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Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke
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Gmburns2000


Jun 19, 2013, 6:53 AM
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Re: [iron106] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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iron106 wrote:
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“She was on the ground below. She was the one having difficulty. The guide went down to coach her through a difficult move and when the guide fell, it ended up pulling the other climber off with him,” he said.

So I am guessing this, The guide climbed the route set up a great anchor for his clients to climb on. He ran a line so he could see the clients climb up and give beta see if they were in trouble etc. Then client 1, the male climbed the route. The guide must have clipped him into the same line he was on so he could watch client 2, the female also? Client 2 the female was stuck, couldn't climb up, whatever. Then the guide must have lowered himself on the secondary line for assistance. So the rope they were both now on was not the main climbing line. If there were any padding, protection needed it would normally go on the regular line. This second line now gets cut due to movement unexpected when the anchor was originally set up.

Sound correct?

access is from the top at this location. one almost always belays from the top while hanging over the edge. the climber is always lowered from the top and climbs up.


billl7


Jun 19, 2013, 6:55 AM
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Re: [acorneau] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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I believe it was the climbing rope that was cut (yes, I could be wrong).

At top-outs, many times I've walked back to a tree or anchor bolts, built an anchor, ran the climb rope through a locker at the power point, walked back to the cliff edge and tied off the rope so there's just one simple closed loop of climb rope going through the anchor. Perhaps it was a loop like that which got cut by an edge.

Granted, as a threesome, the overall config is a little different. And yet the same kind of closed-loop-of-rope - running over an edge - could have been relied upon for bringing up the clients, anchoring the first one up, and for protecting the guide as he went down. There likely was plenty of extra rope for this on such a short cliff.

Bill L


iron106


Jun 19, 2013, 6:57 AM
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Re: [acorneau] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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acorneau wrote:
billl7 wrote:
Sounds plausible except that a normal / typical anchor would have had redundancy.

True, however if the guide was using something like a Magic-X or ACR then if that one cord gets cut in one place the whole anchor falls apart.

The fact that all three fell makes me guess that it was the anchor system that failed. Whether that anchor system was made with a cord, climbing rope, static rope, or even webbing remains to be seen.

In reply to:
She was on the ground below

Just the two of them fell. The guide fell on her.


ninepointeight


Jun 19, 2013, 7:08 AM
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Re: [billl7] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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Access is from the top at this cliff.


billl7


Jun 19, 2013, 7:50 AM
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Re: [ninepointeight] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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ninepointeight wrote:
Access is from the top at this cliff.
Agreed. Doesn't change the possibility of a closed loop of rope.


billl7


Jun 19, 2013, 7:57 AM
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Re: [billl7] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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For example, creat a typical anchor back from the edge of the cliff. Create a suitable length closed-loop of rope near the middle of the rope and clip it into the anchor's power point. Now the loop can go over an edge where one has two long strands that can reach the bottom of the sea cliff ... for rapping, top-roping with belay from above, anchoring in a client, etc..

Not saying this is what was done or that it is an industry standard to have such a loop going over the edge in an unprotected way.

Just saying this is one way all could be tethered into the same climbing rope ... that was cut on an edge ... and led to complete failure for the guide and reportedly for both clients.


ninepointeight


Jun 19, 2013, 8:55 AM
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Re: [billl7] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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I gotcha now.

Hopefully everyone heals up okay and the guide will provide some information for the AAC publication.


Partner cracklover


Jun 19, 2013, 9:01 AM
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Re: [billl7] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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The whole thing as presented makes no sense. There's too much critical information missing, and too much contradictory information.

All the technical information is contained in these three short paragraphs:

In reply to:
The male climber and the guide were on the rock face when the climbing rope all three were tethered to broke after rubbing against a rock ledge, according to Jon Tierney, owner of the climbing school.

“Basically, they had a rope cut above the point where the three people were secured to the rope,” said Tierney, who said he’s climbed Otter Cliff about 100 times a year for the last 20 years.

The male climber and the guide fell off the side of the cliff, a drop of about 22 feet, Tierney said. The female climber was at the base of the cliff, waiting for instruction from the guide, he said.

Two people were on the rock face? But not the person climbing? All three people are variously stated as being "tethered" and "secured" by the climbing rope. But the guide and the male client were on the face, while the female client was "at the base, waiting for instruction". This doesn't make sense.

It's stated that "the climbing rope all three were tethered to broke". Now how and why do you get three people all attached to the rope actively being climbed on? This makes no sense.

