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Jarred_Jackman

Death at the Coulee

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A great person. A tragic loss. I was and still am stunned. I've been involved in this activity for 30 years been thru this before with close friends and it never seems real at first. Just plain shock and then the sadness sets in. My heart goes out to all friends and relatives.

sisu

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thanks for sharing with us. the last person i saw lead air guitar placed 12 pieces, but i know it was a lot for that route. i'm curious, what kind of rope were you using? just another link in the complex system of making climbing safer ...

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Air Guitar is one of the most straightforward crack climbs to protect in the state of Washington. The number of pieces Kropp used is not out of the ordinary for the route. The crack on Air Guitar starts as a finger crack at the bottom and ends in an off-width typical for cracks at Vantage. The succesion of sizes described is consistent with the crack's tendency to widen. However it is hard to believe that all the pro would pull successively if placed properly even if a carabiner on the top piece failed. It sounds to me like Kropp didn’t have much (if any) prior experience leading cracks. Is it possible that Kropp placed his pro with the cams over-extended or positioned incorrectly?

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quote:

Originally posted by nwclimber:

Is it possible that Kropp placed his pro with the cams . . . positioned incorrectly?

(At the obvious risk of sounding as callous as the post by nwclimber) Umm, duh?

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I have found this whole thing very disturbing. How if an experienced climber can die like that, can I have any chance? I have only started trad climbing this summer and I am still leading well below my climbing ability and have not taken any hard falls onto my pro.

 

I was under the impression that a well placed cam would break most of the time before it would pull. Are there any signs of duress on the cams?

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The fact that a carabiner flat-out snapped in half leads me to believe that there is something strange afoot. Perhaps more will be revealed.

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quote:

Originally posted by Gordonb:

I have found this whole thing very disturbing. How if an experienced climber can die like that, can I have any chance?

i don't think there has been much discussion about how much climbing experience he had. i have no idea, so i won't profess to ... but just because someone is highly respected for feats he has accomplished (like cycling or "climbing" everest) doesn't mean he's an experienced trad leader. i don't mean to say that kropp was not; just not to assume.

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gordon,

 

one thing that i have learned from these situations is not to allow it to break you! this is an unfortunate episode in life, but i ASSUME from reading Goran's books and other periodicals about him, is that he would want you to continue living your life in a happy productive way!

 

do not let this lesson scare you, only teach you to more carefully go about your life.

 

and starting out below your ability with trad climbing is an excellent way to learn it. it gives you only one issue to deal with at a time.

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quote:

Originally posted by Gordonb:

I have found this whole thing very disturbing. How if an experienced climber can die like that, can I have any chance?

No. You're doomed. And stay away from bridges and tall buildings.

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yesterday when I first started reading this thred and I was crying, thing two came and sat in my lap to ask what was wrong... I told him. He looked at me and said he didn't want that to happen to me, nor do I. But as I thought about it threw out the day I realized that I would rather die climbing than in the parking lot of a 7 eleven.... Risk is every where.

 

I hope that all the people who loved and admired this man find peace in there hearts. This sucks... but it would suck way more had he, or any one of us, never climbed.

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I've been wondering about this too. That's a hell of a lot of gear to pull from the crack. I took a pretty good fall myself on this rock (either this route or George and Martha, I can't remember which) onto a #1 camelot. It held just fine. The placements are excellent, it's clean basalt in the crack.

 

It strikes me as significant that by some accounts he was slinging the gear on sewn, stiff runners i.e. the Camp draws. If this is the case (and I may be mistaken) that could definitely be a contributing factor. The crack is flaring for the most part, and the additional vibration transmitted from the rope to the cams could have caused them to walk. In fact they may already have walked to the edge of the crack and fallen out prior to the fall. I've had that happen to me in very similar circumstances at Smith. I was too lazy too re-rack my quickdraws using slings and left them on the (REI) sewn 6" runners to lead a .9 crack on gear. My partner seconded the climb and at the summit handed me the pieces saying "Every single one of these fell out. Use slings next time."

 

Again, I don't have any data other than what I've seen posted, but this could explain the otherwise striking fact of multiple cams failing in a clean basalt crack.

