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dindolino32


Oct 9, 2011, 10:19 PM
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Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident
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(Edit: Read rosco22's post for some clarification to the details of this original post.)
Saturday Oct 8th at HCR in Arkansas, a woman fell from near the top of what route I believe was Earl's Revenge. From what I gathered, she was being guided by a HCR worker. I heard a scream and thought it was just someone taking a lead fall and then hear what sounded like a rock hitting the ground. I thought a big plate had pulled and then heard some commotion. I can't express how lucky she was to fall where she did because there were a lot of rocks protruding out of the ground yet missed them. Unconscious and groaning I know she was not conscious but was still breathing. She had NO helmet as she was toproping after the guide led the route but appeared to have no head trauma. I noted she was not tied in and only 1 strand was hanging from the anchors. Her harness was new and intact. The most obvious conclusion is a knot tying failure was the cause as the single figure 8 was intact at the anchors. I don't know if there was a backup knot that also failed. She became more aware and started trying to move. She had a completely broken forearm and most likely spinal cord damage as she could not move her feet on command. Other injuries remain unknown. After 2-3 hours of waiting she was carried on a body board to a helicopter and flown to the nearest trauma hospital.
I really hope that she makes a full recovery and has little complications. I have read incident reports before and never thought I would write one. It always seems to be the same message so I thought this could once again repeat it. Double check and back up everything that you can. Knots, Rapelling, and Communication. I was always under the assumption that the double fishermans backup knot wasn't really needed because I never screw up the double figure 8. But if I do, I doubt that I would screw up both knots in a row thus I should be safe. I will make sure from now on to keep using that damn knot that gets in the way when I am trying to clip, because I would rather blow a clip than take a grounder.
Lastly, I would like to hear how she is doing so if anyone know or hears anything, a post would be nice.


(This post was edited by dindolino32 on Oct 16, 2011, 8:52 AM)


sungam


Oct 10, 2011, 3:37 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Ugh, the not moving the foot thing sounds pretty grim. Hope she recovers.


moose_droppings


Oct 10, 2011, 7:38 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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dindolino32 wrote:
Saturday Oct 8th at HCR in Arkansas, a woman fell from near the top of what route I believe was Earl's Revenge. From what I gathered, she was being guided by a HCR worker. I heard a scream and thought it was just someone taking a lead fall and then hear what sounded like a rock hitting the ground. I thought a big plate had pulled and then heard some commotion. I can't express how lucky she was to fall where she did because there were a lot of rocks protruding out of the ground yet missed them. Unconscious and groaning I know she was not conscious but was still breathing. She had NO helmet as she was toproping after the guide led the route but appeared to have no head trauma. I noted she was not tied in and only 1 strand was hanging from the anchors. Her harness was new and intact. The most obvious conclusion is a knot tying failure was the cause as the single figure 8 was intact at the anchors. I don't know if there was a backup knot that also failed. She became more aware and started trying to move. She had a completely broken forearm and most likely spinal cord damage as she could not move her feet on command. Other injuries remain unknown. After 2-3 hours of waiting she was carried on a body board to a helicopter and flown to the nearest trauma hospital.
I really hope that she makes a full recovery and has little complications. I have read incident reports before and never thought I would write one. It always seems to be the same message so I thought this could once again repeat it. Double check and back up everything that you can. Knots, Rapelling, and Communication. I was always under the assumption that the double fishermans backup knot wasn't really needed because I never screw up the double figure 8. But if I do, I doubt that I would screw up both knots in a row thus I should be safe. I will make sure from now on to keep using that damn knot that gets in the way when I am trying to clip, because I would rather blow a clip than take a grounder.
Lastly, I would like to hear how she is doing so if anyone know or hears anything, a post would be nice.

First and foremost I hope for a full recovery for her.

You say there was a figure 8 intact at the end, possible she had been clipped into the 8 with a locker and somehow became unclipped? Hate to speculate this early, but kind of sounds like it to me.

