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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 3 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 56
Author
The singularly most dangerous thing ...

Cool Hand Lock
13/05/2013
6:53:33 PM
Most dangerous thing: had someone joke about cutting my ropes, with a knife on my ropes.

wallwombat
13/05/2013
8:21:33 PM
I've let Capt Mulch belay me a few times.

Big G
13/05/2013
8:45:16 PM
Rapping off a climb in the dark knowing that my rope is too short but guessing/hoping that rope stretch might get me there. Thankfully being a large bloke paid off that night.... Just
kieranl
14/05/2013
9:10:45 AM
On 13/05/2013 Drake wrote:
>Great reads- thanks for the thread bump. It's amazing how few of these
>stories are actually about leading (Neil's being the notable exception).
>Abseiling really is the dangerous bit.
That isn't borne out by the figures. At Arapiles there have been 6 fatalities while lead-climbing (excluding soloing and unroped scrambling) and 2 from abseiling.
It's probably more to do with leader falls being a "normal" part of climbing whereas a problem with an abseil is always a stuff-up.
GoUp!
14/05/2013
9:49:57 AM
In my youth.....at Diamond Bay with Claw. He'd just bolted some arete thing and the glue was still runny fresh.....he convinced me to lead the route....on his static abseil rope......Definately not the most dangerous thing as I didn't fall and test the obvious weaknesses in the system (!) but it had the potential to be nasty and I've never made the same mistake again...

pmonks
14/05/2013
10:07:56 AM
Limestone trad climbing. Just say no.
technogeekery
14/05/2013
10:10:33 AM
Would be interesting to have more data on that in Australia. Rapping certainly isn't the most dangerous thing in North American climbing, where they HAVE been keeping quite detailed stats for 50+ years. Of all the recorded accidents there (6868 in USA to 2007), most are in ascent (2853) rather than descent (2192) giving lie to the myth that most accidents happen after the climb itself. The biggest "Immediate Cause" is "Fall of Slip on Rock" (3407 in that period, or almost exactly 50%) followed by Slip on Snow or Ice (971) and Falling Rock Ice or Object (610). Then comes Exceeding Abilities, Illness, Stranded, Avalanche, Exposure, and only then Rappel Failure (274, or 4%).

So rapping is a very small contributor to the number of serious accidents in North America - interesting in light of the anecdotal evidence in this thread. While our stats would be quite different (much fewer ice/snow, Avalanche, Exposure incidents for a start) you'd think we'd be broadly similar in things like Fall of Slip on Rock being by far the largest.

Maybe it is a perception thing? When you have an issue rapping, the enormity of the risk / danger slaps you in the face and leaves you sweating and fearful, sometimes reliving it for years. But how often when leading are we a tiny incident (a slip, a breaking hold, a falling rock) away from serious injury or death? You know the little justifications we use well (its easy ground, I wont fall. When in doubt, run it out. That flake has probably been like that for 500 years) and we get used to pushing that niggling fear and doubt down, and discounting the danger - maybe too much?

Or - does it make more sense to look at the time we spend doing these activities as well? For many of us the ratio of number of climbs to lowers/raps is almost 1:1, but we'll spend one or two hours climbing for every 5 mins rapping - so the rap accidents suddenly look proportionately more significant.

Interesting.

Oh yes, my most dangerous thing I've done? Rapping off the end of my rope, 25 years ago. Short climb, pulled up some rope & dropped it down, visually checked it reached the deck, then did some fiddling with the anchors, and rapped. Wasn't looking what I was doing, and rapped off the end of one rope at about 3m off the deck, landed on my arse with a thud, & no harm done. One of my friends on the ground had started to pull the rope when I was setting anchors, for some reason, and then stopped, leaving one end 3m up, but it could just as easily have been 20m. I'm still quite paranoid about rapping (and partners...actually, lots of things)
technogeekery
14/05/2013
12:18:33 PM
On 14/05/2013 ratherbeclimbinV9 wrote:
>On 14/05/2013 technogeekery wrote:
>>Would be interesting to have more data on that in Australia.
>
>http://velorum.ballarat.edu.au/~isedgman/climbing/Accidents.pdf

Thanks V9, had not seen that.

The report is 10 years old and is only partial to say the least - but the author acknowledges that and manages to get a lot of good info & analysis together. Would be great to see this updated.

Interesting to see that abseiling (as part of rock climbing) accounted for 1 of the 25 fatalities, in line with the USA stats.

Also confirmed my long held belief that Grade 17 & 18 trad are the most likely grades to kill people! :-)
Mike Bee
14/05/2013
12:32:13 PM
On 14/05/2013 technogeekery wrote:
>So rapping is a very small contributor to the number of serious accidents
>in North America - interesting in light of the anecdotal evidence in this
>thread. While our stats would be quite different (much fewer ice/snow,
>Avalanche, Exposure incidents for a start) you'd think we'd be broadly
>similar in things like Fall of Slip on Rock being by far the largest.

I think the big difference with the stats from this thread is that we're talking about the most dangreous situation we've been in, not the situation that we've injured ourselves the most.

