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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

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Topic Date User
Fatality at Arapiles 11/11/14 18-Nov-2014 At 8:58:46 AM kieranl
On 17/11/2014 gnaguts wrote:
>On 17/11/2014 kieranl wrote:
>>One of them Roland Foster, who I hadn't seen for many years.
>Bugger of a way to re-acquaint.
The worst.

For me the significant thing to take from this accident is not whether descent, ascent or abseiling were involved but that detached/loose blocks are really dangerous and there are a lot of them.
That's now 2 deaths at Arapiles involving large loose blocks, the other being Denis Kemp on Birdman. There have also been at least 3 accidents at Arapiles resulting in serious injury due to loose blocks (Marbuck, Five Fingered Mary, Yesterday) as well as close calls (high on Bard last year).
Last week's death wasn't in a popular area but it shouldn't be downplayed because of that. Just because hundreds or even thousands of people have pulled or stood on something doesn't mean that it will stay there the next time. There are lots of time-bombs out there that are highly likely to kill someone if they do come off.
I had already crossed 2 of the Mount's most popular climbs off my list of climbs to repeat prior to this accident - Bard and Conifer Crack. Bard has the stacked loose blocks at the start of pitch 3, culminating in the detached shield that must be climbed over. Conifer Crack has the bulge on the first pitch - the left side of this is one huge block with a crack all around it. The start of the second pitch is a series of stacked blocks and the long groove has a fair bit of semi-detached stuff.

We can't totally avoid this loose stuff and still climb but we can raise our awareness of the risk inherent in it.

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