Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Jarred_Jackman

Death at the Coulee

Recommended Posts

I was asked a question today by a good friend of Göran's, also named Göran! They knew each other from their days of service in the Swedish military.

 

He asked me if I would come back and climb Air Guitar. I said "yes" ... then I thought to myself "would you like to Göran size that?" [smile]

 

Just standing there and talking to Göran's friend, I said "what if I started by bike from Seattle, carried all my lead gear, rope, etc. with me to FC, lead it, then cycle back with all the gear with me to Seattle?" That would be fitting in our Göran's memory. [Cool]

 

I have to heal and bike some before I bust my knees half way there... but it will be done.

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-07-2002, 06:33 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by billcoe:

It was the rock.

 

The rock moved.

It is quite a hardy piece of rock on either side of the crack there. I guess it may be possible, a small chance perhaps?

 

quote:

Originally posted by billcoe:

I also want to take a moment to recognise Paul for helping with the process and not simply bootying the pro. Good job to all of you guys looking for answers.

I second that.

 

quote:

Originally posted by billcoe:

If I may take a momemt to clarify how many pieces pulled: Göran pulled out 3 of the 4 cams he had in, a #3 red TCU, a #1 red Camalot, and a #3 blue Camalot. 2nd time you add a #2 yellow Camalot to the 3 listed above, it was the second piece he fell onto, the one "where the carabiner broke, that did its job and stayed in the crack." There is a lot of focus on the broken carabiner, but if I understand this, 1 cam pulled out, then the carabiner broke, than 2 MORE cams pulled out????? I find it suspect that even 2 cams could pull, let alone 3. I am surprised no one else questions this.

#3 Camalot at the top which is the first piece to pull is small for the crack according to Paul. He needed a #4.

 

#2 Camalot was placed 6-8 inches into the crack with the first biner getting inside the crack with it, leaving other biner for the rope clip on the edge of the crack. This likely nudged the wiregate open when the biner was loaded by the rope against that edge. We will do some hardness tests on the piece of biner, as we have to rule out faults in the material. We are trying to go by a process of elimination. So are you by suggesting the rock moving... and thank you for sharing. We may never know.

 

#1 Camalot seems to have walked and become parallel to the ground perpendicular to the direction of fall. One of the wires on that Camalot is buckled at the insertion point into the frame of the axles.

 

This suggests to us that when the force was applied, it loaded the camalot parallel to its axles, then torqued it. Once the static friction is overcome with such a rotational motion, the dynamic friction is going to be even less. Also remember that the forces on this unit were tremendous as Göran (220 lbs) had already fallen a significant distance.

 

#3 TCU has a bent axle, suggesting that it did all it could to hang in there, but loosened when the axle was bent and it pulled. By then Göran had arrived at the ledge.

 

We may never know. Standing under Air Guitar today, it looks so unlikely that the rock would move. But then again, all these pieces pulling and the biner breaking all at the same time were so unlikely also [Frown]

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-07-2002, 03:55 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Figger Eight:

On a similar note we could do Seattle to Rainier, climb it, then ride home
[rockband]

Good one! I have not yet climbed Rainier myself!!!

 

I am inviting myself to your party [rockband]

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-07-2002, 03:57 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and before I forget, Renata today told me that Göran played the "air saxophone" and that we should rename the Air Guitar route as Air Saxophone.

 

I do not know who the first ascent party is or who named the climb "Air Guitar." Perhaps we could get their blessing to change it to "Air Saxophone."

 

If not a compromise could be "Air Saxophone a.k.a. Air Guitar"

 

Long name there, but I would not want the original name to wither w/o the blessings of the first ascent party.

 

What is the protocol and the tradition in such a case?

 

Lemmeno.

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-07-2002, 05:23 AM: Message edited by: erden ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by ILuvAliens:

...till we meet up on the other side. How long will they mourn me.

Dru is mourning his granma 'cuz she made a difference in his life.

