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  
Dane

The dangers on ice?

Recommended Posts

With the water ice season over and the alpine ice season just getting started how about a list of dangers in our sport we all add to?

 

Avalanches..any time of year but most obvious in or just after storm cycles. Any sort of wind will make it worse and not always so easily identified. Avalanches kill more climbers than all the rest of the dangers combined, in all 12 months of the year.

 

Low volume falls? Extreme cold or just as likely warm weather can cause a collape any time.

 

High volume falls? Warm weather in the drainage can cause a collase at any time as the volume of water increases under the ice and weakens it.

 

Know the kind of water fall you are on..low or high and the dangers of both.

 

I suspect it is just seeing it on the forums but I am amazed at what climbers are getting away with recently. Some don't get away with it.

 

Examples from this year?

 

Bourgeau Left...climbed in terrible conditions. (I wouldn't get on it 10 days beforehand) Collapses the day after it is climbed.

 

Snivelling Gully...climbed in 50 degree temps late in season. Bottom half is gone two days later.

 

Louise Falls climbed in -30 temps and the right hand daggers cut loose with climbers at the base of the left hand pillar.

 

Patagonia catalog shot in Japan...falls collapse as a full volume of open water comes down the middle of the falls. Same climb in the video below.

 

 

Never hurts to think about this stuff beforehandand year around. With all the really shitty weather we are having right now even more so as we all wait for a break in the weather to get out.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you fall on ice your going to get hurt. correct me if I'm wrong. montypiton can attest to this I think. btw, how are you doing curt?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fell on ice once and didn't get hurt....and once I didn't fall but my tool popped out and my face got hurt. Falling doesn't grant injury all the time. I've injuried myself more falling on rock climbs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PIGinSPACE.JPG

 

I had intended this to be a serious and if nothing else a somber thread for us to think about what can and does happen with too much regularity. Mr. Frieh has been lucky, exceptionably lucky on ice imo. Knowing this himself is why he added a smiley face to his post and to lighten the tone of the thread I suspect. I don't think anyone is going to seriously suggest falling on ice isn't extremely dangerious. Kelly Cordes might have an opinion as might Kurt or Doug Scott. I've seen one fall (two years ago) on ice over many seasons. It ended in a badly fucked up knee.

 

I find little humor in suggesting that falling on ice is acceptable or comparable to falling on rock.

 

But if you are going to take lead falls pushing yourself on mixed and ice, best to do it in very controlled circumstances to limit the possiblility of injuries. Just as you would on rock best way to do that is fall on steep terrain with good pro and an attentive belayer.

 

Even a short fall that hooks a crampon will put most out of commission for a few weeks or months if you are lucky.

 

But besides the obvious most recent incident on water fall ice, not to be aware that we are experiencing an exceptionally unique weather cycle right now is being blind. Dangeriously blind imo. I have seen many deaths in the alpine over the years. Most were preceeded by similar exceptionally wet spring weather patterns not nearly as dramatic as the one we are in now. The Enchantments, Hood, any route on Rainier, Liberty Ridge or DC are common, the Canadain Rockies, Deltaform comes to mind, are all places that have seen deadly tragedies in the last few years......after a wet spring.

 

I suspect most of us look at deaths while climbing as "stupid mistakes" from hindsight. I generally have. It is easier than looking very hard at the real reasons any of us get killed climbing.

 

My simple suggestion is look harder at what you are getting into on your next alpine outing this spring and as summer continues into fall.

 

Better to be here making jokes than having the rest of us remind each other just how good of a friend and climber you were before you got chopped on some stupid fucking climb.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a little something for you leashless toughies,

leashless.jpg

 

ice will always dilute your drink. use it sparingly, if at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Damn, Gaston R. had some serious ankle flexibility going on didn't he?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't mean to sound like an idiot here...falling is not good and not fun. Dane, yes falling is serious plan and simple. sorry for sounding like I was trying to make it funny. Not my intention. I was just stating my experience. I fell on a rock climb once, hit a ledge and blew all the ligaments in my left ankle. I was out for 2 years....1 due to the injury and 1 due to the psych factor. I fell on an ice climb in Colorado once...luckily a few moves above a bolt and not an ice screw...

