/ slate quarry accident saturday - thank you

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alj - on 13 Apr 2009
My sister-in-law took a ground fall on Saturday at Australia in the slate quarries. She has asked me to thank everyone who helped, holding her head, calling mountain rescue, keeping the quarry clear etc. As well obviously as the mountain rescue themselves.

She has been incredibly lucky but is in a bit of a state with two broken wrists, a broken pelvis and a fractured skull. The good news is - apart from one wrist which may not ever be quite the same again - the rest of her should fix in time.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped from all the family.

A
mark reeves - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to alj: Hi

I wasn't at the accident, but have heard about the incident, I wish you sister-in-law well, I will point the team at this post. I was phoned as I am part of the rescue team and also I put up the route your she was on.

I have discussed probable causes of the accident with the team who were present as they were confused as to the cause, one of the hypothesis is on my blog, I want to point people to it because it could potentially happen to anyone, and I am sure it has happened to climbers before and will happen again. I have put a photo description to help climbers educate themselves to potentially avoid inadvertently making the same mistake.

I hope your family and sister-in-law see this as a positive thing in terms of a lesson learnt for all climbers, and not a blame thing. I believe this was just a tragic accident that can potentially be avoided if we as climbers become aware of its cause.

Anyway the link is here:

http://lifeinthevertical.blogspot.com/2009/04/quickdraw-this-could-save-your-live.html
alj - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves:

Hi mark

Thanks for your post.It's really useful as we couldn't work out what had happened.This does sound like the most likely answer. All too easy a mistake to make it would appear and I hope this helps save someone else in the future.
john arran - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves:

Thanks for posting that, Mark, very clearly explained too.

I thought I'd encountered just about everything that could easily go wrong with standard kit, but this one's new to me.
I'm guessing it may be particularly easy to make this mistake with sling-draws, which are (justifiably) becoming very popular nowadays.

Maybe this is something that needs a wider audience because many folk may not look at accident threads - maybe a thread to itself, or a mini-article?
jezb1 - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves: I have never heard or thought of this happening before.

Good shout on posting this info.

To the op, I hope your sister in law makes a good recovery :)
EwanR on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to john arran: Petzl have a fairly big warning about it in the instructions for the "string" which does the same as a rubber band.

It seems that they are now explicitly advising against using the string with open slings for this very reason:

http://www.petzl.com/en/node/9885
tom allsop on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves: just quick note to say cheers for explaining that. Thats a very good bit of knowledge, would never have thought of that happening. Well worth keeping your eye out for.
tanssop - on 13 Apr 2009


Sorry to hear about the fall. I hope she makes a good recovery.

Scarily, I had a quickdraw fail a few weeks ago when checking the piece of gear I had put in to protect the crux on lead. The sling came off the snapgate and I couldn't explain why. I use small black elastic bands on 60 cm slings.

I now know why it failed. Thanks for the info. Elastic now removed...
Anonymous on 13 Apr 2009 - user-544231cc.l6.c1.dsl.pol.co.uk
In reply to alj:
glad that this problem is getting explained & understood. it's scary to think that someone could go to rest on a quick draw that was clearly clipped into a bolt & end-up decking out (no redudnancy in the way slate is bolted for trad!!). from now on i will check all my gear at the start of each climbing session.
chickenpox on 13 Apr 2009 - host-92-6-249-109.as43234.net
In reply to mark reeves: Excellent reminder to people Mark, nice one.
OP, horrid injuries, hope she can recover fully, physically and mentally and feels she can carry on confidently.
Jimboandrews. - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves: Thought that was a fantastic little article/advice section, worth putting up on the site i think.
All the best to the injured climber.

James.
Ian Black - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves: Good post Mark and very clear. I'm certainly going to be paying more attention when gearing up. Never heard of this before. Just goes to show, gear has improved 100% over the years but you can still get bit on the arse. Hope the lady in question makes a speedy recovery.
john arran - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves:

Just been thinking about this and there's an easy way it can be avoided, without ditching the rubber bands and having jangly krabs. Just put tape around both strands of the quickdraw for a couple of inches or so above the band. Then if you clip the loop by accident it will be really obvious as the krab won't fall to the bottom of the quickdraw.
Simon - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:


Sounds nasty - best wishes to Hannah - hope she heals soon!

