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Breaking a leg at Red Rock
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By Edward Pyune
From Las Vegas, NV
Jun 30, 2013
Mongol Hoarde
Its Monday morning at 8:45 am June 24th in Red Rock. The last few days have been 100+ degrees and the coming weekend was forecasted to have 115 degree temperatures. But this morning, the sky was nearly totally overcast and with a bit of wind, it felt like it was 75 degrees. It appeared that the climbing gods had blessed us with wonderful day of climbing amidst this brutal heat, that was only bound to get worse in the coming months. It would probably be our last day climbing at Red Rock for until fall comes around.

Me, Connor, and Tyler hike into Pine Creek Canyon and after a 45 minute hike, we spot our climb: its a large crack system that goes up the middle of a feature known as "The Bottle," due to it shape. It wasn't supposed to be super challenging; Five Pack is a 500 ft 5.10b. 3 pitches of 5.8/5.9 and a final pitch of 5.10b. I never climbed this high in a trad climb, but I have climbed 5.11 sport routes as well as having no problem climbing my only attempted 5.10a trad climb, so I didn't think that the difficulty would be an issue. We get to the base, and 20-30 minutes later, we start moving.

The first pitch was more like a scramble, grabbing large chockstones in the massive crack at the base of The Bottle to reach a decent ledge. The protection was adequate, but nothing special. Our second pitch, we accidentally skipped the main belay station and we ended up having to belay about halfway up the 3rd pitch. The hand cracks were absolutely perfect and the chimneying was a lot of fun as well. This pitch was longer, perhaps 170 feet but ended at a pretty bad location, so we did a 40 foot pitch to a wonderful ledge, which was maybe 40 feet off course. At this point, I was feeling pretty good and was excited to lead my first 5.10b trad climb.

In order to get back on route, I had to traverse out tobthe right. And being the excellent climber that I am, I thought that using double shoulder length slings on my first 2 pieces would be appropriate, as the climb would eventually head upwards, creating a lot of rope drag without the slings. I am about 20 feet from the crack and continuing the traverse looked very difficult, so I decided to move upwards a bit, to where it looked like if I continued on the path, I would be able to regain the crack. I place my next piece of pro about 8 feet above my last piece, using a single shoulder length sling this time. I am trying to work my way up, and after making a move requiring me to really reach up, my hands decide to start cramping. I shake my right hand, trying to fix the cramp, and although the cramp was gone, my fingers were starting to feel weak. I see a larger crack about 3 feet up that may be good for a cam, but its difficult to see what the actual inside of the crack looks like. It looked quite possible that one side of the crack was thin enough where it can potentially just blow if I fell on it. I decide to downclimb and I realize that the reachy move I made earlier is what is making it extremely difficult to continue moving downwards. At the same time, both my hands start cramping and feeling weak. I am grabbing everything I see, praying for a good enough hold to hang on to, but unfortunately, I dont find one and with my hands as tired as they were, finally slip. "FALLING!" I yell at Connor. I start swinging towards the wall as I expected, but with a lot more slack than I expected.

Being only 5 feet above my last piece of pro, I i would expect to fall 10 feet, but because of the use of using too many extenders on a traverse, I actually fell 15-20 feet, right up against a 50 degree slope. It was a textbook fall: all the pieces held, I landed on my feet, perfect. Except there is now a large ball looking bone pushing out from my ankle. I was able to push it back into my foot, but it just came out again. I immediately can see that this is a break and I get one of my slings and make a tourniquet, pushing the bone to its correct position. Now we are in a predicament. I am the only climber familiar with gear and I am pretty damn disabled. We are about 400 feet from the base and 100 feet from the top of the climb. I can see some bolts out to the side, but they look too far and high to access in my condition. In the end, I decide to bail and leave gear behind in order to set up our rappels. The first rappel went off without a problem, but unfortunately on our final rappel, one of the ropes got stuck and because of the state that I was in, we were unable to pull it, requiring us to fix a single rope to the anchor and leaving the ropes behind as well.

