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Jarred_Jackman

Death at the Coulee

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I have posted this update to my earlier full report, posted 10-01-2002 06:32 PM. I will keep updating it as we gather more information, to provide a one-stop review.

 

10/02/2002 Update on Gear Involved:

 

Fellow climber Paul Detrick gathered two pieces from Air Guitar on 10/1/02. A #2 Camalot was near the top of the climb, that had a quickdraw clipped to it that was missing one carabiner, the one through which the rope would be clipped. The quickdraw had one Camp wiregate carabiner remaining on it, identical to the one found broken below the climb.

 

Therefore, consistent with the size of the climb that widens from a finger crack to hands to fist, the pieces involved in the fall in sequence from the top down were:

·#3 blue Camalot that has a frayed trigger wire and the unit is somewhat distorted.

·#2 yellow Camalot, where the carabiner broke, that did its job and stayed in the crack.

·#1 red Camalot that has stripped cam surfaces

·#3 red TCU the cams of which do not have the kind of surface damage that would compare to those on the red Camalot.

·#2 yellow TCU that stayed in the crack and low enough that it probably did not take any load in the fall except after Göran reached the climber’s trail.

·one small nut, first piece that popped when the lead line went tight.

 

Carabiner failure may be due to a preexisting fault in the carabiner, or due to an open gate during the fall. No data is available on the fracture surface of the broken carabiner until that surface is properly investigated. Tensile tests on the lot of wiregate carabiners that Goran was using may be possible.

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quote:

Originally posted by erden:

Tensile tests on the lot of wiregate carabiners that Goran was using may be possible.

Yeah dude. Did anyone contact Camp and give them data?

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Erden, thanks so much for sharing all of this information. It's got to be terribly difficult for you to seperate what happened from the analysis of what happened. You are very courageous, and I for one appreciate it.

 

Once this is all over, take some time to grieve.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cpt.Caveman:

Hey Erden,

 

Tell me this.. are you the dude I met on 8 mile buttress this spring or not? Someone told me that was you
[Confused]

Yes, that would be me. Erden is my first name, and Eruc is last.

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The world is small. Thanks for the info on the accident. I hope to see you out there again when this is all at rest. [smile]

 

[ 10-02-2002, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: Cpt.Caveman ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Fence Sitter:

yah there's no way it was static is there? cause that #1 camalot damage sounded SEVERE!

I don't see any logic to that question. How would a static line do anything other than fail in this situation? It sounded like the rope was not failure here. Enlighten me.

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because capn' a static rope will deliver a massively larger impact force on the gear not only on the initial fall...but also each time a piece pulls...if you climbed on a static rope, and you fell on lead, you would be killed....therefore if it were static, the rope would not be the first thing to break (as static ropes are stronger generally than dynamic) the biner or the placement would...

 

just curious that seems right to me...but always willing to learn...

 

[ 10-02-2002, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: Fence Sitter ]

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As someone who is just getting ready to learn to lead trad I am very interested in everything I'm reading here. I am approaching leading trad very cautiously and this accident gives me reassurance that my caution is justified!

 

I must say that hearing of this accident made me stop and think...do I really want to do this? After a little reflection the answer was clear: Yes. Not that I am in the same league as Goran, but I too have an adventurous spirit. While it may not lead me 8000 miles on my bike it does take me to some beautiful places and I believe the best tribute to someone as special as Goran it to continue. And so I will, as I hope all of you will also, especially you Erden. You have a lot to overcome, but it sounds like (all things considered) your doing well; probably way better than I would in such a situation. God bless and take care and as allison posted, take some time to grieve when this is all over, it's an important part of the recovery process.

 

Take care and climb safe,

 

Craig

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Sheriff took the rope from the accident site as evidence. Can't imagine Goran would be using static - was his rope, not Erden's.

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Your right, as I read the string of this accident, the one piece of information which seems to be left out is the rope. If indeed, it is static, it is very possible that all the pieces did exactly what they should have. I find it hard to believe, although it is possible, that with that much rope out that a dynamic rope would not absorb much of the force. Curious,

 

Erden- my condolences to you. Bad times indeed. Seems like there has been quite a bit of accidents in the north west this year. Head check all.

 

Peace

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yeah, didn't think it would be static, I was more interested in the diameter and perhaps the brand.

 

I have been experimenting with different size (mm) ropes in the last few years. And the type involved tin this accident seems relavent considering that the rope is such an integral part of the whole system, perhaps the # 1 factor regarding the impact force put on the protection, a long with the belay technique...

 

Let us know if you find out, it would be appreciated, thanks.

