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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 27
Author
Accident on Bunny Buckets on Sunday
wazACT
11/06/2013
10:18:16 AM
In case anyone heard on FB or saw the helicopter at Pierces Pass on Sunday the climber is recovering well in hospital after a 10-15m lead fall on pitch 6 on the head wall of Bunny Buckets. Fell while clipping into the draw on the last BR and hit a hold or flake on the fall and very badly broke his ankle. Was airlifted out at sunset and the 4 parties (7 people remaining) topped out at 9pm all okay.


maxdacat
11/06/2013
10:19:20 AM
Yeah saw them going past while on Tom Thumb...glad they're ok.
wazACT
11/06/2013
10:26:09 AM
Cheers Max
maxdacat
11/06/2013
10:33:46 AM
No probs....hope you had torches :)
wazACT
11/06/2013
10:41:19 AM
Pretty much everyone had a head torch or torch of some description as well as packing soft shells or down jackets etc.
The big killer was on top pitch 7 (after the two 18 pitches) where the ledge is not that big and had some rope management issues of 7 ropes and the 200m rescue static line which went past the belay bolts.
mikllaw
11/06/2013
12:32:37 PM
Pitch 6, is that where you go around the roof and are out of sight of the belayer? Maybe breaking that pitch in 2 would make that a bit safer.
Glad it all worked out well.
wazACT
11/06/2013
1:00:12 PM
Cheers Mike and yes it was the pitch going around the roof. In this instance we had 2 groups of 2 (4 total) each with a 60m rope which we combined for the rap in. If you were a single group of two then leading on double rope for that pitch and reducing rope drag would be an option but you would still have limited communications between leader and belayer.
duploboy
11/06/2013
3:12:18 PM
Yeah my mates came up behind this incident and the apparently the leader had pulled out a massive amount of slack to deal with dead-stop rope drag around the lip. An intermediate belay might well deal with this.

But what about warning punters in the guidebooks and online that they should build up experience on 2-3 wandering pitches before jumping on this? Should double ropes 'highly recommended'? Do most folks get on there with any runners longer than 5"? How many of them carry prusiks and know a few self-rescue tricks? Would preservation of bolts&hangers rather than rings give dedicated sport-climbers a moment's pause before committing to something like that? (i.e. buying and learning to use hangers might be a reasonable stepping stone)

I'm not being mean spirited and not having a go at the individuals (or at Mike for doing such great work developing these routes!). Warren would know better than I of their experience- and the fact that they had layers and headtorches is an indication they did know what they were up. I've simply worried in the past that the accessibility of such routes would lure some people out of their comfort zone. (have heard other naive climbers enthuse about how much fun 'multip-pitching in the Blue Mountains' would be).

Glad everyone got out ok and the injuries aren't too bad after ED intervention. Sounds like rescue did a fantastic job of getting him down to the ledges he could be winched from.



duploboy
11/06/2013
3:26:58 PM
(for the record, I've almost been pulled off routes by rope drag in the past- and now always carry extenders. And I have also chipped my ankle from falling above gear, and now am much more aware of how I fall and whether downclimbing isn't safer. So everyone learns their lessons- 250m up is scary place to do it though).
gfdonc
11/06/2013
3:44:48 PM
Hi,
We did this route a month ago and had a terrific day out (thanks Mikl).
My partner isn't a very experienced leader (she does 15 on trad on a good day) but managed to lead 2, 4 and 6 in fine style.
We had double ropes. The route writeup (on Chockstone at least) does say to extend the 2nd/3rd bolts to avoid drag (which she did). I don't recall bad rope drag anywhere else, although there was a little bit at the end of the 3rd.

Rope drag or not I wonder how they managed to fall "10 or 15 metres". I've fallen off clipping before (with an armful of slack) and it's fair to say you go a lot further than you expect.

Breaking that pitch in 2 is not an option IMHO. It would involve a cramped hanging belay at the lip, off one bolt + cams.
technogeekery
11/06/2013
4:10:47 PM
Have been almost stopped in my tracks by rope drag in the Blueys even when thinking about it and extending appropriately etc. Some of those little ironstone flakes / chickenheads just seem to bite the rope. Have also pulled through armfuls of slack and then wandered up easy ground looking for a belay, any belay, while winching in more slack. Haven't been on BBB but can so easily imagine how this could happen. But I kind of take the attitude that it is "leader beware" with all this stuff...

