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Rappel accident - LCC, Utah
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By sfotex
From Sandy, UT
Sep 22, 2012

www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54942561-78/climber-canyon-cotton>>>

Two injured climbers rescued from Big Cottonwood Canyon
Accident One climber in serious condition after fall near Storm Mountain.
By Bob Mims | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Sep 21 2012 11:42 am Last Updated Sep 21 2012 04:14 pm
Salt Lake County Search and Rescue workers retrieved two injured climbers late Thursday night from a cliff side near Storm Mountain in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Unified Police Capt. Kris Ownby said Friday that the two men were rappelling down the Challenge Buttress, just across from Storm Mountain, about 8 p.m. in tandem, alternating as counterbalancing weights to each other. One of them fell off the end of the rope, and both fell as a result.

A 25-year-old climber tumbled about 10 feet, while the second climber, a 31-year-old man, dropped 40 feet.

Ownby said the 25-year-old suffered a lower leg laceration and possibly sprained ankle, but his companion sustained more severe injuries to his legs and upper body.

About 20 rescuers, including four paramedics, responded to the scene. The 25-year-old climber was aided in completing his ascent by 9:30 p.m. and drove himself to a hospital to be checked out. The other climber was lowered by rescuers shortly thereafter and taken to University Hospital in serious but non-life threatening condition.


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By rcguy
Sep 22, 2012

Simul rapping can be expeditious but vigilance must rule the day. Hope both parties fully recover.


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By Buff Johnson
Sep 22, 2012
smiley face

jeeze


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By anant
From salt lake city utah
Sep 22, 2012
city of rocks idaho

I was the 23 yesr old involved in the accident. We are still not sure what happened. My friend and i were still hooked onto the rope after we fell because i had knotted the ends. All i remember is him just falling really fast and hitting the ground and then i fell as a result. I have simul rappeled several times before i still do not know what went wrong or what i should do different im the future.


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By sfotex
From Sandy, UT
Sep 22, 2012

Anant,
How is your friend doing?
Prussic backups on a simu rappel can add some safety.

Were you rapping on one rope two?


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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
Sep 22, 2012
The route in it's entirety.

Which route were you guys descending? An anchor check is in order without a doubt.


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By Eric Krantz
From Black Hills
Sep 22, 2012
smoke break, pitch 5 or 6 (or 7??) of Dark Shadows

anant wrote:
I was the 23 yesr old involved in the accident. We are still not sure what happened. My friend and i were still hooked onto the rope after we fell because i had knotted the ends. All i remember is him just falling really fast and hitting the ground and then i fell as a result. I have simul rappeled several times before i still do not know what went wrong or what i should do different im the future.


He fell first while your rope was tight, then you fell after he hit the ground?


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By John Douglass
From SLC, UT
Sep 23, 2012
NRG

I'm sorry to hear about your accident. I'm guessing that the ends of the rope, knots and all, were on the ground. From your description, its seems likely that the first person lost control of the rope/belay device and hit the ground, after which the rope continued to pull through the device, thereby causing the second person to hit the ground.


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By anant
From salt lake city utah
Sep 23, 2012
city of rocks idaho

My friend justin is doing okay. He has a fractured vertebrate but the doctors say he will heal up 100 %.
I do think i need to start using prusiks for backup specially when using single ropes.
I do think that he just lost control and fell which resulted in me falling.
I am not sure what route this was but it was on the east face of Challenge buttress and has a second 5.11 pitch.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Sep 23, 2012
Mathematical!

Sounds like Worthy Whoopsie. Glad to hear you guys are okay.


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By Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Sep 23, 2012
Tough Mantle Problem.  Haven't sent yet...

Sucks dude. One reason I don't rope climb often is my fear that my partner will make a mistake or even worse, I will. Hope you both recover physically and mentally soon.


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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Oct 2, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

"Sucks dude. One reason I don't rope climb often is my fear that my partner will make a mistake or even worse, I will."


You Kant be serious.

