/ Near death sport climbing - Lesson

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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.
dr_botnik - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful: I once heard of a guy lowering his mate run the rope through the belay device. In one slick motion his hand came up and caught the rope thereby averting disaster. He then took a long draw on a lit joint, BOOM. Hero.
Fraser on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful:

Sounds like a very close call and I'm glad it worked out safely in the end. Just struggling slightly to understand exactly how this happened: was he at the top of the route filming, then tied in part of the way along the rope, rather than you/whoever pulling the rope almost through to the belay and him tying on there at the end of the rope? Or was he hanging part way up the route, untied(?) or came off belay to film, then tied back in part way up the rope?
Andy Moles - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful:

I don't quite understand the situation from your description. Where was he filming from, and what was he anchored to? And when you say he instinctively grabbed the rope with one hand, do you mean he effectively caught himself by grabbing the rope running from you to the top anchor? Also, how was he able to untie and retie into the end of the rope, was he stood on a ledge or something?
Thankful - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Fraser:

He was filming near the top, untied and hanging on two bolts. Then retied partway along the top rope to lower off.
Dax H - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful: Do you not put a knot in the dead end of the rope?
cranc on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful: Well done for having the balls to admit your mistake in the hope that others can learn from them. I'm glad it all turned out ok for all concerned
Hay - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Dax H:
I don't know anyone who does that.
JohnnyW - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to Thankful) Do you not put a knot in the dead end of the rope?

Does anyone? I never have, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone do so either?

ledifer on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay:
unless we're doing tiny climbs I get my belayer to tie in.

Easy to see how mistakes like this could happen. Glad that you managed to avoid disaster
danm - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to JohnnyW:

You are joking, I hope? I always tie the other end into the ropebag, or stick a big knot on the end. Kudos to the OP to posting, simple f**k ups can happen to any of us, and it pays well to remember that, and take what is a simple step to stop disaster.
jkarran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful:

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

I've done *exactly* the same thing in El Chorro years ago. I didn't catch the rope but thankfully only I went a few meters into the luckiest landing imaginable. Classic brain-off over confident know what you're doing until you forget what you're doing stuff. I was stripping two routes and at some point it became easier to swap ropes so I tied in short and carried on down without thinking.

Glad it worked out ok for you both (and me!).
jk
Hay - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to danm:
Im not. Never seen it done and never ever done it.
Enty - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to JohnnyW and Dax,

The mind boggles.

E
JLS on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to JohnnyW:

>"Does anyone?"

Sometimes it feels like a prudent thing to do. Most times I wouldn't bother.

18m route, 60m rope - no.
22m route, 50m rope - probably.
Run_Ross_Run - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful:
I think Ive missed something. 30 mtr route with a 60 mtr rope. The maths don't add up.

Did you know route length before u went to the crag.
(Knots etc)

Or is it just me?

Sorry if ur a newbie dont mean to sound harsh.
JLS on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:

>" The maths don't add up. "

What was your allowance for rope stretch in your calc. :)
jkarran - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:

> I think Ive missed something. 30 mtr route with a 60 mtr rope. The maths don't add up.
> Sorry if ur a newbie dont mean to sound harsh.

Trust me, it's an easy mistake to make an nothing to do with being a newbie or misjudging the route length or the rope length, it's all about a moment of complacency.

Imagine you're hanging about near the top of a route, there's a top rope hanging on it and a belayer at the bottom. You tie in short to save effort/time and a few meters into the lower the tail runs through the belay plate. In hindsight it's obvious, a f*****g stupid mistake to make and one that's easily mitigated with forethought on either person's part but hindsight is wonderful like that sometimes.

jk
Run_Ross_Run - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to JLS:
Allowance was 3x •ļ6. That's industry standard isn't it?

Run_Ross_Run - on 06 Sep 2013
In reply to jkarran:
Ok. From that pov your poss right. We dont know the length of the top rope as the op doesn't state it.
Knot in the end deffo.

