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leavenworth accident?

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I'd heard a rumor that the belay tree at the top has died. As I remember, it was gradually losing soil at its base from people walking there. Anyone know anything about that?

 

Yep, tree is dead.

 

Here, you can use this:

top_of_RnD.jpg

Just make sure to test it by pushing it toward your partner first.

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First: I hope the guy heals up quick.

 

CBS - with respect to your hearing a rumon on the upper belay tree (the one on the TOP of the climb, not the one on the top of the hand crack section):

 

It's dead.

 

I was up there on June 23rd. There's not much soil left holding the remnant in place. It'll be gone within a few years at the most.

 

As an observation (not implying any course of action here)....

 

I didn't see too much else up on top to belay a second up the final pitch on. There were some boulders, but they were pretty small (~3' diameter) and didn't look too stable. I didn't notice too many other features to build an anchor on, but I'll admit I didn't look very hard. Does anyone have any suggestions, or know of a good alternate spot to build a belay to bring the 2nd up the final pitch?

 

 

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First: I hope the guy heals up quick.

 

CBS - with respect to your hearing a rumon on the upper belay tree (the one on the TOP of the climb, not the one on the top of the hand crack section):

 

It's dead.

 

I was up there on June 23rd. There's not much soil left holding the remnant in place. It'll be gone within a few years at the most.

 

As an observation (not implying any course of action here)....

 

I didn't see too much else up on top to belay a second up the final pitch on. There were some boulders, but they were pretty small (~3' diameter) and didn't look too stable. I didn't notice too many other features to build an anchor on, but I'll admit I didn't look very hard. Does anyone have any suggestions, or know of a good alternate spot to build a belay to bring the 2nd up the final pitch?

 

 

So....if you didn't find anything good to build an anchor with...and you didn't look too hard.... did you build an anchor and belay someone, or not? Or were you just walking around up there?

 

And my suggestion would be to LOOK in person....

 

Not trying to be difficult, but the question seems odd to me.

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...There were some boulders, but they were pretty small (~3' diameter) and didn't look too stable. I didn't notice too many other features to build an anchor on, but I'll admit I didn't look very hard. Does anyone have any suggestions, or know of a good alternate spot to build a belay to bring the 2nd up the final pitch?

 

 

 

Ummm.... its a little bigger than 3 foot. What do you guess that one weighs?

 

I wasn't joking about a test push/pull - things arnt always perfect but it seemed fine (stable enough) to me at that time. You could always build an anchor at the top of the crack section. From there you just got some real easy corner/slab climbing to do where a fall is even less likely.

 

All else fails, cut the rope, have the second free solo it.

Edited by dmuja

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As far as an anchor for the final pitch, when I first led it I went straight up after the last low angle crack instead of heading for the tree. I found a horizontal crack that seemed rather sold, threw a couple of bigger pices in if I recall correctly (hexes most likely) and brought my second up. I think it's something like 40'-50' climbers left of the tree.

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What sprocket said. The wide crack will take 3" pieces rather nicely and you can equalize them and anchor yourself in, sit down and belay your second up. The climb is a walk off so you don't need something to lower off of. I'd rather use this crack than the boulder pictured above, but that is just me.

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I followed my partner up the final pitch (I led the first three) so I didn't look around all that much up top - just wanted to get down as we had an extended climb being stuck behind a very slow party for all but the last pitch.

 

My partner belayed off the now dead tree - it wasn't a big issue for me - that last pitch is pretty easy.

 

I'm thinking of bringing some friends up the route and would (of course) prefer to know what's available before taking them up. I took a quick look at some boulders up there - the looked like they had a small base on it to me, so not too stable. I wouldn't push or pull on something if I thought it was unstable and might knock it down on my partner (or other parties) below. One thing I've heard repeated is that it's not only the mass, but the stability of a boulder has to be taken into consideration - I guess I'm just leery of a rock sitting there on a sloping slab, not really locked into a fold in the rock..... perhaps I'm too conservative.

 

But hey, it's nice to know there's good cracks off to the left of the tree - thanks Sprocket, I'll look for them next time up there.

 

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best wishes to who was hurt but anybody know the

name of the route and where excatly it's ment to cross over to r&d (well it did at least when i climbed it lol) the lowest slab 2 pitch bolted left side of wall and then you come to a ledge at the tope of the second pitch over that and then traverse over to r&d is this a route or did i just get lost? and is r&d really that dangerous? it seemed perfectly fine to me when i was up there no problems and not very much to be sketch about but from reading some of these i'm wondering.......

