/ John Long injured...knot not tied properly.

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Michael Ryan - on 11 Dec 2012
Get well soon John and everyone must take note, it can happen to anyone: several people have died (as we well know) and many have been seriously injured as a result of making this mistake:

http://www.rockandice.com/news/2383-john-long-injured-in-groundfall
Tim Chappell - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:


Moral: don't use a bowline.

Get well, John.
Michael Ryan - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

BUDDY CHECK: The moral is to check your knot and your partners whatever knot you use.

I do it all the time. Don't be embarrassed or self-conscious, or rather ignore those feelings, just check your leaders knot (and your own) before they/you set off.

Mick
john arran - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Moral: whatever knot you choose - tie it properly.

Get well, John
Timmd on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:One of the last people i'd think would make that mistake*. It only takes one little error.

Hope he recovers quickly.

*Not that i'm inferring anything negative about him or other people who have, incase that gets misconstrued.
Tim Chappell - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
>
> BUDDY CHECK: The moral is to check your knot and your partners whatever knot you use.


I know--I agree. My comment about bowlines was tongue in cheek. (Though personally I really don't like them-- I am never sure a bowline's safe, they're too complicated for my small brain.)
OffshoreAndy - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
I've always tied a re threaded bowline, with a stopper on as well. I've seen it used a lot abroad but not seen quite as much in the UK. IMO tied like this the bowline is made for sport climbing.
Cheers
Michael Ryan - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

No one could see your tongue in your cheek Tim, that's the trouble with text forums.

Anyway, no doubt there will be debate about which knot as usual, but I think the message, and it keeps getting reinforced, is clear.

It's about time someone did a video on this subject for worldwide distribution (BMC?)...with some grisly statistics.....and the number of deaths must be quite high now, well in to double figures worldwide.

I'm sure NICAS ram it home to new climbers at climbing walls.

Mick
deepsoup - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
Wow. 12 minutes and one reply before the thread was doomed (it is doomed now right?) to become a re-hash of one of UCK's oldest wrangles.

That link in the OP led to another link, if anyone is feeling flush: http://johnlongdonations.chipin.com/john-long
Michael Ryan - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to deepsoup:

Hands up if you check your partners knot before they set off to lead, either indoors or out?

I do. Every time.

Anyone else?
Tim Chappell - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

[raises hand]
martinph78 on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
>
> Hands up if you check your partners knot before they set off to lead, either indoors or out?
>
> I do. Every time.
>
> Anyone else?

Every time, like you say.

Get well soon John.

ashley1_scott - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
I check mine and my climbing partners before every climb. I check mine twice when I'm climbing with someone that doesn't know what a bowline is, let alone know how to check if its right.
I get them to check it anyway, even if the only thing they are really looking for is that it's gone thru both my waist and leg loop.
Timmd on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:Only sometimes, though I often watch while they're tying in. Especially with family, it's always been that we've watched each other doing things and spoken up if something isn't right.

The buddy check is a really good idea.
Jus - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Timmd:

I must do it more often.
Timmd on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Jus:Thinking about it it's not always worked to just watch each other, sometimes a mistake has gone unnoticed if we're chatting.
Neil Williams - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Nope.

Moral: check each other's knot / belay device / anchors you are using before you climb, whatever knot is being used.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

(though I posted that before I read further down ;) )

Neil
Skip - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
>
> Hands up if you check your partners knot before they set off to lead, either indoors or out?
>
> I do. Every time.
>
> Anyone else?
every time
Ciro - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I had got lazy about buddy checks until the day I got to the top of the indoor wall, lobbed off, and felt the waistband of my harness rise up awkwardly round my ribs because I'd managed miss the leg-loop when tying in.

Perhaps not an error that was likely to cause me any harm, but enough to show me that mistakes can happen and I've been religious about checking my partner's knot ever since - if someone's tied in and jumped on the wall before I've inspected it, I'll always ask them to turn round and show me it before they go any further... or if they're already 8m up a trad route "I didn't check your knots before you left, can you double check them for me please?"
ads.ukclimbing.com
chris fox on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
>
> Hands up if you check your partners knot before they set off to lead, either indoors or out?
>
> I do. Every time.
>
> Anyone else?

I purposely show my belayer every time that my knot is tied and my harness is double-backed, in response they show me the screwgate is locked and the "circle of trust" is complete. both indoors and out

Get well soon to Mr Long
foxwood on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

Buddy check every time and most I climb with use bowlines.

Mistakes caught on a number of occasions - usually a missed harness loop and NOT a bowline issue before the thread degrades.

A few times (very experienced climbers!) have had the belay device hooked in the krab but not the rope ! Good idea for the belayer to give the live rope a hard pull as part of the checks - most people gasp in horror when the rope pops out of the device !

BelayMaster or similar helps manage the krab correctly.

Mistakes usually occur when gassing while tying in or loading the belay device - attention wanders at a critical point:(
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
>
> Hands up if you check your partners knot before they set off to lead, either indoors or out?
>
> I do. Every time.
>
> Anyone else?

Absolutely.


Chris
Michael Ryan - on 11 Dec 2012

Cracker from Dingus MilkToast....

"Nothing quite says "I love you" in the same way as a partner safety check."

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2008809/Partner-Safety-check-every-time
In reply to deepsoup: There is something quite sad about the now quite a few cases we've seen of friends of injured American climbers setting up funds to help with medical expenses. It seems loads of people are uninsured or under-insured.
davegs - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
>
> Hands up if you check your partners knot before they set off to lead, either indoors or out?
>
> I do. Every time.
>
> Anyone else?

Every time. Also check that the belayer has me on belay properly. Do this regardless of experience.
I like climbing - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> [raises hand]

Glad you raised your hand. Respect .....
Kimono - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
I always check.

Last time i was climbing with a new partner who was belaying me.
When i bent forward to check that they had me properly before setting off, she said 'oh, dont you trust me?'

That really piss@d me off!
Skyfall - on 12 Dec 2012
Funny how everyone here seems to do buddy checks. I am hardly ever aware of people doing this in or outdoors. A rather self selecting (at best) response I'd say.

We do, sometimes. Often not. Honest answer.
John Stainforth - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

Every time. IMO, the buddy system was *the* best safety advance in rock climbing in the last half century (we didn't do this when I started in the '60s). Equally important indoors and out. Should be part of the standard safety/training drill.
jonnie3430 - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

A friend from an MRT posted that link on fb which he followed up with this one: http://www.rockandice.com/news/2201-tnb-ban-the-bowline?start=1

I check peoples knots who I'm responsible for, but not trusted partners. I do double take if I see a bowline and re-assess my impression of them however!
Oceanrower - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430: a friend who thinks a bowline is "complicated" probably shouldn't be in the MRT!
Enty - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
>
>
> I do double take if I see a bowline and re-assess my impression of them however!

You'd get on well with my group then ;-)

E
Michael Ryan - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to deepsoup) There is something quite sad about the now quite a few cases we've seen of friends of injured American climbers setting up funds to help with medical expenses. It seems loads of people are uninsured or under-insured.

45 million uninsured in the USA. Even if you are insured often the insurance company does not cover all the costs, which are often inflated.

AlanLittle - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I always check. Never used to when I was climbing in the UK BITD, but when I resumed climbing in exile a couple of years ago, it was something all DAV trainings placed a lot of emphasis on - rightly - and everybody did it. As John S said, one of the biggest advances in safety practices in recent years.

Always double check everythng, always watch out for each other. It's quite astonishing what even experienced climbers can get up to when they're a bit tired / flustered / hot / thirsty. My partner last summer, at Stance 2 of a twelve pitch abseil descent, unclipped from the rope and chucked his ATC off down the mountain before I even had time to point out to him that clipping in to the belay might be a good idea.

Alyson - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
>
> Hands up if you check your partners knot before they set off to lead, either indoors or out?
>
> I do. Every time.
>
> Anyone else?

