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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

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Topic Date User
Ground Fall at Mount York 14-Oct-2012 At 9:50:34 PM CraigB
It was my girlfriend who had the fall. It wasn't a grounder though.

She took a fall from only just short of the 3rd bolt on a climb (can't remember which one) on the Mezzaluna wall. As she fell, she popped far further back from the wall than we expected and impacted a broken, upward pointing branch attached to a tree behind the belayer (me). The fall onto the branch was about 2 or 3 metres I think.

The branch gave her a very nasty puncture wound on the inside of her thigh, and she hit it hard enough to snap it off at the trunk. The branch was was about 8cm in diameter, with a blunt (thank Christ) spike at the end.

She didn't take a grounder (although I know that tends to be the way things are reported), but did hit the tree hard. We lowered her and applied first aid.

Bleeding was mostly stemmed and controlled by the time emergency services were onsite. They helped her with pain management and further assessment, then she was choppered out due to the difficulty in getting her back up to the road with the injury.

She had surgery to fully assess and repair the wound last night. She's still in hospital (and will be for at least a few days), but will be OK. It'll be an uncomfortable week or two as she heals, but there's no permanent damage.

After running it through in my head countless times over the last few nights, I'm furious with myself for not recognising the hazard before starting up a route. To be honest, we're both far more used to gym climbing, and I believe she just pushed away from the wall as she fell without realising the tree was there. I as the belayer didn't think of it as a hazard either.

On a side note, I can't say enough to compliment and thank the people involved on Saturday afternoon. The emergency service guys were all perfect professionals who should be proud of how they did their jobs, and the three other climbers there (Lana, Andrew and Eric if I have the names right in my memory) were absolutely brilliant too. I owe every one of you a beer and a big thank you.

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