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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Author
Sara Gillers on Helmets

ajfclark
30/05/2014
11:18:34 AM
http://cruxcrush.com/2014/05/20/the-climbing-accident-that-almost-killed-me/

shortman
30/05/2014
11:37:16 AM
Fark. Thanks ajfclark.

Miguel75
30/05/2014
12:22:59 PM
Freak nasty that's a horrible accident. I was glad to read Sara was back climbing and living her life her way.

Another interesting read is found here;

http://www.climbing.com/news/no-brainer-helmet/

I've often thought my skateboard helmet (a Protec) might be better to climb in then my current climbing helmet as it offers better side impact but have decided discretion is the better part of valor and so have decided not to get hit in the head by a rock. Or partner.
martym
30/05/2014
12:39:13 PM
Interesting that in this photo - her spotter is just wearing a sombrero...

Sabu
30/05/2014
1:03:35 PM
Thanks for sharing.

I'd like to add one point: although head injuries from climbing are fairly rare and Sara's story may read as quite shocking, the challenges she's faced are extremely typical of individuals who experience a severe traumatic brain injury. The difficulties she's experienced, both short and long term, are unfortunately the norm in almost all rehab hospitals. In her case, the outcome is relatively good compared to many who will never be functionally independent again.

Please don't come away from reading her article thinking "this will never happen to me". It may very well not and wearing a helmet while climbing is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce the risk of head injury (or at the very least reducing the severity in such an event). In contrast, however, road accidents account for the vast majority of head injuries in young adults. As we all know the chances of being involved in a car accident are far higher than being involved in a climbing accident. It would be pointless to wear a helmet at the crag only to drive like a speed demon on the way home. So please, drive safe, climb safe and look after your head at all times!
Dave_S
30/05/2014
2:49:18 PM
If you take a cinder-block sized rock to the head at 60kph, you'd be very lucky to survive even with a helmet.

I think better advice would be to consider where you're standing while you belay.

On 30/05/2014 Sabu wrote:
>As we all know the chances of being involved in a car
>accident are far higher than being involved in a climbing accident. It
>would be pointless to wear a helmet at the crag only to drive like a speed
>demon on the way home.

This is also very good advice!

rodw
30/05/2014
3:03:06 PM
On 30/05/2014 Dave_S wrote:
>If you take a cinder-block sized rock to the head at 60kph, you'd be very
>lucky to survive even with a helmet.

That scenario was mentioned in Paul Pritchard book when a rock took him out on the totem pole, in that they reckon if he had a helmet on the impact energy would have be referred to his neck etc and he would have actually died. Helmets are for small impacts & minor rock fall, anything big your stuffed either way..only so much a helmet can do.....but considering most impacts are in the smaller end of the scale they are worth it. Just last week a hold I was pulling on above my head, the size of a football came off, and bounced off the helmet... resulted in a bit of a laugh instead a split skull.
Dave_S
30/05/2014
3:53:13 PM
On 30/05/2014 rodw wrote:
>Helmets are for small impacts & minor rock fall, anything big your
>stuffed either way..only so much a helmet can do.....but considering most
>impacts are in the smaller end of the scale they are worth it.

Absolutely. Although if you're climbing at Werribee Gorge, you possible need something more like this instead. ;-)
rolsen1
30/05/2014
4:20:33 PM
I only skimmed the article but do I have it right? Her doctors told her not to climb anymore yet she, in her words, didn't listen to them, then she expects others to listen to her about always wearing a helmet? I don't have a problem with her climbing ignoring her doctor's advice, hopefully she won't have a problem with me ignoring her...

rodw
30/05/2014
4:25:05 PM
If you don't want to wear a helmet ..don't its your life, she just giving reason to wear one..your in your rights to give reasons not to.
martym
30/05/2014
4:27:05 PM
On 30/05/2014 rolsen1 wrote:
>I only skimmed the article but do I have it right? Her doctors told her
>not to climb anymore yet she, in her words, didn't listen to them, then
>she expects others to listen to her about always wearing a helmet?

Yeah, you got that right. I did a double take when I read that bit too...

Snacks
30/05/2014
4:28:14 PM
On 30/05/2014 rolsen1 wrote:
>I only skimmed the article but do I have it right? Her doctors told her
>not to climb anymore yet she, in her words, didn't listen to them, then
>she expects others to listen to her about always wearing a helmet? I don't
>have a problem with her climbing ignoring her doctor's advice, hopefully
>she won't have a problem with me ignoring her...

Hopefully you won't have a problem with me ignoring a question that could be answered by reading the article. :)
martym
30/05/2014
4:29:52 PM
>>If you take a cinder-block sized rock to the head at 60kph, you'd be
>very
>>lucky to survive even with a helmet.

It's the same as a seatbelt, it's only going to do so much - once your car has rolled off the cliff, fat lot of good the seatbelt is going to do. Does that mean you shouldn't wear a seatbelt?
Don't wanna die in a car accident? Don't get in the car!
kieranl
30/05/2014
4:58:49 PM
On 30/05/2014 Dave_S wrote:
>If you take a cinder-block sized rock to the head at 60kph, you'd be very
>lucky to survive even with a helmet.
According to my friends, the one I stopped in the centre of my skull when I was 20 was the size of 2 house bricks. It had probably fallen 50-100m down the gully I was in, hit my head, fell off and stopped on the tiny ledge I was standing on. A corner of the rock pierced my helmet and cut my head. A few stitches and a few days in hospital but no major injuries though my neck still spasms up fairly regularly.
Without the helmet I am sure that I would have died. With the helmet I was very lucky and I suspect that a glancing blow to the head would have killed me.
>
>I think better advice would be to consider where you're standing while
>you belay.
What do you think would be a safe distance? When a falling rock hits the ground or anything on the way down it often shatters and sends smaller rocks out laterally. How far they spray is entirely a matter of luck as to how the rock shatters and momentum is transferred to the smaller pieces. In my experience, anywhere within half the length of the height of the rock fall is highly exposed and being further away than that is no guarantee of safety.
Chris Baxter received his head injury while observing from what he believed was a safe distance (I don't know how far that was).

Miguel75
31/05/2014
10:56:17 AM
Another happy ending;

http://mountainproject.com/v/my-helmet-saved-my-life-on-sunday/109031642

There are 15 messages in this topic.

 

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