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Pdawgy


Jul 4, 2011, 12:43 PM
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Free Solo Accident at the New in WV?
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Anyone have any info on if this is true, what the details are and if the climber survived...

Typical fireside banter at Roger's Saturday night brought up discussion of a guy named "Jerry" that had been free soloing drunk earlier in the day and fell 60 feet. He was apparently alive as of 5pm when he was evac'd. Not sure which, if any, of the details are true or if it was just gossip. Any beta? I really hope those details are wrong...


Partner j_ung


Jul 4, 2011, 2:33 PM
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Pdawgy wrote:
Anyone have any info on if this is true, what the details are and if the climber survived...

Typical fireside banter at Roger's Saturday night brought up discussion of a guy named "Jerry" that had been free soloing drunk earlier in the day and fell 60 feet. He was apparently alive as of 5pm when he was evac'd. Not sure which, if any, of the details are true or if it was just gossip. Any beta? I really hope those details are wrong...

I don't have a lot of details, except that he was free soloing laps on Angel's Arete at the Bridge Buttress. The route is graded 5.10a. He fell on his third lap. There are apparently no direct witnesses, so nobody knows precisely how high up he was when he fell. The landing zone sort of sucks. The word is that he lived, but has a long road to recovery ahead of him. I don't know the exact nature of his injuries.


Pdawgy


Jul 4, 2011, 2:49 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Free Solo Accident at the New in WV? [In reply to]
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Thanks for the info. Glad to hear he survived. No word on whether the drunk part was true or whether it was the overactive imagination of folks who think someone HAS to be drunk to free solo?


Partner j_ung


Jul 5, 2011, 7:09 AM
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Re: [Pdawgy] Free Solo Accident at the New in WV? [In reply to]
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Sorry, I got nothing on that front.


lena_chita
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Jul 5, 2011, 7:58 AM
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My htoughts are with the family of the unfortunate climber, I hope he survives and recovers.


We heard the garbled 3rd-person account at the campground this weekend, too. The same story as the OP mentioned. Definitely put a damper on the moods.

Just out of curiosity, Jay, if there no witnesses, how is it known that he fell on his 3rd lap?


mattiem


Jul 5, 2011, 12:03 PM
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I was a direct witness. I saw him fall. I didn't quite see the impact due to line of sight. I heard the sickening crash. My partner saw him tumble down the hill from her prospective halfway up the cliff on layback crack.

I was the first to see him on the ground and the second person over to him after one of the guides from a group got to him.

I am fairly sure it was his second time up angels arete not his third and he did zag in between.

He was definitely drunk. He drank a fifth of vodka and at least 3 beers and a 4th beer was opened but mostly full. I don't want to throw anyone under the bus here but fuck him for making us all deal with that. He was being HUGELY irresponsible, and fucked up a lot of peoples heads with his selfish antics.

I have nothing against soloing, i solo ice every year. I think there is certain etiquette one has to follow in soloing. You solo away from others and without forcing other people to be a part of it. Even if he was sober soloing at bridge at one of the busiest group areas on one of the busiest weekends of the year is bad form.

If anyone has more questions i will answer what i can.


sp115


Jul 5, 2011, 12:07 PM
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Props to you for trying to help despite whatever he did that contributed to getting himself hurt. You're fully deserving of some good karma.


Partner j_ung


Jul 5, 2011, 12:31 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
My htoughts are with the family of the unfortunate climber, I hope he survives and recovers.


We heard the garbled 3rd-person account at the campground this weekend, too. The same story as the OP mentioned. Definitely put a damper on the moods.

Just out of curiosity, Jay, if there no witnesses, how is it known that he fell on his 3rd lap?

I was mistaken about that. Nobody saw him hit the ground, but somebody(ies) did see him fall. There were people there.


leaverbiner


Jul 5, 2011, 12:57 PM
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Charles G. Fredricks Jr., 39, of Fayetteville . . . the article in the online version of the local paper confirms the above accounts. Multi-system trauma and serious injuries. We were at the lake but friends were at the Bridge and saw him soloing earlier in the day . . . they too said alcohol was clearly involved.

