/ Accident at Limekilns 25th June

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AllanT_87 - on 26 Jun 2012
My friend Jason Begg had a really bad accident at Limekilns, which has resulted in 3 broken vertebrae in his lower back. He's still in hospital just now and the likelyhood is that he'l be there for a while, so i wish him all the best and a speedy recovery! and a big thanks to all the ambulance crew for their help, and to the fellow climbers who helped transport him down!

Ive been reading a lot about accidents at Limekilns and im not taking sides in the debate, im just going to give an account of what happened and hopefully something can be learned from it.

He was leading Forbidden Colours (HVS) and felt confident enough in the gear placements to attempt the direct finnish (E1). There was 3 pieces of gear on the upper half of the route, however whilst on the overhang he slipped off, pulling every bit of protection out and hitting the deck. Hard.

The first bit of gear to rip was a pretty solid looking cam, however the rock at Limekilns is very soft, which can clearly be seen on the cam because all of the grooves on the cam are packed with soft rock! So i would be very wary of placing cams here.

Secondly, E1(5c) was pushing the grades, so a fall was always possible. Im not saying dont push your grades, but just dont trust your gear on this type of rock, especially small nuts and cams. Also a bouldering matt would have taken a lot of the impact from the fall, worth considering i'd say!

Limekilns is a great place for climbing, but there does appear to be a higher than average injury rate. It is very soft rock so please be aware of the risks if your heading out this way!

Happy climbing.
Mark Bull - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to AllanT_87:

Best wishes to Jason for a rapid recovery, and thanks to you for the information!
CurlyStevo - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to AllanT_87:
I've always advised people that cams are not to be trusted at limekilns and I generally don't carry them there, especially as so many of the climbs are very well protected with nuts and hexes although they do need to be placed carefully to get the best out of the placements.

Forbidden Colours is a well protected route IMO once the hand ledge at about 4 metres or so is reached (or if side runners are used for the start) although I've never attempted the direct E1 finish.

I wish your friend a quick recovery.
Kafoozalem - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to AllanT_87:

I wonder if tri cams might have more bite on this soft rock than cams do? I like to use them on some parts of Berry Head for this reason.
mav - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to AllanT_87:
You trust cams at your peril at limekilns. A few years ago, a mate of mine who shall remain nameless trying jumaring his way up the E4 (silk purse) on the north face, essentially to test his technique. He was planning a trip to yosemite at the time. He ended up an stretcher and was lucky not to get similar injuries as described above.
Fultonius - on 26 Jun 2012
I do wonder if it's luck, experience or a mixture of both.

I've fallen on to cams on both Velvet Glove and The Iron Fist and both held...maybe I got lucky!

I'm almost as worried about micro-wires on the harder routes there!

Good luck with the recovery.
Chad123 - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to AllanT_87:

I don't make a habit of falling off there but agree it's worth being careful and putting more gear in than usual. Saying that I have seen the "Crazy Kiwi" lob off the E3 left of Dead Ringer taking larger and larger falls onto my poor cam 0.5 without shifting it, so some placements can be trusted it would seem. I think the problem is a lot of the routes are steep for the grade and don't have places to recover so if terminal pump sets in a fall is the usual outcome, resulting in more falls than other slabbier crags.
CurlyStevo - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Fultonius: so I've climbed at many limestone trad venues and in general cams are less bomber with lime kilns being one of the worst (bar the most polished climbs on Avon and at subliminal). I've not fallen on cams there but my distrust comes from having tried placements by shock tugging them and watching them skid and grind in the crack. Also there is a lot of climbs well protected by nuts and hexes without the need for cams and I've occasionally fallen on these placements with no surprises.
CurlyStevo - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to Fultonius: btw I'm not saying cams won't work just that they are more dubious than they should be and to place even reasonable passive gear in preference.
Fultonius - on 26 Jun 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo: Oh no, I agree that cams are definitely more suspect on Limestone than elsewhere. I was just musing as to whether I'd got lucky or not ;-)


The only place I've had a cam rip was when weighting (not falling onto) a BD 0.4 on the damp Formica Crack at Cambusbarron Closed Quarry. The same cam I took a [gulp] 8m whinger at Dumbarton!

I do sometimes wonder if I've had too much positive reinforcement of iffy practices over the years...

dctarrant2000 on 30 Jun 2012
Hello Alan

May I join the others in wishing Jason a speedy recovery, it sounded like he had a horrific fall and it will definatly have a bearing on the way I climb at Limekilns in the future.

I have a hex and snap gate here which one of you guys left in White Ensign. I will put it behind the desk at ratho for you to pick up next time I am there, might not be for some time yet though as my partner has hurt her wrist and we are not climbing at the moment. If you want I can drop it off somewhere else, we actually live in the village of Limekilns and I work down in leith so if you are close to either of these locations you could collect from me.

All the best to yourself and Jason

Dave

The Pylon King on 30 Jun 2012
In reply to AllanT_87:

I personally think cams are overly trusted, i always only place them as a last resort unless its in, say, a deep horizontal break on grit etc.

~Speedy recovery to Jason.
AllanT_87 - on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to dctarrant2000:
Hey, thanks for pulling that out. i wont be at ratho for a while either so just drop it there. No rush though mate, im moving back down south so itl be at least august before im back.

Thanks again for your help and il pass on all the good messages.
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yer maw on 01 Jul 2012
In reply to AllanT_87: That sounds nasty and hope your mate makes a good recovery. Always found Limekilns quite pumpy and tough placing gear unless you are quick which leads to some poor placements. I think that can lead to more accidents than the nature of the rock but that crag has a lot of marginal nut placements anyway especially the small ones that are more psychological than anything.

Best regards to Jason and good effort from the helpers.

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