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worst near accidents I've seen

4:05:22 PM
One afternoon we turned up at a lower bluies crag to come across a bunch of guys fresh out of the gym (first time out apparently)...anyway a guy at the top of the climb was had just rethreaded the anchors and was asking his mate to get ready to take in to lower off....that's when we arrived to see said mate have the rope in two hands out on front of him ready to lower belay device etc.

Asked him what he was doing he said about to lower his mate ..we asked what about his belay device and he reckoned he didn't need it as it was only 8m and he didnt weigh much...we pointed out he might be wrong but he was we pushed him out of the way and clipped in and lowered his it was the beginning of the day and a heli evac would have stuffed it up for us.

If we hadn't arrived at that time there would have been at best broken bones for sure.
Winston Smith
4:38:26 PM
Saw a guy setting up top ropes at Barrenjoey and teaching his mates how to climb. The only problem was the top rope ran through nylon slings.

I explained to the bloke that he ran the risk of cutting the slings when he lowered his friends to the deck. I offered to loan him some 'biners. He told me he knew what he was doing.

The last thing I saw was the worried looks on his friends' faces as we packed up and left the crag.

4:46:13 PM
Years ago I took up the offer of another couple of climbers at the top of the Watchtower slabs to rap down on their ropes. We had had a big day and I got to the end of the first rap to the little ledge above Auto Da Fe's 1st pitch. I proceeded to undo the rope from the abseil device and was just about unclipped when one of the other climbers already on the ledge reminded me that I should clip into the anchor first... Could have been a nasty little 40 m slide down the slabs. First and only time I have ever rapped the watchtower slabs.

4:54:52 PM
Spend most of my life in a Climbing Centre so near misses are a daily occurence, however this one relates to an outside near miss.
I walking along the track at the top of the Berowra crag and came across a long sling slip wrapped around a boulder. The boulder was about the size of a suitcase and was buried in the dirt. As i watched in amazement the boulder was lifting as the climbers weight came onto it. I yelled down to the climbers that this wasnt exactly best practice and was met with the mind your own effin business look. They said that it was ok as they were about to move on to the other end of the crag.
I had visions of the climber surviving the fall to the deck and then wondering why the shadow over him was getting larger as the rock nailed him Roadrunner and Coyote style. Very much like the Homer link yesterday
5:04:11 PM
At Arapiles in the mid-90's I'd brought up my second (newish to the game) to the first belay on Kestrel. I asked her to put me on belay as I wanted to wander along the ledge and check where the second pitch went. She said "you're on" but I couldn't have looked around, I just went skipping along the ledge. When I started to head back I realized she was "belaying" me from just in front of her knot and was in fact giving me close to 60m of slack!

5:16:23 PM
two almost death falls.
first, back in the US. had led my two partners up 4 meandering pitches to big tree with slings and rap rings. decided to rap straight down instead of going back the way we came. went over an overhang (out of sight and hearing of my partners), saw the next rap station about 2m underneath me, and felt a weird sensation in my hand. it was the two knots i had tied at the ends of my rope bunged up in the prusik cord i was using as a rappel backup. immediate adrenaline overload. if i hadn't tied the knots, would have died that day. spent about 15 minutes 'swinging' back to the face, plugged in some cams. took a long breather, then prusik'd 50m back up to the tree where my mates asked me wtf. we rapped the other way down.

second in korea. was rapping down 4 pitch route. got to second station just as a party of 7 (yes 7) got to the crappy rap station. my mates and i moved over a couple meters to a lone bolt and small tree while this group sorted themselves and started up the next pitch. i was last to rappel. was easing over to the rap station, still hooked up to the bolt, when one of the korean morons decided to be helpful and unclip my carabiner from the bolt. 100m up, no protection with 6 people crunched up on a slab. I screamed!! at him to clip the f-ing thing back in. clipped into rap anchor, reached over, unclipped myself from lone bolt and got out of there. fyi, koreans are the world's most unsafe climbers. don't ever go near them.
5:18:20 PM
For the sake of this person I will not say who, where or when. However, we were out climbing oneday and they lead the first pitch.. ''On belay'' came the call and I climbed on up.. Upon topping out I looked at the belay set up... Thats not right I thought, walked over to it and lifted the slab of rock which was holding the entire belay rig.. Needless to say I lead the next pitch....

5:20:18 PM
I once saw a climber who had just started up a trad route, he had put in his second piece of gear, but for some reason, his belayer wasn't holding the rope at all. Myself and my climbing partner quickly asked her what she was doing and she said that since he had no gear in she couln't catch him. Apparently a #12 stopper and a # 3 camalot aren't actually gear.......

The good Dr
5:41:04 PM
Late 90's at Araps we met a guide from the Bluies who had a client on his first gear lead on Arachnus. The client, who was about 10m up, was calling for some rope, and the guide was feeding it when he found a knot under his hand from not flaking the rope. We let him sort it out himself as he had been an obnoxious pig to us earlier in the day.

Unfortunately I could not find the client later to recommend he get a new and competent guide.
6:15:22 PM
I've seen some accidents - but the "could have beens" that give you the heeby geebies are always more harrowing for some reasons.
Also is the memory of being a relative newb being yelled at by climbers with short tempers. Think back to when you first started climbing, it's quite an intense experience already without some guy telling you "you're an idiot and what kind of f'n belay do you call that??" Rather than explain it to you.
Of course, I never did it again - so maybe it works.
Then again, I don't climb with those partners any more...

6:31:18 PM
I tied into my leg-loops only once and then fell clipping the chains (on the route Scum at south central). It was a short route and with the slack out I ended up upside down hanging from my knees in my leg-loops eye to eye with my belayer.

