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mike_devildog


Jun 14, 2010, 6:35 AM
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Accident Kaymoor NRG
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I read about this in the paper online today..

http://www.dailymail.com/News/201006130301

Anyone know what truly happened and led to this accident? Prayers and thoughts out to the family!


Partner mr8615


Jun 14, 2010, 6:38 AM
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Re: [mike_devildog] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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Bump, ditto on the thoughts and positive energy.


dbogardus


Jun 14, 2010, 6:51 AM
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Re: [mike_devildog] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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I heard about this at my local gym but not sure if it's the same accident, or even true, so this could be totally bogus.

Info I got was that she tried to clip into the top anchor but the biner was only through the rubber tip of a petzel spirit and not through the actual draw.

Personally, I dont know how that could happen at all (besides the fact she should be on belay the whole time while clipping) but I guess stranger things have happened.

In any case, thoughts go out to the family and friends.


bigjonnyc


Jun 14, 2010, 7:19 AM
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Re: [dbogardus] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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dbogardus wrote:
...but the biner was only through the rubber tip of a petzel spirit and not through the actual draw...

I don't think this is really feasible. If this were the case, I don't think the rubber piece and carabiner would stay on the draw while bouncing around on a harness, let alone when clipping a rope to it.


dbogardus


Jun 14, 2010, 7:25 AM
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Re: [bigjonnyc] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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bigjonnyc wrote:
dbogardus wrote:
...but the biner was only through the rubber tip of a petzel spirit and not through the actual draw...

I don't think this is really feasible. If this were the case, I don't think the rubber piece and carabiner would stay on the draw while bouncing around on a harness, let alone when clipping a rope to it.

I agree. I tried it out and it didnt even come close to staying on. Thought it was a odd that I heard that and then this thread appeared...

...although mentioning that probably started more confusion than needed.


newrivermike


Jun 14, 2010, 7:29 AM
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Re: [mike_devildog] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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This was a horribly tragic accident. Absolutely heartbreaking for the friends and family of the victim. Lets stop the speculation for just 10 minutes while I write up exactly my understanding of what happened. I think it's best to get "what happened" out of the way so we can move on to a post of thoughts and condolences. There is a big lesson to be learned from this accident. One that could potentially prevent this from happening again. Stand by.
Mike


mike_devildog


Jun 14, 2010, 7:30 AM
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Very well put Mike!

Peace and Gratitude


bigjonnyc


Jun 14, 2010, 7:35 AM
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Re: [newrivermike] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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Thanks Mike. I realized shortly after I posted my response how insensitive I was being just posting about the possibility of a speculated cause of the accident when the news was so fresh. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim and I'm truly sorry for this loss.


newrivermike


Jun 14, 2010, 8:02 AM
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Re: [newrivermike] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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Firstly, I wasn't there. Keep in mind that the only person at the anchor that actually knows what happened was the victim. There is always going to be a certain level of speculation with any accident analysis.

The climber was Karen Feher from Midlothian Va. She climbed to the anchor of Rico Suave and clipped in direct. Her setup: She had two thin dyneema slings girth hitched to her harness. At the end of each sling was a locking carabiner held in place with a rubber Petzl keeper, the kind they put on spirit draws. These are called 'Petzl Strings'. Google search it if you dont' know what I'm talking about.
She clipped a locker to each bolt and probably called off belay. I'm unclear if she was going to rappel or lower. It doesn't matter. She fell to the ground.

The day after the accident a local climber named Craig (last name?) climbed to the anchor and found a locker on each bolt with a Petzl String still affixed to each one. Both Petzl strings were torn on the side.

It is unclear to me if the two slings were still attached to her harness as her harness went with her and EMS but I am assuming this to be true.
OK, how could this happen? This is to me one of the safest setups for cleaning an anchor. My friend Kirk and I toyed around with slings and strings at home and found a scary scenario:

If you loop back over one side of the sling and clip it back through the carabiner it looks like it's OK, kind of. In reality the rubber string is the only thing holding weight.

