Author Topic: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse  (Read 5198 times)

Offline Admin Al

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Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« on: August 14, 2005, 04:16:09 PM »
there was an accident on Whitehorse this morning. a belayer at the 2nd anchor on Slabs Direct was hit in the head by a large rotten tree dislodged by a party on the slabs above the headwall/overlaps way above on Standard Route. I was there guiding 2 clients. I was the first person to the injured party and directed the rescue. amazingly enough the belayer got away with somewhat minimal injuries and will be fine. of course it started raining in the middle of the whole thing, making things somewhat more "interesting".

in many ways it was very fortunate that the weather kept people off the cliff, as on a sunny day there would likely have been other parties directly below. in addition, the tree was rotten it did not have the impact that it could have. if it had not been rotten it is likely that it would have broken the belayers' neck or back.

thanks to Rob & Mike for their help lowering the injured person and her partner from the Toilet Bowl belay, the local EMT & rescue people for their prompt response and to MRS member Joe Klimentovich for his help at the Launching Pad.

I'll post full details in next week's Report.

--al
Al Hospers
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Offline Admin Al

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 06:44:44 AM »
a local MRS member told me that they spoke with a party who was above us on Whitehorse on Sunday and who said that they accidentally dislodged  the tree. if it was you of you know them could you please get in touch with me about what happened? I would like to have that information for my AINAM report. I am happy to keep this information anonymous if desired.

thanks,

--al
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Offline slobmonster

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2005, 02:19:36 PM »
Al--
I just read your front-page story recounting the events on Whitehorse last weekend.  My friend, thank you for being there, keeping your sh!t together, and doing a great job.  
--SETH
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DLottmann

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2005, 02:36:29 PM »
Al, I ended up rapping from Lunch Ledge two days ago with a couple clients and was amazed how much bark/debris was all over the place.  We rapped down Slabs Direct, and I recovered a quick draw off the bolt on the 5.4x pitch of Slabs Direct which I think may belong to that party.  Any contact info so I can get it back to them?

In between the two bolts at the anchor below you could clearly see where the tree hit due to "smushed wood" on the rock.  Freaky.

If you can edit your cover story I think you mean the Launch Pad not Lunch Ledge near the end of the story....

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2005, 03:39:39 PM »
Seth - thanks for the kind words my friend. we all were really really lucky that day. it could have happened any time and to any one. the good thing, for me, was that I was actually able to remember all the good stuff that Brad White, George Hurley and all the other knowledgable folks that I've had the good fortune to climb with over the past bunch of years had drummed into me. it all comes in handy.

DMan - yes, that was their QD. it was raining & I couldn't get up there in the rain to get it for her. if you leave it at IMCS with my name on it I will make sure that it is returned.

I'm sure that there was a lot of debris up there. it was desintegrating as it fell. I think that is the only thing that saved her life. it wasn't a solid chunk. that and the fact that it obviously hit her a glancing blow on the helmet. BTW - no helmet, she would have been DEAD! think about that the next time you are climbing helmetless folks!!!!!

of course you are correct about the Launching Pad instead of Lunch Ledge. I thought I caught that one, but guess I didn't. it's fixed now.

--al
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Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2005, 06:23:36 PM »
Seems like a lot of helmets coming in handy lately! The incident on Turners certainly could have been a fatality without a helmet.

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2005, 07:25:01 PM »
helmets, ah yes helmets... now you got me started!

besides the episode on Sunday I was out riding bikes with the wife last Thursday. 3 of us were coming back down Passaconaway road when for no particular reason my wife went off the road coming down the little hill right by Red Eagle Farm. she got stuck in the soft sand and low shoulder & flipped over sideways & hit her head on the asphault. fortunately she was OK, but it cracked the helmet in 3 places. if she didn't have one on I am totally confident that she would still be in the hospital! it's like wearing a seatbelt... why the frell would you not do it?

woops, oh that's right, of course. it's NH.

Live Free & Die!

--al
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Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2005, 08:21:32 PM »
29 motorcycle deaths last year in Nh vs 2 in Vt. It's a no brainer ???

Offline drown

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2005, 06:35:06 AM »
Quote
29 motorcycle deaths last year in Nh vs 2 in Vt. It's a no brainer ???


But I'm always so impressed by how cool all the bareheads look cruising the roads up there in NH, their hair flying behind them.......actually my front neighbor here in MA rides her bike helmetless on Boston streets regularly...laws dont always protect the senseless.

mg

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2005, 06:46:17 AM »
Quote
It's a no brainer


no brainer, that's a good one tradman.

:o

--al
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Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2005, 07:57:50 AM »
Al. Do you have any theory on what caused the locking biner to fail besids the obvious one of being Hit by a tree?  Was it screwed shut?  Cross loaded? or was the tree just too big for it? what part of the anchor was it employed. What caused the anchor to hold despite catastrophic failuer of a locking biner in the anchor? thanks, nick

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2005, 09:30:03 AM »
all good questions about the biner. frankly I don't have all those answers at this time. I'll ask & see if I can find out more & report back. I would like to know as well. to my knowledge the biner was screwed shut tho.

--al
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Offline tradmanclimbz

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2005, 10:18:33 AM »
I would speculate that it was a well constructed belay to have survived a partial failuer and still held but that is just speculation.

Offline dogboy

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2005, 10:25:28 AM »
Quote
29 motorcycle deaths last year in Nh vs 2 in Vt. It's a no brainer ???



Interesting on this one...if you look at the rise in MC deaths, it corresponds almost exactly to the rise in new MC license applications...which has exploded as all those Boomers hit their midlife crisis and drop a big wad of cash on a Harley, leather vest...and no helmet (glad to save that $200!).  I ride with full kevlar suit, helmet, gloves, and boots all the time...but honestly I think the dramatic rise in MC deaths in some states is more a result of too many inexperienced riders on big bikes rather than on lack of helmet use.

Should have both a helmet law and a required safety course for new license applicants.

OK, I'll get off the soapbox now... ::)
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Offline ccclimber

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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2005, 12:31:40 PM »
i wear my helmet climbing but not when on my motorcycle, legally..some states with helmet laws have the highest fatalities...doctors say that if paul pritchard had been wearing a helmet on the totem pole he would be dead...no one reason dictates all..i think alcohol and speed are bigger factors...neither of which i partake in while riding or climbing...have no idea why i'm writing this on a thread titled whitehorse accident...really bored at work today...no mid life crisis even though i don't have any hair to fly in the breeze..actually i can see myself getting stopped for blinding other motorists with the top of my head.. ;D
Ed