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Gunks Accident: Black Fly Area
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gblauer
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Apr 29, 2012, 5:38 PM
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Gunks Accident: Black Fly Area
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Sunday, April 29th

Apparently a group of climbers set up a top rope on the tree above Black Fly (edited, actually they were on Easy Keyhole). According to the rangers, the rigging failed (6 or so slings somehow attached and wrapped around the tree). Apparently one climber was lowered to the ground, the second climber ascended and when she sat back the rigging failed and she hit the deck.

The rangers were very concerned about her well being as she was altered, very pale and had some type leg injury.

Thoughts and prayers to the injured climber and those who set up the rigging. I hope they all recover quickly.


(This post was edited by gblauer on Apr 30, 2012, 12:18 PM)


Traches


Apr 30, 2012, 6:51 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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Sorry to hear about that.

I feel like this kind of thing is why people on this forum shouldn't get too upset about the endless "is my anchor ok?" threads. (That said, I'm pretty inexperienced and would more likely be on the asking side than the instructing side of one of those threads.)


johnwesely


Apr 30, 2012, 7:33 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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All six slings failed? They clipped into one that failed? Isn't there an actual cable around that tree? It is a tragic accident either way. No one expects to get injured toproping off a fixed anchor.


gblauer
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Apr 30, 2012, 8:29 AM
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Re: [johnwesely] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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The rangers were trying to figure it out yesterday after the accident.

There are no fixed rings/slings on the tree.

The party apparently joined 5-6 slings to make something long enough to go around the tree. Apparently they did not fully join the slings or they didn't clip it once it was around the tree.


johnwesely


Apr 30, 2012, 8:30 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
The rangers were trying to figure it out yesterday after the accident.

There are no fixed rings/slings on the tree.

The party apparently joined 5-6 slings to make something long enough to go around the tree. Apparently they did not fully join the slings or they didn't clip it once it was around the tree.

Ok, that makes much more sense.


rhunter


Apr 30, 2012, 8:38 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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According to gunks.com, the climber who fell has died. Condolences to all involved.


wonderwoman


Apr 30, 2012, 8:57 AM
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Re: [rhunter] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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Oh no! My condolences to everyone involved, and her friends and family.


CRKnutsen


Apr 30, 2012, 9:02 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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I'm deeply saddened to hear that the climber died. It's such a tragedy. My thoughts are with her, her family and the other climbers with her.

The accident happened a little after 1pm on Easy Keyhole, not Black Fly.


curt


Apr 30, 2012, 9:59 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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This is very sad to hear--my condolences. I hope we will eventually find out what actually happened in more detail.

Curt


majid_sabet


Apr 30, 2012, 10:02 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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According to another news, she fell 20 feet and did not wear helmet.

http://www.recordonline.com/...20430/NEWS/120439990


CRKnutsen


Apr 30, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Re: [curt] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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I was belaying on black fly at the time of the accident and saw the part of the fall. As i mentioned above, the accident happened on Easy Keyhole which is directly to the left of Black Fly.

Her toprope anchor broke as she either fell or tried to take a break on her way up. It seemed unclear how it actually broke. I overheard someone say their anchor was webbing girth-hitched around a tree and someone from my group said they though they saw a rip in the webbing. It appeared to be atleast two pieces of webbing (two different colors) but could have been multiple slings. The rope and webbing came down with her. The anchor held up for someone to climb and be lowered just before she climbed.

The rangers were there quickly and the ambulance was waiting at the road by the bridge by the time they got her there. One of the rangers found an unlocked lockerbiner near the tree they used for an anchor but didn't seem to know if it was part of their setup or not.

Her group said she fell from about 15 feet. We thought she was a bit higher judging from the beta we overheard and where we first saw her falling but we couldn't see her climbing from where we were so we can't be sure. The article linked below was correct, she was not wearing a helmet.

It's a terrible tragedy and i hope it reminds everyone to use redundant anchors and not grow complacent with their setups.


(This post was edited by CRKnutsen on Apr 30, 2012, 11:27 AM)


njrox


Apr 30, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
The party apparently joined 5-6 slings to make something long enough to go around the tree. Apparently they did not fully join the slings or they didn't clip it once it was around the tree.

Is that what happened? Damn. Terrible tradgedy. Really sad to hear about something like this. Condolensces to the families.


gblauer
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Apr 30, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Re: [rhunter] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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Unreal.

My sincerest condolences to friends and family.


marc801


Apr 30, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Re: [njrox] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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njrox wrote:
gblauer wrote:
The party apparently joined 5-6 slings to make something long enough to go around the tree. Apparently they did not fully join the slings or they didn't clip it once it was around the tree.

Is that what happened? Damn. Terrible tradgedy. Really sad to hear about something like this. Condolensces to the families.
This is one of the reasons why the experienced people in those endless "Is this anchor OK" threads keep advocating for simplicity.

Condolences to all involved, but there really is no excuse for a top rope anchor to fail.


curt


Apr 30, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Re: [njrox] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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njrox wrote:
gblauer wrote:
The party apparently joined 5-6 slings to make something long enough to go around the tree. Apparently they did not fully join the slings or they didn't clip it once it was around the tree.

Is that what happened? Damn. Terrible tradgedy. Really sad to hear about something like this. Condolensces to the families.

These types of accidents are very disturbing because:

1) Something very simple had to go horribly wrong.

and

2) It may be difficult to determine the proximate cause of the accident.

This accident reminds me of a rappel failure here in AZ from several years ago.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rum.cgi?post=1322341

Curt


wonderwoman


Apr 30, 2012, 2:02 PM
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Re: [CRKnutsen] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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CRKnutsen wrote:
The anchor held up for someone to climb and be lowered just before she climbed.

