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climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011
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majid_sabet


May 16, 2011, 10:14 AM
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climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011
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Any detail on this accident ?

PORTLAND -- Authorities said a climber fell 50 feet from a Portland hill and died.

He was one of two Austrian men climbing Saturday on Rocky Butte, an extinct volcano rising about 600 feet above northeast Portland.

http://www.kgw.com/...cky-u-121837294.html


illusiondweller


Jun 14, 2011, 11:48 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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Ironically, I use to work in Washington County, OR, as a Paramedic from 96 - 98, not far from Rocky Butte, where I've climbed as well. The article is a bit deceiving in that it mentions that the accident happened on Rocky Butte, an "extinct volcano," giving the impression that this may have been a mountaineering accident, when it happened in an old basalt, rock quarry, located on an extinct volcano called Rocky Butte.

I'm sorry to hear of the accident. These cliffs are very steep and, at times, overhanging. They have a history of some bold gear leads where most of the time the routes are top-roped.


healyje


Jun 15, 2011, 12:43 AM
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Re: [majid_sabet] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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No one locally seems to have learned any details as yet.


rightarmbad


Jun 15, 2011, 4:49 AM
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Re: [healyje] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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If they were climbing on Basalt, I can easily see how it could be a case of gear pulling, especially cams.


shockabuku


Jun 15, 2011, 5:15 AM
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Re: [rightarmbad] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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rightarmbad wrote:
If they were climbing on Basalt, I can easily see how it could be a case of gear pulling, especially cams.

Why? I've climbed a reasonable amount of sport on basalt but not many gear routes and don't know many who have (or at least who talk about it). I can see that it may not be a very strong (compact, hard) rock type but I haven't heard it to be a problem either.


habitat


Jun 15, 2011, 7:09 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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I've climbed a ton of basalt, often times the columns are virtually "hollow" behind what looks like a good placement...often times passive works better than camming units in my experience. I have seen what looked like perfect cams walk into the crack and drop down,

Kinda similar to say like the 2nd pitch of Reed's Pinnacle in Yosemite.


healyje


Jun 15, 2011, 9:04 AM
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Re: [rightarmbad] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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rightarmbad wrote:
If they were climbing on Basalt, I can easily see how it could be a case of gear pulling, especially cams.

The pro is as bomb on good NW basalt as any other rock I've ever climbed. In general, rock doesn't make bad placements, people do.


rightarmbad


Jun 16, 2011, 2:53 AM
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Re: [healyje] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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The basalt I have climbed on looked good, but a loaded cam could be made to simply slip.
I think the rock is strong enough, but from what I have climbed on, the friction qualities are far less than other rock, and the quality of the placement cannot be checked any other way than loading it and seeing if it slips.
Different areas may be different, just like other types of rock.

If the placement could be confirmed by looking at it, yanking on it or what ever, then I would agree, but from my experience in the basalt around my region, it slips sometimes at ridiculously low loads and there is no real way to predict the quality of the placement.

It may be that the Basalt I have climbed is close to waterfalls and probably under the water during flooding.
But even when seemingly perfectly dry, there is a friction problem with most cams.

I climbed there and believed the gear to be good, I never fell.
A local turned up and alerted me to the problem.
I jumped off on a backed up setup and sure enough, what looked like a great placement come out with barely any force felt on the rope.
I then placed some aid pieces close to the ground and found that body weight could make them look real scary.

So had I fallen, I may very well have been the subject to an accident report.

I did wonder when I first got to the top why there were bolted anchors where there were what looked to me great trad anchors (cams).

The rest of the day was spent avoiding cam placements and going for restriction type stuff.

Be careful out there folks.


shockabuku


Jun 16, 2011, 6:44 AM
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Re: [habitat] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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habitat wrote:
I've climbed a ton of basalt, often times the columns are virtually "hollow" behind what looks like a good placement...often times passive works better than camming units in my experience. I have seen what looked like perfect cams walk into the crack and drop down,

Kinda similar to say like the 2nd pitch of Reed's Pinnacle in Yosemite.

