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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 6 of 7. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 140
Author
Climber injured in bluies after 30m fall 2/Jan/13
One Day Hero
18/01/2013
1:52:48 PM
What Kieran said! Also, remember that an actual factor 2 fall isn't really on the cards most of the time. When was the last time you set a hanging belay on vertical rock with no option for reaching up and clipping something from the belay? I think I've only done it a couple of times in the last 5 years.

Something that doesn't make sense to me about this Piddo accident is that the dude was talking about scrambling around unroped on a ledge, his belayer only put him on belay as an afterthought, then in the next sentence he took a factor 2 fall? Need someone who's climbed the route to clarify that, chocky speculation won't shed any light on it.
Team t-rex
18/01/2013
3:18:40 PM
Thanks - thats really helpful.
mikllaw
Online Now
18/01/2013
6:16:02 PM
So they are both in pretty good shape now, have lots of internal jewellery to impress security at airports in the future, and should both be back in melbourne today.

What can we learn from this?
-One interesting things they said (I visited them in hospital) was 'no-one told us Blue Mountains rock was soft'. The gear you place in most areas isn't good enough in the Blueys, It's hard to assess rock strength without getting something to fail, maybe it comes down to that old experience thing?
-Wandering around being lost and a bit a bit frustrated led to them using a single piece for an anchor as they still didn't really know where to go. The large ledge they were on probably added to their sense of security.
-The leader was only just above the belay (about hip height) when he fell, this was enough to rip the cam. (It would be interesting to check out the placement and see what the rock was like in the break).

I think it most interesting to find what factors led them to feel compfortable enough to end up with a bad belay. My picks are
-easy climb
-rest day
-large ledge
-The leader didn't really regard himself as climbing because he was still looking for the route. ("At this point of time I still had no intention of climbing on, I was just looking for the possible route, but my second put me on belay out of habit").

The problem with eternal vigilance and endless fear, is that it makes climbing impossible. I think that you should assume you're going to get the chop on an easy route, harder routes keep you more focussed.

jezza
18/01/2013
6:54:45 PM
Mike. It's really cool that you went to visit these guys in hospital and had a chat with them.
pecheur
18/01/2013
7:18:22 PM
On 18/01/2013 mikllaw wrote:
>What can we learn from this?
>-One interesting things they said (I visited them in hospital) was 'no-one
>told us Blue Mountains rock was soft'. The gear you place in most areas
>isn't good enough in the Blueys, It's hard to assess rock strength without
>getting something to fail, maybe it comes down to that old experience thing?

Since you brought it up (well not really but anyway) when's the book coming out?
kieranl
18/01/2013
9:20:09 PM
On 18/01/2013 mikllaw wrote:
>So they are both in pretty good shape now, have lots of internal jewellery
>to impress security at airports in the future, and should both be back
>in melbourne today.
>
Mikl,
Great that you visited them.

>What can we learn from this?
>-One interesting things they said (I visited them in hospital) was 'no-one
>told us Blue Mountains rock was soft'. The gear you place in most areas
>isn't good enough in the Blueys, It's hard to assess rock strength without
>getting something to fail, maybe it comes down to that old experience thing?
>-Wandering around being lost and a bit a bit frustrated led to them using
>a single piece for an anchor as they still didn't really know where to
>go. The large ledge they were on probably added to their sense of security.

From rock_turtle's account the ledge was about 1-1.5 metres wide. While that's easy to walk on, it's not a terrace. People need to be mindful that if you're moving around within 2 metres of an edge and trip or otherwise fall, then there is a good chance of going over the edge. The accident on the approach to Mr Joshua a couple of years back is another example to keep in mind.

>-The leader was only just above the belay (about hip height) when he fell,
>this was enough to rip the cam. (It would be interesting to check out the
>placement and see what the rock was like in the break).
>
>I think it most interesting to find what factors led them to feel compfortable
>enough to end up with a bad belay. My picks are
>-easy climb
>-rest day
>-large ledge
>-The leader didn't really regard himself as climbing because he was still
>looking for the route. ("At this point of time I still had no intention
>of climbing on, I was just looking for the possible route, but my second
>put me on belay out of habit").
>

One thing that puzzles me is why climbers who appear to have been unfamiliar with Blue Mountains trad were on something so obscure that even Mikl hasn't done it. When I climb somewhere unfamiliar I go for the classics as they're likely to give the best experience, have the best information and are obviously well-travelled so fairly easy to find and follow. Certainly at Piddington I've only climbed the out-and-out classics. I'll save obscurity for when I'm home at Arapiles or the Gramps.
Rock-turtle put it slightly differently saying that from now he'd stick to trad routes with good topos.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
18/01/2013
10:04:34 PM
I too echo the sentiment that it was good of Mikl to visit them, and am glad they are sufficiently recovered so as to return to Melbourne. No doubt they still have further recovery yet ahead of them, and I hope it goes well for them.
>
On 18/01/2013 mikllaw wrote:
>What can we learn from this?
>-One interesting things they said (I visited them in hospital) was 'no-one
>told us Blue Mountains rock was soft'. The gear you place in most areas
>isn't good enough in the Blueys, It's hard to assess rock strength without
>getting something to fail, maybe it comes down to that old experience thing?