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While I generally agree that slings are better than qd's for trad, air guitar is so straight that no quick draw at all would probably have been fine. Air guitar is a clean crack in good rock and I would like to know what happened so I don't end up with a similar fate. I am a grad student at WSU in materials science and I have access to all kinds of failure analysis tools and techniques and I could determine what initiated the failure (overloading or material defect) of this carabiner with a couple days work. Erden, if you are interested, please let me know and I would be happy to do this work.

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quote:

Originally posted by kevin:

I am a grad student at WSU in materials science and I have access to all kinds of failure analysis tools and techniques and I could determine what initiated the failure (overloading or material defect) of this carabiner with a couple days work. Erden, if you are interested, please let me know and I would be happy to do this work.

Kevin, thank you for offering to help.

 

It would be useful to actually see the fracture surface of the broken piece. We may be able to tell from oxidation if there was prior damage already on the biner. It would also tell us whether the material was brittle or plastic during the fracture from the grain distribution and fracture lines. To get a sense of biner strength, it would be useful to test two biners out of the lot that Göran carried, one open gate, and closed gate, respectively. If you need mroe statistical data, we can test more biners perhaps... Göran had a collection of such quickdraws.

 

Please contact me by PM to coordinate this and my email is also in my profile.

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-05-2002, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

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what are the ratings on those biners anyway?

 

[ 10-14-2002, 04:35 PM: Message edited by: iain ]

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Is this the one?

 

-

Closed gate strength: 25kN

Open gate strength: 10kN

Minor axis strength: 8kN

 

[ 10-02-2002, 02:45 PM: Message edited by: iain ]

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quote:

Originally posted by iain:

Is this the one?

 

Closed gate strength: 25kN

Open gate strength: 10kN

Minor axis strength: 8kN

I think yes. His pieces were plain aluminum with no color treatment.

 

Erden.

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quote:

Originally posted by erden:

...I crouched low into the corner to take up the slack...

...training as a Wilderness First Responder...

...I was applying CPR with my right arm only, as my left arm had become useless at this point...

...pulled me away from Goran...I wanted to go back, plug his bleeding but...

...ready to care for anyone...

 

I lost my hero.

 


Erden:

 

These were awful circumstances, but you did what the rest of us can only hope we would have done.

 

Goran's final gift was showing that you could be a hero, too.

 

Peace be with you.

 

-t

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Not trying to be a smart ass or bring flames. If I am reading this correctly it looks like one biner busted and all the pro ripped. I can't recall the rock being super slick on that climb. However I can believe the gear walking around on that rock. Is it possible that the protection was improperly placed [Confused]

 

Let us know how the investigation goes. Some of us are interested.

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Well it looks like the top piece held just that the biner ripped open, which is odd, considering what looks to be a fairly low fall factor that far into the pitch and he was not really running it out, from what I can gather.

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One can wonder if the lower pieces walked into weird positions. I have had cams do that to me out there. That is why I thought hexes were better on some climbs there. Oh well bummer [Frown]

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quote:

Originally posted by mbcracken:

Eruc, you are a brave hero for sharing these incredibly tough experiences.

 

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help yourself and/or Goran's friend and family. I do live close to Isssaquah.

 

Mike

I am no hero, I am just trying to do my best to ensure that accurate information is available. This is the least that I can do to honor my friend.

 

I am doing better compared to the day of the accident and Tuesday. It will take a while to become whole again, as I lost a big part of me on Monday. I must have matured 10 years at a great cost that day. I am too sad...

 

It is healing to try to sort things out and to try to get back into a normal life. Media is interested in the details and while I try to direct them to this thread, it remains challenging.

 

I am grateful for the restraint displayed on this thread that honors Göran and tries to resolve the mystery surrounding the accident.

 

Thank you to all of you.

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-07-2002, 04:12 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

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As tough as the experience is for you I hope you are able to start climbing again at some point. Many people I know either give up or take years to come back. I think that's unfortunate.

 

Nice thing about WFR or EMT training is that even though you did not save a life, you know that you provided that individual with the best possible care they could have possibly hoped for and that even under the best of care, some are simply beyond hope in that environment. There is no question as to whether you did the right thing or not. Nice work.

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