/ Gear left on Isis, Cattle Troughs, Swanage after accident

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neilwiltshire on 23 Apr 2013
Hi Folks,

I was climbing in Swanage on sunday and took a serious fall from half way up Isis in the Cattle Troughs area. I broke several bones so was helicoptered straight to A&E. Luckily no lasting damage but I do have some broken ribs and broken vertebrae.

Anyhoo, if anyone goes on the climb and finds all my gear, would you be so kind as to post it all to me. I think it was a number of nuts and quickdraws.

Please PM me if you have any info.

Thanks,

Neil.
CurlyStevo - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:
What happened?
AndrewHuddart - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:

Will be down there at the weekend if it's not recovered before.

Wishing you a speedy recovery: I wouldn't like to have trouble there, glad you got out safely (well done!).
neilwiltshire on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Any relation to Curly Rich?

Erm, I got over the initial difficulty to the vertical part of the wall. Started worrying that I only had 4 runners left for the rest of the climb, looked up and saw some in situ gear with a snaplink on it so resolved to climb up and clip that. Got there, very tired, pulled the rope up with great difficulty due to rope drag to clip it, and then discovered the gate had rusted shut. Was feeling trashed by this point, dropped the rope and reached to my harness to grab a quickdraw and stick it on the in situ gear, this I managed, but then I fell, flipped upside down, the previous piece of gear (the only bit above the main feature lower down) ripped and I swung back into the recess, smashed my back and head on the wall in the process but the next bit of gear held. Apparently I came to a halt 5 feet off the ground having fallen maybe 30 feet. I don't remember that part or the impact though, when I came to I was lying on the ground with my belayer looking over me encouraging me to talk.

Much pain and difficulty breathing. Tried to walk out with help but didn't get very far before my climbing partner made the very sensible executive decision to call for help.

After not very long, the helicopter arrived, a guy came down, examined me, put me in a stretcher and I was winched off to A&E.

Many scans later, broken ribs, broken back (not serious), collapsed lung.

Two days later, I just got home.

Well since I'm here I would like to take this opportunity first to thank the people I was climbing with who were all amazing, dealing with me, getting me help, sorting my car and gear for me. Special mention to Tim Cooper for holding the ropes, Roger for running to find a phone when no-one could get signal and then handing me his down jacket, Curly Rich for turning up for moral support, two other faces who came to help who's name I do not know, and John Proudfoot for driving back down to Dorchester today from Guildford to take me home.

Also, the coastguard rescue people - amazing job, really cannot speak highly enough of their skill and professionalism.

And of course the hospital staff who did a great job of not cutting my expensive new mountain equipment jacket off me (or John's down jacket for that matter!).
neilwiltshire on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to hindu: Thanks Hindu.
CurlyStevo - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:
No I don't know Rich, sounds like you got a bit unlucky there getting pumped out just at the wrong time, that said sounds like you were very lucky that you didn't hit the ground!
neilwiltshire on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:

Having looked through the logbook on this climb and seeing what others have said about it, I now believe I strayed too far left onto an E1 as a result of an imprecise Rockfax description.
The Ivanator - on 23 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire: Best wishes for a speedy recovery. The Rockfax description is misleading! It's a tough VS even if you go the right way.
Hope you get your gear back.
dpm23 - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire: I did this last year and can remember an old stuck cam behind a flake after you make the move over the lip and start heading up but don't recall seeing anything with a snap link. So you may well have fallen off an E1!
Mend quickly.
AlexD - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:

yes the description is very misleading, once out on the face you climb up a few meters then trend back right. first time i did i went straight up and found it hard and run out. hope you recover soon, we saw you being stretchered out and were worried.
martinph78 on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to AlexD: Ouch! Here's to a speedy recovery (and getting your gear back)
The Ivanator - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to AlexD: Not sure that the line is as you describe it - I'm fairly certain that you do the leftwards traverse which ends up with you in a resting place at the end of the traverse line on the face, you can place gear here before stepping immediately back right and up into the blocky groove (probably the crux move, hard 4c, then it is sustained climbing on good holds for several more meters with good gear if you stop to place it). I think the correct exit is then leaving the groove leftwards for a bold but easy finish back on the face (4a), I have always ended up trending slightly right and placing gear before pulling over a final bulge (4c ish and a better line IMO).
neilwiltshire on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to The Ivanator: Ah ok, so I got to the good rest after the leftward traverse, placed gear (which unfortunately ripped during the fall) and headed directly up from, I didn't head back right at all. Looking at the picture for the climb on this site, the blocky groove you described looks quite obvious, but I didn't (attempt to) take that line.
neilwiltshire on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire: I have been in touch with the Rockfax guys on this issue, they have changed the description slightly to what I believe will be an important improvement of the Topo and description of this climb!
In reply to neilwiltshire:

I have updated the database description on the Rockfax site here - http://www.rockfax.com/databases/r.php?i=4423

and added it as an extra description on the Logbook database here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=14492

Now I just need to figure out how to remove the old Rockfax description from the Logbook database !

