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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: 2676
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: 2676
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 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
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: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks Dawn, I was thinking the same.

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