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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 35
Author
Araps accident 17th April 2014
martym
20/04/2014
10:37:10 PM
Hmm, surprised there's been no mention of this - I log into chockstone to find out if anyone's got more info than i do - apparently not?

Someone can help fill in the gaps:
My friends and I were on Eskimo Nell around 4pm on Thursday when we heard a girl scream. It sounded real, but we agreed it was probably kids playing pranks or something. Alas, when we got to the top we saw a few ambulances at the top of the pines.

Later our friends passed on third hand information:
A male climber was leading a 19 (perhaps Tanin?Lemington) in the Organ pipes when he took a factor 2 past his belayer landing apparently 15m down from her.
She weighed a lot less than him and ended up smashed into the wall - she was apparently clipped to a single bolt. Presumably she lost control of the belay when she impacted - but it was enough to slow him from doing serious injury (he was walking around the campsite the next day)
The belayer had a dislocated shoulder and had her arm in a sling on Friday.. she was also apparently planning on driving back to Adelaide - hope that worked out somehow.

I also heard from a disgruntled camper that, although a lot of people came to their immediate help; as they were carrying the injured persons down to the Ambos, several people either ignored requests for help or walked away...

Again this is by no means accurate - just what I heard.
Anyone know more?

Eduardo Slabofvic
20/04/2014
11:56:28 PM
You would have to be trying quite hard to take a factor 2 fall on Tannin
Rocketeh
21/04/2014
12:38:01 PM
I think Lemmington was the route.
Pecheur
21/04/2014
5:18:45 PM
On 21/04/2014 Rocketeh wrote:
>I think Lemmington was the route.

I don't think it's technically possible to factor two on Lemmington, and there's no bolt or roof...

Sabu
21/04/2014
6:27:18 PM
Lemmington seems more likely. You could easily fall down the gully below if you came off, something that would be quite difficult to achieve on Tannin.

E. Wells
21/04/2014
6:32:39 PM
My memories of lemington were that it would be easy to fall beneath your belayer. Its really not a route you want to fall off in a few places. The last two pieces are turd. He either popped gear or didnt put any in. Anyhow I hope they heal up and keep at it.
Chillisalt
21/04/2014
7:11:44 PM
I ran into the guy involved while walking through The Pines on Sunday, an American bloke trying to sell some gear. We spoke for a while and he mentioned he wasn't climbing due to an accident. He was pretty scraped up, he had some hefty grazes on his back and arms.

He mentioned he was climbing Lemington and slipped prior to placing any gear. He then tumbled down the steep gully, taking his belayer with him. He reckons he got out of it pretty well but was off climbing for a week or so, but his partner dislocated her shoulder and spent a bit more time in hospital. He was a fairly big fella, so I have no doubt his belayer was considerably smaller

Seems carelessness was a factor, particularly at the location. Fairly big drop off there. Seems he's ok though, hopefully his belayer came out of it alright too.
kieranl
21/04/2014
7:50:02 PM
On 21/04/2014 Pecheur wrote:
>On 21/04/2014 Rocketeh wrote:
>>I think Lemmington was the route.
>
>I don't think it's technically possible to factor two on Lemmington, and
>there's no bolt or roof...
What I have been told is that the belayer was somehow clipped into the logs and chain that help to stabilise the belay platform. That's where the bolt comes in. So she was anchored at her feet to take an upward pull on something that isn't designed as a belay anchor. The leader presumably then charges off on the traverse to the base of the crack without placing any gear, comes off, plummets past the belayer, pulls her off her feet and down the gully after him.
Probably not a factor 2 because I gather he glanced off the logs but it's a pretty good way to stuff your belayer. It's just amazing that they both got out of it relatively lightly.
The problem is that they set the belay up for a climb starting from the ground, not seeming to realise that for belay purposes they were really a pitch up. And again people displayed blind faith in fixed gear, with no idea of what they were actually working with instead of using some of the many natural placements in that area.

