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Turkey Rocks, CO: Belay error causes near-death accident
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By PDMartzen
From Fresno, CA
Oct 12, 2011

Thanks for a very clearly written accident report with good analysis of what went wrong. You gave a good narrative to describe the overall situation and seem to have covered all the relevant factors.

Reading many of the comments on this forum and others, demonstrate how easy it is to focus on the irrelevant factors and to sling blame in unhelpful ways.

I do have questions about the belayers thought process when rigging the ATC, if she can still remember at this point. I am wondering if she added the extra quickdraw support as a backup to the nonlocking carabiner holding the atc, or perhaps because it made the set up more similar to how it would look on one's harness.

You imply that the belayer added the carabiner to the wire loop as a back up to the first quickdraw holding the ATC. A lot of commentors have expressed their outrage that the ATC was supported by a non-locking carabiner. I am wondering if the belayer had that same concern, making her want to add another support to the system.

You note that she did use a locker to hold the ropes in the ATC which makes a certain sense to me. If you have one locker you have to decide where you will use it: to hold the ATC or to hold the ropes. In normal use the locker holds the ropes. The ropes move around and the carabiner can easily shift positions making a locker important. The carabiner supporting the ATC is not going to shift since it is being pulled in one direction constantly.

Clipping a carabiner through the wire is also standard when the device is hanging on the harness, so I could understand a certain desire to have something clipped into the wire.

I assume that climber A is beating herself up pretty bad about this, but her thoughts might be educational. Most commentators seem to think she is an idiot, but maybe they just think they are above making simple mistakes.

Besides warning people about the correct set up of the ATC in guide mode, are there any changes in your own actions that you are thinking about? Yelling "take" or "tension" when wanting to rest? Demonstrating belay set ups with partners before you leave the ground? (not that I can recall ever doing this!)

Thanks again for sharing and for writing such a clear accident report.

Paul


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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Oct 12, 2011

PDMartzen wrote:
Clipping a carabiner through the wire is also standard when the device is hanging on the harness, so I could understand a certain desire to have something clipped into the wire.


Something is clipped through the wire - the biner holding the rope(s), just as when belaying from your harness.

If the belayer had looked at the directions that came with the guide, she would have seen that there is a picture clearly showing not to connect the keeper loop to the anchor. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but it's quite simple - people need to know how and understand why gear works, otherwise accidents like this will happen.


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By fat cow
From Salinas, CA
Oct 12, 2011
perfect seam

and that it clearly says in the instructions when you buy an ATC Guide that the keeper wire is not load bearing


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Oct 12, 2011
Lamb's Slide

PDMartzen wrote:
... are there any changes in your own actions that you are thinking about? ... Paul

When I am belaying off the anchor in autoblock mode, I'm in the habit of doing a pull test before I put my partner on belay, but I don't routinely do pull tests when seconding. I don't know about the OP, but the lesson I take away from this is that if I am following and don't know and trust my belayer 100%, I will do a "weight the rope" test as soon as my belayer tells me I'm on belay.


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By Buff Johnson
Oct 12, 2011
smiley face

I don't think mine is etched exactly how to set-up the autoblock mode. It gives me climber side and brake side with interpretive diagrams, but won't tell you the overall "guide" mode which is in instruction, nor does it give a person situational awareness on how the device can be defeated.

[previous pertinent post responded in my comment deleted by user]


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By PDMartzen
From Fresno, CA
Oct 12, 2011

r_m_high wrote:
the lesson I take away from this is that if I am following and don't know and trust my belayer 100%, I will do a "weight the rope" test as soon as my belayer tells me I'm on belay.


This makes a lot of sense to me. Fully weighting the rope while a couple feet off the ground only takes a moment and gives both climber and belayer a double check. If you always do it then you don't have to worry about when to do it, or about insulting your partner. Climber C trusted belayer A, so he would not have tested the belay unless it was something he did with everybody.


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Oct 12, 2011
Imaginate

r_m_high wrote:
...I don't routinely do pull tests when seconding. I don't know about the OP, but the lesson I take away from this is that if I am following and don't know and trust my belayer 100%, I will do a "weight the rope" test as soon as my belayer tells me I'm on belay.


I've thought about this before and you want to be very careful when pulling on the rope in practice. Here is why.