I do. I check their knot and ask them to check my screwgate is closed properly, or vice versa. Once I got caught out by only threading through one of the loops on my harness (the bottom one not the top one) and almost inverting when it came to lowering off. For a split second it was very frightening, and it didn't help that I heard the stitching creak ominously. This is why I now check assiduously, because I know how easy it is to overlook something simple when your mind is already planning the moves.
snoop6060 - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply

Oh lord, here we go again with the Anti Bowline Brigade.
Monk - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to JonC:
> Funny how everyone here seems to do buddy checks. I am hardly ever aware of people doing this in or outdoors. A rather self selecting (at best) response I'd say.
>

I always do it, and there's a good chance you wouldn't notice me doing it - all it takes is a glance at the knot/belay device to see that things are threaded correctly.

Enty - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Monk:
> (In reply to JonC)
> [...]
>
> I always do it, and there's a good chance you wouldn't notice me doing it - all it takes is a glance at the knot/belay device to see that things are threaded correctly.

This is me. There's three of us regularly climb together and I'm the only one who has a glance at all the knots and belay devices before one of us sets off.
You probably won't notice me doing it.

E
GridNorth - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: It's something that I am trying to make a habit of doing but it can be a little disconcerting to have a stranger staring at your crotch so I would say it is better to be overt rather than subtle.
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GrahamD - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Monk:

I think its something you do but you really don't want to get to the point where your partner relies on you doing it. At the end of the day they have do their own checks and balances and be 100% responsible for their own actions. Therefore a sureptitious glance at what they are doing (plus stop chatting to them) is better IMO than overtly staring at what they are doing.
Paul Robertson - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
Why might you sometimes not tie on properly?
You know how to do it, you've done it hundreds of times before.
I'm sure that 9 times out of 10 it's because someone or something distracts you when your half way through:

Your phone goes
Someone passes you a bunch of quick-draws
Someone asks you to pass their chalk bag
etc.

Once you start tying on don't stop for anything.
muppetfilter - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to snoop6060: I am intrigued to know why you feel the need to defend a knot that has again been the root cause of an accident , thankfully not a death.

How many more fatalities before you begin to act upon evidence, FFS if John long can make this mistake so can you !!!

I like climbing - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to snoop6060:
> In reply
>
> Oh lord, here we go again with the Anti Bowline Brigade.

There is a bit of that going on. It's easy to tie and it's a recognised knot. It's my personal knot of choice !
a lakeland climber on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to snoop6060) I am intrigued to know why you feel the need to defend a knot that has again been the root cause of an accident , thankfully not a death.

From the linked to page:

"Long attributes the accident to pilot error, forgetting to finish his knot."

So yes a contributory cause but not the root cause. If he had failed to finish a fo8 (not rethreading it back) the result would have been the same.

ALC
I like climbing - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to snoop6060) I am intrigued to know why you feel the need to defend a knot that has again been the root cause of an accident , thankfully not a death.
>
> How many more fatalities before you begin to act upon evidence, FFS if John long can make this mistake so can you !!!

Wrong ! He forgot to finish tying his knot. If the bowline is tied properly it won't fail.
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

"I am intrigued to know why you feel the need to defend a knot that has again been the root cause of an accident"

The root cause of the accident and most other such accidents is a failure to tie the knot correctly.

Contributing factors are that the knot is less "tolerant" of being tied incorrectly than the figure of 8, and the possible absence of a buddy check. I'm sure there are others.

While I do see the point of the view of "don't use the bowline", and I don't overly care what other knots people use, it does have some advantages particularly with heavy climbers. And I'm surprised to hear such absolute views from climbers who generally are used to dynamic risk assessment.

To everyone who thinks the bowline should never be used by anyone:-

1. Do you ever lead? Where you have access to the top of a crag, surely you should always top-rope, as it's safer?

1a. Do you ever solo above a height that might be considered bouldering? If so, surely you should always use a rope for protection, as it's safer?

2. Specifically to those who say "why use a bowline to avoid spending several minutes getting a Fig 8 undone after a heavy climber has taken falls on it", do you ever exceed the speed limit in your car? It is in most cases less safe than not doing so, and will save you only a few minutes on even very long journeys.

3. Do you ever wear a helmet indoors? It could provide some protection in the case of an awkward fall. Yet most indoor climbers do not.

Neil
muppetfilter - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:
>
> "Long attributes the accident to pilot error, forgetting to finish his knot."
>
> So yes a contributory cause but not the root cause. If he had failed to finish a fo8 (not rethreading it back) the result would have been the same.
>
> ALC

The thing about Pilot error is that if it keeps happening in the same plane then maybe its the plane that needs looking at....

GrahamD - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

It doesn't "keep happening" though, does it unless you can show otherwise ?

You should be possible to quantify how many 'micromorts' associated with a bowline compared with FO8 ? can you ? is it significant or is it scaremongering ?
I like climbing - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber)
> [...]
>
> The thing about Pilot error is that if it keeps happening in the same plane then maybe its the plane that needs looking at....

Wrong again ! If it was a dangerous knot why would it be taught as a safe method of tying in on climbing courses ? And any climbing centre in the UK will accept the bowline as a recognised knot.
Ramblin dave - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber)
> [...]
>
> The thing about Pilot error is that if it keeps happening in the same plane then maybe its the plane that needs looking at....

It's a valid point but a big "if".

I'd be genuinely interested to see actual statistics on this...
GridNorth - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave: It would be nice if some qualified body did some tests then perhaps we could put this tiresome argument to bed once and for all. My wall has recently introduced a F8 only rule so I suspect that my habits will gradually change. Not that I believe the bowline is any less safe but just because I will probably be tying F8's more now and it will become habit. I can't be the only one so it would not surprise me if the bowline dies a natural death.
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

Which wall, out of interest? Boulders in Cardiff was the only one with that rule that I knew of before.

Neil
Steve John B - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to deepsoup) There is something quite sad about the now quite a few cases we've seen of friends of injured American climbers setting up funds to help with medical expenses. It seems loads of people are uninsured or under-insured.

I'm surprised no-one else picked up on that. You'd think such a well-known professional climber would be properly insured.
GridNorth - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams: The Warehouse in Gloucester.
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Steve John B:

Given how hard it can be to get life insurance for a climber...

This sort of thing, to cause a bit of thread crossover, is one reason why the NHS is a wonderful thing, and why it should never go near the idea of rationing treatment based on how you live your life, however tempting it might be.

Neil
muppetfilter - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD: Both of the accidents listed below involved incredibly experienced competent climbers, as a reaction to two fatalities in a ten month period a number of walls moved to a figure of eight only policy.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=59860

http://www.thebmc.co.uk/climbing-wall-death-due-to-knot-failure


Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

Ta.

As someone who does use a bowline but respects the right of walls to have such a rule, I like to keep on top of which walls are doing that so if I ever go there I don't make myself look an idiot.

Neil
tony on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to TobyA)
> [...]
>
> I'm surprised no-one else picked up on that. You'd think such a well-known professional climber would be properly insured.

Although in this particular case, even if he was insured, I wouldn't be surprised if an insurance company baulked at paying out for the kind of mistake made by the insurance holder.
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

Arguably it's more competent climbers who might be more likely to have an issue, because they're more likely to get complacent.

It has also happened with gear failure, e.g. that case a while ago of a climber falling due to a failed belay loop that was, if I recall, visibly quite frayed. Kit inspections at walls next?

Neil
ads.ukclimbing.com
pasbury on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to people going on about knots:

The bottom line is; it could happen to anyone, Lynn hill decked at Buoux when she didn't finish her knot.

Back on topic - Get well soon Largo.
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

Amusingly the Warehouse's online membership form says:-

"Can you attach the rope to your harness correctly using a re-threaded
figure of eight with a stopper knot or bowline with a stopper knot?"

Oops.

Neil
James Jackson on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

Yep, I check every time - knot and harness.
Michael Ryan - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to TobyA)
> [...]
>
> I'm surprised no-one else picked up on that. You'd think such a well-known professional climber would be properly insured.

See my post above that says...

There are 45 million uninsured in the USA. Even if you are insured often the insurance company does not cover all the costs, which are often inflated.

Insurance in the USA is very complex and expensive, as you probably know.

Even if Long has insurance, I'm also sure there will be a very high deductible.

Other USA climbers with high medical expenses have often been helped with medical costs by the USA climbing community: some are without insurance, some with insurance.

