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Author Topic: other accidents  (Read 330 times)

Admin Al

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other accidents
« on: October 22, 2001, 09:00:37 AM »

there have been a couple of other accidents over the past weeks.

1) a week from this last Saturday there was an accident on Cathedral Ledge. apparently a climber from Massachusetts was on Retaliation. his wife was belaying him from the ledge at the top of the short 1st pitch. according to what I hear he was moving into the niche/alcove at the top & fell, breaking his ankle. if anyone knows who this was, or has any specific details please let me know.

2) rumor has it that there was a serious accident at Rumney around the same time. I heard that a woman had received severe head injuries. I have not been able to confirm this and Ward Smith was not able to as well.

I need to submit both of these to Accidents In North American Mountaineering. even if they are not detailed, they should be included in the statistics.

thanks,

Al
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Edge

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2001, 10:17:03 AM »

     Al, from what I have heard the accident involved a woman who slipped in the leaves at the base of Bonsai, and fell down the slabs to the trail below.  
    Paula King didn't know anything about it either, but said that a 13 year old dog also fell off the cliffs below Bonsai that same weekend and had to be put down later that day.
    Below I've pasted a clip from another message board about still another mishap:
    "Just to clear things up, some of you may be confused with two different accidents. Another one happened in front of my eyes that weekend involving a plymouth state college student. We were climbing zig-zag crack in blackjack and he landed bad resulting in a compound fracture at his ankle (it was gross). Thanks to a handy first responder down at the 5-8 crag and a cellphone, help was brought fast. Thank you to everyone that might have been involved. BOULDERING ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN!!! "
    The leaves on the ground make for some difficult walking, particularly at Rumney where the trails are steep to begin with.  Everyone needs to pay attention to what they are doing off the rock as well as on...
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Lucas

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2001, 11:12:52 AM »

Sorry Al, I don't know anything about the accidents. However, the one time I've been on retaliation (in 99) the guy leading up behind us fell in that exact spot same spot and sprained his ankle real bad. Actually he may have broken it. (I'm no doctor). We had quite a time getting him back to the cars.
Anyways its been a while since I've been on the climb and I don't remember too much about it. Is that niche protectably? Does it have an r rating? If its not run out mabey its just haunted. Cause the guy who hurt himself when I was there seemed like a very strong climber and I was really surprised when he fell there.
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Erik

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2001, 05:19:18 PM »

Al,
What I have heard through the grape vine about the accident on Retaliation was poor belaying skills.  The leader had plenty of protection and the belayer had rope burns on her hand.  Even if you protect that crux niche, if you fall you probably would sail just due to rope stretch.  You always go farther than you think.  
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Admin Al

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2001, 12:25:07 PM »

it seems like almost every year there is an accident on Retaliation. there must be something you hit with your foot if you come off at the crux. it's just too much of a regular thing. had to believe that everyone that has gotten hurt is a poor leader or their belayer is a putz.

it is a stiff climb and the gear, tho good, is hard to place cause you are shoving it into a flake that is below eye view. I was not of the impression that the belayer had screwed up, but I dunno for sure tho. I had heard from Alan Comeau that her hands were burned, but that could be because she freaked & grabbed the rope with her left hand too.

I haven't led it, tho I have seconded. I guess I'll just have to do it myself & see. not till next year tho. weather is failing & there are still "important" things on my tick list. <grin>
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Dave

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2001, 03:11:32 PM »

Al,
Brad and I did the rescue on Retaliation. Poor belaying and inexperience. Give me a call
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Lizz_Bartlett

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2001, 10:09:45 AM »

 ???
Al,
Retaliation a stiff climb? For more than 25 years I have always thought of it as a good introduction to 5.9 because it is well protected and not too sustained. Really, getting over the bulge is the only part that is 5.9, the rest is pretty moderate.