In time we'll know more and no doubt will find out what did indeed happen.


csproul


Oct 10, 2011, 8:40 AM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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moose_droppings wrote:
dindolino32 wrote:
Saturday Oct 8th at HCR in Arkansas, a woman fell from near the top of what route I believe was Earl's Revenge. From what I gathered, she was being guided by a HCR worker. I heard a scream and thought it was just someone taking a lead fall and then hear what sounded like a rock hitting the ground. I thought a big plate had pulled and then heard some commotion. I can't express how lucky she was to fall where she did because there were a lot of rocks protruding out of the ground yet missed them. Unconscious and groaning I know she was not conscious but was still breathing. She had NO helmet as she was toproping after the guide led the route but appeared to have no head trauma. I noted she was not tied in and only 1 strand was hanging from the anchors. Her harness was new and intact. The most obvious conclusion is a knot tying failure was the cause as the single figure 8 was intact at the anchors. I don't know if there was a backup knot that also failed. She became more aware and started trying to move. She had a completely broken forearm and most likely spinal cord damage as she could not move her feet on command. Other injuries remain unknown. After 2-3 hours of waiting she was carried on a body board to a helicopter and flown to the nearest trauma hospital.
I really hope that she makes a full recovery and has little complications. I have read incident reports before and never thought I would write one. It always seems to be the same message so I thought this could once again repeat it. Double check and back up everything that you can. Knots, Rapelling, and Communication. I was always under the assumption that the double fishermans backup knot wasn't really needed because I never screw up the double figure 8. But if I do, I doubt that I would screw up both knots in a row thus I should be safe. I will make sure from now on to keep using that damn knot that gets in the way when I am trying to clip, because I would rather blow a clip than take a grounder.
Lastly, I would like to hear how she is doing so if anyone know or hears anything, a post would be nice.

First and foremost I hope for a full recovery for her.

You say there was a figure 8 intact at the end, possible she had been clipped into the 8 with a locker and somehow became unclipped? Hate to speculate this early, but kind of sounds like it to me.

In time we'll know more and no doubt will find out what did indeed happen.
I took that to mean that there was a single figure 8 and not the complete know with follow through (i.e. figure 8 on a bight)?


dindolino32


Oct 10, 2011, 10:27 AM
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Re: [csproul] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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There was no carabiner attached to her harness, and the harness was in tact. Also no carabiner at the end of the rope. Knot failure is most likely but I dont know who tied it or if there was a backup knot.


(This post was edited by dindolino32 on Oct 10, 2011, 10:28 AM)


moose_droppings


Oct 10, 2011, 10:41 AM
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Re: [csproul] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
I took that to mean that there was a single figure 8 and not the complete know with follow through (i.e. figure 8 on a bight)?


After reading his next reply I think your right, and I'd agree with his analysis too.


majid_sabet


Oct 10, 2011, 11:06 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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If she was guided then her guide fuc*ed up and should be hanged by rope


kazanthink


Oct 10, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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I was just a down the wall a bit when it happened. I heard pretty much all the same stuff from some people that were right near when it happened. rope at the top was left with a start of an 8 and that was it all the hardwear was fine. seemed to just be human error unfortunately. make sure to check your partners knots!
my thoughts are with the climber hope she recovers as quick as possible.


(This post was edited by kazanthink on Oct 10, 2011, 11:37 AM)


bearbreeder


Oct 10, 2011, 1:10 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
If she was guided then her guide fuc*ed up and should be hanged by rope


for once i agree with mistah mahhjeed ... if it was guided then someone screwed up

best hope for her recovery


socalclimber


Oct 10, 2011, 3:14 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
If she was guided then her guide fuc*ed up and should be hanged by rope


for once i agree with mistah mahhjeed ... if it was guided then someone screwed up

best hope for her recovery

Yikes. Bad news indeed.

If this is true, and it was indeed a client/guide outing, then the guide is 100% at fault. Period. The client's safety and well being is your first and primary responsibility bar none.

I know nothing of the guide or the service they work for, but a knot failure is absolutely unacceptable and there is no good reason or excuse for it.

Unless I'm missing something, the knot was most likely a figure 8 follow through or re-traced figure 8. The double figure 8, like the double bowline is a different knot.

I do not believe, nor do I teach the concept of a "backup" knot. Myself and a number of seasoned guides all consider that to be a finishing knot.

Sorry to hear the bad news.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Oct 10, 2011, 3:17 PM)


thebouleoffools


Oct 10, 2011, 6:12 PM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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I was here for this and helped carry her out. Everything said so far is accurate. There was no failure of any equipment. My suspicion is that the follow through was not tied correctly, with little tail, no stopper, and was not set before she started climbing, although it was repeatedly stated that she was tied-in correctly.

She was able to wiggle her toes a tiny bit around a half hour after the fall, however by the time we got her out she wasn't able to move the left, perhaps due to spinal swelling.