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I hope Richard heals quickly, although it looks like it will take a while. His heel bone is split in two. He broke all but one of his ribs on his left side. It sounds like a painful and long recovery. I can't really beleive that he had no internal injuries or punctured organs, but am grateful that he doesn't.

 

I wanted to thank the combined crews of the CC Sheriffs dept and the Mountain Rescue team. Those guys are real proffesionals. They did an amazing job getting Richard off the climb and to the hospital.

 

The team behind Richard and his partner also deseerve a BIG thanks. They were right there from the time of the accident and stayed with him until the end. Thanks guys.

 

Accidents happen. Be careful out there.

-Dave

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If you do decide to belay from a boulder like that, sling it low- as close to the base as possible. Belay off your harness from a seated stance.

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I was on top of R&D sat. trying to rap down to help the injured climber. I looked at the boulder in question and noticed that it is surrounded by small gravel and perhaps on top of some gravel. The slab that it is on looks like water ran down around that boulder or something slid off from that area (snow).

I started to think about an accident on Sharkfin when a team pulled a boulder they were rapping off of onto themselves so I decided to use a tree higher up. A 60m rope went from the ledge above the cracks to the high tree on top of the butress.

That boulder may work for a belay anchor, but the consequences would be dire if it slid off of the slab.

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A little hard to follow your post but I think the 2-pitch bolted slab you're referring to is Cocaine Connection, 5.7. I've crossed over to R & D at the obvious ledge at the top of the second pitch (there's some webbing and I think a rap ring there) and also a bit higher up under the obvious roof with the great crack at the base for making a natural anchor.

 

Climbing is inherently dangerous, that's why that is printed in the beginning of any guidebook. Accidents happen to all of us. The climbing is easy on the route but there are many variables that can come into play even on an easy route (experience of climber, weather, pro placement, condition of route, number of parties, etc...) Don't blame the route.

 

rbwen

 

<

name of the route and where excatly it's ment to cross over to r&d (well it did at least when i climbed it lol) the lowest slab 2 pitch bolted left side of wall and then you come to a ledge at the tope of the second pitch over that and then traverse over to r&d is this a route or did i just get lost? and is r&d really that dangerous? it seemed perfectly fine to me when i was up there no problems and not very much to be sketch about but from reading some of these i'm wondering.......>>

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Two weeks ago, at the top of R&D, I anchored to the dead tree, and braced my feet on the smaller bolder, which was slightly better anchored in the dirt than the large one in the photo. The dead tree is barely still standing. A good push will knock it down. That routes sees a lot of traffic. There is a small crack 50 feet down the doming top where one could potentially set up an anchor, but I remember thinking it was not that secure of a placement. At that point, you are one move, and a 40 foot scramble from topping out to level ground.

Now that the tree is dead, I think it should be replaced with a standard two bolt anchor.

 

It's nice that the route has been kept "pure" and free of bolts so far, but common sense indicates that a safe anchor is needed, and with the tree gone, a bolt anchor seems like a small sacrifice to the "purity" of the route.

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I don't think so. Chop, Chop

 

Shit, be creative. Its part of the learning process, especially on a route like that one with such an easy last pitch. Can you really only come up with "either its a perfect gear crack OR a chain anchor?

 

That fucking boulder weighs well more than 8,000 lbs by my calculations and is set well enough if you sling it low (as CBS mentioned)and predominantly belay off your body as opposed to hanging and jerking on it. Shit it took me about 2 seconds to sling it with the rope and sit down while my second walked up the last few feet.

 

It (boulder as a back up) will help you catch a stumble just fine and that is the most that will happen if you break the last pitch up *above* the the crack and belay there. See, it forces you to be creative. How about this DON"T FALL on the last pitch. If you can't already climb 5.6 without confidence in your ability to not fall, what are you doing a 4 pitch 5.6 for?

 

If you give in to those kinds of thoughts than you may as well bolt everything in sight because you can always find justification for lack of creative thinking.

 

Shit, just enjoy the problem that is presented to you, solve it, thats how you learn. Bolts and chains often are a short circuit to thinking and better climbing.

Edited by dmuja

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In response to DMuja, I'd say that R&D is hardly the route to ask people to "get creative". It is very popular with beginners because the moves are mostly easy. The route already has plenty of accidents. If you read the Sharkfin Tower accident report as I did, you wouldn't be so glib about slinging boulders.

