I wonder if this topic has ever been posted here. I just modified my original post, since I wanted to make clear what I meant by "saving a climbers life". I'm not suggesting giving advice or other instances where if a climber failed to tie in properly something may happen etc.
I'm talking about a situation where if you had not been in that particular location and acted swiftly, the climber would of most certainly died. These type of instances usually stick in your mind, and most likely, are not forgotten. I remember at least 3 instances where I saved someone's bacon. Here is my earliest encounter.
Back in 1966, only a year after I started climbing, I was walking along the carriage road, at the Gunks. I hear someone yelling for help, so I run up to the base of the cliff.
This bozo, who I recognized immediately, since he was known for being kind of an idiot, was hanging onto the rock, maybe 20 feet BELOW his belayer, who just finished the 1st pitch of Something Interesting.
He was obviously in trouble, since his rope had somehow come off his swami-belt.
I realized that he wasn't going to hang on forever, so without contemplating much, I soloed up to him, and somehow managed to tie him back into the rope.
His partner lowered him to the ground, while I hung on, and then I tied into the rope and finished the climb with his partner.
I don't recollect how I managed to tie the guy in, or myself, while soloing but somehow I managed to do it.
After I got down, I realized that I had soloed over the 1st crux of that route, but my adrenalin had spiked so high, that I really didn't realize what route I was on.
I've got at least 2 more episodes to relate but I'll hold off till other people post up. I'm sure there are some epics to be told.