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By Kenan
Dec 20, 2012
Shelf Rd
Mark E Dixon wrote:
But they do leave the punched out footprints in the mats, which should count for something.


Yeah those footprints are pretty wild, huh?

Movement is actually a very safety-conscious gym. There are signs about proper belay technique throughout the gym, and they are really strict on belay tests, to the point of pissing off many 'old timers'... "I've been belayin' with my stitch plate for 72 years, you can't tell me nothin' you young whipper snapper!"

;-)

I still argue that more frequent accidents at Movement and BRC compared to other gyms is simply due to volume. Have you seen it? It's really not something that can be appreciated from a written description. Any doubters should go to Movement tonight at 7pm. It will blow your mind. Not a single parking spot, route, treadmill, weight machine, or boulder problem free for hours on end. It's madness. I simply can't go at night anymore.

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By bearbreeder
Dec 20, 2012
Mark E Dixon wrote:
In the first place, there's no reason to think this will help. I seriously doubt similar signs in factories lead to fewer work site accidents. In the second place, while I can tolerate insurance company mandated rules (even if they don't always make sense,) requiring gyms to further protect us from ourselves while we pursue a dangerous useless sport seems not really in the spirit of climbing as I understand it. Don't get me wrong, I share the voyeuristic thrill of reading about other people's accidents and would certainly read any posted reports. But they do leave the punched out footprints in the mats, which should count for something.



ANAM doesnt help either then ;)

its simply basic reporting of what incidents happened ... which they should be writing up anyways for insurance purposes ...

public transparency is a GOOD thing ...

or would one rather be in the dark and not know the rates or specifics of accidents?

i suspect if they are forced to disclose it, theyll be quite vigilant ...

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Dec 20, 2012
At the BRC
bearbreeder wrote:
ANAM doesnt help either then ;) .

What makes you think it does?
"Fall climbing rock, protection failed; slip on snow, failed to self-arrest" - always the same accidents, just different years.

bearbreeder wrote:
its simply basic reporting of what incidents happened ... which they should be writing up anyways for insurance purposes ... public transparency is a GOOD thing ... or would one rather be in the dark and not know the rates or specifics of accidents? i suspect if they are forced to disclose it, theyll be quite vigilant ...


So you'd prefer gyms where autobelays are banned and the staff hovers around double checking everyone's belay technique and tie-in knot? Probably shouldn't allow leading either. And helmets for all.

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By bearbreeder
Dec 20, 2012
Mark E Dixon wrote:
What makes you think it does? "Fall climbing rock, protection failed; slip on snow, failed to self-arrest" - always the same accidents, just different years. So you'd prefer gyms where autobelays are banned and the staff hovers around double checking everyone's belay technique and tie-in knot? Probably shouldn't allow leading either. And helmets for all.


id simply prefer a gym where they publish and dont hide the incidents ... which they need to record anyways for insurance ... and those get posted up for everyone to SEE and MAKE THEIR OWN JUDGEMENT ... and hopefully LEARN from

the staff should always be on the look out for bad belayers ... i mean you do have little kids running around the gym ... dont want those to get splattered by someone going hands free now do we ;)

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By Chris Zeller
From Boulder, CO
Dec 20, 2012
Chris Zeller leading the direct route on the First...
I just heard about this today at the gym. This is very sad news. I have climbed with this person at the gym many times and he is the most friendly and experienced climber at the BRC. He is there nearly every day. He is a very safety concious and serious person and amazingly athletic for his age. I wish him the best and a full recovery.

Its too easy to post in haste and make presumptions. I think in this case some compassion is in order. I was not there when this happenned but I think we all should understand that when things become so routine it is easy to become complacant. Many professional climbers have fallen victim to this kind of momentary absentmindedness. Take this as a lesson to make us all safer that no matter how often you climb to complete the pre-flight checklist each time.

In this particular case, I hope I will see this person will be back at the gym.

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By R.Walters
Dec 20, 2012
matt davies wrote:
The cognitive dissonance begins in the cerebral cortex. Essentially the subject is temporarily unable to regenerate with accuracy or urgency the immediate past in his/her present consciousness. A false recollection of clipping into the autobelay, readily available to the processes of decision which motivate action by muscle memory and temporally juxtaposed re-creations of said processes in the not-so-distant past, may delude the subject into falsely believing they are good to go. This false pre-suppostion is assimilated into the immediate recall of the subject, and as their attention is then consumed with the action of 'sending, no notice is made of their error.

Awesome.

JLP wrote:
Old car, low miles, driven by granny to church and back.

This too.

And best recovery to the fallen climber. It can happen to anyone. Double check yourself out there.

