General > Epics and Accidents

Accident at Humphrey's

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Admin Al:
According to two reports, someone fell after the second bolt on Tree Keys at the Geriatric Walls over the weekend. One report stated that they fell down to the start of the slab, another is that they hit the ground. They may have grabbed a loose block on the top of the first corner/block system and pitched backwards. One report indicated that the belayer may have let go of the rope while dodging a falling rock and that caused the long fall! Apparently the injured climber was carried out complaining of back pain.

Does anyone have any more information? Apparently it was very busy there over the weekend.

Admin Al:
The following was posted on the NEClimbs F/B page:

"The climber fell when he grabbed a loose block, sending it down at his belayer. The belayer tripped when dodging the block, which caused her to lose control of the rope, lengthening the fall. I don't know if he hit the ground or not. Climber and belayer were back home as of yesterday AM, with the climber only suffering soft-tissue injuries. Kudos to Mt. Rescue (Bayard and Doug in particular for taking charge) and to the rest of the climbing community for stepping up and helping out in a big way."

Glad to hear that the climber will be OK.

Good news. Glad the party made it out w/o serious injuries.

I had a similar but much less dramatic/serious experience last Sat too.  The piece was about the size of a mid-size water bottle.  I am very glad I was belaying with a Gri-Gri and not tied into any anchor.  If anything, my partner's fall was a bit shorter than otherwise as I jumped back to avoid the rock from 30+ feet up.

Ward's argument for belaying with a Gri Gri is making more sense than ever after this.

First and most importantly it is good that the injuries were not serious. I usually find that I check the rock both visually and by tapping if needed to try to ensure that it is solid.  I feel that there is a tendency to not check the rock on sport climbs as much from my personal observations. There is a lesson to be learned here to keep constant vigilance.
Lastly say it isn't so...... loose rock and danger at the Geriatric Wall......where will us old, senile, incompetent climbers go?????

There is always a case to be made for constant vigilance.  No doubt at all.


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