shiltz
22/04/2014
9:02:53 AM
The belayer was clipped into a bolt around waist height (not sure if it was intended for belaying or related to the retaining walls) but she had clipped with a 120cm sling. When her partner (young American guy) fell from Lemington and tumbled down the gully she was pulled sideways and downwards dislocating her shoulder and losing control of the rope. She had some cuts and bruises on her ankle and knee but nothing serious. The ambulance was called because the climber had bruising on his back that could have been spinal damage. An emergency doctor climbing nearby attended to him. Lots of climbers stayed around to assist the ambulance crew. It was lucky that there were no more serious injuries.
The obvious lesson is that you should place a runner asap when leading off a ledge. It might not be obvious but this was a text book factor 2 fall, directly onto the belayer's harness at a very awkward angle.

ajfclark
22/04/2014
9:56:50 AM
I wonder if there was any slack in that sling. Sounds painful.
colinbrochard
22/04/2014
3:35:12 PM
Hey guys,

I'm the guy who fell. Shilts pretty much nailed it. My belayer was teathered with a double-shoulderlength dyneema sling (shoulda used the rope, but I anticipated getting gear in above her) to a glue-in at waist height below Lemington.

I traversed the easyish horizontal crack from the ground to a small ledge at the base of the route (and above the void/gully). I relaxed/lost focus at the ledge as I reached for a peice (the first peice). At this point I lost my balance, and fell from the ledge past my belayer. I felt my fall arrested breifly but then I tumbled freely and screamed like a girl until I arrived at the bottom of the gully (in my defense I was pretty sure I was gunna die/ or be maimed when I stopped cartwheeling and hit the ground).

My partner, was pulled off her stance in the directon of the gully. She slammed the wall& flipped upsidedown and dislocated her shoulder in the process which is why she lost control of the belay.

This has been a very humbling experience. I fell in a place I had no business falling (easy,exposed, and unprotected). Obviously a piece above my belayer (which is easily plugged from the ground into the horizontal crack described above) would have prevented this accident. We are both lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries. My partner is OK and recovering back in Adelaide as mentioned above.

Thanks for the support and concern and if anybody that helped with the rescue hasn't received a free Cooper's and/or crepe they should stop by my site at the Pines before I take off tomorrow arvo. Cheers.
Reluctant
23/04/2014
11:35:02 AM
Colin,
Mark Cox here. How's the hand? Has the swelling gone down yet? Thanks for the beer.

As for the rescue. I assisted. I've had loads of experience with remote rescues and was impressed with the duty of care taken by all those on scene. I also appreciated that several people took time to make sure my daughter (Tegan) who was there at the time of the fall, was coping while I assisted. Loads of quality people waited patiently to assist with the carry out.

I was disappointed with a group that crossed our path during the carry out focused on themselves. Didn't have time to find out what they were doing.

Colin was incredibly lucky. To fall 15m pin balling without a helmet and not strike your head is rare. And then land in that gully which is really a scree slope without a break is freakish.

Duang Daunk
23/04/2014
8:49:03 PM
If he bounced off the ledge then it wasn't a true factor 2.

IronCheff
25/04/2014
9:36:00 AM
This is an example of where an assisted braking belay device has an advantage over the traditional device. When the belayer was no longer able to hold the brake rope the climber would have remained locked off. By assisted braking I mean the likes of Gri Gri, Eddy, Click Up, Mega Jul and so on.
kieranl
25/04/2014
9:50:58 AM
On 25/04/2014 IronCheff wrote:
>This is an example of where an assisted braking belay device has an advantage
>over the traditional device. When the belayer was no longer able to hold
>the brake rope the climber would have remained locked off. By assisted
>braking I mean the likes of Gri Gri, Eddy, Click Up, Mega Jul and so on.
No you're thinking that technology can protect against stupidity. The person who came off worst here was the belayer and an autolock device might actually have made her situation worse. The leader should have protected against this stuation.- it's basic stuff.
LMo
25/04/2014
7:45:54 PM
On 25/04/2014 kieranl wrote:
>and an autolock device might
>actually have made her situation worse.

kierani, can you clarify for me how, for instance, a GriGri (assuming correct use/technique) might have made the belayers situation worse? I'm in no way trying to be argumentative, just that being relatively new to leading trad, I have to admit, I had a similar thought.

>The leader should have protected
>against this stuation.- it's basic stuff.

I fully get this point. It should have been the primary control. Funnily enough, I had a discussion relating to this accident with my 12yo and 15yo on the drive home from a climb at The Rock today. We were discussing the risk of falling on "easy ground" while unprotected, and came to that same conclusion.

nmonteith
25/04/2014
7:51:56 PM
Probably worth considering always clipping a quickdraw into the high point of an anchor (in this case the bolt) before setting off. Once the leader has placed a few other pieces you can unclip it. Saves this kind of factor 2 fall.

