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Jarred_Jackman

Death at the Coulee

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Deeds,

Maybe your right, but I don't see how critisizing someones choice of words is very appropriate either. It just seemed minor by the way Erden it was described, I shouldn't make assumptions.

 

I was just looking for clues as to what might have created an impact force that was great enough to pull big cams and break a biner.

 

[ 10-03-2002, 12:06 PM: Message edited by: Lambone ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Paul detrick:

The #2 was set well,yes it could have been pull in to the side of the crack and the gate open,thus making it fail. I have not been back, but if I get some time I will look for the rest of the biner. Im glad you are working thru this, and wish you the best. I don't know who said it but they were right, things like this make me more aware that I need to watch what I'm doing. PEACE

Paul, we need to preserve the evidence.

*the position of the Camalot,

*relative location of the broken biner wrt the rock,

*the angle of the quickdraw relative to the rock, both in direction and in orientation,

*fraying in the webbing of the quickdraw that may suggest that the webbing actually was caught on the biner hook, between the gate and the hook,

*markings and indentations on the carabiner that was on the #2 Camalot - the Camalot had wire that would have scored the biner, hence knowing the surface hardness of the biner, we can roughly estimate the load that was applied on it. This would tell us when the other biner broke, perhaps,

*axial tearing of sheath fibers suggesting the rope caught the nose of the biner,

*and more data we do not have the wisdom to collect, but that we may be able to deduce with retaining the evidence carefully.

 

I will attempt to find the other half of the biner tomorrow morning. I will also reach the sheriff's office to at least photograph the biner part in evidence. I am hoping that no one touched the fracture surface as very valuable information will be gathered from the grain patterns on that surface. We also have to carry out hardness tests on that piece. We need to compare the broken spine of the cam to an unloaded one: if curved it could be an open gate failure; if longer, it could be a closed gate failure.

 

The other data that I will seek from the sheriff will be related to the rope. It felt like a dynamic 10.5x60m rope. Just have to confirm make, etc.

 

Please contact me regarding the pieces that you removed from the wall. I am completing the picture for Göran's father.

 

Thank you for all the help.

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-05-2002, 01:30 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

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quote:

Apparently, the rope stretched while pulling the first piece and did not have time to recover when hitting the next piece. At this point, it was similar to a static rope and broke a caribiner. Perhaps this is what happened to Goran - how else can you explain the damage to the gear?

I'd love to hear from some "qualified" person (engineer at one of the gear companies? ) on this theory.

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"Another question i would like to raise is the helmet. It looked like a bike helmet when we were climbing, but it was a Meteor climbing helmet. The helmet was destroyed. Not that it would have helped in such a fall, but don't think a climbing helmet should end up in a half dozen small pieces after a fall."

 

It has always been the Doctor's understanding that helmets are supposed to break, or that it's not abnormal for them to. The idea being that whatever impact that would be breaking your skull breaks the helmet instead. W/r/t the Meteor being like a bike helmet, bike helmets protect skulls in high speed bicycling accidents and impacts with or caused by motor vehicles, and would likely offer adequate protection in a climbing fall. In fact, DFA recalls reading that styrofoam helmets are better for falling-type impacts than for rock fall, as small projectiles are more likely to split right through the foam (as opposed to being deflected by a harder plastic lid), whereas in a fall, the foam acts as more of a shock-absorbing/dispersing "second skull."

 

For what it's worth; no sniping, bickering, or derision intended or implied.

 

[ 10-03-2002, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: Dr Flash Amazing ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Attitude:

quote:

Originally posted by jon:

I think one of the questions is whether it is worth figuring out what the specifics of what went wrong, regardless a very insperational person is now gone....

 

I'm not sure what lesson is to be learned here.

We place gear on lead and call it 'pro' - protection - because we expect it will hold and save us from long falls. In this instance, it didn't work. The goal should be to figure out what went wrong so that we can improve our protection systems and reduce the chance of it happening again.