Michael Ryan - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

See this young girl, my daughter: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=192388

When she was 4 she burnt her hand badly (it's fine now)...... costs where $60,000....we were insured, but not for the air-ambulance down to LA from Bishop.... $20,000 that cost.
GridNorth - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams: Oops indeed. There are notices all over the place though. Kit inspections. God forbid. That would be the day I stop going. In any case I can see a conflict of interest as they sell harnesses.
John2 - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: The current 'fiscal cliff' negotiations taking place in the USA give an insight into just how unwilling the richest in that country are to pay higher taxes which might go some way towards providing a higher level of non-insured medical cover.
Ramblin dave - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to Ramblin dave) It would be nice if some qualified body did some tests then perhaps we could put this tiresome argument to bed once and for all.

It's not really about pressure tests on properly tied knots - as far as I can tell the issue is more whether it's easier to accidentally tie a bowline incorrectly and not notice. And whether this happens often enough to be worth changing your behaviour over if you normally tie in with a bowline.

You'd basically get this by digging through a big pile of accident reports and doing some stats. It'd be a slog, but the results would be interesting...
GridNorth - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave: Yes thats a fair point. Personally I think a bowline is easier to tie than a F8 but then that will spark off another debate. One of the issues is not completing a knot when tying in so this statistic would have to be taken into account. I would think that this is more common than wrongly tied knots but I would also think a bowline would be better in this respect as it is more likely to just fall a apart.
Timmd on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
> [...]
>
> I do. I check their knot and ask them to check my screwgate is closed properly, or vice versa. Once I got caught out by only threading through one of the loops on my harness (the bottom one not the top one) and almost inverting when it came to lowering off. For a split second it was very frightening, and it didn't help that I heard the stitching creak ominously. This is why I now check assiduously, because I know how easy it is to overlook something simple when your mind is already planning the moves.

I've missed out one of the loops a couple of times, can be easy to do if you're both chatting.
Monk - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
> (In reply to GridNorth)
> [...]
>
> It's not really about pressure tests on properly tied knots - as far as I can tell the issue is more whether it's easier to accidentally tie a bowline incorrectly and not notice. And whether this happens often enough to be worth changing your behaviour over if you normally tie in with a bowline.
>
> You'd basically get this by digging through a big pile of accident reports and doing some stats. It'd be a slog, but the results would be interesting...

A major confounder is that I would estimate more people use bowlines for sport climbing when you are expecting to fall. Therefore, there may well be more accidents with a bowline but that may simply be down to there being more falls on bowlines. You would need to know the ratio of instances of knots tied to falls to accidents. I don't know how you can possibly gain sufficient data on this without some sort of controlled population.
tony on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Alyson)
> [...]
>
> I've missed out one of the loops a couple of times, can be easy to do if you're both chatting.

A friend of mine used to insist on no chatting while she was tying on, precisely for that reason. As soon as she picked up the rope, conversation stopped.
GrahamD - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to GrahamD) Both of the accidents listed below involved incredibly experienced competent climbers, as a reaction to two fatalities in a ten month period a number of walls moved to a figure of eight only policy.


So what ? to make the claim that this is an unsafe knot you have to show that this is a statiscally meaningful result rather than emmotive headlines. Bearing in mind generations of seafarers have trusted their lives to this knot long before recreational climbing was ever thought of.
unclesamsauntibess - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Bowline is perfectly safe if the entire knot is tied correctly, which INCLUDES the final section called erroneously the "stopper knot".

The confusion arises when the final part of the knot is called a "stopper knot". The "stopper knot" is an integral part of the bowline, calling it simply a "stopper knot" suggests the bowline is in itself unsafe which it isn't - if the final section is completed.

Lose the term "stopper" and it makes sense, just tie the knot complete.
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:

And you are likely to find that that point will differ from individual to individual.

If I was 10 stone and only ever top-roped I would always use a Fig 8, for instance. I'm 18 stone and I lead, and I don't like spending hours untying stuck knots, and think a cross-check is mitigation enough of the added risk of using a bowline.

Just knowing the greater risk of a badly tied knot helps in itself...

Neil
muppetfilter - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to GrahamD: OK Graham ....100% of all UK indoor wall fatalities since records begain in 2002 have been due to incomplete Bowlines.
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: Yep. I follow the US debate on healthcare policy reasonably closely and listening to that and these kind of stories just make you more appreciative of what most of us have in Europe. You'll get scooped up and sorted out regardless of what and why you did what you did, and regardless of how much it's going to cost. Most state healthcare systems are not without their faults but it's pretty important we don't forget how much better they are than what most of the world deals with!
krikoman - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter: 37.353% of all statistics are made up
Fraser on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to GrahamD) OK Graham ....100% of all UK indoor wall fatalities since records begain in 2002 have been due to incomplete Bowlines.

Source?
jwa - on 12 Dec 2012
Maybe we should all stop using bowlines when rigging around boulders etc at the top of climbs. Trying to get a figure of eight tied in the right place and then adjusting it when it's not isn't really fun.
a lakeland climber on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Agreed. The US healthcare system seems less concerned about the health of the patient and more about the health of the providers' profits.

Hope that John Long recovers and has no longterm damage, either physically or financially.

ALC
muppetfilter - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Fraser: From the Rockfax website.

"This follows two recent tragic accidents in the last 10 months, one at Gloucester and one Stockport, where climbers died after falling the full height of the wall. Initial investigations in both cases seem to suggest that the accidents may well have been caused by a simple bowline knot coming undone when loaded on a fall or while lowering off. These are the first fatalities at climbing walls in Britain since the BMC started keeping its accident database in 2002"

I can't seem to see a clear presentation of accident statistics on either the BMC or ABC websites if anyone has a link ?
Michael Ryan - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Fraser:
> (In reply to muppetfilter)
> [...]
>
> Source?

Well that is the problem isn't it, most of these figures aren't published and many near misses are not recorded. The BMC and ABC do have a voluntary accident reporting scheme.

I think it would be very beneficial if some statistics, however incomplete, were published for all to see. The last climbing wall death in the UK was in January 2011 as I recall.

GrahamD - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to GrahamD) OK Graham ....100% of all UK indoor wall fatalities since records begain in 2002 have been due to incomplete Bowlines.

So what ? it still doesn't say whether that is statistically significant. Even if it is, the logical conclusion is to ban incomplete bowlines, not completed ones which you seem to say have 100% safety record.
lithos on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

you have taken a 'may well' and turned it into a 'have'

"100% of UK climbing wall fatalities are likely due to incomplete bowlines" is better,

I am a sport climbing bowliner , who tries to enforce buddy checks, and have personally known more incomplete fo8s but thats just anecdotal.

I wouldn't be surprised if all walls went fo8 only, its their wall and their choice and I'd respect that. Those who's stop going because of the 'rules' - well thats their loss and should get over themselves a tad.

best to JL sounds nasty.
GeoffRadcliffe - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: After a fatality where a climber has become detached from the rope it seems to be assumed that it was due to a bowline knot being tied incorrectly. However it does seem likely to me (at least) that it may be due to failing to tie any knot (often due to being distracted when tying in). Ironically, when I used to tie in with a figure of 8 (may years ago), on one occasion I did not finish it off due to being distracted and when I reached up to clip in I pulled the rope out of my harness. Luckily I managed to clip in.
pneame on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
> When she was 4 she burnt her hand badly (it's fine now)...... costs where $60,000....we were insured, but not for the air-ambulance down to LA from Bishop.... $20,000 that cost.

Was the extra $40 k what was charged or what the insurance paid? These are often confused - the actual billed amount is a hugely inflated number whereas the what is actually paid is often 1/20 of this.
If the customer (they are not patients in the US, just a source of revenue) has insurance, then they can't usually be billed for the difference between what the insurance contracts for with the provider and the billed amount. If they haven't got insurance, then it's up to the customer to negotiate down to a reasonable price.
Can, of course, be a bit challenging if you aren't in a state to negotiate.
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

If you put a couple of half hitches after the bowline, as I imagine everyone does*, what possible risk is there.

*except this person - maybe someone knows why?
a lakeland climber on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to GeoffRadcliffe:

If you miss-tie a bowline then if you fall there's nothing left on the rope to show any knot.

If you miss-tie a fo8 then it's likely that the initial part of the knot will remain.

If you don't tie any knot then there's nothing on the rope.

So two out of three mistakes show the same end state - nothing in the rope to indicate that a knot had been tied or attempted to be tied. There's no way to determine which of those took place. Assuming survival then even asking the individual is not going to help: "Of course I tied the knot!" when patently they either didn't or didn't tie it correctly.

