Death at Beacon Rock in Washington

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Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 25, 2011 - 11:14am PT
http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/jul/24/portland-climber-dies-after-falling-beacon-rock/
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:18am PT
Bummer. I hope he didn't have children....
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:24am PT
Another fatal RAPPING incident.






Condolences to the family and friends.
locker

Social climber
CO
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:25am PT


"Cox said the man and a partner were rappelling down the popular South Corner route. He believed the man fell more than 100 feet."...





Sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the fallen climber...






EDITED:

The Chief, you and I apparently were thinking quite similar...

Right down to the HIGHLIGHTED word...

Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2011 - 11:38am PT
It sounds like they were on the second to last rap. That rap is mostly free hanging, but your rope piles up 10-15' shy of the anchors, so it is not hard to see how someone could look down at piles of rope and think they have tons of extra rope, and be wrong.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 12:01pm PT
The climbers were rapping Jills Thrill route. The team had just done Blownout, so they were competent and strong team. It appears that the climber mistakenly had just clipped one rap rope and then weighted the rope, so when he fell, he took the rope with him, leaving the other climber behind. Jim Opdyke was rapping down and brought the other climber down with him. Sad times at Beacon. 90 degrees yesterday, t is raining there today. Beacon weeps, as do we all.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 12:27pm PT
We were down at Smith yesterday and have been trying to find out more about this unfortunate accident. Still don't know who.

We tried some new routes yesterday, and one had a very airy, drop below the lip rappel. Normally, my husband never whines about these. Yesterday was different. Check each other. It is a sign of love, not an accusation of stupidity.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jul 25, 2011 - 12:34pm PT
Sad news. My sympathy to those who knew and loved him.

It appears that the climber mistakenly had just clipped one rap rope and then weighted the rope, so when he fell, he took the rope with him, leaving the other climber behind.

I very nearly lost a close friend to that exact scenario. We'd just finished a four-pitch ice climb, and the top pitch was his first-ever hard lead on ice. He was so psyched and full of adrenaline that when he set up to rap he only threaded one of the ropes. It was just blind chance that I saw it as he was about to lean back and commit. Really, really, scary.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jul 25, 2011 - 12:36pm PT
Before going on rap, while still tethered to the anchor, one should test the rap set up and make sure it holds body weight.

Rules to live by.

DMT
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land of the Free Minded Mongols
Jul 25, 2011 - 12:42pm PT
The team had just done Blownout, so they were competent and strong team.

Appears that COMPLACENCY is killing all these competent climbers.

As Dingus posted above, pay attention and do it right before you take that plunge.

To add to what Dingus stated, check one another out prior to heading up, periodically during the climb and then when heading down. That is what good competent partners do for one another.

Gene

climber
Jul 25, 2011 - 12:45pm PT
So sorry to hear this.

Reilly posted the following on the Vernal Falls thread. It is appropriate here as well.

One thing many pilots do when they run their checklist is to touch the gauges and controls. I got into this habit when setting up for rappel takeoffs.
x15x15

climber
Jul 25, 2011 - 01:04pm PT
Before going on rap, while still tethered to the anchor, one should test the rap set up and make sure it holds body weight.

Rules to live by.

DMT

yup, saved my ass just last week with this method. double rope rappel, one strand in device and the other looking like it was in... when tired and hot, or just because, shiiite happens.

sorry to hear about this... RIP
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Jul 25, 2011 - 02:02pm PT
Studly, isn't that same same scenario that killed a climber on J-Tree's Walk on the Wild Side this spring?

Such a shame. Always weight the rapell line before unclipping from the anchor.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 02:30pm PT
Im not sure Flouride about Joshua Tree accident. It would be a easy thing to do if you were distracted and forgot to double check, that I know.
Healyjoe will probably post up with more information shortly as he stays on top of the going-ons at Beacon.
mcolombo

Trad climber
Heidelberg, Germany
Jul 25, 2011 - 04:01pm PT
The victem in J Tree was a friend and ex partner. I do not think it was ever 100% resolved but this or a similar, all too simple mistake is probable. Almost happened to me once a long time ago at Mission Gorge but I was luckily attached to the anchor.