Si
johncoxmysteriously - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:

Best wishes to your sister in law.

Mark - excellent link, thanks very much. Counter-intuitive, topology.
jcm
Gary Smith - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to john arran: That's a good idea, the only slight drawback might be the loss of use/flexibility in the gear. I've been using some very 'thick' orange single rubber bands and after playing around for a while tonight (yep, with the rubbers..;-)) they seem pretty obvious when I tried to reproduce Mark's example. I'm sure Al Neary gave me a handful some time ago but I've never seen them in the shops; great piece of kit as you can roll the rubber back with two fingers... (invites another...!)
BTW great post Mark, I've never come across this one despite being an anal reader of gear instructions.

Bill Davidson - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:
> The good news is - apart from one wrist which may not ever be quite the same again - the rest of her should fix in time.
>
>
I badly broke a wrist a few years back & the docs said I wouldn't be able to use it properly again! Tell her to work it & dont take no for an answer! Best wishes to her for a speedy recovery.
Will Hunt - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:
This should definitely be put up as an article, Mark. As many people need to see that as possible. Never thought of that happening.

Injuries sound horrific, hope she gets well soon. It sounds like she was lucky to be here! What route was it?
Dr Fran (Vagabond MC) on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves:
Thanks Mark, sacrey possibility beautifully explained. Horrible accident, could happen to any of us. We also have a selection of these lovely quickdraws.
This emphasises the need to check every piece of gear individually every time you rack it onto your harness.
Best wishes to injured party- hope she makes a speedy recovery
Kenton Cool - Dream Guides on 13 Apr 2009 - 92.20.226.135 whois?
In reply to alj:
Had a nasty fall in the Quarries years back so know all about the truama that comes with it all. Please pass on regards to a full and quick recovery.
Mark really interesting beta on the quick draws well done for a fully explaning it!! One of those freak possible reasons for gear failing!!
KC
mark reeves - on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to Will Hunt:
> (In reply to alj)
> This should definitely be put up as an article, Mark. As many people need to see that as possible. Never thought of that happening.
>
If anyone wants to use this as an article anywhere, please feel free to link, copy or whatever to this piece.

I am really glad that so many people seem to have taken this in the way that it was meant as these things have often turned into a blame game on UKC, however this is something that could potentially happen to any of us. UKC is however a very good place to get such important information to many climber as quickly as possible, so if Jack or Mick want to use the piece, I re-iterate the copy n' paste or link offer above.
pigeonjim on 13 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:
Good on you Mark for bringing this up. Takes bravery to walk into an accident and be honest and say look this is what happened, could be any of us if we dont notice. You were impartial and didnt blame (none to give out but UKC is full of arm chair climbers who judge).

To OT

I hope you and your family are well and you sister in law climbs again.
FedUp - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to all:

Similar mechanics with regard to daisy chain failure in this video:

http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/videos/daisy.html
In reply to FedUp:

> Similar mechanics with regard to daisy chain failure

It reminded me of exactly that as well. Metolius came up with a simple and elegant improvement on the daisy chain idea to stop it happening: http://www.metoliusclimbing.com/pas_personal_anchor_system.html

Hopefully someone can do the same with this issue.

I don't think I have any open loop draws amongst mine anymore - even my longish ones - 25 cm DMM ones are sewn through, although I have used the a lot in the past.

It is perhaps is another good argument for having a separate sets of tapes for sport climbing. If I place a nut, I invariably give it another tug once the QD is on - and that might well reveal this problem, but with sport climbing you just clip the QD into the bolt, clip the rope in and off you go...

Get well soon to the unfortunate climber concerned!
Jamie B - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to john arran:

Why do you think this is more likely with sling-draws? Trying to visualise..
chickenpox on 14 Apr 2009 - host-92-0-230-201.as43234.net
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: If your def of a sling draw is a sling rather than a made up QD then it is as is in the pics, because they aren't stitched.
ericinbristol - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:

Many years ago someone I was climbing with had exactly the same accident with fortunately much less severe consequences.

