/ "Climber 'anxious' before death fall" apparently
I thought I'd logged onto the Daily Mash. It's not the technical inaccuracies so much as the inane platitudes and statements of the blindingly obvious...
Why on earth are Dutch police officers being taught how to rock climb in Cornwall?... Struggling to see the relevance.
Possible connection to the Dutch Marines?
Seems pretty strange,
Making use of the tax Euros for team building?
> Why on earth are Dutch police officers being taught how to rock climb in Cornwall?
ever tried to find rock in Holland?
That is a seriously weird, incomprehensible (and tragic) story.
Anyone know how one ripped runner resulted in a 40m fall?
Was it a hard route with no gear or an easy route that was being effectively soloed?
Perks of the job mate.
Little Brown Jug Cliff?
Do they mean Little Brown Jug climb at Bosigran?
> Little Brown Jug Cliff?
> Do they mean Little Brown Jug climb at Bosigran?
It's virtually incomprehensible, isn't it? I've seen some bad reports in the climbing press but this takes the prize. 'Climbing at St Just' ... I'm guessing from LBJ ref that they were climbing at Bosigran, but almost certainly not on LBJ. No idea how the accident happened from the report given. Did second fall off belay ledge??
> Anyone know how one ripped runner resulted in a 40m fall?
> ever tried to find rock in Holland?
Makes about as much sense, to me, as training Jamaican cops in skiing.
I've seen Dutch service personnel at Bosigran being trained, so their presence there is not without precedent - I must admit, that particular group didn't exactly inspire confidence, so we kept out of their way down the other end of the crag from where they were being 'trained'.
Courteous enough bunch, but something a bit shambolic about the training... oh well.
Condolences to the family of the guy involved.
It was Little Brown Jug that the bloke fell from.
> It was Little Brown Jug that the bloke fell from.
How do you know that? Is there a better source?
> Making use of the tax Euros for team building?
A father of 2 died. Please.
Par for the course, surely? They're reporters ergo they have no interest in properly reporting the facts.
I've met some Dutch police at Bosigran as well. Strange, but hey.
Yes, I think what the report is attempting to convey is that the guy was on the last pitch of LBJ, messed up the layback by barndooring round so that he was pulling the gear out of the crack and came off head first not having any other decent gear anywhere useful.
I'm inferring this from knowing the route and its history. It's only VS but not one for the inexperienced to push their leading grade and it seems strange (and regrettable) that this is what appears to have been allowed to happen while this guy was under instruction.
I don't have very high expectations of the general press in reporting climbing incidents but this one is a classic of having many of the right words but not in the right order.
'Push off from the side of the drop' could be a sound piece of advice for all pedestrian journalists straying too close to sea cliffs everywhere.
40m is a huge whipper to take off a well-protected route like LBJ, the instructor should not have let this happen.
Yes, I have no recollection of the last pitch being badly protected, and my log book simply says it was intimidating, but OK. My memory is that the crux was quite low down on that pitch and that the final layback crack was surprisingly straightforward (maybe it was my type of climbing?)
> Why on earth are Dutch police officers being taught how to rock climb in Cornwall?... Struggling to see the relevance.
The closest the Dutch have to a sea cliff is a sand dune ;)
Sad news about this fella though. Never nice to hear of such things.
> How do you know that? Is there a better source?
I spoke to somebody the following day, who saw it happen.
The other two BBC reports (original from last June) say it was an 8m fall. Makes much more sense.
Another link with more detailed information, but still hard to figure out exactly what happened.
OK, but the report made it sound like he'd barndoor'd off the last crack, which I'm fairly sure has bomber protection.
> OK, but the report made it sound like he'd barndoor'd off the last crack, which I'm fairly sure has bomber protection.
I don't understand all the 'analysis'
Climbing is not risk free. I've seen someone gain neurological damage of a VDiff at Stanage which has all the gear in the world on it. A broken leg on Tody's wall - imminently protectable.
Doesn't matter whether it's 'bomber' gear, or 'easy' or 'not high'.
Nerves, experience, competence, bad luck - shit happens.
The poor guy's dead leave it alone.
Why should we not analyse what happened in order to make our own climbing safer? No different from the manufacturers analysing gear failures, surely?
