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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

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Arapiles accident, Dunes Buttress 07/03/15

Gordoste
9-Mar-2015
10:33:16 AM
Hey I saw I segment on the news last night about an "abseiler" falling and injuring themselves at arapiles. From the video it appeared the rescue was at the bottom of major Mitchell gully. Did someone abseil off the end of a rope on the eskimo nell descent? Or is something else going on?

phillipivan
Online Now
9-Mar-2015
12:26:43 PM
Link here. See second half of article.

Goshen
9-Mar-2015
9:18:19 PM
I was at Araps, although not so close to where it happened. I do not have accurate information on what happened, but I do know the climber (although didn't know it was him until a few hours later). Other friends of his have reported that he is ok, and recovering well, and is keen to get back on the rock.

It did involve descending from large ledge up eskimo nell - although is not necessarily a case of simply abseiling off the end of the rope.

This accident turned out to not be as serious as it could have been. The ambulance got there quite quickly... But (and I hope it's not too soon), the 'emergency responders' kept coming, and coming, and coming.



Missing from this picture are 2 police cars, 2 ambulances and a news helicopter.

The climber did have head injuries, so a thorougher response is justified of course... But when is enough, enough? Would another 4 ambulances have helped a bit more, just in case? What is going on here?


gordoste
9-Mar-2015
9:19:50 PM
Thanks Phil for that. Still wondering what "his rope pulled free of its anchor point" means though... Ah well.
kieranl
9-Mar-2015
10:04:37 PM
On 9/03/2015 Goshen wrote:
>I was at Araps, although not so close to where it happened. I do not have
>accurate information on what happened, but I do know the climber (although
>didn't know it was him until a few hours later). Other friends of his
>have reported that he is ok, and recovering well, and is keen to get back
>on the rock.
>
>It did involve descending from large ledge up eskimo nell - although is
>not necessarily a case of simply abseiling off the end of the rope.
>
>This accident turned out to not be as serious as it could have been.
>The ambulance got there quite quickly... But (and I hope it's not too soon),
>the 'emergency responders' kept coming, and coming, and coming.
>
>
>
>Missing from this picture are 2 police cars, 2 ambulances and a news helicopter.
>
>The climber did have head injuries, so a thorougher response is justified
>of course... But when is enough, enough? Would another 4 ambulances
>have helped a bit more, just in case? What is going on here?
>
>
Helicopter was actually the air ambulance which took the injured climber to hospital.

What's going on is, as you guessed a "thorough" response. So the first response is to call up anything that might be necessary. Once they're on the road they don't stop until they are explicitly stood down. It's not very far from Horsham to Arapiles so a fair amount of stuff can roll up before the police call "stop". There was in fact a surprising amount of other stuff on the way that got turned around.

The number of vehicles that turned out is pretty much a standard response for Arapiles, 2 ambulances, 2 police cars, ARG (SES) trailer, a couple of SES cars, air ambulance. Probably the only unusual one is the CFA truck, which probably has to do with the way the call was classified in the system.

Miguel75
9-Mar-2015
10:31:47 PM
It's usually better to have too many hands than not enough...

Sabu
10-Mar-2015
8:56:00 AM
I hope its not too soon for these details. If anyone has an issue with anything I've written please PM me.

My understanding was that the party were descending from the Oasis on Dunes and ended up abseiling off a bollard high up in Major Mitchell Gully. The climber fell when the rope reportedly slipped off the bollard.

We were all in the pines when it occurred and after hearing the shouts it took some time to figure out where the accident had occurred (there were parties up on the bluffs and on top of dunes so this was where we were looking initially). Once we figured out it was in the gully everyone moved pretty quickly to get up there and he was soon well tended to by a couple of guides, an off duty paramedic, st johns and a paeds registrar (all of whom did a fantastic job).

After being assessed, he was lowered to a better position by the guides where he could be placed on a stretcher, treated by ambos and eventually carried out with the assistance of everyone who had walked up.

I am glad to hear he is doing well and wish him a speedy recovery and so to his friends who were understandably very shaken by this. Everyone involved did a fantastic job, I don't really have a benchmark for comparison but it certainly appeared to be a very smooth operation in difficult terrain.