We finally make it back to the base of the climb and we are safe! I wrap my tshirt as tightly around my ankle as I tight can and use another sling to get it even tighter. We finally got off this rock, but oh, we are still about 3 miles from the car. The first mile was the worst. There was no good trail to follow and it was going down scree and bushy mountainside. Many times I would have to starting walking on my hands and 1 foot, or hopping on 1 foot. We finally get down to fairly even ground and jesus christ, they hike the final 2 miles carrying me on their backs, alternating (although Connor was an absolute beast). I was actually exhausted to the point where I was too tired to even hold on to them as they were carrying me. I was more tired than they were!

Anyway, we finally make it back to the car and get to the hospital. I ended with a broken fibula and dislocated tibula. The first doctor I spoke to said I might not need surgery, but the second one seemed pretty adament about it. I'll probably get it, but considering what the other possibilites were, 1 broken bone is pretty dang good. Im sure this climb is an epic I would never forget

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By Edward Pyune
From Las Vegas, NV
Jun 30, 2013
Mongol Hoarde
I know it is brutally hot right now, but if there are any good samaritans that happens to be in the area, I would like to request that you retrieve whatever gear you are able to save for me, and I will be glad to reward you for your efforts :) (Although I will not be back in Vegas for a couple weeks after the surgery on Monday)

Some pics from the day. Climbing pics taken with a gopro set up to take photos every 1 min. Unfortunately it ran out of battery before the action


First pitch
First pitch


Rope whippin'
Rope whippin'


Waiting at the hospital
Waiting at the hospital


Broken Fibula and a widening of the Tibia
Broken Fibula and a widening of the Tibia

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By Daniel Winder
Jun 30, 2013
Wow, thanks for sharing. Awesome job keeping your heads clear and self-rescuing, it sounds like you did a lot of things right. Those are some great friends to carry you out.

I would like to make a couple of points however. It sounds like you fell farther than expected not because of extended draws but because of rope stretch, some normal slack in the system, and possibly a dynamic belay. Communicating with the belayer that you are downclimbing and a fall is likely might have shortened your fall distance. Your story also highlights the need to be very aware of objective hazards and to try to minimize them, especially on multipitch trad.

Getting off route on climbs that are at your limit is usually bad. Perhaps you could have lowered back to the correct belay or just suffered a hanging belay mid route. It sounds like you are fairly inexperienced at this type of climbing and your friends are even more so. This might not be the proper context to push your limits.

Glad your gonna be ok, and at least it was at the end of the season. Rehab and come back stronger than ever in the fall.

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By Edward Pyune
From Las Vegas, NV
Jun 30, 2013
Mongol Hoarde
Daniel Winder wrote:
Wow, thanks for sharing. Awesome job keeping your heads clear and self-rescuing, it sounds like you did a lot of things right. Those are some great friends to carry you out. I would like to make a couple of points however. It sounds like you fell farther than expected not because of extended draws but because of rope stretch, some normal slack in the system, and possibly a dynamic belay. Communicating with the belayer that you are downclimbing and a fall is likely might have shortened your fall distance. Your story also highlights the need to be very aware of objective hazards and to try to minimize them, especially on multipitch trad. Getting off route on climbs that are at your limit is usually bad. Perhaps you could have lowered back to the correct belay or just suffered a hanging belay mid route. It sounds like you are fairly inexperienced at this type of climbing and your friends are even more so. This might not be the proper context to push your limits. Glad your gonna be ok, and at least it was at the end of the season. Rehab and come back stronger than ever in the fall.


You may be quite right regarding where the extra slack came from and I definitely will be paying more attention to those potential hazards. You are also correct in my experience, as well as my friends and although I feel like I have enough technical knowledge to at least attempt these routes, having the experience of being in various situations and how best to continue moving safely is definitely something that I need to work on (by working more easier routes). Thanks for the tips!

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By Paul Wilhelmsen
From sandy, ut
Jul 1, 2013
Near the top of arm and hammer
Hey first off; I hope your surgery goes well and a good and speedy recovery, and while this question may better be suited to the injuries forum. I was curious about you turniqueting a broken bone. Why does it help and where did you learn it?