The issue comes up most where communication is difficult and you are climbing with someone with whom you are uncertain about. Unfortunately this is exactly the situation when you will be thinking you want to "test weight the rope". Suppose you are belaying the leader on a long pitch where they are out of sight and earshot. The leader has gone a ways and stopped, and you either hear something that sounds like "--- belay", or you think you feel the rope tug signal for off belay.

You are not sure so you keep them on belay but then the rope starts moving quickly and eventually the rope comes tight on you. You don't feel any tugs, the rope is just tight. You are not sure if you are on or not, so you give the rope a "test yank".

Your test yank just pulled the leader off the wall. Here is how the climb went for the leader: at 45m he took some time figuring out a tricky move, and yelled something down to you (which he shouldn't have done). Then the next bit of the climb was runout but easy, so he moved quickly until the rope came tight.

He should have known that he had gone 60m by now and been looking for a spot for a belay station, but the runout climbing went so fast and now he sees some spots for gear a few feet higher. All the sudden you yank him down the runout slabs below.

If you didn't "test the rope" you might take a huge fall if you slip. If you "test the rope" you are definitely going to make him take a huge fall.

Test weighting the rope works fine when you can see that the person is less than a rope length away, so you know they indeed were just taking up slack rather than moving quickly.

Sure, the leader shouldn't have stretch the rope and the leader should take up slack so fast that it is obvious that they are not climbing that fast. But this is supposed to be some inept person, not your ideal partner.

Is it fair for you to pull them off the wall because they shouldn't have turned it into a simulclimb?


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By Tradoholic
Oct 12, 2011

I find it alarmingly stupid to set up the guide like that and almost kill someone. Was there no test of the auto-locking feature after set up?!!?

There's no lesson here except "Don't be stupid". Nothing personal to climbers A, B, and C but rock climbing isn't bowling, you could get killed, and I suggest climber A seriously consider using their brain next time they are setting up a belay.

On the other hand...this is a brilliant troll.


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By PDMartzen
From Fresno, CA
Oct 13, 2011

David A: Good point. Your scenario gets into the area where neither leader nor follower can afford to fall. Been there many times.

It is interesting to me that climber B did hang on the rope and the belayer was able to hold her. Climber B reports this in the other thread. So the belay was adequate for holding static weight. In that case a pull test might not make any difference, anyway.

I find the subtleties of this report interesting because in climbing we are always facing decisions for which there may be no obvious answer, no instruction sheet. We have to figure things out as we go along. It is inevitable that we will make mistakes. We are all stupid at times.

In this case, climber C assumed that Climber A knew how to set up the ATC in guide mode and would have no problem with belaying 2 followers. He assumed that when he weighted the rope that it would automatically lock off. I would tend make similar assumptions. For climber C this was all pretty routine, so for him to make any changes it has to be something in his normal routine. So, I wonder what change might cause him to make sure that his partner knew how to use this particular belay method?

For climber A, I wonder if she felt confused about the belay technique from when it was suggested, or became puzzled as she was setting it up, or whether the set up she used seemed the obvious way to do it? I wonder what decisions in her thought process might have made a difference. Although at this point, I assume that it will be impossible for her to remember much about what she was thinking.


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By DeadManBarelyWalking
Oct 13, 2011

Buff Johnson wrote:
The orientation of the autoblock is different and does throw the belayer's minds-eye off. I don't know why nobody picked up on that when climbing in Eldo, mentored this correctly, or confirmed hands-on practice along with the instructions of the device, but certainly a miss.


Yes, this is my (climber C) main fault in this accident. My incompetence told me that someone who owns an autolock device (and has paid extra for it), surely would know how to use it. Should I really give belay instructions to someone who leads 5.11 trad, has climbed for 10+ years, and regularly hangs out with a 5.13 climber? On top of this, climber B was introduced to climber A via a climbing guide.

PDMartzen wrote:
Besides warning people about the correct set up of the ATC in guide mode, are there any changes in your own actions that you are thinking about? Yelling "take" or "tension" when wanting to rest? Demonstrating belay set ups with partners before you leave the ground? (not that I can recall ever doing this!)

I've had a tough time thinking about this. I just simply refuse to scream 'TAKE' whenever i hang/fall. I cannot stand this noise pollution and refuse to contribute to it myself (unless I really need to go up inch-by-inch instead of starting to aid). Teaching my climbing partners the correct autoblock setup is also troublesome for me. If someone own one of those, my thinking is that he/she ought to know how to use it properly. And even if I show the proper setup, there are about 30 million variations how an anchor look like, so the 'student' may come up with some other crazy 'solution', just because the anchor look different.

