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#38819 - 08/04/08 03:36 PM Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08)
abf826 Offline
stranger

Registered: 08/04/08
Posts: 1
A big thank you to all of the volunteers, climbers, medical professionals and especially the Preserve rangers and staff who helped out with the rescue of our friend Matt on P38, Sunday, August 3, 2008. The response time was tremendous, the coordination flawless, and everyone's efforts helped Matt get the care he needed as soon as possible.

We're proud to be members of the Gunks when we know that among other things, our money goes to ensuring rescue efforts are well-equipped, efficient, and organized, and yesterday's rescue effort was nothing less. And today, Matt is doing quite well in his recovery.

We thank you, everyone, wholeheartedly, for your help.

Much love,
Andrew and Jackie

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#38823 - 08/04/08 04:34 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: abf826]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Great to hear he is well.

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#38825 - 08/04/08 05:20 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: chip]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
Glad to hear everyone involved is doing well.
What happened?
We were all the way down in the Nears when we heard a bunch of sirens. I guess this is what they were for.

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#38826 - 08/04/08 06:25 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Coppertone]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
I was impressed by the friends of the injured fella who all jumped in to help any way they could even after he was off to the hospital. I was on Strictly when the carry out occurred and talked with one of his friends after.
I'm hoping for a report of what happened. P38 can be tough but I've always thought the gear was OK, even though I can barely make the moves much less place gear on the thing. My understanding was that he was about 25 feet up and about six feet above pro when he came off and decked. I was told top piece was stiil in place. Belay error? As much as we would like to pretend otherwise, a slip at the wrong split second could allow the rope to pull out of control. Another possibility is the "soft catch" concept, which I think is often an excuse for lazy belaying, may have played a role. Just quessing.

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#38828 - 08/04/08 06:31 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: chip]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
I wouldn't want to speculate without hearing first hand, but that climb is G all the way from when you leave the ground through the crux. The only place there is no gear is the off the ledge after the crux on the 5.8 section, but if you lead the crux then you won't fall there. At least it sounds like the injured party is doing well.

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#38830 - 08/04/08 07:26 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Coppertone]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
I heard two different versions - one from Ranger Dave, who was on duty & involved, and another from a friend of the climbing party who was nearby. One description was a fall from 20 feet, the other description was a fall from the initial bulge/rooflet. Both descriptions involved groundfall.

Also, a second incident yielded two broken ankles from a leader fall on Double Chin.

I was very glad to hear everything was ok!

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#38832 - 08/04/08 07:43 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Julie]
paulraphael Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 01/22/02
Posts: 321
Loc: New York, NY
This note was sent to all Matt's climbing friends by his belayer:

"I just wanted to let you know that Matt took a lead fall of 17-20 feet on Sunday and hit the ground. He's currently at St. Francis hospital in Poughkeepsie (room 516) and will remain their until his pain has subsided enough to walk. He is not paralyzed but is just in too much pain to walk. While the first cat scan showed no major damage, a second one later last night showed two fractured vertebrae. True to Matt he remains positive and in good spirits despite feeling physically awful.

I am humbled and grateful as to how helpful and quickly the rangers and all of the climbers in the area reacted to the situation. At one point there were over 40 people helping to carry him down the hill to the ranger truck on a backboard. Thank you Eric for getting retrieving all of our gear and being emotionally supportive in the moment. Matt's climbing friends from Philly were and continue to be amazing.

I keep reliving the details of the fall in my head. He was 17-20 feet off the ground, 6 feet above his piece, which was 1-2 feet extended, trying to place another piece and his hand slipped. The rope was still wet from Saturday. I actually thought for a moment that the rope had caught him and then he kept going and landed between two rocks. Thankfully, the rope kept him uprighted and he never hit his head. While I've felt confident and have learned so much in this past year about climbing, I know I'm really, a new climber and feel I should have been able to do more to have broken his fall."