I was referring to the route they chose with a 60 mtr rope thats all. Unless they weren't intending to reach the top. 60 for a 30?
Dave 88 - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:
>
> I was referring to the route they chose with a 60 mtr rope thats all. Unless they weren't intending to reach the top. 60 for a 30?

Am I missing something? Surely a 60 on a 30 route will get you down just fine? (I understand what went wrong in the OPs case though).
andrewmcleod - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful:

Rope always tied in to the convenient rope tie-in loops on the Ikea Rope Bag.
needvert on 07 Sep 2013
Wow, damned lucky!

When you're the position of the climber it's surprising how fast you can react, once on a small lead fall my belayer thought rather than falling I was pulling slack, I grabbed the strand running down to him and started to clamp down on it as he noticed I was pulling slack rather faster than I should and locked off the plate.


We always have a knot in both ends of the rope (somehow, multipitch it'll be each persons tiein, single pitch / top roping it'll be a double overhand at one end). Reading a few issues of accidents in north american mountaineering wakes you up to a few things.

Somewhat surprised at the posts saying they don't see it being done, but then I am from a different region, and we have plenty of single pitch climbs that are rope stretchers for 50m ropes.
Mark Westerman - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to JohnnyW:

Redpointing known route on my own rope. Probably not.

Onsight, new crag, or someone else's rope. Always tie into the rope bag.

cheers
mark
Run_Ross_Run - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave 88:

It may be me but i'm just taking into account how much you loose with the knots.

Wouldn't want to be relying on rope stretch for the last 2mtrs or so.
RCC - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:
It seems fairly obvious from the context, that '30m route' just means a route that you need a 60m rope to climb. Most single pitch sport routes are equipped so that you can use a standard length rope on them.
Dave Garnett - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to JLS:
> (In reply to JohnnyW)
>
> >"Does anyone?"
>
> Sometimes it feels like a prudent thing to do. Most times I wouldn't bother.
>
> 18m route, 60m rope - no.
> 22m route, 50m rope - probably.

Me too. Depends on the length of the route and the terrain at the bottom but I do always consider tying the rope to the bag. I did most of my sport climbing in Cape Town and this was normal practice; now it's a habit (and a good one).

To be honest, I simply can't imagine being clipped in at the top of a route and not to a rope for any longer than it takes to thread the belay and retie (and only then if the belay is too tight to thread a bight of rope and ensure that I'm never completely unied at all).
Rick Graham on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:

Me too. Knots every time, Sport, single pitch trad, shunting or roped soloing. The only time we don't tie a knot is when using a half rope doubled, the middle cannot pass thro a double hole belay plate.
John Stainforth - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:

Relying on (unreliable) estimates of rope and pitch lengths is dodgy. The best way to avoid this elementary mistake is to tie in, *always*, whether trad or sport climbing.
Run_Ross_Run - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to RCC:
> (In reply to Run_Ross_Run)
> It seems fairly obvious from the context,

''We were climbing 30m routes on 60m ropes.''

^^I read the above. What were you reading then^^
IPPurewater on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to John Stainforth: +1.

Always tie in !

kean - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to JohnnyW:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]
>
> Does anyone? I never have, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone do so either?

Always, if there's any doubt.
Aly - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful: Thanks for posting, it's a good reminder of how easy it is to do really stupid things. It sounds like it was a moment of oversight or complacency, like forgetting to clip into the autobelay or to finish tying your know, which could probably happen to any of the posters on here irrespective of how careful you normally are. It only has to happen once. Glad it ended well for you anyway!
Aly - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Aly: that should be 'knot', not 'know'.
Timmd on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:
> (In reply to Dave Garnett)
>
> Me too. Knots every time, Sport, single pitch trad, shunting or roped soloing. The only time we don't tie a knot is when using a half rope doubled, the middle cannot pass thro a double hole belay plate.

It can't pass through a belay 'biner as well I'd have thought*?

