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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: 3763
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: 47
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 Online   content
addict

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 680
Loc: NYC
I'm glad the person wasn't hit in the head. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
_________________________
It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#69046 - 10/16/13 07:10 PM Re: Rockfall on Birdland [Re: RangerRob]
retroscree Online   content
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: 815
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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