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Topic - Belaying near disaster

luke obrien - on 16 Mar 2013
Every now and then you see something that really makes you cringe.. I just wanted to share this because it hit me that I wouldn't want to ever be in the position of the belayer I saw.

I was off for a long weekend Spanish trip with a few mates and we saw someone drop their mate from 20m off a route at Gandia. A bush and a lot of good luck saved his life.

From what we could tell, the belayer didn't have his hands on the rope and when his mate fell the rope was moving too fast for him to commit to grabbing it. I was maybe 15ft from the guy who hit the floor like a sack of spuds, it was a sick sound. When everyone was rushing to help the fallen climber the belayer was just staring down at his stitch plate in disbelief.

Anyway it stuck in my mind to never, even for one second, take your eye off the ball when belaying. I know none of us would deliberately risk someone's life, but i guess it is easy to become distracted when you are doing something so important.
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