Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber


      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  

[TR] Tragedy at Alpental - Kiddie Cliff 12/3/2014

Recommended Posts



First of all, thanks for your kind words on this post and support. It was not easy to put all this out there, and I'm glad it spoke to some of you and hopefully will help you all be safer in the mountains. I have a quick up date on the mechanism of the fall:


Upon further reflection, I've realized that the failure scenario I suggested in my trip report is not really plausible. I started off hanging on the rope, with my belayer holding me, and then grasped end of the rope going to my belayer to haul myself up. When I did that the rope came under tension. I then pulled a second time increasing the amount of my weight on the rope. The third time I began to move up is when I fell, and also when the load on the anchor was greatest over the course of the day (i.e. my body weight + force required to move me up, as opposed to just body weight earlier in the day as we lowered after each pitch). The rope was loaded with my weight at time of failure, and my handling the rope would not likely have caused it to jump a carabineer. Further, upon discussion with SMR and friends who visited the area after the accident the anchor was not attached to the tree after the incident, suggesting the rope either broke or a knot failed. No one had stepped up saying they found the anchor material, so we can not say which of those two mechanisms was the cause. I guess the lesson now is that single anchors should never be trusted, even when they are big old trees with a climbing rope tied around them. Always use two separate cords to wrap from, even in the alpine.


For those interested, my recovery continues to go well, despite the obvious challenges. I've been kayaking a couple times and am really enjoying it, and looking forward to getting a hand bike. I've also been fishing and had a blast. Life goes on friends.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend of mine who has way more experience than me seemed to think the weak link was probably the bowline knot.


Here's to hoping your recovery only improves.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kaskade: your attitude is inspiring.


It isn't clear to me how the bowline and the figure 8 on a bight were setup. My understanding is that bowlines are fine when loaded in the proper direction, and it is only when they are cross loaded that they can roll over. I've used a bowline as a tie in for a long time (with a double loop) but have always been careful not to clip into it for this reason. The benefits of it are that it can be untied easily after loading and it keeps the tails out of the way. The cons are that it is harder to tie if you aren't familiar with it (I grew up sailing, so it is sort of second nature to me).


Anyhow, if you had what was essentially a bowline that formed a very large loop, with that loop running around the tree, I can't imagine a top rope rolling it. If it was tied sideways, on the other hand, then perhaps (although even then I'd be surprised that a top rope could roll it).

Edited by mdidriksen

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