Author Topic: if the rockfall don't get you...  (Read 376 times)

Offline Admin Al

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if the rockfall don't get you...
« on: July 08, 2003, 11:59:30 am »
I was on Cathedral Friday morning climbing with Diagonal with my wife. about 10 AM I heard a really big crack & looked over in the direction of Remission and saw something that seemed to be pretty big fall into the woods. I called out several times and thankfully there was nobody over in that area. I thought that it was a rock, but when I went over & looked in the woods I couldn't see anything.

then on Sunday morning I was up on the top of the cliff left of Remission doing George Hurley's climb Late Night Movie, just right of the finish of Angels Highway. at the top of the cliff I saw a big old tree that had obviously fallen down in the past couple of days. part of it was hanging over the cliff and I suspect that it was the the top that had snapped off and that was what fell into the woods. since I was looking for a boulder, I didn't spot anything.

if the rockfall don't get you, the treefall just might...

Al Hospers
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Offline DH

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Re: if the rockfall don't get you...
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2003, 12:53:16 pm »
If you weren't there to hear it, would it have made a sound??


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Re: if the rockfall don't get you...
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2003, 12:57:57 pm »
i once had the displeasure of witnessing the following accident at Frankenstein...

can't remember which climb it was, but the lead climber completed the route and set up a belay in the trees above.  he anchored himself to a large tree about 20 feet above him and then belayed his partner directly with an ATC on his harness.  he braced his feet along a large dead tree log (about 15 feet long, 8" or so in diameter) which was perched precariously on the exit lip of the climb.  His partner started climbing and about half way up he fell.  Initially the lead climber arrested the fall by locking off his belay, and bracing his feet against the log...  well, the log gave way and went straight for the second's head smashing him directly in the face as he looked up to see what all the noise was about.  Not sure if his nose was broken, but there sure was a lot of blood gushing from it, plus lacerations.  Also, the lead climber now found himself dangling over the lip since he had too much slack in his anchor, and when it finally caught him, he was over the edge.  So there they were, the leader struggling to hold on to his buddy who was bleeding quite badly, and himself dangling helplessly.  Ultimately he lowered his buddy off, and was able to get back up.  Anyway, just a little treefall story for you, albeit of the less objective hazard kind.  Clearly the leader was at fault here.  My partner and I explained to him (nicely) that if he had threaded the belay line through the tree anchor above him, the second's fall would have actually lifted him up toward the trees, instead of dragging him over the edge and dislodging the tree log when he tried to brace himself with it.  Go figure.