 

 

Edited by Joe_Poulton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe, wasn't directing that to you in particular. Lead falls on rock are an accepted part of the game to push your limits. I only know two climbers who have taken multiple lead falls on ice and not been injured. Not yet anyway.

 

Save the lead falls for pushing on rock. They don't typically result in a serious injury. Common sense should tell us there are too many sharp pointy things around to be taking falls on ice and to tone it down a notch or two there unless it is in a very controlled environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest mistake people make while climbing ice is climbing when the ambient temp is too warm. I see TR's every year, like people on falls that are half formed with a patch of water running in the middle. That's a death wish. I think it's common here in WA because the ice is so scarce people get out on it just because it's formed without a regard for if it's safe.

 

Ice forms over several cold days. Once it starts warming above that forming temp it doesn't always collapse all at once but it's dangerous as soon as it starts getting warm.

 

Ice doesn't really form until it gets about 25F and it starts degrading about 30F. So 30F is into the danger zone. You need to carry a thermometer and keep it on the outside of your pack. With the recent accident in Yellowstone the highs were getting to 35F or 40F. Way too warm, just the time of year tells you that.

 

When I was young and naive me and Super Dave hiked up to the falls above the boy scout ranch below Chrystal. We right away noticed small stuff flaking off and coming down. We decided it didn't feel right. As we turned to go half the falls came down. This is the same falls that have killed 2 different parties.

 

With the advent of online weather reports and remote weather stations there's no excuse for even leaving the house when it's too warm but it happens all the time.

 

Only free hanging stuff falls without warning. Otherwise the only reason waterfall ice comes down is because it's too warm. Pay attention to the temps and stay alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well one should pay attention to what kind of flow there is UNDER the ice.

 

There is the phenomenon of ice dams where so much water builds up that a pick hole or crack releases quite a torrent; there are accounts of folks being blown off the ice (usually you'll see that at the very top of a climb where ice formation can dam a significant amount of water at the lip). But I usually worry more about delamination if there is ANY water, as it is shielded somewhat even in cold temps, I've seen questionable bonding to the rock.

 

Let's add falling ice as a huge factor, not just for the belayer (surprising how many folks will set up in the line of fire), but for fido (somebody brought puppy and didn't tie him up and well, right between the eyes) and for the leader (took a seventy pound sharply pointed block on the thigh--made the rest of that seventeen hour day longer even though it only fell a foot).

 

Ditto rockfall.

 

In places like Cody, avalanche from above has caused quite a few problems.

 

HMMMM.

 

Nut crushing, yes with all those extra layers, you know what can slip under a leg loop, one partner of mine spent about twenty minutes crumpled up but he enjoyed (somewhat) showing the nurse...

 

Definitely driving! I put one car on its roof trying to get to the Mineville Pillar in the Daks. Got scared shitless by an idiot partner on another.

 

Belay fuck ups: between the often convoluted climb, wind, water, cold hands, gloves, pumped stoopid, poor visibility, shaky anchors, icy gear and ropes there's all sorts of chance for missed communication, dropping, not being able to catch, blown anchors, falling onto the anchor, simple mistakes etc.

 

POOR CONDITIONS is at the top of the list even if it's not on top of this one. Had a very close call in Rainier NP and there was the recent Yellowstone tragedy.

 

Sharp points: whether its getting poked by one of yours or a crampon point catching during a fall (have heard of many broken ankles and tib/fibs).

 

Frostbite for sure.

 

Not being sure of the descent, especially above treeline in a whiteout (had a memorable one on Mt. Washington).

Not being prepared to spend a night out or treat shock. With the little ski patrolling I've done, it's amazing how fast folks get cold when they're hurt (especially if they were cold to begin with), and quite often warming them is the most pressing problem once in the patrol room. Imagine having to leave somebody, trudge for hours, get help, marshal SAR, return, prep and evacuate in the typically nasty weather and darkness. Seems like a lot of folks don't realize the difference between summer cragging or on piste skiing and winter ice.