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Jul 1, 2013
I think tourniquet might be kind of a misnomer. It's not cutting blood flow. Sounds more like an improvised splint to keep the bone in place.

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By Paul Wilhelmsen
From sandy, ut
Jul 1, 2013
Near the top of arm and hammer
Oh, I feel dumb, should have thought of that.

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By Mostafa
From Alameda, CA
Jul 4, 2013
Cujo 5.11d Red Rocks
Gear Ransom
Today Nick H. and I retrieved the items in the picture below. In order to get these items back we request the following:
1. Get well soon!
2. You shall one day find and return and/or retrieve someone else’s gear.
3. When number 1 has been completed reclaim your send on Five Pack.
4. Two tropical smoothies one for each of us! Anything in addition we leave to your discretion.
Gear Ransom
Gear Ransom


Trip Report – Red Rocks, NV – Pine Creek – Magic Mountain – Five Pack 5.10b 4 pitches 500 feet - 1977 Joe Herbst, Tom Kaufman, Larry Hamilton, Scott Woodruff, Steve Allen

The Plan
Sunday, June 30, after reading Edward's post I talked to Nick when we met up to climb. I asked Nick if he wanted to go retrieve some gear. He told me he had also read the same post and was interested. The plan was set to climb Thursday June 4.

The Climb
We arrived at the pine creek parking lot at 0630 and made it to the base of the climb at 0710. We saw two ropes hanging in the vicinity of the climb. We planned to climb in blocks I would lead the first two and Nick would lead the second two. The temperature was approximately 100 degrees luckily we were in the shade the whole time and had a little wind.

Pitch one went easily. Pitch two I came ended up climbing beyond the ropes later seeing them below on a ledge. I climbed to high on the second pitch couldn’t find a belay put two pieces of gear told Nick to take and then lower me. He lowered me to a location where I was able to put in two cams, 00 mastercam and 0 mastercam. I also found a location for a not so great .5 BD C4. Nick climbed up to me we moved the belay to a better crack. Nick single rope rapped coiled one rope and tossed it. He cleaned the gear anchor left and coiled the second rope and then climbed back up to me.

Pitch three Nick took off climbed up and followed the gear left behind. He cleaned all the gear and then down climbed. He then took the proper route to the base of the fourth pitch but had the rope get stuck at the traverse and then down climbed again. At the top of pitch three we reorganized the gear and then Nick trailed the tag line and took off.

The descent was simple we did a double rope rap down Edge of Sun and then one more to the base. On the way out we noticed there was another rope still hanging there. We packed our gear and then spent approximately one hour mad bushwhacking (a little taste of it in the picture below) trying to relocate the rope we had tossed. We gave up and on the way out Nick said he would look one more time. He found it! Success!
Bushwhacking
Bushwhacking


The Aftermath
We drove over to tropical smoothie and ordered two large smoothies. I went with the Pomegranate Plunge and Nick the Kiwi Quencher. There is another rope still there...it wasn't near the gear and we did not even see it until we got off the route. Hopefully we got everything.

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By Edward Pyune
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 4, 2013
Mongol Hoarde
You guys are freaking... AWESOME! I love MP and the community here! Im glad we were able to get in contact via email and once I return, I will be happy to meet up and work out a deal regarding the hostage situation :P

And as a follow up to the trip report, a photo of the post-op x-ray.
1 step closer to being Wolverine...
Plates and screws
Plates and screws


Seriously, you guys rock! (pun intended)

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By Ashley allard
From Las Vegas, nv
Jul 9, 2013
The stash
Man, that's a horrible story told very well. I hope you heal up soon.

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By BigRed11
Jul 9, 2013
that's so super cool that these guys retrieved your gear... totally excellent bros

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By Rob Fielding
From Las Vegas, NV
Jul 10, 2013
Third pillar of dana descent.
Get well soon Edward! Awesome job Mostafa n Nick on getting the gear.

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By heh
Jul 10, 2013
So cool. Love the report

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