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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 2 of 5. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 89
Author
Ankles busted in the Bluies

BigMike
21/04/2009
9:08:56 AM
On 21/04/2009 ambyeok wrote:
>When the knotted rope end pulled up to half height it would have caught
>in the autoblock

If he fell 15 metres the rope would have had to be less than 30 metres long for that to
happen, surely?

wallwombat
21/04/2009
10:14:07 AM
On 21/04/2009 BigMike wrote:
>If he fell 15 metres the rope would have had to be less than 30 metres
>long for that to
>happen, surely?

That's what I thought.
RNM
21/04/2009
1:41:50 PM
Best way of abseiling safely that I teach:

Use a daisy chain (or a 60cm sling if you don't use as daisy chain) to attach to your abseil device. Put a prussic on your rope and attach this to your attachment point (where you would usually have your abseil device).

Safest way to abseil I reckon, and although it feels weird at first if you are used to attaching your abseil device to your attachment point, you soon get used to it. I always use this system when rapping and cleaning routes, and have recently been using it all the time as I have taught it to a new climbing partner, and have been role modelling.

Best wishes Jeremy. We all seem to mess up at some stage, and it always seems to be complacency. I messed an abseil and ended up with fractured ankle, vertabra, and arm. Still climb, and still complacent at times. Best wishes man.



pmonks
21/04/2009
3:52:34 PM
And don't forget keeping both hands on the rope *below* the belay device. The number of people I see rapping with one hand holding the rope above the device freaks me out!

Wouldn't have helped in this case, of course, but yet another basic rule that will helps reduces the chances of high speed contact with an immovable object. The law of gravity is strictly enforced!

Best wishes to Jeremy too - at least it sounds like he heals fast!

muki
21/04/2009
4:23:34 PM
On 21/04/2009 RNM wrote:
>Best way of abseiling safely that I teach:
>
>Use a daisy chain (or a 60cm sling if you don't use as daisy chain) to
>attach to your abseil device. Put a prussic on your rope and attach this
>to your attachment point (where you would usually have your abseil device).
>
>Safest way to abseil I reckon,

From the reports the prussic being below the rappel device did not hold the resulting fall when the
device was incorrectly threaded, I believe that a prussic that is placed above the device is the safest
method for ensuring a safe rappel ! even a mis-threaded device will be held by this system, as
apposed to having one rope run up through the prussic and the other stationary on the device.
All manner of safety checks are great for catching errors before they become an issue !
But if you do not understand the mechanics of the systems you are implementing (or teaching to
others) then it could cause a problem for you (or your students) in the future.
rolsen1
21/04/2009
4:58:28 PM
I think backups, prussiks, autoblocks on raps are a load of crap, where do you stop? Do you tie yourself in when you approach a chain that is close to the edge, if so how close?

You need to be careful every time you thread your belay and double check everything and not be complacent near the edge. If you need to backup your raps just in case you didn't thread it properly find a new hobby this one is not for you.

cruze
21/04/2009
5:34:10 PM
On 21/04/2009 rolsen1 wrote:
>I think backups, prussiks, autoblocks on raps are a load of crap, where
>do you stop? Do you tie yourself in when you approach a chain that is close
>to the edge, if so how close?
>
>You need to be careful every time you thread your belay and double check
>everything and not be complacent near the edge. If you need to backup your
>raps just in case you didn't thread it properly find a new hobby this one
>is not for you.
>

Crap. A well chosen backup can help with a lot of things when you rap - not just the clusterf--- of not threading properly.

I would say if you reckon that you are invincable then death is the great leveller and climbing can put you in the fast lane for that inevitability.
matthewp
21/04/2009
5:44:47 PM
On 21/04/2009 BigMike wrote:
>If he fell 15 metres the rope would have had to be less than 30 metres
>long for that to
>happen, surely?

