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Gripping story / toprope ground fall
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JAB


Jan 7, 2014, 4:03 AM
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Gripping story / toprope ground fall
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Gripping story about a climber that took a ground fall after toproping a route by clipping in to the middle of the rope. Well worth a read.

http://climbing.ilooove.it/...mbing-my-way-back-up

For A&I, I think there are 2 main lessons:
1) Critical deviations from a routine setup are dangerous (i.e. tie in to middle of rope instead of end of rope)
2) Always physically make sure you are on belay before unclipping from anchor.


marc801


Jan 7, 2014, 7:40 AM
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Re: [JAB] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
Gripping story about a climber that took a ground fall after toproping a route by clipping in to the middle of the rope. Well worth a read.

http://climbing.ilooove.it/...mbing-my-way-back-up

For A&I, I think there are 2 main lessons:
1) Critical deviations from a routine setup are dangerous (i.e. tie in to middle of rope instead of end of rope)
2) Always physically make sure you are on belay before unclipping from anchor.
3) PAY ATTENTION!!! TO EVERYTHING!!


lena_chita
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Jan 7, 2014, 8:04 AM
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Re: [JAB] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
Gripping story about a climber that took a ground fall after toproping a route by clipping in to the middle of the rope. Well worth a read.

http://climbing.ilooove.it/...mbing-my-way-back-up

For A&I, I think there are 2 main lessons:
1) Critical deviations from a routine setup are dangerous (i.e. tie in to middle of rope instead of end of rope)
2) Always physically make sure you are on belay before unclipping from anchor.

Amazing recovery, indeed!

An exact same scenario fall happened a few years ago at the Red, on Ro Shampo. http://alturl.com/dzerk


amarius


Jan 9, 2014, 7:08 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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Lena, your link appears to be broken
Is this the account ?


JasonsDrivingForce


Jan 9, 2014, 8:45 AM
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Re: [JAB] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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I am confused on how the next climbers were going to top rope after her. Was the rope long enough for her to be lowered in the middle of it off the top rope belay and still have the tail go through all of the draws?

Would this have worked if she hadnít unclipped her top rope belay from the anchors?


lena_chita
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Jan 9, 2014, 9:22 AM
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Re: [amarius] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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amarius wrote:
Lena, your link appears to be broken
Is this the account ?

Yes, I had a link to the original RC thread, but thanks for a better link!


lena_chita
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Jan 9, 2014, 9:30 AM
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Re: [JasonsDrivingForce] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
I am confused on how the next climbers were going to top rope after her. Was the rope long enough for her to be lowered in the middle of it off the top rope belay and still have the tail go through all of the draws?

Would this have worked if she hadnít unclipped her top rope belay from the anchors?

You are correct, this would only work if the pitch is less than 1/2 of the rope length. (no more than 1/3rd, with a bit of leeway depending on how overhanging the climb is)

And what should happen, in this scenario, i that, when the climber goes to the top, and goes in direct, the belayer needs to switch to the other end of the rope (the end that is clipped through all the draws). If there is enough rope still on the ground (e.i. the pitch was only ~1/4th of the rope length), the climber can unclip and lower. If the climb is about 1/3rd of the rope length, there won't be enough rope left to lower the climber from the chains, and the climber can rappel on one strand of the free-0hanging rope, while the belayer is still holding the clipped-into-draws end of the rope, and acting as a counterweight.

Read the link that amarius posted.


JasonsDrivingForce


Jan 9, 2014, 9:46 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:

Read the link that amarius posted.

Thank you. That cleared it up for me. I see how it is supposed to work now.


markc


Jan 9, 2014, 10:15 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
JasonsDrivingForce wrote:
I am confused on how the next climbers were going to top rope after her. Was the rope long enough for her to be lowered in the middle of it off the top rope belay and still have the tail go through all of the draws?

Would this have worked if she hadnít unclipped her top rope belay from the anchors?