Deepest condolences to friends and family.

Take care everyone!

Greetings from Germany,
Marco
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
USA Carson city Nev.
Jul 25, 2011 - 04:14pm PT
Horrible news,, again.. Condolences to the familys and freinds.. Rappels,,,,to this day i will choose a walk off in preference to dangling...I only do it when I must...
slrella

climber
Jul 25, 2011 - 04:41pm PT
It is not accurate that he did not weight the rope prior to rappelling. He actually rappelled several feet before falling. It would be nice if it were as simple as that, although the check and recheck points are well taken. The true cause of the fall remains a mystery. Most likely (as previously suggested) a mis-estimation of the rope.

Deepest condolences to friends and family.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 25, 2011 - 04:46pm PT
Often the exact cause of rappelling accidents are never established. Suffice to say that rappelling is the one place where mistakes are most often fatal- be careful, check and double check.
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Jul 25, 2011 - 04:47pm PT
check one another out prior to heading up, periodically during the climb and then when heading down. That is what good competent partners do for one another.


yes
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 05:16pm PT
There has been little on Cascade Climbers. Which anchor on Jill's Thrill?
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Jul 25, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
Sorry to hear about this, condolences to friends and family.
Sorry for your loss as well Marco, A real bummer that such a simple mistake can take a life.
It's amazing how unsimple life is, yet things that are so simple can take it away.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jul 25, 2011 - 05:30pm PT
yup, saved my ass just last week with this method. double rope rappel, one strand in device and the other looking like it was in...

So sad to think about, "there but for the grace of God goes I". Way tough on family and friends who will have a hole in there hearts now from this loss. My thoughts and well wishes goes out to them.

Not to start a speculation thread as I wasn't there, having gotten pumped enough the previous day that I wanted to rest my forearms and had chosen to do a bike ride with family and friends instead of climb at Beacon. As Donini says we often never know for sure what occurred especially on rap accidents, but if this climber was clipped to a single rope on a double rope rap, it is possible that friction in the system (weight of the rope and over an edge) would hold everything together until the climber was just clear of the ledge. It would explain the rope waiting a bit but then to go zipping through the anchor as the climber fell.

At some point I suspect that someone will post who saw how the rappel device was set up on the harness and we will then know.

I am reminded of Tom Higgins beautiful and heartfelt invocation on the Frank Sacherer thread.
my small benediction: let us be most humbled, thankful and awestruck at the prize of consciousness, the sunny days on what we call rock and mountains with others we call friends, the noble globe itself only a dot in the vast swirl of matter and time, in the great physics of it all Frank pondered, the same which pounds and baffles each of us under a clear night sky. And there, looking up, perhaps I am not alone making a quiet vow to hold more tightly to good friendship and love before sleeping Frank’s sleep.

For all too soon, our fate will be to follow into the great darkness and mystery that we all know is coming for each and every one of us. Take care all.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jul 25, 2011 - 07:27pm PT
We are still trying to hunt down the details of this accident.
In the mean time deepest regrets and heart felt condolences to this climbers friends and family.

Thank God for Jim Opdycke. He just happened upon the climbers partner and got him to the ground safely. The guy watched his partner fly by and was left there at the mid point rap on Jill's Thrill for nearly an hour. I couldn't think of anyone better able to assist this guy. Jim said he was in shock but was able to rap down off the route.
QITNL

climber
Jul 25, 2011 - 07:31pm PT
Seamstress - a lot of the guys on CascadeClimbers knew this fellow. There was a thread last night that got deleted. Here is the second:
http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1028383/Re_Beacon_Rock_tragedy
Respect.
Off White

climber
Tenino, WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 07:40pm PT
Oh, it was a bit of a bollix on cc.com last night, the wrong Nate was identified as the victim (Portland has a plethora of climbing Nates), causing lots of pain and confusion. That thread got deleted, and the one linked here correctly identifies him as Nate Turner, a firefighter from Portland, and all around great guy.

Just yesterday I made several rappels from the tops of routes, keeping my daisy clipped into the anchors while I weighted and bounced on my rappel set up, thinking about just this kind of thing.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
Jul 25, 2011 - 07:45pm PT
Condolences.

