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Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12
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teknicald


Apr 29, 2012, 3:37 PM
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Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12
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Route 6 pillar 1 proscuitto.
I was witness to an accident at the first pillar on 4/28. God bless that it wasn't fatal. A group of 4 moved onto the pillar to my left. I was on belay and started paying attention when the gentleman climbed up without placing any gear. He towed the rope up on his harness. He topped out and setup an anchor with non-locking quickdraws and the gates facing inwards. I was about to say something as he weighted the rope and immediately fell. He landed feet first between two of his mates. His right leg above the ankle fractured (compound) broke his right wrist. Thank God there were two guys on the wall that had some medical training. My climbing partner had the good sense to speak with the victim and assure him this was not a life threatening injury. (helped to prevent shock) We had a quick response from 911 less than 15 minutes and they were onsite with Morphine for the man. First shot didn't do much for the pain.
The guys name is Brian. I'm very glad he landed feet first and not on anything sharp, there was a lot to hit. We discussed the issue with Brian as we waited for the EMT to arrive. The rope had come down out of both quickdraws, The climber said "my knot failed". My guess is that he tied an overhand knot to pull up the rope. I didn't ask what kind of knot was tied.
I think I saw this group on the main wall previous. I did notice one (different)gentleman free soloing the main wall to the first platform and down (aprx 20 Ft up). He was confident in what he was doing and cautious. The reason I mention is ego. I can't say this was a factor, but since I'm already saying what I think I have.

So our accident victim made threetwo mistakes. First his shortcut not using a figure 8 or no stopper. He climbed without any trad gear and placed no protection for the route (aprox 30 ft). He setup 2 anchors with the gates facing the wrong direction. Ive been corrected that this considered "safe" but i was taught to use locking biners on anchors.



(This post was edited by teknicald on Apr 30, 2012, 6:09 AM)


gblauer
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Apr 29, 2012, 5:43 PM
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Re: [teknicald] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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What a horrible accident. Must have been awful for the climber and terrible for you guys.

Kudos for getting assistance on site so quickly.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!


notapplicable


Apr 29, 2012, 8:05 PM
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Re: [teknicald] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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teknicald wrote:
I was witness to an accident at the first pillar on 4/28. God bless that it wasn't fatal. A group of 4 moved onto the pillar to my left. I was on belay and started paying attention when the gentleman climbed up without placing any gear. He towed the rope up on his harness. He topped out and setup an anchor with non-locking quickdraws and the gates facing inwards. I was about to say something as he weighted the rope and immediately fell. He landed feet first between two of his mates. His right leg above the ankle fractured (compound) broke his right wrist. Thank God there were two guys on the wall that had some medical training. My climbing partner had the good sense to speak with the victim and assure him this was not a life threatening injury. (helped to prevent shock) We had a quick response from 911 less than 15 minutes and they were onsite with Morphine for the man. First shot didn't do much for the pain.
The guys name is Brian. I'm very glad he landed feet first and not on anything sharp, there was a lot to hit. We discussed the issue with Brian as we waited for the EMT to arrive. The rope had come down out of both quickdraws, The climber said "my knot failed". My guess is that he tied an overhand knot to pull up the rope. I didn't ask what kind of knot was tied.
I think I saw this group on the main wall previous. I did notice one (different)gentleman free soloing the main wall to the first platform and down (aprx 20 Ft up). He was confident in what he was doing and cautious. The reason I mention is ego. I can't say this was a factor, but since I'm already saying what I think I have.

So our accident victim made 3 mistakes. First his shortcut not using a figure 8 or no stopper. He climbed without any trad gear and placed no protection for the route (aprox 30 ft). He setup 2 anchors with the gates facing the wrong direction.

Thats pretty scary. Glad the guy is going to make it. While the pillars are not extremely tall, the landings at first pillar are pretty much slabs of rock.

Two questions:

1. Was the rope still attached to his harness after he fell? It sounds like he lowered with an improper tie-in knot and it came undone, but it also sounds like you think the quickdraw orientation at the anchor was a contributing factor. If by "both gates facing inward", you mean that they were setup as pictured below, that is not a problem. The gates are opposite and opposed and that, while perhaps not absolutely ideal, is perfectly safe.