The only time I've come close to trusting an unfinished knot was when retying at the top of a route and was about to commit to lowering when I noticed that I hadn't threaded the rope through my harness! On that occasion it was a fo8 but it was irrelevant as far as any potential outcome or the cause was concerned.

ALC
Ramblin dave - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)

> *except this person - maybe someone knows why?

Presumably because noone's infallible.

Probably least of all people who think they're infallible, but that's another issue...
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

"If you put a couple of half hitches after the bowline, as I imagine everyone does*, what possible risk is there."

Forgetting is the problem. Without a stopper knot, a fig 8 is safe provided there's enough tail. Even spectacularly badly tied, a fig 8 will often have enough friction to hold (try it...on the ground preferably!)

Get one thing wrong on a bowline and it is likely not to hold.

The reason I'm not up for banning bowlines is that I think that can be mitigated in other ways, and I also get annoyed when the myth is spread that they come apart *when tied properly*.

Neil
neilh - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:
Having been involved in two minor accidents in Germnany and Switzerland I am not sure I would agree.Yes both were sorted out.....but only after we had produced E111 evidence and passport . In one case at A & E in Germany we had to wait whilsr passport and A & E were collected from the chalet we were staying in. Meanwhile the patient sat nursing a broken arm. This was in Germany. In Switzerland it was E111 evidence.Lesson was carry both with you at all times whetehr a tourist, climbing or on business.


No doubt others will come on saying the opposite. But this "gold plated " view of the European Health system does not always stand up.
GeoffRadcliffe - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to GeoffRadcliffe)
>
> If you miss-tie a bowline then if you fall there's nothing left on the rope to show any knot.
>
> If you miss-tie a fo8 then it's likely that the initial part of the knot will remain.
>
> If you don't tie any knot then there's nothing on the rope.
>
Of course and if there is no initial part of a knot it is often implied that a bowline had been tied incorrectly rather than no knot all.
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to GeoffRadcliffe:

True, though if you weren't tying a bowline it would seem unlikely to put the rope through your harness without the start of a fig 8 on it.

On that one I did hear it suggested that it's safer to thread upwards rather than downwards through your harness, because if you do do that most likely the rope will fall out before you've had chance to get very far off the ground.

Neil
snoop6060 - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to snoop6060) I am intrigued to know why you feel the need to defend a knot that has again been the root cause of an accident , thankfully not a death.
>
> How many more fatalities before you begin to act upon evidence, FFS if John long can make this mistake so can you !!!

Erm because it wasn't the knot that failed, it was the person who tied it. Most of these fatal incidents end up with the ASSUMPTION that the person used a bowline. Though there is no proof at all, just a rope with nothing on it. Its probably just as likely they didnt tie in with any knot. Also, an incorrectly tied bowline isn't a bowline at all.

And as for this evidence, where is the evidence a bowline is unsafe? There really isnt any I would bet.
Timmd on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> See this young girl, my daughter: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=192388
>
> When she was 4 she burnt her hand badly (it's fine now)...... costs where $60,000....we were insured, but not for the air-ambulance down to LA from Bishop.... $20,000 that cost.

That's a crazy picture. (:-))

Pretty cool as well.
In reply to neilh: I meant within national systems. But it sounds like you got free care as a foreigner, you just needed the right paper work which still isn't bad. I presume a German wouldn't have needed to wait in the same way?
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to snoop6060:

"Erm because it wasn't the knot that failed, it was the person who tied it. Most of these fatal incidents end up with the ASSUMPTION that the person used a bowline. Though there is no proof at all, just a rope with nothing on it. Its probably just as likely they didnt tie in with any knot."

I'm not sure - is it really likely to put your rope through your harness with no fig 8 starter on it if you didn't at least intend to use a bowline?

"Also, an incorrectly tied bowline isn't a bowline at all."

I think that's unduly pedantic - the important question is of which knot the climber *intended* to use.

"And as for this evidence, where is the evidence a bowline is unsafe? There really isnt any I would bet. "

It is very clearly less redundant than a Fig 8 in terms of the number of errors that will still lead to a knot that either will still not fail or may still not fail. I consider this safe enough if you're fussy about cross-checking and checking and double-checking yourself. Increasing numbers of people, however, don't, and I suspect also walls' insurers.

Even more redundant is the (IMO over the top) Aussie clip and tie method (Google it).

If there is ever a legal case about this having happened involving a wall being successfully sued, I expect all walls will ban it. Until then some will and some won't, I will continue to use a bowline where permitted. Of course, on rock you can do what you like.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:

Germany's system, as with most European systems, is insurance-based, they need paperwork as well. This normally takes the form of a smartcard which as it's wallet-sized people probably carry everywhere anyway.

If it was a life-threatening emergency they would treat and ask later, I guess.

AIUI, only the UK and Cuba have monolithic health services that both fund and provide care.

Neil
Wink - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell: That's the point, he didn't use a bowline!
ads.ukclimbing.com
risby - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
> That link in the OP led to another link, if anyone is feeling flush: http://johnlongdonations.chipin.com/john-long

"He is the author of over 40 books with over two-million copies in print"

Hmmm, seems legit.
Martin W on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I did hear it suggested that it's safer to thread upwards rather than downwards through your harness, because if you do do that most likely the rope will fall out before you've had chance to get very far off the ground.

Conversely, I was advised (by a Glenmore Lodge instructor no less) that it is better to thread the waistbelt first because that way you know you're tied in to the most important part of the harness (the leg loops are really more of a luxury than a necessity).

Ironically, I was proudly showing off my newly-acquired knowledge while tying-in at the climbing wall a few days later only to discover, when I came to be lowered off, that I had indeed failed to include the leg loops in the tie-in...

I'd also like to add: Sorry to hear about Largo's accident; I hope he mends quickly and without unnecessary discomfort.
GrahamD - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Oceanrower:

Not convinced that climbing at a climbing wall is an extreme sport either !
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Martin W:

I guess what that shows is that there are several ways of doing things which might be safer for one reason but less safe for another!

Neil
GridNorth - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Martin W: I'm firmly in the thread upwards camp. I have witnessed and experienced loads of people getting distracted and not finishing the knot but I don't think I've ever seen anyone miss the waist band and only thread the leg loops but the logic of latter argument is sound so it's probably a case of "six of one half a dozen of the other.".
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to risby:

> "He is the author of over 40 books with over two-million copies in print"

There must be a moral to take from that!

Coming back to "buddies" checking my knots, I don't think I'd like that at all, what an odd concept - I should trust my life to someone else, especially one who is willing to go climbing with me, hardly a good reference in itself?!

As for bowlines being dangerous, I would be interested to know how it is tied wrong? I imagine there is a standard method of getting it wrong so the lesson is look at what you're doing and add a couple of half hitches, if you are really unsure of your knotting ability put on a third half hitch and you'll never go wrong, even if you've never sold a book in your life :-)
Michael Ryan - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to risby)
>

> Coming back to "buddies" checking my knots, I don't think I'd like that at all, what an odd concept - I should trust my life to someone else, especially one who is willing to go climbing with me......

You aren't. First off, you check your own knot, then this is double-checked by your partner. This is similar to SCUBA divers 'buddy check', where each diver checks each others equipment before they dive.

The knot is one of the most important links in the safety chain, as you know, it is best to have two pairs of eyes to check it....because as we have seen, if the knot is wrong you may die or be seriously injured.

Then you set off and climb, but as always, if you mess up, it is down to you, your responsibility, your fault,......unless your belayer drops you!
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

Each to his own but this seems a totally uneccssary sort of thing to do. Best be sure of yourself... if you really can't tie on correctly than give up climbing.

The diving example is not the same, I think although not a diver, as there must be more things to check. I knot's a knot when all's said and done. Whatever, each to his own.
Ciro - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> (In reply to snoop6060) I am intrigued to know why you feel the need to defend a knot that has again been the root cause of an accident , thankfully not a death.
>
> How many more fatalities before you begin to act upon evidence, FFS if John long can make this mistake so can you !!!