*I don't mean through the gate opening or sideways through it.
Rick Graham on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Timmd:

#2 top poster. Too many posts done quickly. Read mine again carefully and edit or delete yours.

Rick
Rog Wilko on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Hay: This is where laziness comes in handy. For sport routes I normally only untie the top end of the rope from its loop on the rope bag. Then the other end is a default safety knot (as long as you never untie it).
RCC - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:

> ''We were climbing 30m routes on 60m ropes.''
>
> ^^I read the above. What were you reading then^^

The same. The context is that they had been climbing a number of '30m' routes presumably without having to drop the final meter or so. It seems fairly obvious then, that these were routes equipped for 60m ropes, rather than routes of exactly 30m. Not everyone carries a tape measure to the crags.
GrahamD - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful:

Always a good reminder, especially as noone was hurt and especially for those that think bolts automatically means safe.
Timmd on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> #2 top poster. Too many posts done quickly. Read mine again carefully and edit or delete yours.
>
> Rick

It's not too many posts done quickly, it's that you have more knowledge than I have, or that I haven't understood. Please kindly explain.
Rick Graham on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Timmd:

Perhaps I did not explain properly.

On a short single pitch route.

Leader ties in to both ends of one rope.

After 25m (50m rope) the middle will not pass the dividing bar on the belay plate.

Belayer ties in before undoing belay plate set up.


I often second without tying in, just relying on the friction around the belay plate. Not an approved method but I am happy with it.
timjones - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Run_Ross_Run:
> (In reply to Dave 88)
>
> It may be me but i'm just taking into account how much you loose with the knots.
>
> Wouldn't want to be relying on rope stretch for the last 2mtrs or so.

Why not?

Ropes stretch, it works.
jkarran - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:

> I often second without tying in, just relying on the friction around the belay plate. Not an approved method but I am happy with it.

In that case surely you're not relying on the friction around the belay plate, you're relying on the thin web between the holes loaded roughly in shear. The friction around the belay crab and the elasticity of the rope limits the applied force to some extent but it's not ideal. You're not likely to die but speaking as someone spectacularly lazy with rope work it's not a risk I'd take with a lot of belay plates for the sake of 10 seconds opening the krab belay and sticking and 8 or clovehitch on it.

jk
Rick Graham on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to jkarran:

Single piece forged alloy. Probably good for at least 20KN. No problem for a top rope situation. I have greater concerns about the single krab.
In reply to Hay:

> Im not. Never seen it done and never ever done it.

Jesus, I thought that was pretty effing obvious safety tip no.1 when climbing on any rope where the belayer isn't tied to the other end? Are you serious? You've never seen anyone do it?
In reply to TobyA: And I don't mean that to be rude to Hay, just he's an experienced climber who always seems to post sensible stuff - so I'm just amazed he's never seen anyone tie a knot on the end of rope when not tied in.
alooker - on 07 Sep 2013
In reply to ledifer: not a bad idea!
jkarran - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to Rick Graham:

It depends what plate you use. My old Stitcht plate is likely as strong as the krab I use but I've also got a flimsy little thing for thin ropes where the center web is spindly and quite sharp. Your call.

jk
muppetfilter - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to jkarran: If you think a rope can damage a belay device in shock loading then you have obviously never tried to cut metal with a chisel/Drill/Grinder.It does take rather a lot of time and energy.
If however you are saying that a shockload on a belay device could damage a rope then you need to get in touch with all the manufacturers rather rapidly....
Enty - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Hay)
>
> [...]
>
> Jesus, I thought that was pretty effing obvious safety tip no.1 when climbing on any rope where the belayer isn't tied to the other end? Are you serious? You've never seen anyone do it?

Aye. My thoughts exactly.

E
Simon Caldwell - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:
I'm not sure that I've ever seen anyone tie a knot in the rope when belaying either. If I have then it's not registered. I assume it's mostly for sports routes (where you're going to be lowering off rather than belaying from the top). In which case I'm of the "tie one end to the rope bag" camp.
jkarran - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to muppetfilter:

I'm saying the center web on some belay devices is pretty thin and often less well finished than the normal rope contact areas. I wouldn't recommend nor would I choose myself to use it as the tie-in for climbing.