 

[ 10-02-2002, 07:05 PM: Message edited by: Lambone ]

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Lambone, Fence Sitter, nwclimber:

 

I remember the rope to be a dynamic rope of 60m length. Goran did not remark otherwise. I think of static lines to be a bit more stiff to handle and this rope fed smoothly. I do not have the rope to check its tags at either end, if they are still there.

 

I would like to argue that Göran was experienced enough not to lead with a static line. The common wisdom would be to haul/jug with a static line and to lead with a dynamic rope only.

 

I was belaying with a Petzl Reverso. The belay action was delivered by the one loop around my arm, and I did not feel much pull on my belay device. This is in the accident report dated: 10-01-2002 06:32 PM. I updated that at the end, and as new information arrives, I will add to it.

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-07-2002, 04:16 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

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Thanks Erden,

 

I appreciate all of the information you have been providing. I guess this could happen to anyone. I just think of all the times that this gear works time after time and it seems that in this paticular case, multiple things went wrong.

 

Thanks for the updates, I will keep reading them as they come in.

 

jeff

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The idea of the rope being a static one is interesting, and as I prepare to go to work on a rigging call this evening, I continue to ponder. First of all, if there's a lot of gear to pick from in your pile/closet/car, it's not impossible for the most experienced climber to accidentally grab a static line. This happened to a friend of mine last year who has a lot of gear that's constantly coming and going from the gear closet. Fortunately no one fell before the mistake was discovered, half a day into climbing.

 

As far as whether a static line could cause additional stress that could potentially break gear, well, I think it is possible. In my work we rarely use carabiners, as steel shackles are better suited to overhead rigging for a number of reasons. In my work, if there is a rigging failure, it's typically the wire rope that fails before the hardware, but aluminium is so brittle that there are times I've seen formerly stressed pieces fail, many more times than steel matter of fact. My gut still tells me the rope would break first if the hardware were in good condition. So we are all speculating here obviously, but it seems possible, though not likely, that if a static line were used, and the broken biner had perhaps been dropped a time or two, which could put hairline cracks in the unit, that this could have led to the accident. The fact that the gear near the top suffered the worst follows this logic.

 

Before anyone jumps on me because I don't lead trad, let me say that while this is true, I've seen so many rigging failures over the years in my work that I'm just as qualified to conjecture on this as anyone else.

 

Forgive me for speculating, but I'm just as disturbed by this as the rest of you, and can't for the life of me figure out how this happened.

 

[ 10-02-2002, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: allison ]

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I doubt static gear would cause a carabiner failure but I am no expert. I would also suspect that Goran would not use such a rope to begin with.

 

It appears that the main indicator so far is that the gear failed to contact and hold with the rock like it is designed to.

 

To claim it as a static line failure is pre mature if you ask me. I doubt seriously that this was the culprit. Hopefully we shall find another issue. Considering that a biner failed in a situation where successive cams failed in a row I can only suspect from my point of view that either the rock or cams or both could be to blame. But that still does not rule out the rope issue that I speculate is unrelated.

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Static rope is much stiffer than dynamic rope and knots are so hard to tie. I find it very hard to believe that someone, even with a moderate amount of experience, would not know what kind of rope they were climbing on.

 

[ 10-02-2002, 07:53 PM: Message edited by: AlpineK ]

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The rope is just as much related to the accident as anything else in the belay chain. Nevertheless, static ropes are not easy to mistake for dynamic, and I doubt thats what happened.

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i was checking out and a static 10.5 mill is about 27kn breaking strenght and has an elongation of 3% whereas dynamic ropes have about 9 kn breaking strength, but have 7.5% stretch...if they did take a leader fall on the static rope, it owuld rip a cam right out if anywhere near 27kn was generated...the thing that makes me look at the rope is that teh cam was stripped....this suggests that it was placed well, but pulled out by brute force... i knwo it is purely speculation, but i cant think of anyother way the cam could have gotten mangled and still come out...

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In the case that I referred to, both individual involved had more than ten years of experience climbing regularly, and the one of them who told me about it said that the rope handled like a dynamic, not a soft one, but one on the stiff side. The rope was not a solid color either, it had a weave to it. Someone in the family works in outdoor retail, so the rope could have come from an unusual source. I hear what you're saying, Kurt, but it can happen.

 

It was one of my regular female partners, I believe you know who I am talking about.

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i am curious about the fact that the top three piesces (except fot the nut which pulled) were damaged...the blue lot had frayed wires, the tcu's biner broke and the red lott' was stripped... somethign jsut does't make sense to me... [Confused] if the pieces weren't placed well wouldn't they have just pulled without so much damage? [Confused]

 

[ 10-02-2002, 08:03 PM: Message edited by: Fence Sitter ]

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