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summitchaserCJB

Be careful out there

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Mark and I went to Index today. Someone took a ground fall off of Roger's Corner (apparently they were on the second pitch and 2 pieces pulled). PS- Hope they are ok!

On the way home a car coming headon at 40 miles an hour or more swerved into our lane, missing us by inches.

The motto- stay safe out there. :) Stay alert. The climb doesn't end at the top of the pitch- as I learned today. I got to the chains at Sagitarius and grabbed the chains only to discover I was totally pumped worse than I ever have been. I literally couldn't hold onto the chains. So I tried to down climb and told Mark I was going to whip. I then let go and took the ride.

Edited by summitchaserCJB

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Oh man...I don't think I will ever get the sound of him decking out of my head. I think he will be ok, he was fully conscious through the whole thing.

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When it's time it's time, and if it's my time this is as good a way to go as any. Not making light of anything and wishing the best for us all, but especially the guy who augured in.

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When it's time it's time, and if it's my time this is as good a way to go as any. Not making light of anything and wishing the best for us all, but especially the guy who augured in.
I agree, Bill. However, your time might get here sooner if you don't look before crossing the street. Just say'n, be careful out there...

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If anyone knows the climber, please tell them to contact me. My partners and I cleaned a piece of their gear from Roger's Corner and I would like to return it if possible.

 

Thanks,

Lukic

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Thanks Dave, when I wrote that I was sort of wondering about how the next days sojourn was going to go. (went great!) Now I'm sofa king muscle sore I'm waking up at 4 am and eating Ibuprofen so it's fantastic for now. I know that what you say is true, my former business partner had his son recently hit and killed by a pickup truck when he stopped as a first responder on an accident scene.

 

Wishing all of you who were there and heard this well too. The memory will only slightly fade with time, but fade it will. Anyone get the full story?

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Hope the climber is ok.

Summitdude - Sagitarrius is f*n burly - no shame in being pumped on that one!

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Wishing all of you who were there and heard this well too. The memory will only slightly fade with time, but fade it will. Anyone get the full story?

 

I have the full story, but will only discuss the actual accident because it has value for other climbers.

 

Climber was on p2 of Roger's Corner. He had two apparently good pieces in the broken section right above the p2 belay. He was high in the corner, not far from the exit move with 2 microcams in the steep portion of the corner. He peeled off and came tight on the top microcam which slowed him down, but ripped out. The next micro ripped also, he impacted the slab, and continued down until his belayer caught him on his second piece.

 

Both micros were BD C3s (green and yellow). Both showed extensive damage on 2 opposing lobes, but the 3rd lobe looked almost new.

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if you don't look before crossing the street
you could argue natural selection on that one

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Wishing all of you who were there and heard this well too. The memory will only slightly fade with time, but fade it will. Anyone get the full story?

 

I have the full story, but will only discuss the actual accident because it has value for other climbers.

 

Climber was on p2 of Roger's Corner. He had two apparently good pieces in the broken section right above the p2 belay. He was high in the corner, not far from the exit move with 2 microcams in the steep portion of the corner. He peeled off and came tight on the top microcam which slowed him down, but ripped out. The next micro ripped also, he impacted the slab, and continued down until his belayer caught him on his second piece.

 

Both micros were BD C3s (green and yellow). Both showed extensive damage on 2 opposing lobes, but the 3rd lobe looked almost new.

 

Thanks. I was wondering about that. He sounds lucky. The p2 belay isn't that far off the ground; it must have been a close one. I hope he makes a full recovery.

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I thought the pro in that upper corner was .75-2 C4's... why was he putting in C3's? glad to hear he's okay, that had to be one hell of a fall. how far did he go before impacting the slab? 20 feet? 30 feet?

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I thought the pro in that upper corner was .75-2 C4's... why was he putting in C3's? glad to hear he's okay, that had to be one hell of a fall. how far did he go before impacting the slab? 20 feet? 30 feet?

 

I don't know where he hit the slab, so I can't quantify that number. I'd GUESS the total fall distance was around 60 feet.

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Rodgers Corner is one of those Index climbs where you really have to take your time and work the moves to climb it at 5.9. If you don't work it then it becomes harder than the rating.

 

It's probably better to climb it as one pitch, it's only about 30M total. I'm thinking the place in question where he fell has some loose rock on the right wall, you def have to go left there to avoid that loose rock but it's a tricky boulder move.

 

Sagitarius is another similar climb, lot's of hidden footholds on that one. I've climbed it and got totally pumped and then climbed it again in relative ease after figuring all the moves and holds.

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After the accident (and the blood on the rock dried), several of us went up Rogers Corner to see if we could find out what happened.

 

We didn't find any loose flakes or damaged rock. The second piece of gear he placed (red C4 cam) was still in the rock. That piece held his fall and was solid. The 3 of us made every effort to figure out what might have happened.

 

I (just me, not the others in the party) have to believe the accident was a result of the following:

1. Bad choice of cams

2. Bad choice of gear placements (loose rock or expanding flakes)

3. Bad choice not to place enough gear on a potential climb where u may (and can) deck.

 

There are hundreds of solid placements all over the upper pitch section. There is even a fixed piece still there. Godzilla also has several areas that could cause a climber to potentially deck. I believe its always best to place enough gear to avoid decking if u fall (obvious statement haha). It seems that climbs with the lower grades always have more potential for a climber to get hurt (another obvious statement).