The only possibilities are that either something is wrong with what is stated in the article, or the climbing rope was also being used to extend the anchor, and the guide and client were attached to that. But it's entirely unclear how or why such a thing would happen. And if this is the case, then only two people were "tethered".

I hope someone with first-hand knowledge will clear this up. Because if there is truly a standard practice that has a safety issue, it should be shared.

GO


bearbreeder


Jun 19, 2013, 9:33 AM
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Re: [billl7] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
I believe it was the climbing rope that was cut (yes, I could be wrong).

At top-outs, many times I've walked back to a tree or anchor bolts, built an anchor, ran the climb rope through a locker at the power point, walked back to the cliff edge and tied off the rope so there's just one simple closed loop of climb rope going through the anchor. Perhaps it was a loop like that which got cut by an edge.

Granted, as a threesome, the overall config is a little different. And yet the same kind of closed-loop-of-rope - running over an edge - could have been relied upon for bringing up the clients, anchoring the first one up, and for protecting the guide as he went down. There likely was plenty of extra rope for this on such a short cliff.

Bill L


this is pretty common ... common enough that the exact same technique is described in craig luebbens anchor book, though he uses a munter at the top for more control at the edge ...

and honestly its always bothered me ... you can easily make it redundant by using a clove at the top, and if you want use a munter at the climber side ...


billl7


Jun 19, 2013, 2:42 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
... and honestly its always bothered me ... you can easily make it redundant by using a clove at the top, and if you want use a munter at the climber side ...

That seems a possible lesson learned.

Another is padding. I've not had the experience of finding a rope significantly damaged by an edge. But I have a partner who once was surprised at how much damage could be done by a pretty benign looking edge. Add the weight of two or three people and ...


Gmburns2000


Jun 19, 2013, 3:08 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
The whole thing as presented makes no sense. There's too much critical information missing, and too much contradictory information.

All the technical information is contained in these three short paragraphs:

In reply to:
The male climber and the guide were on the rock face when the climbing rope all three were tethered to broke after rubbing against a rock ledge, according to Jon Tierney, owner of the climbing school.

“Basically, they had a rope cut above the point where the three people were secured to the rope,” said Tierney, who said he’s climbed Otter Cliff about 100 times a year for the last 20 years.

The male climber and the guide fell off the side of the cliff, a drop of about 22 feet, Tierney said. The female climber was at the base of the cliff, waiting for instruction from the guide, he said.

Two people were on the rock face? But not the person climbing? All three people are variously stated as being "tethered" and "secured" by the climbing rope. But the guide and the male client were on the face, while the female client was "at the base, waiting for instruction". This doesn't make sense.

It's stated that "the climbing rope all three were tethered to broke". Now how and why do you get three people all attached to the rope actively being climbed on? This makes no sense.

The only possibilities are that either something is wrong with what is stated in the article, or the climbing rope was also being used to extend the anchor, and the guide and client were attached to that. But it's entirely unclear how or why such a thing would happen. And if this is the case, then only two people were "tethered".

I hope someone with first-hand knowledge will clear this up. Because if there is truly a standard practice that has a safety issue, it should be shared.

GO

I'm not 100% positive, but from what I understand the guide lowered both to the base. Then the male climber climbed, and instead of topping out he anchored in at the top (why? not sure). The woman was at the bottom and tied in and ready to climb. The rope apparently broke when the guide was lowering himself.

So, if the male climber and the guide were connected to the anchor, and if the female climber was tied in and ready to climb, then technically they were all attached to the same anchor (i.e. - if it had broken when she was climbing then we'd have three fallen climbers).

This is hearsay, however, third person via the congo line, so to speak.


billl7


Jun 19, 2013, 4:11 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
... too much contradictory information.


It'd definitely be nice to know the basic configuration of the protection system. And it is honorable to raise a stink in hopes of getting it.

At the same time, I think it is premature to say the information is contradictory. There are actually quite a few degrees of freedom at this point.


Partner cracklover


Jun 20, 2013, 9:45 AM
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Re: [billl7] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
... too much contradictory information.


It'd definitely be nice to know the basic configuration of the protection system. And it is honorable to raise a stink in hopes of getting it.

At the same time, I think it is premature to say the information is contradictory. There are actually quite a few degrees of freedom at this point.

Okay, contradictory is perhaps too strong a word, but some of the language in the article does more to obfuscate than to clarify. Parts of the article seem to lead to one conclusion, while other parts seem to lead in another direction.

