Surviving Sedona.....January 8th is my new second birthday

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donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 10, 2013 - 01:05pm PT
I have mucked my way through numerous epics in the mountains. Difficult retreats with multiple single anchor rappels placed in icy cracks. There have also been thousands of more routine rappels spread out over the last 47 years, and, thankfully, I'm still here to right this report.
Last Monday, January 8th, I had just finished a run of the mill 5.9 warmup climb ( Cul de sac Crack) with Phoenix climber Nestor Garcia. Nestor had done the climb a year ago. The rap station was a single 8 ft. section of old 1 inch tubular webbing wrapped around a block. I inspected the entire length of sling for any cuts and dings. Finding none I put on a leaver biner and prepared to rappel. I then noticed a single 6 ft. section of newer 9/16 th inch webbing hanging down to the right with a loop in the end. I saw that a knot had been tied in the end and jammed into a friable sandstone crack....not very confidence building. At the last minute I put a carabiner in the loop and the rope through it as a backup. I still had confidence in the old webbing, I had read a report that old 1 inch slings had been tested and still had 1,000 plus pounds tensile strength. Consequently I had the knotted sling as a loose backup.
I leaned back to rap and found myself flying through space for six or seven feet and hanging from the single strand of knotted webbing. The main sling offered no resistance, it parted like it was composed of warm butter. Hanging from the knotted sling, I got a hand jam, placed a red camalot and all was well.
Moral of the story NEVER assume that an older sling is good even after careful inspection.

Credit: donini

Nestor suggested that I celebrate Jan. 8th as my new birthday.
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Scary stuff. I probably would not have given that first sling a second thought.

Glad you are OK.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Happy birthday!!
Matt's

climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:09pm PT
lucky... to my gumby eyes that piece of webbing looks very old/very UV-damaged...
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
Wow Jim. Glad your still here! I hate trusting old tat.. This is where chains come in really handy...
Mtnmun

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
Whoah, glad your still alive and kickin Donini!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Frikk-a-zee!

HapBirDayJim!

DAMN!

oxoxoxo

Kath
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
Happy B-day or was it D day!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Great news Jim, since I still haven't gotten my turn at the Donini trough.

Everyone is different.

I too have rapped off of single items too many times to count. But I have also left many many dollars of slings behind because I got a feeling about what was in front of me, in so many configurations.

As I have gotten older and more cautious, and a few bucks worth of gear is no longer worth my life, I have taken to leaving something extra if I got "the vibe".

Seems I've been making the right choice.



BTW, Jan 8th is my 21 yr old daughters birthday, as well as Elvis Presley, David Bowie, Stephen Hawking, Robbie Krieger, James Longstreet, Bill Graham, etc. so yeah, you can share it with a smile!
klk

Trad climber
cali
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:19pm PT
scary.

be brutal to get the chop on a roadside crag in sunny weather because the rap tat failed.

glad yr ok
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
knot a BLUE camalot? Curious.

Happy Birthday.

yikes... epic...
ground_up

Trad climber
mt. hood /baja
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:23pm PT
Jim ....if it can happen to you , it can happen to
anyone ..glad ya came out ok
Dave Kos

Trad climber
Temecula
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:24pm PT
I do always carry a couple of tied, shoulder-length, one-inch slings when climbing trad.

I go out of my way to buy a neutral tan color, which seems to be harder to find these days.
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Glad you're still with us Jim! Happy Re-Birthday!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
How does it feel to start living your second life? ... or maybe it's the third or forth, maybe even the ninth?
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Jim, we are very, very happy to see your report. Mostly because it means you are here, with us, to report.

There but for the grace of God (if there is one) go any of us.

Happy birthday.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
so good to hear this turned out OK!

when we go on our obscure romps through Yosemite we take and replace all slings, independent of the condition of the existing slings, and usually with dated slings...

now we'll have a new "verb" to add to "doing a John Long check" at the gym (to make sure everyone finishes their knot, and all that) to "doing a Jim Donini" for replacing existing webbing...

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
There's a statistical relationship between the number of close calls you have, and the number of real accidents. The close call should be a reminder of the danger of what you're doing.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:34pm PT
Scary sh#t. Good thing you listened to that hunch about clipping the worthless-looking backup.
Prod

Trad climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Yikes!

Glad you're still here.

Prod.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
I'm glad you are ok!

I've seen a lot of slings in AZ that look shiny white and good to go- until you look at the inside of the knot and realize that the webbing was not originally white.


I think the moral of this one is that if you are going to rap off a single piece of webbing use your own fresh strand.
Michelle

Trad climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:38pm PT
Scary shit! Glad you didn't end up needing a fundraiser!
Gal

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
Hey Donini glad you're all right, that is SCARY! Happy Second Birthday!
Powder

Trad climber
SF Bay Area
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:41pm PT
Happy Second Birthday, Mr Donini!! *^_^*

Glad that you are OK!!!!! *phew*



New second birthday...... Does that mean there is an "old" one?! O.o
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
Good story and even better news, Jim.

So, has anyone ever even seen webbing that color? I haven't. Which, if true, would mean that the color was totally bleached out from sun exposure.

I hate old webbing, so I always carry a few knotted runners to leave behind at rap anchors.
nutjob

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:13pm PT
Scary stuff. What a gift is this life, and your ability to appreciate it!
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:24pm PT
tied slings are not the must have item they used to be, but I always have a couple on me. Thanks for the reminder, glad you are fine.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
Ugh! That damn UV and nylon just don't get along! Glad you had the 2nd thought to backup on the knotted sling!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:37pm PT
Wow!

Your OP didn't say, did you test the system before taking off?

Anyhow, happy second birthday!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:39pm PT
Goose bumps. Blargh.

Happy birthday!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
Very glad that Jim is AOK, and looking forward to seeing him at the FaceLift. We've both got the Third Pillar on our list.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
Yikes!
Glad you are still with us Mr.Donini.
Thanks for sharing an important lesson,
Back up yur raps people!
Tad
RP3

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:08pm PT
Holy moley! That is terrifying! Congratulations on surviving.
Paul Brennan

Trad climber
Ireland
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:23pm PT
A friend of mine had a similar closr call in j tree in nov. Had just done some obscure route and was about to lower off the fixed sling anchor. The thought crossed his mind to test it.....and the sling ripped like tissue paper. He is from ireland too, where we don't really have fixed anchors. Sometimes annoying, but it negates this particular hazard.

Glad you're ok.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:27pm PT
Yikes! Yet another tale of the times we came this close to a meaningless too-early end. Glad you're still here to tell it.
Alpamayo

Trad climber
Chapel Hill, NC
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
Donini truly does have a climbing "6th sense"...I'm not sure I would have clipped the second sling, especially since you said you didn't think it looked all that good!
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:33pm PT
Thank you for this cautionary tale

...and that you are able to relate it to us.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
So Donini, does that make 7 or 8 of your nine lives?! Glad to see you still had some in reserve...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:39pm PT
I broke an old sling on a route on maverick buttress once. I was climbing third and the tr anchor was two pins with an old sling each backed up by a cam. My friend asked how the slings were and I said "okay." seconds later, while adjusting the rope I put ally weight on one of the slings a d it popped I to smoke! Needless to say I pulled up new sling and replaced that on both, anchors!
Be careful out there!
So Donini gets to start over again at 2?
zBrown

Ice climber
chingadero de chula vista
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
Hey Jim:

Happy rebirthday. I will quibble with an earlier statement you made about getting old. This event shows you're not (along with most every other aspectt of your life).

Bruce

MisterE

Social climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:43pm PT
Yep, it is listed as no fixed anchor in our book, with a notation that there is a bad anchor.

Never did that one, the start looks chossy but the upper crack looks pretty good. Meaning of Life is the continuation.

Glad you are OK, Jim - sounds like a close one.

Erik
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
Jan 10, 2013 - 03:55pm PT
Crap Jim--I just read this.

I'm sure BITD, you have had other close calls, but at our "advanced" age, we really don't need anymore.

I'm sending this on to my daughter, who is on the way to Mexico to climb.
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:06pm PT
Wow. Sobering. Glad you are still around, Jim.

