How Many Of Your Nine Lives Have You Used Up?


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Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 4, 2011 - 10:56pm PT
NOW we're getting somewhere!

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 4, 2011 - 11:21pm PT
1. Run over by a truck on San Pablo Ave Berkeley. Crushed chest-long stay in Childrens Hospital.

2. Severe concussion playing football on paved play grounds.

3. Head on collision Boy Scout camping trip-Scoutmaster was the worlds worst driver.

4. 5oo ft fall on Arrowhead Arete approach, courtesy Art "The Move" Gran-hello Lewis Memorial Hospital.

5. Totaled VW Squareback on San Jose Freeway. Rearended by lady doing 50 mph.

6. Blasted in right calf with a 9mm hollow point, during a shoot out. Hello Straub Hospital in Honolulu for a long visit.

7. Arm wrestling Survival


Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 4, 2011 - 11:26pm PT
I’ve used ‘em all and many more. Here’s two from my youth before I got hooked on cycling and then climbing…

Playing army in a storm drain in Ithaca, N.Y.

I had been here many times before, the concrete tunnel goes down at a modest grade, makes a gradual right turn (following the street above) and then ends with an opening 300 feet up a canyon wall. There is a 12” concrete ledge to disperse the water and prevent erosion of the shale cliff. I would escape from my friends by running down this drain, stepping out onto the exposed ledge, and moving to the side where they could not see me. Well, when the drain curves right it is banked a little, and one had to be careful to stay on the high side as a trickle of water ran down the low side growing very slippery green algae.

On this occasion my friends were in hot pursuit, and in the heat of the moment I was careless, got on the slippery stuff and totally lost control. I flew out the mouth of the drain in a seated facing forward position and stuck the landing, on my butt, on the concrete step. It was a very near thing for several seconds as I struggled to keep my balance and not rock forward to certain death. I Never went down there again.

High school in Ithaca.

We used to go jump off the bridge over the river flowing into Beebee lake on the Cornell Campus. The lake level would vary some since it was controlled by a dam but it was usually about a 60foot drop. People had been killed hitting the water badly there. It was a stone bridge with big fat walls along each side over a deep canyon which the reservoir had backed up into making it good for diving and jumping.

I was standing on the wall getting ready to jump when some a**hole “friend” pushed me off unexpectedly. I was falling and trying to get oriented to hit the water well when I saw a couple in a rented aluminum canoe coming under the bridge from upstream and it was clear that I was going to hit them. I still remember like it was yesterday seeing them see me. Somehow I flexed my body in a way which curved me around the side of the canoe as I entered the water. I scraped myself on the boat and pretty much capsized it but avoided the direct impact I was sure would happen. I swam to the rocks on pure adrenaline and set off up the ledges with every intent of killing the guy who pushed me but then I realized I had a broken arm.


Feb 4, 2011 - 11:50pm PT
8, some might know about 2 or 3

Social climber
Feb 5, 2011 - 12:03am PT
Gweeedo those are SICK.

Kris I wish you had been able to KILL the f*#k who gave you a shove.

My daughter gotta shove like that offa big cliff - quite high - but was able to get a good entry into the saltchuck. No injuries. Phew.


Ice climber
Feb 5, 2011 - 12:30am PT
A guy I know got paralyzed by some dumbass in a similar thing. Scares the hell out of me to think about that.

Mountain climber
there and back again
Feb 5, 2011 - 12:56am PT
Too many to count, but this is a sampling of what comes to mind.
1. As a teen I stuffed my head through my windshield on a wet day in the hills of San Rafael. I woke up in the hospital and looked like Frankenstien for a month.
2. Splitting the line on my motorcycle between two semis at around 100mph.
Climbing wise:
3. Took two 40 foot whippers on Central Pillar of Frinzy in 89. A manky hafe inch ABC cam held me both times.
4. '91 4 of us came down Hood in a total white out. Could see the ground or tell whether we were going up or down.
5. In '94 I was set on fire in base camp on Aconcogua. Long story!!!!
Fell in a crevasse on Denali in 95. On the same trip we were buried for 3 days.
6. I had to self arrest this idiot I was taking up Rainier when he fell over backwards with a bunch of slack in the rope. Damn near killed us all.

I am sure there is more blocked out of my mind for self preservation.

Trad climber
Red River NM
Feb 5, 2011 - 12:58am PT
3 that I know of...

Descending "grassy ledges" on Ellingwood Arete after a hail/snow storm with two wet ropes and no gear or webbing. My partner took the rack and webbing to go find a way down. One little slip and I could have gone for a big ride.

The 1rst life I really used up while climbing happened about 6 months into my climbing career in 1993 or so.