Ok, some devices are burly and I acknowledged that but others aren't. And I'm not sure where shock-loading came into it? I'd not choose to carefully apply body weight to some devices center webs let alone fall onto them where the cost of failure is a serious accident. I know I'd probably get away with it but my point is about choosing a not insignificant risk to save a few seconds while top-roping... Would you?

I've bent and cut plenty of metal and cord thanks, I have a pretty good idea what's required.

I presume given how risk averse you usually are when it comes to endorsing misuse of gear you've missed rather the point I'm making?

jk
Skip - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to ledifer:

When climbing with my most regular partner who ever is belaying always ties in. This has become habit after very nearly running out of rope on a long climb at Bosigran.

In reply to Toreador: Yep, keeping a rope tied to your rope bag is good practice. Perhaps on UK routes lowering off is less common, but any time you do, and the second isn't tied in, I don't see why anyone wouldn't make sure the rope has a knot in the end or is tied to the rope bag. It's like checking your screw gates are done up before abbing etc. just one of those things.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to RCC:
> (In reply to Run_Ross_Run)
>
> [...]
>
> The same. The context is that they had been climbing a number of '30m' routes presumably without having to drop the final meter or so. It seems fairly obvious then, that these were routes equipped for 60m ropes, rather than routes of exactly 30m. Not everyone carries a tape measure to the crags.

Actually 60m ropes should be fine for 30m climbs. The stretch more than compensates for a bit of 'tie in rope'. Definitely worth leaving a knot on the bag/end of the rope when so little spare is available though.
I actually did a couple of 35m routes (in Spain) with a 'skinny' 60m rope once. It was tight but I just got down with the stretch.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to muppetfilter)
>
> I'm saying the center web on some belay devices is pretty thin and often less well finished than the normal rope contact areas. I wouldn't recommend nor would I choose myself to use it as the tie-in for climbing.
>
> Ok, some devices are burly and I acknowledged that but others aren't. And I'm not sure where shock-loading came into it? I'd not choose to carefully apply body weight to some devices center webs let alone fall onto them where the cost of failure is a serious accident. I know I'd probably get away with it but my point is about choosing a not insignificant risk to save a few seconds while top-roping... Would you?
>
>
> jk

I think there is some misunderstanding here. I don't think he/they are talking of tying into the web of the belay device but climbing with the rope left in place in the device. The vast majority of force is on the krab with a small amount (equivalent of your breaking hand pushing on the central spar). I can't see how you'd break that central spar with hand-force.
jkarran - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

It's a lot more than braking-hand force that can be applied, they are effectively tied into that little web. If it fails or cuts the rope they fall.

Your braking hand is somewhat isolated from the live rope tension by the U bend around the krab and a sharp V bend in the rope (plus any teeth the device has), the latter is no longer present in the scenario we're discussing.

As I've said before it's not certain death by any means but there are plenty of devices out there where it's a very poor choice in order to save a few seconds.

Sorry, I'm not trying to browbeat someone that probably knows perfectly well what they're doing and the risk they're taking with a device that is plenty strong enough (as my Sticht is). What I am trying to do is prevent someone who doesn't know what they're doing adopting this technique with something like a Generation 1 Reverso which has a die-stamped center web with quite sharp edges even in finished form. Again, it's probably not immediately deadly but if you had the choice between threading a stamped bolt hanger or a smooth staple to ab off which would you go for?