A friend of mine once almost set off from the ground with a half tied figure of 8 (the buddy check stopped it). By your logic we should stop using that too and find another way of attaching to the rope that you can't muck up?
tk421 on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
If anything climbing warrants checking more so than diving. If you're a competent diver even if the worst things cock up when you enter the water (air not on, no buoyancy) you can save it quite easily. If your knot isn't right, it's quite hard to save it.

I'd check your knot and have you check mine if we climbed together.
Ramblin dave - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> Best be sure of yourself... if you really can't tie on correctly than give up climbing.

I can certainly see how that would apply to inexperienced newbies like John Long or Lynn Hill.

Presumably you're not an incompetent novice like them so you never make mistakes?
Ramblin dave - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Ramblin dave:
NB best wishes to John. Don't want the whole knots / safety argument to overshadow that.
Yanchik - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

"Each to his own but this seems a totally uneccssary sort of thing to do."?

"Doors to manual and cross check" - looks like you wouldn't qualify to work as Cabin Crew.

I suspect you just disqualified yourself from working offshore, too. Alongside rejecting the whole corpus of human factors engineering.

Faith is for the Lord. The rest of us could try looking after each other as well as ourselves.

Y
Ciro - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> Each to his own but this seems a totally uneccssary sort of thing to do. Best be sure of yourself... if you really can't tie on correctly than give up climbing.
>

Are you saying John Long should have given up climbing before he got hurt?
tom_in_edinburgh - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to risby)

> Coming back to "buddies" checking my knots, I don't think I'd like that at all, what an odd concept

The way I look at it for an indoor climber it's just maths:
1. If you climb twice a week indoors and do 10 routes a session that's 1,000 times a year you are lowering off and a bad knot could kill or seriously injure you. A one in a thousand chance of getting it wrong is far too high.

2. If you can tie your knot with a 1/1000 chance of getting it wrong and your partner can check it with a 1/1000 chance of missing a badly tied knot your at a 1/1000000 chance of failure overall which is good enough.

Over the last year with about 1000 indoor climbs I've had buddy checks find 3 problems - twice an incorrectly rethreaded fig 8 (tied by novice partner) and once the belay crab not screwed tight. Probably none of them would have caused an accident (there was a good stopper and long tail on the fig 8).
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to jleong:

> I'd check your knot and have you check mine if we climbed together.

I wouldn't want to climb with someone who I couldn't trust to tie on with correctly, invariably, no matter what the conditions. Similarly I wouldn't want to climb with someone who didn't trust me in the same way. Climbing with someone without total trust is no fun at all. In fact this mutual trust is one of the agreeable aspects of climbing, it leads to friendships which last a lifetime.

Obviously if you were showing a learner how to climb then it would be a good idea to check he was tied in properly, but that's another subject.
Oceanrower - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to jleong)
>
> [...]
>
> I wouldn't want to climb with someone who I couldn't trust to tie on with correctly, invariably, no matter what the conditions. Similarly I wouldn't want to climb with someone who didn't trust me in the same way. Climbing with someone without total trust is no fun at all. In fact this mutual trust is one of the agreeable aspects of climbing, it leads to friendships which last a lifetime.
>
> Obviously if you were showing a learner how to climb then it would be a good idea to check he was tied in properly, but that's another subject.
Noooooooooooooo. I think I agree with Bruce!
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Yanchik:

As I said, each to his own, if you are not careful enough then take extra precautions.

NB. We don't know for sure what happened here, why someone like him made a mistake on such a simple act - it's not rocket science tying on. It just requires a little care... someone who isn't careful is a danger, to him or herself and to others.

Some aspects of climbing are prone to error - climbing itself, for example, abseiling, judging conditions, avalanche danger etc etc and provide plenty of scope for dying... Tying on to your rope really shouldn't be a dangerous operation for anyone, otherwise how are they going to cope with real dangers? Best forget the "buddy" bullshit, learn to be careful and meticulous, there's just no excuse for doing otherwise.
Mark Kemball - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker: You cannot guarantee that you or your partner won't make a mistake, be distracted or whatever. Not double checking is either lazy, foolish or arrogant, which are you? Obviously you have to trust your partner, and yes, some of my climbing partners have become lifetime friends, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't check each other.
Bruce Hooker - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Ciro:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Are you saying John Long should have given up climbing before he got hurt?

I don't know who he is, apart from learning on this thread that he has sold lots of books, and unlike most posting hear I don't think I know what happened here, but in answer to your question, I think the answer to your question is obvious to us all, and all the more so to him - yes.

wurzelinzummerset on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Mark Kemball: I agree that trusting someone doesn't preclude accepting they may make a mistake, as all people are prone to do from time to time. Personally, I think a quick visual check of each others knots is a good idea. Anyway, climbing is often something of a team effort and so looking out for the person you're climbing with particularly if, for example, they're obviously tired at the end of a long day would, I expect, reinforce the mutual trust there was.
ChrisJD on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> ... Are you saying John Long should have given up climbing before he got hurt?
>
> I don't know who he is

If you don't know who John Long is, then you have no right to post on this thread.
Banj - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to unclesamsauntibess:
> The confusion arises when the final part of the knot is called a "stopper knot". The "stopper knot" is an integral part of the bowline, calling it simply a "stopper knot" suggests the bowline is in itself unsafe which it isn't - if the final section is completed.
>
> Lose the term "stopper" and it makes sense, just tie the knot complete.

Actually, the stopper is not an integral part of the bowline. Bowlines, as used by scouts and sailors for generations, do not have a stopper. That knot is a "stopped bowline"

winhill - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to deepsoup) There is something quite sad about the now quite a few cases we've seen of friends of injured American climbers setting up funds to help with medical expenses. It seems loads of people are uninsured or under-insured.

Not just climbers, Jill Kuzman of Vertigirl Sports is laid up after an accident

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Jill-Kuzman-Medical-Fundraiser/35690

A blogger I follow gave up her job to take up writing then had a diagnosis of cancer before she'd sorted insurance, similar story and appeal site set up.
Skyfall - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Monk:
> (In reply to JonC)

> I always do it, and there's a good chance you wouldn't notice me doing it - all it takes is a glance at the knot/belay device to see that things are threaded correctly.

No, I'm v aware if this stuff. I do it myself sometimes with my partners but not always, being honest. I know loads of long term climbers who never even do that.

The whole point of this is that, whether you do or don't (and I'm happy to accept you do), very many don't. You and Enty putting your hands up like school kids and protesting otherwise, doesn't help.

Those of us who aren't perfect (like me) need to wise up. As I said, a small number of regular UKC posters saying they do it is a rather self selecting sample of perfect climbers who never top rope, or dog routes, always state the precise circumstances of each recorded ascent, never climb winter routes out of condition, and accept that TPS is E0.
John2 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to winhill: It's ironic that our National Health Service was set up using money lent to us by the Americans via the Marshall Plan.
Toby S - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to Tim Chappell)
>
> No one could see your tongue in your cheek Tim, that's the trouble with text forums.
>
> Anyway, no doubt there will be debate about which knot as usual, but I think the message, and it keeps getting reinforced, is clear.
>
> It's about time someone did a video on this subject for worldwide distribution (BMC?)...with some grisly statistics.....and the number of deaths must be quite high now, well in to double figures worldwide.
>
> I'm sure NICAS ram it home to new climbers at climbing walls.
>
They do, the guys that run my daughter's NICAS course are always talking about safety, they all do buddy checks too. I've seen them being stopped from climbing if they haven't checked each other.

They haven't been taught how to tie a bowline though, they've stuck with the figure of 8.
Jamie B - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I'm not anti-bowline, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the figure-eight is a much more "forgiving" knot if it is tied incorrectly or incompletely.

This is based on some drop-testing that we did at the Ice Factor. With no stopper and the tail only passed through 2 of the 3 "passes" that constitute the knot, the knot held a fall every single time. To our surprise, even when the tail had only gone through one "pass", it frequently (more than half of the time) tightened to a point that it would take a climber's weight. The same can not be said of a bowline!

If I was inventing a safe indoor climbing system for the population of Mars, we'd go with the figure-eight exclusively. It would be easier to monitor and operate and you'd almost certainly have fewer mishaps over the piece. But here in the real world wall management have to cater for a broad church of climbers, who have varied experience and like to do things their way. I applaud the walls who have the flexibility and broadness of view to encompass that, but equally I think we should have no issue with any operator that asks us to act in a certain way (ie stick with the figure-eight) while we are engaging in risk activities on their premises. Will it ruin our day's climbing?
In reply to winhill: Never heard of her before but Google reveals she is sponsored by 5.10. I've never really thought about it before but I wonder if in the US there are ethical considerations about sponsoring people without insurance?