 

Glad the climber is ok. Be safe.

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Sagittarius is the hardest climb I've ever done. I feel no shame about feeling pumped. I'm just glad I made the chains. I'm sure the next time will go better.

Have to agree with flash (with respect to the climber). I've sowed up Roger's Corner so much it looked like I was aiding.

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just wait til you start going for the full sagg, so sick!

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Wasn't it Metolious who did a study that found that 30% of all perfect looking cam placements would fail? That being said, I never trust just one cam in a fall situation to keep me off a ledge. If that is the case, I will downclimb and back off.

 

No climb is worth a broken body...been there, done that.

 

I've always thought Rogers Corner was too rotten and approached Breakfast of Champions from above. You can rap down from the top of the Lizard.

 

Hope the guy recovers. That is every climbers worst nightmare.

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I'd be interested to hear the details of that study. If it was done in good rock, we might want to take up a different sport. :eek:

There is a difference between "perfect" and "perfect looking". Is it a problem with climber's perception or are these actually good placements? Sorry to take this on from a research perspective but it's like second nature.

Edited by summitchaserCJB

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I agree. Would you mind enlightening us where you heard that Metolious stated that it's product would fail 30% of the time when used properly?

 

If this is true I'm taking up golf.

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Following that logic every third time I place a cam, I can expect it to fail on me (?) So on a nice long lead up the split pillar I can expect three of the nine pieces I placed to fail. Yikes.

 

A well placed cam in good rock won't fail. In the same way that we only climb with one rope because we know that ropes don't magically break. Of course a perfect placement is easy to mess-up and with small gear, just moving the pro a slight bit might make that bomber placement worthless.

 

On the flip side, it is amazing what kind of falls "bad" gear can take. Check-out the falls that this tipped-out hybrid Alien is taking.

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Wasn't it Metolious who did a study that found that 30% of all perfect looking cam placements would fail? That being said, I never trust just one cam in a fall situation to keep me off a ledge. If that is the case, I will downclimb and back off.

 

I don't believe that 30% of perfect looking placements would fail. MAYBE with their 00 TCUs, but no way with good hand sized pieces. That would mean that 9% of falls with 2 perfect looking placements would rip 2 cams.

 

That is what I saw on Friday, but those cams showed damage on 2 out of 3 lobes which would indicate a less than perfect placement.

 

I have never personally witnessed a cam pop as the climber, belayer, or part of a group of climbers. I'm somewhat of a chicken on gear though, so I'm not constantly falling on cams, and I place often.

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Sure hand sized pieces in granite are bomber but I think the 30% number seems reasonable if you consider all rock types and all cam sizes and the fact that a cam can fail below rated strength in a test and still be strong enough to hold most falls.

 

I personally have been leading or belaying enough to see 4 cams pulls (two rock empires in a fall placed by an inexperienced leader, one purple metolius in a hanging belay anchor placed by a very experienced leader on the passenger, one green alien placed by me aiding), pulled a micro nut or two (marginal placements at index..."klaus von beuler" i think) and caught a fall that broke a carabiner (scott w on "fifth force" ...carabiner may have gotten stuck in a weird way in the hanger that levered it open. Gate ended up outside nose).

 

Friends of mine have been leading or belaying and pulled/broken a couple more cams (small stuff where the lobe deformed/dented/broke on a cristal past the point where it stayed in the rock) and nuts, snapped a fixed pin, broke two bolts (the aluminum ones on calling wolfgang) and broken one additional carabiner.

 

Climbing with eric8 may have thrown off my average since he seems to break gear more then most ;) but still I think that, if you push yourself on gear, you should expect to be involved in at least one gear failure a year. More if you use link cams and other cast crap, less if you climb mostly on bolts.

 

All of this has left me a big fan of the "nest" technique for placing gear on routes with mandatory runouts.

 

 

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Following that logic every third time I place a cam, I can expect it to fail on me (?) So on a nice long lead up the split pillar I can expect three of the nine pieces I placed to fail. Yikes.

 

A well placed cam in good rock won't fail. In the same way that we only climb with one rope because we know that ropes don't magically break. Of course a perfect placement is easy to mess-up and with small gear, just moving the pro a slight bit might make that bomber placement worthless.

 

On the flip side, it is amazing what kind of falls "bad" gear can take. Check-out the falls that this tipped-out hybrid Alien is taking.

 

Ouch. You could see that inverted fall coming. :eek: The dynamic belay was probably helping that alien hold a bit.

 

In this Roger's Corner case, it does sound like a bad judgement on gear placement. The hard moves on that climb protect really well with #.75-#2 cams. Again, hope he's ok.

 

I think if 1/3 of "good" cam placements failed, people would be decking/getting the chop every week at Index, no?

 

 

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I have a vague recollection that there was a comparison between pure visual inspection and giving the cam a tug. The ones that were tugged on had a significantly lower failure rate.

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I just did some research and couldn't find the 30% story online. It could be one of those rumors one hears around campfires at Joshua Tree and my twisted "old man mind" extrapolated it into truth. That was why I posted it as a question.

 

3 years ago I was leading a climb next to Arno Ilgner at Smith. I had placed one cam in twenty feet. It was a good cam. I looked over at Arno and asked him: "I should go for it right? The cam is good, your books says to trust the gear and take the fall?"

 

Arno's response: "No, no! Place gear like you vote, early and often. Especially close to the ground or a ledge."

 

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