Since then, I have still used quickdraws and slingdraws with rubber retainers for the bottom krab, but I keep the stitching of the two ends of the draw (ie the stitching that makes it a loop at all as opposed to second set of stitching that creates a keeper loop for the bottom krab) right down at the rubber retainer. I have found that this would make it really obvious that the bottom krab had somehow become reclipped dangerously. John Arran's suggestion of some sticky tape around the whole thing a few inches above the rubber retainer is a good idea and I'm going to add that to make it even more obvious.
In reply to alj: I hope your sister has a speedy recovery and wish her all the best. I decked out some years ago myself and broke my wrist quite badly. If it's any consolation, mine did eventually heal fully.

In reply to everyone: Thanks to Mark Reeves for his blog post. At the same time, we were filming a short video about this open sling/rubbber band combination.

It is now here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=46912

I don't know if this was anything to do with the accident but it is surely worth highlighting anyway.

Thanks,

Jack

john arran - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to john arran)
>
> Why do you think this is more likely with sling-draws? Trying to visualise..

Because it's easy to get confused when you're extending or shortening a sling-draw. It's fine when you do it correctly, but I've seen people when flustered just unclipping and reclipping bits of a sling-draw until it looks about right. Clearly we need to check carefully that it's more that 'about' right!
tony92 on 14 Apr 2009 - host86-146-204-66.range86-146.btcentralplus.com
In reply to mark reeves: wow! thanks for that!
Pete Potter - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: I was one of the first on scene on Saturday and after treating the casualty we recovered the equipment. This sinario would apear to be what happened. It has been known about for some years and Petzl have included a simple warning about it in the instructions supplied with their "strings" or elastic retainers. Have a look on this link for an explanation. http://www.petzl.com/en/node/9939
nigel pearson - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:
best wishes and a speedy recovery for your sister-in-law.
Ian McNeill - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to Pete Potter:
No STRING on open slings

DANGER : Do not use an open webbing sling equipped with a STRING, as the potential for misuse is too high.

the image
http://www.petzl.com/files/fckfiles/image/produits/SPORT/SANGLES/sling_no.gif
Harald - on 14 Apr 2009
In reply to Ian McNeill:

Accidents of this type have happened before. In 2007 Berg und Steigen (the quarterly magazine on safety published by the DAV/OAV/SAC/Alpenverein Südtirol) ran an article about this type of accident. You can find the report in issue 2/2007 (in German). For those of you who don't know the magazine: BergundSteigen is an excellent mag on risk management in mountaineering aimed at professionals (guides/instructors). A subscription doesn't cost that much, but you'll have to to able to understand German.

"Bergundsteigen"
"Zeitschrift für Risikomanagement im Bergsport".

Link to relevant article (might be restricted to subscribers):
http://www.bergundsteigen.at/file.php/archiv/2007/2/34-37%20(stringsundgummis).pdf
Anonymous on 16 Apr 2009 - 202.52.239.202 whois?
In reply to people

Well, this wasn't the thread I expected to read when I popped into an internet place whilst trekking (alj's sister in law = my girfriend).

Big thanks to all who helped out, all the postive comments and Mark for taking the time to figure out what went wrong - hopefully that will help her a lot,

Cheers, alex messenger
YB - on 16 Apr 2009
In reply to mark reeves:

Nice one Mark and well explained. There needs to be more of this stuff about how gear (doesn't) work. We can sometimes get a bit blase about the gear. Get it out of the sack, bung it on the rack and off we go. How many of us actually CHECK? A lesson to us all. There but for the grace of God....! Best wishes for a speedy recovery for the climber involved.
philkerswell - on 17 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:

I felt a shiver down my spine looking at that explanation. Thanks for pointing out the danger. More shared info like this would be fantastic. P
gingerwolf - on 26 Apr 2009
In reply to alj:


Thanks for making this aware to all
I didn't realise that it was Hannah that was hurt
Hope she makes a full and swift recovery!
kipper12 - on 26 Apr 2009
In reply to Gary Smith:
> (In reply to john arran) That's a good idea, the only slight drawback might be the loss of use/flexibility in the gear. I've been using some very 'thick' orange single rubber bands and after playing around for a while tonight (yep, with the rubbers..;-))

Apparently the thick orange bands are sheep castrating rings but do a good job on slings too.

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