 

One positive result of this discussion is to get people thinking critically about protection from all angles, including gear, gear selection, placement and technique, and maybe learn a little more to improve our own climbing.

 

Thanks.

Attitude, very crafty way of quoting me, you may have a future in politics.

 

Just to be clear, I wasn't saying that it wasn't worth it in this case, just saying there there are instances where there are so many factors involved with so many unknowns that you speculate all you want and analyze the thing to death, and what you can end up with is conclusions on both sides of the spectrum. Even in those situations there are lessons to be learned. I think as more information becomes available about the exact gear and as the accident becomes more pieced together,

 

This has been a really great thought provoking discussion, and even though it is a result of something incredibly tragic and sad I think a lot of people will come out of this with thinking more critically about how they climb as well as a newfound appreciation for life.

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A foam helmet, like most bike helmets, are made for a single impact. They assume the fall from the bike produces one hard impact. The shell is just there to help the foam keep its shape. A foam helmet is probably fine for most craging since a fall would probably result in just one impact, either with the wall or the ground. The protection is provided by the destruction and compression of the foam. That is why after a bike accident you need to replace your helmet. They are one-shot items.

 

I would not use a foam helmet for an alpine or big wall climb. In those environments you need a helmet that will survive the first impact and still provide you with adequate impact protection.

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I probably agree with you about the Alpine, Gordon, but on the big wall climbs I do, I am probably pretty likely to rap off after a fall where I hit my head so hard that I destroy the helmet. You must be one badass hardcore sicko.

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If I fell enough to crush a helmet on a big wall, I would bail also. But at that point I would be without a helmet, unless you take a spare. The other problem would be rock fall. After the first rock impact the helmet's protecting ability would diminish. On a crag, you fall and you are off the wall.

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I have a plastic and foam helmet. Last inter I got hit hard by ice with the plastic one. I haven't worn the foam one since...I just don't trust it, it's worth carrying the extra few ounces.

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It's a crying shame for the world to lose a great person like Göran Kropp.

 

My deep condolances for the friends and family. My hats off to you Erden for being able to discuss these issues so soon after your trauma. I am grateful that this discussion has enabled all of us to reflect on our practices and hopefully reduce our risks.

 

When I first read your account,Erden , my first thought was...static rope??! As allison mentioned not all static ropes feel that different from dyno's. I have a bit of sailboat experience and there are static ropes that have even a softer hand than most climbing ropes...though you would not find them in a climbing store. I have to say that I think this is the most plausible explanation. It would be an all too easy of a mistake to make.

 

I have stated before on this board that I think it is an error to completely trust any gear...and been chastised for it. Gear can fail for sometimes crazy reasons and with truly horrible and troubling results. That being said we all count on gear to vastly reduce our risk, as do I. This accident/tragedy needs to serve as a reminder to all of us to never waiver in our diligence.

 

It might be out of place for me to share an experience on this thread, but it is a great example of a cam use. Maybe one that will help us justify continued climbing.

 

In the late 70's I was in Yosimite heading up to attempt NW face of Half Dome. I was commited to do the route clean; but with out pins, my rack was a bit anemic. I ran into this guy named "Ray" who was peddeling these really weird looking pieces of pro. They weren't cheap and I was VERY sceptical. But he finally convinced me after a demo to buy one. He claimed they were going to revolutionalize climbing. So; dangling on my rack was a single #2 hard stemed friend. I really didn't expect to use it. About 6 pitches up, climbing on a 11.1 mm rope I found myself looking at 20+ feet of steep layback ahead. The crack was flared without any positive holds, palm grips most of the way. Laybacks were my weakness and to make matters worse I couldn't find any pro no mater what. They were the beginings of pin scars but absolutely nothing that would hold a nut. I tried playing with the new fangled piece and managed to get 3 of the 4 cams to stick in the shallow flareing crack. I really didn't know any better but it was the best I could do. I put a long sling on it to help with the fall line. With out much confidence I went for a fixed pin at the top of the crack where it bent back into an undercling. As I was attempting to clip my hand failed and I pitched over backwards. Surprise, surprise, the cam held with a high impact rope (by today's standards) on a 40-45 foot fall with a factor of about 0.4 ! I wish that Göran had been so lucky. [Frown][big Drink]

 

Best wishes to all of you - steve

 

[ 10-06-2002, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: Terminal Gravity ]

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First my condolences to all. This defines tragedy. I went out and bought Goran's book on Monday immediately upon hearing of the accident. Near the begining he mentions how it is truly a tragedy when people die needlessly in the mountains. A tad ironic here.

