Goto Chockstone Home

  Guide
  Gallery
  Tech Tips
  Articles
  Reviews
  Dictionary
  Links
  Forum
  Search
  About

      Sponsored By
      ROCK
   HARDWARE

  Shop
FREIGHT FREE
in Australia

Black Diamond: Super Chute Rope Bag. Volume 25 litres. Single adjustable shoulder strap. Rope tarp dimensions: 146 X 126cm. 400d nylon. Assorted colours. (Holds up to 80M Rope)  $49.00
30% Off

Chockstone Photography Australian Landscape Photography by Michael Boniwell
Australian Landscape Prints





Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

Author
Trad Climbing Accident - 1m X 1m X 2m Rock Fall
jakob
14/06/2013
3:03:57 PM
I was climbing a single pitch trad climb the other day in the USA (Foster Falls, Tennessee). The rock is sandstone similar to Nowra / Blue mountains, but maybe a bit harder.

My mate climbed up the pitch, which was quite easy, and for practice decided to take a practice fall onto a nut. He backed his fall up with a little two piece equalised anchor under the nut, as well as a cam placed higher with a long runner such that the nut below was in tension during a fall.

He climbed up a very short way, perhaps 1.5 m, and confidently took his fall. I was at the base of the crag watching, with his girlfriend belaying. I saw him fall, and then saw half the damn cliff peel off the wall with him. A piece of rock approximately 1m X 1m X 2m came down right beside the climber and crash onto the ground, destroying my rope!!! Thankfully everyone was positioned at the base of the climb so that we weren't in danger, the climb fortunately had a slight traverse so the belayer was ok but very shaken (missed by 1.5m), the climber was ok as the upper cam on the long runner caught him, everyone was ok!!!

What happened??? We went back up to inspect, he had placed the nut in a perfect placement, but it had caused this whole block to fracture off. I had just climbed the same route and I would never have guessed this piece was loose. You couldn't tap it to listen, it was 1m thick. Fault lines would have been very hard to see as they ran so far (picture looking up over 2m of crack and trying to figure out if it was weak?

Conclusion: ??? Thoughts? My thoughts are that all trad climbers need to be geologists!

shortman
14/06/2013
3:19:29 PM
Just bad luck. Not complicated at all.
jakob
14/06/2013
3:26:33 PM
I agree!

Miguel75
14/06/2013
5:21:44 PM
Pretty crazy experience, stoked no one was injured. Though sad for your rope;)


rodw
Online Now
14/06/2013
6:01:09 PM
On 14/06/2013 shortman wrote:
>Just bad luck. Not complicated at all.

Id say good luck actually that no one got hurt.
rightarmbad
14/06/2013
6:56:40 PM
The climb just needed more bolts.
Obviously the nut placement was to blame for the climbing community loosing this great climb.
It should have been bolted long ago to prevent such atrocities.
technogeekery
14/06/2013
8:24:08 PM
Practise falls on trad? WTF? Practise falls in the gym if you must, practise not falling when leading trad. Its a simple concept.
dan_b
14/06/2013
8:31:46 PM
I agree.. the falls on trad will come eventually!

IdratherbeclimbingM9
14/06/2013
8:46:51 PM
On 14/06/2013 jakob wrote:
>snip)
>I saw him fall, and then saw half the damn cliff peel off the wall with
>him. A piece of rock approximately 1m X 1m X 2m came down right beside
>the climber and crash onto the ground, destroying my rope!!! (snip)

>What happened??? We went back up to inspect, he had placed the nut in
>a perfect placement, but it had caused this whole block to fracture off.
>I had just climbed the same route and I would never have guessed this piece
>was loose. You couldn't tap it to listen, it was 1m thick. Fault lines
>would have been very hard to see as they ran so far (picture looking up
>over 2m of crack and trying to figure out if it was weak?
>
>Conclusion: ??? Thoughts? My thoughts are that all trad climbers need
>to be geologists!


Even being a geologist won't help when it comes to a major exfoliation of a cliff.

I have climbed entire rope-length pitches in some trad locations and found that all my pro had been placed in a veneer (sometimes metres thick), waiting to depart*1,2 from the main cliff...

(*1 Warrumbungles NSW, and Mt Buffalo VIC come readily to mind for this.)


(* 2 I may be wrong with the detail regarding the climb, but I vaguely remember reading about Xaver Bongard and John Middendorf climbing a huge multipitch route on Great Trango Tower, that they called The Grand Voyage, and when they were approaching the topout pitches it shed an entire lower pitch they had earlier climbed, into the abyss below?)


There is a thread on Chockstone running at the moment where it has occurred to me that the enticing-line looks like a booby trap waiting to go off...

There was a recent accident involving a similar 'presumably safe' block...

It is all a game.
Sometimes we lose.
Jakob
14/06/2013
11:06:43 PM
There's a section of a 'The Nose' on El Cap that is called the 'Bootleg Flake'. I have read it described as a section of rock that doesn't seem to be attached at all? People aid up it all the time.

Apparently when first climbed with nuts it ground under body weight during aid. I am wondering if anyone has ever taken a leader fall on it with a cam and had that 5-6 times fall force expansion outwards?

I am a lot more careful now with cam placements, especially when they are parrallel with the cliffline.

pmonks
15/06/2013
3:53:43 AM
Yeah boot flake is hilarious - it's not entirely clear what's holding it up:


The Ivory Coast flake at Booroomba is like that too - no obvious means of support. Though it's on a much lower angled slab than boot flake.

There are 11 messages in this topic.

 

Home | Guide | Gallery | Tech Tips | Articles | Reviews | Dictionary | Forum | Links | About | Search
Chockstone Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography

Please read the full disclaimer before using any information contained on these pages.



Australian Panoramic | Australian Coast | Australian Mountains | Australian Countryside | Australian Waterfalls | Australian Lakes | Australian Cities | Australian Macro | Australian Wildlife
Landscape Photo | Landscape Photography | Landscape Photography Australia | Fine Art Photography | Wilderness Photography | Nature Photo | Australian Landscape Photo | Stock Photography Australia | Landscape Photos | Panoramic Photos | Panoramic Photography Australia | Australian Landscape Photography | Mothers Day Gifts | Gifts for Mothers Day | Mothers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Mothers Day | Wedding Gift Ideas | Christmas Gift Ideas | Fathers Day Gifts | Gifts for Fathers Day | Fathers Day Gift Ideas | Ideas for Fathers Day | Landscape Prints | Landscape Poster | Limited Edition Prints | Panoramic Photo | Buy Posters | Poster Prints