I'm a little confused by the two sentences in your reply.

I read the first:
I've climbed a ton of basalt, often times the columns are virtually "hollow" behind what looks like a good placement...often times passive works better than camming units in my experience.
as you're concerned about air pockets inside the surface of the rock that if a cam applies pressure to the wall over the pocket will cause the rock to break and the cam to fail. Is that what you're saying?

The second sentence:
I have seen what looked like perfect cams walk into the crack and drop down,
just sounds like standard placement concerns.

I haven't climbed at Yosemite so I'm not familiar with Reed's Pinnacle or it's particular issues.


shockabuku


Jun 16, 2011, 6:45 AM
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Re: [rightarmbad] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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Where have you climbed on basalt?


healyje


Jun 16, 2011, 9:02 AM
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Re: [rightarmbad] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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NW basalt west of the PCT in general does get slippery when moist for the purposes of foot and hand friction when moist due to a fine layer of growth on it. But the basalt at Rocky Butte is fine from a protection perspective, there is no problem with cams 'slipping' or any other well-placed pro.

There IS a big problem at Rocky Butte with the muddy soil on top being slippery as snot - it's slippery long after it rains and even if it's just humid out. That makes the place exceedingly dangerous because the climbs and TR anchors are approached from the top. It ranks near the top of my list of dangerous places to climb for that reason.

But again, the pro is bomb out there as one practice aid session would demonstrate.


(This post was edited by healyje on Jun 16, 2011, 9:03 AM)


bkb0000


Jul 25, 2011, 10:41 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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anybody ever get the scoop on this? i've heard it was a miss-clip on rappel.. but haven't seen anything remotely conclusive


healyje


Jul 26, 2011, 2:21 AM
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Re: [bkb0000] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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No, to my knowledge no one has ever come up with any details on this accident.


juiced442


Jan 2, 2013, 10:44 AM
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healyje


Jan 2, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Re: [juiced442] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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I'll take that to mean you have no idea what happened. Helpful.


juiced442


Jan 2, 2013, 12:24 PM
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healyje


Jan 2, 2013, 12:29 PM
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Re: [juiced442] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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Your post doesn't require rereading, please refrain from bring up old lapsed posts if you have nothing to add.


billcoe_


Feb 19, 2013, 12:44 PM
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Re: [healyje] climber killed at Rocky Butte ,OR 5/2011 [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
There IS a big problem at Rocky Butte with the muddy soil on top being slippery as snot - it's slippery long after it rains and even if it's just humid out. That makes the place exceedingly dangerous because the climbs and TR anchors are approached from the top. It ranks near the top of my list of dangerous places to climb for that reason.

The mans climbing partners never stepped up and said what occurred. HOWEVER, at the exact location, Silver Bullet Bluff, there have been many slip and trips due to 2 things. The slippery nature as Joseph notes above, and that there is a @25 foot downclimb to get to the obvious anchor chains on the big ledge below. Folks see the chains, and downclimb with their gear, step on a slick patch or lose their balance and whoosh. If you boff the downclimb, you just miss the ledge and go the full ride and eat dirt. THAT IS NOT UNCOMMON right here. There was a single anchor chain nearby on top that Chad Ellers asked me to replace a couple years back. I did replace it with him, and added a Fixe Stainless chain anchor near there in what I consider a good location to rap to the anchor chains below. Chad was calling me less than 2 weeks later to tell me that the Fixe had been removed, but the bolts left alone. So I went back and hung some SS chain off the studs which you can still rap off of. They have been left alone....so far. It's not the end all be all as you could slip from that location as well, but it's flat up there and the chains well located.

For a while now I've been pitching to folks doing a chain or a cable so that people can harness up on top and clip a PAS to to safetly get down to the anchor ledge. In my mind it would go from the top to the anchors and act as a backup the the next climber who pitches. New anchors can be very contentious out there, and my idea is getting mixed reviews from people I discuss it with. But I think it's the way to go. They have some of those chains out at Arapiles for short class 4 and 5 descents off popular routes, and they've been keeping the body count down and no one is bitching about them.


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