Springtime is the time to re-think saftey?

Posted by: donald perry

Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 03/30/13 04:37 PM

Most accidents happen in the spring, after a long winter of hibernation, we forget what climbing was all about, we are not as sharp.

After backing up good sized fixed stopper we weighted it and the cable ripped to two. I was in shock. Last year a friend of mine deemed that it was good enough to lower off on. It was only a little rusty.
Posted by: oenophore

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 03/30/13 10:26 PM

Most accidents happen in the spring

Not that I dispute that, but where did you get that statistic?
Posted by: rg@ofmc

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 03/30/13 10:49 PM

I seriously doubt any valid statistic exists for a claim about Spring being accident season. You'd need something like "accidents per 1000 season-active climbers" in order to tell, say , whether there are more accidents in the summer or just more people climbing in the summer with the same accident rate as in the Spring.

It is possible that various rock structures affected by cold and frost action might be poised to fail in the Spring, although I think that in the Gunks we've seen a similar effect from heavy rains.

Any kind of fixed gear is more than usually suspect, since it has seen a lot of weathering and little to no testing.

Lowering off a single in-situ fixed piece isn't a great idea at any time of year.
Posted by: FiveTwo

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 03/31/13 12:06 PM

We were in the Nears yesterday on To Be when a large-ish tree (or at least significant parts of one) came crashing down from above, maybe 100m or so to the left of us. No one was hurt but it made a large noise and was a bit scary.

Freeze/thaw and water also make for new hazards in the spring season I suppose.
Posted by: Mike Rawdon

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 03/31/13 01:34 PM

Originally Posted By: FiveTwo
We were in the Nears yesterday on To Be when a large-ish tree (or at least significant parts of one) came crashing down from above, maybe 100m or so to the left of us. No one was hurt but it made a large noise and was a bit scary.


That would be in the private land closure part of the cliff. So it was probably just the landowner clearing trees to open up their view.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 03/31/13 11:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
Originally Posted By: FiveTwo
We were in the Nears yesterday on To Be when a large-ish tree (or at least significant parts of one) came crashing down from above, maybe 100m or so to the left of us. No one was hurt but it made a large noise and was a bit scary.


That would be in the private land closure part of the cliff. So it was probably just the landowner clearing trees to open up their view.


Or, maybe just trying to scare off the climbers below? crazy
Posted by: Kent

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 04/01/13 12:31 AM

Guess I need to work on my tree felling freefall accuracy a bit. :-)
Posted by: crimpy

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 04/01/13 03:05 AM

lost city could use your help kent.was there for the first time since december, the blowdowns were surreal.looks like wind shear.
Posted by: chip

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 04/01/13 02:26 PM

I think I am overly cautious my first couple times out at any time of year and if anything I get more cavalier with frequent outings. The more objective hazards of the environment certainly seem prevalent in spring but I am not so sure about operator error being as much of a problem for me. I worry about the more inexperienced gym-taught expecting they can lead 5.11, or whatever, at the gunks because many gyms have soft grading and the added burden of placing gear will certainly further raise the level of intensity and effort.
Posted by: LoganSchiff

Re: Springtime is the time to re-think saftey? - 04/02/13 09:32 PM

After a winter of crushing the 35 foot routes at the gym, I was once again reminded that it really is a poor substitute for rock, especially for footwork or crack technique (which I personally suck at). I nearly decked on the third pitch roof of Maria, got pretty pumped futzing around, and apparently, according to my partner, ran it out too much racing to finish the route. Hopefully lesson learned.