Supporting them doing a sport with some chance of injury when they have no health insurance seems a bit dubious in some ways.
BarrySW19 on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth: Interestingly, I went to a climbing wall in The Netherlands recently and they didn't use knots at all. All top ropes had pre tied and glued loops and you had to clip on with two krabs to your belay loop.

Not sure whether it's a good/bad system, but certainly takes knots out of the equation.
Oceanrower - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to BarrySW19:
> (In reply to GridNorth) Interestingly, I went to a climbing wall in The Netherlands recently and they didn't use knots at all. All top ropes had pre tied and glued loops and you had to clip on with two krabs to your belay loop.
>
> Not sure whether it's a good/bad system, but certainly takes knots out of the equation.

And lead?
Neil Williams - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

"Will it ruin our day's climbing?"

For me, it's a mild pain as I'm heavy. Maybe it should serve as a motivator to lose a bit of weight? :)

Neil
Bruce Hooker - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:

> The same can not be said of a bowline!

It can actually, a bowline with two half hitches is absolutely safe. I defy you to demonstrate otherwise. It's also quicker to tie and easier to tighten. By all means use whatever knot that turns you on but please stop posting nonsense (sorry, not just you, all those doing likewise).

This whole thread shows what an evil influence indoor walls and courses in general have on people, imposing the "only way" as Mrs T used to say, "you know it makes sense" etc. It doesn't though, it encourages attitudes which are ultimately dangerous - in the mountains the one and only rule is that you can only rely on yourself, on the end of the rope your survival depends on you, and no one else... all this fluffy huggy buddy stuff won't help you when the shit hits the fan.
Alyson - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> It doesn't though, it encourages attitudes which are ultimately dangerous - in the mountains the one and only rule is that you can only rely on yourself, on the end of the rope your survival depends on you, and no one else... all this fluffy huggy buddy stuff won't help you when the shit hits the fan.

I think the point is to minimise the chance of said shit hitting said fan in the first place Bruce. Not sure how comfortable I'd feel climbing with someone who adopted this 'each man for himself' attitude. Your safety on the business end of a rope is not solely down to you, it's also down to the person holding the other end.
Jamie B - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I didn't say that a bowline was unsafe. I said that a partially or incorrectly tied figure-eight was much more likely to hold a fall.

Why shouldn't indoor walls impose "the only way"? It's them that have to sweep up the mess, and who will see their insurance premiums rise even further in the event of further mishaps. I can't understand why the idea of playing to the rules of the house when you are using a facility seems like such a violation of civil liberties.
jonnie3430 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
>
> in the mountains the one and only rule is that you can only rely on yourself, on the end of the rope your survival depends on you, and no one else... all this fluffy huggy buddy stuff won't help you when the shit hits the fan.

I beg to differ; unless you are referring to soloing, your survival when seconding depends very much on your belayer. If they have used the rope to make the belay and the tie in knot fails, the belay will not work. Hence why I am interested when someone doesn't use a figure 8.
Bruce Hooker - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> If they have used the rope to make the belay and the tie in knot fails, the belay will not work.

More nonsense, if the knot has been tied correctly it won't fail, bowline of fogure of eight.
jonnie3430 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> [...]
>
> More nonsense, if the knot has been tied correctly it won't fail, bowline of fogure of eight.

But as there seems to be more instances of getting a bowline wrong than a figure 8, the safer knot should be chosen.

Also, a bowline has the stopper in the rope loop, potentially catching on crabs and making the loading less simple.
Ramblin dave - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Alyson:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Not sure how comfortable I'd feel climbing with someone who adopted this 'each man for himself' attitude.

I'd feel extremely uncomfortable climbing with someone who refused to cross check stuff like knots on the grounds that they "trust their own ability" and never make mistakes. It's pretty obvious from the context of the thread that sometimes even the most experienced and competent climbers do make mistakes, and I'd consider someone who refuses to acknowledge that to be much more dangerous than someone who accepts it and is happy to double-check stuff.


Neil Williams - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

"But as there seems to be more instances of getting a bowline wrong than a figure 8, the safer knot should be chosen."

...unless there is another reason, e.g. to save time untying, and you are comfortable with the risk.

I ask again, do all those people who quote "safety over all else" in this matter also never exceed the speed limit?

Neil
ads.ukclimbing.com
jonnie3430 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
>
> ...unless there is another reason, e.g. to save time untying, and you are comfortable with the risk.
>
As I pointed out, it should be whether you AND your partner are comfortable with the risk.

> I ask again, do all those people who quote "safety over all else" in this matter also never exceed the speed limit?
>
I don't think anyone else agrees with your comparison. Why don't you try another one?
GridNorth - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: The thing is that most people I have climbed with have tended to carry out a subtle check anyway otherwise I would not have been on the receiving end of comments like " would it be a good idea to put a rope on" as I headed off up a route. I think that those who have objections are just reacting against the growing culture that climbing is becoming all about "rules"
Neil Williams - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

"As I pointed out, it should be whether you AND your partner are comfortable with the risk."

That goes without saying, probably why I didn't say it :)

No-one I climb with objects to me using a bowline. If they did, I wouldn't use one when climbing with that person.

"I don't think anyone else agrees with your comparison. Why don't you try another one? "

Perhaps they might actually say why not rather than ignoring it, or suggest a counterexample? It is a similar case of choosing something less safe in order to save time/related hassle, which is pretty much the only reason I use a bowline.

Neil
jonnie3430 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

But the number of things that can and do go wrong are more than just poorly tying into a rope. Checking through all of them at the start of a route would take too long!!
In reply to jonnie3430: such as?
Jamie B - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

Agree, I glance at my partners knot and do a self-check every time, but I have never felt the need to formally regulate it. I see newer climbers who do a very choreographed and ritualised mutual check, and while it clearly works for them, were they to suggest something similar to a lot of older climbers they'd just get ridiculed.
Michael Ryan - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to GridNorth)
>
> But the number of things that can and do go wrong are more than just poorly tying into a rope. Checking through all of them at the start of a route would take too long!!

Check your rope before you climb, check your harness, check your knot, check your hardware at home regularly.

Takes no time at all, and better than saying 'I wish I had' as you lay in a bed with your legs in traction, or worse, the silence of death and the grieving of your loved ones.

Neil Williams - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

"The thing is that most people I have climbed with have tended to carry out a subtle check anyway"

I'm more likely to do that (and tell someone to stop if I haven't been able to do it) than to say "Stop while I double-check your knot". I certainly do always check and would feel wrong if I didn't, because I would feel it was my fault if it resulted in any accident, as I as the belayer am very much responsible for the climber's safety as well as they are.

I also check, on a similar subtle level, that the belay plate is fitted correctly and the weight bag/ground anchor is attached, as most people I climb with are much lighter than me. (Much more likely to do the latter these days as I had a bit of a near miss involving forgetting that a while ago).

"I think that those who have objections are just reacting against the growing culture that climbing is becoming all about "rules""

That certainly plays a part in my view. One thing I really like about climbing is it being based on personal risk assessment. I am in favour of education, like people explaining why the Fig 8 is overall a safer knot (a principle I agree with), but others who don't climb with me should also accept that I might for whatever reason decide to take the less safe path on occasions for some reason or other.

The wearing of cycle helmets is a very similar one. People get very sanctimonious about the matter, when what they should be doing is educating - and accepting that it's the individual's own problem if they decide to ignore that education.

Neil
GridNorth - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: You have hit the nail on the head, that is the essence of the problem.
Ramblin dave - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

> I don't think anyone else agrees with your comparison. Why don't you try another one?

"Noone should ever cycle unless they have to because it's safer to get a bus / taxi / train / walk / stay at home."