2. Do you know what route he was on? Here is a link to a topo for reference if needed>> http://mgreeby.home.mindspring.com/...e_Climbing_Guide.pdf It's not uncommon for people to solo Bolts From Heaven to set up TR's on other routes.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Apr 29, 2012, 8:20 PM)


notapplicable


Apr 29, 2012, 8:12 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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Here is a picture for those unfamiliar with Manchester Bridge. The closest pillar is where the accident happened.




majid_sabet


Apr 29, 2012, 8:53 PM
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Re: [teknicald] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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Another pilot crash landed without checking the check list prior to landing.


shockabuku


Apr 29, 2012, 9:31 PM
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Re: [teknicald] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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Your post is pretty slim on the details to really understand the accident. As was previously mentioned "gates facing inward" does not, in the context of your description, have any meaningful relevance to the accident. I guess the implication is that his tie-in knot failed? And we don't know what knot it was or how it was tied to him. Mostly what I got was that you watched a guy solo up (which didn't seem to be involved in the accident and trad gear would not have prevented his decking if his tie-in came loose) hook up two quickdraws as an anchor (pretty normal) and fall to the ground and get hurt.


tradmanclimbs


Apr 30, 2012, 2:42 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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You confused us. Either the rope came out of the quick draws and was still attached to the harness or the rope stayed in the draws but the tie in knott failed and then the rope slithered through the anchor after the climber had fallen free of the rope?


JAB


Apr 30, 2012, 2:53 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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Pure speculation here, but one plausible explanation is that since he was soloing he intentionally did not tie a good knot. He was just hauling the rope up anyway. After setting up the anchor he might have forgotten about that and just asked to be lowered.

Lesson: if you are going to haul the rope, do it on your rear haul loop and not on the tie in points. If you are going to tie the rope in front, always do it with a good knot.


(This post was edited by JAB on Apr 30, 2012, 2:53 AM)


teknicald


Apr 30, 2012, 5:37 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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Facing this direction its the back right corner of pillar 1
In reply to:


notapplicable


Apr 30, 2012, 5:46 AM
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Re: [teknicald] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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teknicald wrote:
Facing this direction its the back right corner of pillar 1

Thanks. Those on the back are all 5.5 gear routes.

teknicald wrote:
The knot failed and rope came threading out if the quickdraws. I was taught to use locking opposed beaners on my anchor setup. I respectfully disagree on thecontract safety of opposing gated quickdraws...but i see your point.

Thanks for this clarification as well.

As for the quickdraw configuration at the bolts, if opposing lockers is what you're comfortable with thats great. Nothing wrong with a little extra redundancy. Just don't be surprised if people aren't jumping to change out their top rope anchor when you tell them that opposite and opposed biners on a 30 foot vertical route is unsafe. Gates facing out would be ideal though.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Apr 30, 2012, 6:13 AM)


teknicald


Apr 30, 2012, 6:13 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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No worries. I don't expect others to change. I just know what I "feel" safe with. Rock Climbing is an activity where we all take complete personal responsibility for our actions(and our partners). Climb on. Be safe.


notapplicable


Apr 30, 2012, 6:14 AM
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Re: [teknicald] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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teknicald wrote:
No worries. I don't expect others to change. I just know what I "feel" safe with. Rock Climbing is an activity where we all take complete personal responsibility for our actions(and our partners). Climb on. Be safe.

Couldn't agree more.


durangocraig


Apr 30, 2012, 6:15 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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"I did notice one (different)gentleman free soloing the main wall to the first platform and down (aprx 20 Ft up). He was confident in what he was doing and cautious. The reason I mention is ego. I can't say this was a factor, but since I'm already saying what I think I have. "

Let me apologize if my confidence and motivated training came across egotistical - doing a big wall in a month and limited time to get footage in.