How many accidents would be prevented by fixing the rope (say, cloving a biner between the anchors) for the first party(s)?
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 07:54pm PT
Thanks. I kept looking, but I must have been between threads.

Climbing partners, brothers at the fire station - a lot of close relationships. He will be missed. THe scene is pretty small here, and I'll be looking for his picture to see how well we know him. That doesn't change the fact that he will be missed, and many of us are fortunate that we have survived our mistakes thus far.

It can be very busy where he fell. It is amazing that no one else was hurt. I'm glad that the partner was found and brought down by a fellow climber. There are only a few local SAR folks with climbing experience and familiarity with the various crags.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 25, 2011 - 07:54pm PT
According to Jim Opdycke they were doing the second of four rappels on the 'standard' descent route. From what we know of the accident at the moment (not a great deal) it seems to have been a failure to clip both strands rather than an uneven rap accident like so many others we've seen in the past six months.

As DMT and Off White point out - a weighted check before unleashing will reveal this mistake. Last year on the rap sequence immediately below this one we had someone rap off the end of an uneven rope, but fortunately he fell into and lodged in a smallish notch to the left of the top of p1 which kept him from the same fate (Studly here witnessed that one from a distance).

As I posted last week, I remain at a complete loss as to why we have seen a cluster of such rap accidents by experienced climbers over the past six months. Please ensure you have the middle of the rope at the anchor, check your rigging with a weighted check before unleashing, and watch the ends as you are rapping - we need every one of you sorry bastards here as far into our collective future as possible.
Nick

climber
portland, Oregon
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:06pm PT
Deepest condolences to family and friends.
We all make mistakes and most of the time we do not pay the ultimate price. When things like this happen I feel it deep inside because I know it could have been me.
We all try and keep the odds on our side, but we all make a losing bet on the roulette wheel of life sometimes.
Besides checking the rap connection while tethered, an auto block on the leg loop is an excellent backup.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:12pm PT
Just got this:


Portland climber fatally injured in fall from Beacon Rock identified
July 25, 2010
4:00 PM

Nathan Turner, a 30 year old man from SE Portland Oregon, was fatally injured after falling over 100 feet from Beacon Rock late Sunday afternoon in a climbing accident. The man and his climbing partner, Michael Aubry, from NE Portland, were rappelling down the popular Southeast corner route at approximately 5:30 PM when the accident occurred. Beacon Rock is a popular rock climbing venue during the summer months.

Turner was a firefighter for Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue according to his sister.

“This is a very unfortunate accident that has taken place,” said Undersheriff Dave Cox. “Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family, co-workers, and friends of this young man”.


* END*

Thank you for your patience in this matter.


David L. Cox
Undersheriff
Skamania County Sheriff’s Office
509-427-9490 Office
360-772-6352 Cell
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:14pm PT
I agree with you on that. I wasn't taught that initially. We acquired that habit about 15 years ago. As I watched my husband unhappily dropping onto an airy rappel on Sunday, I asked him where his back-up was. He lost it. We stopped on the way home to buy that $.77 piece of cord.

We don't yet know the precise problem Nate had. It is sobering.

Gravity was pulling hard on Sunday.

To me, Jill's and the Southeast Corner are different rappel lines. The Sherrif is doing his best. I trust the location info reported here more.



healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:21pm PT
We don't yet know the precise problem Nate had. It is sobering.

As it is currently understood, the rope was still attached to him when he was found at the base. That leaves only two options: mis-rigging (missed a strand) or an uneven rap rope. At this time we don't know for sure whether the rope was attached in the middle or near one end to be absolutely sure which was the case for a fact; but from the information we have at the moment the former is thought to be the cause.

To me, Jill's and the Southeast Corner are different rappel lines.

Not quite sure how as the 'standard' [S.E. Corner] descent route raps down 'Jills Thrill' to Snag Ledge and then down the first pitch of the S.E. Face (aka Corner) route.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:31pm PT
What a drag. Too much of this going on.