Surprised at how easily the webbing parted. My experience is that bleached webbing is surprisingly strong (I did one about the last ascents of the Shield on the original RURP webbing on the Groove pitch; very, very scary. That webbing was a decade old, crispy, white, all gone but for a few strands, obviously severely damaged, still held my weight).

Do you have any idea how strong the rest of the broken webbing is? From the nice photo, it looks like you brought it down with you.

I'd be really interested in some kind of testing, either formally by the guys at BD or else just by making a loop, hanging (just over a bouldering pad or a couple inches off the ground or somewhere safe) and seeing how easy it is to break the remains just with bodyweight.

My hunch (hope?) is that your "inspection" was basically visual, and did not involve running your fingers all along the inside, unseen side of the webbing. And I kinda hope that where it broke it was either on a sharpish edge and/or an abrasive section of rock and the unseen, invisible side was severely worn/cut already from wind, etc.

Maybe wishful thinking on my part. If the rest is horribly weak then I'll be recalibrating, for sure.

And again, glad you survived to live and climb another day!
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:16pm PT
glad to hear that you lived to tell the tale Jim.

Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
Very cool you listened to that little voice, Jim. It's funny how often it's right.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2013 - 04:28pm PT
Nice story Coz. Crusher, Bill Bellcourt from BD is coming to the Ouray Ice Festival. I'm giving him the sling to take back for testing. It broke in an area where there were no previous dings. I did run my fingers around the sling as part of my inspection, I'll post the test results.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:31pm PT
test results say youll be backin those up in the future.

I left a new sling even of there were 6 old ones..like many in the palisades..Quit being CHEAP! ;-)
Urizen

Ice climber
Berkeley, CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
So, Mr. Skeptic, does this make you born again?

Apparently the Lord of Creation intended for you to stick around!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
I agree with you Ron. I'll bring some tied slings on future forays in my second climbing career.
The biggest danger for the experienced climber is becoming blasé. Gravity is a constant and there are no angels to catch you.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
Moral of the story NEVER assume that an older sling is good even after careful inspection.

Glad you made it! Still, not THAT careful an inspection as you can see the traces that used to be the color of the sling even in that photo. On the top of Church Tower in Yosemite, and rapping on Space Babble, I've encountered 1in tubular that I could rip in half easily with bare hands, even those it had no tears. I'm pretty liberal about rapping on older slings but completely bleached by uv is another story

Peace

Karl
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
My bad Karl, you are absolutely right......hopefully others will take note that even an experienced climber like me can make bonehead decisions.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:50pm PT
Jim, so glad to hear you had a back up. Now you have TWO birthdays to celebrate....seems like that's enough! :-)
xxx
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2013 - 04:56pm PT
See you at the Ice Fest Pam.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Jan 10, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
Dang, Jim!
Don't die yet, we have to do the NIAD together one of these days!,
Forest

Trad climber
Lafayette, CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
One of the first things the locals taught me when I moved to Tucson was that webbing dies incredibly quickly there in the sun. If there's visible fading, or the webbing is crunchy at all, it's absolutely not trustworthy.

People I'd climb with in Yosemite looked at me like I was crazy when I questioned using fixed webbing there.


"The biggest danger for the experienced climber is becoming blasé."

^^ This. A thousand times.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:05pm PT
Thank God you are alright, Jim!
It was good that you used that second piece of webbing.

I am very HAPPY I didn't LOSE another FRIEND!!!

Dwain
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
Glad you survived a(nother) close call, Jim. Look forward to sharing a rope and glass of wine at CoR this Summer?
Rodger
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:22pm PT
N00bs!

In my almost 2 year climbing career I have never had a problem an with an old piece of webbing.

Happy second birthday Mr. Donini!
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:28pm PT
Crap! Happy second B-day

Never hurts to back stuff up especially if it's quick and easy to do eh?
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Jan 10, 2013 - 05:36pm PT
Good thing you can still throw a good hand jam!

Never let you're guard down . . .
crunch

Social climber
CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:13pm PT
Crusher, Bill Bellcourt from BD is coming to the Ouray Ice Festival. I'm giving him the sling to take back for testing. It broke in an area where there were no previous dings. I did run my fingers around the sling as part of my inspection, I'll post the test results.

Hmmmm. Sounds like a random spot on the webbing. You did run your fingers round and this was not an obvious wear point. I'm recalibrating my "when-do-I-add-a-new-sling" expectations already.

Thanks for doing the guinea-pig thing.



So, for your new birthday, did Angela buy you some new underwear......8-)
mechrist

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:21pm PT
reason number 42 why bouldering is better than tard climbing.
norm larson

climber
wilson, wyoming
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:27pm PT
Well Jim you dodged another one. Glad you did. It's a good reminder to everyone to not be macho about anchors. Sh#t happens and in climbing quite often thats the end of the story. I'd much rather toast your second birthday than raise one to you at your wake. Losing Jay to anchor failure was enough. Back it up!
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:29pm PT
Play the date of the incident as lottery numbers, you're lucky (and smart for backing it up)!

Maybe a diet is in order?

I'm glad you're safe, man
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:32pm PT

Wow! Glad you're still with us, Jim.

Did you have to burn your pants???

hee hee hee. . .
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:37pm PT
I hate to rap.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
Man, I keep thinking of how many of us would have been bummed at the alternative.... Jim's one of the strongest voices here, an iconoclast with a heart of gold. I'm glad we're getting a friendly lesson instead.
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:41pm PT
I applaud your dedication to scientific inquiry.
Don't get carried away, though!

Glad you made it through this OK.
TWP

Trad climber
Mancos, CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 06:55pm PT
Damn! That was close.

Recent months bring lessons from climbing's best of the best, in all senses. As climbers and as men.

To do a "John Long check" now means:

CHECK YOUR HARNESS TIE-IN.

To threw in a "Jim Donini" now means:

BACK UP YOUR RAPP ANCHOR.

So glad we will visiting the Winds together again.
11worth

Trad climber
Leavenworth & Greenwater WA
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
WOW! Close one.
Your instincts took over again.
surfstar

climber
Santa Barbara, CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:05pm PT
The other bonus - you got to keep one of the carabiners!

limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
Happy belated birthday!

I read that most people who die in motorcycle accidents are either inexperienced so they make beginner mistakes or have been riding a very long time and get careless/relaxed. I wonder if that's the case for climbing?

Good thing I'm one of the invincible intermediates!
Leggs

Sport climber
Home away from Home
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:32pm PT
My goodness, Jim... PHEW!!! (my god... my hands tingled when I read this)

Happy Birthday, and then some! (and then some more.)


~peace
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:39pm PT
Scary sh:t. Glad your OK. If one old sling is not good what about ten of them. Seems like you are constantly running into crap like that in the needles. It is one time that I think bolting is probably better and more esthetic at the same time. Mike
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Jan 10, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
Damn... makes you wonder how many people lowered off that single piece recently... Is that a popular climb?
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:08pm PT
wow +1 for back ups. this has prompted me to throw out that naggy piece of webbing I carry around for leaver gear. Found it about 3 years ago as someone else's bale webbing. heh .. better to toss it. I am SO glad you clipped the back up.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
Damn Donini!
Super sketchy, glad everything worked out.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:24pm PT
Happy birthday Jim. Erik has one this weekend as well. Lot of Capricorns floating around this site.

Yup- Sedona is scary as hell. Glad you are alive.

Chock that one up to adventure climbing Sedona 101. I've seen Cul-De-Sac from a distance, but the wind was howling that day so we didn't climb it. How was the climb? The crack looks pretty good.

Believe it or not.. when I was assisting the boys with the guide, I tried to find detailed descent beta on every route 10a and under to keep us noobs from epic-ing on the moderates. Cul-De-Sac was one of the bogies that I couldn't find info. I sent out a round of emails to locals and never got a reliable report on what the was at the top of that crack or how the hell you get down so the guide is somewhat vague. (Call it a homage to Randy Vogel LOL). After publication I heard about the tattered slings, but the book was already on the shelves by then. Meh.
grover

climber
Northern Mexico
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
Happy Birthday!

Glad to hear it worked out for ya!

Jammed knot saved the day....WOW!



hb81

climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
I read that most people who die in motorcycle accidents are either inexperienced so they make beginner mistakes or have been riding a very long time and get careless/relaxed. I wonder if that's the case for climbing?

