Author Topic: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14  (Read 1909 times)

Offline andrewclimber

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Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« on: February 01, 2014, 11:06:45 AM »
This happened last week, but I didn't get a chance to write it up until now.  I did not witness the fall but was on scene to assist.

On Saturday morning 1/25, a climber (I think Tina was her name) was leading one of the routes on the far left side of Texaco Amphitheater.  She was in a party of three, and they were the second group to arrive at the crag that morning.  I was the third group to arrive right behind them.  After exchanging pleasantries and discussing what they were planning to climb, I informed them that I was going to hike/solo up to the top of the cliff and drop a toprope to the right of their intended route.  Tina mentioned that this was her first ice lead of the season.

While I was at the top of the cliff and preparing to rap back down to the base, Tina fell on lead.  I obviously couldn't see it, but my understanding is that she was 4-8 feet off the ground when she fell and did not have any screws placed to arrest her fall, which resulted in her hitting the deck.  The base of the route she was climbing was sloped and icy, and she either landed or stumbled awkwardly upon hitting the ground, injuring her right ankle.  She was sitting on the ground after her fall but in visible pain.  All of the climbers in the area (there were about 8 or 9 of us by that time including myself) stopped what we were doing to assist (I rapped down to the base).

Another climber there performed a quick assessment of her injuries and built splint around her right ankle, which he believed was broken.  Tina's climbing partners packed up their gear, and they attempted to get Tina out accompanied by 4 or 5 other climbers.   Tina was initially sliding on her butt down the trail and someone provided a belay to prevent her from tumbling down the steep parts, but progress was slow going.  Eventually they decided to carry her out with someone running back to their car to use the top of a Thule cargo box as a litter.  The climbers that assisted did not return for several hours (I did not hike out with them), but they made it out okay.

I would note that the ice was highly variable that day, and most of it was on the difficult/sketchy side in terms of conditions.  I noticed that one of the climbers that helped in the carry out attempted two leads in the afternoon and backed off both of them, which I think was smart.

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 08:58:23 PM »
ThnX for posting this report. I hope that she was OK. Sounds like it was successful self-rescue. That is always a good thing.
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DLottmann

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 09:28:36 PM »
Yes, thanks for posting. Maybe submit to ANAM? Falling on ice is never good, and I wonder how many seasons Tina had under her belt? Hope the injuries were minor and congrats on the self rescue (though why did the other climbers not return for "several hours"... the approach to Texaco is less than 30 minutes...

Offline lucky luke

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 07:36:19 PM »
While I was at the top of the cliff and preparing to rap back down to the base, Tina fell on lead.  I obviously couldn't see it, but my understanding is that she was 4-8 feet off the ground when she fell and did not have any screws placed to arrest her fall, which resulted in her hitting the deck.  The base of the route she was climbing was sloped and icy, and she either landed or stumbled awkwardly upon hitting the ground, injuring her right ankle.

If I was a beginer leader, i would like to know what grade she led for her first lead of the season ....

Placing protection is also tricky. As I learned alone, I have to understand the better place to use a pro. In general, I use the fall factor.

I never been at Texaco. For me, with the description, I think that the best place to put a pro was where the steepnest of the ice change (top of the ice slab) for two reason: it is easy and in a fall, when you look at every place you can use a pro, it make not a lot of difference. In 90% of the case, you will hit the ledge and fall after.

Could be great to have some beta (discussion) on the distance where people place pro....instead of a discussion on how she should be ashame
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 09:14:24 PM by lucky luke »

darwined

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 09:56:29 PM »
While I was at the top of the cliff and preparing to rap back down to the base, Tina fell on lead.  I obviously couldn't see it, but my understanding is that she was 4-8 feet off the ground when she fell and did not have any screws placed to arrest her fall, which resulted in her hitting the deck.  The base of the route she was climbing was sloped and icy, and she either landed or stumbled awkwardly upon hitting the ground, injuring her right ankle.

Could be great to have some beta (discussion) on the distance where people place pro....instead of a discussion on how she should be ashame

How far is too far when it comes to runouts on ice?  Is it entirely about comfort level?

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 10:37:37 PM »
How far is too far when it comes to runouts on ice?  Is it entirely about comfort level?

I think so... I climbed Repentance with George Hurley today. he placed his first piece, cam, about 12' up, then he ran it out about 20' to his next screw. after that it was a screw probably every 15-20' or so. I did the last pitch and put in 4 screws before I got to the chockstone. I would guess that's 100'. the ice felt great, there were great hooks and foot placements and I felt totally in control. (I am not trying to brag here, just trying to illustrate the answer to your question.)

that said, I've climbed routes where I've placed a screw every 10-12 feet. I did the left side of Snot Rocket 6 weeks ago on a very cold day and I placed a screw every 10'. frankly it was scary...

I will say tho, that if you fell in the first 6-8', that's pretty unusual. you can see the ice that you are climbing and should have a great idea about its quality. also, if you fall that low to the ground you are very likely to hit the ground regardless...

my 2 centavos
Al Hospers
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DLottmann

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2014, 09:43:04 AM »
I will say tho, that if you fell in the first 6-8', that's pretty unusual. you can see the ice that you are climbing and should have a great idea about its quality. also, if you fall that low to the ground you are very likely to hit the ground regardless...

This... unless it was some random dinner plate this would highly suggest she was leading above her ability/experience.

Offline old_school

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2014, 10:27:06 AM »
Did I hear that someone peeled off of Dropline last week as well? some broken bones ?
"Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes."

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 03:52:26 PM »
Did I hear that someone peeled off of Dropline last week as well? some broken bones ?

I didn't hear about that, but when I took pics on Thursday there was a lone tool up near the top!
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DLottmann

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 05:07:45 PM »
... when I took pics on Thursday there was a lone tool up near the top!

A creepy sight for sure...

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 05:39:20 PM »
sure looks like a tool to me...  :P
Al Hospers
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DLottmann

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 06:25:24 PM »
Uggggg... SO close to the top and past the steepest part.... bummer!

Offline WharfRat

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 08:21:22 PM »
The tool was gone on Saturday.

That section of the climb was a bit tricky. A very off balance move had to be made moving to the right to bypass some brittle ice atop the bulge that wanted to dinner plate I a big way!

Engaging exit to say the least.

I hope if someone did pitch they are ok.

darwined

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2014, 08:33:16 PM »
yeah he's OK.  Broken ankle though

Offline WharfRat

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Re: Leader fall in Texaco Amphitheater on 1/25/14
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 08:41:49 PM »
yeah he's OK.  Broken ankle though

That sucks.

It could had been much worse thought right..

My best to him or her...

Not a easy pitch...