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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Topic Date User
Climber hit by Lightning - Pierces Pass 5-Jan-2011 At 5:05:04 PM Jezlevett
Message
Hi all I am one of the climbers who was in the storm. This is a detailed report of what happened.

I had left home telling a few friends of where I was to go, giving my brother a detailed map and route description of the area and what time I may be home.

I had previous experience in the area leading bunny bucket buttress and mirrorball with absolutely no problem, and was keen with my climbing buddy to climb hotel California

I had previously scooped out the topo from the online map available on the map and the guide book. I also had watch a few videos on youtube of the climb. Spoke about it with a few people. We also spoke to another climber who had climbed it when we were at pierces passes carpark.
What we brought. The usual multipitch equipment, also a medical kit, matches, head torches also we had brought some walky talkys cause we were sick of shouting. We had brought around 4 Litres of water some apples, musli bars, 2kg of nuts donít ask. Lol. I myself had a bike jacket that was waterproof and my mate had a epic rain coat. We also had a whistle and compass.
What I regret taking out of my medical pack stupidly was my small emergency blanket a few months before. Because later when we got down to the base of the route it was a little cold. I also regret not taking more water in case of an emergency, but if we got desperate we were going to go to the stream in the valley and fill up our bottles
We knew there was a possibility of storms and had backup plans to go to centennial glen and chill there for the day but we also knew the weather reports have been all over the place lately.

Here we go:

Left Sydney at 6am
Got to pierces pass at 7.40am. The sky had now cleared and it was a really clear blue day. So we decided to go for it.
Left towards the abseil point at 8am
At 8.30am we got to the abseil point
At 10am we had reached the base of hotel California. We got slightly confused with the paths there so it took a while longer.
We really didnít like the first pitch but we got through it as most people say.
By 12 we had completed pitch 2. And had a break for 20min.
I then climbed the next 2 pitches.
And my mate climbed the 5th pitch by 2.30pm if I remember correctly.
Then we saw the storm coming and took off our gear. We thought it might be better to not have metal on us.
I think 30min later it hit and were chilling in the big cave up there.
At 4pm the storm passed and we waited another 30min for rock to dry.
We decided to push on with 3 actual climbing pitches left. After that thereís a 6, which is a scramble and then there is a 16 but so I had heard you can bail around that last pitch.
So I started the traverse pitch 6 at 4.30, and 10 minutes into it the thunder started and it made the traverse even more epic.
I got to the ledge and setted up an anchor .Got around 4 metres of rope and attached it to the anchor and used it to crawl around to the small cave on the ledge while the lightning was happening. This second storm was way more epic than the first. With lightning striking around the cliff faces. Meanwhile my mate was on the other end. The radios we had were malfunctioning. But we could here eachother well by shouting. We decided it would be best to wait the storm out at opposing ends but for retreat sake it would be better if he came up the traverse where I was and we could make a decision to continue or bail.

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