Glad the accident wasn't as severe as it could have been and hope Brian recovers soon. Thanks for scrambling to help those guys.


teknicald


Apr 30, 2012, 6:34 AM
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Re: [durangocraig] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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I'm not putting any blame on you sir. When I mentioned ego i was speaking of those that had an accident. They let their ego get tweaked and made poor(unsafe) choices. We all climb at our own ability. I hope you have a great trip. One day I will see you on a big wall. Smile


bearbreeder


Apr 30, 2012, 8:08 AM
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Re: [teknicald] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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was ego involved in the accident ... ie someone soloing up for the wrong reasons ...

as to draws facing inwards, i dont do that myself and ask my partners not to do it ... ive had draws twist and clip into each other that way


tomcecil


Apr 30, 2012, 8:27 AM
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Re: [durangocraig] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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don't they call that 'bouldering' these days?


teknicald


Apr 30, 2012, 8:27 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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I really cant say, even though I did. Unless we have the climber weigh in how could we know. The accident led me to think so, and thats one of the reasons to share. No offense intended.


IPissonurproj


Apr 30, 2012, 8:28 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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I think the real question should be....why would anybody want to climb there?


durangocraig


Apr 30, 2012, 8:44 AM
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Re: [tomcecil] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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Headed to Seneca this weekend TC. Let's hope to get some clear skies.


tradmanclimbs


Apr 30, 2012, 12:25 PM
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Re: [durangocraig] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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Aparently no one knows what happened so all the talk about quick draws vs lockers is just wasted time. If the rope was not attached to the fallen climber then there is no need to discuss the anchor. If the rope was still attached to the fallen climber then there is a need to discuss the anchor.


ricclimbr


May 9, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Re: [IPissonurproj] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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There are many reasons to climb at the Manchester Wall area: 1) Convenience--there is no real "rock" to be found if you live anywhere east of Richmond and the nearest area is in Charlottesville, an hour west of Richmond. 2) It's better than the local climbing gyms. 3) If you want to practice trad climbing, pillars 1-12 offer trad routes. [Note: James River water levels usually prevent easy access to Pillars 4-12.] And 4) Ratings range from 5.4 to 5.11d, so there's something for just about everyone. As far as route descriptions/guide books go, Mr. Michael Greeby is a "liberator". He stole word for word the route descriptions of two local climbers and authors of the only true guide to the area. Greeby's "MO" is to travel to climbing areas around the US, spend one day at said area and then within weeks a "guidebook" appears on the internet. The copyright infringement by Mr. Greeby makes him as welcomed to the Manchester climbing area as a bleeding hemorrhoid


(This post was edited by ricclimbr on May 9, 2012, 1:10 PM)


climbingaggie03


May 9, 2012, 1:44 PM
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Re: [ricclimbr] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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How do you place gear on those bricks? is there spots where the cement is missing?


ricclimbr


May 9, 2012, 5:54 PM
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Re: [climbingaggie03] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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Yes, anywhere the old mortar is missing allows for vertical and horizontal trad gear placement. Anything from #3 HB to #3.5 cams depending on the pillar. But wired stoppers are just as fast as the smaller cams. Of course, this also allows for numerous types of hand/finger hold positions.
Pillars 3-12 are 35' high with the north and south faces near vertical and the other two faces about 87 degrees. Pillars 1 and 2 are accessible nearly year round except during flood level conditions. Each pillar has a trad route that is usually the easiest route allowing summit access for the TR of other routes.
Pillar 4 and Pillar 6 require a simultaneous rappelling from the top as there are no anchors. Or, the final climber can rap off an opposite side from a secured ground anchor (your partner).
The pillar blocks are large, heavy and made of natural stone quarried from nearby Belle Isle and the bridge they supported was completed in 1888. I've been going there for 20 years and several of my friends are the "original gang" of developers. It's great fun and 4 minutes from the parking lot. A total of seven bolted routes were added to 5th, 8th and 11th pillars in July/August 2010.

(This post was edited by ricclimbr on May 10, 2012, 3:24 PM)


tomcecil


May 10, 2012, 3:14 PM
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Re: [ricclimbr] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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 can you say...Legends Brewery


notapplicable


May 10, 2012, 6:43 PM
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Re: [tomcecil] Climbing Accident Manchester Bridge: Richmond, VA 4/28/12 [In reply to]
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tomcecil wrote:
can you say...Legends Brewery

Hell yeah! And people say Manchester is not a "destination" crag.

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