This is exactly the case according to statistics.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:59pm PT
I recall belaying and rapping from a huge nest of old tat up on Point Beyond. I checked the 8-10 old slings and they'd all been gnawed on and some gnawed through by rats. I took a new piece of webbing and made another soon-to-be-gnawed-through sling around the same flake. Yuk! A lot to be said for permanent anchors with chains on popular climbs!!
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 10, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
Bolts and 4 quick links are way less of and eyesore and 1,000 times better than slings. If I have to construct a sling anchor I almost never use webbing. I use old climbing rope.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 10, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
Thanks for listening to your inner voice there Mr Donini. The news of your demise in a rappelling accident would have been simply terrible.

Quite a few years ago I was climbing with Herb Laeger at a rarely visited Kern Cyn crag. I had led the last pitch and when Herb got to the belay I started to set up the rap off some old slings. Herb looked at me like I was nuts, and gave me a new piece of webbing to add to the anchor. I thought he was overcautious, and so to test my theory I tied the new backup about two inches looser than the old slings, not enough to shock load the bolts but enough to test the old slings, which parted like the one you describe...

Regarding all the recommendations for chains, I think that in most cases they are ugly and unaesthetic. The Fixe hangers with a ring through them are much nicer. Or at a heavily used anchor, a pair of lap links which are so easy and cheap to replace. Just my opinion but I really hate mussy hooks, they are so ugly.

Of course the important news is that Donini decided to clip the backup!
MisterE

Social climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Damn... makes you wonder how many people lowered off that single piece recently... Is that a popular climb?
Here's a picture of the route in question:

Cul-de-Sac Crack, Schnebly Hill Road area.
Cul-de-Sac Crack, Schnebly Hill Road area.
Credit: MisterE

Probably hasn't been done in a while - the initial looseness scares people off. Definitely NOT a "popular" climb...it gets 2 stars for the upper crack.
Technicolor Corner (nearby) IS a popular route, however - get on that one, Jim?
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 10, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
Yep...that's the route. It gets two stars for the crack but probably deserves one. Did Epitaph right after the episode- good route. The next day we climbed Coyote Tower a really good climb. My upper right leg was wicked stiff from banging it against the rock when the anchor failed.
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
SO glad that back up was there-and that you used it. Phew!
maldaly

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
Whew! Dodged a bullet there. I'm depending on Donini for a ride to the party tonight.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:09pm PT
The next day we climbed Coyote Tower a really good climb.


Yeah, I enjoyed that one too.
locker

Social climber
state of Kumbaya...
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:12pm PT

My only comment...



FUK...

JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
Looks pretty UV cooked to me.

Once it's already turned white, how does one know it hasn't been cooked 100x more? Eventually it turns to dust and blows away, right?

Sounds like a really scary close call.
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:29pm PT
If in doubt, leave the blue Camalot...

Happy extra birthday, now you will be getting twice as old even sooner
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jan 10, 2013 - 10:50pm PT
Climbing is a dirty and dangerous sport;.....glad this worked out OK..........climb on, young man...
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Jan 10, 2013 - 11:07pm PT
Hey Friend,
Glad you're still around for another summer of trips planned. Spoke to Angela on the phone the other night while you were on your way home and I just couldn't blurt out "hey I heard Jim just had a close one".

I think UV is the real culprit. Folks, think of that stuff as real particles slamming into and completely through the sling anytime there is sunlight because that's exactly what happens. In fact, 9 minutes earlier those particles actually left the sun and made the PHYSICAL journey to earth until they slammed into the sling like bullets. Not just some mystical stuff floating around to brighten our day.

Arne
MisterE

Social climber
Jan 11, 2013 - 12:38am PT
This route and webbing gets direct Arizona desert sun from early morning to dusk. The first ascent was 1981.

Hell, the whole place is suspect, except for the Oak Creek Basalt...isn't that why we love it?



PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jan 11, 2013 - 12:41am PT
Happy to hear your still with us, Jim.
That's a good lesson for us all...

It's going to be tough to survive the next 50 years of climbing!
cragnshag

Social climber
san joser
Jan 11, 2013 - 01:16am PT
It's good to avoid the reaper! Glad you made it.




Here's some simple math for all y'all out there.

supertape = 35 cents/ foot

fancy pine box (on sale now at overstock.com)= $2,339

This would buy 6683 feet of supertape to make about 1114 six-foot hero loops.
Probably a lifetime supply of webbing for most folks.

free shipping too?
free shipping too?
Credit: cragnshag
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jan 11, 2013 - 01:40am PT
As with everyone else, I'm really glad you clipped that knot into the system Jim. Sedona as a whole is no joke, for this and a lot of other reasons.

This is exactly why I always carry some webbing with me on my "Oh sh#t kit" biner.
couchmaster

climber
pdx
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:20am PT
...."Consequently I had the knotted sling as a loose backup.
I leaned back to rap and found myself flying through space for six or seven feet and hanging from the single strand of knotted webbing. The main sling offered no resistance, it parted like it was composed of warm butter. Hanging from the knotted sling, I got a hand jam, placed a red camalot and all was well.
Moral of the story NEVER assume that an older sling is good even after careful inspection."

Holy mother of ....WOW! My story would have continued thus: "Hanging from the knotted sling, I got a hand jam, placed a red camalot and all was well EXCEPT FOR FOR STILL BEING SCARED SH#TLESS AND THE SH#T AND PISS RUNNING DOWN MY LEG......"

Seriously, thanks for the heads up, I too have overly trusted old webbing, and congrats on the amazing survival skillz which have seen you in good stead all yer life Jim.

Wow








Cragnshag: old refrigerator box -... free.


Fair trade, free range and even more biodegradable than Doninis old 1" tubular webbing:-) .
kc

Trad climber
the cats
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:38am PT
More evidence in the argument for...redundancy!

Glad all turned out ok. :)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:54am PT
All's well that ends well.

JFC, JD!

Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 11, 2013 - 10:08am PT
I still had confidence in the old webbing, I had read a report that old 1 inch slings had been tested and still had 1,000 plus pounds tensile strength.

do us a favor, jim, and dig up that piece that you read. i've gotten very curious.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 11, 2013 - 10:21am PT
One of my memories from the Nose was a half dozen crunchy slings like that all jammed through the eye of a single piton on the king swing. I clipped them all!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
Jan 11, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
Jim: Looks like we need to keep doing the toast at the end of every climbing day.

Here's to Cheating Death! (again)


Since this is turning into a rotten webbing discussion: I do want to bring up 1 inch, high-tenacity, polypropylene flat webbing rated to 1500 lbs or so.

This material is little used for climbing, but is widely available for tie-down straps. I have used the stuff for 30 years for whitewater rafting.

Please don't use it for climbing anchors. I've had the experience of being able to easily-snap polypropyline raft straps that still had most of their original blue color after 100 or so days in full sun.

Here's a materials comparison chart link. It mentions nylon doesn't do as well in an akalai environment. I wonder if that would affect the obvious short life of nylon slings in Arizona?

http://www.drdcorp.com/strap-cord-hardware/strapchart.htm
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Jan 11, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Happy Birthday ! I think I have had at least 2 full value birthdays in the past. Scary stuff! Glad you are OK. Serves as a good reminder and wake up call for me going forward.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Jan 11, 2013 - 02:40pm PT

Bolts and 4 quick links are way less of and eyesore and 1,000 times better than slings. If I have to construct a sling anchor I almost never use webbing. I use old climbing rope.

What is with this tat through the hangers bs? Would you guys rather die than put some metal on an anchor? Tat anchors are ugly too and stick out like a sore thumb. You'd think where sun was an issue you wouldn't risk it......
Beatrix Kiddo

Mountain climber
ColoRADo
Jan 11, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
Happy belated!!! Scariest 6-7' fall ever! Quick thinking saved you. We are glad!
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Jan 11, 2013 - 03:11pm PT
Whew!
Ibex

climber
Jan 11, 2013 - 05:16pm PT
In contrast to you, a friend of ours was more unlucky.
When the old sling he was rappelling from broke, he fell
the entire remaining length of the east face of Matterhorn
to his death.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 11, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
re: testing the system

Hardly any mention here of testing the system before letting loose.