 

Reach out and touch other people, make a difference in their lives, and they will miss you and mourn you just the same. It gives purpose to our lives to think that way, I believe. Time to check our game plan for life.

 

Erden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the past ten years, I have climbed Air Guitar more than 200+ times. On Sat I returned to Sunshine Wall to climb Air Guitar with the intention of more closely evaluating gear placements on the route. I certainly would not attempt to evaluate the event that led to Goran's death, but I do consider myself qualified to evaluate this particular route.

 

I do not believe the rock moved. Yes basalt columns do move over time, but the column that contains Air Guitar is well seated. The column is big, heavy, and the crack is reasonably solid for Vantage rock.

 

As I already knew, the route does take cams very well. However, as seasoned basalt, crack climbers know, basalt cracks are rarely perfectly parallel, and contain numerous irregularities. Consquently, a cam carefully placed in a concave surface is very bomber, while a hastily place cam that even partially contacts a convex surface can and often does walk.

 

Air Guitar and the nearby route, Pony Keg, both constrict as one reaches deeper into the crack. Ten feet below the Air Guitar anchor, one encounters a horizontal ledge. The hand crack just below the ledge will nicely take a carefully placed #3 camalot, or just one foot lower a more easily placed #2 camalot. The fist crack above the ledge likewise takes a well placed #4 camalot, however a #3 camalot placed in the fist crack will most likely pull because the crack does significantly flare at this point. Some climbers do find this last section to be a little tricky.

 

Five pieces of well placed gear is reasonably run-out for a basalt crack of this length. The climber would face potential twenty foot falls, which should be considered a risky consequence on basalt. I normally place six pieces, even though I have the route "wired". Due to the recent event, I placed eight pieces, which still involved a 25 foot runout to the first piece.

 

I sincerely extend my sympathy to the friends and family of Goran. - MikeB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by erden:

Oh, and before I forget, Renata today told me that Göran played the "air saxophone" and that we should rename the Air Guitar route as Air Saxophone.

 

I do not know who the first ascent party is or who named the climb "Air Guitar." Perhaps we could get their blessing to change it to "Air Saxophone."

 

If not a compromise could be "Air Saxophone a.k.a. Air Guitar" Long name there, but I would not want the original name to wither w/o the blessings of the first ascent party.

 

What is the protocol and the tradition in such a case?

 

Lemmeno.

 

Erden.

Göran's friend and expedition photographer Kaj Bune tells me that this morning, Renata and the family were talking for a moment about the new name of the route and they agreed that Air Flute is the better one.

 

Göran played the flute in memorial for those that died on Everest in '96 and this seems an appropriate name now.

 

Again, the protocol and the local traditions, along with the effort to reach the first ascent party will be important. In the family's mind and mine, the name of the climb has changed to Air Flute, regardless, as we will remember the accomplished flute player that he was...

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-07-2002, 04:21 PM: Message edited by: erden ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Above I passed on the sentiments of Renata regarding Air Guitar vs. Air Flute. This is not meant to create a controversy.

 

Please voice your opinion regarding route renaming on a separate parallel thread going on now. The reason I posted the conditions: re protocol, tradition, first ascent party, etc was to allow a way out of the potential controversy should it arise.

 

As I said in the other thread, keep posting your opinions there, I will relay the common wisdom to the family. They are kind and genuine people; and they know and respect traditions.

 

Regardless of the concensus, the family and I will refer to the climb as Air Flute from here on among us.

 

Erden.