Given that using a bowline rather than a figure 8 has lead to at most two fatal accidents out of however many total indoor climbs in the UK "since records began" (back of the envelope suggests that this should be at least in the millions), tying in with a F8 rather than a bowline is another of these marginal safety improvements - like using a screwgate for each piece of gear at a belay, like wearing two harnesses in case one of them fails - that does deserve to be weighed up against the disadvantages incurred rather than just accepted regardless on the grounds that anything that "it's safer" trumps all other considerations...
muppetfilter - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I ask again, do all those people who quote "safety over all else" in this matter also never exceed the speed limit?
>
> Neil

"Safety over all else" Is rather an odd statement. Do you make it more dangerous, boulder over a bed of nails, climb on dental floss and eat broken glass ?

I had a terrible year in 2010 for people I knew being hurt climbing and would never wish to see people hurt like this again. One was killed and two broke bones badly and took months to heal with a great deal of pain and discomfort.

My dislike of the bowline for its instability as a knot when loosly tied comes secondary to the superb discussion that has been started about buddy checks. Anything that prevents the terrible repercussions of an accident is a step forward.
jonnie3430 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

What about check your climbing calls (and what you do if you can't be heard,) check the food, check the head torches work (especially at this time of year,) check the guidebook, check the map, compass, whistle, phone, text registered on the 999 database. Check the warm kit, checked UKC for updates on the route (West Chimney tunnel is now blocked and about grade VII, if there is poor gear leading up to the block someone could get seriously hurt,) etc....

As soon as you don't trust your partner for one, where do you stop? You could lament the absence of all in the future if an accident occurs, so why stop at rope?
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> What about check your climbing calls (and what you do if you can't be heard,) check the food, check the head torches work (especially at this time of year,) check the guidebook, check the map, compass, whistle, phone, text registered on the 999 database. Check the warm kit, checked UKC for updates on the route (West Chimney tunnel is now blocked and about grade VII, if there is poor gear leading up to the block someone could get seriously hurt,) etc....

Would have thought you would do this before leaving home - daft otherwise.

A confirmation to each other that home checks were done wouldn't take two minutes then.
paul mitchell - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

I use a Yosemite bowline,which has an extra loop around the 'tree'
that the 'rabbit' goes around.You can find diagrams on Wikipedia.
I've used it for 3 years now and once tied it is always reassuringly firm.
I back it up with about 4 half hitches.
Always insist to your partners that they check your knot.

Mitch
Neil Williams - on 13 Dec 2012
(In reply to muppetfilter)

> "Safety over all else" Is rather an odd statement. Do you make it more dangerous, boulder over a bed of nails, climb on dental floss and eat broken glass ?

No, but some people do solo / do highball boulder problems which could be said to be making it more dangerous vs. using a top-rope.

> I had a terrible year in 2010 for people I knew being hurt climbing and would never wish to see people hurt like this again. One was killed and two broke bones badly and took months to heal with a great deal of pain and discomfort.

:(

My condolences, and I hope the others are recovering well.

> My dislike of the bowline for its instability as a knot when loosly tied comes secondary to the superb discussion that has been started about buddy checks.

Indeed.

> Anything that prevents the terrible repercussions of an accident is a step forward.

I think that point is at face value debatable, but I think I'd rather re-word it nearer to what I would see as its ethos:-

"Awareness and education about any risks that if mitigated could prevent the terrible repercussions of an accident, and their consideration when assessing risk, is a step forward".

Because, in the end, "not climbing" is an "anything" that fits into your above statement. And buddy checks, and using a Fig 8 rather than a bowline, are both mitigations.

Neil
jonnie3430 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> Would have thought you would do this before leaving home - daft otherwise.
>
I would have thought that they'd tied in correctly too - daft otherwise.
GridNorth - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH: The objection is to the formal ritualisation rather than the process. I recall an accident involving a guide and his client who died after a fall. The judge ruled that because the guide had only used one ice screw instead of the recommended two to belay he was negligent i.e. a best practice suddenly became a rule and apparantly sugject to the law. The fact that the guide made a judgement call because the condition of the face was deteriorating didn't seem to get a look in and most climbers at that time were sympathetic to the guide.
Neil Williams - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

Fair enough, though this is a slightly different situation, as when with a guide you could be seen as submitting to their expertise (and may genuinely find it hard to question what they are doing) rather than climbing with another person as an equal.

Neil
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to grumpybearpantsclimbinggoat)
> [...]
> I would have thought that they'd tied in correctly too - daft otherwise.

Aye, but tying in is geographically centric whereas the other stuff you listed are geographically independent.
a lakeland climber on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

I use a bowline (I prefer it to the fo8) and my tying on sequence is:

Thread rope through harness
Tie knot
Give the live rope a good tug (enough to pull my hips forward)
Tie the stopper knot(s)

The third step does three things - it sets the knot so that it's less likely to come loose; if the knot is incorrectly tied then it comes apart; I can feel the tension in the harness so I know I've threaded it correctly.

If I was mis-tying the bowline with any regularity (read that as more than a couple of times *ever*) then I wouldn't use it.

ALC
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Michael Ryan - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> What about check your climbing calls (and what you do if you can't be heard,) check the food, check the head torches work (especially at this time of year,) check the guidebook, check the map, compass, whistle, phone, text registered on the 999 database. Check the warm kit, checked UKC for updates on the route (West Chimney tunnel is now blocked and about grade VII, if there is poor gear leading up to the block someone could get seriously hurt,) etc....

Good advice. As they say; piss poor preparation, piss poor performance.
GridNorth - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams: In this instance not so. The client was in fact a friend who was an aspirant guide but the point I was trying illustrate is that formalising these things is not always the best way forward.
jonnie3430 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
> [...]
>
> Good advice. As they say; piss poor preparation PREVENTS piss poor performance.

Ha ha!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_Ps_(military_adage)
Michael Ryan - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jonnie3430:

That's correct, an old military saying and good solid advice that is taken on board by many climbers, especially alpinists who are at the top of their game where objective dangers are high: everything needs to be planned and checked so that a climber can concentrate on the risk of actually climbing.
Jamie B - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to GridNorth:

I believe that the Guides Association entirely exonerated the guide, recognising that the situation was a dynamic one (worsening conditions and a need for speed). But the courts were unable to get past notions of "correct" protocols and therefore felt differently.
GridNorth - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: Yes as did the climbing community as a whole. I would see a similar situation arising if buddy checks became formalised.
Hephaestus - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to jleong)
>
> [...]
>
> I wouldn't want to climb with someone who I couldn't trust to tie on with correctly, invariably, no matter what the conditions.

Don't think most people are looking at it in a trust context, Bruce. We all mess up at some point, and your mates should be there to help out when you're in need. I don't care if that's when I'm ordering inappropriate wine with my bouef borgignon or tying in for a climb.

Personally I wouldn't want to do anything with someone who interpreted a friendly piece of advice at personal criticism or lack of trust, least of all climb.
In reply to Alyson:
> Not sure how comfortable I'd feel climbing with someone who adopted this 'each man for himself' attitude.

It's very Thatcherite besides anything else, but maybe Bruce is a big fan of all that? ;-)
jonnie3430 - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
> (In reply to jonnie3430)
>
> That's correct, an old military saying and good solid advice that is taken on board by many climbers, especially alpinists who are at the top of their game where objective dangers are high: everything needs to be planned and checked so that a climber can concentrate on the risk of actually climbing.

My amusement was from you putting down 6 P's, not 7!
ChrisJD on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> I didn't say that a bowline was unsafe. I said that a partially or incorrectly tied figure-eight was much more likely to hold a fall.


I can vouch for that.

Many (many) years ago I was lowered of a top rope route at a climbing wall, looked down and saw that I had just fed the rope through the first part of the Fig8. It had synched just enough to hold body weight....still remember that weak at knees feeling.
Bruce Hooker - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:

My point is quite the opposite to an "each for himself" attitude, it's the importance of the climbing team. After a bit you know that each of you is going to do things appropriately, there is no need to check, it's certain. If either has a doubt then you also know he'll say something and a discussion will resolve the problem - like "should we really be here?" when things are getting risky. Checking on the other one seems to be the proof of an individualistic attitude, two individuals climbing together as opposed to a team in harmony. You don't have to be on the same wavelength philosophically or politically (within reason) but in tune for climbing. It's an odd phenomenon and has it's implications if you care to dwell on it a bit.

