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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 1 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 89
Author
Ankles busted in the Bluies

Phil Box
18/04/2009
3:34:22 PM
Queensland climber Jeremy took a fall at Mt. Piddington over Easter. I was just talking to Andy Hook who was a couple of climbs over and helped out during the rescue. He reports that the fall occurred on Flake Crack. last Sunday just on dark. The fall was about 15 metres. Both ankles were broken as well as a possible hip fracture and broken ribs. One of the ankles was a compound fracture meaning that the foot was completely sideways with the leg bone sticking out.

According to Andy there was a bit of discussion on the day about the possible sequence of events that led up to the accident. Upon gaining the anchors Jeremy appears to have rethreaded the rope through the anchors and then was wishing to rap on two strands of the rope to the ground. Two strands were poked through the device but only one strand appears to have been clipped into the carabiner. Upon weighting the unattached strand became dislodged from the abseil device thus instigating an unctrolled plummet to the ground.

The victim landed on a sloping boulder which may have saved his life. Three quarters of an hour went by and then the paramedics turned up. The helicopter had to refuel after winching down a stretcher etc. Eventually it was decided due to bad weather and poor light that a stretcher carry was necessary. Around 60 people effected this carry out with the police rescue providing ropes to winch the stretcher in steep locations. The carry out lasted about 5 and a half hours.

Oh yes, Andy related that one of the paramedics asked him if he wanted to see something really cool. Andy was holding one corner of the tarp over Jeremy due to the rain. So Andy got a perfect view of Jeremy's foot being refitted to his leg. It was just like a plug going into a power point. The paramedic was soooo proud of her work.


Jeremy was due to go down to Tassy on the Pinnacle trip just after the new year but a few days before he was due to leave he broke his ankle. So these breaks are on top of his healing ankle.

I feel for you mate. I don't have Jezza's phone number otherwise I'd ring him and wish him all the best.

I am sure that others have more reliable info than my second hand attempts. I was nearly sick when I heard that a Queensland climber was involved in such an unfortunate event. I hope the long term prognosis turns out for the better.

I just got off the phone to Jeremy and he let me know that I could put his phone number up here for people to ring him.

0405223885.

Jeremy is going to need our support to keep his spirits up. He is itching to get out of hospital in Sydney where he currently resides. He is also wanting to get any contact info of people who helped on the rescue as he is wanting to personally thank them all.


IdratherbeclimbingM9
18/04/2009
3:41:25 PM
Far out news (esp re breaks on new healed break).
Glad you survived it Jeremy and best wishes for a quick recovery.
Flake Crack already has a reputation, but it can do without one like this.
Thanks for posting PB.
Well done to all involved in the rescue.
Has anyone contacted the Aust Acco Register re this one?
StuE
18/04/2009
7:09:51 PM
Poor bloke. Hope he gets better soon. Reminds me of when my buddy Dylan fell from the first anchors on Hot Flyer about 8 or 9 years ago or so due to pilot error. He had double compound fractures to both legs, broken wrist, dislocated shoulder amongst other things. If it gives your mate hope and whilst it too a while, he got back to crushing big numbers again after such serious injuries.
james
19/04/2009
12:44:31 AM
hey Phil - is that Jeremy G? please pass on my regards if so.

Phil Box
19/04/2009
7:56:07 AM
No, not Jeremy Goebels. It's Jeremy who hangs around the Pinnacle crew. Gina is his girlfriend. I can't remember his last name.
TonyB
20/04/2009
7:38:34 AM
I wonder if the accident would have occurred if his rap had been protected ... with either a prussik on his leg loop or by his belayer ? The latter may have been impossible to hold but I would have thought the prussik would have helped.
Why did he rap instead of being lowered ?

evanbb
20/04/2009
8:53:10 AM
On 20/04/2009 TonyB wrote:
>I wonder if the accident would have occurred if his rap had been protected
>... with either a prussik on his leg loop or by his belayer ? The latter
>may have been impossible to hold but I would have thought the prussik would
>have helped.

(CAVEAT) At the risk of offending the injured... we're just picking over the details so no-one else gets hurt.... Poor bugger too, my sympathies are with him. Injuries suck.