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#38840 - 08/05/08 12:02 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: paulraphael]
RangerRob Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3764
Loc: Ulster County, NY
If we would have jumped clear of the rock juuuuuust a little further he could have landed right IN the litter. Luckily, the carry out for P-38 is about 30 seconds. I've got questions as well, given the information here. However, I will exercise restraint because it really is none of my damn business. Get well dude, and remember....you're suppsoed to hold on!!!!!

RR

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#38843 - 08/05/08 02:56 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: RangerRob]
dalguard Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1515
Loc: CT
It seems to me that you can get gear in to protect that first overhang but once you're standing up you're really in groundfall range again (especially with that piece extended). The stance over the roof is OK but not casual. If he slipped trying to put in the next piece, there's probably not much anyone could have done about it.

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#38844 - 08/05/08 04:29 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: dalguard]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks Dawn, I was thinking the same.

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#38876 - 08/06/08 03:48 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: paulraphael]
retr2327 Offline
member

Registered: 06/14/07
Posts: 108
"He was 17-20 feet off the ground, 6 feet above his piece, which was 1-2 feet extended, trying to place another piece and his hand slipped."

Well, let's do the math. Assume the lower height estimate (17 feet); assume that 17 feet is measured to his harness tie-in; assume the 6 feet above his piece is accurate (i.e., six feet from piece to harness tie-in), with a 1-foot extension (that there is no need for there, but that's another story). That puts his waist 7 feet above the biner on the piece, and the biner at 10 feet above the ground. If he was belayed on a steel cable with 0 slack in the system, he slams to a stop with his waist 3 feet above the ground. Now add in rope stretch, a few feet of slack in the system, maybe a few inches or so through the belay device, and your climber is hitting pretty hard (and yes, the rope might help keep him upright after he hits).

Not a pretty situation. A lot of climbers are paranoid until they get the first piece (or two) in, but underestimate how quickly it (or they) become(s) worthless. Either sew up the first 20-30 feet, or figure you may be soloing.

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#39012 - 08/12/08 05:10 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: retr2327]
wonderwoman Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 46
We did this climb last week, the day before the accident. My husband led it, and I later remarked how nervous I was at the lack of gear placed during the traversing sections. I could easily see how a ground fall could happen on this climb. Hope the injured person gets better soon!

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#39015 - 08/12/08 07:27 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: wonderwoman]
RangerRob Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3764
Loc: Ulster County, NY
HUH??? Am I missing something? the step right is like 45-50 feet off the deck, and you are at most 8 feet above your BOMBER gear at the end of the moves. No way you could deck from the moves up top....unless you seriously screw up your pro.

RR

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#39018 - 08/12/08 07:52 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: RangerRob]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
I agree with Rob. This is a very safe climb. The problem with P-38 is that it has so much gear that those who need it tend to get pumped out placing it all, while those who are strong enough to place as much gear as they need generally don't need it. The opening moves are very protectable with nuts or small cams, great gear is right in your face soon as you stand up the opening moves and then you can place gear just about every inch of the climb through the crux. If you have made it through the crux then the 5.8 runout up top should not be an issue.

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#39023 - 08/12/08 08:36 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Coppertone]
wonderwoman Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 46
No, he didn't run out the crux, over protect, or have any problems with it. I just couldn't see him when he was high up and moving right in the run out section, and it made me nervous.

And yes, I can see someone taking a ground fall. Sometimes it's a good idea to extend, and sometimes it's not. Did the fallen climber think he was making a good decision by extending his pro to avoid rope drag while moving left? How close he was to the ground should have been taken into consideration.

One of the best climbing lesson memories for me is of a friend of mine taking my slings from me in JTree. She said 'This is crack - you don't extend everything or you'll hit the ground'. She was right, and I've paid extra attention to that ever since.

Anyway - here's to a speedy recovery.

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#39024 - 08/12/08 09:00 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: wonderwoman]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
 Originally Posted By: wonderwoman
No, he didn't run out the crux, over protect, or have any problems with it. I just couldn't see him when he was high up and moving right in the run out section, and it made me nervous.