God bless him, and may he rest in peace.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:35pm PT
Thanks for the info. If Jim found his partner on Jill's, I'll assume that they weren't coming down the line that goes to the end of the travers/start of the crux pitch of the SE Corner near Cruisemaster.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:35pm PT
I do exactly that, Dingus. When I first started caving I almost rappelled off a 70 ft. cliff without my harness being buckled even once. That feeling of things coming undone was quite memorable. Now I expect that weight coming onto the ATC or whatever I'm using before I detach my personal anchors.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:41pm PT
Thanks for the info. If Jim found his partner on Jill's, I'll assume that they weren't coming down the line that goes to the end of the travers/start of the crux pitch of the SE Corner near Cruisemaster.

Correct. The 'line' you speak of is a descent that has been traditionally discouraged at Beacon as it often involves rapping off the S.E. Corner tree. In fact, much discussion in the past has gone on relative to what could be done to discourage rapping from the anchor at the east end of the p1-p2 traverse.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 08:58pm PT
yes, but people still rap off that tree Joseph and then down Cruising, and it is what I consider the SE corner rap, versus the Jills Thrill rap line that raps Jills Thrill. Whether they are supposed to or not rap off the tree really doesn't change the name of the rap line or the line itself.
Seems like we should sling that tree so that people don't put their rope around it, and then continue to mar it by pulling the rope, as pulling the rope is what is killing it by wearing thru the bark and into the core, major permagrooves, almost to late.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 25, 2011 - 09:16pm PT
Seamstress and Studly,

That people do that rap has been a problem forever, but it is definitely NOT the S.E. Corner rap, which goes down 'Jills Thrill'.

The S.E. Corner Tree has been slung and unslung a hundred times over the decades and the decision was [collectively] taken to leave it unslung so as not to encourage the practice.

If someone wants to bail the route they should go to back to the top of p1, over to the p2 anchor on 'Young Warriors' or go to the 'standard' S.E. Corner descent down 'Jills Thrill'.

This has been posted numerous times (though not recently) and often conveyed to folks on the route as well. The S.E. Corner Tree is now basically secured by two roots and the entire tree and base mat rocks up off the ledge two inches in a good wind tethered only by those roots - it definitely should never be rapped at this point.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 09:49pm PT
I don't argue that the tree should not be rapped off of, but the fact remains that it is rapped off all the time. There were guys rapping off it this week and this weekend. and if the rap goes down the route, then that is what I will always call it. To call Jills Thrill rap route the SE corner rap route is a misnomer and very misleading. I could rap Flying Dutchman or Blownout or Physic Wound and call them each the SE corner rap route, and what would the difference be and what is the point?
Seems like you are trying to change peoples behavior by changing the names of rap routes, when in fact it would be best to post a little placard on the tree that asks people to NOT rap off it or tie into it because of its fragility, and to continue on one more pitch and rap Jills Thrill. That people could understand and respect I feel.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Jul 25, 2011 - 09:49pm PT
Is there a walkdown? There was an earlier post that implied it.

RIP and condolences to family and friends.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 09:53pm PT
Yes, you can top out on Beacon after about 6 pitches and walk down the trail that was blasted out of the monolith turn of the century. Its a awesome trail, with hanging sidewalks and wild switchbacks, very fun and quick descent. Many people are resistant to topping out but I am not sure why, but Joseph may have the answer.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 25, 2011 - 09:59pm PT
To call Jills Thrill rap route the SE corner rap route is a misnomer and very misleading.

...

Seems like you are trying to change peoples behavior by changing the names of rap routes, when in fact it would be best to post a little placard on the tree that asks people to NOT rap off it or tie into it because of its fragility. That people could understand and respect I feel.

Steve, the 'Jills Thrill' descent is, and always has been the 'standard' S.E. Corner descent route - that's why Jim Opdycke was on it Sunday.

No one, especially me, is changing the names of anything or being misleading in the slightest. A 'plaque' was discussed at length and rejected along with the sling (by both climbers and the WSP SW Resource Steward).

