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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 38
Author
Point Perp Accidents 23/24 Feb 2014

nmonteith
24/02/2014
1:10:59 AM
I just got back from an event filled weekend. One was a near miss, and one was a proper full scale accident. I thought I’d jot down some notes from the two days in the hope they are useful.

Incident one happened on Saturday at Windjammer Wall. A strong and experienced climber I was belaying was attempting Feeding Frenzy. He chose to run it out to the high first bolt, about 8m up the wall. The first 4m is juggy onto a ledge, then another 4m above this ledge is the bolt. He was about to clip the bolt when the jug he was holding snapped off. He tumbled back - landing arse first on the ledge, bounced spectacularly and continued onto the ground. Amazingly he sustained no serious injuries from the 8m fall - just bruising and minor scratches. He was incredibly lucky not to have landed head first onto the jumbled boulders. A very close call.

The second incident on Sunday had a similar theme but did not end so well. An American climber (with 8 years climbing experience) was attempting a trad route on the far left end of the Bayside area *. It involved a 30m rap in to a small ledge. His partner (an Italian) chose to leave the rap rope in place. The leader launched up a juggy crack - got to about 6m up and broke a handhold. He had placed no gear at that point. He fell off, landing on the ledge with one leg causing a very nasty compound fracture and dislocation of one ankle. A lot of blood. Lucky for them they still had the rap rope in place! The belayer prussiced up to the top and ran for help (finding me and others). He did not know the phone number for ambulance in Australia and did not speak very good English. I made the call - and had the usual problem describing the location of the accident (why do they always ask what town and street number!). I then rapped down to the injured climber and ended up spending 5 hours with him as the Ambulance chopper and high access guys patched him up, drugged him and put him in the stretcher. The route above our ledge was overhung and blocked the chopper so he was winched out manually to the top and then carted to the waiting helicopter. Myself and the ambo guy ascended out after dark.

Lessons learnt?

• Place gear in the first few metres of a route - even if it is easy! A short fall can have big results, especially in a rap-in, climb-out area.

• Have an escape option. Prussics and a fixed rope meant the belayer could get to the top and get help quickly. The accident happened around 4:15pm and most climbers had already left the cliff. If they hadn’t left a fixed rope they would have still been stuck there - possibly overnight trying to get the attention of boats 80m below.

• Guidebooks need to clearly show emergency contact phone numbers. The Point Perp guide failed miserably. The Italian belayer did not know how to ring for an Ambulance in Australia, lucky we were there to help him.

• Cutting a tight climbing shoe off a dislocated and broken ankle is not fun!

( * I have yet to work out exactly what route they were on - even though I spent 5 hours below it! It was somewhere near Hello Dolly I think - but not the main wall. They may have have been off route and rapped too far down?)

I would like to thank the Ambulance and other emergency services for a fast and professional job. THANK YOU!
PThomson
24/02/2014
2:21:47 AM
It was great you were there Neil.

Sure, these sorts of catastrophic accidents look bad for the "sport" of climbing, but by the same token having an experienced climber with rope technical skills and the willingness to rap in and physically handle protruding bones speaks volumes for the willingness and CAPACITY to help resolve this sort of incident. It reminds me of Vanessa coming to the rescue on the "sweet dreams" catastrophic accident last year.

Talk about lucky... Had I not rapped down to do Liquid Daze as that "one last route" at the end of the day, we would have been gone already. Doubtless he would have found help from the few remaining tourists, but the sort of assistance rendered would have paled in comparison. I think it also helped the Italian climber and his American partner to be dealing with fellow CLIMBERS -as people they can relate to, even if in another language- rather than just the rescue teams.

-Paul

Big G
24/02/2014
6:30:33 AM
Good work guys. Never fun being first responders to an accident. An amazing effort that had made an enormous difference to someone's life. Certainly sounds like it could have been a much worse result in bothe cases

Miguel75
24/02/2014
7:38:30 AM
Well done on helping out. That had to have been a messy/high stress incident and they were lucky to have had you there to help. Take care of yourself as these types of incidents can have an impact on you later down the track.
patto
24/02/2014
8:16:56 AM
On 24/02/2014 nmonteith wrote:
> I made the
>call - and had the usual problem describing the location of the accident
>(why do they always ask what town and street number!).

SIGH. And the complete confusion in the operators voice when you tell them you are on the street or in a town.
jimfalla
24/02/2014
8:58:12 AM

>I would like to thank the Ambulance and other emergency services for a
>fast and professional job. THANK YOU!

Anyone wishing to thank paramedics for the service they provide (and I would imagine most climbers do have the possibility of needing an ambulance one day at the back of their mind) can visit
https://www.facebook.com/coderedambos
like the page and share the message that Victorian paramedics are the countries highest trained but lowest paid.


