Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Incident Report from 7/13/14
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Shannon M
From North Hollywood, CA
Jul 15, 2014
Elephant Rock, City of Rocks, Idaho 1998
If anyone finds the yardsale we left up on the Trough, your help in retrieving the gear would be greatly appreciated and compensated. Please see the Lost and Found thread by Brian Rau for details. Below is a copy of the narrative I created for my incident on The Trough from Sunday, July 13, 2014.

Narrative Description of Accident (Continue onto next page if necessary):
Experienced lead climber, coming back into the sport over the last few years, led up the first pitch of The Trough (5.4) on Tahquitz starting at approximately 8am on July 13, 2014. The climb was well within my ability level. Climbing with my partnerís rack, I took only a select number of pieces since I am very small and carrying a lot of gear becomes cumbersome. I easily placed several pieces every 10 to 15 feet or so and climbed steadily past the first recommended belay ledge. I continued climbing past a fixed piton, placing my own gear. I had stopped placing gear after putting in a small nut above the fixed piton.
Feeling like I wanted to make sure I had adequate gear for a solid anchor, and knowing that the climbing was relatively easy, I ďran it out.Ē At a slightly bulging section of the climb, I lost my footing and began pinwheeling down the heavily featured climb, banging against the rock until landing on the sloping ledge about 60 feet below where Iíd been. My nut held, there was no gear failure. I was able to speak, did not
lose consciousness and my partner was able to call out for help. Meanwhile, I used my remaining gear to make an anchor and my partner took me off of belay.
Fortunately, Mr. Tony Grice, climbing guide with the Vertical Adventures guiding company was nearby and facilitated an assisted rappel off of the sloping ledge with the anchor Iíd built. Our good fortune in having Tony there cannot be overstated. Having a tremendous amount of climbing and rescue experience, plus having just completely nursing school, Tony was as good as it gets for a first responder.
I did have my cell phone and called for rescue. Cal Fire facilitated a rescue with the help of Tony and other local climbers, all of whom demonstrated an extraordinary level of skill and professionalism. I am indebted to them. I was airlifted by helicopter to the Riverside Community Medical Center and released the following day with minor injuries, a fractured ankle, contusions and hematomas and thatís it.
9. Analysis of Accident: What knowledge and techniques will help prevent future accidents?
This is an accident that never should have happened. The mistake is clear and irrefutably unnecessary. Regardless of how easy a climb is, knowing that the rescue from a cliff requires such a tremendous amount of effort, expense and risk should be reason enough alone to place gear. I was cocky and foolhardy and recognize that my poor decision making led to a tremendous effort to extract me from the situation. There is simply no excuse. I wanted to post this report because I am well aware that itís common for experienced, strong climbers to become very complacent on easier terrain. I did not fall because the climb was hard, or I was tired or any other reason than just a simple slip.
Had I placed gear as I should have I would have surely fallen and received perhaps a few scrapes and bruises, but I would not have required a high angle litter rescue or helicopter transport, endangering lives and expending resources. Please take the time to place the gear, if not for your own benefit, than for those who will have to peel you off the cliff. I cannot begin to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to all.

FLAG
By Hiro
From Boulder, CO
Jul 15, 2014
Ouray Ice Park <br />Pick o' the Vic?
Thanks for the reminder Shannon! I'm sure all of us can recall that feeling of 'no way I can fall' when we are about to run out 30' to the end. Just yesterday I told my partner that so much of trad is about making good decisions...

Hope you make a quick and full recovery!

FLAG
By Jeff Scofield
From Yorba Linda, CA
Jul 15, 2014
Spaghetti and Chili on the lieback!
Shannon glad you are OK and thanks for the report. I can't think of a better person to have in that situation than Tony your lucky he was nearby. Tony's is the best...

Again glad your OK!

Jeff

FLAG
By Mathias
From Loveland, CO
Jul 15, 2014
Shannon, thanks for posting. I have a friend who just last weekend ran out 25' because she used up all appropriate gear. She's only been climbing about 6 months but is already climbing at what I believe is the higher end of 5.10 in trad (though she uses the British Adjective and Technical systems and I don't entirely understand the conversion). She was climbing below her grade and I guess she didn't see the danger, or perhaps lacked the imagination to consider the possibility of a fall. But I will pass this on to her in the hopes that she might learn from it.

FLAG
By tony grice
Jul 16, 2014
huge marshmallow
Shannon, glad you're OK. Glad to help out.we climbed the trough right after the Helicopter took off, and collected most of the gear, except for the two pieces you placed off the ground, I wasn't gonna down solo to them, and we took the direct start to the trough from where the rescue teams met us.so I was unable to get to the first two pieces. sorry. The Fella I was climbing with has the gear, he lives in LA, and he said he would check here for you or you partners contact info. I Collected 4 cams,6 runners, 1 small nut, and five or six biners. He's got them all, and said he would be making efforts to get you the gear back. Speedy healing friend.

FLAG
By Ryan202
From West Jordan, UT
Jul 16, 2014
I'm glad you're ok. And I'm glad that bystanders were willing to help.

I've ran it out on trad before as well. Didn't really intend to, but sometimes I did feel comfortable enough to do so. It's something that I want to be conscious of and avoid doing. The consequences from a simple slip is too high for me.

FLAG
By matt c.
Jul 16, 2014
glad you are ok. Thanks for the post! It is a really good perspective. I shuddered when i heard the helicopter on sunday. I am glad it wasn't as bad as the day before.

FLAG
By dinosore
From Long Beach, CA
Jul 16, 2014
The Fang Extension V5 @ Horse Flats
Hope you recover quick and are sending once a again in no time.