Again, the 'line' you and Seamstress are speaking of is not in any sense a [standard] descent route, but rather a matter of poor judgment on the part of folks doing it. If you ever see anyone setting up to rap off the tree please ask them to consider one of the alternative I listed above instead.

Johntp - yes, as Steve (Studly) mentioned, there is a concrete tourist 'sidewalk' to the top of Beacon Rock and various climbs intersect it at multiple points along its path. Most routes - with the exception of rarely climbed ones on the west quarter of the South Face - easily top out to the tourist trail. Fixed anchors have always been a tradition out at Beacon and proliferated during the 80's and 90's, but the 'standard' S.E. descent route was always been there as well.

One can only speculate as to why many folks don't top out, I have my opinion but this is hardly the place for it.

Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 10:06pm PT
Joseph, that is a funny one. Jim Opdyke wants to chop those Jills Thrill anchors! He has stated for years that they don't belong there, they don't make people top out, and they were added sometime in the mid 1990's and since Jills is his route, I imagine he would have the say. I have always discouraged the thought of chopping the anchors, as its good to have a easy bail line in case it starts raining on you on the upper pitchs. But it is hardly the SE corner rap route since it starts going down off the Grassy Ledges which is only half way up the SE Corner route which tops out in 6-7 pitches and was put up long long before Jills Thrill was a glimmer in Jims eye. What happens if you are 5 pitches up the Corner, you can't bail on Jills, as you have traversed way east, so now there must be a differnet SE corner rap route for every pitch? Wierd!
and certainly this would be the place to speculate as to why most people don't top out, where better then a climbing forum, and a thread involving a terrible accident that possibly could have been avoided by topping out. I think most people don't top out because A) they intend to do another route and its faster sometimes to do a few quick raps or B) routefinding and the unknown versus the sure thing of a known rap line and monster anchors or C)they didn't bring walkoff shoes and left gear at the base.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 25, 2011 - 10:15pm PT
Steve, I would suggest you talk up the matter with Opdycke, but the 'line' you and Seamstress are talking about is not a descent route. And yes, by definition of the way the S.E. Face wanders, you very much do essentially need a different rap for every pitch (and rapping simply isn't a very appealing option on some).

And many anchors at Beacon could go. Hell, despite having replaced most of them, I'd remove all but a few if it were up to me personally. But it's not, and so they remain by consensus.

Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 10:23pm PT
Jim just told me the trail is the descent route, as I just called and asked him. and if the corner and the tree and the anchors at the base of the corner are not a descent route, you might want to mention it to the hoards that have been descending it, because they seem to think differently. With the advent of the 70m ropes, you can rap off with one rope from base of the corner to the ground, so its happening allot. Really I am not argueing with you Joe. I understand what you are trying to say, but all I am saying is that many of the folks that climb at Beacon don't know all the ins and outs rules and regs, and rap what is easiest, and call the line that they are rapping down the line they are rapping down.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:07pm PT
Some folks don't like wandering up the dirtier, less solid pitches above the tree. The tree pitch is arguably the best pitch on the route. The alternative anchor at Jill's Thrill isn't visible from there. Until the tree is gone, people will use it.

Make it easy and obvious, people may change their behavior. Otherwise they will do what is easy and obvious. THat's just my observation of humand behavior and trying to manage climber impacts for long time.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:11pm PT
Hey, a woman with common sense, that is a ......all I'm going to say right now.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 25, 2011 - 11:26pm PT
Seamstress and Steve - you can keep questioning it all you want, but the standard S.E. Corner descent route is down 'Jills Thrill' - don't like that fact, sorry, but that's the undeniable reality. Look, people do a lot of stupid things - rapping from the p2 anchor and the tree are two of them. No experienced person of sound judgment would ever rap the tree after one look at it and the p2 anchor rap is about as shitty as a rap gets.

True, the standard S.E. Corner descent route top anchor (top of p3) is not visible from Tree Ledge (top of p2), but the 'Young Warriors' p2 anchor is visible just prior to going up to the Tree. If people want to rap from that vicinity of the top of p2, the YW p2 anchor is what they should use, and should be advised of that anytime you see anyone setting up or attempting to rap the tree.

