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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Topic Date User
Rockfall resulting in chopped anchor report 26-Feb-2015 At 10:30:15 AM stuart h
(if this posts it is because M9 is a guru)

These subjective questions about identifying and trading-off competing risks seem much more interesting and complex - as well as being central to how the accident might be avoided - as they require the imaginative application and adaptation of climbing principles in the con-text of terrain.

In contrast, techniques are pretty static and objective. In terms of avoiding catastrophic anchor failure, redundancy is almost always considerably more important than load sharing. In terms of commonly used techniques, connecting to the two points separately with two ropes would potentially provide the highest level of redundancy, followed by a sling tied off with an overhand (or otherwise make it two slings), followed by a sliding-x with extension limiter knots and finally a sliding-x without knots. This is not very complicated or likely to be the difference between getting killed or not by stonefall or any other cause. (connect a second time with the rope if you are nervous? Move/change route/bail if really nervous?)

I almost never use a sliding-x, but when I do (and in contrast to most discussions), I don't tend to tie extension limiting knots because I am much more likely to use a sliding-x to save the time of tying and untying knots than because of any concern with load sharing.

Climbers should try to have an understanding of the limitations of their rigging, but I agree with Kieran because I think that recognising that somewhere is not a very good place to be and coming up with ways to mitigate that hazard without introducing unnecessary new risks is probably an approach more likely to help avoid an accident and in a lot of ways this could be more complex than tying a knot.

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