Trad Ninja wrote:
There's no lesson here except "Don't be stupid".


The main thing I learned from this accident is not how an improper belay setup might look like. The most important thing I learned was that I cannot trust other climbers (which might be part of what you call stupid), no matter how hard they climb, how long they have climbed, or how good gear they place. I just don't know how I can use this knowledge in reality to save my own butt.


PDMartzen wrote:
It is interesting to me that climber B did hang on the rope and the belayer was able to hold her. Climber B reports this in the other thread. So the belay was adequate for holding static weight.


You could also say: Climber A (I still feel reluctant to call her belayer) was strong enough to hold climber B (130lbs?) but not climber B + climber C (320lbs?). Also, the rope of climber B went through all the gear (some friction), whereas the rope from me went straight into the ATC Guide.

To those of you who responded "quickdraw into the ATC?? BAD! BAD! QUICKDRAW? BAD!!": Note very carefully that it was NOT the use of quickdraws instead of lockers that caused this accident. The same accident would still have happened if lockers were used. (All of you might have understood this already, but it wasn't obvious from your comments, so I want to clarify this).


I have tried really hard to ignore most of the crazy statements in this thread, but I just can't resist commenting on the need for shouting TAKE! when wanting to hang. For those of you who have expressed this opinion, the following SCENARIO is perfectly valid:
Climber A reaches the second belay ledge, ties in and yells "On belay!", but what she really means is "Almost-But-Not-Really-On-Belay-And-For-Goodness-Sake, NEVER-EVER-Hang-Or-Fall-Without-Letting-Me-Know-First". Climber B starts climbing (=soloing) and, after some time, climber C starts climbing (=soloing). Climber B reaches a stuck nut and yells: "Hey, climber A, any chance you can put me on belay for real? I'm having trouble with a nut here." Climber A: "Wait a second, I'll fix it... yes, you are now officially on belay and you are now allowed to hang". Climber B hangs and does not fall down. Five minutes later climber C yells: "Hey, climber A, I've been hanging on in this crux for 5 min since climber B doesn't move and I'm getting kind of tired. I'm just about to fall off in two microseconds or so." Climber A: "Just hang on a minute (=60 million microseconds), I'll fix it... hmm, I think you're on belay but I'm not so sure about this, it looks kind of funny. Could you maybe downclimb a little and we'll see if it works, OK?".

So with your 'no-hang-without-announcement-definition' of "On Belay", the art of rock climbing changes quite drastically from what it is (or supposed to be!) today.


wankel7 wrote:
You are so mellow about the whole thing...I love it :)


But, why, of course! Is there any other response? If I get pissed off and worked up, I only get unhappy. If I start yelling, swearing, and cursing, maybe climber A will be unhappy (not to mention my mom!). If I start offending MP users, you guys will be unhappy, which starts a flame war. Then the administrators will be unhappy starting to censor our glorious thread leading to more unhappiness...
Isn't it the main objective of every human being to increase the sum-of-happiness for the earth's population? And that's why we invented beer and rock climbing!


Another small detail to those of you who wants to learn another trick: If you ever plan on doing the same 'dive' as I did, it is useful to avoid clipping your chalkbag to your harness with a biner. I don't remember from where I learned this, but my chalkbag is (and has always been) tied to the back of my harness with two small strings
to the rear gear loops. No biner. Had I used a biner during this accident, such a biner could have wrecked my spinal cord further since I landed flat on my back.


For some additional learning: If you ever get in close contact with an accident scene, keep a close eye on anyone with a head injury (maybe a state of chock due to different injuries works the same). EVEN if they respond clearly to questions and they seem to make sense, always assume their head is not clear. I responded to questions during a 15-30min period that I still have no memory of. This delay was due to climber A and B cleaning gear and getting off the second pitch. After this, my memory (and likely my judgement) was still an in-and-out story, but my verbal responses might have been perfectly clear. I was tied into and standing 3-4ft away from the fixed rap slings on the first belay ledge as our party was going down. I still don't remember who set up the rapell (single rope), but I remember clearly that I insisted on rapelling down myself. I had sufficient judgement to rap on a single strand (tying a clove hitch on the rope near the midpoint and backing up with a regular overhand-on-a-bight, both I THINK were to lockers) and asking climber B for a backup belay. I even remember explaining this setup to climber B that first objected to me rapelling down myself. All this probably indicated my head was clear to both my partners, but I FAILED to check that the rap slings were in good order and I FAILED to redirect the belay from climber B. She would have been pulled off balance had I really loaded that emergency belay. So, keep a close eye on 'damaged' people, they might not know exactly what they are doing even if they claim so or act as such.