I also think a GriGri would have helped prevent this accident. Lucky for them the leader sustained minimal injuries - it could have been much worse.If the belayer gets beaten up a bit that is just a sidenote. No belayer is going to get killed being thrown around on a stance - but a leader being dropped can easily result in death.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
25/04/2014
8:03:45 PM
On 25/04/2014 nmonteith wrote:
>Probably worth considering always clipping a quickdraw into the high point
>of an anchor (in this case the bolt) before setting off. Once the leader
>has placed a few other pieces you can unclip it. Saves this kind of factor
>2 fall.

Yeah?
Cascade failure of a marginal belay?
Not a certainty, but worth considering...
>
>I also think a GriGri would have helped prevent this accident. Lucky for
>them the leader sustained minimal injuries - it could have been much worse.If
>the belayer gets beaten up a bit that is just a sidenote. No belayer is
>going to get killed being thrown around on a stance - but a leader being
>dropped can easily result in death.

I can see how an auto-lock belay device could have minimised the (almost, as it turned out), adverse result in this particular accident. However I also see how kieranl's suggestion would be a greater mitigating factor in the same incident.

nmonteith
25/04/2014
8:13:46 PM
On 25/04/2014 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>Yeah?
>Cascade failure of a marginal belay?
>Not a certainty, but worth considering...

I don't understand. Why would you have a marginal belay??!

>I can see how an auto-lock belay device could have minimised the (almost,
>as it turned out), adverse result in this particular accident. However
>I also see how kieranl's suggestion would be a greater mitigating factor
>in the same incident.

Think about it like this. A leader is going to take an unexpected huge fall directly onto his belayer's harness. The belayer will sustain a dislocated shoulder and be thrown upside down. If the belayer fails to hold the rope the leader will fall 15m down a cliff. These are the facts.

Now ask the leader - he has the option to have a self-locker or a ATC. One will (almost) guarantee to hold him no matter what, the other relies on his belayer to hold him, even though she will have a dislocated shoulder and be thrown upside down.

Which belay device do you choose? I know I'd take the GriGri every time as I don't expect to survive a 15m fall uninjured. And I certainly wouldn't expect my belayer to hold that fall.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
25/04/2014
8:36:03 PM
On 25/04/2014 nmonteith wrote:
>On 25/04/2014 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>>Yeah?
>>Cascade failure of a marginal belay?
>>Not a certainty, but worth considering...
>
>I don't understand. Why would you have a marginal belay??!

I am not suggesting setting up a less than optimal belay.
However, if that was all that was available, then it is worth considerering the consequences of using it in a worse case scenario as what seemed to happen in this accident...
>
>>I can see how an auto-lock belay device could have minimised the (almost,
>>as it turned out), adverse result in this particular accident. However
>>I also see how kieranl's suggestion would be a greater mitigating factor
>>in the same incident.
>
>Think about it like this. A leader is going to take an unexpected huge
>fall directly onto his belayer's harness. The belayer will sustain a dislocated
>shoulder and be thrown upside down. If the belayer fails to hold the rope
>the leader will fall 15m down a cliff. These are the facts.
>
>Now ask the leader - he has the option to have a self-locker or a ATC.
>One will (almost) guarantee to hold him no matter what, the other relies
>on his belayer to hold him, even though she will have a dislocated shoulder
>and be thrown upside down.
>
>Which belay device do you choose? I know I'd take the GriGri every time
>as I don't expect to survive a 15m fall uninjured. And I certainly wouldn't
>expect my belayer to hold that fall.

Your logic holds good, however I also see the negative impact of a self locking belay arrangement as indicated by kieranl.
He wrote;
>The person who came off worst here was the belayer and an autolock device might actually have made her situation worse. The leader should have protected against this stuation.

In your scenario, what do you do to mitigate the fact that the belayer could also end up falling down (pulled off by the falling leader), the same gully?
Call me callous if you like, but in my opinion, it is a better outcome if only the leader pays for the mistakes of inadequate protection made by the leader, instead of foisting that outcome onto the belayer as well.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 35
There are 35 messages in this topic.

 

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