Where did you move right on P-38. It angles up left in the crack through the crux and then a few feet left to the mini ledge after the crux and then straight up over the bulge and up to the top. There is no reason to extend any gear on this climb, as you said it is a crack and a straight line. That being said it is never good to see anyone get hurt regardless of the situation and hopefully he will make a full recovery and be back on the rock soon.

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#39032 - 08/13/08 12:37 AM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: wonderwoman]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
 Originally Posted By: wonderwoman

One of the best climbing lesson memories for me is of a friend of mine taking my slings from me in JTree. She said 'This is crack - you don't extend everything or you'll hit the ground'. She was right,


Please explain? I understand why long slings are not necessary on many cracks. I don't understand why they will cause groundfall unexcept when you are "near" the ground or a ledge.

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#39034 - 08/13/08 02:12 AM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: wonderwoman]
learningtolead Offline
old hand

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 981
Loc: a wanna be kerhonkson-er
 Originally Posted By: wonderwoman

One of the best climbing lesson memories for me is of a friend of mine taking my slings from me in JTree. She said 'This is crack - you don't extend everything or you'll hit the ground'.


Uh... I don't get this. The beauty of many crack climbs is that they're a gear free for all. why would just the fact that it's a crack mean that you'd hit the ground if you extended your pieces???

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#39041 - 08/13/08 01:06 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: learningtolead]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4275
Loc: Poughkeepsie
 Originally Posted By: learningtolead
 Originally Posted By: wonderwoman

One of the best climbing lesson memories for me is of a friend of mine taking my slings from me in JTree. She said 'This is crack - you don't extend everything or you'll hit the ground'.


Uh... I don't get this. The beauty of many crack climbs is that they're a gear free for all. why would just the fact that it's a crack mean that you'd hit the ground if you extended your pieces???


Wonderwoman's crack-climbing friend obviously learned the notion from the post here a couple years ago that said if you put two foot runners on a dozen pieces, you'll fall an extra 24 feet.

I mean, you will...right?

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#39045 - 08/13/08 01:27 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Mike Rawdon]
Coppertone Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/17/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Newtown, CT
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon

Wonderwoman's crack-climbing friend obviously learned the notion from the post here a couple years ago that said if you put two foot runners on a dozen pieces, you'll fall an extra 24 feet.

I mean, you will...right?


that is incorrect you will fall 48 feet. The 2 feet that you are above the piece plus the 2 feet below the piece that the runner will extend to, multiplied by 12 pieces.

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#39059 - 08/13/08 04:14 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Coppertone]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2675
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
 Originally Posted By: Coppertone
 Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon

Wonderwoman's crack-climbing friend obviously learned the notion from the post here a couple years ago that said if you put two foot runners on a dozen pieces, you'll fall an extra 24 feet.

I mean, you will...right?


that is incorrect you will fall 48 feet. The 2 feet that you are above the piece plus the 2 feet below the piece that the runner will extend to, multiplied by 12 pieces.


Browndog would be so proud!

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#39061 - 08/13/08 04:41 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: chip]
phil Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/12/01
Posts: 2627
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
You peoples math skills frighten and confuse me

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#39071 - 08/13/08 06:31 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: learningtolead]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
 Originally Posted By: learningtolead
 Originally Posted By: wonderwoman

One of the best climbing lesson memories for me is of a friend of mine taking my slings from me in JTree. She said 'This is crack - you don't extend everything or you'll hit the ground'.
Uh... I don't get this. The beauty of many crack climbs is that they're a gear free for all. why would just the fact that it's a crack mean that you'd hit the ground if you extended your pieces???


I get what WW is saying.

A lot of new leaders are taught to (mindlessly) extend EVERY runner they place, and I've seen it a bunch around the Gunks too. Reputation for wandering gear, rope drag, etc.

When you do that, the clip-in point of the rope is at least 2' lower than the piece, thus falls are potentially longer even with 'gear at your waist'. Between that and rope stretch, it's pretty easy to deck. As the guy on P38 can tell you, it seems.