> Why should we not analyse what happened in order to make our own climbing safer? No different from the manufacturers analysing gear failures, surely?
I don't have a problem with that.
In this case your not analysing anything.
Your all 'speculating' as you don't know what happened.
Shit of this magnitude shouldn't be happening to an inexperienced leader while under instruction.
> Shit of this magnitude shouldn't be happening to an inexperienced leader while under instruction.
Crap. Plenty of people die climbing/mountaineering whilst being instructed/guided. You don't want any risk - go play Golf
Your still 'speculating' and now making judgments on an 'instructor' - when again you don't know the facts.
Yeah, but 40m is about two thirds of the entire (3 pitch, and well protected) route. Are you not curious? Clearly something is amiss. I think 40m must be wrong.
I agree with you completely (and strongly disagree with Simon Sheff). He was under instruction and clearly not nearly experienced enough to be tackling that pitch as a lead. To reduce it to 'bad luck' is just a load of bollocks. It reflects very badly on the instructor, who should never let someone get into such a mess. I remember it as having a very scary feel for the grade, and being pleasantly surprised to find it a bit easier than it looked, though it is probably rather high in the grade.
> Yeah, but 40m is about two thirds of the entire (3 pitch, and well protected) route. Are you not curious? Clearly something is amiss. I think 40m must be wrong.
No I'm not. For starters you don't know that.
There are 2 conflicting reports in this thread alone.
> I agree with you completely (and strongly disagree with Simon Sheff). He was under instruction and clearly not nearly experienced enough to be tackling that pitch as a lead. To reduce it to 'bad luck' is just a load of bollocks. It reflects very badly on the instructor, who should never let someone get into such a mess. I remember it as having a very scary feel for the grade, and being pleasantly surprised to find it a bit easier than it looked, though it is probably rather high in the grade.
You would disagree with me. your the person I called out for speculating about something you don't know the facts.
Also your incorrect - I didn;t reduce it to bad luck, read the post.
> Crap. Plenty of people die climbing/mountaineering whilst being instructed/guided.
There's a big difference between being instructed and being guided. If there are really plenty of people dying whilst being instructed I'd be interested to hear about it.
I'm far from risk averse, but that's my choice. Being allowed to fall off a famous frightener with a history of serious accidents onto dodgy gear with fatal results while an instructor is present strikes me unusually robust training even by military standards.
Very, very few people ever die under instruction or with guides. Do you know that in 1966 (when I last went to Zermatt) the Zermatt guides had never had one fatality since the Matterhorn disaster of 1865? - and they didn't count that because it was not organised in the modern way through the equivalent of the guide office, but just individuals hiring guides. The head guide (who made the biggest balls-up by being at the front of the party on the descent, rather than at the back) was from Chamonix anyway.
No shit! I'm with Simon... someone has died and the press have form on misunderstanding and even misreporting climbing accidents. Talking here and now about why, how or who's fault is both disrespectful and pointless. My condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
You haven't told us the facts, and I have only been able to find that one very garbled report so far.
Sorry, Steve, this happened 9 months ago. I think I remember giving my condolences then.
I don't know the facts.
I didn't ever say or imply I did.
Your 1986 recollection is nice but not relevant.
Your both still speculating and getting excited about being called out.
Instruction or guides does not exempt you from risk. People do die being guided and for all you know that was exactly the case (you don't even know who was in this group, were there 5 instructors and 5 trainees, or one instructor/guide and this poor guy was climbing with a mate), u don't know!
I would hate to ever teach you anything, because: firstly you wouldn't listen, and secondly you probably sue me after it u screwed up.
Carry on speculating, I'm off out to Curbar!
You are talking utter bollocks in that I have had both instructors (Mountaineering Assocation in 1967) and guides (Zermatt 1966 and 1967) in my early days of climbing and they seemed to enjoy teaching us (my twin brother and I). So well did we get on in fact that the head Zermatt guide halved our fee for the Zinal Rothorn in 1967 'because we were twins'. Just about unprecedented, I think.
Get off your high horse. You're right, I wasn't there. But unless even the basic facts have been misreported something clearly went very wrong.