As for this absurd debate, no one has ever died because they used the "wrong" knot, either indoors or out, they may have died because they tied any knot wrong though, which is a completely different matter. Probably the figure of eight, which is a good knot for many purposes, leads to less problems (if it does, I'm don't believe anyone has shown any proof of this) because it's a bit longer and more fiddly to tie so a beginner, or someone stoned, pissed on in a depressive state (for example) would be more likely to notice his error and start again. On the other hand a bowline with two, or more for the hyper-cautious, half turns is absolutely safe, of that there is no doubt. It's a fact, not an opinion.

What people mean by "stoppers" I don't know as I can't see how a stop knot would be of use for tying on, even with a harness.

Finally for the "buddy" business, frankly if you need checking for the simplest bit of climbing - at the belay, relaxed, on the flat - what's going to happen as you climb up? - Will you have "runner bunnies" on the end of giant cheat sticks to check each runner? Or parachuted "belay buddies" to meet you at the stance? The whole notion is just another bit of yankified pseudo-safety fluff. By all means do it but far from increasing safety being reliant on someone else to check your knots can only make the careless even more so... Don't you check your own knot when tying and afterwards, as suggested just above?

Balderdash, mutter, mutter, what's the world coming to? etc etc.
Michael Ryan - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to TobyA)
>
> My point is quite the opposite to an "each for himself" attitude, it's the importance of the climbing team. After a bit you know that each of you is going to do things appropriately, there is no need to check, it's certain.

I always thought you had a special power Bruce.........

.......the supposed transmission of information from one person to another without using any of our known sensory channels or physical interaction...............telepathy
Yanchik - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

Happily the individual is so comically presumptuous and incoherent as to be unlikely to actually influence anyone's actions.

Y
jhw - on 13 Dec 2012
The moral is not to tie in on a bowline.
Bruce Hooker - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

Perhaps you've never found a partner with which such "telepathy" existed? Don't give up, you'll find the right man or woman one day :-)
Bruce Hooker - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Yanchik:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
> Happily the individual is so comically presumptuous and incoherent as to be unlikely to actually influence anyone's actions.
>

And you're a real sweety too! I don't seek to influence anyone's actions, my whole point is that people should think for themselves and not follow the PC wisdom... obviously such presumption is beyond you.
a lakeland climber on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:

Really? I didn't realise that bowlines were immoral.

ALC
Ramblin dave - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Yanchik)
> [...]
>
> And you're a real sweety too! I don't seek to influence anyone's actions, my whole point is that people should think for themselves and not follow the PC wisdom...

I used to use a bowline to tie in and not bother checking my partner's knot, but then I had to start using a figure 8 and checking my partner because otherwise it might offend gay Jewish people. Bloody political correctness.
GrahamD - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to jhw:
> The moral is not to tie in on a bowline.

Really? That was exactly the problem: NOT tying in with a bowline
Enty - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to jleong)
>
> [...]
>
> I wouldn't want to climb with someone who I couldn't trust to tie on with correctly, invariably, no matter what the conditions.

I'd climb with Lynn Hill or John Long - no problem whatsoever.

E
ads.ukclimbing.com
rgold - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH)
>
>
> Moral: don't use a bowline.
>

The poor bowline sure has a tough life. Every time anyone hears even a shred of evidence that a bowline could conceivably have been involved, out come the warnings and prognostications of doom.

Quite a few of the accidents I've heard blamed on bowlines untying involve nothing more than assumptions by people who either have an explanation before they have evidence, or else have uncritically accepted the first plausible explanation offered. John Long's nasty accident is yet another case in point; the naysayers have been lining up long before anyone knew what happened. In the latest Rock and Ice update John says,

"I made the two bowline loops, and threaded the rope through my harness, but I didn't bring the rabbit out of the hole and around the tree. A lot of people are down on the bowline, but the same thing would have happened with a trace-8. I just wasn't paying attention."

We can, of course, carry on with the partner-check debate; in this case a check would have prevented the accident. But perhaps we could step back from the bowline as the source of all evil?

I like climbing - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
You talk a great deal of sense on this. The trouble is many people posting on here have entrenched positions and either show they are never going to be persuaded or aren't big enough to admit they are wrong.
As for buddy checks - I check myself but wouldn't check my climbing partner. I would check a novice but that's a different matter.
BigBrother - on 13 Dec 2012
In reply to rgold: Bowlinism does seem to be a growing problem. I think we should start a campaign against it and start by targeting the bowlinists on UKC.

One thing that did strike me about the John Long incident was that there was no mention of whether he was wearing a Hi-Viz vest? These are ESSENTIAL in any situation that may possibly be in any way even slightly dangerous and it should be illegal to climb without one imo. I always wear mine in the shower as otherwise I may slip. When doing a risk sport like climbing I usually wear TWO just to be sure.
Andy Long - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

If I'm teaching beginners I teach them the re-thread Fo8, great rope-hungry turd though it is, because it seems to be easier for them to learn and, being at the heart of the prevailing orthodoxy, it keeps me and them free of the contentious bollox above.

On the other hand I love the bowline family and will continue to use one of its members (the Edwards) for personal climbing because:

It's a single-stage knot.
It has a double internal lock and hence no need of a stopper.
There are three strands through the trapping loop, increasing its minimum radius under load.

and also

There are no rules in climbing and I'll do what I want if I think it's safe. I've tried for nearly fifty years on-and-off to experimentally mis-tie a bowline and never managed anything that wasn't either immediately obvious or simply fell apart. On the other hand I've seen some seriously buggered-up Fo8s that had passed muster at first glance.

Call me a knot-snob, call me a cantankerous old git, call me anything you like, but as far as I'm concerned the Fo8 is a novice's knot, the bowline is a connoisseur's knot.



birdie num num - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Long:
You old cantankerous snobby knot git.
birdie num num - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:
Num Num has perfected the art of tying the disappearing clove hitch, deftly looping them onto each carabiner in turn and shouting 'On Belay' to his partner, only to turn (when his second is struggling at the crux) to find that he is not the least bit 'On Belay'
Michael Ryan - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKC and UKH:

UPDATE:

"The docs tell me I'll have a 100 percent recovery," he says. "I expect my ankle to be stiff, but considering what could have happened, I am really lucky."

Long says that he ties in with a double bowline, but this time, distracted and tired after a long day of work, he didn't finish the knot. "I made the two bowline loops," he says, "and threaded the rope through my harness, but I didn't bring the rabbit out of the hole and around the tree."

Adds Long: "A lot of people are down on the bowline, but the same thing would have happened with a trace-8. I just wasn't paying attention."

More at: http://www.rockandice.com/news/2402-john-long-accident-update
GrahamD - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to birdie num num:

Has Num Num perfected the art of re-tying the belay without your partner suspecting what has happened ?
Bruce Hooker - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Enty:

> I'd climb with Lynn Hill or John Long - no problem whatsoever.

Not any more apparently for the latter. I don't know who Lynn Hill is. How do you all know the names of these people?
Michael Ryan - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Lets get you up to speed young Bruce...

John is one of the original Yosemite Stonemasters, first one day ascent of the Nose, amazing free climber and adventurer, and of course author of fact, fiction and instruction books. He has many friends in the UK. He has big muscles and his nickname is Largo. He lives in a lock-up garage in LA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Long_%28climber%29

Lynn Hill, same here, no idea who she is, but a quick google tells us that a Lynn Hill runs a Fish and Chip shop in Bolton, perhaps that is the one they are on about.
Michael Ryan - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Enty)
>
> [...]
>
> Not any more apparently for the latter.

He's OK Bruce. Ents can still play out with John.

See below:

UPDATE:

"The docs tell me I'll have a 100 percent recovery," he says. "I expect my ankle to be stiff, but considering what could have happened, I am really lucky."

Long says that he ties in with a double bowline, but this time, distracted and tired after a long day of work, he didn't finish the knot. "I made the two bowline loops," he says, "and threaded the rope through my harness, but I didn't bring the rabbit out of the hole and around the tree."

Adds Long: "A lot of people are down on the bowline, but the same thing would have happened with a trace-8. I just wasn't paying attention."

More at: http://www.rockandice.com/news/2402-john-long-accident-update
Michael Ryan - on 14 Dec 2012
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Enty)
>
> [...]
>
>I don't know who Lynn Hill is.

Here she is Bruce. The well-known Fish and Chip proprietor from Bolton.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=184448

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