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skibabeage
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Dec 19, 2004, 7:12 AM
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vincent


Dec 19, 2004, 10:31 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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what a shock to wake up and read this. james is a valley local who has climbed all over and done several big walls. he is a very proficient climber who has lead 5.12 trad. he has one of the strangest personalities i've ever witnessed in a person. he has the ability to be the most gracious friendliest person you'll ever know while simultaneously slandering the pants off of anyone he see's fit to deserve it. his humor and love of climbing rocks stands out to me more than any one facet of him. i hope he makes a full recovery.


chanceboarder


Dec 19, 2004, 6:44 PM
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Accident at JTree's Intersection Rock 12/18/04 [In reply to]
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If any of you were in the vicinity of Intersection rock this past Saturday 12/18/04 around 1:00 to 2:00 you may have heard the sounds of rescue vehicles and helicopters.

My group and I had just finished climbing Toe Jam when we heard the loud scream and saw the fall of someone climbing on Intersection Rock. A climber was apparently free soloing North Overhang (5.9) and took a fall at about the roof of the climb. He fell roughly 80' and landed on the edge of the belay ledge to Upper Right Ski Track. He was on the edge of the ledge for several second when he rolled off taking a second fall roughly 30' to the ground below. My group and I were among the first on scene and the emergency phone across the parking lot was used to call for help. He was alive and breathing but in serious condition. Rescue personnel arrived and called in for a helicopter to transport him to the hospital.

If anyone has any further information as to the condition of the climber after he was transported to the hospital please post up. There are many that would like to know if he will be ok.

My prayers go out to the fallen climber as well as his friends and family.

~Jason


curt


Dec 19, 2004, 6:53 PM
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Re: Accident at JTree's Intersection Rock 12/18/04 [In reply to]
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There is already another thread here, on this same topic, with replies.

Curt

Edited to add that cyanamid has provided a link to the other thread, below.


vivalargo


Dec 19, 2004, 6:56 PM
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Re: Accident at JTree's Intersection Rock 12/18/04 [In reply to]
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Only by the grace of God could someone survive that fall. But folks have survived worse, and let's hope he's one of them! It's aweful to hear about this kind of thing.

John


cyanamid


Dec 19, 2004, 6:58 PM
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Re: Accident at JTree's Intersection Rock 12/18/04 [In reply to]
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See this thread


chanceboarder


Dec 19, 2004, 7:04 PM
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Re: Accident at JTree's Intersection Rock 12/18/04 [In reply to]
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thanks didn't see the other thread in the world climbing news forum, i only check the injuries and & accident forum and it didn't show up in a general serach.


zafiro_aguja


Dec 19, 2004, 7:32 PM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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I was on my way driving out of the park when I saw a Ranger and an ambulance unit blow past me. I had a sinking feeling that something terrible happened. I truly hope that James will have a full and speedy recovery.


vivalargo


Dec 19, 2004, 7:56 PM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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I tried to sort this out but haven't been able to so far. My gut turned on this one because I made the first free ascent of North Overhang when I was a kid, about 30 years ago, so the whole things spooks and saddens me.

Here's all the background info I can provide: The top of Intersection Rock is not 150 feet high, but probably closer to 110 feet--but it might as well be a mile high if you fell off the North Overhang. Down and left is the Right Ski Track, which takes a diagonal (left) line up the face. Perhaps thirty feet up this route there's a ledge that extends right and is directly in the fall line of North Overhang. Because this ledge slopes down in places, a falling climber would possibly impact this and roll off to the deck--which is what I understand happened.

The question is: Barring a fluke, how could a 5.12 climber fall off something that's 5.9? Here's how. You work out the left side of a hollow, blind reach around the corner to a jam, then pull yourself around the corner onto a vertical face followed by several more shallow, diagonal jams to the top. The first jam is in part a pin scar created by repeated 1 ½ angles slugged into the thing when it was a popular aid route in the 60s. So it's not a locker crack, but a shallow, slanting slot. And when you swing round the corner, you're not really "into" the thing very well. You compensate by squeezing the corner with your legs to inhibit the hinge action, till you're situated on the vertical face, then reach through for another shallow jam. A little awkward. Thing is, an ace crack climber could plug this blind jam–which feels good from below--and simply swing round the corner. Owing to the strangeness of the crack and the weird body swing/torque, even good climbers have had that jam fire right out, which is how I imagine the accident happening.