I'll do another post shortly on the matter on cc.com, but the bottom line is frequent stupidity and poor judgment don't make a 'tradition' or change reality.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jul 26, 2011 - 01:30am PT
Steve, the 'Jills Thrill' descent is, and always has been the 'standard' S.E. Corner descent route

This is not true. Not "always" JH. As Steve says, the Jill's rappel showed up late to the party and it does make Beacon to be more of a corner little crag rather than the large and committing stone it use to be. There was not a rappel off the corner for quite some time. People would carry a second rope in any kind of questionable situation, as a double rope rap from the tree will get you to the ground in an emergency. Seeing a thunderstorm clear the Benson Plateau heading your way while dropping cold dark massive rain in the river would constitute one. Now people can bail off Young Warriors and not molest the tree in an emergency, hopefully they leave the tree alone. LOL

Beacon has had remarkably few fatalities, I have heard that the number is none from climbing since the 1901 route has gone in. An amazing thing if true, but I would doubt it's truth. If these rap anchors had not been in place, this young man would still be with us, what we don't know is how many other accidents would have occurred had the Jill's rappel bolts not been there. I'd be fine with them being gone and if a vote gets taken, add my name.

My heartfelt well wishes to all:

-Bill
Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 26, 2011 - 02:37am PT
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/oregon-climber-killed-rapping-at-beacon-rock-/107224192

First hand account in the 4th entry.
froodish

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 26, 2011 - 03:27am PT
Sincere condolences to friends and family.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 26, 2011 - 05:05am PT
Bill, true - I shouldn't have said 'always', but if 'late to the party' is '85 so be it. It was certainly well established by the time I returned to PDX in '87 and has been the defacto or 'standard' S.E. Corner descent route for well over twenty years whereas the tree and p2 anchor have never been more than a mistake in judgment or an act of desperation.

Again, and as you well know, Opdycke was on the descent he was during this incident for exactly that reason and any suggestion, either explicit or implicit, supporting or rationalizing rapping the tree is at this point or confuses where the standard descent route is simply compounds the problem and is less than helpful overall.
dr_climber

Trad climber
Jul 26, 2011 - 11:47am PT
Question: Wouldn't using an autoblock or prussik "third hand" also prevent an accident like this? I guess it might leave you hanging from your leg loop, but should hold the rope even if both strands aren't clipped through the ATC, right?

Sad to see accidents like this. Just trying to think about ways to prevent it from happening.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Jul 26, 2011 - 11:55am PT
Odd
Question: Wouldn't using an autoblock or prussik "third hand" also prevent an accident like this? I guess it might leave you hanging from your leg loop, but should hold the rope even if both strands aren't clipped through the ATC, right?

I was thinking the same thing last night. Also, in rigging the Autoblock you'd likely realize both ropes weren't through your rap device.

I'm not, however, arguing that one should always use an Autoblock. As was discussed in another rap failure thread and early in this one, there are no Absolutes except ALWAYS double check before committing to a rap. As I've mentioned before, double checking saved my life once, I'm sure it's saved many many more.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jul 26, 2011 - 11:57am PT
My standard descent is the hiking trail at the top. Rapping is always one of my least favorite ways of getting off rock anywhere. I find rappelling repellent. I coach myself and talk it through every time and remember those that have fallen. Nate will be on my mind now as I rap. It sucks to be memorialized for a mistake or gear failure. My heart goes out to all those that loved this man. We will remember him at Beacon Rock as a strong climber that loved this unique place.
Nathan Turner - A strong climber and good man
Nathan Turner - A strong climber and good man
Credit: Plaidman
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 26, 2011 - 12:05pm PT
I was using a Grigri to rap off ZM this spring and was the last one down on the rope. I was sort of freaked, it was a clean 200 feet to the ground. I really, really spent some time looking at the system before I cast off.

Dang, it so sad to hear about accidents of this kind.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 26, 2011 - 12:06pm PT
It doesn't really make any difference which descent route this man was on. The mistake could just as easily happen on any set of stations. Tha family, friends and partner are still without him.

