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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 39
Author
Massive grounder at duck reach
Rob S.
11/12/2009
9:03:36 PM
We (a couple of mates, my bro (henners) and myself) were climbing at duck reach this afternoon. We
were doing some climbs that started on a rock terrace that was about 7m high, the terrace was quite
wide, 3 - 4m so we weren't anchoring to belay. My bro led up an 11 belayed by my mate jules while
hugh (another mate) and I went fishing up the river. When Hen and Jules had both done the climb I led
up the same climb while hugh belayed me. While I climbed Hen tied into the other end of the rope and
began to lead up a hard looking sport climb that wasn't in the guidebook but he thought he would just
give it a go, the first bolt was high so he had a wire in before. Jules was belaying him. I reached the
top of the climb I was doing and had just anchored myself and got hugh to take me off belay when I
heard a massive thud and hugh started shouting at me to get down there.
Henry had fallen, the wire had pulled and he had collected jules and they both free fell off the
terrace into the solid rock at the bottom, thats when Hugh had started shouting for me. Hugh called the
ambos straight away and they arrived really fast, three of them- two ordinary ones and a 4x4. A police
car arrived too. I abseiled down real fast cos I'd seen them sprawled at the bottom while I was at the
top of the climb. Me and hugh met the ambos and police up at the car park and showed them where
jules and henry were, there was so many ambos and they had so much gear we had to help them
carry it all.
Jules had a lot of rope burn and a graze on his back but was able to walk so they walked him up
to the carpark and took him to hospital in one of the ambulances.
Henry had hit his head so his forehead was huge and covered in blood and we didn't know it at
the time but he'd broken his pelvis. They gave him all sorts of drugs and got a drip in one of his arms,
then they bandaged his arms right up cos they were pretty badly cut and grazed. They wrapped him in
all sorts of stuff and strapped him into a stretcher type thing. Another two police 4x4s arrived and the
police were all over the place telling the media not to come down and to get people off the suspension
bridge when the chopper came.
The chopper was a police search and rescue chopper and they winched him out on a cable.
He's now in hospital and won't be climbing for a long time cos of his injuries.
I'm sorry for ya hen and I hope you heal quick as pos.
kieranl
11/12/2009
9:38:38 PM
Not good. Hope he recovers well.
At the risk of pointing out what should now be obvious, a 3-4 metre wide "terrace" is not wide enough to safely climb from without an anchor.

salty crag
12/12/2009
7:42:46 AM
Lesson there for all of us, speedy recovery guys, updates on henners progress would be good.

ambyeok
12/12/2009
10:10:30 AM
These threads both scare the hell out of me and provide an important and stark reminder. I am gutted to hear this news, I wish a speedy and painless recovery to both the guys.
jacq
12/12/2009
3:54:53 PM
I hope he gets better soon. Bl@ke is coming down to climb with you guys in January and was quite shocked at your accident. Please keep us updated on his recovery. All the best.
Mike Bee
13/12/2009
6:44:04 PM
Sorry to hear this. It's aways sad to hear about injuries from climbing accidents.

Was Henry wearing a helmet?

Sammy S1
13/12/2009
8:30:52 PM
I am Henners and Rob S brother. I wasn't there when henry fell but apparantly he wasn't wearing a helmet
since when dad bought us some gear to start us off climbing there was only one helmet, Hugh who was
belaying Rob was wearing our only helmet.
Rob S.
13/12/2009
9:24:34 PM
Hey Everyone,
just been to see Hen, he's doing alright, he's not aloud to weight bear on his left leg until
Feb. Everybody's been really great to him, he's been lent a couple of Ipods and Jules and Hugh are
going to lend him a tv and a PS2 when he comes home, that'll be real cool for him since we don't have a
tv in our house. Jules is going alright too except for he has the gruesome feeling of the scabs on his
back cracking open when the skin stretches, his rope burns were deep but are getting better.

A few big lessons have been learnt. If ever I have to belay from a ledge I will anchor myself, no matter
how big the ledge is. Helmets should always be worn by all members of a climbing party. The route Hen
and Jules were on had no loose rock but that turned out to be beside the point.
Wendy
13/12/2009
9:38:44 PM
You guys are all so young! I'm sad you had to learn those lessons so brutally, but I hope everyone gets better and keeps on climbing. A healthy sense of caution is a good basis for a long and happy climbing life.
simey
13/12/2009
9:59:01 PM
On 13/12/2009 Rob S. wrote:
>A few big lessons have been learnt. If ever I have to belay from a ledge I will anchor myself, no matter how big the ledge is. Helmets should always be worn by all members of a climbing party. The route Hen and Jules were on had no loose rock but that turned out to be beside the point.

It sounds like the most important thing that needs to be learnt is how to place decent protection and knowing when you can afford to fall.

Why did the leader fall? Did a hold break (doesn't sound like it), or did he just bumble off? Did he realise he was going to fall beforehand? Did he think his protection was good? Was he trying to downclimb or place extra gear before his fall?