There's another device I remember from starting out 15 years ago, I thought it was called a Tuba but google doesn't turn anything familiar up. That had the ropes separated by a thin alloy tube pressed into a much larger ribbed tube. Loading the thin tube in this way would be a very bad idea. Seems perhaps they're rarer than I realised though.

jk
andrew ogilvie - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jkarran: I think it was called a "tuber" rather than a tuba but I know exactly what you mean: one of my partners at that time used one prior to his atc. Can't find a good image either but there appears to be one right in the middle of the picture at the bottom of this page

https://thebmc.co.uk/belay-devices
Rick Graham on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to jkarran:
> (In reply to Rick Graham)
>
> It depends what plate you use. My old Stitcht plate is likely as strong as the krab I use but I've also got a flimsy little thing for thin ropes where the center web is spindly and quite sharp. Your call.
>
Wish I had not mentioned it now.

The 20kN strength guess was for a standard ATC. Looking at my ATC XP today, its way stronger, about 4 times so.

Obviously care needed over which devices to use this technique with, and probably not one to share with everybody else.

So, do not read the above but use a knot.

phantom whistler - on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to andrew ogilvie:
Sad old git that I am, I still use a Tuber! Is it really that antiquated now? I used my first Tuber for approx 15 years until the dividing bar wore through as a result of the slight but constant rubbing from the ropes. Being somewhat attached to the device, I tried to buy a replacement without success, as they were no longer manufactured. Imagine my delight when a partner found one skulking in a dark corner of an Exeter climbing shop - it (the device) is currently still going strong after 12 more years, unlike my climbing ability which is fading fast. Hmm, 27 years... perhaps it is a little old skool?

And no, I wouldn't trust THAT dividing bar with the slightest force.
EddInaBox on 09 Sep 2013
Discolegs - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful: thanks for sharing this (!) and good to hear a disaster was averted.

when lead climbing outdoors i always either tie in, have a knot in the rope or tie the rope in the rope bag. and would expect this from my partner. i was taught this by more experienced climbers when i first started climbing and have followed it ever since.

a few years back we got a painful remainder of the importance of doing this while witnessing a person falling several meters head first as the rope slipped through the belay device. it was a bolted route for which the rope in question should have been enough. what happened is that the climber went off route clipping into bolts of an other route (cant remember whether he did this on purpose or by accident) and consequently using more rope than anticipated. what made things worse is that the climber chose not to wear his helmet but had it in his rucksack (it was in the mountains). the resulting head injury was visibly a very serious one (broken, open skull) and the guy was v lucky not have died though i could guess it must have been a life changing injury.
the incident and the wait for the mountain rescue in particular certainly drove home the importance of always having a knot in the end of the rope. always.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to phantom whistler:
> (In reply to andrew ogilvie)
> Sad old git that I am, I still use a Tuber! >

I was lucky enough to buy one on the day they came. What a joy after the Sticht Plate!

Thankful - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Discolegs:

Wow that's quite a story. We don't often account for going off-route. Another reason to tie in as you say.

Thanks
Dave Garnett - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to phantom whistler:
> (In reply to andrew ogilvie)
> Sad old git that I am, I still use a Tuber! Is it really that antiquated now?

Strange that this should come up. I was using my Tuber at the weekend when my young companion expressed surprise and interest (along the lines of 'what the f*** is that?). Are they not still standard issue? I don't think mine can be more than about twenty years old and I do still sometimes miss my rather lighter and more compact cut-down sticht plate.

DubyaJamesDubya - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to phantom whistler)
> [...]
>
> Strange that this should come up. I was using my Tuber at the weekend when my young companion expressed surprise and interest (along the lines of 'what the f*** is that?). Are they not still standard issue? I don't think mine can be more than about twenty years old and I do still sometimes miss my rather lighter and more compact cut-down sticht plate.

Because the ATC is slightly better. I certainly don't miss the Sticht Plate.
SARS on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to JohnnyW:

As per above - knots in end of rope every time when sport climbing.
GrahamD - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to phantom whistler:

My wife still prefers to use the tuber on the few occasions she gets out now. Like you, I had to retire my tuber because the bar wore through.
GrahamD - on 10 Sep 2013
In reply to SARS:

> As per above - knots in end of rope every time when sport climbing.