I am not advocating any action with regard to the descent routes. I am making it a point not to get involved in local crag management and politics in my new (12 years)home. From raising children, managing large staffs, and being involved with crag management for a very long time, I offered an answer to your question about why people do not do what you would like them to do.

Please be very careful about changes that might leave someone hanging out to dry. There are thousands of references to the anchors and descents on Beacon. It isn't a destination where I would normally consult with the internet to see if any changes were made in advance of going. In light of the conversation, I better start consulting before assuming that the rock and protection is the same as the last time I visited.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jul 26, 2011 - 01:01pm PT
I was using a Grigri to rap off ZM this spring and was the last one down on the rope. I was sort of freaked, it was a clean 200 feet to the ground. I really, really spent some time looking at the system before I cast off.

Mark, did you read the reason for the new GriGri 2 recall? Handle breaking resulting in loss of breaking. They had 7 instances of this failure I believe, fortunately all were in lower off mode, and the belayer was already breaking and just continued to use it as an ATC and no one died. I've never backed up a Grigri on a single rap, a practice which I have never read or heard of failing, yet had you, I or others carried this practice over to the GriGri 2 where a sudden snap and loss of braking power would have caused a huge amount of weight onto the rope in sudden and unexpected movement, may have resulted in a fatality.

(insert sweat on brow pic here) Not that you or anyone needs or wants to think of this while rapping ZM or any 200 foot free rap:-)

This might not be the best place to say this, but we're here and there it is. Apologize if it's too far off topic. BTW, I'm a tad yoinked that Petzl didn't change up the serial numbers in a radical manner. The old 2's look like the new ones and the S/N seemed to go in sequence without a break.

Regards and climb safe all -

Bill
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 26, 2011 - 01:08pm PT
It was an older Gri-gri. And, if the handle did break, the gri-gri would lock up, wouldn't it?
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Jul 26, 2011 - 01:15pm PT
since Jills is his route

i will never understand some peoples logic when it comes to "ownership" of the rock... it was there for millions of years, some dude climbs a route and now its his? BS. show me title and deed.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 26, 2011 - 01:43pm PT
Kind of complicates management post mortem.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jul 26, 2011 - 02:01pm PT
Mark, I didn't quite get that right. More like this (copied and pasted)
Excessive force may cause the handle to jam in the open position, thereby disabling the assisted braking function. According to Petzl, if the handle jams open the device will continue to function in a manner similar to a manual (tube style) belay device. Seven jammed devices have been received by Petzl with no reports of injuries. This is a good time to remember that belayers should always keep their brake hand on the rope when using any GriGri.

I wonder if just grabbing the line would stop a free rap. Up high you'd have the full weight of the rope below, probably be less safe the closer to the ground one got and the more weight you had on you. I really have no idea what would occur. It just struck me that we trust those dog gone things quite a bit...maybe excessively so.

Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jul 26, 2011 - 02:12pm PT
Excessive force may cause the handle to jam in the open position

We should start a new thread. This is a good discussion but we shouldn't hijack this one. I'm roasting coffee right now, I'll try to move my comments in a few minutes or so.
mikeyschaefer

climber
Yosemite
Jul 26, 2011 - 02:23pm PT
Sorry to hear about the loss :(



I'm always amazed at how a prussic back-up isn't used nearly every time someone rappels. I use one probably close to 95% of the time. It has saved my life before as well as my partners. It is a simple tool that EVERY climber should know how to do.

When I worked for the Yosemite Mountaineering School we taught people how to use a prussic backup in our second level class. To me it really was one of the most important things I taught.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 26, 2011 - 02:37pm PT
mikey,
I can't recall that using a prussic saved my bacon ever but it was sure nice
knowing it was deployed for quite a few launches into the unknown. I also
took a bit of wisdom from Uncle Fred and rarely went into the mountains without
a prussic loop in my pocket. It was: "Swiss Bitch - check. Prussic loop - check."
Since I never washed my knickers (quit giggling Tami!) the prussic lived in its dank pocket.

Of course, on one's hometown crag it is understandable to go without as you
are not launching into the unknown but that's where my Braille checklist
procedure still serves. Don't just look at it - touch it and give it a shake.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 26, 2011 - 02:39pm PT
In light of the conversation, I better start consulting before assuming that the rock and protection is the same as the last time I visited.

