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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Author
Near miss
latch
24/03/2014
5:01:39 PM
Had a bit of a wakeup call today.

I am living in Southern BC, Canada at the moment and the climbing session is finally starting to kick off again, so I headed out with one of the local developers to scope out some crags around the area. After we looked at a couple of crags we ended up climbing at a relatively new area he and a few others had been developing -- the rock was bomber vertical granite with nice seams and crack features. We jumped on a mixed route he had developed last season. I decided to jump on first. After a long winter with no outdoor climbing for 6 months, I was lacing the thing up even though it was an easy route.

About three quarters up the route it eased right off, so I was considering running it out to the top. But with the last bolt well below me, and after not having climbed for a while, I figured that it would be good practise to plug in some more gear. After placing a good red camalot and an average medium wire, I continued up pulling over a small bulge on a huge muggy flak. I was rather surprised when I found myself and a large section of rock flying backwards off the cliff. As I watched it tumble pass me I tried to yell 'rock' to the people below but I think I only managed to get the 'ro' out as I watched about 1m x 0.7 granite fall past me. Surprisingly the crap wire wasn't that back and pulled me up. As my eyes followed the chuck of rock I was relived to see both my girlfriend and the belayer get out of the way. The piece of rock had thumped it self into the ground pretty deep and managed to miss almost all of our packs and gear at the base of the route. It landed on one of my draws which was pretty mangled even though it had been on soft ground.

We all collected ourselves feeling very lucky that we were still alive and on a lesser not, we were surprised the rock managed to miss just about everything. I think the chunk of rock weighed at least 250KG probably a lot more.

So lessons learned…
1) Even on bomber granite, stuff falls off! The thing I pulled off had chalk from last season and the developer said he spent days cleaning the thing with a crowbar.
2) Place gear ample gear. even on easy bits. I thought there was no way I was falling off the route until I realised it was part of the cliff that falling off! I may have found myself on the deck if I had run it out.
3) Take care at the base of the cliff. This thing would have killed any person, child or dog in its path.

All in all, it was nice to be back on rock, but it was a slightly hectic reintroduction!
latch
24/03/2014
5:06:02 PM

IdratherbeclimbingM9
24/03/2014
5:33:56 PM
Hmm.
Interesting outcome, so I am glad you and your belayer came out unscathed.
Thanks for posting about it.

>I think the chunk of rock weighed at least 250KG probably a lot more.

Yeah? Your photo makes it look more like bodyweight (say 100 kg), to me...
Wendy
24/03/2014
5:49:51 PM
On 24/03/2014 latch wrote:

>So lessons learned…
>1) Even on bomber granite, stuff falls off! The thing I pulled off had
>chalk from last season and the developer said he spent days cleaning the
>thing with a crowbar.

There's somthing about "bomber granite" and "days cleaning with a crow bar" that seem like an oxymoron to me!

I've taken 2 big falls from rock failure - one on easy ground and another just standing there about to clip the anchor. Actually, that cliff was cleaned with a crow bar too! And not fallen off after rock failure more times than I can remember, one of which would have been very very ugly if I had come off.

miguel75
24/03/2014
6:52:27 PM
On 24/03/2014 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
...SNIP...
>Yeah? Your photo makes it look more like bodyweight (say 100 kg), to me...
>☺

Mmmm, 100kg you say?! I'd guestimate it weighs in the vicinity of 64,240 pennyweight.

P.S. Thanks for sharing your tale and glad you're all ok.

White Trash
24/03/2014
7:57:37 PM
On 24/03/2014 miguel75 wrote:
>On 24/03/2014 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>>Yeah? Your photo makes it look more like bodyweight (say 100 kg), to
>me...

>
>Mmmm, 100kg you say?! I'd guestimate it weighs in the vicinity of 64,240 pennyweight.
>
are you really that old to remember the old scale? if so, then stop bragging!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
24/03/2014
8:05:21 PM
You are both wrong...


100kg = 64,301.493dwt
☺☺

... ~> though some stirring trolls duangoslabofodhgang might disagree with me, unless they get a new lease of life out of this post?
Heh, heh, heh.


Miguel75
24/03/2014
8:39:56 PM
On 24/03/2014 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>You are both wrong...
>☺
>
>100kg = 64,301.493dwt
>☺☺

Au contraire, my guess was for 64,240dwt, not 100kg;)

IdratherbeclimbingM9
24/03/2014
8:47:37 PM
On 24/03/2014 Miguel75 wrote:
>Au contraire, my guess was for 64,240dwt, not 100kg;)

Thanks for sharing your opinion and sorry about you're incorrect guess!
:-)
Heh, heh, heh.
latch
25/03/2014
4:32:19 AM
>
>There's somthing about "bomber granite" and "days cleaning with a crow
>bar" that seem like an oxymoron to me!


I don't know I think it is right on, the chunk of rock bombed of the cliff. Wouldn't that make it bomber :)

Guess another lesson would be quantity surveying probably isn't a wise career path!
maxdacat
25/03/2014
10:52:00 AM
Shame to lose a leg that way!
martym
26/03/2014
4:52:12 PM
This reminds me of the time i nearly killed my wife with a fridge...
Climbing in the Czech Republic a few years back on grubby riverbed type stuff near Karlovy Vary. Some firemen were doing abseil training and scrambled up a nearby gully and apparently traversed around somehow... not sure how they managed it - what ever the case they dislodged some stuff.
I climbed up and around an arete and was standing on a refrigerator sized rock that slid out from underneath me. Luckily I clung to the wall and was able to scream "Rock, big f*ckin' rock move move" which my girlfriend didn't seem to compute.
Luckily our friends did and grabbed her and move her out of the way as the thing crashed less than a meter from them and rolled into the water. So we never got to see how big it actually was. Though the piece it left in the ground was about the size of that in the picture above.
bones
26/03/2014
5:00:33 PM
rockfall stories....

At an international climbing festival in Iran I was cleaning loose blocks off a new route. A few hundred meters away the were a handful of military looking guys with big guns 'guarding' the climbers. We cleared the immediate area to trundle a fridge sized boulder, but hadn't thought about the guards. When the block hit the ground it sounded like an explosion, and the military came running ready for a fight.
Some very hasty, badly translated explanations barely diffused the tension....

freesolo
27/03/2014
4:43:53 AM
ages ago on a multipitch climb, i walked across a thin ledge, put in a pink tricam on what i thought was a big flake about chest level and continued over and up. my second, a guy about 210 cm, 90 kgs, was cleaning, yarded hard on the tricam and dislodged the cardoor size block (it was just sitting on the thin ledge, i guess; i didn't pull that hard on it placing the gear) and shouted manically to the climbers on the ground. no injuries thank gods, but big, heavy people should really just leave well enough alone )))))

There are 14 messages in this topic.

 

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