Author Topic: Jim Ewing accident?  (Read 6661 times)

Offline perswig

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Jim Ewing accident?
« on: December 29, 2014, 07:57:03 AM »
Logged onto ST this AM only to find this:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2554469/Jim-Ewing-injured-while-climbing-at-Cayman-Brac

Many of you probably know Jim well (I've only run into him at the crags); anyone that's close to him and his family, please keep us updated and let us know if there's anything we can do for his family until he's home and on his feet.

Dale Persing
If it's overhanging, I'm probably off-route.

Offline Lanky

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2014, 09:06:51 AM »
Don't have any info to add, but the local climbing group on Facebook is pretty active, so I'll crosspost anything that shows up there. Especially if it's a call for help of any kind.

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 10:06:30 AM »
WOW... this is a shock. let's all send healing thoughts to Jim. he is a great climber and a good friend. I hope he's going to be OK.

NOTE: I don't want to hear any Sport/Trad BS about this accident in this thread.
Al Hospers
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Offline sneoh

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2014, 10:10:00 AM »
I hope he's going to be OK.

NOTE: I don't want to hear any Sport/Trad BS about this accident in this thread.
+1.  Getting hurt on a "holiday" road trip just plain sucks.


"You have to decide to do a flag, where you can broke your vertebrae or a barn door depending of your pro" - the poster formerly known as Champ

Offline DaveR

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 11:38:46 AM »
NOTE: I don't want to hear any Sport/Trad BS about this accident in this thread.

A+++

Jim is an awesome guy and I hope he is back at it soon! Please keep us posted.
Dave

Offline M_Sprague

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 12:02:00 PM »
Jim, heal up well!
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is not a path and leave a trail."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbrait

Offline strandman

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 12:24:50 PM »
Damn..a pelvis injury it looks like   :(

hang in there man,,,f/a's are still waiting for you

Offline xcrag_corex

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 02:28:11 PM »
Never met the man but the most sincere well wishes to him!!! Here's to a speedy recovery!!!
-Jeremy Ballou

"know how to rock, ain't afraid to roll"

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 02:35:19 PM »
This is from a post on SuperTopo by Cathy King:

Quote
Hello all. Jim is stable enough for surgery today so we are waiting for him to go in to get his pelvis and left ankle fixed. It will be a long 6-8 hour surgery. He is currently very comfortabe, having been given Dilaudid for pain and Versed for pre- sedation.
From what we've pieced together, he was climbing with Maxine on the Dixon wall at Cayman Brac, fell while working a hard move, stopped momentarily, but then started falling again. Maxine was belaying him with the grigri, noticed it was not stopping him and grabbed the rope, which might very well have saved his life. She sustained minor rope burns on her hand, which have blistered. She is ok but it was traumatic, obviously. Katie Dott and John Haley were amazing. They were climbing nearby, got help, Katie stayed with Maxine in our rented condo overnight until I could fly Maxine to Grand Cayman. Jim was airlifted to Grand Cayman, had the first surgery that night to externally fixate his pelvis for stabiliZation until we could get him to the closest available Level 1 trauma center, which is where we are now, Broward in Fort Lauderdale.

We are not sure what happened with the belay system. Jim had her anchored of course; maybe her being pulled somehow when he fell changed the angle of the grigri and it couldn't lock-we don't know. She let got of it but it did not auto-lock as it should have.
Thanks so much for all the well-wishes. It helps.

The fall has been estimated at about 50 feet. I'm so grateful he's alive.
Pain control has been difficult; this surgery should make him much more comfortable. And when he's not in intolerable paim, he's got his Jim Ewing sense of humor! Xoxo

Maxine says the GriGri was threaded correctly, and Katie had checked it , too

Cathy, Jim's wife
Al Hospers
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Offline NEAlpineStart

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2014, 07:50:36 PM »
This sucks, and I am very glad he survived. Jim's posts on this website have always been sincere and respectful even when navigating the murky waters of troll-ville this site can sometimes stir up...

I don't think I have ever met Jim personally but I believe he works for Sterling Rope and is definitely a skilled and proficient climber.  I was able to climb with Sterling Rope's CEO last summer and her passion and commitment to industry safety left a serious impression on me.

I'm confident that Jim's connection to climbing safety will allow more thorough analysis of what went wrong here in due course.

That being said I will ask one thing, as from the little I have gathered from what has been posted this is the only thing that seems relevant so far...

This is from a post on SuperTopo by Cathy King:
...She let got of it <brake strand> but it did not auto-lock as it should have.
...
Maxine says the GriGri was threaded correctly, and Katie had checked it , too

Cathy, Jim's wife

My experience with the GriGri is limited. However Petzl is clear in their instructions that a break hand MUST be maintained in order for the device to assist with locking. They are so specific about this you will never hear a Petzl Rep, or an educated retailer or instructor, refer to the GriGri as "auto-lock". They all call it "brake assisted".

The reasoning behind this is the device requires some resistance from the brake side for the cam to engage. If Jim's fall was arrested momentarily, and then the camming mechanism failed, what has been presented so far would indicate that there was a lack of resistance after the initial catch. If Jim started to un-weight the rope, or if there was significant drag in the system, the GriGri could not properly lock (by design and admission in accompanying literature).

This is very preemptive speculation on my part. I am not passing judgement on Jim or his belayer. There are quite a few situations that could cause a belayer, experienced or not, to lose control of the brake strand. We are all fallible. I only bring this up as I think careful respectful analysis of all accidents in an open forum can lead to less accidents in the future, however hard that can be to quantify.

Heal up quick Jim, and get back out there soon.


Offline markvnh

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2014, 08:44:13 PM »
Get well soon Jim! We are all hoping for a speedy recovery!

My first four days of climbing ever over a four day two weekend course over 30 plus years ago - two days with Jim, one day with Jerry Handren and one day with Doug Madera.

What a great intro to the sport. Jim and all of them were great!

Offline DaveR

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2014, 10:18:04 AM »
NOTE: I don't want to hear any Sport/Trad BS about this accident in this thread.

LL, PLEASE READ THE ABOVE QUOTE!!!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 10:19:36 AM by DaveR »

Offline DaveR

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2014, 10:20:20 AM »
Has anyone heard how Jim's surgery went?

Offline strandman

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2014, 10:41:37 AM »
Has anyone heard how Jim's surgery went?
Seems to have gone OK..ribs, ankle,, pelvis and wrist.....!!!!

Offline perswig

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Re: Jim Ewing accident?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 12:02:59 PM »

My first four days of climbing ever over a four day two weekend course over 30 plus years ago - two days with Jim, one day with Jerry Handren and one day with Doug Madera.


That's a pretty cool/all-star group!

Dale
If it's overhanging, I'm probably off-route.