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Messages 61 - 73 of total 73 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 8, 2013 - 08:37am PT
After reading and rereading both threads going about this accident, I still don't have a clear picture of the accident.


Did the guy expect to be lowered or did he simply mess up his rappel? I get the impression it was the latter case.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Apr 8, 2013 - 10:30am PT
Meh. I hate these stories about preventable accidents. Stay sharp everyone. Condolences to any friends or family members.

Coz
2. When lowering grab the other side of the rope, belay yourself until you make direct eye contact with your belayer. NEVER ASSUME U R ON BELAY... NEVER

That probably the best piece of advice I've never heard before. I'll start using it. I take it paranoia from years of clients trying to kill you has instilled some survival habits?

Thing a knot in the very end of the rope (generally a good habit), won't keep you from hitting the ground on a single pitch climb if your partner drops you. Seems like you'd have to tie an overhand-bight once someone gets a few feet off the ground if you really want to prevent ground-fall.


Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Apr 8, 2013 - 10:56am PT
Did the guy expect to be lowered or did he simply mess up his rappel? I get the impression it was the latter case.

Stich- i think you are right. From mp:


By jpike
1 day ago
I was climbing the route next to this guy at the time of the accident. It was at least a 60 ft fall. I was setting up to rap, heard a scream above, looked up and saw a body whiz by. When I got down he was unconscious and a few others were attending to him. The rope was on the ground with a figure 8 set to rap but it was not connected to him. His kids and grand kids were within 20 feet of where he hit. I'm so glad he didn't land on one of them. Also, I don't think it was communication error.


By jpike
1 day ago
The climber was not on belay. The figure 8 was not clipped to him. I'm pretty sure proper commands were exchanged. I'm baffled as to how he messed up. The figure 8 looked set up properly, other than not being clipped to him. He was not tied in at all.



By jpike
1 day ago
Just to make it crystal clear...he was not clipped to the rope in any fashion. The belay device and biner were attached to the rope but not him. Everything was on the ground.


By jpike
After reflecting on it and reading all your posts I have thought of a scenario that fits best with what I witnessed. I think he probably did not clip to the anchor at the top. It was a reasonably comfortable stance. They had their own gear attached to the fixed anchor for top roping. It is possible that he set the rappel up properly with their anchor, not the fixed cold shuts. He is still unattached to anything. He realizes that he must run the rope through the fixed cold shuts to clean his parties anchor. He unclips the rope from his gear planning to quickly attach it to the fixed shuts. He accidentally drops the rope with the f8 and biner which is now attached to nothing and slips trying to catch it. This is my best guess.

Thank you all for helping me process this tragedy. I know I will respect the seriousness of this incredible and fulfilling sport in a new and profound way after witnessing this. Climb smart and safe out there guys.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Apr 8, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
I think it is important to mention that the "fixed cold shuts" mentioned by jpike in his first person account of the accident are actually Mussy Hooks. There was no reason to untie to thread the anchors.

Also, the stance at the anchor is OK, but I would not stand there without being clipped in.
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Apr 8, 2013 - 12:51pm PT



As with all the other situations like this, the tons of speculation is interesting, but otherwise sort of senseless...

Until actual FACTS crop up, it's only GUESSING...

Like everyone else, I am super curious as to how it really did happen...

dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Apr 8, 2013 - 01:27pm PT
I always clip in with my safety when I get to the top of a sport or trad pitch with anchor bolts, no matter what. Would rather take the time to clip and unclip even if belayer is "supposed" to have me on, than risk a mis-communication.

Condolences to friends and family, sorry for your loss.
Outdoorvangelist

Trad climber
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Apr 13, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Trying to glean some wisdom from this. Could it be that his Figure Eight levered and unclipped from an unlocked biner at his clip in point? That would explain the detached but fully rigged eight.
As a parent, this is terrifying... always has been my personal 'worst case scenario'. Condolences to the family.
bjj

climber
beyond the sun
Apr 13, 2013 - 01:46pm PT
Don't pretend to yourself it can't happen to you or for that matter you have never made a serious stupid error. Perhaps you were lucky and it didn't bite you that time. I have been lucky and I hate that fact.

You can project and pontificate all you want if it makes you feel better, but I am here to tell you that not once in 20 years have I ever, even once had anything even remotely like that happen / almost happen.

The person on the sharp end of my rope is not coming off belay until I am 100% sure, double checked by visual or extra inquiry that is what they intend. When it's me on the end, same drill. You STAY on belay until you have proof positive something else is requested. You don't leave the anchors under someone else's control until you have proof positive said control is ready.

You sound like someone who got caught drinking and driving trying to claim "everyone does it". No, they don't.
locker

Social climber
Some Rehab in Bolivia
Apr 13, 2013 - 01:53pm PT


Unless you're done climbing for good...

don't count your chickens just yet...

paganmonkeyboy

climber
mars...it's near nevada...
Apr 13, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
My sincere condolences to the family and friends.

Tragic...

-Tom
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
May 15, 2013 - 03:31am PT
Scary. Especially if one of the children WAS the belayer. Both mine (12 and 14) belay me but they know that 'off belay' is the only time to take me off belay. That only happens when I'm clipped to the bolts/chains, etc. and they respond with 'belay off'.
Maybe my newness to the sport is showing, but how do you clean gear and expect to be lowered? If you're being lowered that happens right when you top out ('Got me?', 'Yup'). Was he getting lowered using the bolts/chains? If someone was cleaning gear I would also assume they were going to rappel, since you're not supposed to lower from the bolts/chains. But I would still wait for the cue to take them off belay. Seems like following standard protocol would have prevented this. I guess if there are walk off options that could happen, but even then the 'belay off' still applies.
The user formerly known as stzzo

climber
Sneaking up behind you
May 15, 2013 - 04:01am PT
If you're being lowered that happens right when you top out ('Got me?', 'Yup').

Incorrect.

It's entirely possible to be lowered after cleaning an anchor.

If someone was cleaning gear I would also assume they were going to rappel, since you're not supposed to lower from the bolts/chains. But I would still wait for the cue to take them off belay.

The above statement is inconsistent. Don't assume they're going to rappel. Assume that they require your belay until they tell you otherwise.

This is where your reasoning is flawed: you're not supposed to lower from chains [therefore, the climber is going to rappel].

Don't assume that the climber:

 agrees with you that they're "not supposed to lower from bolts/chains".
 is willing & able to follow that protocol.

IOW, don't assume you can stop doing your job when it comes to other people's safety: use explicit and complete communication.

However, you can assume whatever you want when it only affects your safety. Your family might be upset with your choice, but in the end it's your life to end.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
May 15, 2013 - 04:12am PT
I always do the coz grab, every time, even in the gym. I just can't bring myself to weight a rope without still being anchored or at least having a hand on the other side. When belaying, when the leader wants to clean the anchor and rap I leave the rope in the device with some slack until I absolutely know he / she is rapping instead of lowering.
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