Don't think so. I would have thought the rope would have to be less then 60m as you would have 30m below the belay device, 15m up to the anchor from the belay device and then 15m back down to the autoblock.

muki
21/04/2009
6:20:00 PM
On 21/04/2009 rolsen1 wrote:
>I think backups, prussiks, autoblocks on raps are a load of crap, where
>do you stop? Do you tie yourself in when you approach a chain that is close
>to the edge, if so how close?
>
>You need to be careful every time you thread your belay and double check
>everything and not be complacent near the edge. If you need to backup your
>raps just in case you didn't thread it properly find a new hobby this one
>is not for you.
>

Auto block back ups are used for many reasons, to clean a pitch on the way down.
In areas with loose rock (in conjunction with a helmet).
For descending with backpacks where increased friction is used, but a back up with a rest is handy.
I can think of many more such situations such as new ropes (slick rappel)
Beginners will enjoy the added security until confident with their technique.
And I also believe in a safe attachment near a cliff edge, or while rigging a belay/rappel/top rope !
If you don't see the need for these things then maybe YOU need to find a new hobby, as I don't fancy
having to scrape up what's left of you after you find out why these ideas are good ones !
rolsen1
21/04/2009
7:26:20 PM
good on ya Muki, welcome back, sure did miss you.

Buy a more aggressive belay device if you're having trouble hanging on to the rope with your pack or your slick/thin rope. Wrap the rope around your leg if you're removing troublesome gear.

Most people are trying to get down as quick as they can, adding another step with an autoblock would appear to me to be taking time that could be better used checking your setup or using a system as others have suggested.

wallwombat
21/04/2009
8:02:34 PM
On 21/04/2009 rolsen1 wrote:

>Buy a more aggressive belay device if you're having trouble hanging on
>to the rope with your pack or your slick/thin rope. Wrap the rope around
>your leg if you're removing troublesome gear.
>
>Most people are trying to get down as quick as they can, adding another
>step with an autoblock would appear to me to be taking time that could
>be better used checking your setup or using a system as others have suggested.

I had a friend who dislodged a large rock while abseiling in a canyon. It broke his right collar bone. None of those things you mentioned would have helped him. If he hadn't been using a french prussick as a back up, I would now have one less friend.

Using an autoblock does not slow you down.

I have done lots of abseils where, even though I might want to get down as quickly as I can, I have had to take it very slow and steady because of loose rock or anchors that were less than one hundred percent It takes seconds to apply an autoblock and it can save your life.

I can't see how that can be a bad thing.
kieranl
21/04/2009
9:09:51 PM
On 21/04/2009 bomber pro wrote:
>From the reports the prussic being below the rappel device did not hold
>the resulting fall when the
>device was incorrectly threaded, I believe that a prussic that is placed
>above the device is the safest
>method for ensuring a safe rappel !
I believe that if the prussick is above the abseil device then it can lock out of reach and that people have died because they couldn't extricate themselves from this position. Duane Raleigh of Rock and Ice has written extensively on the abseil backup issue. People should be able to find references fairly easily. Essentially he recommends two practises : 1. Use a prussick loop backup attached to a harness legloop below the ascender. 2. Tie a figure-8 on the bight on each end of your rope.
rolsen1
21/04/2009
9:15:49 PM
On 21/04/2009 wallwombat wrote:
>I had a friend who dislodged a large rock while abseiling in a canyon.
>snip
>I can't see how that can be a bad thing.

We participate in a hobby that if things go pear shaped we can die, even more so when we are near the edge of the cliff setting up a top rope, a rap or beginning the rap.

The thing that will most likely keep us alive is knowledge about how climbing system work and their limitations. We make decisions to minimise the risk but we can't totally remove it. We can always die if things go really wrong.

The guy in this situation had the accident because he made a mistake.

The point I was trying to make, probably not too clearly, was that an autoblock won't save you from every fcuk up and may even add to the chance of making one. I can't see why someone who thinks they are safe to belay a lead climber wouldn't think they would be safe to control their own descent on a rap. Do they always belay with a gri gri or use a backup when belaying as well?

Obviously, the rock fall case is different but is that why people are using them and how many people climb with partners who will be able to rescue them when they are dangling unconscious from a rope half way up a steep face? And what precautions are we taking from rock fall from a leader hitting a belayer?

The posters who thought my post was based on feeling invincible got it totally wrong. I know I could die everytime I rap off something, I know I need to thread my belay correctly and I know it won't fail if I do. I know that I need to cinch the knot tight. I'm not invincible, and I may die if I make a silly mistake.

That's why these sort of threads annoy me so much, people make blanket statements about safety practices which are only playing around the edges of safety. I'm sure there are alot of novices who read these forums. To those, I say rather than take the time to set up an autoblock, take the time to say to yourself, "if I stuff this up I'm dead" Being safe is continually making good decisions the whole time we're out.

Sorry for the sermon.

wallwombat
21/04/2009
9:35:16 PM
On 21/04/2009 kieranl wrote:

>I believe that if the prussick is above the abseil device then it can
>lock out of reach and that people have died because they couldn't extricate
>themselves from this position.