Speculation/analysis is in poor taste in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, when friends and family may be reading and there is a strong emphasis on condolence. Given the nationality of the deceased and the time since the original incident this is unlikely to still pertain.
There have been guiding fatalities, some within the last year, but these have been in a mountain environment. Somebody taking a fatal lead fall while under instruction is unprecedented in this country, trust me on this.
I suppose the best thing we can all do now is wait for the inquest to be concluded, but, as Dave Garnett has said, something clearly went very wrong.
> No I'm not. For starters you don't know that.
> Its speculation.
> There are 2 conflicting reports in this thread alone.
No I don't know, and yes, I am speculating that perhaps the BBC have got things wrong. I'm not speculating about blame or his actions, I'm not disrespecting the dead or the family, so I'm not really sure why you're (as usual) getting worked up.
This is not new news, I think I'm allowed to talk about how the media can get things wrong.
It's not that immediate - it happened nine and a half months ago.
I can't belive I missed that date!? Anyway I apologise profusely and withdraw what I said.
Little Brown Jug is a very safe climb... I've done it several times as a Vs leader. The peg isn't neccesary at all and there is other gear nearby other than that suggested. I think the top bit is the crux for many unless you are very good at poweful laybacks, bomber pro though. If you are ultra safe on the standard crux, filling the good key hold with a cam, it can also feel hard for 5a.
I'll have to confess that I found the top layback about '2A at Harrisons'!
> Yeah, but 40m is about two thirds of the entire (3 pitch, and well protected) route. Are you not curious? Clearly something is amiss. I think 40m must be wrong.
Someone has now said it was a much shorter (inverted) fall and he banged his head.
I agree - please read the whole of my comment, which I probably could have phrased better.
> I suppose the best thing we can all do now is wait for the inquest to be concluded...
You were a beast in those days, were experinced in the 'place pro and get-on-with-it' approach and the low grades at SS are crazy.
It's strenuous 4b at the top and if you set off without placing gear and backup as high as you could and faffed and wasted energy trying to place it midway without luck, and then just went for it its very fall-offable as a VS.
Oh yes, I see what you mean. Sorry about that - goldfish attention span.
It's been a very long time since I did LBJ but I don't recall any laybacking at all; more kind of squirming.
What strikes me about this thread is that for most of it there's been a big hole where accurate information would be, with folk having stabs in the dark at what might have happened.
It's easy enough to say what should and shouldn't happen, but climbing isn't risk free, and the experience of the person who died isn't known, so comments about the quality of the instruction with regards to the experience of the climber who died, seem perhaps rather unfair to me.
> Someone has now said it was a much shorter (inverted) fall and he banged his head.
> Yes, I have no recollection of the last pitch being badly protected, and my log book simply says it was intimidating, but OK. My memory is that the crux was quite low down on that pitch and that the final layback crack was surprisingly straightforward (maybe it was my type of climbing?)
It's many years now since I climbed it, but I do remember feeling distinctly uncomfortable (ie scared!) on the last pitch. Thought it was hard for an HVS.
It was always VS, unless it's been upgraded.
I was on Bosigran Ridge when the accident happened. I've uploaded a shot of the rescue attempt.
If you download and zoom into centre of the picture you can see two people helping the faller, and two others under Anvil Chorus.
When he fell there was a very loud snap sound, gear failing or ripping under pressure. Sorry it's not better quality, but am more sorry about the poor man being killed.
The photo will need to be authorised by the moderator, in the mean time a link to same photo on my FB profile http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3758703519838&set=a.3758695439636.2144857.1044006087&...
Actually, it did cross my mind that the top of Anvil Chorus would fit the description rather better.
Or rather the middle, the famous layback where I think other people have been killed.
AC has good enough half rests and is easily protectable. I'd say its less pushy than the top of LBJ as its more in balance. The traverse looks scary but turns out to be OK. Its also a good bit easier than the famous tough VS starred routes on grit like Altar Crack.
Yes, sorry, that's what I meant.
Anyway, it doesn't really change anything. Still shouldn't have happened.