Sad on so many levels.


cals9


Jul 7, 2011, 10:21 AM
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Fayette County (WVVA) -- "A man fell while climbing within the New River Gorge National Park Saturday.
39-year-old, Charles G. Fredricks, Jr., of Fayetteville was free climbing in the Bridge Buttress area known as Angel's Arete. Fredericks was climbing alone without ropes or other protection. He was also not wearing a helmet.
Fredricks suffered multi-system trauma from the fall. As additional assistance from Fayette County Rope Rescue, Fayetteville Fire, Nuttall VFD, and Jan Care arrived, Fredricks was back boarded, placed into a litter, and carried out to Fayette Station Road.
He was transported by ambulance to the Burnwood campground where a waiting Health Net medical helicopter flew the injured man to Charleston Area Medical Center."
I was told by someone present that he seemed to be loaded, he was doing laps solo on Angels Arete (very polished after almost 25 yrs of use). Someone present also thought that he seemed to be engaged in suicide by rock climbing, being very despondent over a failing relationship. Charles Fredricks really needs our prayer, he seemed to be very messed up, Walking may be hard for him, let alone climbing. He needs a miracle to get his physical life turned around, let alone his spiritual and mental state. Please remember to pray for this man.

This was copied from General forum. I was down the New for the weekend and heard this, as someone told me that her fell on a climb I had put up in '85.


Pdawgy


Jul 7, 2011, 11:12 AM
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Ugh! Thanks for the info guys. I was really hoping the drunk part was a fabrication of someone's overactive imagination - but obviously not. I don't need to reiterate the absolute stupidity of those actions. However, what angers me most is that it risks ruining it for a larger group of people - climbers who are generally cautious, respectful and aware of the bigger implications of their actions. It sounds like this man had other issues to deal with and wasn't thinking from this perspective - if at all. I feel for him and wish him a speedy recovery of mind and body. But engaging in a sport like rockclimbing, which is inherently dangerous and requires one's full attention and concentration, DRUNK is one of the biggest party fouls I can think of. Save the beer (one beer) for the parking-lot after a long day of SAFE climbing. Freesoloing is another topic entirely that I am sure there are a million disparate opinions on and has been amply covered in other areas of this forum.


healyje


Jul 7, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Rock climbing actually has some history / tradition of breakup inspired solos, but I can't think of any that involved alcohol other than this one.


bearbreeder


Jul 7, 2011, 12:03 PM
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the legendary FFA of pipeline on the squaw was done as a free solo by someone who was said to be high

it may be embelishment .. but i think someone needs to be effing high to solo onsight a 10d offwidth like this

and with BC being the pot capital of the world ...




(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Jul 7, 2011, 12:15 PM)


healyje


Jul 7, 2011, 1:07 PM
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bearbreeder wrote:
the legendary FFA of pipeline on the squaw was done as a free solo by someone who was said to be high

High is not remotely the same as drunk.


bearbreeder


Jul 7, 2011, 1:14 PM
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climb in squamish ... youll see soloers have a few beers and start soloing in the bluffs ...

add a bit of weed ...


healyje


Jul 7, 2011, 1:41 PM
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May be, but I would posit more than about an ounce of alcohol is not going to help any more than getting completely blotto on a combustible.

FAA pilot instrument landing studies on the use of alcohol done in the 60's were pretty conclusive on the point. The pilots doing and ounce of alcohol did better in the simulator than either straight pilots or those pilots who had more than that.


Pdawgy


Jul 7, 2011, 1:50 PM
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As far as I know, A. Honnold was not drunk or high when he free solo'd the 12a NW Face of Halfdome. I don't care what the studies show, impairing your judgement when climbing is a bad idea - ESPECIALLY when free soloing.


healyje


Jul 7, 2011, 2:54 PM
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Pdawgy wrote:
As far as I know, A. Honnold was not drunk or high when he free solo'd the 12a NW Face of Halfdome. I don't care what the studies show, impairing your judgement when climbing is a bad idea - ESPECIALLY when free soloing.