The complacent attitude indicated within their statement is possibly a reflection of modern times convenience climbing, and boggles my mind when I consider that some people possibly take the same attitude to places like Sydney seacliffs, Warrumbungles, or indeed, Melbournes beloved Werribee Gorge; ie places where the rock quality can be truly poor!

(snip)
>-The leader was only just above the belay (about hip height) when he fell,
>this was enough to rip the cam. (It would be interesting to check out the
>placement and see what the rock was like in the break).
>
... and it would also be interesting to know how much slack rope was in the system.
~> It may have been greater than a FF2 involved? ... especially when coupled with the original statement;
>
I also looked up and saw a carrot about 2-3m away up and to the left. I was looking for gear placement and didn't seem to find any until I spotted a crack to my left and a foot up, which had a dried plant growing out of it.
>I removed out the plant and scraped out the dirt and got a shallow nut placed. It wasn't the greatest placement and I wasn't happy with it but I left it in.
>I matched my left hand to the bomber pocket my right was in and felt out with my right had to see if there was a carrot I just wasn't seeing. My right hand came across what felt like a bomber crimpy flake. I adjusted my weight to the right foot and loaded the right hand to feel the wall with left hand. That's when the right hand hold broke and I popped off backwards, as I fell I can only assume I pulled the nut placement out of the crack, pulled my belay off the ledge and popped the cam.


... as by the time he fell and later flew past the ledge he would have had at least the excess rope involved in making the clip on the nut that pulled, along with whatever slack had been paid out while he was making the move that he pulled the hold on, then possibly much of that slack removed by the belayer during the fall??

hangdog
18/01/2013
11:17:50 PM
Hindsights great innit.
i am pretty sure nearly every one of us has done something similiar to the situation that lead to this accident. Traversing across a ledge unroped ( who ropes up for the traverse out The Eternity P1 belay when rapping down?, getting to the Cave Climb rap in at Narrowneck , down climbing to the Curtain Call rap at Pidddo, descending to the base of Sweet Dreams at Sublime Point , descending the Fishos ladders at North Head)
Pretty well everyone knows what we should do but who hasn't taken a short cut at some point. So maybe some people need to get off the high horse a bit and look at their own actions and think themselves lucky that nothing serious happened as a result their own little shortcuts.
Hope the recovery goes well and they continue to climb on nice sound rock. Probably means that the Bluies is out for them in the future though.
mikllaw
Online Now
18/01/2013
11:34:45 PM
Adjectival descriptions!!!! Even at best they were rubbish. I can't follow the ones I wrote any more.
The 'obvious' line for a grade 12 leader in 1975 probably doesn't exist now.
About the only way you can be accurate is say 6m at 345 degrees, step right 900 mm, then 7m at 27 degrees

Although I think, for directions, that terms like 1.30 o'clock and 10:15 o'clock should be good enuff.
Jakob
19/01/2013
8:09:03 AM
Regarding the possible greater than ff2, remember that its not possible to have greater than ff2. If on the belay ledge there was significant slack from nut, belayer etc, the fall would be about aff1or slightly more. If you were on a bridge, let out 50m of slack and jumped (without decking), that would be atextbook ff1.

The thing I enjoy most about climbing is that every climber/belayer has the freedom to chose there own level of risk, so to me the details of what these guys were doing are interesting, but if you are a climber interested in learning something, I think it is this: whenever you are in a position to fall directly on to the belay point/anchor, a loud warning bell should go off that you are in a position to load your life protection system (rope, harness, placements, trad gear, belayer, rock, piton, etc.) with worst case loads, resulting in the highest risk throughout the climb that something could fail. Falling off a ledge with 2m slack onto your belay results in similar forces to being 30m up, 15m run out from your last cam and jumping!

