw was used here (if any). Trad draws or long slings significantly reduce the possibility of a back-clipped rope coming through the gate. If it was a sport draw or clipped straight from a cam sling, the possibility of failure by backclipping is much stronger.

In any case, it's usually easier to carry up a couple of super-light lockers for these critical placements instead of using a second 'biner.

I sincerely hope that all of the hurt climbers recover fully.


Partner happiegrrrl


Mar 24, 2009, 1:46 PM
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Re: [shoo] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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Yes, prayers for a full recovery for Steve. It sounds like he can use all the positive energy that can be mustered.

Steve - I am not sure I have ever met you yet, but I want to see you out at the cliffs, smiling in the sunshine and enjoying the day. Rest, recover, and get well.


boymeetsrock


Mar 24, 2009, 1:53 PM
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Re: [happiegrrrl] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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Echoing support and well wishes for Steve. Also glad all others will be OK.

I have to say that the community response to these incidents, especially Steve's, is really inspiring. Props to all involved.


Becknology


Mar 25, 2009, 7:12 AM
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Re: [boymeetsrock] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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Wow! Sending prayers from Nashville as well.

Sometimes it's even more important that belayers wear helmets than climbers; especially during a trad lead. Those bigger cams can do some damage!

I actually fell ON my wife from the third bolt once. Ever since then, she has always belayed with a helmet. And now we hardly even notice it's on; the helmet doesn't bother us.


esoteric1


Mar 25, 2009, 7:43 AM
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Re: [Becknology] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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here`s to a FULL recovery of all 3 people, icu isnt really too much fun, and after sedation its cool to print these threads out and read em to the people recovering. I dont know anyone involved but hope they charge tward a healthy happy life.


Partner j_ung


Mar 25, 2009, 5:44 PM
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Re: [esoteric1] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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Thank goodness everybody's gonna live! Well wishes for Steve from WV.

On another note, when did running when somebody yells rock become all the rage? I admit to feeling the same urge when I hear "rock," but jeez people, fight it. If somebody yells rock, you should...

1. NOT look up.
2. Stay where you are.
3. Protect your head.

Edit: Ideally you'll be wearing a lid, but for me to chastise anyone for it is a little pot-kettle-ish.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Mar 25, 2009, 5:45 PM)


jakedatc


Mar 25, 2009, 6:57 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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Jay Getting close to the rock tends to be a good idea in certain areas because it's more overhanging than above so you're protected. Problem is Dangler is a roof and the guy probably didn't make it close enough in time. also if the object hits the rock it will bounce off.. not just slide straight down. you can get unlucky either way.

Wear a helmet at the base of the Gunks..period. people drop shit.. loose rock.. especially this time of year from freeze/thaw looseness. People don't always call stuff either.. had a biner go wizzing by me from 2 pitches up a few years ago. not a word


jrathfon


Mar 26, 2009, 7:09 AM
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Re: [jakedatc] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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The guy actually made it to the rock, the problem is the mac wall directly under the dangler is a big long slab. The cam skipped once on the slab, then continued straight down. I think most people ran because I yelled rock rather emphatically, so they probably thought it was a 50 pounder and wanted to get the hell out of there. I just wanted to make sure people heard, as there was soem wind where I was near the top.

Yeah, the week previous at the Gunks I got nailed with a softball of ice in the shoulder, that was sore for a week. Before we left the ground to do Something Interesting into the Dangler, three almost golf ball sized rocks hit around me on the ground (three separate times), from Three Pines, with not a word.


blueeyedclimber


Mar 26, 2009, 8:01 AM
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Re: [jrathfon] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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Best wishes to all. Definitely not a good way to start the season, but I am glad they all survived.

This may be the most dangerous part of the year. Falling ice, compromised rock due to freezing and thawing, newer climbers wanting to get a jump on the season, more seasoned climbers antsy to get out but are not in mid-season form.

Just be careful. Mistakes and accidents can happen to anyone.

Josh


Partner cracklover


Mar 26, 2009, 8:52 AM
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Re: [jrathfon] Gunks Accidents March 21 & 22 [In reply to]
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jrathfon wrote:
The guy actually made it to the rock, the problem is the mac wall directly under the dangler is a big long slab. The cam skipped once on the slab, then continued straight down. I think most people ran because I yelled rock rather emphatically, so they probably thought it was a 50 pounder and wanted to get the hell out of there. I just wanted to make sure people heard, as there was soem wind where I was near the top.

Yeah, the week previous at the Gunks I got nailed with a softball of ice in the shoulder, that was sore for a week. Before we left the ground to do Something Interesting into the Dangler, three almost golf ball sized rocks hit around me on the ground (three separate times), from Three Pines, with not a word.

Not directed at you jrathfon...

If someone yells ROCK! from a top pitch at the Gunks (or lots of other places) you often can't hear them at all right at the base, due to the nature of the rock. Several best practices follow from this fact:

  1. Don't assume someone didn't yell ROCK! Maybe they did, but because of where you were standing, you couldn't hear them.

  2. Don't assume that if you knock something off and yell ROCK! that the people at the base will hear you. From the moment you knock something off, a chain of events occurs that you have very little control over.

  3. If you see something falling, always yell ROCK! even if you weren't the one who let it loose. Who gives a damn if you get icy stares from the people on the ground who think it was you that let that rock loose. From where you are, you might be audible to people below, while the original knocker-off is not. You might be saving lives!

  4. Accidents will happen, but there are a lot of things you can choose to do to minimize the likelihood of knocking rocks off ledges, such as:

    1. When you have the choice to rap or walk off a ledge that's covered with looseness, and there are people below you, choose the walk off.

    2. When you get to a belay ledge, move your stance (and the rope) away from the pebbly areas if you can.

    3. Before you start belaying, take a minute to carefully clear up any loose rocks that are close to the edge.

    4. If you're at a ledge with lots of loose rock, keep an eye on the loops of rope as you're belaying - they love to grab rocks and throw them over the edge. If you see a loop of rope start to pick up a rock, just pause long enough to grab the rock and move it somewhere safe.


Little things that won't cost you much time or effort, and could make the difference between you contributing to a serious accident or not.

GO


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