 

I missed all of yesterdays' posts so I have just read them all through for the first time. This is a scary accident in that it seems Goran didn't do anything wrong really and certainly not anything many of us wouldn't have done ourselves. The theory on mixing cams and nuts captured my attention. I have always prefered nuts over cams, mostly because I started climbing before cams were readily available. A few partners have questioned my use of nuts over a "quick" cam placement, but I just tell them I like them better. Now obviously if this is mostly a parallel crack then maybe "all" cams were necessary. More conjecture...

 

What no one has mentioned that I ask....is this a classic case where maybe using two double ropes would have made a difference? Not something you usually think you need on a straight up sport climb, but hey, maybe this proves it is worthy of more consideration. If double ropes had been clipped alternately in the sequence of applied gear by Goran, maybe that biner wouldn't have broken. I'm an advocate of learning from accidents thus the only reason I bring this up; I'm definitely not criticising Goran's approach to gear on the climb.

 

[ 10-05-2002, 06:21 PM: Message edited by: David Parker ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Dr Flash Amazing:

"Another question i would like to raise is the helmet. It looked like a bike helmet when we were climbing, but it was a Meteor climbing helmet. The helmet was destroyed. Not that it would have helped in such a fall, but don't think a climbing helmet should end up in a half dozen small pieces after a fall."

 

It has always been the Doctor's understanding that helmets are supposed to break, or that it's not abnormal for them to. The idea being that whatever impact that would be breaking your skull breaks the helmet instead...

 

For what it's worth; no sniping, bickering, or derision intended or implied.

The foam is designed to crush on impact, reducing the peak deceleration of the head, and therefore potentially reducing injury. Automobiles today are also designed to crush on impact as well. Needless to say, the foam has a limited functional range. Too high of an initial momentum, the foam is flattened and stops being effective.

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quote:

Originally posted by jon:

I think one of the questions is whether it is worth figuring out what the specifics of what went wrong, regardless a very insperational person is now gone....

 

I'm not sure what lesson is to be learned here.

We place gear on lead and call it 'pro' - protection - because we expect it will hold and save us from long falls. In this instance, it didn't work. The goal should be to figure out what went wrong so that we can improve our protection systems and reduce the chance of it happening again.

 

One positive result of this discussion is to get people thinking critically about protection from all angles, including gear, gear selection, placement and technique, and maybe learn a little more to improve our own climbing.

 

Thanks.

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This news is a shocker to me, I am a year older

than Goran, this could be any climber on any weekend. I know we all have been above pro too

far, no gear, no placements, nut fall out, etc.

Still, I have a burning desire to know what

went wrong if possible. I myself suspect the rope,

I noticed that in the last few years that the fall

forces of some newer ropes being sold are going back up from previous years, am I wrong? I also remember that Goran was a big guy, a little person may have survived, (I am a bigger guy myself close to 190 geared out) Big guys, and/or heavy packs need more pro. Take care

Dan

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DanO, I was thinking about the climber's weight as well. Wasn't Goran a big guy? I'm no engineer though so I have no clue what, if any, difference that has on impact force or whatever.

 

What I would like to know, as perhaps others here would as well, is if and when there will be a memorial service for Goran? Erden or anyone else know?

