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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 3 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 54
Author
Top Stupid Mistakes to Avoid

Fe
23/10/2003
11:09:29 AM
Don't assume the grades for the new area you're trying are the same as for the place/rock you're used to.
Early on I had a bad experience on the Organ Pipes in Hobart too. Set up off a nice easy 12, scared myself shitless and bailed before the third pitch. Got back into town and the guy at Mountain Designs told me it was more like a 16.

Rock Weasel
29/10/2003
1:50:49 PM
Let's all never forget the golden rule of climbing:

"If you die on the rock, it's your own fault."

People die climbing because they make foolish, impetuous or incompetent decisions. Whilst we all make mistakes every time we climb (whether they be related to the climbing, route finding, pro placement, etc.), we must all endeavour to avoid those mistakes that will result in a fatality or serious injury. Only extensive, quality instruction and experience can give climbers the skills they need to survive.
kieranl
29/10/2003
11:04:49 PM
To say that "if you die on the rock, it's your own fault" is classic climbing hubris.

We justify our taking part in a dangerous activity by analysing the mistakes made by people who have serious accidents. It is true that there are often (almost always) mistakes that you can point to. It is also true that we are all going to make mistakes.

Most of us get away with our mistakes because the mistake didn't come into play on the climb or other backups worked or because we were lucky.

By all means we should analyse the accidents and work on having good systems to avoid dire outcomes but we must recognise that we will all make mistakes and sometimes the only mistake we make is choosing to go climbing. In climbing the most trivial thing can lead to disaster and to pretend that we are will not get hurt because we are careful and skilled is false counsel. A glance at the obituary columns will show you a never-ending parade of safety-conscious climbers.


Richard
31/10/2003
1:17:37 PM
>A glance at the obituary columns will show you a never-ending parade of safety->conscious climbers

The thought the recent Rock editorial which discussed climbing fatailities and basicaly said, to die 3 things much happen: 1. you must fall, 2, your pro must fail, 3 you must hit something, was a gross gross over simplification.

There are many ways to have an accident; accessing climbs, absieling, or falling on a run-out section and hitting the deck. None of theses are coved by the rock editorial approach. In many accidents, there is also probably more than 1 cause. Eg, hurrying becuase its dark/wet/cold AND failing to tie knots in the end of your abseil rope.

It would have been interesting to see a comprehensive breakdown on the causes of actual accidents, rather than a theoritcal article.

Cheers, Richard
James
31/10/2003
1:31:43 PM
the Canadian Alpine Club has an archieve of climbing accidents dating back to the 1970s. They are classified into all sorts of categories rockclimbing / sportclimbing / bouldering / ice / mountaineering / BC skiing / abseiling etc etc.

its on their website somewhere (do a google search). its a fantastic resource.

Jimbo
31/10/2003
1:45:15 PM
try this link

http://alpineclub-edm.org/accidents/causes.asp

very interesting reading

nmonteith
31/10/2003
2:48:42 PM
Thanks Jimbo - it is some humbling reading thats for sure. It would be great if an equiv was made for Australia.

Rock Weasel
31/10/2003
3:15:41 PM
I acknowledge that many of the climbers who have died are competent and generally safe climbers. But how many of these deaths are caused by objective hazards (rock fall, swooping falcons, lightening strike, etc.)? I would contend that there would be next to none. The vast majority of deaths are caused by negligence or oversight on the behalf of the deceased. This is inexcusable. The question must then be asked, is it true that safe and deligent climbers die? Take the guy who died as Araps this Easter. He soloed an easy route the day before the accident (always a good way to die). Then he ran it out on a route that has ample, quality (but intricate) protection. Would anyone call this climber a safe operator? And no one needs to be reminded about the utter stupidity of some of the near misses reported this year (sport climbers rapping off ends of ropes, etc.) This may seem uncharitable, but gravity is not a charitable force to contend with. We must analyse and learn from the accidents that happen to others, and most of all, avoid their folly.

GG
31/10/2003
3:32:41 PM
I't at this point we should probably be a little careful.

Let's not head down the path of specific cases.

-Gareth

How about an edit......
Robin
31/10/2003
8:30:35 PM
I agree with Rock Weasel that most climbing accidents are probably avoidable. To say these are inexcusable I disagree stronglhy. Everybody makes mistakes.

The two most stuipid things I've seen done by climbers were by the most conservative safetest climbers I know. One got distracted by conversation and forgot to tie the figure of 8 after looping it through the harness. Fortunately he only got stuck half way up the climb when the rope pulled through his harness and out of reach. The other decided to untie the knots in the end of the ropes to get a couple more cm's on abseil and went off the end of the ropes.

Be careful, learn from mistakes and accept that rock climbing is dangerous injury may be suffered no matter how careful you are.

That's my preach for the night. By the way I don't always practice what I preach.
kieranl
31/10/2003
9:33:26 PM
Rock Weasel

Don't talk lightly of what you don't know.

I have hidden above "They Dance Alone" on the Horn at Buffalo while a sudden thunderstorm swept through (I believe I said words to Meg similar to "Get up here now and climb the rope if you have to").

I have lost friends to avalanche, rock fall and altitude sickness. I have been seriously injured by rockfall. I have as a member of the Arapiles Rescue Group been involved in recovering injured people from Arapiles.

My friend Dennis Kemp, who had been climbing for over 40 years tied himself to a block at the top of Birdman. The block promptly fell and pulled Dennis after it.

Don't tell me that you are smarter than Dennis was. You may well be a better climber (in terms of grades) but you are unlikely to have his depth of experience. If Dennis can die setting up a belay on easy ground then we are all vulnerable.

That's what I mean about hubris. You think that you are so careful that it can't happen to you. It can happen to any of us. It has happened to people better than me.

Get over this blame-game and acept that climbing is dangerous.


Rock Weasel
2/11/2003
2:54:31 PM
Do you call setting up an anchor on a precarious block an objective hazard or a mistake? I don't pretend to know more than Dennis when it comes to ropecraft and general climbing skills. But I know that an anchor is only as good as the rock it is placed in (or around). There are enough of these things out there that are pivoting on just a small point on the ground, and it doesn't take much for them to start moving when subjected to the forces of an anchor.
When you speak of rock fall, altitude sickness, etc., these are indeed objective hazards that one cannot control. That's why I stay the hell away from mountains with snow and ice on them. Besides, I don't like being cold.
When it comes to rock climbing though, death and injury is more often caused by doing something wrong as a participant. I don't pretend that it can't happen to anyone; after all, everyone makes mistakes. That is why I believe in that saying (If you die on the rock, it is your own fault)...Not because I am supremely skilled or because there are no objective dangers (rock fall is a big one), but as a reminder to myself and anyone else to be forever diligent in order to guard against death and injury caused by one's own mistakes.
mikl law
3/11/2003
12:30:26 PM
Most people belayed on that block (I decided I didn't like it because I'm an old wimp).

I don't function at my best possible 100% of the time, I've found that most people have the ocasional lapse. If you are always perfect that's excellent.

As I assume I get it wrong occasionally I give myself a bit of hand and check a second time.
kieranl
3/11/2003
9:26:01 PM
That's a much better way of saying it.

 Page 3 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 54
There are 54 messages in this topic.

 

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