Just don't do stupid dumb sh_T, like simul rap.



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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 4, 2012
CoR

sfotex wrote:
Prussic backups on a simu rappel can add some safety. Were you rapping on one rope two?



You would use an auto block not a prusik but you had better have it dialed in if rapping single strand as the number of raps/lenght/friction needs to be just right. Of course if you don't extend your rap device you can get it sucked in and cause a mess, plus if your partner isn't using one it doesn't help at all. The safest way to do a simul rap, if you must,is to connect yourself to your partner with a long sling, that way neither of you gets away from the other no matter what happens.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Oct 4, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

rging wrote:
The safest way to do a simul rap, if you must,is to connect yourself to your partner with a long sling, that way neither of you gets away from the other no matter what happens.

If one person lost control, you would still both fall.


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By Rob Gordon
From Hollywood, CA
Oct 4, 2012
Tough Mantle Problem.  Haven't sent yet...

Guy- Not saying it's a rational fear, just that I don't like the idea that if I screw up it could affect someone else. And yeah, you would never catch me doing a simul-rappel unless there was a volcano spewing lava right above us and we had to both get off the summit at the same time.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Oct 4, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

This is a good reason not to simulrappel. No thanks. Unless you are rappelling a 25 pitch route in a day, there is no point. And as you said, you have no idea what your partner did wrong. Who needs that?


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By CJC
Oct 4, 2012

I don't see the point either

unless they couldn't decide who should go first


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By Boissal
From Small Lake, UT
Oct 4, 2012

CJC wrote:
I don't see the point either unless they couldn't decide who should go first

It's much faster, esp. with double ropes. The whole near-death part definitively detracts from it though. I've come to hate it and pretty much refuse to do it.


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By Avi Katz
Oct 4, 2012

sfotex wrote:
Anant, How is your friend doing? Prussic backups on a simu rappel can add some safety. Were you rapping on one rope two?


prussik backups on EVERY rappel adds safety.


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By NickinCO
From colorado
Oct 4, 2012
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.

Stich wrote:
This is a good reason not to simulrappel. No thanks. Unless you are rappelling a 25 pitch route in a day, there is no point. And as you said, you have no idea what your partner did wrong. Who needs that?


or just have a clue what you're doing.


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Oct 4, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

You might want to have a clue what the potential costs are vs. benefits.


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Oct 5, 2012
CoR

M Sprague wrote:
If one person lost control, you would still both fall.



Nope


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By cdec
From SLC and Moab, ut
Oct 5, 2012

rging wrote:
You would use an auto block not a prusik

Any properly tied friction hitch works. It is personal preference.

Get well.


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By nbrown
From western NC
Oct 5, 2012
Top of Shortoff with the Bonsai

rging wrote:
Nope


Depends... on whether or not there is a knot, and which side of the "rings" it's on in relation to the one who loses controll -assuming it jams in the anchor.


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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Oct 5, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.

rging wrote:
Nope

Explain. I don't see how being tethered together helps anything. Assuming for simplicity sake you are not relying on the chance the joining knot is on the lucky side and catches, if one person lets go of their rope, the physics would be the same as if both climbers were on one side, no? I would suggest you set up a model with low friction string and see what happens.

This shows why Keep it Simple is so important, particularly when tired. There is less chance a basic physics error will kill you dead.


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By pfwein
Oct 5, 2012

rging wrote:
Nope

Yep, as I understand it.
The point of "tethering" is that if one climber reaches a belay and accidentally disconnects from the rappel before the other climber is secure, the other climber will still be "safe" (fall will be arrested by the tether). I never used the "tether."

Like a lot of recreational climbers, I've dome simul rapelling, but eventually came to the conclusion that the risks outweigh the benefits, for me. The calculation may be different when doing lots of rappels or for "professional" types who may have their shit absolutely dialed in. I think it's one of those things where there is no absolute right or wrong; we've all got to figure out what our personal best practice is, in this case in conjunction with our partner.


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