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Teen breaks bones in climbing accident
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bearbreeder


Oct 29, 2012, 12:29 AM
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Teen breaks bones in climbing accident
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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/...mp;objectid=10843660

Sophie McCauley had been scaling a wall at the Mount Maunganui facility with friends to celebrate her birthday earlier this month.

She was harnessed in but cannot recall if she checked the carabiner as instructed while climbing the wall.

It is believed a piece of webbing became caught in Sophie's carabiner as she climbed a ladder on the wall and she fell 4m on to the concrete floor, breaking her hip and fracturing her foot.



socalclimber


Oct 29, 2012, 5:27 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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That place should be closed.


mheyman


Oct 29, 2012, 6:08 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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I'd want accurate information before I made that decision. No one can take back what has already happened; and ensuring better safety standards might be effective in the future.


socalclimber


Oct 29, 2012, 2:28 PM
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Re: [mheyman] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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Well the owner of the Gym clearly stated they took the pads off the floor because people were being lowered to fast. The figured that if they took the pads out, people would slow down their lowering of partners.

Too me that's just stupid. If people are lowering their partners far to fast, the gym staff needs to deal with that issue.

Sounds to me like gross mismanagement.


mheyman


Oct 29, 2012, 2:58 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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Honestly I'm not arguing that this isn't a case of gross mismanagement, just that I’d want to hear all the facts, accurate facts before I made that determination. I feel there is a significant difference between ignorance and negligence.

However needless and unfortunate this accident may have been no one can take back what has already happened; and ensuring better safety standards might be effective in the future. If not and the business is truly at fault, then I’d agree the place should be closed regales of the exact cause.


socalclimber


Oct 29, 2012, 3:20 PM
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No problems. Just my observations.


guangzhou


Oct 30, 2012, 5:17 AM
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Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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I have to agree, a lot of facts not there from a climber's point of view. I know reporters aren't climbers, so I understand.


Aequitas


Oct 30, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Hey at least they gave her a candy bar and a voucher. haha


JasonsDrivingForce


Oct 30, 2012, 1:27 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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I don’t know what happened at that specific gym. However, I do wonder how affective pads really are when the fall distance surpasses normal bouldering heights.

We had an unfortunate accident with a young climber that broke his arm at our local bouldering competition. He slipped on the final hold and fell onto the padless flooring. I saw him as he lifted his arm and it was literally in an L shape.

So how affective are these padless floors? They seem to have less than 1 inch of give as you walk on them. Not nearly the 2 inches of compression that some pads can have.

I am just curious about how affective pads are in reducing fracture injuries as opposed to flooring that gives a little. I always feel more comfortable when I climb over a pad but they definitely do not always take the bite out of falling.

I hope both of these young kids recover quickly. It was one of the worst experiences of my life seeing that young boy realize what had happened to his arm.


guangzhou


Oct 30, 2012, 7:01 PM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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My gym has no pads, we teach people to move the bouldering mats into place. the base of our walls have a 1 inch thick rubber mat that is half a meter wide.

Moving the mats helps people stay focused on safety.

I've never liked gym where the entire floor is padded. Just doesn't make sense to me in general. I really believe it gives people a false sense of security.


notapplicable


Oct 30, 2012, 9:09 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
I've never liked gym where the entire floor is padded. Just doesn't make sense to me in general. I really believe it gives people a false sense of security.

They sure are comfortable to lounge around on though.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Oct 30, 2012, 9:10 PM)


patto


Oct 30, 2012, 9:22 PM
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guangzhou wrote:
I've never liked gym where the entire floor is padded. Just doesn't make sense to me in general. I really believe it gives people a false sense of security.

All the gyms around me are like this. The consequences of a dropped climber are rarely death in such circumstances. Dropped climbers do occasionally occur.

The death is almost inevitable if a dropped climber strikes his/her head onto concrete.


Syd


Oct 30, 2012, 11:38 PM
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Gravel is far better than pads. I saw a beginner fall 7 m onto his back in a local gym. Not a scratch ! However gravel is now banned here.


bearbreeder


Oct 30, 2012, 11:44 PM
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all this talk about grounding in the gym is quite disconcerting Crazy

IMO if there is a grounding in a gym ... then it has serious issues with the training of its members/staff and/or supervision of the floor ...


guangzhou


Oct 31, 2012, 12:34 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
They sure are comfortable to lounge around on though.

Yet one more reason to not have padded floors.