It would have been very difficult if not impossible to have carried her out if it weren't for the large group of climbers that came to help.


jakedatc


Oct 10, 2011, 6:21 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
If she was guided then her guide fuc*ed up and should be hanged by rope


for once i agree with mistah mahhjeed ... if it was guided then someone screwed up

best hope for her recovery

Yikes. Bad news indeed.

If this is true, and it was indeed a client/guide outing, then the guide is 100% at fault. Period. The client's safety and well being is your first and primary responsibility bar none.

I know nothing of the guide or the service they work for, but a knot failure is absolutely unacceptable and there is no good reason or excuse for it.

Unless I'm missing something, the knot was most likely a figure 8 follow through or re-traced figure 8. The double figure 8, like the double bowline is a different knot.

I do not believe, nor do I teach the concept of a "backup" knot. Myself and a number of seasoned guides all consider that to be a finishing knot.

Sorry to hear the bad news.

I agree. Only thing i consider the fisherman finish or fig 9 finish is to ensure that you have enough tail after your Fig 8 follow through.

definitely sounds like Lynn Hill's accident... started a figure 8 then didn't complete it.


socalclimber


Oct 10, 2011, 6:23 PM
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Yup. Agreed.

Edited to add:

Good for the climbers that assisted in the carry out!


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Oct 10, 2011, 7:49 PM)


lena_chita
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Oct 11, 2011, 8:07 AM
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I am very sorry to hear about the accident and I hope the climber recovers without major complications. She is very lucky to be alive.

It does sound from the description that this was a knot that wasn't tied right, probably incompletely tied.

I do doubt that this was a guided outing arranged through a reputable outfitter/guide service because usually the guided clients always wear helmets -- on toprope or not, doesn't matter, for insurance reasons. But if it was, then this sounds pretty bad.


pendereki


Oct 11, 2011, 3:40 PM
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I am also curious if this was a guided climb. I know a guide at the ranch and am concerned about both the climber and belayer. They do usually wear helmets at the ranch when guiding.

This is the third groundfall that I know of at the ranch in two weeks. The other two were during the competition. One was a worn Cinch that did not lock up and the other a belayer who grabbed the non-brake end while using an ATC--both were lowering from the anchors and both climbers received only minor injuries. I like my helmet and buddy check system more than ever.

I wish a speedy recovery for the climber.


dindolino32


Oct 11, 2011, 10:17 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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I think we can obviously agree that the guide was a main accomplice, however hateful phrases like hanging someone doesn't do anyone any good. He may read this and doesn't need any more guilt or regret. The purpose of my post wasn't to blame anyone but more importantly point out that once again the main factor in an accident was complacency and lack of redundancy. As for the posts that say the fig 8 doesn't need a backup, it is probably true. But that 1 time that it is improperly tied DOES need a backup knot. Almost every climb involves weighting the rope to lower, so a properly tied knot is needed. Majid, please don't post anymore pointlessly negative or finger pointing posts on this topic. I'm sure your life record (as well as mine) is complete with many screw-ups, yours just luckily didn't have such horrendous outcomes.


majid_sabet


Oct 11, 2011, 10:37 PM
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dindolino32 wrote:
I think we can obviously agree that the guide was a main accomplice, however hateful phrases like hanging someone doesn't do anyone any good. He may read this and doesn't need any more guilt or regret. The purpose of my post wasn't to blame anyone but more importantly point out that once again the main factor in an accident was complacency and lack of redundancy. As for the posts that say the fig 8 doesn't need a backup, it is probably true. But that 1 time that it is improperly tied DOES need a backup knot. Almost every climb involves weighting the rope to lower, so a properly tied knot is needed. Majid, please don't post anymore pointlessly negative or finger pointing posts on this topic. I'm sure your life record (as well as mine) is complete with many screw-ups, yours just luckily didn't have such horrendous outcomes.

I am a guide and an instructor so if an instructor tells you he fuc*ed, you better take it seriously cause next time we got to post a fatality report. This a serious business and no place to feel sorry for someone who does not pay attention to WTF he/she is doing.Now, you can argue with me all day long but I grantee you I am right on this


Regards


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Oct 11, 2011, 10:38 PM)


jakedatc


Oct 12, 2011, 5:28 AM
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dindolino32 wrote:
I think we can obviously agree that the guide was a main accomplice, however hateful phrases like hanging someone doesn't do anyone any good. He may read this and doesn't need any more guilt or regret. The purpose of my post wasn't to blame anyone but more importantly point out that once again the main factor in an accident was complacency and lack of redundancy. As for the posts that say the fig 8 doesn't need a backup, it is probably true. But that 1 time that it is improperly tied DOES need a backup knot. Almost every climb involves weighting the rope to lower, so a properly tied knot is needed. Majid, please don't post anymore pointlessly negative or finger pointing posts on this topic. I'm sure your life record (as well as mine) is complete with many screw-ups, yours just luckily didn't have such horrendous outcomes.