That's the point - the FAA studies showed an ounce of alcohol improved pilots' performance and judgment over no alcohol or more alcohol than that.


fresh


Jul 7, 2011, 3:02 PM
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for what it's worth, I was talking to him at the base of Zag (right next to Angel's Arete) about an hour before he fell. super nice guy, and he was pretty solid while soloing. seemed to be really in his element and enjoying himself. I was surprised when matt told me later that he'd been drinking. hope he recovers well.


csproul


Jul 8, 2011, 5:07 AM
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healyje wrote:
Pdawgy wrote:
As far as I know, A. Honnold was not drunk or high when he free solo'd the 12a NW Face of Halfdome. I don't care what the studies show, impairing your judgement when climbing is a bad idea - ESPECIALLY when free soloing.

That's the point - the FAA studies showed an ounce of alcohol improved pilots' performance and judgment over no alcohol or more alcohol than that.
The problem with alcohol (at least my problem!) is that one ounce almost always leads to two.


notapplicable


Jul 8, 2011, 5:56 AM
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bearbreeder wrote:
the legendary FFA of pipeline on the squaw was done as a free solo by someone who was said to be high

it may be embelishment .. but i think someone needs to be effing high to solo onsight a 10d offwidth like this

and with BC being the pot capital of the world ...


What a fantastic looking route! If didn't already have reason to want to climb at Squamish, I damn sure do now.


rescueman


Jul 8, 2011, 7:15 PM
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healyje wrote:
FAA pilot instrument landing studies on the use of alcohol done in the 60's were pretty conclusive on the point. The pilots doing and ounce of alcohol did better in the simulator than either straight pilots or those pilots who had more than that.

Other studies have demonstrated that people who drink in moderation statistically outlive either those who drink too much or those who don't drink at all.

Nice to hear people wishing this man well, but I would rather he died. In surviving, he required the services of four emergency response agencies, a medical evac helicopter and God knows how much surgery and physical therapy.

When those who truly need medical care or rescue services (I've been doing technical rescue and medical response for 20 years) can't afford it while self-destructive drunks (a fifth of vodka and 3+ beers!) get all the free attention and a lot of media coverage - there's something unjust and immoral in this scenario.

Where is Darwin when we need him?


notapplicable


Jul 8, 2011, 10:09 PM
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rescueman wrote:
healyje wrote:
FAA pilot instrument landing studies on the use of alcohol done in the 60's were pretty conclusive on the point. The pilots doing and ounce of alcohol did better in the simulator than either straight pilots or those pilots who had more than that.

Other studies have demonstrated that people who drink in moderation statistically outlive either those who drink too much or those who don't drink at all.

Nice to hear people wishing this man well, but I would rather he died. In surviving, he required the services of four emergency response agencies, a medical evac helicopter and God knows how much surgery and physical therapy.

When those who truly need medical care or rescue services (I've been doing technical rescue and medical response for 20 years) can't afford it while self-destructive drunks (a fifth of vodka and 3+ beers!) get all the free attention and a lot of media coverage - there's something unjust and immoral in this scenario.

Where is Darwin when we need him?

You must be one of those lucky few who has never made a bad decision or done something stupid in their life. Congratulations.


uni_jim


Jul 8, 2011, 10:52 PM
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rescueman wrote:
healyje wrote:
FAA pilot instrument landing studies on the use of alcohol done in the 60's were pretty conclusive on the point. The pilots doing and ounce of alcohol did better in the simulator than either straight pilots or those pilots who had more than that.

Other studies have demonstrated that people who drink in moderation statistically outlive either those who drink too much or those who don't drink at all.

Nice to hear people wishing this man well, but I would rather he died. In surviving, he required the services of four emergency response agencies, a medical evac helicopter and God knows how much surgery and physical therapy.

When those who truly need medical care or rescue services (I've been doing technical rescue and medical response for 20 years) can't afford it while self-destructive drunks (a fifth of vodka and 3+ beers!) get all the free attention and a lot of media coverage - there's something unjust and immoral in this scenario.

Where is Darwin when we need him?

fuck you.


jt512


Jul 8, 2011, 11:38 PM
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Re: [healyje] Free Solo Accident at the New in WV? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
Pdawgy wrote:
As far as I know, A. Honnold was not drunk or high when he free solo'd the 12a NW Face of Halfdome. I don't care what the studies show, impairing your judgement when climbing is a bad idea - ESPECIALLY when free soloing.

That's the point - the FAA studies showed an ounce of alcohol improved pilots' performance and judgment over no alcohol or more alcohol than that.

Could you provide a citation to where those studies were published?

Jay

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