How you protect yourself from risk is up to you and your belayer, but everyone needs to understand the risk they are in. For me, I use a 3point equalised, isolated anchor and low placed pro such that in a fall, my belayer goes upwards, not downwards. these guys made a decision on how to protect, others will solo stuff, some are happy on a knotted prussik jammed in a crack, and good on everyone, just have fun climbing!
Dr Nick
19/01/2013
4:43:56 PM
On 19/01/2013 Jakob wrote:
>Regarding the possible greater than ff2, remember that its not possible
>to have greater than ff2.

If the belayer takes in on what would otherwise be FF2 then it is, but I'm being a typical chockstoner ^W^W pedant.

On a more serious note, if the ledge is anything like typical Blueys ledges, the cam was in a horizontal with mudstone on at least one surface. This can be both very slippery and crumbly, which means cams can pull unexpectedly, or at least well below the rated strength of the cam. The typical coarse sandstone is much nicer, but it's still possible to get some crumbling and hence failure on a big load. http://routes.sydneyrockies.org.au:8080/confluence/display/thelab/Trad+Gear+Testing is worth a read.

patto
21/01/2013
8:19:14 AM
On 18/01/2013 mikllaw wrote:
>-One interesting things they said (I visited them in hospital) was 'no-one
>told us Blue Mountains rock was soft'. The gear you place in most areas
>isn't good enough in the Blueys, It's hard to assess rock strength without
>getting something to fail, maybe it comes down to that old experience thing?

As you know Victorians are spoilt with rock strength. If you haven't climbed many other places and are not well read/informed about the greater world of climbing then it is entirely feasible that people come to the conclusion that "rock is strong". As a Victorian learnt climber I learnt a got confident with RPs, small nuts and small cams. It is a luxury that can lead to complacency in rock strength. Cape Woolami was probably one of the first areas that I climbed in Vic with poorer rock. Sure the main rock body isn't too bad but the surface is often so weathered and brittle that you get worried about cams tracking out.

You would hope that most visitor climbers quickly realise that Bluies rock is weak. However if you are mainly climbing heavily travelled short routes then you may continue to have total faith in rock strength.

I distinctly remember looking up at the cliffs in Jasper National Park with climbers awe at the vast amount of rock and thinking about the possibilities. Then I thought a bit and looked at the scree at the bottom.... A quick google now and "long climbs inevitably involve climbing through multiple formations, and highly variable rock some of which is extremely loose, as evidenced by the huge talus and scree slopes around the bases of most peaks. Terms used to describe some of these more interesting layers include: shattered, tottering, chipshale, briquettes, and occasionally even simply "dirt!""


On 19/01/2013 Dr Nick wrote:
>On a more serious note, if the ledge is anything like typical Blueys ledges,
>the cam was in a horizontal with mudstone on at least one surface. This
>can be both very slippery and crumbly, which means cams can pull unexpectedly,

I completely agree, this was my first though on hearing cam failure at ledges in the bluies.
pcb
21/01/2013
10:56:18 AM
On 18/01/2013 mikllaw wrote:

>-The leader didn't really regard himself as climbing because he was still
>looking for the route. ("At this point of time I still had no intention
>of climbing on, I was just looking for the possible route, but my second
>put me on belay out of habit").

I think there's a lesson there for belayers too.

Putting someone on belay entails responsibilities and risks that should be carefully considered, not done out of habit. Assess the anchor before you say "on belay" with the understanding that you could end up on the ground along with the leader if it fails, as sadly occurred in this case.

I think leaders are also likely to be much more cautious about "scoping out" the route if you let them know they are soloing until a proper belay anchor has been established. Putting them on belay, even though you don't trust the anchor, could create a false sense of security and encourage them to take risks they would not take if unroped.

Gavo
21/01/2013
2:51:28 PM
On 19/01/2013 Jakob wrote:
>Falling off a ledge with 2m slack onto your belay results in
>similar forces to being 30m up, 15m run out from your last cam and jumping!

Not quite: unless it was significantly off-vertical, 30m up @ 15m above last cam would result in a groundfall... The force on the cam might unnoticable!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
21/01/2013
2:56:06 PM
On 21/01/2013 Gavo wrote:
>On 19/01/2013 Jakob wrote:
>>Falling off a ledge with 2m slack onto your belay results in
>>similar forces to being 30m up, 15m run out from your last cam and jumping!
>
>Not quite: unless it was significantly off-vertical, 30m up @ 15m above
>last cam would result in a groundfall... The force on the cam might unnoticable!

... only if the belay involved was within rope stretch of the ground.


Hmm.
I found a force calculator here. POST EDIT: BEWARE, THIS CALCULATOR GIVES POTENTIALLY INCORRECT RESULTS!!!
It reckons a 30 m lead with pro that holds at 15 m (assumed 80 kg climber and dynamic rope), gives FF 1.5 and shock in kilo-Newtons of 6.75

... Whereas a 2 m fall onto pro at 0 m gives FF1 and shock of 4.5 kilo-Newtons.

