Recent Climber Death in JTree?

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Lissiehoya

climber
Saint Louis, MO
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 11, 2014 - 11:56pm PT
Does anyone have news about this climber death? She's a friend of one of my good friends and I just heard from my friend that she died in JTree because the rock she was climbing on cracked. I was wondering if anyone knew anything about it.
bpope

Trad climber
Sunnyvale, CA
Apr 12, 2014 - 12:08am PT
I'm sorry for your loss.

Just doing a quick search, it seems that Adrianne was involved in an accident on 3/29:
http://www.hastac.org/blogs/cathy-davidson/2014/04/10/remembering-adrianne-wadewitz-scholar-communicator-teacher-leader

That accident was mentioned in this thread: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2376931&msg=2376931#msg2376931

Unfortunately, no further detail there.

Best wishes to you, and all of Adrianne's family and friends.

(Edit, fixed link)
jstan

climber
Apr 12, 2014 - 12:19am PT
News broke early this morning on Facebook that Wikipedian Adrianne Wadewitz died while rock climbing recently. Wadewitz was well known in the Wikimedia community for her activism drawing attention to the lack of female contributors on Wikipedia. She was also very involved in the Wiki Education Foundation, serving as a member of its board of directors.

Thursday 4/10/14

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikimedian_activist_Adrianne_Wadewitz_dies

So sorry for your loss.
Lissiehoya

climber
Saint Louis, MO
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 12, 2014 - 12:37am PT
Thanks for the thread link. I searched back a few pages here before I posted my initial question, but didn't see anything...
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Apr 12, 2014 - 03:51am PT
hey there, say, lissiehoya... very sorry for your loss... so good to know that someone has helped you find info...

your friend sure had many special things that she tried to do for others far beyond her corner of the world... (as to what jstan posted)...

she will be remembered, here, now, for that, as well...

god bless at this very sad hard time of your loss and condolences to you and her family and loved ones...

:(
Bad Climber

climber
Apr 12, 2014 - 09:01am PT
Damn, that is some sad, sad business. The video on that Wiki link shows a bright, wonderful person with so much to give. I regret that I will not get to meet her. And she was and English teacher! I resemble that.

Condolences.

BAd
Gunkswest

climber
Apr 12, 2014 - 11:37am PT
Earlier this week I was told the following about the Headstone and Cathouse accidents by a JTNP ranger:

Cathouse (03-29-2014)
A traditional anchor was built at the top of the Cathouse using three pieces of gear. The female victim started to rappel down the cliff face and one of the three anchor pieces pulled out. The victim stopped on a ledge and the male, who was still on top of the cliff, reincorporated the third (failed) piece back into the anchor. After being assured the anchor was now sound, the victim started to rappel again. The entire anchor then failed and the victim fell 15-20 feet, suffering fatal injuries.

Headstone (03-30-2014)
The Headstone accident involved top roping on the route Cryptic. The climber tied into the rope in the mid-section, not the end. The climber then did the route and was being lowered by the belayer. Apparently the belayer moved positions during the climb or the lower, thus making the overall distance longer than when the climber started climbing. There was no knot in the belay end of the rope and the rope ran through the belay device (a Grigri) as the climber was being lowered. The climber fell into the boulders at the base of the route after the rope went though the belay device.

The information provided above may not be 100% accurate and as such, should be used judiciously.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
Apr 12, 2014 - 12:01pm PT
I am so very sorry for the loss of these two people. Having lost a loved one my heart is heavy for all their loved ones, families and friends.

Their passing reminds me again that today is the only one we really have. It is a blessing we need to make the most of, loving those around us, spreading forgiveness like thick jam on a piece of bread, giving a smile to someone we pass on the highway of life, picking up that piece of trash everyone walks by and above all giving praise to life. (and in my case the Creator.)

Peace and deepest wishes for healing and comfort to all involved in these two tragedies. Lynne
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Apr 12, 2014 - 01:42pm PT
This is very sad. I was nearby and heard the ambulances.

Both people relied on the wrong partners (who I hope quit climbing).
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Apr 12, 2014 - 08:02pm PT
Earlier this week I was told the following about the Headstone and Cathouse accidents by a JTNP ranger:

Cathouse (03-29-2014)
A traditional anchor was built at the top of the Cathouse using three pieces of gear. The female victim started to rappel down the cliff face and one of the three anchor pieces pulled out. The victim stopped on a ledge and the male, who was still on top of the cliff, reincorporated the third (failed) piece back into the anchor. After being assured the anchor was now sound, the victim started to rappel again. The entire anchor then failed and the victim fell 15-20 feet, suffering fatal injuries.