Test the system.

I love to rappel. I've done it hundreds of times - but NOT ONCE EVER without testing the system (visually, under body weight, dynamically under movement) before removing backup daisy, whatever.

In the gym, too, I also see many climbers reach the top anchor and without any pause let go or jump off without a second thought. When it's so easy, why not take a second and double check the system before asking to be lowered? Besides, it's great habit building for outdoors. I do it every time without fail.

In climbing it can be over in a second. The devil is in the details.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 11, 2013 - 09:02pm PT
OMG Jim, that's effin' scary as hell!

I've never broken webbing but once in the Bugaboos when the rope got jammed and two of us pulled extra hard, we retrieved not only the rope but the entire flake that had been the anchor, thereby giving new and additional emphasis to the term "rappel."

A notable aspect of Jim's experience is the anchor he trusted was worthless and the anchor he thought worthless held a seven-foot fall. I think this illustrates that, although we learn many things through experience, there are still things we don't know how to judge, and sometimes our "experience" can convince us (because we've gotten away with stuff many times in the past) that we know things that we really don't (such as the strength of old webbing and the solidity of fixed pitons and bolts).

I think another danger for those of us with many years' experience is that we can forget to shift gears, by which I mean that we may apply standards that were appropriate for serious conditions in remote settings to little crags, where we have all the time in the world and, usually, access to lots of extra gear to make the situation redundant, even if it slows things down a bit. If we're going to get the chop, at least it should be on something big 'n nasty and not some little pimple of a crag, but as Jim says, gravity never sleeps, and we nod off, even for an instant, at our peril.

As we all exhale our communal sigh of relief, we can take comfort in the fact that experience did win the day; the back-up anchor was clipped and did what it was supposed to do.

Thank god you're ok Jim. Happy New Birthday.
crazytom

climber
Maine
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:43am PT
Everyone that posts here has been lucky at some time. Glad your luck hasn't run out!!!!!!!!!!! Grateful for the post as a reminder to us all to be diligent - always.
nopantsben

climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 06:58am PT
Yeah, good to hear you're still gonna be around for a while!
Captain...or Skully

climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 09:49am PT
I'm glad you're not dead, Jim, but discipline NEVER relaxes. You know this.
Don't be a bonehead. Yep, it can happen to anyone, if you let it. I like you much better alive.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 12, 2013 - 10:50am PT
Jim, were you the first to rap, or your partner?
WTF

climber
Jan 12, 2013 - 10:58am PT
Seriously I can't believe you even thought that was an acceptable piece of webbing with all the years you have in the mountains and rock.

Straight up noob sh#t right there. Next time hire a guide to teach you some safety techniques. Coz here's a new client for you.

You have come full circle from noob to master and back to noob. Wake up Jim that's on par with skinner using an old harness.

Lucky to be alive you are old noob.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 11:00am PT
It would have been a real bummer to read this accident report.
Really glad you are humble enough to share here.

Not trying to be a smartass, but is your near vision not so good? Because there is NO WAY I would have rapped off of that!

(I too carry tied slings for this and I pretty much always use a fresh one to rappel off of, taking the worst of the tat with me. But I have not had to rappel off of slings for a very long time.)

Thank you for the heads up, glad your still with us man.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 12, 2013 - 11:30am PT
not being much into doniniolatry, i'll ask my question a little more pointedly. jim read something that seemed to influence an unfortunate lapse in judgment. i think we need to pick the thing apart.
cragnshag

Social climber
san joser
Jan 12, 2013 - 11:43am PT
How about testing the rappel anchor this way:

1. Always climb with a partner at least 50 lbs heavier than yourself.
2. Make them rap first.
3. If the rap anchor fails (and your ropes and partner are now at the base of the cliff), call Werner to come pick you up in the heli.

Problem solved. No extra webbing needed.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 11:44am PT
know what? THAT^^^^ was not funny, I know someone that his happened too and I have a feeling you are referring to that incident azzhat.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 12, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
Complacency, no offense, and luckily dodged a bullet.

A bullet I tell ya.

DMT
cragnshag

Social climber
san joser
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:36pm PT
Sorry if I offended, Hossjulia. I do not know of anyone who this has happened to.

What I do know is that all but one of one of my climbing partners outweigh me. And yes, I would send them first. Of course there would be a temporary gear back up to be removed before I went down.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Where the Hoback and the mighty Snake River meet
Jan 12, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
Is cool cragershagger, but this really did happen, although I don't think the brother that was killed outweighed his sibling.
Helicopter off, Valley, all that. Werner knows.
I'm friends with the survivor and I tend to be overly protective of my friends.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
Heh, actually its alpine climbing technique to have the heavier climber (could be one with more gear or a pack or just a fatty fats like me) go first while the anchor is backed up, then the lil guy (or gal) goes second and pulls the backup, if the back up might be vital for another rap station.

Kind of like glacier travel and crevasse crossings.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:15pm PT
Tony: always the guy who looks like he's sucking lemons...

I know it is always hard to post up something I did which could be seen to be so obviously stupid in retrospect that at the time seemed entirely reasonable. The responsibility of surviving the stupidity seems to be honored by fessing up...

Jim Donini didn't have to post this incident up... that he did speaks volumes about him and it serves as an important lesson to all of us: that we all can make mistakes of judgement no matter our experience.

Independent of any "hero worship" I am glad he survived, I don't wish injury or death on any climber and I celebrate their survival. I also think that "lessons learned" are a very good way to teach people... the many times I've read ANAM thinking "how dumb, but how close to that I've come!"

so pick the incident apart... what's your analysis...
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Ed brings up a good point, because for myself I've been at points where I've been so beaten and tired and cold and wet that I've made really idiotic decisions. Sometimes it was just a warm day in joshua tree but I was distracted or let my ego get ahead of us...

I definitely wouldn't trust that webbing, but I say that sitting behind a keyboard not having to go through what Jim did to get to it, both on the climb and in his past experiences in life.

As far as the incident itself is concerned, I am trying to visualize HOW this webbing is around the block? Is it pinched underneath a rounded spherical thingy or is it literally just wrapped around it like a bow? COuld affect how easy it is to visually inspect, and sometimes the less convenient to fully inspect get less inspected (not implying that Jim didn't inspect it, but as an educational takeaway).
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
Whew! Glad to see that our very own, ST Resident-Part-Time-Curmudgeon is still intact.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:29pm PT
I want to second Ed's remark about Jim's public-spiritedness in posting about this episode. He could have kept it to himself and avoided the snide Monday-morning QB-ing.

Jim's recollection about slings holding up well might have been from this result posted on the BD QC Archive (http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/all/qc-with-kp-from-the-archives-1#VRG);


December 2, 2005 - Testing Old Gear from the VRG

FYI-sling ratings are 22 kN
Minimum carabiner ratings are 20 kN
Typical sport climbing falls are in the 2-5 kN range.

I pulled a bunch of mank gear from some routes last weekend at the gorge (DCMD, Fall of Mouse). I'm never really concerned about the biners from a strength standpoint- more from getting a sharp edge and "sheathing" the rope. The biners I tested were WORKED, but all values were still above the original product ratings (all over 24 kN).
The slings were very sun bleached and dried out-I'm pretty sure some have been up there for 3, 4, or even more years.

The results were: 16 kN
, 11 kN
, 11 kN, 
5 kN. Obviously getting well into sketchy land.

The morale of the story from KP's point of view-carabiners and slings are way burlier than people think [emphasis is mine], ie. leaving a route fixed for a while isn't the end of the world. As I said, the biners developing sharp edges is usually my big concern. But it is important to remember that it IS possible for slings and carabiners to break-slings from being excessively sun bleached and dry and/or being worn from excessive rubbing on the rock.



From Effect of outdoor exposure and accelerated ageing on textile materials used in aerostat and aircraft arrester barrier nets, S. K. Pal, Vikas B. Thakare, Gaurav Singh, and Mahesh Kumar Verma, Indian Journal of Fibre and Textile Research Vol.36, June 2011, pp 145--151 (my summary):

Nylon webbing exposed under controlled conditions on a roof in New Delhi lost half its strength in a year. Most of the loss, 35%, occurred in the first month. Webbing treated for UV resistance didn't have quite the same initial rate of deterioration, but still ended up at half-strength after a year.