It sounds like the leader would have still sustained major injuries irrespective of him wearing a helmet and the belayer being anchored to the ledge.

Something to keep in mind when anchoring the belayer... Can they move out of the line of fire in case of loose rock and/or a falling climber? There was an incident at Mt Buffalo many years ago when the lead climber fell onto his belayer and broke the belayers back.

Good luck with recovery and hope there is no long term injury.



wallwombat
13/12/2009
10:07:48 PM
On 13/12/2009 simey wrote:
>It sounds like the most important thing that needs to be learnt is how
>to place decent protection and knowing when you can afford to fall.

Simey has a good point here. I still regularly ask my climbing partner how my pro was, after I lead a trad pitch, even after 20 years of climbing. I find it's east to get rusty, especially in NSW, where sport climbing seems to predominate.

Phil Box
14/12/2009
7:08:46 AM
Ditto, I also like to find out what my seconder thinks of my gear.

Climboholic
14/12/2009
8:18:53 AM
My condolences to all you boys. I hope Henry has a speedy and full recovery and that this traumatic experience hasn't put you off rock climbing.

How experienced was Henry? Had someone taught him how to place gear on easier climbs before progressively work up to climbing harder routes? I know how enthusiasm for climbing can make you push the limits of your ability prematurely. I've found myself in situations where I was desperate not to fall. This makes me wonder how many of my placements over the years would have failed.

Thanks for the sobering reminder of the seriousness of our sport.

Sammy S1
14/12/2009
8:21:45 AM
His protection must have been decent because he had fallen on it a few times before but he decided to
give the climb one more try before he came down. He just fell at a hard bit he did realise that he was
going to fall and he told jules (who was belaying him) that he was going to fall assuming that his
protection would hold. Henry might have still injured himself but not major ones. henry when he fell off the
cliff onto the ledge he did hit jules which probably stopped him from being hurt badly on the ledge.

Sammy S1
14/12/2009
8:31:14 AM
On 14/12/2009 Climboholic wrote:
>How experienced was Henry? Had someone taught him how to place gear on
>easier climbs before progressively work up to climbing harder routes?
>Thanks for the sobering reminder of the seriousness of our sport.

Yes we had learnt from a guide in wales starting on easy stuff and working up while we were with him. he
taught us how to place gear while we were on the ground and than we did some really easy 2 and 3 pitch
stuff with him free soloing up between us telling us if our gear was good or if we should put some more
in.

ajfclark
Online Now
14/12/2009
9:41:26 AM
On 14/12/2009 Sammy S1 wrote:
>His protection must have been decent because he had fallen on it a few times before

Did he inspect the placement after each fall?
simey
14/12/2009
10:16:25 AM
If you think falling is a distinct possibility then try to avoid only relying on one piece between you and the ground. Back protection up in crucial situations.
Jules15
14/12/2009
1:04:47 PM
Hi guys,
Jules here, I was the belayer that fell, I am spending a few days at home a bit sore but getting better.

I would just like to say that the falls that both me and henry took on this gear were not typical lead falls, we were only able to get the first move and pulled up so that the nut was just below the climbers waist and the climber no more than 2m up the climb.

The falls were due to the fact neither of us quite had the length to grab a nice juggy hold that was laughing at our attempts to reach it. Predicted with calls of "Take in! Take in!", weight was put on the rope gently, with the climbers harness almost going through the quickdraw!
The nut took 5 "falls" like this with no creaking or cracking, this is why we were not particularly worried about placing more gear.

Because we were climbing on the other end of the rope we were about to untie so rob could abseil back down the 11 he had done, there were comments from both me and Henry like "one more and you'll get the first bolt", or "another go and we'll go for a swim" we had whats called "get-there-itis" and were not expecting nor aware of the gear popping out on us, which a climber should always be.

Very valuable lessons learnt.
Jules.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
14/12/2009
1:18:29 PM
I am really glad that you are well on the way to mending, and trust that 'Henners' is recovering equally quickly.

>"get-there-itis"

Is insideous. Even on easy 'summit jugs' it can still grab you!
Another thing to be aware of is hanging around on gear after it has taken a fall. I have had gear 'pop unexpectedly' while it was still supporting my bodyweight some time after it took the initial fall. I can vouch that they don't necessarily 'creak' prior to popping...

henners
14/12/2009
1:31:00 PM
hi people. Im back home now. ive broken the left side of my pelvis pretty badly but the right side is
just cracked.

we both have big eggs on our heads and i am amazed the injurys were as minor as they were. I think
i'd better apologise to Jules for landing on him (sorry mate) and preventing him from rowing the next
day.

Loads of my mates came in and stayed most of each day in hospital with me, so thanks to them as
well. It seems like everyone on chocky's been really good about understanding what happened, unlike
the media!

I should be spending 6-8 weeks in bed, but we have a trip to the climbing gym on the distant horizon.
Thanks everyone for being so supportive.

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 39
There are 39 messages in this topic.

 

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