At the top of Rico is a small ledge to stand on and clean. If you're not fully weighting the system these rubber strings will hold about 15 pounds before breaking. I'm guessing they were able to hold just enough weight to feign security while she untied to feed. Until just enough weight was added to break.
I know this is hard to visualize. It took us about 30 minutes to figure it out. Check out this video for a clear visual:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=20

I don't know how to make it 'clicky'.
Again, there is some level of speculation but with the evidence at hand this seems to be the most likely scenario. Now sure it seems like this could be possible on one side but two?

This is where the tragedy truly lies. The fact that this happened on both slings simultaneously is one in a million. But think about it. We've got 1000's of people climbing in the gorge. People have been climbing here for 35 years and this is the first time someone has died climbing. We build redundency into our systems so that if something like this freak occurence happens on one sling we've got a back up. That's why we clip in to two bolts, with two slings!

If you've been climbing long enough something has happened where you've been like "whoa, that could have been bad" but you had a redundant system in place. Karen did have a redundant system. It seems to me that a freak occurence happened on both slings simultaneously.

Let's learn from this so it doesn't happen again. The lesson: Don't use rubber bands or strings on long runners. If you do, be aware of this situation. If you've got a friend that does, send them the video link.

The reason for this post is to dispell myths about what happened. Hopefully the friends and family of Karen can understand the need to educate climbers about this.


(This post was edited by edge on Jun 14, 2010, 9:17 AM)


newrivermike


Jun 14, 2010, 8:24 AM
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Re: [newrivermike] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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I tried to upload some photos of my test runners. The photos were too large and I don't know how to shrink them so I posted them on a blog.
Check the link:

http://www.mikesironcladbeta.blogspot.com


(This post was edited by edge on Jun 14, 2010, 9:17 AM)


Partner climboard


Jun 14, 2010, 8:25 AM
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Re: [newrivermike] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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First of all, my deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of this young woman. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mike- thanks for providing the details around this tragedy. I recall seeing this video shortly after it was posted online and remember being shocked by it as it was not an obvious safety risk before seeing it demonstrated.

I hope word gets out to more people about this potentially unsafe practice.


bigjonnyc


Jun 14, 2010, 8:32 AM
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Re: [newrivermike] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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Here is a safety notice I just found on String page of the Petzl website about this exact phenomenon:

http://www.petzl.com/us/node/9886


sethg


Jun 14, 2010, 8:37 AM
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Re: [newrivermike] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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What a terrible tragedy. I am so sorry. Thank you for the explanation and the warning.


chadnsc


Jun 14, 2010, 8:41 AM
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Thanks for the info Mike.

For people unfamiluar with the Petzl String:




lena_chita
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Jun 14, 2010, 8:45 AM
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What a tragedy! My thoughts are with family and friends.

When I came across the blurb in the new NRG guidebook about how NRG has had many close calls but no fatalities yet, I thought :"Oh, no, putting it out there i a sure way to jinx it." Silly, I know, jinx has nothing to do with it, it was only a matter of time, but I am very very sad to hear this...

Mike, thank you for a good analysis. I was not familiar with the strings, have never used them, but the blog photos/video link made it easy to understand.


ncrockclimber


Jun 14, 2010, 8:59 AM
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Mike,

Thanks for your clear and educational post.

My sincere condolences to the victims friends and family.


Partner robdotcalm


Jun 14, 2010, 9:12 AM
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Condolences to Karenís family and friends on this grievous loss.

Thank you, Mike, for presenting the analysis and valuable links. Iíve never used a ďstringĒ though Iíve climbed with people who have. A lesson from this accident is that anytime you add an item to the safety chain youíve added the possibility for something to go wrong. Keep it simple. Less is more.

