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Author Topic: Entire Route Collapses On Climber  (Read 4365 times)

apbt1976

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2012, 11:40:48 AM »

Climbing hobbit Friday i heard and felt two of those giant crashes around the corner towards Chia and Widows Walk. People where on Chia so i was a bit concerned. I heard no screams so that was that.

I was able to talk to the party climbing Chia at the top as two of the three of that party where on Belay at the top. They confirmed the crash come from over near Widows. We def hurried along back under Chia to our gear at the base of Hobbit.
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fresh

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2012, 12:42:04 PM »

thanks so much for sharing this. it's incredibly important that we discuss accidents when they happen.

I agree with DWT that each of those red flags should have combined to make it a no-go. however, call me cynical, but I don't think most climbers would have moved on if there was nothing else to climb and they had driven hours to get there. although I wish I could say that I'd be smarter, I wouldn't exclude myself from that group. when you only have a few days each winter to get after it, sound judgment often gets clouded.

like mr miyagi says, "best block, no be there." if the weather has been too warm, or if there's been a drastic cold snap, just don't go. if you do, you're gonna find yourself saying "man we shouldn't be here, but this line looks so cool, and we drove all this way, and I only have two more weekends to get after it." all of a sudden the risk seems worth it. (maybe the risk is worth it to you--we're all free to take the risks we want. (just don't put others in danger with your own risks (and remember there are people who care about you, too. (ok that's enough nested parentheses.)).))

so before you even make plans, check out the weather over the week leading up to the day you're going, and the forecast for the day you're looking at. if the area you're looking at is south-facing, you know that the forecast needs to be for cloudy or very cold weather. also check out Al's ice conditions report and ask around. there's no shortage of information about popular areas.

if you feel the ice vibrating under your frontpoints, either you have a high risk tolerance and the reward is worth it to you, or you made a mistake in your analysis and should have gone bouldering. no judgment intended--I've fucked up too, and I've been lucky enough to avoid injury.
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DLottmann

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2012, 02:14:52 PM »

Some good points Fresh. What you’re referring to are “Human Factors” and "Heuristic Traps” that we fall prey to. A lot of research has been done as they are often factors in avalanche fatalities. Many of the lessons learned carry over well to the climbing game.

Instead of “not going” north because it has been warm don’t “lock in” to one objective, i.e., we’re going to climb at Texaco (or summit Mount Washington via Lion’s Head). Instead make a few different plans.

1) Plan to climb up Central Gully in Huntington and summit.

2) Avalanche Danger is rated Moderate with more snow on the way, let’s do Lion’s Head instead

3) -60 Wind Chill, I think I’ll get some runs in at Cranmore.

To often people drive north with only one objective in mind, and when conditions deteriorate it is easier to fall back on a more conservative plan if it was thought of before hand. That’s a sure sign of a seasoned backcountry traveler. They look at 2, 3, maybe even 4 options for a successful trip to help combat falling into that “trap” of pushing blindly forward while Mother Nature sends out her warning signs that today is not the best day to do “X”, but “Y” and “Z” may still be appropriate.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 02:17:34 PM by DMan »
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2012, 07:50:00 PM »

Saw a ton of scary behavior @ the crag this weekend. Folks tying their belayers to ice screw in the bombzone while guideing or pretending to guide?   Folks blisfully  belaying a top rope for hours while standing under a 2,000lb rotten freehanger in full sun on sat... etc,etc,etc....
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DLottmann

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2012, 08:28:02 PM »

which crag? I’m aware of some large group activity and can maybe specify...
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2012, 09:19:35 PM »

No large groups just a bunch crazniess going on....
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DLottmann

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2012, 09:30:19 PM »

So what crag?
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2012, 09:41:11 PM »

Holts..
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lucky luke

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2012, 01:14:40 AM »

Evaluating ice is something every ice climber should learn sooner than later.

