"When the load came, I snapped. Most of me, invisible inside the crack, had already rusted away, and what little remained broke immediately upon impact. I saw the leader who clipped me vanish below---don't know what happened to him. I was old and weak; I tried, but could not perform my duty."

CSI Investigator Williams found the following forensic evidence:


The second shot provides a closer view of the extensive rusted-away section.

Photos by Richard Goldstone and Dick Williams. Hand curtesy of Gregory Rukavina.


The real story: The pin was on Pas de Deux. Dick gave it a testing tap with the hammer and it snapped. He didn't beat on it. This piton would not have held even a very short fall.

Some history: This is one of the fixed pins installed by John Stannard more than 30 years ago. Stannard made these specially of extra-thick stock and coated them to resist corrosion. They were arguably the most reliable fixed protection in the world at the time, and have have proven their worth and durability over the years. However, thirty years in a crack that channels running water is a long time, and even the best fixed gear can eventually provide an illusion of security where none exists.

Be careful out there, folks.