Headstone (03-30-2014)
The Headstone accident involved top roping on the route Cryptic. The climber tied into the rope in the mid-section, not the end. The climber then did the route and was being lowered by the belayer. Apparently the belayer moved positions during the climb or the lower, thus making the overall distance longer than when the climber started climbing. There was no knot in the belay end of the rope and the rope ran through the belay device (a Grigri) as the climber was being lowered. The climber fell into the boulders at the base of the route after the rope went though the belay device.

The information provided above may not be 100% accurate and as such, should be used judiciously.

Same day as that was happening, and we heard all the ambulances, I tried a couple of times to get a big time wall climber to move his anchor to a spot where it would hold and got nowhere with him. Two of his three pieces popped when he was lowering his wife. Obviously she could have easily been =another= fatality that weekend. Naturally we should all be vigilant, and also we should all know what it is we are doing. But, I tell ya' something more, when you see these types of anchors and practices, and you step up and get them on track, you don't know how many lives you saved. Probably quite a few.
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
Apr 12, 2014 - 08:02pm PT

just to clarify, the climber who was injured at Headstone rock is still alive. We pulled into Ryan and got a site at about the time the rescue was called in. SAR showed up within 30 minutes of the accident, the ambulance a short time later. The ranger I talked to said it was a bad concussion.

The Cathouse accident happened the day before, and the ranger said it was a bad one. So sorry to hear she did not survive the fall.

Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Apr 12, 2014 - 08:03pm PT
This is very sad. I was nearby and heard the ambulances.

Both people relied on the wrong partners (who I hope quit climbing).

I hope so, too.
MisterE

climber
Apr 12, 2014 - 08:33pm PT
I can't imagine how hard it must be for the anchor guy to live with this for the rest of his life.

This is sad on all fronts - by all media I have seen about her, she was a force for learning and all that is good.

Condolences to all.
Daniel Hughes

Trad climber
Bronx, New York
Apr 16, 2014 - 03:41pm PT
I was in the Park that weekend and got the same information shared by Gunkswest. Both accidents happend on the same day. The SAR folks did their usual professional job. Wind conditions in Palm Springs prevented helicopter extraction. It took a while to lower the injured climber off the Headstone to a waiting ambulance. He was fortunate.

Back in NY my thoughts are with all involved.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 16, 2014 - 04:45pm PT
As for the Headstone incident on "Cryptic," why the hell would anyone tie into the middle of the rope to toprope?
RasVegas

Trad climber
Goodyear
Apr 16, 2014 - 06:41pm PT
Dang people...sad indeed. What a loss of such a wonderful person. I am so tired of getting these newsletters every month and seeing stories like this! I know our sport is inherently dangerous...but we can minimize bad mojo by being careful with everything you do out there.

Please be careful everybody!

Much love and sympathy to everyone who is effected by this tragedy!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Apr 16, 2014 - 06:46pm PT
I just don't understand all these drops. Why the Fck don't belayers tie into the rope anymore?

Fer goodness sake, it is a figure 8 that takes 30 seconds to tie.
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Apr 16, 2014 - 06:50pm PT
As for the Headstone incident on "Cryptic," why the hell would anyone tie into the middle of the rope to toprope?

I've done it plenty on short bolted routes. Scenario usually goes like this:

Route is led, leader lowers off.
The bolt line, which must be cleaned, is not in line with the lower-off (route traverses or is steep).
So second does not follow on same end leader led on, since it doesn't pass through the draws and is out of the bolt line.
Rather than haul 100' of rope through the device and/or anchor, just tie into the rope where it lays, which is somewhere in the middle and get on with it.

The only way this becomes a problem is if you attempt to lower them into a spot well below where the leader was lowered to, or where the second started from. This was the case in this accident. The starting point for the route is in a sort of boulder-spanned gully and if you didn't pay attention when lowering, could end up out past the gully where it drops about 20' lower past the base of the other side of the formation. I've belayed about where the person probably landed when a partner was working the Cutting Edge (the next arete) just around the corner. It'd be an ugly place to fall into. A narrow slot with pointy boulders and such.
Matt's

climber
Apr 16, 2014 - 07:00pm PT
3-piece anchor failed on rapell??? Wow

Did the rock feature break or flex? Was it a really bad anchor?
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Apr 16, 2014 - 07:09pm PT
A unique and dangerous feature of JTree geology is that almost all the rock on the tops of the formations, while stable, is just siting there by sheer inertia.

Even the car sized blocks could shift, (I've seen it happen) if you were unlucky enough to place cams and load them right where the leverage was enough to shift the block. And, we aren't talking small boulders, I mean small car size ones! Add to that that rotten rock is far more prevalent in horizontals that never see water erosion that cleans the vertical cracks to good rock.

Building anchors in horizontals under these perched blocks is common practice, but not really best practice when slinging them or using nuts would be better.


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