Good work on the rescue, guys, and best wishes for a quick recovery to the leader.

Duang Daunk
11/06/2013
4:21:53 PM
On 11/06/2013 technogeekery wrote:
>But I kind of take the attitude that it is "leader beware" with all this stuff...

Leading involves sussing out the terrain ahead, yes?
I imagine this involves envisioning how the rope will run from pro opportunity to pro opportunity.
Really, there is minimal excuse for rope drag, unless you are a sport climber out of your depth using draws instead of slings.
duploboy
11/06/2013
5:44:46 PM
Was intentionally trying to avoid the sport-climber beatup language :-) We can't change the fact that the gym/sports 'revolution' has happened and as Neil as mentioned on other posts, many people are never going to get into trad and 'learn the trade.'

Was instead was raising questions (which have been asked before). And here are some more:
+ Do rings give the false impression of safety? (Just as in many walks of life, increased 'safety parameters' often lead to decreased responsibility and awareness)
+ How to educate/warn people to take this more seriously? (it sounds from above that the guide actually does do a good job at this).
+ I think Neil's efforts at bolting grades 15-18 for schoolkids are a good start in teaching how rocks is different from plastic.
+ I'm amazed at how many people complain 'Tianjara is shitty cos the rock breaks'. Yeah sometimes it does. Maybe gyms should have spontaneously shattering plastic?
+ I've seen a girl (climbing with cool white headphones on) at Shipley pulling down dinner plates of rock from the top cave without a care in the world. Wouldn't be surprised if she and her mates have climbed BBB without helmets (but with cool white headphones).
+ I've seen people have to be taught how to use an ATC as a leader was starting up, cos they'd only ever been allowed gri-gris at the gym.



ajfclark
11/06/2013
6:58:23 PM
On 11/06/2013 duploboy wrote:
>Maybe gyms should have spontaneously shattering plastic?

Hardrock CBD used to have the magic spinning holds which was similar. Led to some very tentative climbing. I'm pretty sure a few broke at various points too.
Drake
11/06/2013
6:59:59 PM
I elected to bypass the first bolt on that pitch entirely to avoid drag, as using a long sling on that bolt wouldn't keep you off the ledge in a fall.

But, is there reason to think that this accident was really caused by inexperience/negligence? Falling while clipping always leads to long fall, and 10m wouldn't be exceptional. Say the bolts are 3m apart, a fall at the next bolt would be a minimum of 6m, probably more like 8 with rope stretch. With an extra 1m of slack for clipping, a 10m fall would be normal. It sounds mostly like bad luck to me.
kieranl
11/06/2013
9:54:47 PM
On 11/06/2013 Drake wrote:
>But, is there reason to think that this accident was really caused by
>inexperience/negligence? Falling while clipping always leads to long fall,
>and 10m wouldn't be exceptional. Say the bolts are 3m apart, a fall at
>the next bolt would be a minimum of 6m, probably more like 8 with rope
>stretch. With an extra 1m of slack for clipping, a 10m fall would be normal.
>It sounds mostly like bad luck to me.
I tend to agree with the sentiment. Taking wingers is an integral part of sport-climbing (so I'm told). Well, a normal part of that process is that the occasional person gets hurt, whether the climbs are at the top or at the low-end. Analysing why someone took a fall on a sport climb is over-thinking it.