The 50-foot face beneath the final crux jams is not true vertical, but steep enough that it would not slow a falling climber down much, if at all. That's a big time grounder. I sure hope the guy makes it okay.

John


thegreytradster


Dec 19, 2004, 8:20 PM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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Adding to Johns comments, I've done this route from 4-6 times over the years. There's a key foothold that has become more polished and smaller over the years. Last year it seemed particularly small, and I don't believe that can be atributed to old age and general gumbyness. If the feet skated off that, there's no way that jam will hold.

Many of the J tree trade routes are becoming polished and have an almost, "worn out" feel. Don't jump on one expecting it to be like it was even a few years ago.

Hope this all turns out ok.


socalclimber


Dec 20, 2004, 7:17 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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One thing I would like to bring up that is very important. This fall happened in the middle of the day, in front of alot of people. There can be "second" victims, the witnesses. The shock of seeing something like this can have long tream and broad reaching effects on a person. It's called Critical Incident Stress Syndrome.

It usually starts with in the first 24 hours. Not being able to sleep, nightmares, depression etc. It's a potentialy very serious condition. If you witnessed the accident, and are showing any of the signs I mentioned above, please seek help. There are Dr's who specificly deal and treat people suffering from this.

My best wishes to James and his family.

Robert Fonda


socalclimber


Dec 20, 2004, 7:28 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
J-Tree volunteer SAR coordinator Robert Fonda requests that anyone with any information regarding friends and family contact him immediately at rlf@swestsystems.com.

This has been taken care of, thanks for the plug. Oh and one more thing, I'm just a volunteer, the SAR Coordinator is Scott Fischer.

Thanks again.

Robert


inflight


Dec 20, 2004, 8:58 AM
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Re: Accident at JTree's Intersection Rock 12/18/04 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
My group and I were among the first on scene and the emergency phone across the parking lot was used to call for help. He was alive and breathing but in serious condition. Rescue personnel arrived and called in for a helicopter to transport him to the hospital.

Do you know who made the call and what was said exactly?


michaelmay513


Dec 20, 2004, 9:02 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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He was free soloing and he fell, well he paid the price. I don't feel the least bit sad for the guy.


crimpandgo


Dec 20, 2004, 9:21 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
He was free soloing and he fell, well he paid the price. I don't feel the least bit sad for the guy.

Have some compassion for the fallen. Have you no heart?

I am always saddened when reading threads like this. My best wishes are extended ....


slobmonster


Dec 20, 2004, 9:31 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
He was free soloing and he fell, well he paid the price. I don't feel the least bit sad for the guy.
A S S H O L E


davemiller


Dec 20, 2004, 9:36 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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Id lilke to reiterate what socialclimber has said about the effects on witnesses. A friend of mine was right there in the parking lot and saw the whole thing. She held the fallen climbers hand until paramedics arrived. She talked to him and encouraged him to fight everytime his eyes rolled back in his head. She then realized she even knew him. Shes not doing well. If anyone knows who Im talking about I know she needs your support.

Just as important, I hope the climber is going to make a full recovery. I dont think I know him but my thoughts are with him. Ive been close to free-solo tradgedy before and I know the emotions that go along with it.

All I can say about soloing is that its not always about the rating. A young girl who was heading into the Palisades last year to solo a long climb told me "its only 5.7" when I cautioned her. The last advice I gave her was that its only 5.7 if you go the right way. She fell 400ft to her death. Twenty two years old...gone. Ive soloed plenty of routes in and out of the mountains, Ive backed off just as many that were way below my ability. Like Largo said, that 5.9 crux is very awkward. I almost fell off it on lead and I was sending 11+ cracks at the time.

Dave


climbhigh23


Dec 20, 2004, 9:44 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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my thoughts are with him, his friends and family. very sad news. wish him a speedy recovery.

In reply to:
He was free soloing and he fell, well he paid the price. I don't feel the least bit sad for the guy.

wow.....very, very bad taste. you think stealing quickdraws is bad karma???