 

Short days. One big difference is you have an accident at three o'clock, and you're in the shit in an hour (or if no accident, find yourself trying to climb, rappel and/or get out in the dark) so bring a headlamp.

 

Eye injuries. Why some folks don't wear something is beyond me with all those chips, chunks and splinters flying around.

 

And finally (my favorite) it's much easier in winter to find yourself sitting with your partner in a bar instead of climbing!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Love Dane's photo, belaying directly below the climber and tons of rather cooked looking ice! :noway:

 

notice....cave behind me. That ice wasnt coming off, and if it did it wouldnt have hit me. Those are bolts not screws, so the quality of the ice matter little really. Dane's photos is in relation to how well john knows how to fall on ice without getting hurt! Something that not many people can say can do

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Love Dane's photo, belaying directly below the climber and tons of rather cooked looking ice! :noway:

 

notice....cave behind me. That ice wasnt coming off, and if it did it wouldnt have hit me. Those are bolts not screws, so the quality of the ice matter little really. Dane's photos is in relation to how well john knows how to fall on ice without getting hurt! Something that not many people can say can do

 

Whatever! You're not in the cave and yes it could have hit you. Lots of nice sized icicles too. Pretty hard to run and 1. catch a fall or. 2. not pull of the leader or lose the belay.

 

Probably should have added leaving your leashless tool in the ice, but I don't go there. And yes knowing how to fall is key, in my case don't!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Love Dane's photo, belaying directly below the climber and tons of rather cooked looking ice! :noway:

 

notice....cave behind me. That ice wasnt coming off, and if it did it wouldnt have hit me. Those are bolts not screws, so the quality of the ice matter little really. Dane's photos is in relation to how well john knows how to fall on ice without getting hurt! Something that not many people can say can do

 

Whatever! You're not in the cave and yes it could have hit you. Lots of nice sized icicles too. Pretty hard to run and 1. catch a fall or. 2. not pull of the leader or lose the belay.

 

Probably should have added leaving your leashless tool in the ice, but I don't go there. And yes knowing how to fall is key, in my case don't!

 

Nice try. You're going to judge Bryan's ability from one washed out, resized photo? Classic cc.com...

 

Maybe you should tell the BD athlete that led the route right before me he is stupid also. And perhaps the author of winter dance who took the photo he is a poor judge of ice. :rolleyes:

 

You guys sound like a bunch of den mothers. Read a "how to" book or two (Gadd's is great) and then get outside! Sitting around bullshitting about this and that isnt going to do shit for your skills.

 

I fall of shit because I go for it. The only way you're going to get better is sticking it out from time to time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Whatever! You're not in the cave and yes it could have hit you. Lots of nice sized icicles too. Pretty hard to run and 1. catch a fall or. 2. not pull of the leader or lose the belay.

 

Probably should have added leaving your leashless tool in the ice, but I don't go there. And yes knowing how to fall is key, in my case don't!

 

Have you been to that climb? There is NO way that falling ice would of hit Bryan even if the whole climb came down. That perspective definitely doesn't give a good idea of how sheltered the belay is.

 

Falling on bolted mixed climbs is pretty damn common. Personally, I wouldn't want to fall on that particular climb, but have done my sharing of falling off bolted roofs when trying to pull onto the ice.

 

That said, John needs to stop falling on pure ice climbs. :poke:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Maybe you should tell the BD athlete that led the route right before me he is stupid also

 

Ooh, ooh. A BD ATHELETE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Maybe you should tell the BD athlete that led the route right before me he is stupid also

 

Ooh, ooh. A BD ATHELETE.

 

Jizzy: dont change! Dont you EVER change! You are awesome just the way you are! And dont let any of them tell you any different!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guess I better add spray to the list of hazards, I'm feeling very :cry: now. Now I'll have to buy a new set of BD tools to feel better!

Edited by Coldfinger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×