Ta,
Lizz
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RatBoy

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stiff (that's a good word)
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2001, 01:30:45 PM »

I would officially call it stiff...for the masses...particularly those who are not experienced at placing pro.  I did it 10+ years ago and scared the sh-t out of myself.  Been too scared to do it again...need more pullups first.
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Lizz_Bartlett

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2001, 01:57:26 PM »

RatBoy,
Why would someone not experienced at placing gear be leading a trad 5.9? Especially one with a layback crux! Sounds like, and appears to be, a recipe for disaster.

Ta,
Lizz
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dogboy

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2001, 02:41:10 PM »

Don't forget, Lizz...once you do a route three, four, five times, it always seems a lot easier, and unless you had an epic the first time, you tend to forget how hard it actual was onsight.

Al insisted, after my first time leading Pooh, that it was a fair 5.6.  I've since talked to several experienced climbers who rated it anywhere from 5.7 to 5.8+.  Al also claimed that the first pitch of Once Upon a Climb (5.9) was harder than the first pitch of Ego Trip (5.10), forgetting that he'd led Ego Trip many times.

Pathfinder is a good example...the first time I did it, it seemed scary and hard.  Subsequent times it seemed much more reasonable...I knew what to expect and I knew the moves.  Experience makes everything (almost) feel easier, and memory can play tricks...
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Lizz_Bartlett

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2001, 03:29:30 PM »

Dogboy,
I did Retaliation in 1975 because it was recommended to me as a good 5.9 for the reasons I mentioned above. I had no epic and I have climbed it many times since. I've also recommended it as a good intro to 5.9 and many people had agreed with me. Now, perhaps since I climbed it last a hold has broken or some other mitigating circumstance has occured, but I don't believe it to be harder than Chicken Delight or Nutcracker or even Recompense. It is strenuous, though and with it's position on the wall may feel scary, but it doesn't necessarily make it harder that 5.9. Of course maybe I misinterpreted what Al was saying. Wouldn't be the first time.

However, my point in my second reply was that a person with inadequate experience placing gear has no business on a 5.9. Too may people get themselves into trouble by rushing through the grades instead of learning the craft of climbing. This involves much more than being able to physically figure out the moves, but includes routefinding, gear placement, anchor building, etc. The particulars of many of the accidents bear this out.

Ta,
Lizz
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Lucas

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2001, 06:34:22 PM »

Since retaliation is a traverse and all, it could just be a height thing. I'm 6'4" and I remeber protecting the traverse as pretty strenuous work. If I'd owned cams that might have helped but who nows. The point is, mabey its the tall guys having trouble. How tall is everyone?
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dogboy

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2001, 08:05:56 AM »

I take your point, Lizz, and I certainly wasn't suggesting that anyone without sufficient experience should be climbing 5.9...however, I do think that ratings are subjective, and that some people (tall people?) have more difficulty with certain routes than other prople, and that someone who has done a route several times can forget how difficult it really is to onsite.  An example for me is funhouse.  I just started leading this year, and led my first 5.9 a few weeks ago...short order.  I've led short order a few times since then, and I've led Still in Saigon a few times, just to pick out another route over funhouse's 5.7 rating.  Both Still in Saigon and Short Order feel easier to me than Funhouse.  I don't know if it's my height, or that I don't feel particularly comfortable leading corners, but Funhouse feels harder to me than most of the 5.7+ to 5.9 routes I've led this year...

It's all a matter of perspective, I guess.
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Lizz_Bartlett

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2001, 07:03:53 AM »

Lucas,
I'm 6'1" and never had trouble with the diagonal crack leading to the crux, which is about 5.7. It also protects pretty well with just nuts.

Ta,
Lizz
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Admin Al

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Re: other accidents
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2001, 03:14:53 PM »

after talking with the folks who did the rescues 2 things came up:

1 - the belayer had burned hands which usually means they weren't doing it correctly.

2 - they were using a skinny rope. i.e. less than 10mm. this can be quite difficult to catch a fall on as it doesn't have the friction that most belayers are used to.

just stuff to be aware of...
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Al Hospers
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