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By pfwein
Dec 20, 2012
bearbreeder wrote:
id simply prefer a gym where they publish and dont hide the incidents ... which they need to record anyways for insurance ... and those get posted up for everyone to SEE and MAKE THEIR OWN JUDGEMENT ... and hopefully LEARN from the staff should always be on the look out for bad belayers ... i mean you do have little kids running around the gym ... dont want those to get splattered by someone going hands free now do we ;)


Then you're free to go to such a gym. If you don't like the policies of BRC or Movement or anywhere else, I'm sure they'd prefer you didn't go. From my experience (current at Movement, in the past at BRC), I've never seen anything the gyms do that is dangerous, unless you count failing to directly supervise everyone who happens to be using the facilities as dangerous (which you may). The gyms provide good facilities that are safe when properly used and dangerous when not.

I know lots of us gym climbers are concerned about the high rate of accidents, which seem to happen among both super-experienced climbers, noobs who somehow managed to pass the belay test, and everyone in between. I'm skeptical that government regulation is going to solve this problem or be in the long term of interests of gyms or their users, in light of the fact that the gyms aren't really doing anything wrong.

The best safety idea I've heard is going through a methodical check list each time you begin a new climb (or rappel, when moving beyond gyms). I know that sounds glaringly obvious and may be, but some guy managed to write an entire book on checklists that became a bestseller.
amazon.com/Checklist-Manifesto...
But on the other hand, when the errors are often the result of people forgetting to do seemingly obvious things, why wouldn't they forget to go through the checklist? It may be an intractable problem.


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By bearbreeder
Dec 20, 2012
pfwein wrote:
Then you're free to go to such a gym. If you don't like the policies of BRC or Movement or anywhere else, I'm sure they'd prefer you didn't go. From my experience (current at Movement, in the past at BRC), I've never seen anything the gyms do that is dangerous, unless you count failing to directly supervise everyone who happens to be using the facilities as dangerous (which you may). The gyms provide good facilities that are safe when properly used and dangerous when not. I know lots of us gym climbers are concerned about the high rate of accidents, which seem to happen among both super-experienced climbers, noobs who somehow managed to pass the belay test, and everyone in between. I'm skeptical that government regulation is going to solve this problem or be in the long term of interests of gyms or their users, in light of the fact that the gyms aren't really doing anything wrong. The best safety idea I've heard is going through a methodical check list each time you begin a new climb (or rappel, when moving beyond gyms). I know that sounds glaringly obvious and may be, but some guy managed to write an entire book on checklists that became a bestseller. amazon.com/Checklist-Manifesto... But on the other hand, when the errors are often the result of people forgetting to do seemingly obvious things, why wouldn't they forget to go through the checklist? It may be an intractable problem.



yet gyms and the industry in general sell themselves as "safe" places where you can bring your kids entire bday party, leave your kids after school, etc ...

from their website ...

- Safe, friendly, controlled environment
- Great activity for kids and teens


i would expect a gym where "At the Boulder Rock Club, safety is our number one concern. " that there would be indeed people patrolling the floor, and incident reports to be posted up as warnings ...

they may already do so ... who knows ... but the 12-15 grounders from the top of the wall a year that someone claims doesnt sound like the best .... someone is going to get killed, and it may well be a bystander ...

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 20, 2012
El Chorro
I have read a lot of good responses here and I certainly don't want to stir the pot, as I often do, but I really don't see how some of these things happen. Now before anyone tells me that I am missing something about human error and that I am more dangerous for not understanding how it could happen to anyone - I do know that we humans make mistakes. We make them every day.There are thousands of chances for us to fuck up every day and none of us get all of those times right. We make mistakes.

But how many of those opportunities for mistake can cost us our life? Not many. Maybe for most of you, the most dangerous thing you do is drive. You are careful, and you stay alive. The most dangerous thing I do is ride my bike in traffic. I am careful, and I stay alive. In both cases we are also relying on others to be careful as well.

But how many times can a person possibly tie into a climbing rope in one day? Twenty? Thirty? Of all of the thousand times that you can fuck up in a day, the tying your knot part is the most important. It's up to you to get it right, and if you do, there is a very very good chance that you are going to stay alive. Why do so many people get it wrong?

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By doak
From boulder, co
Dec 20, 2012
Drinking with Moses
I've climbed at a couple of German gyms, and they're a whole differant animal. One had a concrete slab floor, and the other had a concrete slab floor with a 5' wide strip of 1.5" pad along the base of the routes. Tough luck if you blow the 2nd or 3rd clip on an overhanging route.

We asked if we needed to do a belay test and they looked at us suspiciously: "You know how to climb, don't you?" When we nodded, they said "Well, go climb!". A first date next to us dropped her partner 20' onto the slab due to belay error, and my German friend said "Hmmm, maybe belay tests would be a good idea."