A rapping accident is more likely to either a) not hurt but scare the crap out of you (like the majority of stories here), or b) kill you (in which case you can't be posting about it here). Compared to climbing accidents causing injury leave you alive to tell the stories about it.

Basically, it's a sampling thing. The North American database records accidents, not near misses, where as lots of this thread refers to near misses, with no injury or death to be turned into a statistic.

Snacks
Online Now
14/05/2013
12:38:46 PM
On 14/05/2013 technogeekery wrote:
>Would be interesting to have more data on that in Australia. Rapping certainly
>isn't the most dangerous thing in North American climbing, where they HAVE
>been keeping quite detailed stats for 50+ years. Of all the recorded accidents
>there (6868 in USA to 2007), most are in ascent (2853) rather than descent
>(2192) giving lie to the myth that most accidents happen after the climb
>itself. The biggest "Immediate Cause" is "Fall of Slip on Rock" (3407 in
>that period, or almost exactly 50%) followed by Slip on Snow or Ice (971)
>and Falling Rock Ice or Object (610). Then comes Exceeding Abilities, Illness,
>Stranded, Avalanche, Exposure, and only then Rappel Failure (274, or 4%).
>
>
>So rapping is a very small contributor to the number of serious accidents
>in North America - interesting in light of the anecdotal evidence in this
>thread. While our stats would be quite different (much fewer ice/snow,
>Avalanche, Exposure incidents for a start) you'd think we'd be broadly
>similar in things like Fall of Slip on Rock being by far the largest.
>
>Maybe it is a perception thing? When you have an issue rapping, the enormity
>of the risk / danger slaps you in the face and leaves you sweating and
>fearful, sometimes reliving it for years. But how often when leading are
>we a tiny incident (a slip, a breaking hold, a falling rock) away from
>serious injury or death? You know the little justifications we use well
>(its easy ground, I wont fall. When in doubt, run it out. That flake has
>probably been like that for 500 years) and we get used to pushing that
>niggling fear and doubt down, and discounting the danger - maybe too much?
>
>
>Or - does it make more sense to look at the time we spend doing these
>activities as well? For many of us the ratio of number of climbs to lowers/raps
>is almost 1:1, but we'll spend one or two hours climbing for every 5 mins
>rapping - so the rap accidents suddenly look proportionately more significant.
>
>
>Interesting.
>
>Oh yes, my most dangerous thing I've done? Rapping off the end of my rope,
>25 years ago. Short climb, pulled up some rope & dropped it down, visually
>checked it reached the deck, then did some fiddling with the anchors, and
>rapped. Wasn't looking what I was doing, and rapped off the end of one
>rope at about 3m off the deck, landed on my arse with a thud, & no harm
>done. One of my friends on the ground had started to pull the rope when
>I was setting anchors, for some reason, and then stopped, leaving one end
>3m up, but it could just as easily have been 20m. I'm still quite paranoid
>about rapping (and partners...actually, lots of things)

Do you have the link for those stats?

It's good that the causes of an accident have been categorised, but are the accidents graded by severity? Or is any accident (whether it be a twisted ankle or fatality) just treated as a +1?
technogeekery
14/05/2013
3:34:12 PM
Mike Bee - fair enough.

Snacks - Aus stats link upthread, USA ones here http://americanalpineclub.org/p/anam-statistics

freesolo
15/05/2013
2:03:39 AM
trying to talk sense to a boulderer. my brain nearly melted.

Snacks
Online Now
15/05/2013
9:12:40 AM
On 14/05/2013 technogeekery wrote:
>Mike Bee - fair enough.
>
>Snacks - Aus stats link upthread, USA ones here http://americanalpineclub.org/p/anam-stat
>stics
>

Cheers
DylanB
16/05/2013
5:48:53 PM
Mine's a bit tame in comparison to others. Decided to experience my first multi with two other mates who had never attempted a multi before by climbing Troposphere on Tibro. We made a poor decision to abseil back down the climb instead of using the normal abseil route at the top of the wall. The last two pitches of this climb trend rightwards significantly.

I was last to go down and found that the guys had clipped the ropes to the first belay stance and continued on down to the station below. This particular belay was on a huge ledge with a tree off to the right. I unclipped the rope from the anchor so I could continue abseiling to the next belay stance. At that point I somehow lost my balance while standing on the worlds largest ledge and started to pendulum off to the right.

I hit the tree and instantly started spinning off the ledge and out over the 80 or so meters of exposure. At that point I was quietly shitting myself and holding on for my life. It was pretty hard to tell what was going on due to the fact I was spinning around whilst careening across the cliff face. As luck would have it, there were no nasty corners to smash into so I ended up unscathed. I know it's unlikely, but all I could think about was how thankful I was that a rope didn't cut during the pendulum (it's not the cleanest face up the top).

I learned a lot of important lessons that day!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
16/05/2013
7:30:09 PM
Welcome to Chockstone DylanB.
It is unclear from your post, but I take it that you still had enough rope to reach the ground?
DylanB
16/05/2013
8:21:29 PM
Cheers! Enough to get down to the next rap point which is around 60m off the ground. Was a simple mistake of losing control of the abseil.

 Page 3 of 3. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 56
There are 56 messages in this topic.

 

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