Author Topic: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse  (Read 5310 times)


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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2005, 09:13:56 AM »
I always wear my seatbelt when climbing.


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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2005, 10:48:38 AM »
Ah yes, but do you wear your helmet when driving...?
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Re: Sunday - accident on Whitehorse
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2005, 12:37:05 PM »
OK OK, so enough with the MC & helmet stuff. back to the questions at hand, like:

"How did that biner get so trashed?"

I asked the leader of the party I helped on that Sunday about the biner. Here are her responses. (BTW she is out of town for a while so this will be all the info I can get for at least a week.)



first, the biner was DEFINITELY locked at the anchor. Of course it was unlocked in the photograph - I've probably screwed that back and forth a thousand times since the accident just playing with it.  While we all can make mistakes, I can guarantee you that biner was locked.  I double and triple check my systems at every belay. My partner says she also recalls checking the biners at the belay and they were both locked.

I am pretty sure I know how the biner broke. As I recall, that belay has two bolts with chains on the bolt hangers. I clipped that biner (it is a BD Positron) through the hanger on the right side from right to left, meaning the gate was on the left. The chains were underneath the biner - in other words, the biner kind of rested on top of the chains.  With a standard runner attached from that biner (as well as the other anchor with another positron biner - and I believe I used a magic-X there), I assume the biner on the right was lying across the chains at a certain angle (I wish I could draw it or demonstrate it to you)...imagine the chains which are not loaded hanging straight down but the biner which is loaded to a master point is angled left towards the center point between the two bolts.  I believe when the log hit, it hit rock, anchor points and the belayer all somewhat simultaneously...I remember seeing her body position and the position of the log as it slid, bounced and hit the belay. I think the log (or part of it) hit the bottom of the biner which was just across the chains, thereby leveraging it against the bolt hanger and it snapped at the upper part of the spine.  When you look at the spine long ways, from the edge, you can see a slight bend up to the point where the break is.  In other words, I think the force of the log on one end of the biner leveraged the other end against the metal bolt hanger and it broke under that "bending" stress. Make sense?

there were some pieces of wood (log fragments) stuck in the gate when I removed it from the hanger....the biner was still resting against the hanger when I found it (just balanced there sort of).  Honestly, I can't remember if the sling was still on it or not...

As for the integrity of the anchor, it obviously held - the biner failed first. I would attribute that more to the exact way the log hot than anything else....pretty amazing forces and
Al Hospers
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