 

[ 10-07-2002, 06:00 PM: Message edited by: erden ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill and Erden and Others. I was in no way advocating that the events and details of the tragedy be dropped and forgotten, if you re-read my post you will notice that I support the pieces being put together, I stated it was important. What I was suggesting was that everyone take a breather and step back from the incident itself (while the proper people analyze it) and focus their energy and feelings on Goran himself and what he stood/stands for for many many people. We can all come back later and hear the results of the analysis and determine what we can learn from it, I stated that this is important. Erden, I truly respect the efforts you have made since the tragedy, you have been commended many times already but your ongoing attention and efforts are admirable. I hope this clarifies the statement I previously posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Mr. Chips:

Bill and Erden and Others. I was in no way advocating that the events and details of the tragedy be dropped and forgotten, if you re-read my post you will notice that I support the pieces being put together, I stated it was important. What I was suggesting was that everyone take a breather and step back from the incident itself (while the proper people analyze it) and focus their energy and feelings on Goran himself and what he stood/stands for for many many people. We can all come back later and hear the results of the analysis and determine what we can learn from it, I stated that this is important. Erden, I truly respect the efforts you have made since the tragedy, you have been commended many times already but your ongoing attention and efforts are admirable. I hope this clarifies the statement I previously posted.

Point taken Mr. Chips, no hard feelings here. It is all for good, and yes we have Göran size journeys to embark on, and we need to get on with it. In due time...

 

Erden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Erden,

 

What type of rope was it?

 

I believe last week, you were going to look at the rope at the police office. Did I miss the post with the results?

 

Thank you for all the information you have been posting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have several points I'd like to make here:

First concerning the gear used by Kropp-

I had a chance to examine the camalots and Metolius TCU that all pulled. One thing that Erden has not made clear is that all pieces with the possible exception of the #2 camalot with the broken biner are quite visibly damaged. The #3 has a portion of the metal on the cams ground off by the shear force of ripping it from the rock. It was set at around 1/2 cam retraction. The #1 has a mm or two of metal removed by the rock on it's cams, the cams were set at nearly full retraction. The #3 TCU is dented and has a bent axle. The #1 camalot was pulled nearly to cable failure. I think both the #3 and #1 camalots have bent axles. They were heavily loaded and pulled out. The wire on the #2 camalot (note-all camalots in use were the older, two-stem wire type)visibly dented the carabiner it was clipped into. Bottom line- there was a lot of force on the cams. Erden did not believe there was any rockfall associated with the fall.

I think the rope needs to be examined. I have a static line that is indistinguishable from dynamic rope by feel. Many manufactures are now making softer static lines, such as the PMI EZ bend rope. Also a dynamic rope that is repeatedly stretched is essentially converted into a static rope, that is why the ropes break in a UIAA test, they lose their ability to absorb force and the falling wt generates enough force to break the rope. THe 3% and 7.5 % elongation numbers quoted refer to the stretch under body wt, not under a fall type load. Dynamic ropes will stretch to more than twice their length before failing, where as a static rope hardly stretches and a 4 or 5 meter fall will generate enough force to break bones.

Also even in a fall factor 2 drop with a completely static belay (a knot), a dynamic rope limits the force to about 8-9 kN, the resultant force on a piece of gear, since the rope is held by both ends, is about 1.5 times the impact or about 12kN, enough to break an ope-gate biner, but Kropp's fall was closer to 20/60 or fall factor .33 and much less force than 12 kN sould have been delivered to the piece.

Secondly, the question of climber access at the Coulee is a sensitive one. The coulee was nearly closed to climbing a few years ago because of perceived land degradation that was blamed on climbers. Only by working with the land managers over tha last few years have we been able to keep the coulee open. Any construction of a memorial without the OK from the manager's would be construed to be another case of disreguard for the land and could endanger climbing there. What an awful slap to Kropp's spirit if his memorial was to be the closure of a climbing area. I'm currently trying to get approval for the memorial.

 

John Crock

President, Frenchman Coulee Climber Coalition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good luck hyper spud...that is what i said a week ago and i got reamed for it... i thought it was only logical to question the rope given the damage to the cams... i haven't seen them, but from what i have heard, it is dramatic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am feeling shakey about the use of cams after this terrible accident. I'm sure I am not alone. Not trusting otherwise trust worthy gear can be a danger in itself. Except in expanding flakes, conventional wisdom is that a reasonably well placed cam is more secure than a nut unless the nut is in a bomb proof slot. I shared an experience earlier on this thread where a cam held against all odds. (old style friend with only 3 cams contacting, in a wildly flared crack on a 40+foot fall with a stiff rope and a marginal fall factor)

 

Knowing that the rope was static would dramatically reduce my trepidation. Again, I'm sure I'm not alone on this.