Damo666
24/02/2014
9:15:21 AM
Well done, Neil. He's lucky you were there. It's a serious place, despite the ease of access.

The issue of escape options / rap ropes / prussiks has come up on here before. Normally I wouldn't think much of leaving rap ropes around, but PP is one place it's really not a bad idea, given the option of rapping to the bottom and 'walking' out!

nmonteith
24/02/2014
9:44:44 AM
A bit of an update.... now I have had my morning coffee and talked to the belayer in the light of day.

He thought he was on Landlubber (17), but was in fact on an unclimbed direct start to Jaws of Death (20). It involved a 30m rap in to a small ledge, missing the semi-hanging bolted belay of the actual route.
kieranl
24/02/2014
10:08:18 AM
Great job all around, especially Neil and the belayer. Things could easily have been so much worse.
TimP
24/02/2014
10:53:31 AM
I Came across this clip on UK Climbing — 112, the emergency number on mobiles. The guy says it works in Europe and 70 countries including Australia. Does anyone have any experience with this?
http://youtu.be/XPZv_8dABfU

nmonteith
24/02/2014
10:55:24 AM
I only remembered I had an EPIRB in my bag at midnight. Oh well.

shortman
24/02/2014
11:13:31 AM
On 24/02/2014 nmonteith wrote:
>I only remembered I had an EPIRB in my bag at midnight. Oh well.

I know what it's like.

peterc
24/02/2014
11:51:14 AM
On 24/02/2014 TimP wrote:
>I Came across this clip on UK Climbing — 112, the emergency number on
>mobiles. The guy says it works in Europe and 70 countries including Australia.
>Does anyone have any experience with this?
>http://youtu.be/XPZv_8dABfU

It used to be the case that if you were out of range of your mobile service provider's towers in Australia, and needed to dial emergency services, you would dial 112.

That number would connect with another provider to make the emergency call. In other words, say you were with Optus and there were no Optus towers around. You could dial 112 and your phone would connect via a different provider, say Telstra, so you could make the emergency call. Like a roaming service for emergency calls. (Dialing 000 would only go via your provider).

112 still does this. But 000 now does this too (as long as your phone isn't too old - newer than 2002).

It's also worth noting that 112 does not work from landlines. It is for mobiles only.


nmonteith
24/02/2014
12:22:26 PM
The other problem with Point Perp is the mobile reception is patchy at best. I got disconnected twice (on Telstra) and I couldn't ring at all once I was over the cliff edge. We played charades instead with the people on top until the ambos arrived with radios.
TimP
24/02/2014
12:40:34 PM

>It used to be the case that if you were out of range of your mobile service
>provider's towers in Australia, and needed to dial emergency services,
>you would dial 112.
>
>That number would connect with another provider to make the emergency
>call. In other words, say you were with Optus and there were no Optus towers
>around. You could dial 112 and your phone would connect via a different
>provider, say Telstra, so you could make the emergency call. Like a roaming
>service for emergency calls. (Dialing 000 would only go via your provider).
>
>112 still does this. But 000 now does this too (as long as your phone
>isn't too old - newer than 2002).
>
>It's also worth noting that 112 does not work from landlines. It is for
>mobiles only.
>
In the clip he says 112 can bypass phone security and even work on phones out of credit or with no sim card. He also says you can register for text message emergency access on 112, if reception is dodgy a TXT can get through. I've also heard elsewhere the number can access a special reserve battery power. Anyway it's not the sort of thing you can muck around with just to see if it works!
Mr Poopypants
24/02/2014
12:44:15 PM
Handy app is Emergency+ gives your lat.long. and dials 000 for you when you hit the button. Saw it on the news when the girl was rescued from Malatia Pt. Seems to work well. I compared it to my gps and it was spot on every time. Well worth sticking on your phone.

G.

ajfclark
24/02/2014
12:55:55 PM
http://www.triplezero.gov.au/Pages/Usingotheremergencynumbers.aspx#mob112

nmonteith
24/02/2014
1:06:33 PM
On 24/02/2014 Mr Poopypants wrote:
>Handy app is Emergency+ gives your lat.long. and dials 000 for you when
>you hit the button.

Now installed!
gnarly_rider
24/02/2014
1:46:52 PM
If only Emergency+ came pre-installed on all phones purchased in Australia.....!!!
BBSR
24/02/2014
6:49:17 PM
Thanks Neil,

It is really good to hear accounts of accidents so that we can question our own habits.

Out of interest. If you had remembered you had the beacon, would you have used it? In no cellphone coverage, or a complex location, the choice is easy, but I've always wondered about the middleground.

Hope the climbers recover well.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 38
There are 38 messages in this topic.

 

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