Two issues:

First, I see no reasonable explanation for having all three members of the party "secured" to the anchor, while one member of the party was at the base of the climb. When climbing, it's vital to differentiate between the states: secured to the anchor, or on belay. Usually you are only one or the other. The only way you can be both on belay and secured to the anchor is with more than one connection point. And why would you have a forty foot connection point?

Second (and this is probably just an issue of the reporter not using climbing terms) was the rope that was cut part of the belay, or part of the anchor? Or maybe other? Some kind of combination rappel/belay/anchor? Certainly the fact that both members of the party who should have been anchored in fell, suggests that the anchor came apart. But the fact that the rope is described as "the climbing rope", and the fact that the woman was said to have been tethered to it, and she must have been on belay since she was said to have been being coached through a difficult move - all these lead to the suggestion that the rope was somehow involved in belaying.

Then there's this: "The guide went down to coach her through a difficult move and when the guide fell, it ended up pulling the other climber off with him". Does that mean that the other climber was attached to the guide, rather than to the anchor?

Perhaps no-one was direct into the anchor. Perhaps the male client and the guide were lowering or rapping down to the base when the rope broke.

Like I said, the article just doesn't paint a clear picture. Quite the opposite.

I have witnessed guides at Otter Cliffs doing some strange things with rope. I never investigated closely - I just assumed they were probably fine. But if there's something amiss, it would be better to get it out in the open. Because if there was some clever solution they were using, they're probably not the only ones doing it. Completely guiding from above is an unusual scenario in climbing, and I, (not a guide, but playing one on TV), have sometimes come up with unusual solutions. Knowing what happened may keep me from falling into a similar scenario to what happened to them.

GO


majid_sabet


Jun 20, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Re: [iron106] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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iron106 wrote:
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“She was on the ground below. She was the one having difficulty. The guide went down to coach her through a difficult move and when the guide fell, it ended up pulling the other climber off with him,” he said.

So I am guessing this, The guide climbed the route set up a great anchor for his clients to climb on. He ran a line so he could see the clients climb up and give beta see if they were in trouble etc. Then client 1, the male climbed the route. The guide must have clipped him into the same line he was on so he could watch client 2, the female also? Client 2 the female was stuck, couldn't climb up, whatever. Then the guide must have lowered himself on the secondary line for assistance. So the rope they were both now on was not the main climbing line. If there were any padding, protection needed it would normally go on the regular line. This second line now gets cut due to movement unexpected when the anchor was originally set up.

Sound correct?

if this operation was set or was supervised by any guide, he or she fuc*ed up period but as always, guides and their non-regulated,non-truly certified operations justify some BS followed by some excuse.


billl7


Jun 20, 2013, 1:03 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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I suspect having a commercial interest involved is going to delay the details from getting out - more than normal.

It's a short cliff. I can see one 'climbing' rope fulfilling all kinds of functions in addition to being active in the belay(as you probably can). Not hard to imagine the rope being part of the anchor rigging, used to extend the power point over the edge where folks can anchor in, and then two separate strands available ... maybe effectively for bringing up two seconds although in this case it sounds like one of the seconds had already come up ... and then perhaps the guide using the free strand to get down to the other person having trouble.

Anyway, going climbing for the weekend!

Bill L


Syd


Jun 20, 2013, 2:43 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Rock climbers injured in 25-foot fall at Acadia/Rope broke [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
if this operation was set or was supervised by any guide, he or she fuc*ed up period but as always, guides and their non-regulated,non-truly certified operations justify some BS followed by some excuse.

You can be sure that if someone is making money out of it, the truth will probably never be heard.


chris


Jun 28, 2013, 8:09 AM
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Syd wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
if this operation was set or was supervised by any guide, he or she fuc*ed up period but as always, guides and their non-regulated,non-truly certified operations justify some BS followed by some excuse.

You can be sure that if someone is making money out of it, the truth will probably never be heard.

In this case the guide service is accredited by two organizations and its guides and instructors are certified or educated by the AMGA and/or the PCIA. Look up their website and check out their staff - not quite deserving for Majid's scorn.

In fact, it makes me scratch my head and wonder what did happen?

Acadia National Park regulates the commercial activities within the park. The problem, as I see it, isn't that guiding isn't regulated - its that it isn't regulated at a national level.

Until the insurance company is satisfied with their investigation and its conclusion everyone involved - the guests, the guide, the guide service and the park service - is going to be quiet to minimize exposure to litigation. That doesn't mean we won't hear about it, but we'll more likely forget about and move on to the next whatever before any information is released. I think it will show up in the next ANAM annual.

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