Nothing in this conversation has implied anything changing. No one is or has ever been 'left out to dry', but that's certainly more of a possibility if someone goes to the internet and finds confusion about where the standard descent route actually is.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jul 26, 2011 - 03:03pm PT
Perhaps it was an indirect comment, but the notion of Jill's anchors not being needed was mentioned. I can get a tad paranoid about anchors I am counting on being removed. I am not as "in the know" as others.

The mourning continues, and the sky is still weeping for Nate.
mikeyschaefer

climber
Yosemite
Jul 26, 2011 - 03:19pm PT
Reilly, your hometown crag is the place where everyone should be using a prussic. It is where people become the most complacent. When I'm rapping off of huge mountains I triple check everything cause I'm gripped. Not so gripped say rapping off of Serenity to Sons for the 15th time...
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Jul 26, 2011 - 10:01pm PT
I have added an auto block to my standard rap routine. It not only backs up the rap but will hold the rope up while I attach my atc to the rope. It kinda acts like a third hand so I don't have to hold up the weight of the rope.
Pass the Chongo, Chongo

Social climber
camped on P3 of WOS
Jul 27, 2011 - 03:50am PT
STUDLY,,,

You really going to say that "Jill's Trill" or what ever ya'll are climbing shoud have anchors incase it rains? Are you f*#king kidding me? We should put bolt anchors on every single climb everywhere so incase it rains its easy to bail. Its bumblies like you making climbing GEH ya fricken pussy,,,

My sincerest condolences to the family and freinds of Nate Turner. You will be greatly missed by many.

PTcc
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jul 27, 2011 - 05:09am PT
We should put bolt anchors on every single climb everywhere so incase it rains its easy to bail.

Beacon Rock does possess it's own reality distortion field so things happen a bit differently out there. One is that, inspite all the routes being trad, many routes have bolted anchors. I don't really know how or why that evolved, but it did and it's been that way for quite awhile. As I said, I'd yank them, but it isn't my call and, as Seamstress noted, people are both used to them and (right or wrong) count on them being there at this point.
Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
Jul 27, 2011 - 09:00am PT
As an ex-portlander and beacon aficionado I am saddened to hear of this sad accident. I send my condolensces to the family and friends.

Beacon has always had a sort of hallowed air to it for me. Somehow you must earn your stripes at that place. I hope to get back there this summer to taste its mossy walls.

I think the anchor issue for me was compounded by the old Portland rock climbs guide. Incorrect information and cryptic drawings made for some interesting excursions. I am not sure if Beacon has a new guide (or that locals even want that) but lack of information could be spurring more tree raps and use of non-recommended routes.

neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jul 27, 2011 - 02:07pm PT
hey there say, all.... i saw this late...

my condolences to the family and loved ones....

:(
drewmcd

Mountain climber
Temecula, CA
Jul 30, 2011 - 01:49am PT
Nate Turner's friends, climbing partners, friends of the family, and coworkers are warmly invited to a memorial service in celebration of Nate's life.

Monday August 1, 2011
2pm
Western Mennonite Church
9045 Wallace Rd. NW
Salem, OR

The ceremony will last approximately 45 minutes with an open reception immediately following
drewmcd

Mountain climber
Temecula, CA
Jul 30, 2011 - 01:53am PT
Nate Turner's friends, climbing partners, friends of the family, and coworkers are warmly invited to a memorial service in celebration of Nate's life.

Monday August 1, 2011
2pm
Western Mennonite Church
9045 Wallace Rd. NW
Salem, OR

The ceremony will last approximately 45 minutes with an open reception immediately following
drewmcd

Mountain climber
Temecula, CA
Jul 30, 2011 - 01:54am PT
Nate Turner's friends, climbing partners, friends of the family, and coworkers are warmly invited to a memorial service in celebration of Nate's life.

Monday August 1, 2011
2pm
Western Mennonite Church
9045 Wallace Rd. NW
Salem, OR

The ceremony will last approximately 45 minutes with an open reception immediately following
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