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Major Accident on the zorro face
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brendenshowers


Sep 26, 2009, 5:44 PM
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Major Accident on the zorro face  (North_America: United_States: Pennsylvania: Southeastern_Region: Birdsboro)
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Does anyone have all the details about the poor girl who fell from the top of the Zorro shuts today? I was climbing on the lower slabs when we all heard a deck followed by screams. I don't want to say anything because i don't know for sure, all i know is that a slew of cops and medics came. I hope the girl is OK but I'm pretty sure it was really really serious. Any info or word is appreciated.


MikeJohnson


Sep 26, 2009, 6:16 PM
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Re: [brendenshowers] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I dont know any details, but I was there today. I called 911. They asked where I was and I told them I was at the old quarry on 82 where the police target shoot. I told them what was on the board. They kept asking for further directions, so I told them about the North entrance but how you cant get cars to the quarry from the north. I live in Reading so I have never come in from the south. If anyone who comes from the south can leave detailed instructions on how to get to the quarry it would be appreciated. God forbid somethign happens again there may be better directions to give the 911 operator.

Secondly, I too was climbing on the lower slabs. When I was leaving for the day a cop told me "if you are ever behind that fence again you will be arrested". I think he may be uninformed, there are three climbing areas down there. Has anyone else ever heard that the lower slabs or lower big wall or west face was out of bounds?


gblauer
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Sep 26, 2009, 7:33 PM
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Re: [MikeJohnson] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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Holy cow...I was there today, left in the 530ish range. Must have happened right after I left. I saw the ambulances running up old 82.

I hope it wasn't the group of women that I directed to that climb. They were new to the Bird, looking for moderate climbs.

Post when you know something!


abobo123


Sep 26, 2009, 7:53 PM
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Re: [brendenshowers] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I was there today as well. I talked to two women who were on their way to that wall to do the inside corner around 3:00, warned them that I didn't think it was a very good climb, and loose and you could use a .5 camalot to add some extra pro to it. Around 4 we walked past it and there were 3 people standing at the bottom, but I don't know who.


wonderwoman


Sep 26, 2009, 8:12 PM
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Re: [brendenshowers] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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Moved from regional to accidents & injuries by ww.


rockgoat


Sep 27, 2009, 6:31 AM
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Re: [abobo123] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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Any updates? I was walking out when all the fire fighters drove by.
Wish a speedy recovery.


gblauer
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Sep 27, 2009, 6:49 AM
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Re: [rockgoat] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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This is speculative based on the accounts of nearby climbers. This is NOT confirmed.

THe general thinking is that she was cleaning the anchors, getting ready to rap and did not clip her ATC to her harness. She released her personal anchors, sat back and fell to the ground. (It's about 40 feet to a chossy landing.) According to climbers, she was awake and in a lot pain when they took her out of the quarry.

Prayers to the climber and all who care for her.

Thanks to our fellow climbers for their quick response and calling 911 and directing the police/fire and ambulance to our quarry.


caveandclimb


Sep 27, 2009, 7:27 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I was there yesterday as well, and from what I heard, I agree with gblauer. The place was crawling with volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel - we stopped to ask the fire chief if there was anything we could do to help and then cleared out of the way. They seemed to have things well under control when we felt comfortable leaving.

I hope the injured woman is OK - I've been through an accident like this before and I'm just glad she was conscious and responsive when she came out. That's much better shape than what I feared.

I guess the important thing to say is that if the victim or her friends stumble across this post: I know what you're going through / have gone through, and I wish you all the strength in the world. Feel free to PM me if you guys need anything.

Climb on.

-Kyle


spam23


Sep 27, 2009, 9:48 AM
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Re: [caveandclimb] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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My partner and I left the big wall yesterday around 4:00 and saw this group of women working Zorro corner.

My heart goes out to this climber and her partners. I wish her the best and a rapid recovery. I also have friends who have been through similarly traumatic experiences and I'm sure they would be able to offer some insight and support if the anyone in the group is interested.

The frequency of accidents at Birdsboro is quite alarming. We are very lucky to have this area to climb and to share with the locals. I think its worth starting a conversation on how we might make this area safer for beginner and advanced climbers alike(training, registration with the county, etc.). With access around Pennsylvania continually threatened, I believe it is very important for the climbing community to be proactive both in protecting our climbers and assuring access for future generations. I'd be interested to hear other people's feelings on this.


coolcat83


Sep 27, 2009, 9:56 AM
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Re: [spam23] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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spam23 wrote:
I think its worth starting a conversation on how we might make this area safer for beginner and advanced climbers alike(training, registration with the county, etc.).

I think that is a discussion for another thread, but inviting more gov. regulation leads down a slippery slope to that point that we'll all have to take climbing courses, exams, get licenses and who knows what else, I for one don't want that.