There were several bad or sad things happening during the day of the accident, but the saddest of them all hasn't been disclosed yet. During the day of the accident, I had no less than TWO female climbing partners... but I still didn't get laid ... What a crummy day indeed...


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By AJS
From Boulder, CO
Oct 13, 2011
In the sea of Cortez - Baja California, Mexico

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
So, keep a close eye on 'damaged' people, they might not know exactly what they are doing even if they claim so or act as such....During the day of the accident, I had no less than TWO female climbing partners... but I still didn't get laid ... What a crummy day indeed...


Clearly YOUR fault too!

A: "Holy shit, are you okay?????!!!!!"
B: "OMFG !!!!11one"
C: "Ladies, please calm down I'm fine I was cushioned by my giant brass balls...actually, they might be hurt a bit...could you check 'em"

bow chicka bow bow, etc, etc.


Seriously, though, best to a fast recovery :)


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By Buff Johnson
Oct 13, 2011
smiley face

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
Should I really give belay instructions ...


Probably more a question to ask yourself. I could care less what you do either way with your partners, I'm not the one that got decked.

The concern in this forum is to see a rigging problem that led to an accident, the decisions that went into the situation, and hopefully takeaway some lessons learned.


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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Oct 13, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
The most important thing I learned was that I cannot trust other climbers (which might be part of what you call stupid), no matter how hard they climb, how long they have climbed, or how good gear they place. I just don't know how I can use this knowledge in reality to save my own butt.

The only thing I could add is did you notice anything shaky about climber A's rigging ability when you were in Eldo? Where you scrutinizing her rigging or where you more focused on climbing "with" A, where you giving her a pass because she looks good? Your previous smarmy comment sheds a little light but then again, you did just suffer a serious head trauma.

I always try to vet a new partner on terrain that is easy for me. For all I know A is super competent and just had a momentary lapse, sometimes shit happens.


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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Oct 13, 2011

I just do not see the necessity of having 2 people climb at once. Although it would not have prevented her from belaying incorrectly.
If one is going to bend the rules so to speak with the belaying of multiple seconds, one must weigh all of the risks (like will someone have to hang with tension for awhile because of the terrain) involved before making that decision. I personally do not think that having 2 people follow at the same time is worth the extra trouble. Of coarse their are exceptions due to weather moving in etc.


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By JSH
Administrator
Oct 13, 2011
JSH @ home <br /> <br />photo courtesy of Gabe Ostriker

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
someone who owns an autolock device (and has paid extra for it), surely would know how to use it.

I'm not going so far as to call you incompetent for expecting it(I cut off the part where you said you were), but - plenty of people have the newest, brightest Stuff without really knowing how to use it. I would go so far as to say many people have a fancy ATC and don't know how to autoblock it, or release it, but maybe I'm just cynical.

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
Should I really give belay instructions to someone who leads 5.11 trad, has climbed for 10+ years, and regularly hangs out with a 5.13 climber?
By all means, if requested, and said climber should be VERY up-front about what they do and don't know. Pedigree != safety.

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
To those of you who responded "quickdraw into the ATC?? BAD! BAD! QUICKDRAW? BAD!!":
It's true that the QD didn't cause the accident. But let me go back to that keeper wire for a moment: if climber A had in fact figured out how to use the brake upside down (remember that she seemed to figure something out to hold B, lighter + friction thru gear), 2 x your body weight would likely have gone ahead & killed that keeper wire.

Then when the assembly rotates downwards, as discussed before, there's some chance it would twist (I've seen this with free-hanging autoblocks) especially when it's weighted only on one side. It is then conceivable that it could twist itself out of the non-locker holding it up. Leaving .... a whole lot of nothing. This is why we use lockers in critical places.

Buddy, I'm super glad that you're okay, and if I didn't say this above - thanks for writing this up so clearly. You did a great job, and you've given a bunch of people something to think about. Hang in there, get laid, and climb again.

edit add: you're spot-on about watching for a head injury, too. Reading your original post, that was my biggest worry for you.


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Oct 13, 2011

r_m_high wrote:
I don't know about the OP, but the lesson I take away from this is that if I am following and don't know and trust my belayer 100%, I will do a "weight the rope" test as soon as my belayer tells me I'm on belay.