???
~> I am not sure what is going on here, but the numbers don't seem to equate with what I have read in the past on this subject.


Post edit:
OK, I have re-entered other numbers (ie distance from last anchor is now 30 instead of 15 m*)...
(*seems total fall distance, but this is an ambiguous thing on that calculator site, without perhaps reading the fine print)
30 m out and pro at 15 m and fall of 30 m gives FF 2 and kilo-Newton 9 force.

2 m fall and 2 m of rope out = FF2 and 9 kilo-Newtons force.

Interestingly, it won't let me calculate a FF greater than 2, which once again shows the limitations of blind software.

dawyndham
21/01/2013
3:32:47 PM
On 21/01/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>~> I am not sure what is going on here, but the numbers don't seem to
>equate with what I have read in the past on this subject.

I've used that calculator before, and came to the conclusion that it's just plain wrong. It's impossible to get it to give you a FF of less than 1.

Try 10m of rope, 1m from last piece and it gives FF1.1 whereas it should be in the order of FF0.2
pecheur
21/01/2013
3:40:33 PM
On 21/01/2013 dawyndham wrote:
>I've used that calculator before, and came to the conclusion that it's
>just plain wrong. It's impossible to get it to give you a FF of less than
>1.
>
>Try 10m of rope, 1m from last piece and it gives FF1.1 whereas it should
>be in the order of FF0.2

dawyndham's correct that calculator is just plain wrong, I wonder how many people have looked at it and come up with some scary, scary results for minor falls.

What's more frightening, several rock climbing sites reference that calculator, one site having the wrong data is bad enough, other sites where people go for advice to learn about rock climbing referencing the dud calculator is MUCH worse. People think that if oher "experts" think it's good then it must be. Seriously if they don't understand that much about fall forces why the hell are they giving advice on the topic.

Unfortunately I didn't really find any decent calculators online that were that easy to use, one of the guys on rockclimbing.com wrote a decent one but it's not as user friendly as the one referenced by M9.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
21/01/2013
3:49:16 PM
On 21/01/2013 pecheur wrote:
>the one referenced by M9.

I don't know whether to start a thread dissing it (to properly warn others), or kill my link to it.
The best thing would be for that misinformation to disappear altogether from the interweb...
... and have since put a warning in my previous post.

Post edit:
I have since been back to the parent site to send them feedback, but this option doesn't seem possible...
It is criminal that they can get away with misinformation that is potentially life threatening in applied usage, by using a simple disclaimer.

pecheur
21/01/2013
4:20:13 PM
On 21/01/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>On 21/01/2013 pecheur wrote:
>>the one referenced by M9.
>
>I don't know whether to start a thread dissing it (to properly warn others),
>or kill my link to it.
>The best thing would be for that misinformation to disappear altogether
>from the interweb...
>... and have since put a warning in my previous post.
>
>Post edit:
>I have since been back to the parent site to send them feedback, but this
>option doesn't seem possible...
>It is criminal that they can get away with misinformation that is potentially
>life threatening in applied usage, by using a simple disclaimer.
>
M9 firstly no one your age is allowed to use the phrase dissing ;)

Secondly I agree that misinformation shouldn't be on the web. Whether it's life threatening is a different question. Given it grossly overestimates loads I'd be too scared at all to climb with those sorts of forces 1 metre out from my last piece of gear :P
kieranl
21/01/2013
4:22:10 PM
On 21/01/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>On 21/01/2013 pecheur wrote:
>>the one referenced by M9.
>
>I don't know whether to start a thread dissing it (to properly warn others),
>or kill my link to it.
>The best thing would be for that misinformation to disappear altogether
>from the interweb...
>... and have since put a warning in my previous post.
>
>Post edit:
>I have since been back to the parent site to send them feedback, but this
>option doesn't seem possible...
>It is criminal that they can get away with misinformation that is potentially
>life threatening in applied usage, by using a simple disclaimer.
>
>
Do the email addresses on their Contacts page not respond?

And who needs a calculator to work out fall factor? Length of fall / Length of rope, any primary school student could do it.

*post-edit* FWIT it is possible to have a fall factor greater than 2. This could happen if the belayer has time, say in a 10m fall onto the belay, to take in some slack. So, instead of 10m fall onto 5m of rope, 9.5m fall onto 4.5m of rope would give FF 2.11and 9m fall onto 4m rope give FF2.25. This would probably qualify as a bad thing.

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