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


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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

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.

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
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.

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

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

Anyhow, happy second birthday!

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

Happy birthday!
Mighty Hiker

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
Glad you are still with us Mr.Donini.
Thanks for sharing an important lesson,
Back up yur raps people!

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
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.

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.

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.

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...

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?

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).



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.


Trad climber
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.

Social climber
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!
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