That's fine if the second is still on the ground, but maybe not so good if they're one or more pitches up...


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Oct 13, 2011

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
I just simply refuse to scream 'TAKE' whenever i hang/fall. I cannot stand this noise pollution and refuse to contribute to it myself (unless I really need to go up inch-by-inch instead of starting to aid).

"Noise pollution" is a really stupid reason for not communicating with your partner.

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
I have tried really hard to ignore most of the crazy statements in this thread, but I just can't resist commenting on the need for shouting TAKE! when wanting to hang.

You're absolutely right: there should never be a NEED to yell take or whatever, but why not? Communication is so important. And this is a perfect example of why: had you yelled take, climber A may have realized her mistake telling you to hang on while she quickly unclipped the "backup" draw or maybe try to use the ATC in the non-auto-locking mode. In either case, your ass is saved.

Now if you had simply and unexpectedly just fell...


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Oct 13, 2011
Lamb's Slide

PDMartzen wrote:
... It is interesting to me that climber B did hang on the rope and the belayer was able to hold her. Climber B reports this in the other thread. So the belay was adequate for holding static weight. In that case a pull test might not make any difference, anyway.


We don't know exactly how the belayer set up the ATC Guide on the anchor. It is possible that the quickdraw was only partially weighted so that there was some (degraded) autoblocking effect, perhaps enough to hold the lighter climber. Perhaps the friction on one rope was significantly different , e.g. because the rope widths were different, or because of how the second's rope snaked through the pro, or over an edge, or whatever. Or perhaps the belayer was hanging on to just the second's rope, assuming the other was blocked off. Or perhaps... who knows...

I do know that the second was damn lucky she wasn't dropped as well. Can you imagine what was going on in her mind when she asked to be lowered, having just seen another follower dropped?!

I still think after hearing this story that if I ever climb with someone I don't know or trust, I will do a pull test after I am put on belay, especially at the beginning of the first one or two pitches I am seconding (barring the obscure case proposed earlier where unclear communication could risk pulling the leader off). A test weighting might not detect all belay problems, but just possibly, as in this case, it might also save the day.

Richard Radcliffe wrote:
That's fine if the second is still on the ground, but maybe not so good if they're one or more pitches up...


I'd be fine with it assuming I'm on a belay ledge or still tied in to the anchor (or at least to one bomber piece if I had already started cleaning the anchor). I'd rather find out about a belay problem that way than through a fall that couldn't be arrested...


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By Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Oct 13, 2011

r_m_high wrote:
I'd be fine with it assuming I'm on a belay ledge or still tied in to the anchor (or at least to one bomber piece if I had already started cleaning the anchor). I'd rather find out about a belay problem that way than through a fall that couldn't be arrested...

True.


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By Tradoholic
Oct 13, 2011

JLP wrote:
We're human. We can't control everything all the time. There will always be errors.


Errors made from split second decisions are acceptable and not the "stupidity" I speak of. Conceivably this belayor has been setting up the Guide this way ever since their first time with it and in this incident probably stared at the setup for minutes while the seconds came up without noticing a potentially deadly error?
This whole situation could have been avoided if the belayor simply pulled down on the climbers rope to test the system or bothered to understand the way the device works in the first place. Based on this incident alone I would classify this belayor as negligent and dangerous. Maybe climbing isn't a activity they should be engaging in.

The lesson would be to avoid people with questionable skills, however simply observing this belayor in action might not have prevented the problem. A person who potentially has their life in your hands you have to KNOW. A good climbing partner isn't someone you can grab off the street or meet at a party.

Shit, of course, does happen but I find this belaying error to be unacceptable for a person who has "climbed for 10+ years, and regularly hangs out with a 5.13 climber" (that last part in hilarious by the way).

Perhaps this is a sign that climbing has finally come to the masses in full and all out fools that have been "climbing" for many years are taking unsuspecting noobs on a potentially deadly outings simply because they don't respect the seriousness of making a mistake. In climbing one error or mistake can kill someone. This shit isn't for yuppies.

My point is that perhaps elitism has a positive purpose in climbing. Maybe, if proven, seasoned climbers intimidate, push around, and shit on potential followers there will be a vetting of stupidity and less stupid shit will occur as a result. In short being a "climber" is too easy these days.

DMBW, sounds like you had every reason to trust this person, trust no one and question everything. You get a bad vibe? Pass on the outing.


