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Seneca Rocks, WV - 11-05-06-2011
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By Janine Connell
Nov 7, 2011
DNA/ P. Chico  5.10a

A team was stuck overnight on the rock at Seneca this past weekend. Apparently there were no injuries, but I was wondering if anyone can provide details of what led up to this. It was 20 degrees at the base so I am not sure how they avoided hypothermia.

Thanks.


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By Dominic Albanese
From Baltimore, MD
Nov 7, 2011
Me climbing on Broken Knee @ Pistol Whipped Wall in Indian Creek UT

There were actually two separate incidents this weekend!

We stopped by for a quick hike up to Lunch Ledge (at the start of Old Ladies) after being at Dolly Sods on the weekend.

Didnt have a watch so not sure about times... we probably arrived at 10:30am

There were a bunch of local SAR teams on Roy Gap Rd. as we walked up. They did not know too many details, but it looked like people were getting help rappelling at the rap under Pleasant Overhangs. People mentioned later that they had been climbing near them the day before and they were doing fine. Apparently they got a rope stuck on the rap, and were forced to spend the night at the rap anchor. I don't know if they had multiple ropes, or which specific rap they were on.

We got up and briefly chatted with a group of two guys about to do Marshalls Madness. We then went over to sit and eat and enjoy the view. The leader (who was wearing a helmet) fell from maybe 25-30 feet up and hit the ground. We rushed over to help. His top two pieces had ripped (top being an old piton which was sheared, and the second something in the range of a .75) and he was dangling lower than his belay still 5 feet up after hitting the slab below the climb. Injuries mainly to his heel and soreness in his back.

As we were starting to help him down the trail we ran into the other rescue. A smaller team helped the be-nighted team down and the leader fall was alternatively put in the basket and carried down to the ambulance at Roy Gap.

We got back to the car around 1pm

As for the initial group, we arrived a bit late, but they did seem to have heavy jackets, but with no other protection from the cold I am also surprised that they avoided more serious injury. Hopefully some more details will come to light.

As for the second, I will just say two things that struck me. First... the pitons, especially on that wall, are VERY old and not to be trusted. Back them up! Second, we were very lucky to encounter the other rescue team as assisting him down with just the 4 of us was going to be a daunting task. Thanks to all the local SAR and rescue teams. Hope he makes a speedy recovery.


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By Janine Connell
Nov 8, 2011
DNA/ P. Chico  5.10a

Wow! Thanks for the response Dominic. Seneca's rescue teams have been really busy lately.

We were there as well and saw the team that were stuck on the wall. By the time we got to the South Peak we were told that there were plenty of people already there or on their way to help. It sounds like you could have used a few more people.

We saw a couple the day before around pleasant overhangs starting a climb at 4:30 and we were wondering if that was the couple that was stuck. We camped out Saturday night and I was freezing in my bag by the fire - I can't imagine how horrible spending the night on the wall must have been.

I hadn't even heard about the fall on Marshall's Madness. I guess that should be a lesson to me as I clipped an old piton on Alcoa the day before - Yikes! The pitons really give you a false sense of security.

Thanks for the response. Let me know if you hear more. I am glad everyone was ok.


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By Dominic Albanese
From Baltimore, MD
Nov 9, 2011
Me climbing on Broken Knee @ Pistol Whipped Wall in Indian Creek UT

Not much to add. Just a picture of the pin that failed as the top piece.



Pins at Seneca are old! Back them up.


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By Janine Connell
Nov 9, 2011
DNA/ P. Chico  5.10a

Thansk for the photo Dominic. I printed it out and have it in my office as a reminder to not be tempted!!


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By Tom Cecil
Nov 11, 2011

It's worth reminding everyone that Seneca rocks does not have an organized search and rescue team. The local vfd is actually responsible for responding to all accidents. These guys are awesome, truly unsung heroes. They are not, however, trained in vertical rock rescue. Vertical rock rescue is the responsibility of the climbers at the crag. You may be the one expected to help- a solid foundation in self rescue skills is advisable for any regular Seneca rocks climber. Climb safe out there everyone.
Tom


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