But, good call Tony. I have used a similar system, and wondered about failing to clip both biners. A prussick around both ropes (my standard procedure) would have caught that one I think. The other thing I've been taught is to test your system with the safety still on, before committing to an abseil. That should have caught it too.
TonyB
20/04/2009
10:36:30 AM
I use a french prussik on the leg loop when there's no belayer at the bottom to hold the ropes ... I'll have to test whether it would hold one rope slipping though.
A procedure for bottom protection might be to have the belayer wrap the ropes around his/her back for added friction, in case this sort of thing happens ... very simple to do and no added effort.
mikepatt
20/04/2009
11:29:18 AM
A quick check A (anchor) B (belt) C (carabiner) D (descender) is always a good idea. However, unfortunately we're all human and accidents do happen :-(

wallwombat
20/04/2009
12:48:46 PM
On 20/04/2009 TonyB wrote:
>Why did he rap instead of being lowered ?

I imagine, because it is a trad route.

Generally, with trad routes, the belayer, once his belay duty is over, then ties into the rope, becomes the seconder and then climbs the route as well.

Yes, I know it is a radical concept but it does happen

Flake Crack was originally a two pitch route.I have climbed it about half a dozen times and have always set up a belay at the top of the flake. I know that with longer ropes now, people tend to run pitches together. I don't always think this is a good idea - just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean you should.

The anchors on the ledge at the top of Flake Crack are belay/rap anchors and aren't really set up as lower offs. I haven't climbed it for a while but the anchors used to be set back from the edge. If you used them as lower offs the rope would be rubbing pretty heavily over the edge of the ledge as you lowered. I, myself, would not be too happy about that.

I totally agree with the abseil back up idea and use one myself most of the time. I also totally agree with the ABCD check before launching over the edge. It is a definite life saver.

Anyway, I'm glad it wasn't a tragedy rather than a nasty accident. Hope the fellow heals up well.

It's worth pointing out that climbers should be especially careful at the end of a days climbing. They are often tired and it's easy to make mistakes when you are tired and operating in the twilight hours of the day.

Brother Colin
20/04/2009
12:54:06 PM
OK guys and gals, (it's been awhile).

I did not actually witness jez's accident but there was less than 10 people on the scene when i got there. ( I had started walking out a few minutes earlier, about 100/200m along the track). He landed on flat ground right against the wall landing on his feet and finished in a crouched position then rolled backwards against a nearby rock. He did not move from that position till ambos moved him.

Final injuy list: Compound fracture of 1 ankle. Broken bones in other foot (this foot was broken at Xmas) Some very monor fractures in 4 vertebra(doc's did nothing for this, very minor) some other aches and pains. Ribs ok, spine ok.

He is now home is Brissy.

I asked anyone i could about what they saw with regards to the equipment. The rope, belay device etc had been removed from him and the cliff by the time i got there. (If you witness an accident and are NOT helping with the 1st aid take the time to note equipment placement, even take photo's of it. The accident victim will won't to know later when they are stable or in a worse case senerio, the police will)

What i could find out was this from witnesses.

The anchor did not fail. (checked visually myself)
The rope did not break or cut. (checked visually myself)
Jez had fed the rope through the anchor correctly.
He had an autoblock on...below the device. It did not reach the belay device.
Only 1 rope was through the device when he was on the ground.
Both tails were on the ground when he started the abseil, 1 tail ended up 1/2way up cliff when he was on the ground.

It was the last descent of the day. Most of the group had packed up, (just waiting on jez and the stuff on him). Some of the group had started walking out (the slow ones, me.) and the weather had just started closing in, ie very light rain. There were 2 people on the anchor at the top of 'Faith' <5m left and a few meters below jez. He had offered some advice to them for their descent while setting up his own descent. No one could see his actual setup or was watching him with interest. Then he was on the ground.

The most likely senerio i can work out after talking to witnesses and jez. :

After setting up the rope and checking the ropes ends reached the ground he fed both ropes through the device BUT ONLY CLIPPED ONE to the biner on his belay loop. Attached his autoblock, removed his safety and leaned back. The rope NOT attached pulled out of the device and he reacted by grabbing tighter on the rope (and the auto block).

This means that jez is now abseiling on 1 side of a retrievable system with the autoblock around both ropes. As he falls 1 rope is not moving in relation to the autoblock and the other rope is going through faster tham usual with jez 's grip meaning it will not grab this moving rope. He would of pulled the end that he was attacked to with him while the other end went up the cliff. With some of that end still on the wall after hitting the ground shows that both ends were on the ground with pleanty of length as well.

