Tito Traversa, 12, Fighting For His Life


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SF bay area
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:10am PT
Someone could have bought the dogbones with the rubber retainer already attached(either sewn or threaded), in order to use biners they already own.

The retrofit retainer described by RGold is not attached to the dogbone and thus couldn't even hold the weight of the rope if done wrong, let alone 8 of them and no one noticing.

Social climber
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:19am PT
Simply terrible news. Condolences to the family.

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:20am PT
How terribly sad for everyone involved. I hope the little girl goes on to crush in his memory. Much love to his family, I can't imagine what they're going through.

SF bay area
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:21am PT
From various links, I gleaned they were bought and assembled by one of the kids in his group.

Jim Henson's Basement
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:25am PT
I'm just speech-less. It's so horrible for the family. The poor kid who has to live with the guilt. It's awful for everyone involved. Check on each other folks.. even a 5.14 climber can miss something.

Deepest condolences to friends and family.

SF bay area
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:36am PT
I agree. It had to be a system with the rubber already attached to the sling/dogbone.
Dr. Christ

Mountain climber
State of Mine
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:45am PT
Any thoughts why...

Because people let their guard down... everyone does at some point... you see it all the time... don't pretend you haven't done it... it is a game of chances with serious consequences.

It is tragic. Establishing why anyone did or didn't do something seems pointless now. Always check the gear that is between you and the dirt... check your friend's gear... especially check fixed gear... don't get lazy.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 6, 2013 - 01:08am PT
I edited my original explanation to one that seems more likely.

Social climber
Jul 6, 2013 - 01:12am PT
So sad, so tragic. Far too young to die.


Social climber
Los Angeles currently St. Antonin, France
Jul 6, 2013 - 01:19am PT
I'm speculating it's those BD style draws where the rubber retainer is sewn inside the draw end (when threaded correctly you can't even see them). And while I agree we should respect the family's feelings at this horrible moment, it does warrant some serious discussion.
With so many kids, younger and younger all the time, climbing at very high levels you have to ask can a 12 year old truly understand the inherent risk of climbing?
The answer is no, regardless of how much training they have. There must be a parent or responsible adult involved at all times. I work with (and am responsible for) kids this age and quite simply they cannot be held responsible for themselves in a life or death situation like climbing (even something as "safe" as sportclimbing.)
It makes me sad and honestly really angry that this happened. I agree with Joe this is the worst sport climbing death ever.

Trad climber
Jul 6, 2013 - 01:24am PT
Establishing why anyone did or didn't do something seems pointless now.

I disagree. True, it won't change this tragedy. The point is to prevent it from happening again.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 6, 2013 - 02:31am PT
Johntp, I think the key word is "now." While I am certainly wondering myself, my mind is simply overwhelmed with the tragedy, and the grief and guilt that his family and companions must be suffering. My condolences to all.


Jul 6, 2013 - 02:44am PT
... a young girl friend of the climber had improperly ... attached the biner only to the plastic anti-flip piece instead of the actual dogbone.
He was on a trip with a group of 10 kids and 3 adults ...

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 6, 2013 - 02:47am PT
It only takes a moment of misfocus and Old Man Gravity will do you hard. I'm still hobbling around because of it. But to lose someone so young is matter for God because I can't get my head around it. So very sorry for all. He was somebody's son.


Jul 6, 2013 - 03:07am PT
The Loss of Life is never easy. Yeah Ron Gomez, I feel it too... Yet the loss of one's child so young seriously must be the worst. I know for a fact they won't ever really recover, they will just learn to live with always missing their son. Condolences to his parents, love to his family and friends.


Jul 6, 2013 - 06:21am PT
Very sad indeed, I agree with the supervision comments, but I also can only imagine how the supposed young friend must feel and the burden of knowing your actions caused such a terrible accident. My condolences to all.

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jul 6, 2013 - 07:15am PT
Tragic. It does highlight the simple fact that grade numbers do not mean anything. we get awed by 5.14 but haveing the physical abilitys to climb big numbers does not gaurente the experience level and rigging skills to be safe outdoors.... had the kids been less talented it is likly they would have had more supervision... then again experience is no gaurentee of safty either....

Peace and light..

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jul 6, 2013 - 09:06am PT
Conversation regarding the cause of this incident seems more fitting for another thread, considering the title of this one, which may draw family here.

Perhaps we should leave condolences here only...our sage advice is not necessary at this time and place.

It should be noted that Tito's parents agreed to have his organs donated, so that others might live.

Tito's legacy lives on.

Trad climber
Jul 6, 2013 - 11:37am PT
I don't know what to say -- I'm so sorry, my heart goes out to family & friends.

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
Jul 6, 2013 - 11:55am PT
Oh, this is so very, very sad. There's nothing else to say right now.
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