Even after the inquest there appear to be several conflicting accounts - there is a more accurate one here from one of the local papers.
which gives the distance fallen as 8m (rather than 40m!! in the BBC account. )
Although unlikely in this case, there is still the possibility of relatives reading this thread and possibly becoming upset. I`m not sure what the answer is.
To add my own thoughts as a local familiar with LBJ , this accident seems to have been a case of bad luck - which in many ways is the hardest thing to accept - it is much easier if we can say doing x or y would have prevented it.
it blows my mind that anyone would just say "this in bad luck" and leave it at that. The guy was under supervision! Whoever was supervising used bad judgement at some point along the way. The guy was obviously in over his head. It is the job of the person supervising/instructing to know when to allow someone to lead and 9 times out of 10 if you have to ask, the answer is NO!
I have guided people and instructed in several different countries and I have never put someone in a position like that. There is just no reason for someone that shaky to be leading at a place like Bosigran. I've done Suicide Wall there and even I thought LBJ was heads up. HIS INSTRUCTOR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that route is hard and exposed, even if it does have a ton of good gear.
Sure there is risk in climbing, but by paying an instructor you are hoping to minimise that risk. It's just sad that there isn't more to it than this. My British friends who have visited the US mess with me all the time about how much safer British climbers are and how much more standardised it is in the UK: "Everyone wears helmets, we have a centralised organisation putting out best practice standards, blah blah blah blah blah!" I for one can't understand why it has been nearly a year and sill no one has bothered to find out why this poor man died! We learn from our mistakes, and other's mistakes. Take the guide/instructor out of the situation and it would STILL be beneficial for us to know what happened. You had better believe if a bunch of Dutch policeman were training in the US and one died, we'd figure out what the hell happened.
Apart from an inquest in which there would have been a lot more detail that hasn`t been made generally available.
I led LBJ (for the third time) just a week ago. I think the moves above the old peg stump are technically the hardest - the climbing is subtle and a bit balancy for a few moves, which makes it feel somewhat bold, although you don't have to run it out that far above good wires before reaching the next good gear. The top overhang has an imposing look from below, but is technically much easier, despite being moderately strenuous. Also, when you arrive under it, you can stand in balance on the lip of the trough feature, reach up, and place bomber protection. From that rest position there's really not far to go - just two or maybe three steep moves. If you really feel the need, you can hold a layback on a huge jug/rail and whack in a higher hex or cam, to protect the top out move.
Accidents so happen though, climbing no matter who with, is still in a way dangerous, just as crossing the road is.
We don't know the facts, leave it to the professionals. Arguing about rights and wrongs will not change anything. The instructor for all you know, will most probably acted competantley through the day and probable ACCIDENT
My first thought was that LBJ was an unlikely candidate for a "beginner" lead - multipitch, exposed and high in the grade. I also know that most MIA/MICs normally jug a separate line alongside their student, coach placements and improve/augment them if it ever looked like things were getting too run-out. It doesn't sound like this happened.
From this evidence I'm inclined to think that the victim already had some climbing experience (otherwise he'd not have got past the 5a move lower down) and was being "supervised" a bit more distantly.
Yeah, exactly. We don't know he wasn't an experienced climber who was doing his own thing as part of the group.
Accidents happen, they are investigated, the results are published, equipment or training is updated if required to prevent similar things happening again.
Or simply postpone it. I don't have 100% faith in these sorts of legal proceedings. It depends on how the inquest report reads, how much detail is provided, whether or not it rings true to experienced climbers. I look forward to reading it.
I've been to an inquest where it was clear that despite useful and clear advice the coroner remained confused about climbing in several respects. The decision was right, albeit for the wrong reasons, so it wasn't helpful to anyone who knew to challenge this though.
It says: "An investigation carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police and another by the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice found the team had right equipment, the right training and followed the right procedures. The Dutch ministry, as part of its investigation, had however recommended additional training on how to handle a "barn door movement"
Two separate enquiries and an inquest seem to suggest that this was just bad luck.
No great surprise there.
It is a sandbagged for an experienced leader and would certainly present difficulties for those that aren't experienced in the area and it's grading peculiarities.
It is tempting to proceed rather than retreat, which is difficult on the final pitch.
Unlucky and sad. My sympathies to those affected by his death.
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