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By PDMartzen
From Fresno, CA
Oct 13, 2011

DeadManBarelyWalking wrote:
Yes, this is my (climber C) main fault in this accident. My incompetence told me that someone who owns an autolock device (and has paid extra for it), surely would know how to use it. Should I really give belay instructions to someone who leads 5.11 trad, has climbed for 10+ years, and regularly hangs out with a 5.13 climber? On top of this, climber B was introduced to climber A via a climbing guide. I've had a tough time thinking about this. I just simply refuse to scream 'TAKE' whenever i hang/fall. I cannot stand this noise pollution and refuse to contribute to it myself (unless I really need to go up inch-by-inch instead of starting to aid). Teaching my climbing partners the correct autoblock setup is also troublesome for me. If someone own one of those, my thinking is that he/she ought to know how to use it properly. And even if I show the proper setup, there are about 30 million variations how an anchor look like, so the 'student' may come up with some other crazy 'solution', just because the anchor look different. The main thing I learned from this accident is not how an improper belay setup might look like. The most important thing I learned was that I cannot trust other climbers (which might be part of what you call stupid), no matter how hard they climb, how long they have climbed, or how good gear they place. I just don't know how I can use this knowledge in reality to save my own butt.


Thanks for the continued cogent responses.

I don't buy the stupid argument, that many make. If she was stupid, DMBW would have seen it in other aspects. It is easy to call someone stupid after the fact, even if it was impossible to detect before hand.

DMBW mentions following A on a previous trip to Eldo, where she belayed two followers. You said she, "never protested against this belaying technique." But you did not say anything about observing her set up, either in Eldo or on the first pitch of Turkey Rocks. I wonder if she used the same bad set up on all those other pitches or for some reason only on this one pitch? You could have decked or gone the rope length, on any of those other pitches, potentially. But, you also had x number of pitches to notice that there was a problem and correct it, if she was using the same bad method all along. Says something about paying attention to each other no matter how experienced. Experienced people make errors, get hurt and die often enough. It helps to have others check our work, at least as long as they are not obnoxious about it.


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By Momoface
Oct 16, 2011
So, of course, this is totally me. Naturally.

Marc H wrote:
I have a friend that went to rap a 60m rope on The Armadillo, flubbed clipping in and fell the entire 200 feet. For the whole walkout and a bit afterwards, he was completely disoriented and thought that he had led an large group of kids out there and they had abandoned him and his girlfriend. It was scary. He made a complete recovery. He's guided rafting, ski patrolled and climbed quite a bit since the accident years ago. --Marc

Lincoln?


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By Mostafa
From Las Vegas, NV
Oct 21, 2011
Cujo 5.11d Red Rocks

There might be a really obvious answer to this but I'm a new climber and after reading some of the injury reports it sounds like a lot of communication errors.

My question is: Why don't people use walkie-talkies? Especially in situations where hearing becomes an issue.


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Oct 21, 2011
Imaginate

Mostafa wrote:
There might be a really obvious answer to this but I'm a new climber and after reading some of the injury reports it sounds like a lot of communication errors. My question is: Why don't people use walkie-talkies? Especially in situations where hearing becomes an issue.


She hooked up the belay device incorrectly. There is nothing that communicating would have solved because she thought she had him on belay. He could have asked her on the radio if she had him on belay and she would have said yes. It is not like he is going to ask her if she hooked the belay device up wrong and she is going to say "yeah, hold on a minute while I do it right."


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By Caprinae monkey
Apr 29, 2013

oohhh another thread that makes me mad about incompetant belayers (climber A), ... and the craziest thing it shows Climber B (Krista)'s ignorance to be defending the set up method STILL not realizing how erroneous it was.

A properly set up autoblock would not need a "take" command or warning to work. It would arrest the fall automatically. The rope pinches itself. Most times, the belayer from the top would not even know whether the climber had fallen, or was just not climbing, if she cannot pull the rop thru.

An improperly set up autoblock would not work or arrest the fall regardless of the "take" direction, unless there was 30feet of slack in the system, which does not appear to be the case, because apparently the rope was "running through her garden gloves." Even with a "take" command, Climber A would not be able to arrest climber B's fall.

My question is, how did climber B get up the climb? Did climber B not take one rest on the rope? If she did the same thing would have happened to her. I wonder if the wire being clipped thing was not what happened, but that climber C's rope was improperly rigged through the slot (bottom side to climber).


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