 

Erden, you don't owe us anything here. I recognize this. But I would very much appreciate knowing what type of rope was used. Thank you in advance.

 

You have my best wishes, as does Göran's friends and family.

 

[ 10-09-2002, 08:27 AM: Message edited by: Terminal Gravity ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Off White:

What's the trick, do I have to pry off the colon key on my keyboard and re-install it sideways to make the umlaut?

On my OS you press the Alt/option key at the same time as you press the "u" and then type the "o". I hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Terminal Gravity:

I am feeling shakey about the use of cams after this terrible accident.

TG - I don't think you necessarily need to paint with such broad strokes. If you were climbing basalt (maybe you are), I could understand. But after following this whole thread, and knowing what a "good" cam placement in granite looks like, I still have faith in my placements. Each situation, and rock medium, is unique and should be judged accordingly. Keep the faith, bro.

 

Greg W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Terminal Gravity:

Knowing that the rope was static would dramatically reduce my trepidation. Again, I'm sure I'm not alone on this.

We will get our hands on the rope along with the rest of the biner. We have to verify the rope type as well in this process of elimination. Let me just say that the forces involved were high.

 

We will be posting a preliminary report on the accident that will eventually be followed by a certified report.

 

Erden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Greg W:

quote:

Originally posted by Terminal Gravity:

I am feeling shakey about the use of cams after this terrible accident.

TG - I don't think you necessarily need to paint with such broad strokes. If you were climbing basalt (maybe you are), I could understand. But after following this whole thread, and knowing what a "good" cam placement in granite looks like, I still have faith in my placements. Each situation, and rock medium, is unique and should be judged accordingly. Keep the faith, bro.

 


GregW the cams were all broken!!! Didnt you read that? The only type of rock that would make me less woried about cams now is softer rock!!! "keep the faith bro"!!! idiotic. Keep the faith bro, committing suicide is the only way to get picked up by thos aliesn behind the comet!!! [Roll Eyes]

 

ps glad to see you are not hounding allison anymore. Maybe being married has chnaged you.

 

[ 10-09-2002, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: DLunkman ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DPunkman - Let's keep it civil, dickweed. On an important note, marriage has not changed me; I can only abuse Allison for so long then it begins to bore me.

 

Regarding the broken cams, by my read the cams were damaged due to pulling out. Whereas I have not climbed a lot of basalt, I do know that it is smoother than granite; also, others have posted regarding the irregularity of these cracks. Granite has a high friction surface, and maybe provides better cam placements. If we follow your implied advice we wouldn't trust ANY cam placements and should climb nothing where we might fall. Keep living in fear and never leave the ground. I'll keep climbing and trust my abilities to place gear on granite.

 

Greg W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by DLunkman:

quote:

Originally posted by Greg W:

quote:

Originally posted by Terminal Gravity:

I am feeling shakey about the use of cams after this terrible accident.

TG - I don't think you necessarily need to paint with such broad strokes. If you were climbing basalt (maybe you are), I could understand. But after following this whole thread, and knowing what a "good" cam placement in granite looks like, I still have faith in my placements. Each situation, and rock medium, is unique and should be judged accordingly. Keep the faith, bro.

 

ps glad to see you are not hounding allison anymore. Maybe being married has chnaged you.


GregW the cams were all broken!!! Didnt you read that? The only type of rock that would make me less woried about cams now is softer rock!!! "keep the faith bro"!!! idiotic. Keep the faith bro, committing suicide is the only way to get picked up by thos aliesn behind the comet!!!
[Roll Eyes]
Dlunkman,

 

I have taken a few 20 foot screamers on cams used with granite. I fear that rock a lot less than sandstone. Maybe this is a troll [Wazzup]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×