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DANGER: Anchors Away
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jackwill


Oct 10, 2010, 5:12 PM
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DANGER: Anchors Away  (North_America: United_States: West_Virginia: Roped_Climbing: Seneca_Rocks_Region: The_Panhandle: Franklin_Gorge)
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A second major incident occurred from the elevated ledge below Anchors Away today resulting an an large scale evac and air transport to WVU. Last year in a similar incident, a climber fell from that area with similar results. BE CAREFUL. The ledge is covered in small rocks and the 15' fall can be fatal. Recovering a injured climber from the hillside requires at least 2 hours to litter and transport even if qualified people are on scene.


socalclimber


Oct 10, 2010, 7:14 PM
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Re: [jackwill] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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Good heads up, but an explanation would be in order.


gonzrom


Oct 12, 2010, 11:54 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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Can you provide more details. What's the elevated ledge at Franklin? Details on what lead to the accident would be very useful for those of us who climb at Franklin with regularity.


roninthorne


Oct 14, 2010, 9:00 AM
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Re: [gonzrom] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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The ledge in question begins just after exiting the cave that leads from under Capt. Hook/Trident thru the buttress housing Barnacle Bill, Walk the Plank and Decompression Sickness, exiting onto a narrow ledge under Anchors Away, on which can also be found Super Amazing Sea Monkeys, Keelhauled, and Belly of the Whale.

The previous accident here was as much because of improper footwear as anything... hard-soled motorcycle-riding boots don't smear or stick to rock.

(BTW, don't depend on Tevas or whichever mutation thereof today's hipsters seem to think substitutes for trailwear, either. Several hundred yards of sandy trail really diminishes friction, y'know? Even if you can boulder your fave V3 in them, do you really think they are appropriate for a location which routinely sports wasps, ground hornets, greenbriars, copperheads and timber rattlers, as well as old barbed wire and broken glass?)

But I digress... while no one fell off of this ledge for a decade during the early years of the crag, it seems that today's more highly focused and trained climbers cannot seem to duplicate this agility. Maybe an apparently obvious warning is in order-

ATTENTION, CLIMBERS! Climbing, and travel thru climbing areas, is an inherently dangerous activity. Just because you are not tied in doesn't mean you aren't climbing. In many areas, manuevers that blur the line between 4th and 5th class will be required simply to access the climbs. If you or your partner/party are not acomplished and confident at moving thru such terrain, it would be best for the community and the crag if you stuck to trails and routes within your skills range.

[/PSA]

Thinking of attaching a 4' piece of chain to anchors at waist/chest height at the exit from the cave to allow clipping in when downclimbing thru this spot... wondering just how many peole would clip in and how many other would depend on their imaginary hand strength- Either way, input is welcomed...


(This post was edited by roninthorne on Oct 15, 2010, 12:00 PM)


notapplicable


Oct 16, 2010, 10:56 AM
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Re: [roninthorne] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Thinking of attaching a 4' piece of chain to anchors at waist/chest height at the exit from the cave to allow clipping in when downclimbing thru this spot... wondering just how many peole would clip in and how many other would depend on their imaginary hand strength- Either way, input is welcomed...

I don't know about an anchor for climbing in and out of the cave. If anything, it might be nice to have an anchor in the rock to your right as you are belaying on Anchors Away, although I don't really think it's necessary.

Sometimes you just gotta let the herd thin itself out. And as someone who was nearly "thinned" some years back, I am perfectly comfortable with that fact.


roninthorne


Oct 19, 2010, 11:56 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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And while I myself am a card-carrying Darwinist, n/a, I'd hate to lose a historic, thoroughly-developed crag like Franklin, after all the shite we've been thru, because one of our own fell off of a ledge. I guess the anchor could serve both purposes, but in the end people gotta learn to define their own boundaries, I agree.


(edited for spelling error)


(This post was edited by roninthorne on Oct 26, 2010, 11:25 AM)


notapplicable


Oct 19, 2010, 12:54 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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A valid point.

Perhaps a short run of via-ferrataesqe cable could run from in the cave, to the ledge. The bolt(s) on the ledge could serve double duty as a belay anchor so that both belayer and climber don't take the fall if someone botches the opening moves on Anchors Away.

I would be happy to chip in on the stainless cable and anchors. I know that stuff is not cheap. You have my contact info., so just give me a shout if you decide to move forward.


gojiclimber


Oct 21, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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Isn't there a great thread thru right at chest height were you belay for anchors away, or am i mistaken?

Edit: spelling


(This post was edited by gojiclimber on Oct 21, 2010, 12:34 PM)


notapplicable


Oct 25, 2010, 1:34 PM
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Re: [gojiclimber] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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gojiclimber wrote:
Isn't there a great thread thru right at chest height were you belay for anchors away, or am i mistaken?

Edit: spelling

I don't remember one, but there very well may be.

If there is a natural feature to be slung or threaded, I've never seen it used. A steel cable just screams "use me" and I suspect at least a few will do so.

To coddle, or not to coddle, that is the question...


roninthorne


Oct 26, 2010, 11:31 AM
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Re: [gojiclimber] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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The real problem (with using a natural thread) is simple- most climbers at Franklin are carrying a rack of matching length and design dogbones/QDs, which are not much use for natural threads.

Also, many if not most of the climbers at Franklin are noobs- no shame, we all are, in the beginning, and noobs rarely think in terms of the big picture, like allowing people to pass while they are on belay, or not going onto an occupied, fairly small ledge just to get at one route which probably already has a rope hanging on it.

I still favor chain over cable since it allows for more control in case of a slip/fall, and only one or two rigging supply companies actually guarantee the integrity of their cable.


ClimbSoHigh


Oct 26, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Re: [roninthorne] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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having never visited Franklin, I do not know the situation, but it sounds like a fixed rope with a couple of alpine hitches might be enough to help people up this 15ft 4/5th class scramble. Lots of places with step scrambles to get to climbs have old ropes fixed to help people from slipping. Another idea I have seen used elsewhere is a wooden ladder to access caves that routes start in. Hell Rumney has a climb that has a ladder that is fixed in place to skip the 5.14 driect start on a popular climb.

I agree that where ever you are, it is nice to do things to prevent accidents sicne they can always jepordize access and and can even draw gov't attention when people get hurt, and I doubt Franklin climbers want anything to do with that.

Hope you guys figure it out and the accidents stop reacuring. Good luck.


roninthorne


Oct 27, 2010, 8:44 AM
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Re: [ClimbSoHigh] DANGER: Anchors Away [In reply to]
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ClimbSoHigh- thanks for the suggestion, but-

There is no "15ft 4/5th class scramble". The cave requires about four feet of 4th class, then a level passage thru the buttress, ending in about six feet of 5th class downclimbing over a ledge. Unfortunately, the beginning of this downclimb is adjacent to a slot that allows you to fall about 15 feet to the ground, bouldering onto a narrow ledge (which widens to about 8 feet) at about the same height above the main trail. The original approach was actually from the opposite end of the ledge and WAS 5th class, but has since ben blocked by a fallen tree and a large amount of loose stone.

Never been a fan of using fixed ropes for safety- one, this is private land and the rope would be an instant eyesore, two, salt from the sweaty hands of climbers would attract rodents to gnaw on the most vital parts of the rope, and three, while I can apply Loctite to a quicklink and attach the chain too securely for rednecks/vandals to remove, anyone can cut thru and remove a rope.

A wooden ladder would be too cumbersome, would become slimy, rickety and equally (if not more) dangerous with time and decay, and would effectively occupy the belay for the route directly over the cave's egress onto the ledge.


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