I have to agree, if people are decking, the solution isn't better floor padding, it's better training and awareness of climbing safety.


gothcopter


Oct 31, 2012, 8:03 AM
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guangzhou wrote:
I've never liked gym where the entire floor is padded. Just doesn't make sense to me in general. I really believe it gives people a false sense of security.

Are you sure the sense of security is false?

Let's try a fun experiment. Go into your bedroom and do a nice big belly flop onto your bed. Now go outside and do a nice big belly flop onto your driveway. See the difference?

The plain truth is that human beings are a major component of the safety systems in climbing, and human beings are unreliable. I'd wager that pretty much every major gym open for more than a couple of years has had at least one climber dropped from some distance.

I've been to a climbing facility at the other end of the "safety spectrum". In order to top rope, two belayers were required. One normal belayer, and then a back-up belayer with an ATC to belay the brake strand of the primary belayer's belay. And of course the belayer was required to anchor himself to the ground for a top rope belay, regardless of weight difference. Surprise surprise, very few "real" climbers ever went there more than once.

Much like guardrails on the highway, padded floors are a relatively cheap and reliable way to mitigate an eventuality that shouldn't -- but in all likelihood will -- occur.


jomagam


Oct 31, 2012, 9:22 AM
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guangzhou wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
They sure are comfortable to lounge around on though.

Yet one more reason to not have padded floors.

I have to agree, if people are decking, the solution isn't better floor padding, it's better training and awareness of climbing safety.


Padded floors make everything so much easier. Just finished a boulder problem with your shoes 7 feet above the ground ? Just jump down ! Falling at the start of a route would be awkward ? (Big swing because you're climbing on TR and the route wanders, or leading and you don't want to fall onto the first bolt). Ask your belayer to spot you and keep you loose.


notapplicable


Oct 31, 2012, 5:17 PM
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jomagam wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
They sure are comfortable to lounge around on though.

Yet one more reason to not have padded floors.

I have to agree, if people are decking, the solution isn't better floor padding, it's better training and awareness of climbing safety.


Padded floors make everything so much easier. Just finished a boulder problem with your shoes 7 feet above the ground ? Just jump down ! Falling at the start of a route would be awkward ? (Big swing because you're climbing on TR and the route wanders, or leading and you don't want to fall onto the first bolt). Ask your belayer to spot you and keep you loose.

^True story^


Partner robdotcalm


Oct 31, 2012, 7:58 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
I've never liked gym where the entire floor is padded. Just doesn't make sense to me in general. I really believe it gives people a false sense of security.

But gumbies like me may need it. From my accident report of my gym fall where I didn't tie into the auto-belay.

'CONSEQUENCES: I was aware of the start of the fall but do not remember anything after that. When I hit the padded floor, I was rendered unconscious."

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...;;page=unread#unread

Without the padded floor, I might never have become conscious again. I agree with the writer upstream who said that pebbles make for the safest landing. I've only known one gym that's had them. It may be that sanitation problems are an issue. If I had landed on pebbles, I might have just walked away from the fall.

Cheers,
Rob.calm


Partner rgold


Oct 31, 2012, 9:24 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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I think socal nailed it and almost everyone else missed the point. Whatever you think about padded floors, removing padding because people were lowering too fast is a ridiculous "solution" to the need to control dangerous behavior.

That's a quote from the owner and if it is accurate, I'd agree with socal that running a climbing gym is not what that guy should be doing.

As for padded floors, it is clear that people get dropped in gyms. Given the level of inattention and/or incompetence that entails, it is also clear that people will not always pull mats over or will position them incorrectly. From this it follows that sooner or later, someone is gonna hit the concrete hard. As an owner, you can gamble it won't happen and you might be ok, but it sure sounds like a bad bet to me.

I feel really bad for the girl, who no matter how you look at it is a victim who will quite possibly be paying for this little birthday outing for life. At least she's still alive and not a paraplegic.

I think a misleading aura of "safety" has grown up around climbing that makes many people take it far too casually, and this is especially toxic when a young person with little or no ability to form judgements on their own buys into the safety myth without realizing how seriously they have to take all the procedures and how things can go wrong even so.

Even if there is no legal liability, I think there is a certain moral failing in not being crystal clear about how fragile your safety is in climbing and how relatively easy it is to cross line and end up in mortal danger.


(This post was edited by rgold on Oct 31, 2012, 9:40 PM)


guangzhou


Oct 31, 2012, 9:31 PM
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I understand all thee excuses mentioned above, but I still believe padded floors provide a false sense of security.