FLAG
 
By Shannon M
From North Hollywood, CA
Jul 17, 2014
Elephant Rock, City of Rocks, Idaho 1998
Thanks everyone. And thank you, Tony for taking the time to retrieve Brian's gear. I'll follow up and see if I can make sure it gets to him.

I'm healing well and as the days go by I am more and more amazed that I'm not more injured than I am. I try not to replay the fall in my head too often. Pushing it back in my mind seems like the right thing to do. I've replayed it a few times for friends and family but have asked clients and colleagues not not ask about the actual fall.

I mention this, because I think that it's going to help in my mental healing from the incident and not further traumatize me, hopefully allowing me to get back on the cliff. I'm reminded of when the towers came down and people watched it over and over again. Once is enough! I'm focusing on my recovery and healing and rebuilding my strength.

Thanks
Shannon

FLAG
By Shannon M
From North Hollywood, CA
Jul 17, 2014
Elephant Rock, City of Rocks, Idaho 1998
Tony, if you revisit this thread, Brian's got buried in the mix, if you can get this link to your client, that would be awesome, it has Bri's 411. thanks!
mountainproject.com/v/lost-dur...

FLAG
By MattyT
Jul 22, 2014
Hi Shannon,
Wanted you to know that Brian got a hold of me today and will pick up his gear this evening. Glad to hear you are OK - not surprising as you were a trooper up there. I'm happy Tony and I came along when we did - he is the best first responder you could have asked for!
Wishing you a speedy recovery!
Matt

FLAG
By TheIceManCometh
From Albany, NY
Jul 22, 2014
Chiller Pillar, Adirondacks
Hi, Shannon. Glad to hear that you're recovering well.

In thinking how others might learn from your experience, just wondering if you wore a helmet and if you thought it helped you during the fall. Also wondering if your belayer took in any rope as you fell or contemplated running backwards. I know it happens in a split second... maybe next time I see my partner way above his last piece of pro, I'd get ready to run if necessary.

FLAG
By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Jul 23, 2014
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.
Shannon M says: "I'm healing well and as the days go by I am more and more amazed that I'm not more injured than I am. I try not to replay the fall in my head too often. Pushing it back in my mind seems like the right thing to do. I've replayed it a few times for friends and family but have asked clients and colleagues not not ask about the actual fall.

I mention this, because I think that it's going to help in my mental healing from the incident and not further traumatize me, hopefully allowing me to get back on the cliff.
Once is enough!
I'm focusing on my recovery and healing and rebuilding my strength. Thanks Shannon"


Shannon, good to know your going to be OK, you could be worse.

I have found, from experience, that talking about an accident will help one get over a traumatic incident. Replay it over and over in your head, figgure out what you did wrong and understand how you could have handled the situation in another way.

Climbing is about managing deadly risk.

Good luck with the healing, that is another component of this fine sport.

FLAG
By Mike Watson
Jul 23, 2014
I'd echo Guy's advice. I had an accident in JT 4 years ago and just went back to the surgeon for more repairs. I can't count how many times I've replayed the incident and what I could have done differently. Needless to say, I'm much more cautious climbing close to the ground where I can potentially deck and will back off if it looks like I could.

Good luck with the recovery!!

FLAG
By Shannon M
From North Hollywood, CA
Jul 23, 2014
Elephant Rock, City of Rocks, Idaho 1998
Iceman, my belyer was n an anchor, he couldn't see the fall initially, I was out of sight. When when he felt slack in the rope, he started pulling in as much as he could. Yes, I was wearing a full, alpine climbing helmet.

FLAG
By Craig Childre
From Lubbock, Texas
Jul 23, 2014
Potrero Mexico, Sport Climbing Mecca.
When I was 19 I fell scrambling, pulled off a boulder which knocked off this other woman. Crushed her femur. She had to wait 24 hours for a rescue. Took me a few years to recover my mental edge. I did most of my climbing in caves in that day. 20+ years later, I can still remember it vividly. What I did wrong, and the consequences still carry weight in my mind. I've learned to see the event for what it was, a freaky accident, that I could have minimized, if not prevented. 'Remember so you don't repeat' has been my thought process. Great report, and great advice. Get well soon.

FLAG
 
By Shannon M
From North Hollywood, CA
Jul 23, 2014
Elephant Rock, City of Rocks, Idaho 1998
Thanks guys for your kind thoughts. I've clearly analyzed the accident and understand what happened. Having worked for years in the mental health field, having conducted critical incident stress debriefings and looked at the research, I'm aware that we know now that repeating an incident over and over actually contributes to PTSD and anxiety. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/...

I'm very vague with people when the ask what happened, I don't go out of my way to tell the story. I know what happened, I know what mistakes were made. Retelling and recatastrophizing the story don't make it better, it concretizes the memory, just like repeating a movement pattern, or learning lines for a play. Best to focus on recovery and moving forward.

The story is saved for close friends, family and medical personnel. I want to get back up on that rock and not have those images rolling through my head. Believe me when I say it's terribly difficult to not replay it over and over, but I'm confident in my approach that it's for the best.

cheers,
Shannon

FLAG
By Kevin Mokracek
From Burbank
Jul 23, 2014
Triple Direct on El Capitan
Glad you are doing well and to see the community pull together and help one another out. Don't be too hard on yourself or overthink it. Sometimes placing gear frequently is ok and sometimes it might be prudent to run it out a bit for various reasons such as to reduce rope drag or maybe there just isn't anywhere to place pro. Your incident sounds like an accident pure and simple. That last nut was well placed and prevented a further fall and maybe further injury. You sound like a reasonable well rounded climber and I hope this incident doesn't rattle your cage too much and that you will jump back on the bike and keep going. Climb on!

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.