Also once belayed a dude who reached down to grab a quickdraw at knee hieght, as he turned to say take he opened the straightgate and twisted off the ringbolt. Next thing he decked onto the ropebag and started abusing me for 'dropping' him.
8:21:23 PM
I went up Cassandra in the early 90's. Misread the guide and thought it was bolted like Cassandra direct. I had no gear. I fluffed the final move onto the ledge, and hit the slab, rolled off it andd swung to be more or less level with my belayer. It was very demoralising.

The same day an 'orrid hideous scream of terror arose from the Mount, as a lass had slipped off Golden Fleece and landed upside down twisted in the rope, with her hair sweeping the dirt.

We traded tales later... "Oh, that was your scream" ... "Oh, I watched you peel"...

Many years later at my wedding the best man recounted the tale. I remember looking at my dad who was horrified, even though surfing he has broken his ribs, his spine, both eardrums and been pinned to the bottom for so long he has had an automatic reflex to breathe in water...

Context is all.

9:29:31 PM
On 21/09/2010 egosan wrote:
>An old hand at learning from hard lessons. An old hand at healing.

You are alluding to the stick you put through your hand while descending from a climb at Araps one time?

>An old hand at mouthing off like an asshole. Yet when it comes to climbing I am just an eager pup compared to the longtoothed, mangy, limping, ranch dogs that troll this forum.

Nah. That would never happen on Chockstone. Are you attempting to try & break into the LMLRD crowd? Have you asked simey if he thinks you should join that mob?
Heh, heh, heh.

Hmm. 'worst near accidents I've seen' ... Interesting concept. What makes one 'worse' than another? The worst ones would be those that could have resulted in ones own demise??

Reading this thread reminds me how unforgiving this game we play is.
Take care out there...

8:07:48 AM
After the FA of something on Old Baldy (Arms race?) it got dark and I was the last to rap down. I call down "Do the ropes reach the ledge" "Yes, there's a tree on the ledge".
Rap down in total blackness and suddenly feel nothing in my hands. Amazingly for once I was using a prussic backup (above my belay device) which had caught on the 2 littkle mammut sticky tape things on the rope ends, no knots.

So my old mates had rapped down in the light, pendulumed a few meters left to the ledge, taken the knots out of the ends ("cos' there was at least a meter to spare") and let the ropes swing back out into space. Then rapped to the deck while it was still light.
Hmm, abseilling.
Hmm, mates
Richard Delaney
8:16:34 AM
Oh Michael... That's the nearest miss I think I've ever heard.
9:12:55 AM
On 21/09/2010 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:

>You are alluding to the stick you put through your hand while descending
>from a climb at Araps one time?

or limping away from the 90 to 0 deceleration provided by a tree at the edge of the ski run or ... Regardless one only has to glance at your gate and visage to see the evidence of practiced healing.

>Nah. That would never happen on Chockstone. Are you attempting to try
>& break into the LMLRD crowd? Have you asked simey if he thinks you should
>join that mob?
>Heh, heh, heh.

My beard is not patchy enough yet.

>Hmm. 'worst near accidents I've seen' ... Interesting concept. What makes
>one 'worse' than another? The worst ones would be those that could have
>resulted in ones own demise??

The worst? Not the near hits, like Miklaw's abseiling scaryness. The one where the poor bastard did not walk away.

>Reading this thread reminds me how unforgiving this game we play is.
>Take care out there...


9:29:18 AM
On 22/09/2010 mikllaw wrote:
>Rap down ... and suddenly feel nothing in my hands.

i vaguely recall hearing a story about Glenn Tempest using a 50m rope to shoot photos of Hard Rain (an 80m cliff - no ledges) and the end of the rope going through the abseil device ... is this one true? if so how did he catch himself, and then reattach to the rope?
10:06:41 AM
Lots of guys and girls are just accidents waiting to happen. Like a guy belaying at Dam Cliffs, chatting to his mates while giving a huge amount of slack, rope dragging on the ground. Climber screws the very last clip ... has mega fall to within 30cm of deck. Belayer calls out calmly: "just rope stretch !"

11:26:07 AM
I went climbing at Narrabeen slabs with a couple of friends. We were very inexperienced leaders and had a grand total of 6 quickdraws, no bolt plates, and no slings.

My friend had a go at Muscoviet Mosquito and made 3 clips and got about halfway up before giving up and coming down. Then I had a go, but for some reason decided to clean the first 2 draws on the way up so I could use them at the anchor. I cleaned the first two...and then very nearly unclipped the last, top quickdraw.

After recovering from that little moment, I then realised that the biner on this draw was draped over an edge. I made another stupid decision and kept climbing anyway. I chickened out of climbing the final headwall, and walked around, skipping a bolt, before finally leaning out around the headwall to clip the double ring-bolts at the top, 15m above the deck with a single draw loaded over an edge 8m up...

Every single decision I made on that climb was f*cked up. I went home and bought a couple of extendable draws with locking biners. Then I had a sobering realisation that we had had no idea what the hell we were doing.

On the other hand, I now have a lot more experience about what not to do when sport climbing.
12:14:08 PM
I heard that someone (Keith bell?) rapped off a bush near angels buttress in the 70's, and therbush pulled, and they fell.

After about 25m the rope caught a flake and all the badness stopped and they were able to continue down. I don't know what shape the rope was in, or whether they could pull it down.

The entire quote is:-
"Fools rush in where Angels fear to tred,
All the angels are in heaven,
Only some of the fools are dead"

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There are 83 messages in this topic.


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