I like to climb early in the season to see how the ice is form. In "climbing ice", chouinard 1971, he describe seven type of ice. It is old, but still a good description. With those description and if you look at how the water drop from the top, you will be able to make your own judgment on the quality of the ice. 

when you climb, there is some place more fragile than the other. I climbed on a pressure plate (top out with very hard ice) I plant my ice tool four feet appart and a crack went from my right picks to one inches of my other ice tool. A fall in a diedral with no protection on 40 feet. In that case, it was a fracture line inside the ice hard to see. Careless, I will be injure or death.  In many ice route, there is also places where a fracture line could be form, where the snow can accumulate, where the sun can delaminate the ice, etc. To see them, you have to go when they are forming. 

Glad that there is no injury.
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2012, 06:28:07 AM »

If you have to watch the ice form to figuer it out....








Yer gonna DIE...
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eyebolter

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2012, 10:50:30 AM »

I gave up ice a long time ago..although I did have an entire short route fall on my second in the 70's after I lead it melting in the sun (he was unhurt fortunately). 

Now being a winter rock climber I can tell you most people have no idea how warm rock will get in the winter.   Even in below-freezing temperatures, in full sun and clear sky the south-facing rock will get quite warm.  Not good for ice contact.


 
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Broken_Spectre

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2012, 05:39:31 PM »

I'm glad everyone was OK.  That said, the day you were at Texaco was preceded by 4 sunny days with temps in the 30s to 40s on a southwest facing crag.  There should be no surprise that that ice would be completely unstable given the weather history.  The rotten appearance of the ice and the fact that the sides were completely detached from dark (black) rock combined with a completely undercut curtain at the bottom should shout danger.  If temps had been in the 20s and it was overcast, this could have been a safe(r) destination for the day. 

In evaluating whether or not to get on a climb, the weather of the preceeding days is critical.  South to southwest aspect crags in 30+ degree ambient temps I consider generally to be a no go, unless the ice is very low angle and supported. 

Keep in mind that a route someone did the day before safely can be dangerous the next day due to sun or rapid changes in temperatures.  That is why it is critical to make your own evaluation when you arrive at the crag. 

Other tips :
Free hangers on cold days < 15-20 degrees, generally a no go.  They like to break off in cold temps.
Very thin (3" or less) off vertical to vertical ice the day after a sunny day with overnight temps in the -10 to 5 degree range.  Generally the ice will have detached and will not be bonded.  Being on a ice like that with those weather conditions is a roll of the dice. 
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lucky luke

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2012, 08:24:27 PM »

I'm glad everyone was OK.  That said, the day you were at Texaco was preceded by 4 sunny days with temps in the 30s to 40s on a southwest facing crag.  There should be no surprise that that ice would be completely unstable given the weather history.  [....] In evaluating whether or not to get on a climb, the weather of the preceeding days is critical.  [...]Keep in mind that a route someone did the day before safely can be dangerous the next day due to sun or rapid changes in temperatures.  That is why it is critical to make your own evaluation when you arrive at the crag. 

I just take a look on the forecast weather site. In most site, there is a 3 days weather history buttom. Some site are harder to find than other. Ordinarly, on the righ two third of the page.
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Ibexdude

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2012, 04:14:23 PM »

My partner who witnessed the collapse - said his ice climbing career is over.  WTF?  Do you think therapy would help?  Just kidding.  He does have a kid on the way, maybe he's not thinking clearly...but seriously, he said he's never climbing ice again.  I've sworn off things for life too, only to do the break my promise the following week.  I'm afraid he's not kidding this time.  Think this will pass?
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slink

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Re: Entire Route Collapses On Climber
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2012, 04:31:29 PM »

A newborn will change what is an acceptable risk.You just need to let him know you are willing to lead the scary stuff.Give him some time if he is a real climber he will get back to it in his own time.It sounds like a scary situation.At least no one was seriously injured.Be safe
 Jim
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bailing is not failing!!!
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