General > Epics and Accidents

Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13

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I know people have started talking about this is the older thread but a new accident deserves it’s own post for obvious reasons.

From islander511’s original post:

"It's happened again, I'm sorry to report. Another Acadia Mountain Guides accident today, this time a guide was very seriously injured in a fall (early report is he rapped off his rope 1/2 way down Old Town) at the South Wall, and was Life Flighted to Bangor. Sounds like severe injuries. Sure hope he pulls through."

From Grammy’s Facebook I saw this article:

This second article has me wondering if heat was a contributing factor. The article mentions the rangers assisting 5 people on the nearby short Beehive Trail with heat exhaustion that day...

Remember the guy who took the 300+ footer down the Prow a couple summers ago when he disconnected his jumars? Heat exhaustion was suspected, if not confirmed...

Of course it will be awhile, if ever, we hear what happened, but I wanted to point out when it is super hot out we are more prone to making mistakes. I recently had a very experienced partner disconnect from a rap line before attaching to the anchor on a small exposed stance... twice in one two day trip... 90+ temps in the Gunks...

I have personally had to slow myself down when I know I am getting pissed about climbing some south facing crag in 90+ heat index... that kinda heat kicks my ass and it takes extra mental fortitude to really stay focused... I’ve also used stopper knots more time this season than ever, and it wasn’t that long ago I gaffed at em’

To a speedy full recovery to the guide, and to all of us let’s be careful OK? As cliche as it sounds I mean it...

DMan brings up great points about the heat and the effects it can have on the body. While I always drink allot of water I really make sure I drink Gatorade or something similar to replace electrolytes when its really hot and humid. Just this past Sunday I was mountain biking and only drank water - and bonked about 75% into the ride. Was fortunate to be near a trail head to where I could ride back on the road to my truck. Stopped at the closest store for Gatorade and literally started to feel better upon the first big gulp. So the electrolyte replacement from my perspective really works.


Sounds like perhaps the client was lowering and let the end of the rope go through the device.


--- Quote from: pappy on July 19, 2013, 11:55:31 am ---Sounds like perhaps the client was lowering and let the end of the rope go through the device.

--- End quote ---

it does sound like that. the accident happened on old town so it seems unlikely they ran out of rope. it is always possible the belayer just let go.


--- Quote from: pappy on July 19, 2013, 11:55:31 am ---Sounds like perhaps the client was lowering and let the end of the rope go through the device.

--- End quote ---

While we still don’t know if the guide was unintentionally dropped, or the end of the rope passed through the device (unlikely with a 60m rope on that climb), it is another good point of discussion.

As a guide who is routinely been lowered off climbs by relatively inexperienced climbers I often opt to rappel, or keep a hand on the other end of the top-rope during the descent until I am quite close to the ground. I’ve seen other guides place a Shunt on the other side of the TR attached to there harness... while it seems over protective it is “self-preservation” that is speaking...

I know Jon is an exceptional guide and business owner. I truly hope this incident doesn’t crush his business, but I hope all guides, formal and informal, continue to be vigilant...

I don’t remember the exact quote, or who said it, so I’ll paraphrase something that has stuck with me for years...

“Your clients are trying to kill themselves, each other, and you”

When I guide I am constantly expecting them to make mistakes... that is why I am the guide... I expect them to let go of the brake strand, I expect them to clip into an anchor incorrectly, I expect them to disconnect from the anchor before they are on belay...

Another well stated observation I refer to often:

"Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.” Edward Whymper

Look him up to see why he said this...


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