Alan
CurlyStevo - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
to be fair I think the new description is not how most people climb it, I found the natural line was to traverse (for several moves) around the arete on to the front face of the overhang, rest and arrange gear then move back right and ascend the overhanging blocky grove in the arete which trends slightly rightwards.
neilwiltshire on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: You may be right, I felt the use of the word groove was the most important thing, to make sure people don;t try going straight up the face like I did.
CurlyStevo - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:
I think the old description also used the word groove, certainly the UKC one did and that was attributed to rockfax.
In reply to CurlyStevo:

In this photo - http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=64905

The guy has moved left. After this it looks like he moves up slightly left, rather than directly left. Places some gear, and the pulls back right into the groove.

Isn't that correct?

Alan
The Ivanator - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: From my understanding (and how I've climbed the route on 3 occasions in recent years) from where the guy in the photo is you step left to a rest position (basically getting body weight established above where his left foot is) arrange gear then step slightly back right (crux) and ascend the cracked blocky groove.
As I said earlier I think the proper finish exits the groove leftwards for bold easy finish on the face, but trending right to pull over a final bulge (4c with good gear) is a better finish, more in keeping with the rest of the route, this final bulge/overhang is clear in the 2012 Rockfax topo (slightly left and just above the main recess arch taken by Archangel and directly above the start of Isis).
The lack of accuracy in the 2005 Rockfax description was pointed out on the UKC log notes of several climbers in the intervening years between guides, so a little surprising this wasn't revised in the new edition. I was pleased to see that the frankly dangerous description of the nearby Peacemaker was updated (and the route upgraded).
I understand that guides are never perfect and we always use them at our own risk, but it does seem like an opportunity to correct an error was missed here.
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to The Ivanator:
> The lack of accuracy in the 2005 Rockfax description was pointed out on the UKC log notes of several climbers in the intervening years between guides, so a little surprising this wasn't revised in the new edition. I was pleased to see that the frankly dangerous description of the nearby Peacemaker was updated (and the route upgraded).

Unfortunately, we use this database for route description feedback - http://www.rockfax.com/databases/r.php?i=4423

It is impossible to read every user's comments for every route in the logbooks, especially since the majority of them are personal comments. Many of these routes have hundreds of comments, the vast majority of which offer no useful information to the guidebook writer.

At present route description feedback does need a trip to the Rockfax database but we are working on a one-stop solution for that so that route description feedback, and your personal log entry can both be made via the UKC Logbook system.

Alan
Andrew Wilson - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:
Hi Neil, sounds like a tough day. Hope you get fixed up soon. Sounds serious but I'm sure you'll be back out soon enough!
All the best
Andy
neilwiltshire on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Andrew Wilson: Thanks Andy. Yep, 6-8 weeks is the prognosis. Very lucky considering!
The Ivanator - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH: Well, the UKC database is hardly an obscure alternative to Rockfax, and for a popular 2* VS I don't think it is unreasonable to research both sources before finalising a new guide. Most regular climbers know they may be stepping somewhat into the unknown when they get on an esoteric rarely climbed route, but this is a long way from falling into that category. I'd say in the current guide the description is muddled and the line on the topo is wrong.
Good to hear of the moves afoot to link the databases, and I do appreciate that loads of fantastic work goes into producing Rockfax guides which are generally the gold standard in the field. Guess it is partly because of my faith in the product that I am surprised at this avoidable error.

Sorry Neil for partially hijacking the thread, hope you make a speedy full recovery.

Ivan
CurlyStevo - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to The Ivanator:
ive also lead it (twice) the way we both describe.
Max factor - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire: I shit myself on this route. Followed the line in rock fax and ended up climbing the headwall left of the corner above the roof. The only bit of gear I found was a wallnut that was so rusty I could crumble the wire in my fingers. That unsettled me even more as I reasoned I was so far off route that no one had passed that way in years!
AndrewHuddart - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire:

Neil - I've got your gear. I can't email you on here so message me and I'll get it back to you.

AH
neilwiltshire on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to neilwiltshire: Hi Andrew, thanks very much, I have sent you a message.

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