It's six of one and half a dozen of another.

I think the key, if having the autoblock above the abseil device, is to make sure the sling is of a length that wont let the knot get out of reach. That's not that hard to do.

Once the prussick or autoblock is weighted, you wrap the rope a few times around a foot, stand up and unweight the prussick.




muki
21/04/2009
10:05:38 PM
My wife used one today off the top of missing link, it was set up so that once it engaged it was still within
reach, being a french prussic meant that jen did not have to foot lock up to disengage it, just pull down
on the top of it (jen is also very aware that it must be released if anything goes wrong to allow it to lock)
As to "people who have died" from having the prussic lock out of reach, I can only repeat what I said
earlier " if you don't understand the system, then don't use it" those unfortunate souls who died probably
had little or no understanding of the system, I see it all the time out at the crag, people who have enough
information/knowledge to get themselves into trouble.... but not enough to get themselves out of it again.

ambyeok
21/04/2009
10:50:18 PM
On 21/04/2009 BigMike wrote:
>If he fell 15 metres the rope would have had to be less than 30 metres
>long for that to
>happen, surely?

Lets check my understanding. If one end of the rope is secure in the belay device then we have 30m out on the other side. This means a max fall of 15m before the loose end reaches the height of the autoblock. On a 20m rap that would have caught it, right?
prb
21/04/2009
11:59:24 PM
When you're tired and get sloppy you can probably find a way to hurt yourself abseiling even with backup.I prefer to keep things simple but certainly use a prussic at the top of a cliff or when rapping on a single line (a short cord above the abseil device). I feel most comfortable (and safe) with my right arm controlling the rope and left arm free to keep the prussic knot moving or to help position me with respect to the rock. Obviously, you need to be able to stick to whatever system works for you, even when it's late and you're weary. I'm always been paranoid about clipping the rope/s through the krab. I find abseiling so scary, I can't imagine launching without checking and then, just for the hell of it, checking again.

Having said that, I was lucky not to get badly hurt at Morialta one day when I discovered the rope wasn't anchored at all!
rod
22/04/2009
3:37:28 AM
Good to have you back Bomber! Get well soon J.

I've a preference for prussic below belay device with my sequence being attach prussic, haul rope through prussic to thread through belay device (thus testing the prussic), attach belay device and then test the whole lot before rapping. I know the whole thing about rapping off the end, snarling the prussic in the device, etc but I just find this rig flows better and has built in testing of my set-up.

In end of the day mind f--k situations I've found myself rechecking the whole thing three times before committing to the rap.

My personal f--k up weakness is unattaching myself myself from the whole rig before tying in to the next belay station as I arrive but my personal favourite is finding myself in space and needing to attach all my gear together and swing it in order to get back onto the rock face, takes ages sometimes.

Phil Box
22/04/2009
8:17:56 AM
On 21/04/2009 rolsen1 wrote:
I'm sure there are alot of novices who read these forums. To
>those, I say rather than take the time to set up an autoblock, take the
>time to say to yourself, "if I stuff this up I'm dead" Being safe is continually
>making good decisions the whole time we're out.
>
>Sorry for the sermon.

Amen brother, preach it.

I don't always use an autoblock to protect an abseil, I do however completely subscribe to the rest of your sermon. I'm always saying to myself, "what is the worst thing that can happen here". I then engineer a solution.

cruze
22/04/2009
9:19:48 AM
It isn't always about whether you know the limitations of your system, it can be simply that you don't know what you don't know. Events that you have no control over like rockfall make it important to increase your safety margin in my opinion by using a back up.

Personally I use a backup below the abseil device. I realise the limitations of this system. My partner uses a back up above the abseil device. She realises the limitations of this system. Where the abseil is predominantly free-hanging we both use back ups below the device to avoid potentially being stranded. We carry the second prussic on our harness in case of any unforseen need to ascend the rope in combination with the abseil device to unweight the prussic backup. This isn't a perfect system by any means - the most perfect being to stay on the ground in the first place but we believe that our respective systems provide an increased safety margin in the event that something happens that is out of our control.

I have noticed the window cleaners here at work using a mechanical back up to their industrial descender on the second rope. Is that a shunt? Can someone aux fait with that stuff possibly give me an idea of what simple mechanical devices are available for backing up a rap that might be quicker than traditional prussic/sling alternatives?

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