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Author Topic: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13  (Read 1423 times)

DLottmann

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Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« on: July 18, 2013, 02:44:01 PM »

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.

http://fenceviewer.com/site/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=81898:climbing-guide-seriously-hurt-in-fall&Itemid=938"

From Grammy’s Facebook I saw this article:

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/17/news/hancock/rock-climber-injured-in-acadia/

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...
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 02:47:47 PM by DMan »
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markvnh

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 03:42:16 PM »

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.

Mark
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pappy

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #2 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.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/18/news/hancock/acadia-officials-to-meet-with-owner-of-climbing-service-after-falls/?ref=relatedBox

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bennybrew

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 06:51:53 PM »

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

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.
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DLottmann

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 08:59:22 PM »

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

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/18/news/hancock/acadia-officials-to-meet-with-owner-of-climbing-service-after-falls/?ref=relatedBox

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...
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 09:03:15 PM by DMan »
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Admin Al

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 10:17:18 PM »

Every time you guide, you are actually soloing.
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Al Hospers
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DLottmann

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 10:59:29 PM »

Every time you guide, you are actually soloing.

Newbies, sure... but I’ve had plenty of repeat clients who have demonstrated skilled belaying that make this generalization inaccurate... just saying, clients don’t need to be considered inept...

Case in point today my client is a 2x Denali summiter, leads Grade 5 Ice, 5.8 rock, but isn’t familiar with the area (and would love to learn some self-rescue skills)...

It would be better to say... every time you climb shit can go wrong... look out for shit... always...

EDIT: Your statement rings true for the majority of guiding in this area, which is often with “non-climbers”, but discredits those that select a guide for other reasons. I’ve hired sea-kayaking guides and would gladly hire a climbing guide to give me a local tour before setting out on my own...
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 11:06:22 PM by DMan »
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lucky luke

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 11:14:28 PM »

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

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/18/news/hancock/acadia-officials-to-meet-with-owner-of-climbing-service-after-falls/?ref=relatedBox

sounds that we have the same problems as in Quebec when too much people are good climber in there crag and don't learn all the subtety of climbing. Papy, you talk about what happened and excuse the guide to had make the mistake. But as a leader, you know that it is always the guide mistake, whatever happen with your client. The ethic in the gold age was to take the responsibility on our shoulder when the party have a problem. Maybe it is what I am doing when I wrote in a forum.

In many post, I talked about avalanches and discuss with other guide that never when climbing in Huntington ravine in a snowstorm, they always climb in good weather or underestimated the danger on other situation. I climbed with someone who felt four times on easy ground and want to go climbing a grad four in ice whit thin layer of ice in a bad weather. In his speech after that, I was the one who bail because I estimated that it was too dangerous that he made a mistake after he felt on ice in a grade two or three.

What happen to have an accident? We need three think: a climber (s), someone making a mistake and a risky situation (note the mistake can be a good decision in some case). Actually, because the climber learned repetitive movement in boulder, the capacity for someone to see the danger and avoid it decrease. How many time I have the obligation to told my second that the term "off belay, belay off, belay off"  is not just terms, but a communication. A communication of what? If you are honest with yourself, you will understand that many of you don't understand that  it is a contraction of: I am off belay.... are you off belay (and keep the belay on tension)....yes I am off (and remove the device). Look around you and many climber remove the device when they heard "off belay", which can be very similar with a "branch on my way"... belay off...accident. And as you can see below...it is teach by guide. An as I told about avalanche, other mistake by inexperienced guide happen also here in north Conway.

More miss understanding of the safety by learning too fast 5.11 lead to over ego and mistake. I think that it is what happen actually. and you have to do some thing because the population can't trust guide any more.

from a climbing site: Chain of Commands

Lead Climber: “Off belay.” Said when leader is secure and safe.
Belayer: “Belay off.” Takes leader off belay and gets ready to climb.
Lead Climber: “On belay.” This signals to second climber below that the leader is ready for him to climb.
Belayer now Climber: “Ready to climb.”
Lead Climber now Belayer: “Climb!”
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DLottmann

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2013, 11:28:02 PM »

I think that it is what happen actually. and you have to do some thing because the population can't trust guide any more.

Yup, all guides with years of training and certification and practice teaching are dangerous fellows ;) Please do not trust them...

Seriously, there are excellent mentors out there, some guides, some just regular guys like you Champ. Unfortunately for many they are harder to find than guides who make themselves available upon request (oh and that whole accreditation process).

I’ll throw you this bone Champ... guides are humans... they have made mistakes before and will make mistakes in the future. But I guarantee you guides with even the lowest level of accreditation, on average, will have spot free records. Recent happenings in Acadia have definitely put a particular service under the spot light, but that is no where near some kind of “industry trend” you might be digging for....

Side note, never heard anyone on a cliff yell “Branch on my way”, but I will start listening for it...

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darwined

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2013, 08:42:57 AM »

Every time you guide, you are actually soloing.

I don't know Al,  I've heard of a couple different NC guides whipping on clients.  They're both alive.
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Admin Al

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2013, 12:28:47 PM »

Every time you guide, you are actually soloing.

I don't know Al,  I've heard of a couple different NC guides whipping on clients.  They're both alive.

I know of at least 1 as well, but having guide for some time I have to say that I approach every time as a solo. I was out on the Saigons with a client who I had climbed with for years. it was wet and I slipped and grabbed a draw. when I turned around to look down at him he had both hands up in the air and looked completely freaked out. I don't think that would happen with the folks I usually climb with!
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eyebolter

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2013, 01:09:50 PM »

Surprised you guys don't make the clients belay with a gri-gri.   I know, they can still screw up, but your belayer can be dead and still catch you.   
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DLottmann

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2013, 01:10:56 PM »

Last summer I took my first leader fall while guiding (9 years)... I slipped off the 5.7 finish on Standard Route, Whitehorse... TBH I was just way to casual with a move I have done 30+ times, often in approach shoes, and I was just amazed I slipped while stepping up to clip the bolt... pretty much caught myself grabbing the other side of the rope below the pin... glad I wasn't soloing :)
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DLottmann

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2013, 01:13:22 PM »

Surprised you guys don't make the clients belay with a gri-gri.   I know, they can still screw up, but your belayer can be dead and still catch you.

I'm starting to consider this, but I hear so many stories of people getting dropped with Gri-Gri's that I am not sure I would feel any safer. In fact I think Travis got dropped by a client years ago after setting a TR left of Thin Air... 1st time client lowering with Gri Gri and he just cranked hard on the lever...
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sneoh

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Re: Acadia Accident this past Wednesday, 7-17-13
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2013, 02:52:36 PM »

The thing for everyone to remember is the Gri Gri is not a foolproof device.  I like to think of it as a "lock assist device".
Ward is right tho, seems like a good idea to teach clients to use a Gri Gri properly and make them belay with one.
Then you have to teach them to rappel with a different device but I digress ....

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