Only one of KP's samples had lost more than half its strength, and that even at 1/4 strength it probably would not have failed during a rappel. Jim's sling seemed to be little more than cohesive powder just waiting to achieve its particulate state. It must have been in place for quite a while, or else the conditions were particularly harsh, even compared to New Deli summers...

As an aside, UIAA tests on climbing rope UV deterioration found, among other things, that the loss of mechanical properties of the fibers was roughly proportional to the loss of color, so beware of bleached slings.

On descents where time is not very critical, I've taken to backing up all in-situ rap slings for the first person, regardless of how good the material appears. If the slings are even a little bleached or crunchy, I add more material and, depending on how degraded the original appears, either keep it or cut it away.

I rarely set up fixed rappel sling anchors, but when I do, I've started using two independently tied loops of retired (but not at all trashed) 8.5mm half rope. Rope is much better than webbing because the sheath protects the core from UV deterioration, which the Indian Journal tests suggest is immediate and rapid.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 12, 2013 - 02:36pm PT
When all is said and donini, he's no hero: He's a PBJ on wheat in wax paper.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
hey there say, donini...

finallyyyyyy, i got a bit of time to READ more here...

was curious about your 'new second birthdy' :)

and the saw the surviving... 'silly me'... thought it was
about a vacation time, for a birthday rerun, :O


man oh man... was a WHOLE lot more serious...
the ol' 'supertopo title-wave' through me, a tad, in the wrong direction...

i am so very glad things are well with you, and that you are safe-through-this, :O

thanks for sharing the 'SOUND MORALS' of this story...
oh my.... i remember reading accident reports on how folks need to check this stuff, and keep praying for folks to be safe...

god bless to you, with your new and WONDERFUL second birthday!
and may the trail continue to be sweet for you and your loved ones!!!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jan 12, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
hey there say, ed.... had not been able to read all the MIDDLE HERE..
but i did see the start, and after my post, i DID see your post, here, nearby mine...

as to this quote:
Jim Donini didn't have to post this incident up... that he did speaks volumes about him and it serves as an important lesson to all of us: that we all can make mistakes of judgement no matter our experience

three cheers to donini for love his fellowclimber enough to share this with all... the best way to learn, is to share what not to do, as well as, to share WHAT to do... and work them together well...


acturally, that is what good parents, do too...
and they, in whatever fields they have come through (whether the dad or the mom, and ecompossing all their OWN childhood years) they have the much to say in many experienes... all a waste, though, if never shared with their children...

well, as i said, i missed a lot in the middle, but here is this:

donini, thank you so very much for sharing what will be another 'steppingstone' to help reinforce a 'let's safe someone's life'
:)


man oh man, am i glad you are still here, to love your family and be
loved by your buddies, IN person....

happy new birthday, once again...
:)
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jan 12, 2013 - 05:07pm PT
hey there say, hossjulia... i just saw this--i am fairly sure that i know what you mean, by that:

as to your qoute:

[quote]Not trying to be a smartass, but is your near vision not so good? quote]

during THESE LAST FIVE YEARS, i have had, and have seen sooo many odd situation that come up, to do eye-depth perseptiong, due to the far-sightedness that happened to not only ME, but to MANY folks (starting up sneaky, as about age 30, and getting very strong, into the 40's and onward)...
it causes the most oddest 'think you saw, did not really see fully, and 'brain tricks' that you'd NEAR not believe it, 'til it begins to dawn on you after far too many 'series of events'...

meaning the brain will out of habit,
register that something is 'what you are use to seeing' when in fact, it is 'slightly out of focuw' ... this will cause you to reach for SOMETHING and miss or overshoot and it will fall, spill, and be missed by your grip...

this always affeects what we look at... as in what you suggested, as to the edges of the material etc... or a host of otherthings as well...

a very strange occurance that happens to all of us, as we age...


NOTE:
'couse, younger folks have a whole other ball game...
in a hurry, take a too fast a glance, or just assuming things...

so many 'brain tricks' due to that too...


well not sure if that helps anything, but the good ol'

DOUBLE CHECK AND RECHECK, no matter how old or young we are,
or no matter the situation, sure is a 'good safeguard',

:)
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 13, 2013 - 11:13am PT
Boobs aren't the only thing that deserves more exposure here. Between politics and sex, mere life-and-death issues for climbers don't seem to stand a chance. Bump for those who may not have seen this yet.
DanaB

climber
CT
Jan 13, 2013 - 11:32am PT
There was a post on (I think) Mountain Project about an identical incident. Climber in Red Rock backed up a rap anchor that was one old, bleached sling. Leaned out and the sling snapped, caught by the back-up.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 13, 2013 - 11:59am PT
I think the report Jim is citing was a well published and circulated test of webbing - maybe 10 years back at this point. Everyone read it and could cite it. I think the cam resling business spiked afterwards.

I don't recall all the details, but the gist was that Spectra was more suseptable to UV, and tubular seemed to maintain it's strength longer than expected, even when sun-bleached - maybe about 1/2 its strength as Jim seems to recall.

While they also did some controlled exposure, they were basically pulling webbing off random climbs - no controls - kind of a crappy and inexperienced study overall if you happen to be an engineer type and do this kind of thing for work. Maybe someone can find it on Google. Like I noted above - once you see a UV bleached sling - how do you know it hasn't been UV bleached 100x over - ready to turn to dust and blow away?



The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jan 13, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
You're lucky you're not fat like me, because that backup knot would've failed too.

Hanging from the knotted sling, I got a hand jam, placed a red camalot and all was well.

I thought you only carried a blue one.


No, seriously, scary story - really glad you and your wit are still with us. Happy Birthday, Jim!


Please be more careful, eh?

KW
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Jan 13, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Jeez Jim. Scary schitt.

I say we start a fund to get donini some new briefs. Doubtless his have been thrown out & there was talk from his own fine self about going commando unless in Bermuda shorts.


Might be time to start wearing ginch. Hope poo didn't rain down on those below when that sling gave up the ghost.


Super glad yer writing about it instead of us reading about it.


Y'ALL stay SAFE out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
Ixs

Big Wall climber
Jan 13, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
regards
captain chaos

climber
Jan 13, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
"life is a series of narrow escapes with sighs of relief in between"


Credit: captain chaos


Credit: captain chaos


Credit: captain chaos



Glad you escaped this one Jim... tell Bridwell I say hello, Craig
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 13, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
Everbody thinks I soiled my underwear. Actually, it happened so unexpectedly and suddenly I wasn't scared at all. I just found myself hanging from the knotted sling and knew I had to do something. A convenient hand jam and a good red camalot placement brought the situation completely back to normal. Never felt nervous, if I had seen it coming the underwear surely would have needed washing.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Jan 13, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
You mentioned no leaver was there when you arrived, which means that probably at least one party had rapped and then pulled their rope directly over the sling.

In the desert, the sawing on the sling when a rope is pulled through is even worse given the inevitable sand and grit that find their way into the rope's sheath.

Your story will definitely stick with me and echo back to the surface on future raps. As a guy who likes to climb obscurities in Yosemite, I appreciate the reminder.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 13, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
Yikes.
One lesson is to test "white" slings.
And maybe that nylon goes bad a lot faster in Sedona than in Yosemite and other places that don't routinely go over 100 degrees F?

P.S. cragnshag is my climbing partner, and I thought the plan was not just to send the heaviest person first, but to have the temporary backup in place for them (with enough slack so that it is not directly weighted).
The other way to choose who goes first is who has more people at risk if they don't make it. Haven't had to seriously use this one, fortunately.
Usually we have 2 of cragnshag's really good bolts and quicklink/chainlinks in for anchors, so there's about zero anchor *material* failure risk.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 13, 2013 - 08:22pm PT
I was taught the leader went first and the 2nd had to clean the backup.. these days I leave whatever is needed to make it safe...
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
Jan 13, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
Wiley and experienced. Thanks for sharing. That's not luck - that's listening to that inner voice.