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In response to DMuja, I'd say that R&D is hardly the route to ask people to "get creative". It is very popular with beginners because the moves are mostly easy. The route already has plenty of accidents. If you read the Sharkfin Tower accident report as I did, you wouldn't be so glib about slinging boulders.

 

speaking of which....where is the Sharkfin Tower accident report?

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CBS im not glib about slinging boulders. On sharkfin, there were 3 people spider rapping and jerking off the thing (from what i heard). Just because a climb is popular with beginners doesn't mean everyone is ready to get it. Whats wrong with learning to climb better and with confidence before you step up the level of risk. Maybe people are getting hurt on it because they think its cool and fun to scare grandma by halling her up a multipitch climb? Its just more bullshit "sport" climbing menatality creeping into trad territory. Like I said, ENJOY THE PROBLEM. If your not ready for the problem why are you taking the test?

Edited by dmuja

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As far as an anchor for the final pitch, when I first led it I went straight up after the last low angle crack instead of heading for the tree. I found a horizontal crack that seemed rather sold, threw a couple of bigger pices in if I recall correctly (hexes most likely) and brought my second up. I think it's something like 40'-50' climbers left of the tree.
When Mastrette and I climbed this route a couple months back, she led the last pitch and opted for that crack for her belay. There is no exposure or climbing moves above it, and we just walked the rest of the way to the top. Makes the most sense to me.

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I'm with dmuja - no bolts. That big block has seen plenty of belays already and it hasn't come down. If you link the last two crack pitches, I think you might not have much of a choice of belays (if you want to get on flatter ground anyway) - from what I remember.

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As to the earlier poster's suggestion of "protect, protect, protect", I had an experience in 2001 on the R&D that perhaps tempers that recommendation. I was belaying a beginning leader (I still to this day wonder if I could/should have done more to help protect her) who was on the first pitch of R&D and had gone a tad off route, placing pro in something of a zig-zag line, when she got to a rather large mantle move, which she then did *not* protect. She went to make the move, and the rope drag popped her back off, tumbling down quite a ways, breaking ribs and face bones and I don't want to remember what else.

 

Of course, the real problem was putting the *wrong* pro in, and not the *right* stuff, so "protect, protect, protect" is still valid, I suppose.

 

Communication, as always near Icicle Creek, was basically impossible. I still wonder if I perhaps should have just refused to pay out more rope when I could see she was off route. If she'd just made that mantle move, all would have been OK. Maybe.

 

- rob

 

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As to the earlier poster's suggestion of "protect, protect, protect", I had an experience in 2001 on the R&D that perhaps tempers that recommendation. I was belaying a beginning leader (I still to this day wonder if I could/should have done more to help protect her) who was on the first pitch of R&D and had gone a tad off route, placing pro in something of a zig-zag line, when she got to a rather large mantle move, which she then did *not* protect. She went to make the move, and the rope drag popped her back off, tumbling down quite a ways, breaking ribs and face bones and I don't want to remember what else.

 

Of course, the real problem was putting the *wrong* pro in, and not the *right* stuff, so "protect, protect, protect" is still valid, I suppose.

 

Communication, as always near Icicle Creek, was basically impossible. I still wonder if I perhaps should have just refused to pay out more rope when I could see she was off route. If she'd just made that mantle move, all would have been OK. Maybe.

 

- rob

 

it's hard to be in a situation like that. learning to lead is scary (i am a totaly chicken) the bottom line in your situation is this person told you that she felt she was experienced enough to take on this challenge. it is not your responablity as a climbing partner to judge weather she really does know what she says she knows. all you can do is trust that your climbing partner has done proper research on the route and has appropriate experience to lead the route. if you were a guide you would have to take responsablity. as climbers we all have to shoulder our own responsablity for our own ablity and our own understanding of climbing systems and how they work.

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I find it interesting that this was my first multi-pitch ever (as someone following). Since then, everytime I have been in lworth I have considered leading it, but wind up elsewhere. I still think it would be nostalgic to lead the entire route. Yet, all this discussion freaks me out. It makes me wonder how much information is helpful - to ME.

 

 

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Lead it. It's much funner that way.

 

Be smart and protect often if it makes you feel more relaxed. The moves aren't hard - it's probably mental cruxing.

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