I got caught by a freak hailstorm at the top of new route in Cimarron Canyon. I was pretty new to climbing and did not want to leave any gear for an anchor. I slung off a small tree(like 2 ft. tall and the size of my wrist.(DUM!) as my only anchor. Not wanting to make two half rope rappels and leave another anchor, I tied a mongo knot in the end of my lead rope and clipped it into the anchor thinking the knot would not pull through the black diamond oval.(DUM DUM) Then the idea was to tie my 5mil haul line to the knot and use it to pull my lead rope back through the anchor when I got down.

Remember, I was frozen cold (I only had on a t-shirt and short) and had just gotten literally pounded by the hail storm so it made sense at the time.

Anyway, I weighted the rope and began descending. I got to my first piece 20 ft. down.... so far so good. I had just pulled my next piece about 30 ft. below my rap anchor and all of a sudden I was falling! My knot popped through the single oval!

I remember screaming TAKE! TAKE!, but I knew I was not on belay because I was rapping. Fortunately, call it angels, god, Karma or a smart wife, my wife had taken the end of the 5mil and wrapped it around her body. She saved my life that day.

After screaming many explicatives and somewhat getting my wits about me, I realized there was a crowd of 20 tourists in the parking lot to witness the spectacle. The 5mil stretched where the mongo knot was about where my 2nd to my last piece was, about 30 ft. down from the anchor. The 5 mil had stretched 30-40 feet!

I finished the rap and got all of my gear except a sling and b/d oval. I went back the next year and got my biner and finished a nice new 5.8 climb in the canyon.

Another time I was going way too fast in my V8 powered Jeep on a curvy road....


Feb 5, 2011 - 01:00am PT

Thats all I have to say bout that.

Good to be here.

Social climber
Feb 5, 2011 - 01:02am PT
going way too fast in my V8 powered Jeep

You got a vehicle to run on vegetable - but mostly tomato - juice???


hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
Feb 5, 2011 - 01:35am PT
If it is eight, please don't tell me.
Q- Ball

Mountain climber
where the wind always blows
Feb 5, 2011 - 02:01am PT
I'm not old but feel I need to slow down, stuff happens, I guess.

1- Lightening in the Wind Rivers- Ice ax was humming, glacier googles where metal was touching shocking me, gators sending sparks, random rocks sparking, and yes lightening

2- Avalanche on Togwatee Pass- decent 3 foot slab that took me for a 200 foot ride and buried me

3- Mt Lion- Simple hand on hand combat; nothing like punching a lion in the face. Sheep Mountain Wy

4-Icefall in Tennessee!- collecting freshwater mussels in a "safe zone" I had determined. Huge sheet of ice broke off from an unseeable cliff and ramped off the lower visible one and reached 40 feet into the river!

5- Honduran CPR- I came back to this great world after a flat ground fall with a random Honduran giving mouth to mouth with a crowd of 50 watching!

6- Giving aid to a dude who glissaded off a cliff in the Tetons. Washing machine sized rock tried to stop the first aid. Nothin like hearing "ROCK" and thinking, "thats not just a damn rock its a piece of the mountain"

7- Russian Army- Surveying land along a border to mongolia for snow leopards and unknowingly out running them to Mongolia via a fierce mountain range

8- Mt. Lion again- Picking up shed antlers in Wy. Came around a corner and was staring at a lion. Fired one shot over its head and what I thought was a dead deer in front was another cat sleeping

9- Siberian Airways- I'ld fly Aeroflot any day, which doesn't say much

10- Etc... etc...
Guess I got more life than the average cat

Trad climber
washington indiana
Feb 5, 2011 - 02:56am PT
More than 9 for sure.
In the last 17 years:
2 Heart Attacks
13 hour surgery with severe anaphylatic shock, failed mini-maze and opened up my chest.
3 ground falls most notably a 40 footer at Drapers Bluff, IL. with a pacemaker, ICD and on blood thinners.

Q-Ball gets my vote for the best list - I want that dude in my corner when the sh#t hits the fan :)

Big Wall climber
Nor Nev
Feb 5, 2011 - 10:09am PT
Fritz do we know each other?
Q Ball WTF how are you still alive?

Mine go like this

3 years old find my grandmothers pill box. More like a small hard side luggage thing full of all sorts candy looking things. Eat a mixture of god knows what. Wake up in ER after stomach pump etc...

Rolling end over end in Land Cruiser in Montana not buckled in sitting in the rear. Weird thing was I remember the car just rotating around me.
I was the only one who did not go to the hospital,

After doing Lurking Fear driving home from the valley 9 hours to Reno. We would drive 5 miles take a nap. My friend fell asleep at the wheel crossing the Carson Valley hit the bridge barrier over the Carson River. Didn't roll but I had forgotten to put on my seat belt again there.