(accoridng to your sig):
"Stealing quickdraws is BAD KARMA!!!"


vivalargo


Dec 20, 2004, 9:54 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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Getting wobbly after witnessing a traumatic event is very common and can readily be worked through if you have the right facilitator. These folks are true experts:

TRAUMAHEALING.COM

Go to the practitioneers registry and find someone in your area. Longer you wait, the more time it takes to diffuse the symptoms. And as a side note, "talking cures" are not very helpful here. It's something totally different.

John


slobmonster


Dec 20, 2004, 9:54 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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This might be on topic, I don't know. Regardless, I hope James gets the support he needs right now. His time spent in contemplation will far outweigh any of our opinions.

Driving home yesterday afternoon, my girlfriend and I got into a discussion about soloing. This was ostensibly due to us having discussed visiting her family in New England; her brother and dad could go climb gullies while I did the same unroped. She simply does not see the point; she says that the risk far outweighs the reward, and hence there is no good reason to solo anything. Of course, I tried to explain myself and my actions, historically and presently, from several perspectives at once; I even heard myself say that skiing is potentially more dangerous (at least, the way I sometimes choose to ski) than free-soloing routes.

But she is a logical, thoughtful woman, and she loves me. So when she asks me not to solo, how can I really respond? How can I look her in the eyes and LIE right to her, "I promise, honey, I won't solo anything ever again," which I know is bullshiznit? How can I even attemopt to explain my decision-making process, my intuition, and my experience(s), without simply acknowledging that she is RIGHT?


socalclimber


Dec 20, 2004, 9:56 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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Hey folks, let's please try to keep this civil. I understand that comments like
In reply to:
He was free soloing and he fell, well he paid the price. I don't feel the least bit sad for the guy.

will piss people off, but responding to them in a negative fashion only fuels the fire. Let it go, and keep the thread positive for the sake of James' family and friends. They may well be reading this. Trust me on this, I made an increadibly stupid comment on the Tahquitz accident thread a while back that I still regret, and mine wasn't really negative, just inappropriate.

Robert


adnix


Dec 20, 2004, 9:56 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
He was free soloing and he fell, well he paid the price. I don't feel the least bit sad for the guy.
Althought soloing might be unthoughtful and stupid, nobody deserves decking. Grow up.


michaelmay513


Dec 20, 2004, 10:19 AM
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.,,,,,,


chanceboarder


Dec 20, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Re: Accident at JTree's Intersection Rock 12/18/04 [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
My group and I were among the first on scene and the emergency phone across the parking lot was used to call for help. He was alive and breathing but in serious condition. Rescue personnel arrived and called in for a helicopter to transport him to the hospital.

Do you know who made the call and what was said exactly?
by the time I got down off rocks I was standing on when it happened there was already someone at the phone and like 2 others running to it and I don't know what was said.

as socalclimber said this happened in the middle of the day and there were a lot of people around and not only climbers but hikers, campers, and sightseers who were all witness to this in one way or another. looking around during and after there were many sad looking faces and many teary eyes. at least one member of my group was unable to continue his weekend after witnessing this and to davemiller I know who you're talking about and my support goes out to all those who were affected by this.

one other thing I'd like to say is thank you to JOSAR, the rangers, and all the other rescue personnel including everyone who was there telling James to fight and hold on. in my opinion you all did great job in responding this this accident. I'm sure I speak for all of the climbing community when I say we greatly appreciate what you all do for us.

Jason


rendog


Dec 20, 2004, 10:24 AM
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Re: Accident at J-Tree December 18, 2004 [In reply to]
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my heart goes out to James and his family. While I didn't know him at all, a fallen climber is still in our family. I've been on that climb and that corner is really quite tricky, even doing it nakid like I did.

michaelmay513 is entitled to his opinion, I don't agree with it in the least, but he is entitled to it.

I witnessed an accident while sport climbing this past spring and while not nearly as traumatic as a fall of that magnitude, a dislocated and compound fracture of the ankle, a full mile up a creek it was serious enough. As a well trained FA, the way I dealt with it were to make my patient (also a very close friend and climbing partner) as comfortable as possible. After the accident, i was filled with a sense of guilt that no assuring from friends or family could alleviate. It wasn't until my partner told me himself that it wasn't my fault it happened, just one of those fluke accidents that Largo was talking about. Regardless, I still had nightmares about it for about a week and wouldn't even think about a lead fall for at least a month when I took a surprise whipper on a climb.

Again, my thoughts are with James and his family, which includes us all.

"D"

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