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

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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
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