So much for you folks who laugh at me and my redundanitis.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 13, 2013 - 09:25pm PT
One lesson is to test "white" slings.
How would one test them? IMO, if it's white, it can't be trusted.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 13, 2013 - 09:27pm PT

Talk about cool under pressure.

That's JD!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 13, 2013 - 10:42pm PT
How would one test them? IMO, if it's white, it can't be trusted.

Clip your harness to the sling and weight it, then bounce it (requires a backup and a non-fragile back).
You can also do a less severe loading by jerking on it with your arm, or clipping a sling to it and stomping in the sling.

The complete visual inspection that Jim did is also important. It's not equivalent to a full body weight test, though. This is part of the standard sequence you do while still clipped into the rappel rope (if this is a lower anchor in a series). Although sometimes steps get skipped to save time. Redundancy is good....

I've tested plenty of white slings in Yosemite that pass the loading test with my (light) body weight. I also have an occasional relatively new slings whose original color is white (with a single black strand). Most nylon slings are fortunately colored these days. And specta etc. has two colors.

These days I have a tiny knife on my harness, and often spare tied slings in my pack. Often I will untie and remove slings from anchors that have "too many" (> 2) "good" ones, and move them to other anchors that have "too few" ( < 2 ).

Almost all slings I see pass my bounce testing and many look very bad (faded on top, fully faded, frayed partway through, very dirty/moldy, etc.). If I have extra slings with me, I remove and replace. Otherwise I might remove a few of the worst ones if there are still 2-3 semi-bad ones left.

As for trust, I trust the ones I've vigorously tested. And I vigorously test stuff when there is poor/no redundancy, or possibly suspect slings. I don't bounce test stainless 3/8" double-bolt anchors, or colored/non-faded slings.... :-)
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 13, 2013 - 11:31pm PT
Clip your harness to the sling and weight it, then bounce it (requires a backup and a non-fragile back).
I understand the whole testing thing, really.

The thing is, let's say the sling can hold 500 lbs for 5 seconds and your testing uses up about 3 seconds of that and you don't notice anything wrong? I think the right answer is not testing - it's hey, this sling is white, can't be trusted, and may fail at a really low force - better have a plan B.

Not that I don't believe in testing everything all the time - but it's mostly to verify that things I already know and trust are all connected - not to expect I can do some kind of material science voodoo testing out in the wild on the individual componants - that's just crazy, really, if you think about it and have done much of this sort of testing in a formal way. You're really just rolling the dice - still. Sample of one and no controls doesn't tell you anything. The sling just can't be white w/o a backup.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 13, 2013 - 11:38pm PT
As for trust, I trust the ones I've vigorously tested.
+1.

Blind trust: bad.
Empirical, evidence-based trust: good.

Trust (aka faith) can be a tricky animal, no doubt. In relationships. In rock climbing. In belief. But one thing's for sure: blind trust (aka blind faith) is of the worst case, last resort type.

restores my faith in knots jammed into cracks

Which, it's worth noting, ain't a blind faith. ;)

.....

the sling can hold 500 lbs for 5 seconds and your testing uses up about 3 seconds of that

That makes zero sense. Back to science class, mr.

material science voodoo testing... Sample of one and no controls doesn't tell you anything...

Neither does this. Makes zero sense. Nada. Beta: If I were you, I'd not do any more rappelling until you're clear on the basic dynamics involved. (Also, the basic statics.)

I understand the whole testing thing, really.

Not according to your post, you don't.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:39am PT
I'm with JLP on this, actually... and it's because of the type of accident represented in the OP, maybe Donini can elaborate on his habit, that is, whether or not he tested the sling with force before weighting it.

It is certainly true that after inspecting the slings, and cleaning up the station, I might decide that there are good slings there and I can trust my life to them.

But if I have any doubt, independent of testing, I just put a new sling on the anchor. Looking at Donini's picture, I would have put a new sling on the anchor... that's me.

This isn't the first accident, and certainly not the first "near miss" that has occurred with old slings. Maybe you're ok going through the test ritual, but if there is any doubt, why not just contribute to the upkeep of the rap stations and add a sling? and maybe clean up a bit of tat?

It's not so much of an effort... and there is no uncertainty regarding the integrity of the anchor when you do it.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 14, 2013 - 07:12am PT
Now filed under: 'Old dogs, new tricks'.

Reminds me I did know a guy long ago to whom you could give a gnarly, old, outdoor tomcat and he'd return a sweet house cat after three weeks. He said there is always a way to teach an old cat new tricks. He was expensive, though, and only had one rule - you couldn't ask him how he did it.

It was nice of Jim to be so forthcoming in this case.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 14, 2013 - 07:24am PT
i think you missed my point entirely, ed. it isn't a scientific one, but it could easily become so.

of course everyone is glad when someone survives something like this. we've spent the whole thread telling jim we're glad he's alive and well. for the record, i am too. i'm not suggesting we pick apart the incident. as you say, jim was gracious enough to share it with us. but in his original post he said that he read some sort of technical article which seemed to say how strong an old sling can be. that's what i want to pick apart, the everlovin' article. are you in the camp with moosedrooler such that you never question anything once it gets into a "respectable" publication?

as an aside, i hope dirtbag made coffee. mt. piños has powdah, powdah, powdah. cold is good. i crashed at 8 pm and now i'm up way too early.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jan 14, 2013 - 08:36am PT
Yeaaarrrrrgh! Spooky stuff there, Jim. I haven't been bringing webbing for a while now and plan to put it back on the gear list for obscure and/or poorly maintained areas.

The last, crap anchor I rapped off of on the Diamond had at least four separate pieces of rotten webbing.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 14, 2013 - 08:38am PT
I agree that testing might potentially weaken a sling or anchor component so that it would then fail under a lower load than if untested.
Such a "test-weakened rappel sling failure" seems unlikely to me, though.
Probably this is based on some years back, where I towed my car with a motley collection of slings, including some 1/2" webbing that I thought was junk.
Nothing broke, in spite of many repeated jerks when accelerating after each stoplight. And much larger loads than we can generate rappelling, even with big guys and lots of gear.

But we want a rule which keeps the risk below an "acceptable" level.
What's acceptable to me might not be acceptable to other folks (even if we had a good estimate of the failure probability), so I don't expect my methods will be best for everyone.

Example rappel anchors with new slings and rings, clean rope:
1. One sling, no rings.
2. One sling, one ring.
3. One sling, two rings.
4. Two slings, no rings.
5. Two slings, one ring.
6. Two slings, two rings.
7. Three slings, three rings.

Every time we add redundancy, we reduce the failure probability.
I'm fine with #1, especially if I think it will never be used again.
I've had partners who insist that #1's risk is too high - they want one of the safer options.
#6 is fairly standard, for a frequently used rappel station.
#7 is safer, though....

Yes, the gear is cheap.
It takes a little effort and time to bring the gear along and add redundancy.
Whether it is worth the extra effort/time depends on your level of acceptable risk and how you value your time.

And the above 7 anchors are a situation where we can have good estimates of the breaking strengths of the components.
The probabiliy of failure is very low in #1 and gets ridiculously low in the others.
So if we can't solve the above, there's no chance in making an easy-to-use rule for making acceptable anchors with partly faded slings.

JLP has a reasonable point that if:
1. a sling "looks/feels bad enough", and
2. we have enough spare webbing,
then we should just replace it instead of testing it.

The main problem is that you have to develop a set of rules for (1.) "looks/feels bad enough" to calibrate them against sling failure probability.
You need testing (by yourself or others) to develop this set of rules.
I do it often when I'm removing tat, because I want to see if I can predict how weak a sling is from its look and feel.
And you might want to do continued random testing of slings that meet your rules for safety, to make sure your rules still work in a new area.

And what if you don't have (2.) sufficient spare tied slings to reach around a big block (Jim's exact situation, 8')? If you have a knife (I carry a tiny one), you can cut off the end of one of your ropes and use that. But there had better be a good reason to do that (it will create other risks and it's not cheap). Spot testing in such a situation is no guarantee you will live if the sling holds, but if the sling fails under test you have learned something important.

Finally(?), testing also tests more than just the slings.
One of the goals is to uncover unobserved flaws in the anchor system.
So I believe testing is still quite useful in the real world.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Jan 14, 2013 - 09:50am PT
If it's white, it ain't right!

