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#69009 - 10/14/13 05:39 PM Rockfall on Birdland
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
A giant rock fell off (bigger than a basket ball I was told) of one of the Birdland handholds, and the shrapnel must have broken a woman's wrist. She was in a lot of pain. I talked to the party very briefly. After I saw they were in one piece and no one was hit on the head (no one was wearing helmets) I left. The woman that got hit was laying down, It could have been much worse.
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The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#69011 - 10/14/13 07:54 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: donald perry]
oenophore Online   confused
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5978
Loc: 212 land
First or second pitch?
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#69013 - 10/14/13 08:36 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: oenophore]
OldEric Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/20/02
Posts: 48
It was from the very top of the 2nd pitch - maybe 10 feet below the actual top. I had lead the pitch and my partner was following. She was past all the difficulties - above the final significant overhang on the direct variation. Her right handhold broke off. She fell a few feet - didn't hit anything else. The rock impacted someplace on the first pitch and shattered. The poor woman in a hammock put her hand up to protect her head and luckily did. The most significant injury apeared be be a broken pinky finger. The ranger response was quick and the woman walked out under her own steam. Her friends were going to take her to the ER. We felt very badly about it - the rock quality in the last 10-12 feet deteriorates. All we could do was yell "rock".


Edited by OldEric (10/14/13 08:39 PM)

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#69014 - 10/14/13 11:03 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: OldEric]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
What the fuck is someone doing hanging out in a hammock below active climbers?

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#69016 - 10/14/13 11:23 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: retroscree]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
I guess it could take awhile to get out of a hammock if someone drops some gear or in this case a rock. And in that case you would need to turn your back on the situation to get on your feet.


Edited by donald perry (10/14/13 11:24 PM)
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The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#69018 - 10/14/13 11:38 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: retroscree]
gunkie Offline
member

Registered: 07/19/00
Posts: 120
Loc: New Hope, PA
Originally Posted By: retroscree
What the fuck is someone doing hanging out in a hammock below active climbers?


Apparently keeping the ground safe from rockfall.

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#69020 - 10/15/13 12:40 AM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: gunkie]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
I was in the Trapps Thursday through Sunday midday and noticed quite a few hammocks strapped up beneath active climbs. Looks comfy, but stupid.
I've very glad the young lady wasn't badly injured. Hopefully, folks may take this as a lesson learned.

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#69021 - 10/15/13 12:40 AM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: retroscree]
OldEric Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/20/02
Posts: 48
Its (being in a hammock) pretty common there. And other (climbing) places too.

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#69022 - 10/15/13 01:21 AM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: OldEric]
donald perry Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1530
Loc: New Jersey
Maybe when you put up the hammock there should be some kind of ripcord knot on it, so you can drop and run.
_________________________
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here http://youtu.be/9AU8fMo8v4k.

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#69023 - 10/15/13 02:14 AM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: donald perry]
rg@ofmc Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Wow. A basketball-sized rock. Could that ever have been a lot worse.

Hammocks are common? I haven't seen that, but I've gotten pretty good at avoiding popular places on weekends.

The last time I failed to evacuate the weekend Trapps disaster area was two weeks ago. I saw someone---who wasn't paying attention to what the pile of rope on the ledge was doing---send a rock the size of two fists down eighty feet or so where there were five or six people milling around, including a couple with a very small baby. This happened just as I was opening my mouth to say his ropes were lying on some loose rocks and he needed to pay attention to what they were doing. Too late...

The rock hit the cliff once and bounced out over everyone below.

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#69043 - 10/16/13 12:44 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: rg@ofmc]
RangerRob Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/06/00
Posts: 3765
Loc: Ulster County, NY
Retro, do you have a dislike of hammocks, or a dislike of people who lay about at the base of the cliff, or both? I don't remember there being any rules against hammock use. She could have been sitting on a bouldering pad for all it mattered. I don't think the hammock was the cause of the injury here. I found your response pretty interesting, as if the hammock was the reason she got hurt.

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#69044 - 10/16/13 01:42 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: RangerRob]
OldEric Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/20/02
Posts: 48
Blaming the victim is just about always bad form. The hammock was not the cause of the accident/injury. As RR said she could have been sitting on a pad - or in the stone belay seat that has been there for many years. Neither was the cause of the accident carelessness by the climbers (yeah I do have a vested interest in saying that) - no knocking off of obvious loose stuff by ropes, hands or feet. The rock that broke was seemingly solidly attached (obviously not so much...). You could claim that the climbers should have been more careful and tested the holds. You can claim that people should not casually hang out at the base. It's easy to monday morning quarterback. The reality is that people will be in the wrong place at the wrong time occassionally. Always have and always will. It's called an "accident".

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#69045 - 10/16/13 02:30 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: OldEric]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 710
Loc: NYC
I'm glad the person wasn't hit in the head. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
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#69046 - 10/16/13 07:10 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: RangerRob]
retroscree Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
She could have gotten hit if she was on a pogo-stick, too. But if you're lying in a hammock it's sure going to take you longer to get out of the target zone than if you're sitting on a bouldering pad or standing.

As far as blaming the victim - climbers drop stuff, climbers knock things off ledges, holds break. If you're going to put yourself underneath people climbing, you really don't get to complain if you get hit by something. Doubly so if you decide to hang out relatively immobile - like lying in a hammock.

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#69049 - 10/16/13 07:26 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: retroscree]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 851
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
I didn't read that Retro said anything about anti-hammock rules or lay blame for the rock fall on the climbing party.

However, choosing to relax beneath an active climbing party in an exposed supine position is in my opinion not very wise. I am sure many of us have been involved in one of those Keystone Cops style scatterings as everyone is forced to respond to the call of "ROCK!" It's tough challenging enough to evade falling rocks from a standing position or a belay, let alone a hammock.

Secondly, a strung hammock at the base of the cliff cuts off an escape route from any falling debris, gear etc..

I'd call the practice dangerous to one and all.

Fortunately, the injury is limited, and I wish her a fast and complete recovery.

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#69052 - 10/16/13 11:26 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: Rickster]
gunkie Offline
member

Registered: 07/19/00
Posts: 120
Loc: New Hope, PA
Having spent a fair amount of time at the base of El Cap, I can say with confidence that falling debris can be heard for quite a long time and is scary as all hell, particularly under the SW face where there is nowhere to hide. However, in the Gunks, you'll never actually hear the rocks ripping the air; you'll have no fair warning and little chance to react. I think it's more dangerous to walk the base of the Gunks in crowded areas than it is to walk the base of El Cap. With that said, it's not that smart to lay around under an active climbing party or even the base of a cliff that isn't overhanging.

I got hit with choss shrapnel at the base of the Dihedral Wall. And I could hear it coming the whole way.

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