Bouldering areas are different all together, I am referring to roped climbing areas.

Without padded floors on overhanging top-rope, move a bouldering pad and get a potter. We have a few 8 feet by 8ft bouldering mats that can be moved anywhere needed by members. They learn how to use pad defectively to protect themselves while belaying or climbing.

Teaching people to be safe will prevent accidents.

Falling onto the first bolt, a good belayer knows how to keep a climber from hitting the ground. If the belayer can't do this, you shouldn't trust them to belay you in the first place. A padded floor won't make them better at their task, to keep you off the ground.

No clipped into a auto belay device or tied properly means the system wasn't double checked correctly. I feel bad that you fell, but I see it as being over confident in your ability and trust of the autobelay device.

I sell auto belay devices to gyms, accidents with them are not more common than other accident with belayer errors. Proper training on how to correctly use and double check the device will save and protect more lives than a padded floor. A padded floor just adds to the comfort level and make the place feel safer so people are less likely to double check systems.

People are to quick to trust others with their life. Instead of taking a few minutes to double check their partner and themselves, they rush to get one more route or one more lap in.

In our gym, one staff member minimum is required to be the floor safety any time someone is climbing. If they notice someone taking short cuts in procedure, not using correct and standard commands, not double checking the system, they make those people start over from step one. Forcing people to do things right every-time has helped us, and now members force each other to double check.

padded floors are not as helpful as teaching and enforcing safe climbing practices within a climbing gym.


bearbreeder


Oct 31, 2012, 11:34 PM
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the main issue i have is the attachment by a single locker presumably as the only point ...

while i understand it was a 3 stage locker, as demonstrated, newbies can easily get clothing caught in it or other such that prevents a proper closure

there is also a failure of proper checks for people who are totally new ... can you really depend on them to perform all the checks right off the bat? ... IMO there should have been a staff member for a birthday party for kids to do a quick check for every kid in the system

on the autobelays in my gym there are 2 3-stage lockers, and for bday party with kids there is a staff member/members to do a check i believe

kids especially need additional supervision, everyone does stupid stuff as a kid Wink


socalclimber


Nov 1, 2012, 3:43 AM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Teen breaks bones in climbing accident [In reply to]
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I still find it odd that the few responding to this thread don't really even get the point. It has nothing to do with what you think about pads or cement floors.

The single and only pertinent point is that apparently mismanagement of the facility was the likely cause of this accident.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Nov 1, 2012, 3:49 AM)


Partner robdotcalm


Nov 1, 2012, 11:21 AM
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Guanzhou wrote

In reply to:
No clipped into a auto belay device or tied properly means the system wasn't double checked correctly. I feel bad that you fell, but I see it as being over confident in your ability and trust of the autobelay device.

I sell auto belay devices to gyms, accidents with them are not more common than other accident with belayer errors. Proper training on how to correctly use and double check the device will save and protect more lives than a padded floor. A padded floor just adds to the comfort level and make the place feel safer so people are less likely to double check systems.
…….
padded floors are not as helpful as teaching and enforcing safe climbing practices within a climbing gym.

Specious moralizing about how why accidents shouldn’t happen and therefore easy-to-implement safety procedures, e.g., padded floors, are not needed, is a dangerous attitude. Accidents will happen and reasonable procedures to mitigate the results are just common sense. As can be seen in the thread about my accident and the links therein, many gym accidents include safe and experienced climbers who, indeed, made a mistake. Your assumption of human perfection upon proper training is unrealistic.

Cheers,
Rob.calm


skellie


Nov 1, 2012, 1:47 PM
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The number of near-misses I've seen in MOST gyms I've been to scares the crap out of me.
At my current gym, Stone Age in Albuquerque, I regularly have tiny little kids running under me while I'm bouldering. I actually tweaked my back last week as I fell and rolled around in mid-air to miss one of them. I attempted to calmly confront one of the "coaches" about this and he got all defensive and argued with me in front of the kids. Most of them have the attitude that "they're just kids, they don't know better." To which I reply, "Well then they shouldn't be doing a safety-oriented sport like climbing."
ALSO, the "coaches" regularly have the kids warm-up, or have "coaching sessions" LITERALLY right under the roof with people sport climbing ABOVE THEM! I've seen quite a number of climbers whip off that roof and come within 6 ft. of the ground. Why not take the kids to a SAFE part of the gym?

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