On 11/06/2013 duploboy wrote:
>+ I'm amazed at how many people complain 'Tianjara is shitty cos the rock
>breaks'. Yeah sometimes it does. Maybe gyms should have spontaneously shattering
>plastic?
And I'm amazed when people complain about the odd bit of dirt and vegetation on rarely done trad climbs. It's natural. Either deal with it and earn the satisfaction of the road less-travelled or stick to the Select guides (which the vast majority do). Maybe the gyms could plant ferns and bonsai in some of the jugs ;)
Wendy
11/06/2013
10:25:01 PM
On 11/06/2013 duploboy wrote:
>But what about warning punters in the guidebooks and online that they
>should build up experience on 2-3 wandering pitches before jumping on this?
>Should double ropes 'highly recommended'? Do most folks get on there with
>any runners longer than 5"? How many of them carry prusiks and know a few
>self-rescue tricks? Would preservation of bolts&hangers rather than rings
>give dedicated sport-climbers a moment's pause before committing to something
>like that? (i.e. buying and learning to use hangers might be a reasonable
>stepping stone)
>
>I'm not being mean spirited and not having a go at the individuals (or
>at Mike for doing such great work developing these routes!). Warren would
>know better than I of their experience- and the fact that they had layers
>and headtorches is an indication they did know what they were up. I've
>simply worried in the past that the accessibility of such routes would
>lure some people out of their comfort zone. (have heard other naive climbers
>enthuse about how much fun 'multip-pitching in the Blue Mountains' would
>be).

I'm rather adverse to the idea that developers/guidebook writers are somehow responsible for people's decisions on the rock. I don't think the answer to people coming out of gyms and underestimating their abilty and the route and whatever else is safefying our cliffs, and I don't think that pseudo-unsafeyfying them (eg, returning to carrots) is going to change things. If someone thinks they should be getting on a 200+m route when they shouldn't, i don't think a few carrots are going to lead to a sudden epiphany. Surely 200+m should be warning enough? And isn't it bleedingly obvious that doing a few 2-3 pitch routes might be a good idea first? How much bleedingly obvious do people needed handed to them on a plate?

Sure, I think guidebooks should offer realistic descriptions and warnings where necessary, but climbers in the end have to decide if they have the skills for it or not. And if they get into shit, they have to decide how to get out of it. The answer to that problem of poor decision making is only in encouraging learning - either by paying for it or teaming up with suitable people (with my usual collection of caveats about asking people for instruction). Otherwise we might have to tolerate people learning by making mistakes (which seems to be a popular stance around here, "I did it and I survived, look at me, I'm fine, infact it was the best time of my life ad infinitum") and the risk that people will actually get hurt in the process, that other people will have to go out and rescue them and that climbing might get some bad press.
duploboy
12/06/2013
9:47:00 AM
Yeah you guys are right- could just have been bad luck, and these guys may well have been doing everything right. Don't mean to stir up the usual shit-storm or point any fingers- just hate to see folks get hurt.

There are long ring-bolted routes all over the Alps. Maybe given the history some people are more aware and respectful of the conditions up there. But given the ubiquitous mountain rescue services I'm sure (have seen) people get blasť about 'having a go.' I actually didn't realise our own chopper rescues were so well-trained, and would never be holding my breath for a pickup (or even phone reception). Massive credit to them and thoughts to the injured climber.

trog
12/06/2013
10:10:30 AM
>There are long ring-bolted routes all over the Alps. Maybe given the history
>some people are more aware and respectful of the conditions up there. But
>given the ubiquitous mountain rescue services I'm sure (have seen) people
>get blasť about 'having a go.'

Definitely the case that people are blasť in parts of the Alps... Around Chamonix heli-rescue is (or at least was a couple of years back) free on the french side. So lots of people push pretty hard, then call the taxi if they get into trouble. People heading there for a week's worth of holiday want to tick their 6 routes or Blanc or whatever - weather, conditions and acclimatisation be damned. We saw a few cases of this end in resuce. Another example was in winter - we heard it was common for local guides to take almost anyone down the Vallee Blanche, then abandon their ski clients halfway down at the Requin hut if they were going too slow. Call the chopper, then ski out to catch the last train.

Try it elsewhere in the Alps and you can easily end up with a 5000 euro bill though...


Don't think a broken ankle from a lead fall can be compared to those sorts of circuses. Hope the ankle is healing
Wendy
12/06/2013
10:29:00 AM
the french had a policy of free for genuine need, charging otherwise when I was over there.Which I'm sure is a highly debatable line, and I have no idea how they sorted it out. But there were a lot of rescues when I was there as well, partly because there are just a lot of people out there and it is a higher risk environment. But I'm sure also because people got themselves out of their depths in the same way as happens over here.

The Blueys air rescue service is pretty amazing. I'm not sure that the Vic air ambo service is that good for difficult rescues.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 27
There are 27 messages in this topic.

 

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