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By J mac
Dec 20, 2012
Zermatt
doak wrote:
I've climbed at a couple of German gyms, and they're a whole differant animal. One had a concrete slab floor, and the other had a concrete slab floor with a 5' wide strip of 1.5" pad along the base of the routes. Tough luck if you blow the 2nd or 3rd clip on an overhanging route. We asked if we needed to do a belay test and they looked at us suspiciously: "You know how to climb, don't you?" When we nodded, they said "Well, go climb!". A first date next to us dropped her partner 20' onto the slab due to belay error, and my German friend said "Hmmm, maybe belay tests would be a good idea."


At a gym I climbed at in New Zealand it was assumed if you bring your own rope you know what you are doing. It is a strictly American reaction to immediately blame the gym, and in my opinion something we need to change. Unless draws are being pulled off the walls it hardly seems like the gym's fault. How about some personal responsibility.

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By Truck13
Dec 20, 2012
I went to the gym after reading this thread. I found myself checking my knot closer and my partner's also. I've been climbing on and off for several decades. Maybe I had become complacent.

This thread raised my awareness and hopefully the awareness of others also. Maybe it will keep noob or one of the old cranky guys from getting complacent and decking.

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By bearbreeder
Dec 20, 2012
Ryan Williams wrote:
Why do so many people get it wrong?


i blame the extra revealing tights that hawt climbing chicks wear to the gym ... its hard to pay attention to anything else ;)

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By Glenn Schuler
From Monument, Co.
Dec 21, 2012
A grey fox skull wedged in a crack 100' up on a FA...
Ryan Williams wrote:
but I really don't see how some of these things happen. ...... Why do so many people get it wrong?


I think it is still a very small percentage when you consider just how many more climbers there are. It just seems like a lot because there are so damn many of us. Not only that, the amount of climber "tie-ins" per day skyrocketed with the emergence and popularity of climbing gyms.
My partner only tied half of his figure 8 before getting on toprope at Shelf Road back in the 80's. So he's 30' up getting ready to pull the 11c crux move and his rope slides out of his harness and he is instantly free soloing. Screaming, yelling and panic ensued but he was able to get back on the ground unscathed. I still tend to check my knot a third time even after I'm 15' off the ground.

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Dec 21, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after...
Ryan Williams wrote:
Why do so many people get it wrong?

Complacency for some, ignorance of consequences for others. The former usually from veterans, and the latter from new climbers. Someone else mentioned this in a different thread that was along the same subject as this one. It seems as though the 3 to 5 year climbers are probably the safest. They're not so new that they haven't seen or experienced some injuries either to themselves or to others, so they know the impact of fucking up, and not so tenured that they feel the fundamentals are muscle memory- allowing complacency to creep in. I tend to agree with this.

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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Dec 21, 2012
Me, of course
I've personally seen two people forget to clip into the auto belay at the BRC. One was an experienced climber in the back room who got half way up the wall before I mentioned to him he wasn't attached, I was able to get up there and hand him off the auto belay and still downclimb myself. The other was a new climber who made it all the way to the top of the front wall before she noticed, the staff did a great job of piling up bouldering pads and climbing up to rescue her. It can happen to everyone, and it's their own responsibility to take their life into account... climbing isn't safe and shouldn't be thought of as such in any circumstance.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Dec 21, 2012
Bocan
Evan S wrote:
I've personally seen two people forget to clip into the auto belay at the BRC. One was an experienced climber in the back room who got half way up the wall before I mentioned to him he wasn't attached, I was able to get up there and hand him off the auto belay and still downclimb myself. The other was a new climber who made it all the way to the top of the front wall before she noticed, the staff did a great job of piling up bouldering pads and climbing up to rescue her. It can happen to everyone, and it's their own responsibility to take their life into account... climbing isn't safe and shouldn't be thought of as such in any circumstance.


I just don't get that...that's like forgeting to tie into the rope. You are soloing.

Honestly that can't happen to everyone. No one walks out of their house without pants on and say "whoops I forgot my pants, it can happen to anyone". That's really some next level stuff there.

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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Dec 21, 2012
Me, of course
Scott McMahon wrote:
I just don't get that...that's like forgeting to tie into the rope. You are soloing. Honestly that can't happen to everyone. No one walks out of their house without pants on and say "whoops I forgot my pants, it can happen to anyone". That's really some next level stuff there.


Well, whether you get it or not, it happens. And some people do forget their pants, you'd be surprised.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Dec 21, 2012
Bocan
Evan S wrote:
Well, whether you get it or not, it happens. And some people do forget their pants, you'd be surprised.


haha maybe...but I guess i can't wrap my brain around walking up to a route and "forgetting" to even pick up a rope and tie in. That's a level of forgetfulness and distractedness that I can't comprehend. Maybe if Eva Mendes was doing a strip tease on the next route over.

It's mind bottling.