More importantly: don't ever assume you are safe just because its bolted.
tom vellacott - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to JohnnyW:
> (In reply to Dax H)
> [...]
>
> Does anyone? I never have, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone do so either?

I'd also agree, I've never put a knot on the dead end. only when abseiling
dl_wraith - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful: Huge respect to the OP for sharing this story. We don't often admit mistakes but by doing so I'm confident that this story will help others avoid a similar near miss (or worse).

I haven't climbed routes where rope length would be an issue yet but you can bet I'll remember this lesson as my climbs get ever longer.

Thanks again.
puppythedog on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to dl_wraith: I think it's become lost that the issue is not the length of the rope. Their rope was long enough; however tying into it effectively half way along reduced the useable length by half an dthat was the problem.
Unless I misread it.
Jonny2vests - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to phantom whistler)
> [...]
>
> Strange that this should come up. I was using my Tuber at the weekend when my young companion expressed surprise and interest (along the lines of 'what the f*** is that?). Are they not still standard issue? I don't think mine can be more than about twenty years old and I do still sometimes miss my rather lighter and more compact cut-down sticht plate.

Tubers eat prussiks. That was enough for me to stop using them.
Jonny2vests - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to tom vellacott:
> (In reply to JohnnyW)
> [...]
>
> I'd also agree, I've never put a knot on the dead end. only when abseiling

So if you're trying a sport route that's about half the length of your rope, that doesn't ring any alarm bells regarding lowering?

It can also matter on a big trad pitch that you don't finish, that's even easier to f*ck up in my mind.
Mostro - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful:
This reminds me of an accident that happened at Shepherd's in the Lakes, back in the late 80's. Some guy lead Finale, got to the belay ledge and shouted "safe". His mate took him off the plate but wasn't tied in to the rope. Before the leader found a belay, he fell off the ledge and went all the way to the ground, through the trees. It wouldn't have happened if his mate had been tied in to the rope. Two of my friends were watching and they were sickened.

Since then, a guy who used to be in our club dropped someone off a sport climb when the rope when through his plate. Smashed both ankles.

Since the Shepherd's incident, I don't set off on a lead unless my second is tied in to the rope. It's a point of principle.
DubyaJamesDubya - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog:
> (In reply to dl_wraith) I think it's become lost that the issue is not the length of the rope. Their rope was long enough; however tying into it effectively half way along reduced the useable length by half an dthat was the problem.
> Unless I misread it.

You are correct but I don't think it was lost.
Epic Ebdon - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Mostro:

I understand that if the second had been tied in, then the leader might have been alright (although probably taking a whipper). However, unless I've misunderstood you, wasn't the principle mistake shouting "safe" when he wasn't? Surely shouting "safe" means "take me off belay, I'm attached up here!"
Dave Garnett - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Epic Ebdon:

Yes. the guy at the top shouldn't have said safe when he wasn't, the guy at the bottom should have been tied in. It was wrong on several levels.
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> It was wrong on several levels.

Especially the 'falling off the top of the crag' bit!


Chris
James91 - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to Thankful:
I always tie a fig 8 in the dead end of the rope or am tied in but its true, I don't often see others doing it! Especially climbing somewhere new I just feel uncomfortable without doing it. Very happy to hear your experience ended safely!!
Enty - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to James91:

I'm going to have a look at others next time I'm out. But climbing 35 and 40m pitches with big drops below like at St Julien an The Dentelles seems like a no brainer to me.

E
GrahamD - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Epic Ebdon:

>However, unless I've misunderstood you, wasn't the principle mistake shouting "safe" when he wasn't?

No. It was not being careful and falling off.
dl_wraith - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Sorry, Puppy, I perhaps wasn't being clear. In a recent outdoor trip I was asked to tie in partway along the rope when seconding a climb that was no more than 12M. I didn't give that a second thought then but certainly will be careful to take such factors into account in the future as my climbing progresses, as well as any thoughts about maximum length or dead-end knotting.

The main point I wanted to make was I thought it was great to share a mistake like this.

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