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Gaper Alert!! Have you no shame, no respect. Goran would want people to be celebrating his life and their own lives at this moment. He would want everyone to reflect on what is possible in life and to reflect on what he has taught others. He would want to be remembered as a unique individual with a passion for living and experiencing all of his dreams. Some of you have expressed these feelings, I see that. But Goran would NOT want you to be hovering like ghouls over the details of his death. Let the proper authorities work out the scenario and it's tragic details. Until then, step back and give the guy the REAL attention he deserves. The investigation is important for various reasons, I understand this, but this is TOO much already.

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When I was reading Gorans book in class people used to ask wht the book was about and who he was. When I'd tell em what he'd done everyone wanted to read the book. Goran rocks!! [rockband]

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I just heard the sad news. Another kindred spirit shuffles off this mortal coil. He's gone back to the ether of our collective consciousness. He is definitely an inspiration. The best memorial I think, is to take what he gave us and run with it. Via con Dios Goran.

I’m very glad to see this productive discussion. No matter what level of experience we all benefit from it.

That said, I was wondering how aged the rope is as apposed to how old it is. I may be wrong but it was my impression that as a rope ages it loses its elasticity and its impact forces increase. Could this rope have spent a season at altitude? That makes a new rope old very fast. Would the rope recover at all during the fall after its initial stretch? If not, it may have become a de facto static rope during the fall. Thoughts?

I’ll second what was said about helmets. They are designed to fail as part of absorbing the initial impact. It sounds like it functioned properly.

Erden, it’s good that you have the support of others who have experienced the same. I had to lean on my fellow EMS workers in similar circumstances and it made all the difference. Take care.

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A Swedish evening paper published this picture of the broken carabiner this

morning:

-

 

Here's a link to the

full article

(Swedish),

 

My thoughts to Görans friends and family, and to you Erden who is doing a

great work trying to clarify

 

this tragic event.

 

Peace

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quote:

Originally posted by Fredrik Larsson:

A Swedish evening paper published this picture of the broken carabiner this

morning:

-

 

Here's a link to the

(Swedish),

 

My thoughts to Görans friends and family, and to you Erden who is doing a great work trying to clarify this tragic event.

 

Peace

Everyone! We now have the rest of that biner!

 

My girlfriend Nancy, and my coworker from REI, Steve came with me to the accident site today. Some gentle soul had already placed a candle on the rock under Air Guitar. Also a piton was nailed in that rock, with the words "In Memory of the Fallen" scraped on the same...

 

We had run into Officer Brent Mullings from Grant County Sheriff's Office on the way to Air Guitar, and we were all happy to exchange information.

 

I had left him a message the day before, and had wanted to meet him in the afternoon after we got done with Air Guitar. I gave him a copy of the accident report as it appears here with the 10/2/02 update. We showed him all the gear involved with the accident to help him with his investigation. We promised that all we find will be on this site, in this very thread, pictures and all.

 

There was mutual trust and goodwill all around, and everyone was very appreciative. A special time, a special place. Göran's presence is heartfelt by everyone, and all try their best. That man made a world of a difference and some of us were privileged to notice that before his death!

 

Officer Mullings had to leave having collected additional information and pictures for his investigation. After an hour of healing time, we systematically and logically searched the area, marking off areas with surveying tape... We were looking for the missing bit of the carabiner.

 

All along I was saying in a whisper "come on Göran, help me here!" After about a couple hours always worrying about shifting talus that may bury the piece ever deeper, I came across the nose of the biner in plain sight, on a small dirt patch among all the rocky talus. It was as if Göran hand placed it to help me find it.

 

Then we went to town, all smiles. We met Paul Detrick who had retrieved the #2 Camalot and the #2 TCU from the accident site. They have preserved the pieces as good as any investigative reporter, and we are indebted to them for their diligence in letting us put the pieces together. We learned a great deal about how the #2 Camalot was placed, and about the rest of the climb.

 

My friend Steve from REI is an excellent engineer who works in the REI Test Lab. He has busted more biners in the lab than any one of us would ever want to on our climbs. He knows his biners, old and new. With one look at the piece we found, he was rattling off possibilities.