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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Dec 21, 2012
Me, of course
Scott McMahon wrote:
haha maybe...but I guess i can't wrap my brain around walking up to a route and "forgetting" to even pick up a rope and tie in. That's a level of forgetfulness and distractedness that I can't comprehend. Maybe if Eva Mendes was doing a strip tease on the next route over. It's mind bottling.


I'm not saying it isn't really stupid. It is. I have excessive OCD and triple check that I'm in before I leave the ground and at most chances I get on a route, and always have, but that's just me. Any fall over 8ft can be deadly, you'd think people would be just a little more careful.

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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Dec 21, 2012
Wall Street, Moab, UT
The people in the cockpit of your next airline flight understand this phenomenon well, and that's why there are pre-flight checklists that everyone has to go through every time, regardless of how many years experience they have.

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By TWK
Dec 21, 2012
Checklists are great and work well when properly implemented. Everyone should read "The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right" by Atul Gawande.

But is a checklist really needed:

1. Buckle harness correctly--check!
2. Tie into the correct end of the rope correctly--check!

My partners and I do use a simple checklist routinely:

On belay?
Belay on,

Climbing?
Climb away!

When we do this at the gym, a lot of people snicker. I guess they don't find it necessary. We use this verbal exchange for a quick visual check of the other guy's gear.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Dec 21, 2012
El Chorro
Glenn Schuler wrote:
I think it is still a very small percentage when you consider just how many more climbers there are. It just seems like a lot because there are so damn many of us. Not only that, the amount of climber "tie-ins" per day skyrocketed with the emergence and popularity of climbing gyms. My partner only tied half of his figure 8 before getting on toprope at Shelf Road back in the 80's. So he's 30' up getting ready to pull the 11c crux move and his rope slides out of his harness and he is instantly free soloing. Screaming, yelling and panic ensued but he was able to get back on the ground unscathed. I still tend to check my knot a third time even after I'm 15' off the ground.


Right on. I had a friend do the same thing just a dozen feet to my right a few years ago. Outdoors. She actually noticed before the rope came undone and went in direct to a bolt.

Like you, I check my knot after clipping the first or second bolt most of the time. I don't know why, I just do, especially indoors. For some reason I just feel like there is more of a chance of me fucking up indoors, since we are usually carrying on some sort of conversation between laps and there are lots of hot girls running around.

John McHugh wrote:
At a gym I climbed at in New Zealand it was assumed if you bring your own rope you know what you are doing. It is a strictly American reaction to immediately blame the gym, and in my opinion something we need to change. Unless draws are being pulled off the walls it hardly seems like the gym's fault. How about some personal responsibility.


It's not just the US. The Brits always talk shit to me about our "blame someone else" culture and all of the lawsuits, but the only time I've heard of someone winning a lawsuit against a climbing gym was in the UK: Banker Woman gets 100,000

I don't know what happened in the end but I'm pretty sure she got her money.

Evan S wrote:
I've personally seen two people forget to clip into the auto belay at the BRC. One was an experienced climber in the back room who got half way up the wall before I mentioned to him he wasn't attached, I was able to get up there and hand him off the auto belay and still downclimb myself. The other was a new climber who made it all the way to the top of the front wall before she noticed, the staff did a great job of piling up bouldering pads and climbing up to rescue her. It can happen to everyone, and it's their own responsibility to take their life into account... climbing isn't safe and shouldn't be thought of as such in any circumstance.


I'm still with people like Scott on this one. I just don't see how people do that. I mean what the hell else do you have to do before leaving the ground on an autobelay? Harness double backed? YES. Clipped in with a locker? YES. That's it! You don't have to check if you have hydraulic pressure, you don't have to check if you have enough fuel, you don't have to check if the cabin is pressurized, etc.

At the very least I visually inspect my knot and my partners belay device and say "we good?" If he doesn't answer I don't climb.

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Dec 21, 2012
At the BRC
Scott McMahon wrote:
haha maybe...but I guess i can't wrap my brain around walking up to a route and "forgetting" to even pick up a rope and tie in. That's a level of forgetfulness and distractedness that I can't comprehend. Maybe if Eva Mendes was doing a strip tease on the next route over. It's mind bottling.


Scott, do you use the autobelays much? Recently I have been, and I can definitely imagine forgetting to clip in. Will try very hard not to forget!

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Dec 21, 2012
Bocan
Mark E Dixon wrote:
Scott, do you use the autobelays much? Recently I have been, and I can definitely imagine forgetting to clip in. Will try very hard not to forget!


Not since I switched over to movement, but Im also the type of person that always double checks my harness and knot before I even begin to climb. Personally I couldn't fathom just starting to climb in front of an auto belay without clipping in. I used pants as an analogy, but to me that's almost like forgetting your harness and just starting to climb. It really is the most basic function.

And haha don't mark. You made it past the Mayan apocalypse, stick around for a bit more!

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