Actually, you are wrong. A figure 8 follow through needs a tail long enough so that if for some off chance the figure 8 slips a bit that it will not pull through. The only way fisherman knot above a figure8 will help with the slipping is if you cinch it down tight right up against the knot... but most people do not tie it that way. It is usually 6-8" up the rope and half of the time will untie itself while you're climbing.

complacency yes, redundancy No. you need to tie your knot properly with enough tail. period. and even more basic you need to finish tying the damn thing.

The person in this accident apparently did not finish tying their knot. Evidence shows the first figure 8 was left on the rope and it did not hold. They didn't check their own knot and their belayer or anyone else responsible for them didn't check.


Tipton


Oct 12, 2011, 6:14 AM
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dindolino32 wrote:
Saturday Oct 8th at HCR in Arkansas, a woman fell from near the top of what route I believe was Earl's Revenge. From what I gathered, she was being guided by a HCR worker. I heard a scream and thought it was just someone taking a lead fall and then hear what sounded like a rock hitting the ground. I thought a big plate had pulled and then heard some commotion. I can't express how lucky she was to fall where she did because there were a lot of rocks protruding out of the ground yet missed them. Unconscious and groaning I know she was not conscious but was still breathing. She had NO helmet as she was toproping after the guide led the route but appeared to have no head trauma. I noted she was not tied in and only 1 strand was hanging from the anchors. Her harness was new and intact. The most obvious conclusion is a knot tying failure was the cause as the single figure 8 was intact at the anchors. I don't know if there was a backup knot that also failed. She became more aware and started trying to move. She had a completely broken forearm and most likely spinal cord damage as she could not move her feet on command. Other injuries remain unknown. After 2-3 hours of waiting she was carried on a body board to a helicopter and flown to the nearest trauma hospital.
I really hope that she makes a full recovery and has little complications. I have read incident reports before and never thought I would write one. It always seems to be the same message so I thought this could once again repeat it. Double check and back up everything that you can. Knots, Rapelling, and Communication. I was always under the assumption that the double fishermans backup knot wasn't really needed because I never screw up the double figure 8. But if I do, I doubt that I would screw up both knots in a row thus I should be safe. I will make sure from now on to keep using that damn knot that gets in the way when I am trying to clip, because I would rather blow a clip than take a grounder.
Lastly, I would like to hear how she is doing so if anyone know or hears anything, a post would be nice.


It is not clear to me if she had reached the top of the climb. Perhaps the knot wasn't finished after she had cleaned the anchors rather than when she first left the ground. Regardless, I imagine more details will come out in the future.

Best wishes to all parties involved and thanks to the assisting climbers.


rtwilli4


Oct 12, 2011, 6:52 AM
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Hope that she recovers. Thoughts are with her and her family.

It's always sad to hear about a guide screwing up. And for once I agree with Majid when he says that there is no room for sympathy for a guide that failed to tie his client in properly. As a person, I feel for him. Bus as a fellow guide, I'm upset that he was able to make such a serious mistake.

What's worse is that their insurance is not going to cover anything because she was not wearing a helmet. Things could get ugly.


rosco22


Oct 12, 2011, 7:36 AM
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I am one of the climbing guides at HCR and was at the ranch during the accident. There are a number of things that need to be clarified and addressed, and our thoughts need to move on towards a speedy recovery for the girl.

First off, this was not a guided climb. It was three good friends out climbing. The belayer was in fact one of our guides, which is where the assumption came from, but he was simply out climbing with two friends he has known for a long time. It was his day off, and they had come up for the weekend.

Secondly, the accident was an unfinished knot. The climber tied her own knot, and unfortunately she did not finish it. She has been climbing for around 5 years. When she reached the anchors and sat in her harness, the knot came untied and she fell. She was not wearing a helmet, and is beyond lucky that she sustained no head trauma.

Thirdly, it did not take anywhere near 2 to 3 hours before she was flown out. Her belayer had a radio and immediately called it in. We received his message for a mediflight and immediately called 911. First responders were at the parking lot incredibly fast, and mediflight arrived at the same time the ambulance did. There were several EMT's and other knowledgeable people that were on the scene within a matter of moments. In situations like this it often feels like hours have gone by, but I can assure you that she was in the helicopter in around an hour.

