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Topic - Near death sport climbing - Lesson

Thankful - on 06 Sep 2013
Regular poster now anonymous to minimize the attention to my friend.

Please have a read and learn from our mistakes. Thanks

We were climbing 30m routes on 60m ropes. My friend Paul was filming for a long time with a top rope left on the route. I put him on belay to let him come down and strip the route. He tied in where he was to save time.
This meant the rope was less than 60m. When he was 18m off the ground, the end of the rope ran through my belay device. Sickening. I yelled and looked up expecting to watch him deck.

He didn't. It appears that Paul instinctively grabbed the rope with one hand. My other friend grabbed the rope from the ground after it had pinged out my hands.

It took a while to realise he hadnít fallen, then we put him back on belay. Paul didnít understand what had gone wrong and wanted to be lowered off straight away, while I was staring at the last metre of dead rope. I told him to retie at the end of the rope. Then we pulled the slack through and belayed him to the ground.

This was clearly so stupid, that all of us missed the obvious outcome. It shows what mistakes are possible.

Please take this and use it as a lesson. Sport climbing requires constant thought to prevent something disastrous. We feel grateful to have come away with (his) life.
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