Camp 6 Nose

Glory bowl avalanche Teton Pass

Saying NO to a fishing trip in Baja with two friends. Both were found dead after being missing for over 8 months. They were killed on Day 2 of the trip in San Quetin on a beach camping.

Super run out on this 5.8 in the Meadows. The pitch has one bolt 15 feet from the anchor. Knob broke in my hand and I almost...... didn't hold on.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Who'll stop the reign?
Feb 5, 2011 - 10:12am PT
Car related:

1. Rammed into the back of a full size van at 65 mph, rolled into the oleanders. Broken neck in there places C1 and C2, walked away. WALKED, away. That one counts for 3 I think.

2. Rammed head on into a telephone pole on Silverado Trail in Napa County, engine ended up in the passenger compartment, walked away from that one too. Which seat belt chest bruise and sprained both ankles when the firewall collapsed.

3. Driving back to Stockton from Knights Ferry bouldering sesh I was daydreaming whilst looking at Mt Diablo and sideswiped a guardrail on the Mariposa Rd over pass over Hwy 99. My ole F100 actually rode up onto and then straddled the guardrail, OVER THE HIGHWAY, and proceeded to slam into 3 guard rail posts BOOM BOOM BOOM. On the 2nd boom it almost tipped over onto the highway, some 30 feet below. On the 3rd boom it went the other way and I ended up back on my road, with a dying truck.

Lots of less significant crashes hehe, but none cat life threatening I think.


Climbing? Failed to reclip a hardness locker into a fig 8 on the end of a belay from above (went to fetch some water). Parabiner, with the reverse screw sleeve, the gate was stuck OPEN. I fell on the route, managed to snag a knob with one hand, cranked a shoulder wrenching move to stay on and then pressed a mantle. As I stood up Angus said, 'Dingus, is that your KNOT?'

I looked down and I was completely disconnected from the rope and my bod harness tie in loop was dangling between my legs with the stuck open biner caught on its gate notch. I one handed it all back together pretty damn quick. Definitely felt the Grim Reapers husky voice on the back of neck that day.


Feb 5, 2011 - 12:48pm PT
Potentially more interesting, is what did you learn from your mishap(s)? Enlighten us so we may avoid the same fate.

1 I learned not to be belayed by an MIT, Electrical Engineer.

2 Have a low deductible on your sportbike insurance.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Feb 5, 2011 - 03:39pm PT
Jeeez Dingus- Did you take driving lessons from my ex Scoutmaster?

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 5, 2011 - 04:10pm PT
almost tboned at the then new signal right by the winkin lantern. but for acceleration to dodge around the screaming braked car in front, right turning into my lane on my right, and the left turning idget on the red, I wudda been dead. yup, definitely counts as one.

have to think about others.

Feb 5, 2011 - 04:33pm PT
I guess I'll play...let's see...

1 - Pulled a 1' x 1' x 2' granite block onto my head, a dozen stitches...doc said that if it would have hit me anywhere else, it would have killed me...

2 - 'was in a speeding car that rolled in the Kern Canyon and came real close to launching into the river/boulders below...

3 - Had a guillotine- shaped block come off and came close to chopping my left finger off, luckily it was pointy and merely lacerated it to the bone. A bandana & climbing tape was handy. The following forced downclimb/fall, 30+ minute hike out, hour drive to the nearest hospital/clinic, hour wait and the actual occurrence was not as bad as the S&M Nurse scrubbing the wound out (no anesthetic) and the doc sneezing on it while being stitched-up...

4 - 'Got caught in a talus slide at The Needles; thrown 15-20' onto a boulder cracking some ribs, and barley able to get out of the path of a VW Bug-sized boulder cleaning house...

5 - 'bout got blown off of Fairview Dome by step voltage from a lightning strike, less than a pitch from the top. My arms went into involuntary motion, curling up and way painful to straighten.

6 - 'got hit by step voltage at the base of Parker Bluff, just after bailing on a project...

7 - Took about a 30'+ whip on this project in a remote crag in the Kern, swinging around to head first, almost decking (3-4' from touchdown).

8 - Had serious heat exhaustion (my partners had symptoms of heat stoke) while low on water on a no retreat possible FA on Tehipite Dome.

9 - Consequently, due to #8, I wrestled with the stuck haul bag some 1100' off of the deck, moving around in etriers, catching myself by grabbing a sling, when I realized I was not tied-in after I 'thought' I had switched ropes for the second...

Edit: 10 - survived a deluge on Dolt Tower with no good rain/bivy gear...BITD

11 - survived slip/fall down the glacier from Clyde Mineret, trying to assist my partner who did screw himself up, after retreating in the big fall rainstorm that eventually washed out the bridge below.

I'm still here...



Trad climber
JackAssVille, Wyoming
Feb 5, 2011 - 09:47pm PT
Three, one for each time I got married.
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