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Fatality on Goat Wall...?


Jason_Martin
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Truly tragic. I grieve for this young man, for his friends, and for his partners who will remember those few seconds for the rest of their lives.

 

Gyms need to give ALL young climbers FREE basic training in rappelling, cleaning anchors, and other basic safety skills. There have been too many of these tragedies in recent years.

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Can we decide that simu rapping is a bad idea? Whoever is teaching this technique needs to stop.

fucking-a-right - in some scenarios i guess it makes sense, but descending a glorified sport route i don't see why

 

unless i'm imagining this wrongly, whoever was on the other end of the simul-rap was damned fortunate to be on the lucky side, as otherwise he would have fallen to his death too, no?

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Bummer of an accident. Especially as a friend's daughter knew/knows those involved.

 

After reading the Mellow Valley News article, which was well written I am at a bit of a loss to fully understand what happened. One climber reached the ledge before the victim, but then what did they do/not do which caused the fall? Obviously the rope was no longer part of their system but why? Did they let go? rap off the end?

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from what I read from that article, it sounds like the one fellow got to the ledge and then loss control of his brake hand therefore letting the rope go through the device. this would lower the other fellow and when speed got high enough, it would be impossible to regain the brake side of the rope before it went through the device.

 

I could imagine the fellow on the ledge was clipping into the anchor. Just pure conjecture from a news article on my part.

 

no knot to stop the end, but in this case, a knot may not even have stopped it. Knots have been known to blow off in hard dynamic testing.

 

This is so sad. Not only for the poor fellow who died but also for the other three guys on the climb. Can't imagine the hell they are going through right now.

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I spoke with someone who responded to this incident. The climber who fell had a knot on the end of his rope and his belay device was set up correctly. The other climber reached the bottom of the rappel first and lost control of the rope. There was no knot in that end and it pulled through their belay device. The other two members of their party were by the anchor and attempted to stop the rope with their hands before it pulled through the anchor.

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I spoke with someone who responded to this incident. The climber who fell had a knot on the end of his rope and his belay device was set up correctly. The other climber reached the bottom of the rappel first and lost control of the rope. There was no knot in that end and it pulled through their belay device. The other two members of their party were by the anchor and attempted to stop the rope with their hands before it pulled through the anchor.

 

that is pretty horrifying to think about

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pretty hard to do those things in doors though...

 

Actually, it's very easy to do indoors. You can put removable bolts in t-nuts on any climbing wall and set up ropes, anchors, and everything you need to learn, test, practice, and experience different set-ups.

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I feel so bad for the partners. IMHO, we must not write these off as "I would never do that" because you could. People do every year. It just takes a single error or moment of inattention at the wrong time, or sometimes it's just bad luck. So we learn what we can, try to be careful, and keep climbing.

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Maybe we need a rappel fuck up confession thread.

I could start with that I rapped off the end of my uneven, unknotted ends, rope at index. Fell about 15 to 20 ft to a ledge then rolled off that the ground below, another 15 or so feet. Below Rodgers corner some 12 years ago.

Got real lucky with only a simple spine fracture (no surgery needed) and a broken forearm bone.

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Maybe I'm just lucky, but in 20 years of climbing I honestly haven't had one close call rappelling. Or it may be because early on in my climbing career I read ANAM obsessively and have always been scared of rapping. I also tend to follow the standard BMPs (mark rope middle, clip in, test before unclip, never simul-rap, etc.). It isn't hard to do it without incident, but you certainly don't often get second chances if your attention to detail flags.

 

One thing I could be better about is backing up rappels. On long descents with good rock I will often forgo this, but I really shouldn't.

 

Now close calls with objective hazard, on the other hand.....

 

 

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Maybe we need a rappel fuck up confession thread.

I could start with that I rapped off the end of my uneven, unknotted ends, rope at index. Fell about 15 to 20 ft to a ledge then rolled off that the ground below, another 15 or so feet. Below Rodgers corner some 12 years ago.

Got real lucky with only a simple spine fracture (no surgery needed) and a broken forearm bone.

x2, though managed not to break anything :)

 

experienced a total anchor failure once too, well off the ground, while connected to a haulbag i was hauling on, and should have been killed by that - still boggles my mind we walked away from that one...

 

watched my buddy once, 1000 feet up el cap, almost rap off the long tail ends of a euro-death knot as well - we laughed at the time, but jeebus :noway:

 

knitting is probably less dangerous :)

 

 

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I survived a total harness failure on rappel in 1972 - the days of swiss-seats. The water knot on my swiss-seat failed (ends fed back through knot), and I detached from my rappel-brake 80' from ground. In those days, standard practice was to route brake strands from brake between legs to brake hand (for additional friction around leg). When the brake failed, I instinctively brought my brake hand across my waist in front (body belay "locked" position), and managed to catch myself sitting in a bight of rope. From that position it was a simple matter to route the rope over my shoulder and complete the rappel as a dulfersitz. I don't recall how we retrieved my rappel brake (I was probably in shock). I have not used a water knot since that incident, and I still always rappel with the brake-rope between my legs. If Todd Skinner had routed his brake rope between his legs, he might still be alive. As far is I know (climbing 47 years now) I am the only person to have survived a complete harness failure on rappel.

-Haireball

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Maybe we need a rappel fuck up confession thread.

I could start with that I rapped off the end of my uneven, unknotted ends, rope at index. Fell about 15 to 20 ft to a ledge then rolled off that the ground below, another 15 or so feet. Below Rodgers corner some 12 years ago.

Got real lucky with only a simple spine fracture (no surgery needed) and a broken forearm bone.

 

A similar thing happened to me in the same spot circa 2012. I rapped off the top of BOC on a unfamiliar rope that, unbeknownst to me, had been trimmed. I rapped down to within the width of my palm between my device and the ends, which didn't have knots. I was able to swing over to the sloping ledge and reach the intermediate chains just below Roger's corner proper. Phew. I reconsidered having faith in a higher power after that (to no avail).

 

I broke my foot that same year on a short ground fall near the bottom of City Park. I was testing my solo rig on top of the little pedestal, when the shitty cam I was leaning back on blew out. I stumbled off backward and landed like a ballerina, toes point down. I realize now that I was probably rationalizing, "I'm not even climbing yet. I don't need to pay that much attention." Stupid.

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