You are correct, this would only work if the pitch is less than 1/2 of the rope length. (no more than 1/3rd, with a bit of leeway depending on how overhanging the climb is)

And what should happen, in this scenario, i that, when the climber goes to the top, and goes in direct, the belayer needs to switch to the other end of the rope (the end that is clipped through all the draws). If there is enough rope still on the ground (e.i. the pitch was only ~1/4th of the rope length), the climber can unclip and lower. If the climb is about 1/3rd of the rope length, there won't be enough rope left to lower the climber from the chains, and the climber can rappel on one strand of the free-0hanging rope, while the belayer is still holding the clipped-into-draws end of the rope, and acting as a counterweight.

Read the link that amarius posted.

Having the belayer switch to the trailed portion of the rope while the climber was in direct would have worked. If there are more than two people in the party, you could have someone getting the belay set on the trailed strand (with a sufficient amount of slack) before the climber even gets to the anchor. In any event, communication has to be completely clear.

Another option mentioned in the link would be to add an anchor point to the belayers side of the rope. In effect, the tie-in for the climber would be between the anchors for the belayed strand and for the trailed strand. In that case, the belayer doesn't have to change ropes.

Trailing a second rope would give you the benefit of easily distinguishing the active and trailed rope. Regardless, I don't go off direct unless it's entirely slack and my full weight is already on the rope. These sound like some strong climbers paying a hefty price for a moment of inattention when working with a technique they hadn't practiced or clearly communicated to their partners.


(This post was edited by markc on Jan 9, 2014, 10:16 AM)


gunkiemike


Jan 9, 2014, 1:07 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
An exact same scenario fall happened a few years ago at the Red, on Ro Shampo. http://alturl.com/dzerk

Same thing happened at the Gunks, maybe 10 years ago.

I find it absolutely chilling to imagine how routine it must look/feel to do this. Climber climbs the route on TR - simple - and swaps out their rope for the other strand, as if they were seconding in a party of three - simple. Until they lean back at the anchor and die.


lena_chita
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Jan 10, 2014, 4:41 AM
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Re: [gunkiemike] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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gunkiemike wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
An exact same scenario fall happened a few years ago at the Red, on Ro Shampo. http://alturl.com/dzerk

Same thing happened at the Gunks, maybe 10 years ago.

I find it absolutely chilling to imagine how routine it must look/feel to do this. Climber climbs the route on TR - simple - and swaps out their rope for the other strand, as if they were seconding in a party of three - simple. Until they lean back at the anchor and die.

Yes, I can definitely see how doing something different than normal, and then reverting to "routine" action in a bout of inattention/fatigue/distraction could happen.

I had recently climbed a long sport route that was longer than our 60m rope could handle. We didn't have a second rope, so the idea was to lower partway, and then go in direct and re-thread the rope through a quicklink someone left midroute. Simple idea, simple to do. But I found myself tripple-checking the setup, and feeling more sketchy than usual.


markc


Jan 10, 2014, 10:55 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
I had recently climbed a long sport route that was longer than our 60m rope could handle. We didn't have a second rope, so the idea was to lower partway, and then go in direct and re-thread the rope through a quicklink someone left midroute. Simple idea, simple to do. But I found myself tripple-checking the setup, and feeling more sketchy than usual.

To a certain extent, that's how I want to feel in that situation. I don't want to be anxious to the point where it clouds perspective, but I want to be mindful what I'm doing isn't routine. I need to be entirely focused, avoid doing something just because it feels familiar, and I want to thoroughly inspect my work.

I occasionally solo TR. It's not a complicated system, but it's something I don't do all the time and I don't have another set of eyes checking me. I'm really careful to double-check my rigging, to test the system low to the ground, etc.


brooklynclimber


Jan 23, 2014, 7:26 AM
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Re: [markc] Gripping story / toprope ground fall [In reply to]
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Before I transfer weight from one system to another (ie from being in direct to rapel) I always weight the second system to test it.

PS, just read your story and you are totally badass.


(This post was edited by brooklynclimber on Jan 23, 2014, 2:09 PM)


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