Some things I personally took away:
1) Have a pair of binoculars at camp/in your pack. This would've saved us some time in figuring out where to aim for as with multiple parties in view it was difficult to ascertain what had happened from camp.
2) Extra hands are always needed. Initially having extra people in the gully would've just resulted in people being in the way, particularly in this scenario as the gully is steep and narrow, however, once he needed to be carried out every extra pair of hands was appreciated.
3) Even if you're not an expert there are things you can help with such as ferrying gear up to and from the site (the ambos had a lot of kit and it was a steep climb for them), looking after climbing partners/ friends as they are likely to be in shock and relaying information to assist with communication between those arriving and those on site.
4) It goes without saying, be careful with your anchors and if in doubt back it up. This one could have been a lot worse.

gordoste
10-Mar-2015
10:45:47 AM
Thanks for sharing Sabu. Sounds like a bit of a mission - the walk up there doesn't look far from camp but it is pretty steep especially with gear. Good on everyone who helped out.

ajfclark
10-Mar-2015
2:10:00 PM
Mods, please update thread title to correct date and place, "Accident: Dunes Buttress, Arapiles, Saturday 07/03/2015" or something.

-
Mod Edit: Done. Previous thread title was "Arapiles accident on the news Sunday 8/3".
Justcameron
10-Mar-2015
2:57:34 PM
Thanks Sabu.

On 10/03/2015 Sabu wrote:
>Some things I personally took away:
>2) Extra hands are always needed. Initially having extra people in the
>gully would've just resulted in people being in the way, particularly in
>this scenario as the gully is steep and narrow, however, once he needed
>to be carried out every extra pair of hands was appreciated.
>3) Even if you're not an expert there are things you can help with such
>as ferrying gear up to and from the site (the ambos had a lot of kit and
>it was a steep climb for them), looking after climbing partners/ friends
>as they are likely to be in shock and relaying information to assist with
>communication between those arriving and those on site.

This is something I was certainly wondering about on the day - at the time I was hanging out in the pines doing not much but was torn between "go and offer any help carrying stuff as required" vs "don't be nosy - you'll just get in the way"

In the end I didn't come and help out. Is it generally the case with arapiles rescues that extra hands will be useful?
kieranl
10-Mar-2015
3:39:00 PM
On 10/03/2015 Justcameron wrote:
>This is something I was certainly wondering about on the day - at the
>time I was hanging out in the pines doing not much but was torn between
>"go and offer any help carrying stuff as required" vs "don't be nosy -
>you'll just get in the way"
>
>In the end I didn't come and help out. Is it generally the case with arapiles
>rescues that extra hands will be useful?

Offers of help are always appreciated, even if you're just asked to hang about in case you're needed.
The need for people has to be balanced against keeping the team-size manageable.
If you're going to help : wear a helmet if you have one, an accident scene isn't a safe environment.
If you have surgical gloves in your first-aid kit stick them in a pocket and wear glasses if you have them (sun-glasses if it's still daylight) - there are probably going to be body fluids about and you may not be able to avoid contact. And stick in a headtorch if there's less than a couple of hours of daylight - you don't know how long you'll be out there.
Justcameron
10-Mar-2015
4:36:19 PM
Thanks Kieran. Will keep it in mind next time.

ajfclark
10-Mar-2015
4:56:28 PM
On 10/03/2015 kieranl wrote:
>And stick in a headtorch if there's less than a couple of hours of daylight - you don't know how long you'll be out there.

Fixed that for you.
mikllaw
10-Mar-2015
5:41:04 PM
we (unpracticed bystanders) once carried a 100kg climber across 100m of scree in a stretcher and definitely could have done with another 8 people.
jrc
10-Mar-2015
6:16:30 PM
Exactly as Mike says. The carry out is always harder than you can imagine. You need 6 on the stretcher - and unless they've been redesigned theres no room for more- and they get tired. We had 12 of us carrying a climber all the way down Pharos Gully late 1999 - pre the modern steps; we were wasted at the bottom. I also remember carrying out a chap who had fallen off Nemesis at Frog in 79 - about 6 of us plus 2 ambos & some police; it was upwards and hard work. I had to guide my partner out of frog once after he hit the deck off Iron Mandible; he could walk - slowly, but it was a very long way.

This one last weekend sounds like a very well organised rescue with a lot of cooperation - not what you all set out to do for the weekend but your efforts would have been very much appreciated - lucky it was a weekend with a lot of folk about. I hope the person hurt makes a full recovery - very best wishes.
kieranl
10-Mar-2015
7:29:59 PM
On 10/03/2015 ajfclark wrote:
>On 10/03/2015 kieranl wrote:
>>And stick in a headtorch if there's less than a couple of hours
>of daylight - you don't know how long you'll be out there.
>
>Fixed that for you.

Well picked. Last year I got asked to escort someone into a site and there was a bit of laughing when I went to grab my headlamp as there were nearly 4 hours of daylight left and it was only a few minutes walk. I got back to the vehicles an hour after dark.

There are 16 messages in this topic.

 

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