Credit: drljefe
bomber
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 14, 2013 - 10:23am PT
EH wrote,
I'm with JLP on this...

Riley wrote,
I'm with JLP also.
We really shouldnt even have to debate this one.

To be clear, let's take the two specific points I referenced, no better, criticized. You guys are with JPL regarding...
the sling can hold 500 lbs for 5 seconds and your testing uses up about 3 seconds of that
Really? Testing uses up time? Citations from either modern engineering physics or life experience, please.
Sample of one and no controls doesn't tell you anything...
Really? So if I encountered a slung boulder in the manner described by JD: an old badly weathered 1" sling that I was thinking about rapping from, testing it wouldn't tell me anything? Let's say, I recognize it as weathered, it's testable under daisy chain and in the line of force (a point JD was not clear about), I bounce test it to 8-10 g, it holds, moreover this simple part system still looks same; also taking into account my intention to rappel the line smoothly at 2g max say, precisely because it is a compromised questionable system... then this, according to JPL, "doesn't tell you anything"?

But you're right, Riley, we shouldn't even have to debate this one.

.....

No one's arguing, I don't think, that an extra sling wouldn't have strengthened the system. Geez.

But to not test the system (under load, many times body weight, too, by bouncing, under visual inspection, while backed up) esp when possible, esp one suspected of being dangerous, is neglectful if not foolish. That's the main point. Applies to rapping off old bolts as well as slings, too. Obviously.

Testing the system before use saves lives.

.....

Donini curiously has remained mum (even since my first post) regarding (a) whether this rap station lended itself well to apriori load testing (some don't); (b) whether or not he in fact tested the system (I suspect not).
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 14, 2013 - 10:32am PT
I didn't test it. I was completely off base rapping on the, obviously, badly UV damaged sling. My point in posting was that even someone who has rappelled as many times as me can make a bonehead decision.
Do Not become blase about rappelling!!!
It is the single most dangerous thing that climbers do!!!
The best climber in the world is not going to change the results of a failed anchor!!!

Diligence....Diligence....Diligence!
PhilG

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Jan 14, 2013 - 10:35am PT
Jim,
I just hope them younger climbers are listening up and paying attention.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Jan 14, 2013 - 10:43am PT
Yow! Nothing like a little good luck when you need it!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 14, 2013 - 11:59am PT
JLP--I posted a link and a quote from the BD QC Archive that might well have been what Jim remembered. Note the part I rendered in bold. I have both read and been told about other tests that reached similar conclusions. A lot of old tat is, in fact, good enough for rappelling.

I've never bounce-tested a rap anchor and don't imagine I ever would, unless perhaps I was faced with either using what is there or cutting the rope. Adding good webbing makes far more sense than trying to test the old stuff in my opinion, and as I said previously, I've also taken to backing up all rappels for the first person down whenever it is easy and efficient to do so, which has been most of the time for me. Backing up in-situ webbing is usually simple and quick; it isn't always easy or possible to back up the entire anchor with an independent anchor point.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that with just a tiny bit of ingenuity, the climbing rope can be used to back up slings for the first person down, something that is useful if the slings in question are very long and the party doesn't have anything that will work.

When climbing routes in which the second carries a pack, I've always had twenty feet of 1/2 inch or so webbing and a few descending rings. If the pack is at the base of a route that is 400 feet or less, the extra slingage usually stays there---at worst, we can tie our two half-ropes together and make it back to the pack from the top to retrieve the slings if they are needed.

The situation I haven't attended to appropriately is when no pack is carried and there is none at the base, or the base is too far to reach from the top. Here it seems to me that it makes sense to wrap up my twenty feet of sling and the few rap rings and carry it on the harness like the cordelette I almost never use, or, alternatively, just carry the 6mm cordelette that mostly naps in my pack.

I think having stuff with you for rap anchors matters---it affects the psychology of evaluating what is in place. If you are going to have to cut up and knot sewn climbing slings (triple fisherman's for dyneema please!), I think you are less likely to back up anchors that might be a little questionable.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 14, 2013 - 12:07pm PT
I always test my system before undoing my redundant connection to the anchors, with full body weight and usually a bit of bouncing.

This is something that I try to do for every rap, to make sure I've threaded the rope properly through the rap device, that the anchor is secure (though usually I'm connected to the anchor, and a test to failure of the anchor wouldn't be a good thing). Even after I've put a brand new sling on...

I'm sure I don't always do this... but it is a part of my ritual... as Jim says, rappelling is one of the more dangerous things we do...

I've been working on making sure I have some sort of backup on rappel too, but haven't developed a consistent habit of employing a backup on rappels. It's a bad habit not to, but my training is difficult to overcome.

As for understanding the weathering process on nylon, I would imagine that the process is difficult to specify when the exposure conditions are unknown. Any assumptions I would make would leave a very large uncertainty in the conclusion, and if I'm down that path in my thought, it's because I have some doubt regarding the integrity of the anchor... I use that doubt as a trigger to replace the slings, plain and simple.

However, that is a judgement call, and as the OP points out, it is not so difficult to exhibit poor judgement.

Once again, I am very happy the outcome of this event has resulted in a thread which invites analysis of that judgement and not one where we are trying to understand the cause of a tragedy.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 14, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
the sling can hold 500 lbs for 5 seconds and your testing uses up about 3 seconds of that

What does this mean? Can anyone tell me? To me, it points to a lack of savvy regarding a rappel system and how its parts work esp in terms of functionality, forces and failure.

I've never bounce-tested a rap anchor and don't imagine I ever would

This is certainly a disturbing remark from someone so experienced. Esp concerning something so basic to the sport of climbing.

.....

Then, also, we have all this talk about replacing old webbing (which goes without saying, really, when it's called for, so why is it even an issue), well the same philos about testing the system also applies to top rope anchors with suspect bolts. If you're in the backcountry, for example, and you encounter a questionable anchor, you're not necessarily in position to go out of your way to replace a questionable rap anchor or top rope anchor of whatever makeup. So what do you do under many circumstances? You stand below it and bounce test it while backed up by something else. I've done this hundreds of times over my climbing history. Along similar lines, when I'm at a crag and encounter a questionable anchor for TR, say, which might amount to simply an unknown anchor, history-wise, say, I'll bounce test it when I'm near the ground for both myself or the group as the case may be for the ensuing top rope session (which we can imagine might last hours). This should all be Rappel Basics 101 or Top Rope Basics 101. For everybody who cares about safety.

Insofar as it isn't, no wonder many shirk rappelling. While others love it.

.....

Other points have been made, too, regarding anchors that are suspect, which aren't really of any issue; instead, it's all just Rap 101. For instance, (1) sending the heaviest down first while he is backed up; (2) providing a fireman's belay at every opportunity (though not an anchor issue) just a backup safety issue that often requires no extra effort.



Maybe we should add the obvious: If one is considering a rap at a suspect anchor of any sort that (a) cannot be backed up for testing and (b) is hanging or thereabouts, whose failure would spell a fall, then he should NOT bounce test it (which can subject the system to many g's). But thankfully I think the majority of climbers understand this point.

Finally(?), testing also tests more than just the slings.
One of the goals is to uncover unobserved flaws in the anchor system.
So I believe testing is still quite useful in the real world.

Yes, indeed.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Jan 14, 2013 - 01:56pm PT
JLP--I posted a link and a quote from the BD QC Archive that might well have been what Jim remembered.

The one I'm recalling was much more broad and tested many more samples. Some of those samples were the tester's own that they dated and later tested - possibly a few years later. This test was linked to and talked about on these forums for quite some time. The biggest surprise and most of the discussion was about the weakness of Spectra after UV damage. It was defintitely before 2005, possibly long before. Maybe I'll search for it at some point.

rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:01pm PT
This is certainly a disturbing remark from someone so experienced. Esp concerning something so basic to the sport of climbing.

The remark in question is about not bounce-testing rap anchors. I might have added that I've never climbed with anyone who bounce-tests them either, and over 56 years I've climbed with a lot of experienced climbers. Maybe I'm just climbing with the wrong folks. Who here regularly bounce-tests their rap anchors?