This is exactly the kind of thing we all hear about and think will never happen, but that is why they are called accidents. A great majority of us go out and climb without helmets, and a good number of us don't double check our climbers knots. As guides we spend day after day, week after week, tieing clients in and double checking our systems before every climb. We use helmets as guides because that's the right thing to do. But when we go out with our friends, most of us are guilty of ditching the helmet or trusting that our climbing partner can and will tie their knot correctly. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, and she is very lucky things went the way they did.

I can't go into the details of her condition, but I can say that things look extremely hopeful. She has no head trauma, and has feeling in her legs. She is expected to make a full recovery, but it will be a very long and difficult road. If you could keep her in your thoughts, that would be greatly appreciated.


bearbreeder


Oct 12, 2011, 7:55 AM
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thanks for clarifying ...

i think people, including myself, take these double checks too casually ... there have been quite a few accidents lately for various reasons involving "experienced" climbers ... in some ways i think newbs are actually more safe, being more paranoid about checks and other things

sounds like a lynn hill type tie in accident

best of luck to her


Partner j_ung


Oct 12, 2011, 8:48 AM
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rosco22 wrote:
I am one of the climbing guides at HCR and was at the ranch during the accident. There are a number of things that need to be clarified and addressed, and our thoughts need to move on towards a speedy recovery for the girl.

First off, this was not a guided climb. It was three good friends out climbing. The belayer was in fact one of our guides, which is where the assumption came from, but he was simply out climbing with two friends he has known for a long time. It was his day off, and they had come up for the weekend.

Secondly, the accident was an unfinished knot. The climber tied her own knot, and unfortunately she did not finish it. She has been climbing for around 5 years. When she reached the anchors and sat in her harness, the knot came untied and she fell. She was not wearing a helmet, and is beyond lucky that she sustained no head trauma.

Thirdly, it did not take anywhere near 2 to 3 hours before she was flown out. Her belayer had a radio and immediately called it in. We received his message for a mediflight and immediately called 911. First responders were at the parking lot incredibly fast, and mediflight arrived at the same time the ambulance did. There were several EMT's and other knowledgeable people that were on the scene within a matter of moments. In situations like this it often feels like hours have gone by, but I can assure you that she was in the helicopter in around an hour.

This is exactly the kind of thing we all hear about and think will never happen, but that is why they are called accidents. A great majority of us go out and climb without helmets, and a good number of us don't double check our climbers knots. As guides we spend day after day, week after week, tieing clients in and double checking our systems before every climb. We use helmets as guides because that's the right thing to do. But when we go out with our friends, most of us are guilty of ditching the helmet or trusting that our climbing partner can and will tie their knot correctly. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, and she is very lucky things went the way they did.

I can't go into the details of her condition, but I can say that things look extremely hopeful. She has no head trauma, and has feeling in her legs. She is expected to make a full recovery, but it will be a very long and difficult road. If you could keep her in your thoughts, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for clarifying. My hopes are with her for a recovery that is as thorough and speedy as possible.


dindolino32


Oct 12, 2011, 10:36 AM
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Re: [rosco22] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Sorry for assuming that he was guiding a newer climber. My goal was to reiterate human error is mostly the culprit. I improperly assumed she was guided and never even thought that it was an issue. I hope I didn't alter HCR image as it is a sweet place to climb, hike and hang out. I am also very relieved to hear she has a good prognosis. Thanks


dagibbs


Oct 12, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Re: [rosco22] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Again, thanks for clarifying.

And, yes, always check and double-check your tie-in.

I was at a gym this evening, climbing with a few pick-up people -- I travel for work, and climb with strangers at gyms a fair bit. One was going to do a climb -- she'd tried it before, and hoped to get it this time. So, she starts up the climb without tieing in. I figure she's just going to boulder the first few moves, maybe to rehearse the sequence, I've done that, I've seen others do that. Then she keeps going...so I say, "Teenie (name she gave), you're not tied in". She nods, and keeps going. Now, she's getting high enough, feet probably about 12 feet up or so, and above a floor that's not particularly padded for falls, and I shout at her, that she's not tied in. And she goes "oh shit". She tries to down-climb a bit, doesn't like it, grabs a close by rope, and slides down it. (Gets a bit of rope burn in the process.) Apparently -- noise in the gym due to loud music, and the fact she was from Germany so English was a second language -- she had heard my first warning as something completely different.

So, don't just make sure that you finish your tie-in, make sure that you start it too.

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