|By Dominic Albanese
From Baltimore, MD
Nov 7, 2011
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.