If he check weighted the system BEFORE removing his safety then the unclipped rope would of showed itself and he would of fallen as far as his safety would allow. Giving him a bad scare.

tnd
20/04/2009
1:37:51 PM
On 20/04/2009 wallwombat wrote:
>...It's worth pointing out that climbers should be especially careful at
>the end of a days climbing. They are often tired and it's easy to make
>mistakes when you are tired and operating in the twilight hours of the
>day.

This is a critical point and is the great advantage of having formal checklists and mnemonics like "ABCD", which are common in all activities requiring a lot of risk management. When one is tired one can still follow the check routine because it is simple and familiar. Trouble is, out of all the perceived risky activities in which I've participated or dabbled (e.g parachuting, diving) I find climbing to be one where a lot of people are very casual about what they're doing. Blame sport climbing?

Anyway, glad this climber has lived to tell the tale. Hope to hear of him "back on the horse" in due course.

tnd
20/04/2009
1:39:50 PM
I've actually done this very thing on one occasion - only put one loop of rope into my carabiner - and caught it during my check just before going over the edge. Checks work!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
20/04/2009
2:15:55 PM
On 20/04/2009 Brother Colin wrote:
>This means that jez is now abseiling on 1 side of a retrievable system
>with the autoblock around both ropes. As he falls 1 rope is not moving
>in relation to the autoblock and the other rope is going through faster
>tham usual with jez 's grip meaning it will not grab this moving rope.
>He would of pulled the end that he was attacked to with him while the other
>end went up the cliff.

After what you surmise/describe I would expect to see rope sheath glazing on both the relatively non moving strand compared to the slipping strand, as well as on the autoblock.
Shades of grey. ~> If there is no glazing then the autoblock was ineffectively applied and was never going to work well anyway?

I speak from conviction as I once 'abseiled uncontrollably' for 100 ft of a 110 ft pitch due to my error by me at the time. I did not have an autoblock applied and the descent although not freefall, was not much short of same. I was lucky and 'got away' with it, but Jez's accident reinforces what might have happened...
Most abseils I have done since, I now use an autoblock. I often find I have hassles with it being applied with too many wraps (eg when using different partners ropes with different handling characteristics), and having to force-feed it!

I think it is worth testing a safety system / technique in a controlled environment before applying it in the field in an attempt to short circuit the 'what if' scenario.

nmonteith
20/04/2009
2:36:17 PM
On 20/04/2009 tnd wrote:
>I've actually done this very thing on one occasion - only put one loop
>of rope into my carabiner - and caught it during my check just before going
>over the edge. Checks work!

Yep, i've also had this happen 4 pitches up a route. I had unclipped from the anchor and was about to lean back when i did a quick visual check and spotted the problem! I'm usually pretty lazy when it comes to using back-up prussics but this has highlighted a benefit i hadn't thought about before.

hangdog
20/04/2009
6:05:46 PM
I am guessing the sort of people who use an auto block also check via the ABCD method.
I remember being out at Flake crack whena guy was top roping on a single Biner (and pulley at the top just like the gym he came from!!) At some point the biner disconnected and he fell down the slab next to the flake. His foot went behind the block at the start and he went the other. He only had his archiles tendon holding his foot on when he finally landed.
TonyB
20/04/2009
9:31:12 PM
On 20/04/2009 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>After what you surmise/describe I would expect to see rope sheath glazing
>on both the relatively non moving strand compared to the slipping strand,
>as well as on the autoblock.

I would have thought that with a fall like that, the prussik autobloc would get too hot hold ?

Phil Box
21/04/2009
7:06:21 AM
Well the results are in and it seems that an autoblock will not work if only one strand is clipped through the abseil device biner. It will work somewhat if four wraps are wrapped around the ropes though, three wraps will put you on the floor every time.

The take home message is to always determine that the system is correct before committing to detach oneself from the anchor. I suggest and use a 1200mm sling, this way one can actually conduct a short rap as confirmation that the system is correct before disconnecting.


Peope, we need to develop idiot proof methods that we always stick to like religious rituals to ensure that we can back ourselves up and stop short of killing and maiming ourselves.

One point made by a collegus of mine is that if knots had been placed in the end of the two strands of rope Jeremy would not have hit the deck.

wallwombat
21/04/2009
7:10:45 AM
On 21/04/2009 Phil Box wrote:

>One point made by a collegus of mine is that if knots had been placed
>in the end of the two strands of rope Jeremy would not have hit the deck.

How does that work?

Didn't the ropes reach the ground?

ambyeok
21/04/2009
7:50:50 AM
When the knotted rope end pulled up to half height it would have caught in the autoblock

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There are 89 messages in this topic.

 

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