I guess the main problem with bounce-testing is that it is total folly without an independent back-up anchor that is good enough to hold a short fall on static material, and such anchors are not always available or may require time and effort to rig---they will have to be good enough for considerably higher loads than the rap anchor requires.

As I've said, I almost always back up the slings, even pretty new-looking ones, with an independent sling for all but the last person down, so the initial raps do constitute a substantial and realistic test of the sling integrity. I almost never rappel on a single sling without installing another one for redundancy. If it is easy to rig an independent anchor or if it isn't but the rap anchor itself appears dodgy to me, than I'll install the extra anchor and, once again, let the first rappeller(s) constitute the rap anchor test.

I might add that I always test the set up of the rappelling device with a bodyweight test and small jerk while still tethered to the anchor as Ed mentions, but of course this test already assumes the slings and anchor are adequate and does not seem to me to be germane to the present discussion.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
understanding the weathering process on nylon

I wonder if a better material is available. According to what I'm reading on the internet, Dacron/polyester has the best UV resistance of all fiber types and is used to support antennas. Also, I notice that these dacron ropes are colored black, I wonder if the color makes a difference? If so then just using black nylon slings might help.

http://www.k1cra.com/catalog/product.aspx?productID=2144
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
I might have added that I've never climbed with anyone who bounce-tests them either, and over 56 years I've climbed with a lot of experienced climbers. Maybe I'm just climbing with the wrong folks. Who here regularly bounce-tests their rap anchors?

Well, if we're going to have a valid, accurate and meaningful discussion then let's make sure we're framing it right.

a) Who here regularly bounce-tests their rap anchors?
b) Who here regularly bounce-tests their highly suspect rap anchors when conditions or cirumstances, like an available ledge, allow it?

Here, I think you're likely to get different answers to the two questions.

I'll start: (a) Seldom. (b) Always.

Your post drew my attention for suggesting that there is never a reason to bounce-test by your comment... "I've never bounce-tested a rap anchor and don't imagine I ever would..." Further, the concluding "unless" part seemed to me to minimize the importance of this valuable safety protocol.

The rest of your posts I agree with.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
Hmm. If I had a highly suspect rap anchor that I couldn't just replace with a better one and a comfy ledge to test it from, I'd bounce test it too, so I should retract my inability to imagine more than one circumstance. However, that particular combination of good and bad circumstances has never arisen for me. Whenever I've been confronted with a highly suspect anchor (as opposed to just the slings) I've always managed to build a much better one somewhere in the vicinity (or even, in one or two cases, not really in the vicinity).

I should also confess to a period of building and convincing my partners to rely on some sketchy anchors. Back in the day when we still had hammers, I used to be fond of hammering rocks into cracks---creating unnaturally wedged chockstones---and slinging them for rappels. This was before nuts came on the scene and we became more sophisticated about wedging things into cracks. What worries me in retrospect about those hammered chockstones is the possibility that the hammering might have cracked them.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 14, 2013 - 02:37pm PT
That particular combination of good and bad circumstances has never arisen for me.

Really? Well, this is surprising. This difference in experience then might explain our hangup on this thread.

There are several wide-open aging crags in my area that have literally dozens of suspect rap or tr stations featuring a ledge, a semi-ledge, or even a top where it permits me, and behooves me, for safety sake to bounce-test them (but true, more often just to jerk-test them) before they earn my trust to use.

And, to add, then when I have rapped on these suspects or unknowns (maybe they're two old rusty quarter inchers, say, set 25 years ago by who knows), I try to be Mr. Smooth about it and give all my attention to not shocking the system (say, with more than 1.5 g or so).

So far no issues. Knock on rock.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 14, 2013 - 03:05pm PT
Who here regularly bounce-tests their rap anchors?

not me.

what my partner and I did was to place a piece as a backup. first guy raps, if the primary piece didn't move, or the rock was solid. it was all good. the second cleans the backup piece, raps, and everybody is happy.
Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
Jan 14, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
are you in the camp with moosedrooler such that you never question anything once it gets into a "respectable" publication?


Every scientist worth his/her weight will question any article in any publication for methods used, conclusions, data, etc. Tony, your recent posts about scientific journals in various threads leads me to believe you neither understand the scientific method nor the method of reading/analyzing/deconstructing/understanding a peer reviewed journal.



-JR
mission

Social climber
boulder,co
Jan 15, 2013 - 12:25am PT
Don't they have some sh#t you can smoke that will make you more paranoid?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jan 15, 2013 - 12:40am PT
Blah blah blah blah seconds this blah blah blah seconds that the sling broke under body weight.

Body weight.

Jackasses. Just another completely useless technonerd discussion, a great sound and fury signifying nothing.

Body weight.... (sheesh)

DMT
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 15, 2013 - 09:14am PT
^^^ what dingus said ...

except that our dear and glorious donini continues to decline to cite the article which he himself mentions in the OP, whilst doniniolaters try to cover for him by guessing which article it was.

amen to sheesh. much like vatican city, where an industry of casuists occludes an inaccessible library. (i hope this is all big-headed enough for locker.)
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 15, 2013 - 09:30am PT
Whatever you do, don't make a pledge to be diligent.

That was aimed squarely at you Jim. heh...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 15, 2013 - 10:45am PT
Tony, I can't remember where I saw the article....then again, I can't remember when I had a memory.
Randisi

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:07am PT
Shite, the number of times I've almost died while crossing the streets here in China...

I've got a whole lot of birthdays!
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:29am PT
well thanks, jim, and sorry to be so pointed about it. i guess the weathering of these things is pretty much a wild card.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:35am PT
So, no one was impressed by my idea of using uv-resistant polyester for rap slings instead of nylon?
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Come to think of it, isn't bandaloop as dangerous as rappel? I suppose it could be if they didn't test the system.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky1pwD46tqs

Different strokes for different folks. Eh?

I wonder when they will they give a Bandaloop performance on El Cap?
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:47am PT

I wonder when they will they give a Bandaloop performance on El Cap?

It's been done
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:49am PT
QT What do you want to be when you grow up?
ANS A bandaloop dancer. :)

.....

It's been done.

Oh, that's right...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=mmoA3pcX3QE

Well, at least in rock climbing, we don't "risk it all" on something so silly. ;)

Someday climbers and bandaloop dancers will have to compete for use on El Cap.

Now that's a thought.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Jan 15, 2013 - 11:53am PT
You cheated death once again!
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 23, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
A few posts back I made some comments about not bounce-testing in-situ rap anchors and not knowing anyone who did. This engendered a "discussion" with High Fructose CS.

I recently encountered an account of an ascent of the Supercalenta on Fitzroy that included the following remark:

Max and I took turns to lead the endless abseils, which required care, as many old in-situ anchors blew on the first bounce test.

(See http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5222 for the full account.)

Looks as if other people make a habit of this, to good effect.
thebravecowboy

Social climber
Colorado Plateau
Apr 16, 2013 - 05:40pm PT
Thank you, Donini, for reminding us to stay alert and always provide a redundant, make yer mama happy, backup to any suspect anchor (especially ez and reasonable for raps).

A fellow from SLC just plummeted 60 feet in a technical canyon near Hanksville known as Constrychnine. He was 1/3 of the way down a 90' rap that the six people before him had safely completed. The webbing (unclear whether 1" or 11/16"or what) parted near the quicklink and he hit the ground, fracturing his pelvis, ankles, and more. The last man on the rap had a SPOT, re-rigged, rapped, and headed downcanyon to call in the cavalry. Now, this is not something you really want to do in Wayne County. I have heard nightmare stories about the local Wayne Co. SAR team showing up in loafers, failing to carry sufficient anti-seizure meds for members of their own team, rapping into the depths of a canyon for a rescue without the knowledge required to safely ascend the rope and self-extricate. Ultimately some hours later, a chopper from Page hauled the injured guy out to Grand Junction Regional. EDIT: FWIW, the SAR volunteers that showed up to this recent (4/15/13) accident were apparently great. Cheers to them!

I sure hope the guy that got hurt heals well.

Let's be ultra-vigilant folks, let's KNOTT trust fixed soft-goods, or at least test them full-body weight with a backup prior to committing. Thanks Donini, again, for the reminder to CYA!
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