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Saw this reported on another site:


while climbing Liberty Bell Saturday we watched a climber come off about 1/2 way up Concord Tower, pull out all of his gear (3 pieces, not sure if they were all cams) on the way down, and (didn't see this part, but found out when we got down) deck, then take his belayer off with him into the gulley. They told us later the fall was something like 75 feet. Amazingly, they both ended up suspended from the belayer's anchor cordellete above the gulley, and were relatively unharmed though shaken up. Their two partners who had summited Concord moments earlier communicated through us to the fallen climber and his belayer, and rapped down quickly to assist in the rescue. We met them belaying the climber (who was banged up and in a bit of shock but moving well under his own steam) all the way down the gulley to the Blue Lake trail. We offered our assistance but they didn't need help. He got out okay by 9:30 that night as we were marshalling our gear back at the parking lot. We met the other two climbers Sunday on South Early Winters Spire. They couldn't tell if the gear pulled because was inexperienced or because of the rock. One thing is for sure - that guy used up all 9 of his lives on that fall.
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Ask CBS, he was belaying.
I wasn't belaying. I was on the summit and could hear the fall.


The account provided by Dru is not quite accurate. He did pull out all his pieces which included a Green Alien and a medium nut. He fell about 30 ft hitting the ledge and then bounced off and was caught by the rope, not exactly a FF2 fall because of the ledge. The belay held.


The fallen climber was lowered the remaining distance to the floor of the gully. The belayer rapped down as soon as the climber was able to untie from the rope with one hand. He broke his thumb in the fall.


He is recuperating at home and is expected to make a full recovery.


Why the gear pulled out is probably a combination of user error and one or more expanding flakes. He's a novice trad leader. He says he plans to get back on the horse.

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As the guy holding the belay... I'd say the fall was 70+ feet or so. We were on the second pitch. My partner was 30-35 feet above me, fell, pulled out a green alien, #9 BD nut and .75 BD cam, and fell past me over the ledge. He did not deck, but was caught by the rope ~30 feet off the ground.


I was spun around ~90 degrees by the fall -- I was facing the face when he started falling, and he fell past me on my right. I came taut against the belay when I was spun around.


I lowered my partner to the notch, and then we self-rescued.

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Mike is right.


I would like my pole back.


My Girlfriend and I were climbing the NW face of Liberty Bell that day, so we didn't witness the fall. But on the summit, we did meet the Canadian climbers who witnessed the event from the Beckey Route, and they filled us in. I am glad the climber survived the fall and made it out in one piece. Earlier that day we had left our poles in the LB approach gulley. When my GF and I descended the gully, one of my poles had been broken by rockfall(?) while the other one was missing. We soon found that my other trekking pole was in use by the self-rescuing party, and I hope it was helpful to them. I would also like to see if I can get it returned soon, as I fly to Europe next wednesday. The pole was brand new, as I had just bought it to replace a previously stolen pair. Hopefully, those of you involved found my mailing address on your car windshield?


Thanks, and glad to hear the faller is recovering well.

-Dylan Taylor

Edited by dylan_taylor
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I have your trekking pole, and your note from my windshield. I'll be sending you the pole via UPS on Thursday, and I'll send you the tracking number for that as soon as I have it.


Unless you're planning on being in West Seattle between now and then, in which case I'll leave it at Mountain Madness.


Thanks for letting us use the pole -- it came in very handy on the hike out.

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Thank you guys for the return of the pole. UPS sounds fine. Glad to hear the pole was helpful.


I would be interested (as would others, perhaps) on the details of the pulled gear. I would also be curious to know if your cordalette was one or two strands around the "anchor" (a block, horn, etc?) - redundancy with skinny nylon can be a real life saver in those situations.


One other word of caution: It was cool to see you guys effectively lowering your partner down the lower LB gully - but use extreme caution when lowering someone with that much rope out: You had close to 400' of line available in your lowering system, and that is bound to knock plenty of rock off (like the grape-fruit sized block that almost took my head off). Considering the angle, shorter lowers or occasional hip-belays may have worked better/kept you guys safer from rockfall.


Plenty of wild events and close calls occur during each of our climbing careers that serve to educate us and our peers on what to do differently next time. Hopefully valuable lessons were learned all around on Saturday.


I hope all of you enjoyed some beer at the end of that endeavor. It was well-earned. Good luck on all your future climbs and may your friend recover quickly.



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