Rob.calm


maldaly


Jun 14, 2010, 10:07 AM
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This is so sad. My thoughts and condolences go out to Karen, her family, all of her friends and the crew at the New. Be careful out there. There are so many ways to kill yourself.

Climb safe,
Mal


jt512


Jun 14, 2010, 10:18 AM
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Re: [newrivermike] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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newrivermike wrote:

If you loop back over one side of the sling and clip it back through the carabiner it looks like it's OK, kind of. In reality the rubber string is the only thing holding weight.

At the top of Rico is a small ledge to stand on and clean. If you're not fully weighting the system these rubber strings will hold about 15 pounds before breaking. I'm guessing they were able to hold just enough weight to feign security while she untied to feed. Until just enough weight was added to break.
I know this is hard to visualize. It took us about 30 minutes to figure it out. Check out this video for a clear visual:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/videos/play.php?i=20

I don't know how to make it 'clicky'.
Again, there is some level of speculation but with the evidence at hand this seems to be the most likely scenario. Now sure it seems like this could be possible on one side but two?

This is where the tragedy truly lies. The fact that this happened on both slings simultaneously is one in a million.

You are thinking of the cause of the slings being misconfigured as a random event, and so you conclude that the chances are 1 in a million. But I suspect that it is a mistake to think of this event as being random. Rather, I suspect that the slings became misconfigured due to systematic error. So, the question is what sort of systematic practice could have caused the slings to become so misconfigured?

One possibility is if she were carrying her slings doubled on her harness, and then to extend them, she unclipped a single strand. Sitting here trying this out, I find that it results in one of two configurations for the "Stringed" biner: either the biner becomes girth hitched, and probably would have been adequate, or the biner becomes configured as per your accident analysis (ie, it's just held to the sling by the String, in spite of superficial appearances). Assuming that these configurations are equally likely, the probability of both slings becoming configured in the failure configuration is just 1 in 4.

There are probably other scenarios that systematically lead to the failure configuration for "Stringed" biner. It would be worthwhile fleshing out what these other scenarios might be.

Jay


redlude97


Jun 14, 2010, 10:21 AM
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Re: [jt512] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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I know someone who uses a petzl string on the end loop of their PAS to make it easier to clip and unclip the extra loops. While I knew it wasn't the best idea I never realized it was that easy to end up with this configuration. Going to have to point them to this thread and that video


camhead


Jun 14, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Re: [maldaly] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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Thanks for the info, Mike. I remember seeing the UK climbing video about the possible danger of the rubber bands/strings, and made a mental note never to use those on loose runners (as opposed to stiffer dogbones).

Anyway, condolences to Karen's family and climbing partners. This is terrible. RIP.


theguy


Jun 14, 2010, 11:12 AM
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Re: [newrivermike] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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newrivermike wrote:
She had two thin dyneema slings girth hitched to her harness

jt512 wrote:
One possibility is if she were carrying her slings doubled on her harness

Could you explain how you double girth-hitched slings?


ClimbClimb


Jun 14, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Oh, no! I remember watching that video some time ago. For some reason, it is doubly horrible to know that this was something weird -- but known ahead of time, even discussed here on RC.com.

My condolences to the family, friends and those involved in the event.


jt512


Jun 14, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Re: [theguy] Accident Kaymoor NRG [In reply to]
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theguy wrote:
newrivermike wrote:
She had two thin dyneema slings girth hitched to her harness

jt512 wrote:
One possibility is if she were carrying her slings doubled on her harness

Could you explain how you double girth-hitched slings?

No, but I can explain how to girth hitch a sling that was previously doubled, and then extended incorrectly.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jun 14, 2010, 11:33 AM)


billcoe_


Jun 14, 2010, 11:41 AM
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I had no idea....crap. 38 some years doing this and no f*ing clue. I have deep gratitude for you guys sharing this. It so sucks to lose someone over something so simple. Wish we all could have learned it by the video, but perhaps this re-dissemination of info has saved several lives.

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