This is just crazy. If someone lowered off the climb before me, I would totally assume that the anchor would hold my weight, too.

Maybe there was a rip in the webbing? Or maybe, god forbid, some other person up top accidentally started taking down the wrong anchor. God, that would be horrifying and I'm sure that would have come to light by now and is (hopefully) crazy talk.


tradmanclimbs


Apr 30, 2012, 3:09 PM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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Girth hitched skinny spectra runner?


majid_sabet


Apr 30, 2012, 4:18 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Gunks Accident: Black Fly Area [In reply to]
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It is important for witnesses to carefully look at climbing set up after the accident and record what they see with minimal disturbance so they could inform others on what went wrong.

I know its hard to do while everyone is rushing on scene but knowing what went wrong is the key to save others from future accidents.


majid_sabet


Apr 30, 2012, 4:22 PM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
CRKnutsen wrote:
The anchor held up for someone to climb and be lowered just before she climbed.

This is just crazy. If someone lowered off the climb before me, I would totally assume that the anchor would hold my weight, too.

Maybe there was a rip in the webbing? Or maybe, god forbid, some other person up top accidentally started taking down the wrong anchor. God, that would be horrifying and I'm sure that would have come to light by now and is (hopefully) crazy talk.

what if person was lowered on webbing and without the TR biner on the webbing ?


wonderwoman


Apr 30, 2012, 4:29 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
CRKnutsen wrote:
The anchor held up for someone to climb and be lowered just before she climbed.

This is just crazy. If someone lowered off the climb before me, I would totally assume that the anchor would hold my weight, too.

Maybe there was a rip in the webbing? Or maybe, god forbid, some other person up top accidentally started taking down the wrong anchor. God, that would be horrifying and I'm sure that would have come to light by now and is (hopefully) crazy talk.

what if person was lowered on webbing and without the TR biner on the webbing ?

Yikes! The evidence of that would be on the webbing, I suppose. But like others have said, we may never know.


Gmburns2000


Apr 30, 2012, 5:29 PM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
CRKnutsen wrote:
The anchor held up for someone to climb and be lowered just before she climbed.

This is just crazy. If someone lowered off the climb before me, I would totally assume that the anchor would hold my weight, too.

Maybe there was a rip in the webbing? Or maybe, god forbid, some other person up top accidentally started taking down the wrong anchor. God, that would be horrifying and I'm sure that would have come to light by now and is (hopefully) crazy talk.

what if person was lowered on webbing and without the TR biner on the webbing ?

Yikes! The evidence of that would be on the webbing, I suppose. But like others have said, we may never know.

as would there be evidence if there were a tear in the webbing (i.e. - it ran over sharp rock, which, might have held one climber but not a second).


majid_sabet


Apr 30, 2012, 5:36 PM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
wonderwoman wrote:
CRKnutsen wrote:
The anchor held up for someone to climb and be lowered just before she climbed.

This is just crazy. If someone lowered off the climb before me, I would totally assume that the anchor would hold my weight, too.

Maybe there was a rip in the webbing? Or maybe, god forbid, some other person up top accidentally started taking down the wrong anchor. God, that would be horrifying and I'm sure that would have come to light by now and is (hopefully) crazy talk.

what if person was lowered on webbing and without the TR biner on the webbing ?

Yikes! The evidence of that would be on the webbing, I suppose. But like others have said, we may never know.

any type of anchor failure raises the question cause generally, anchors do not fail unless they are constructed poorly. its worth to mention and two years ago, a party of two climber fell and both died when their webbing snapped on second pitch while they were resting on the anchor and before rappelling.

One of the issues I have seen is that a leader climbs and sets an anchor for TR or whatever for others in his/her party and second climbs just assume everything is fixed and trust their life on it. This becomes a bigger problem when second climber is inexperience where they can not verify how things are made.

This is really a sad accident and so preventable.


wonderwoman


Apr 30, 2012, 6:08 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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Just because I know where the climb is, I am willing to bet that it was not led and that they walked to the top to set up the toprope. But the witness in this thread would know better. I've never seen anyone lead that climb.


notapplicable


Apr 30, 2012, 6:35 PM
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Re: [marc801] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
njrox wrote:
gblauer wrote:
The party apparently joined 5-6 slings to make something long enough to go around the tree. Apparently they did not fully join the slings or they didn't clip it once it was around the tree.

Is that what happened? Damn. Terrible tradgedy. Really sad to hear about something like this. Condolensces to the families.
This is one of the reasons why the experienced people in those endless "Is this anchor OK" threads keep advocating for simplicity.

Condolences to all involved, but there really is no excuse for a top rope anchor to fail.

Simple, yes, but also redundant.

Based on the reports so far, it seems very possible that the anchor was too simple. I'm picturing a chain of slings, or possibly knotted tubular webbing, extended over the edge of the cliff that either abraded and broke or just came untied.

I could certainly be wrong about the mode of failure but it seems clear that the anchor was not sufficiently redundant.


gblauer
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Apr 30, 2012, 6:35 PM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Gunks Accident: Black Fly [In reply to]
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The rangers told Mitch that there were no tears in the slings.
In other words the slings were entirely intact.
There is a large tree to the (climber's) right of the climb. You need a long cordalette to sling the tree.

THe rangers thought that the TR was set up by somehow joining 5-6 slings together and wrapping them around the tree. Somehow, the system failed.

Slings not properly joined? Slings not clipped with a locking biner?


(This post was edited by gblauer on Apr 30, 2012, 6:50 PM)

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