MikeJohnson


Sep 27, 2009, 10:17 AM
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Re: [spam23] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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Besides the accident yesterday I had only heard of one other accident. I dont think that is a high frequency of accidents. My basic understanding has been that both, unfortunately, have been due to human error. I think the bird is a safe place to climb. The only suggestion I would put forward is placing some shuts at the bottom of 1 climb so begginers could learn how to correctly and safely clean a climb.


gblauer
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Sep 27, 2009, 11:30 AM
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Re: [MikeJohnson] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I agree with Mike. We have only had three accidents:
1) Mountain biker rode off the top of cliff near Zorro, she was badly injured, but survived (this was maybe 4 years ago)
2) Climber rapped off the end of his rope also near zorro (I beleive it was the new climb, face is great...choss is not)
3) Yesterday's accident

While we can't protect everyone, we can protect each other. As irritating as it might get, ALWAYS ask your partner to retrace their rope etc when cleaning. Do not remove your personal anchors until you feel you belayer (getting ready to lower you) or your feel yourself on rappel.

If the accident occured as we are speculating, it was entirely avoidable. A quick reminder by your climbing partner to re-trace can save your life. (In my short [7 year] climbing career, I have failed to thread the anchors 2x while cleaning. Of course I retraced and found my errors.)


I gave those girls a tour of the Bird at around 2PM, it was their first time there. I do not know where they were from or where the normally climb. They asked for some moderates (5.7-5.9) and I gave them some suggestions including the Zorro area. The steadfastly stated that they were not interested in 6's as a warmup.

If any one finds out her identity, please let me know, we would like to send her a get well card from all of the local area climbers.

Thanks again to all who assisted.


gblauer
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Sep 27, 2009, 4:30 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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From the newspaper:

ROBESON TWP.

Visitor injured in fall while rock climbing

A 36-year-old Washington, D.C., woman was injured in a rock-climbing accident Saturday at the former H&K quarry in Robeson Township, township police said.

Vanessa Little was climbing with two friends and was changing ropes when she fell 35 feet to the bottom of the quarry, landing on her back, Officer Matthew Smith said.

Little, who was not wearing a helmet, suffered a cut to her head and a leg injury in the 5:40 p.m. fall at the quarry off the closed portion of Route 82. Firefighters, paramedics and police from Robeson and Birdsboro responded and carried her to an ambulance. She was taken to Reading Hospital, where she was listed in fair condition late Saturday.

"She was lucky," said Smith, who added that rescuers were able to go through locked gates and use a walking trail to get to Little.

The quarry is owned by Birdsboro, which permits rock climbing there, police said.

I called the hospital, she is in intensive care and cannot receive phone calls at this time. Visitors are allowed.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Sep 27, 2009, 4:51 PM)


gblauer
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Sep 27, 2009, 7:34 PM
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Re: [curt] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I heard from one of her climbing partners. She pretty much confirmed the description of the accident and indicated that Vanessa has a badly broken hip and is being monitored for internal bleeding.

Thoughts and prayers to all who are involved.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Sep 28, 2009, 5:51 AM)


adh24


Sep 28, 2009, 6:22 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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My prayers out to the injured woman for a speedy recovery. I cringe just thinking of the landing below the climbs in this area. My partner was the one injured this time last year and he was lucky as well, falling on some of the more “softer” ground that was present. A little to the left or right of his decking and the injuries would have been far worse.


arthurdeko


Sep 28, 2009, 6:39 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I agree with Mike. We have only had three accidents:
1) Mountain biker rode off the top of cliff near Zorro, she was badly injured, but survived (this was maybe 4 years ago)
2) Climber rapped off the end of his rope also near zorro (I beleive it was the new climb, face is great...choss is not)
3) Yesterday's accident

While we can't protect everyone, we can protect each other.

Being #2 on the injury list, I can attest to the importance of a partner as a second pair of eyes. I accept full responsibility for my fall, and I would not have fallen had I asked my partner to check up on me. I even remember noticing that I was having trouble focusing while I was on the anchors, but I kept that to myself. He didn't check on me because he never expected me to something as stupid as not feeding enough rope through the anchors. It's good to know now, that i am that stupid.

Anyway, my heart goes out to the woman who fell. Not only does it hurt, but it's terrifying. God bless you.


socalclimber


Sep 28, 2009, 7:57 AM
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Re: [arthurdeko] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I don't know the area, therefore don't know the anchor setup for the climb. Was she on top of the route, or was she on a stance at the anchors?

You know there is a real simple way to prevent these types of accidents from happening. Connect yourself to the anchor with a sling girth hitched to your harness, load your rap device for the rap. Once your ready, pull your self in tight with your rap device thus taking your weight off of the sling. If everything is ready and solid you're good to go, if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.


reg


Sep 28, 2009, 8:00 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt


socalclimber


Sep 28, 2009, 8:08 AM
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Re: [reg] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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reg wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt

Uh no, maybe I should be a little more specific. By short I mean to the tune of 6" inches to a foot. All's you're going to do is fall on the sling.

If you can hurt yourself this way, then you really shouldn't be climbing.


JAB


Sep 28, 2009, 8:14 AM
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Re: [reg] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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reg wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
......if not, you only risk a short "fall" onto the sling.
.

ouch! good way to get hurt

Maybe you misunderstood what he meant? A 5-10 inch fall onto a sling will not hurt you.


socalclimber


Sep 28, 2009, 8:20 AM
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Re: [JAB] Major Accident on the zorro face [In reply to]
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I guess I'd better add one caveat, DON'T DO THIS ON MANKY ANCHORS. It's fine for sport setups or where you know the anchor is bomber.

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