 

Steve has ideas to prepare a test protocol that we will use to pull other biners. We have signs on the biner and other gear that can help us indirectly deduce the forces involved. We will try, and we hope to be successful. For that, we will seek Renata's permission to use the rest of Göran's quickdraws...

 

Then we stopped by the hardware store, and went back to the site. The same chunk of rock on the ledge that has the piton in it actually looks like it does not belong there. As if placed after the fact, a perfect memorial.

 

Others had mentioned a memorial first. First individual to die at Vantage, and it is Göran. I was overwhelmed. I had to mark it down. Göran used to say "Kropp on top!" and he would show a thumbs up with his right hand as he said that. He always had to come up with some quip like that that rhymed.

 

I was calling Ryan Hayter, Göran's friend for his birthdate and Ryan asked "are you going to chisel a thumbs up?" Well, I said, I know my letters, and it had to ryhme!!!

 

So I etched:

 

With a thumb up,

"Kropp on top!"

Göran lives

1966-2002

 

While chipping away, John Crock, FCCC President walked in on us. Hearing us chip, he had thought we were hand drilling a bolt [smile] When he found out what we were doing, and saw the concept, he said that no one had died in FC in 20 years and that a memorial was appropriate. So I am going to work with him to bring a stone carver who can do tombstones and try to carve the letters a bit deeper so they do not wash off...

 

After that we descended to the trail, and restored the climber's trail where Göran layed to its state prior to the accident.

 

When we were done, a bird came and landed on the same spot, stayed a couple seconds and took off. Sun was setting at the same time.

 

I felt as if Göran waited for me there. He waited for me to come, to find the biner piece, to tuck him in. Then he would go away like a setting sun.

 

"Farewell Göran," I said to myself watching the setting sun with Nancy. We were both in tears. It was all for healing, and Steve has been so supportive today, seeing us through.

 

I will gather an update with pictures. I will post it on this thread at the end, then update the accident report on page 2. I will pull the updates back together and write a whole report that will also be submitted to Accidents in North America. Some lessons may be included in there that will draw from some of the comments and questions in this very thread. This may all take another week's time...

 

You have all been most gracious by attending this thread. May Göran's blessings be on all of you...

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-05-2002, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

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quote:

Originally posted by Mr. Chips:

Gaper Alert!! Have you no shame, no respect. Goran would want people to be celebrating his life and their own lives at this moment. He would want everyone to reflect on what is possible in life and to reflect on what he has taught others. He would want to be remembered as a unique individual with a passion for living and experiencing all of his dreams. Some of you have expressed these feelings, I see that. But Goran would NOT want you to be hovering like ghouls over the details of his death. Let the proper authorities work out the scenario and it's tragic details. Until then, step back and give the guy the REAL attention he deserves. The investigation is important for various reasons, I understand this, but this is TOO much already.

I know, Chips. I get your point. We will wrap this up in a week's time. Let us finish what we started. It has to be complete, and it has to be submitted with complete details to Göran's family, to Renatta, to the Grant County Sheriff's office and to Accidents in NA. Were it not done in the open, believe me, you would not have been any happier.

 

Please remember that this thread is the authoritative thread worldwide. The US media, the Swedish media, and now the Turkish media are all converging on this site. This site will see more traffic to learn about the accident and that is unavoidable much like life is. We will get on with it, I myself feel obsessed with this right now, sorry.

 

I will have a few follow up tasks for everyone, if you care to return to this thread after next week, like starting an email storm all over the world, a "Göran Storm" to get everyone to read Göran's book.

 

Then everyone has to get on a "Göran Size Journey" of their own. We dream it then tell each other about it. Physical, adventure, career, anything... If anyone comes up with a trip and we think that it is not worthy of Göran's name, we will ask them to read Göran's book again !!!

 

Whatcha say, Chips?

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-05-2002, 12:57 PM: Message edited by: erden ]

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Erden,

 

I know you aren't talking to me here, but I've got to say that your plan is the most excellent memorial ever.

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