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#63513 - 04/04/12 01:16 AM Accident on MF today
JordanF Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 17
Around 2:30 or so toady, my partner and I met a pair starting MF, and then we went on and climbed Shockely's Ceiling. From the belay station, I saw the rescue and heard the climber (I'll keep his name off the board) in serious pain and probably shock. What I gathered later (third hand) was that he traversed wide w/o gear placed, then fell and swung and hit his head. Firstly, I hope he is well and will recover. Secondly, does anyone know more details that would be beneficial from a safety standpoint?

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#63518 - 04/04/12 03:06 AM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: JordanF]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
So sorry to hear about this, I wish the climber a speedy recovery.

Just for clarity, I take it you're saying this was at the 1st crux on pitch one, the traverse around the corner? He clipped the pin but had nothing after that and went far right?
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#63520 - 04/04/12 03:22 AM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: SethG]
MetalDemon Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/22/10
Posts: 6
Loc: NY
I was there today, I saw the fall from a slight distance, it was not pretty at all.
Dude was over the crux crossing over to the nut spot and he got his rope behind his leg. As he fell he flipped and hit his head just under the bulge after a decent fall.
He was lowered down and was in and out of consciousness with a lot of blood in the back of his head. With some effort we got him on the stretcher, down to the road and onto a rangers truck. That was the last I saw of him.
He definitely was in bad shape but his vitals was ok. I actually took some pictures of his blood soaked helmet which only had foam padding at the top and none in the back... where he hit his head...
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#63521 - 04/04/12 03:23 AM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: SethG]
fear Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/27/03
Posts: 221
Loc: New England
From a safety standpoint I'm pretty sure if it was the pin at the 1st crux that it can be backed up pretty well. But who knows, they might have gotten a leg or something in front of the rope and gotten flipped.

Helmet?

Hope the guy heals 100%

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#63523 - 04/04/12 04:22 AM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: fear]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
Sounds awful, I hope he comes out of it okay.
_________________________
It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#63538 - 04/04/12 04:33 PM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: SethG]
Nick Weinberg Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 10
Loc: Albany, NY
I saw the whole thing unfold, as we were right next to him on Birdie Party, and we helped secure and evac him. With all due respect to the party involved, I would like to re-inforce several learning points here. I will try not to be too judgmental here, and instead I would like to focus on recognizing errors, avoidance, and in general, safer climbing.

The climber, from what I understood was relatively new to trad climbing, and got on MF. He got off route onto the 5.10R variation, got pumped, fell a couple of times hurting his ankle, then started working the second crux of MF, with his last piece over to the left on the variation. He got more pumped and frazzled. He aided through the second crux with a nut but did not clip the nut. He was concerned about leaving gear, and I think felt rushed because he had to go to work. He cleared the second crux and kept climbing up through jugs, but then fell about 25 feet. I beleive since his last piece was down to the left, the rope caught his leg. He was violently flipped upside down hitting the back of his head on the rock, knocked unconscious, and then hanging upside down. It was a horrible fall that I will never forget.

The main take home points I found were:

1) Its always better to bail, leave gear, or hurt your ego than to end up in the hospital.
2) When you get pumped and frazzled, better to stop, place gear, and/or lower, when you are above your climbing limit.
3) Nevel let the rope run behind your leg if you are in a situation in which you might fall. The key part of this accident was that the climber was flipped upside down, hitting his head.
4) Wear a helmet that protects your whole cranium, that will shatter on impact - not the hard-hat type.

Oh yeah, and as an aside, the preserve should invest in some new high quality C-collars to keep in the rescue box. The one we got was old, broken and dysfunctional. I will see if I can donate some from where I work.....

Also, everyone did a great job with a challenging rescue effort.

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#63542 - 04/04/12 04:54 PM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: Nick Weinberg]
retroscree Online   content
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
We can add....
protect early and often

learn how to route find and read the rock; if you're on a 5.9 and you find yourself trying significantly harder moves.....

if there's a great nut crack in front of your face and your last pro is "way out left" and reasonably well under you....

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#63543 - 04/04/12 05:04 PM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: Nick Weinberg]
JordanF Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 17
Thanks for the details. I just wish there were a better way to have the safety and climbing mentality basics reinforced than through a serious injury.

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#63548 - 04/04/12 06:31 PM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: JordanF]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Hopefully a great final outcome for the fallen climber. Thanks for the analysis, as we all need to hear it in order to avoid the more personal experience. I pray quick and full healing for the physical and emotional injury to the climber and all who witnessed/assisted.

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#63551 - 04/04/12 06:59 PM Re: Accident on MF today [Re: Nick Weinberg]
Bill Offline
journeyman

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 85
Loc: Mass Land
Thoughts and prayers for the injured climber. Kudos to Nick and others who assisted in the response. If the GCC were to do a special fund raise for needed equipment for the rescue boxes I would be willing to contribute.

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