In Josh, routes are generally short to start with, and often have those 'bouldery starts' ... so if you extend everything by 2', you're still looking at deck from a long ways into the route, regardless of how much gear you stuff in (and extend ...). Plus which, there's just no point in extending slings on a straight-up crack.

I don't think WW made that as a general statement, but probably as the first time she gave good thought to why one might not automatically fully extend every sling.

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#39098 - 08/14/08 01:31 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: abf826]
gunkie Offline
member

Registered: 07/19/00
Posts: 120
Loc: New Hope, PA
Lots of accidents on Shady Lady through the years. I caught a bomb in the late 70's when the leader got gear at the crux then went right [!!!]. I didn't say anything; I was like 16 years old and this guy was an experienced climber from Colorado. However, I was pretty sure the climb stepped up and LEFT, which it does. Well, this guy gets a nice hold way up and right and can't reverse the moves nor can he climb up. Eventually the realization hits him [and me] that he is going to take a huge fall. An old style Chouinard #5 stopper caught him five feet off the ground. Thank goodness I was tied into a tree. Otherwise I would have had my 130 pound carcass blasted through the lower pieces. BTW, he went right back up a re-led the pitch, going up and left this time. And I got the nut out after hanging on tension for quite a while.

I've led this route a bunch of times and I always laced up the bottom section with anything and everything that fit. After placing all that gear, the crux move feels pretty easy.

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#39114 - 08/14/08 08:54 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Julie]
wonderwoman Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 46
 Originally Posted By: Julie
 Originally Posted By: learningtolead
 Originally Posted By: wonderwoman

One of the best climbing lesson memories for me is of a friend of mine taking my slings from me in JTree. She said 'This is crack - you don't extend everything or you'll hit the ground'.
Uh... I don't get this. The beauty of many crack climbs is that they're a gear free for all. why would just the fact that it's a crack mean that you'd hit the ground if you extended your pieces???


I get what WW is saying.

A lot of new leaders are taught to (mindlessly) extend EVERY runner they place, and I've seen it a bunch around the Gunks too. Reputation for wandering gear, rope drag, etc.

When you do that, the clip-in point of the rope is at least 2' lower than the piece, thus falls are potentially longer even with 'gear at your waist'. Between that and rope stretch, it's pretty easy to deck. As the guy on P38 can tell you, it seems.

In Josh, routes are generally short to start with, and often have those 'bouldery starts' ... so if you extend everything by 2', you're still looking at deck from a long ways into the route, regardless of how much gear you stuff in (and extend ...). Plus which, there's just no point in extending slings on a straight-up crack.

I don't think WW made that as a general statement, but probably as the first time she gave good thought to why one might not automatically fully extend every sling.


Thanks, Julie! These are definitely things that I meant to infer... Shortness of climbs at JTree... Not needing to extend gear on a straight up crack anyway...

And most importantly, using good judgment on gear extension. How close you are to the ground definitely matters.

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#39115 - 08/14/08 10:44 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Julie]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
I agree with you Julie,

A lot of people mindlessly extend everything. If the piece demands it due to a change in direction of the rope, by all means, extend the piece, but if it doesn't require it, why bother. You'll waste less time and energy, be more efficient and carry less gear if you don't. But like everything else, its a judgement call (damn those judgement calls)
)


Edited by Chas (08/14/08 10:45 PM)

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#39144 - 08/18/08 05:23 PM Re: Thanks for the rescue efforts!! (P38, 8/3/08) [Re: Chas]
ianmanger Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 319
Its also worth pointing out that cams have a tendency to 'walk' in deep, parallel vertical granite cracks that they don't have in the mostly shallow horizontals at the Gunks, so extensions provide extra degrees of freedom that can minimize this. Having learned to climb on vertical cracks and spent plenty of time with a nut tool trying to work out deep cams, I'm something of a 'mindless extender' for this reason. But it really is a judgement call especially close to the ground.

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