/ Thanks to my rescuers - Pembroke - Stennis Head - Sun 11th

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Juan S on 12 Sep 2016

A huge thanks to everyone who rescued me from Stennis Head on Sunday. Thanks in particular to Tim, who absailed down to me (I've rarely been so happy to see someone!) and to Mike Nolan who kept me on an extremely tight top-rope/hauled me up.

Thanks also to my climbing partner Stephen, who organised the rescue, kept me sane over the radio and ran up and down between the clifftop and the belayer a rather large number of times. Thanks to Jamie for putting up with the cold and boredom.

I've learnt a few things:

1) If you're scared shitless and having to use micronuts, you're probably no-longer on a severe.
2) When your rescuer asks you if you reckon you'll be able to climb the rest of the route on a top-rope, don't assume you're on a severe
3) Radios are a fantastic invention. Jumars and gri-gris too (going to get me some of these).
4) If you need to be rescued you could choose a lot worse places than 100 metres away from intructors teaching a self rescue course. Thank you again Tim!

If anyone is in the area and would like some gear, there are 3 pieces left behind on this route Merchant of Stennis (E3 5c) (I *think* it's that route, It could have been the even harder one to the left of it). I was attempting to climb Maelstrom Chimney, went up too soon.
Post edited at 10:52
Mike Nolan - on 12 Sep 2016
In reply to Juan S:

Hi Juan!

No worries at all, we were just glad to get you up to safety.

I must say though, Tim ran back to our clients after abseiling down and left me to haul you to the top - I wished I'd brought some pulleys over with me!

Hope you and Stephen have realised the importance of being able to get yourselves out of a bit of a messy situation, by having the right equipment close to hand (not in the car!) and the skill to use it.

Send me an email and I'll send some of the photos we got earlier in the day of you climbing!

info@mikenolanmountaineering.co.uk
Slarti B on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to Mike Nolan:
Mike,
Would just like to add my thanks to you and Tim and also to the couple from Chepstow ( Kat &?) who lent their ab-rope.

Completely accept your point about having equipment on hand, it was the morning conversation at the car "we don't need ab rope because it is a traverse in" without thinking of potential rescue situation. Wont make that mistake again!

Will also think about having a couple of pulleys in the bag for next trip. We practise crevasse rescue before our Alps trips but I hadn't considered possibility of needing it for UK trad. Also, I may suggest the club buys a couple of jumars.

I hope we would have had the skills to sort ourselves out eventually (though nowhere near as quickly and efficiently as you) but would like to be sure. We may well be in touch!
Post edited at 10:22
marsbar - on 14 Sep 2016
In reply to Juan S:

Kudos for posting and admitting your mistakes.
tim20 - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Juan S:

hey no worries, learning experience for all (think our students loved watching it ;-) )
happy climbing
Simon4 - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Slarti B:

> We practise crevasse rescue before our Alps trips but I hadn't considered possibility of needing it for UK trad. Also, I may suggest the club buys a couple of jumars.

Prussik loops are lighter, very cheap and fit easily in a pocket. All you need is 5m of 6mm cord. They do the same job, possibly not quite as slickly but you hope you will not need to use them. They can also serve lots of other purposes, e.g. being abandoned as abseil tat.

John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Juan S:

Just to be clear. You called for help before you fell?
Kevster - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

So many arm chair humorous comments come to mind, but I think I'll save them for another time. We all make mistakes and learn from them too.

Some times the ability to press on is important, sometimes knowing when to back down is more so.

Glad everyone walked away.


For what it's worth, prussiks are useful, but so too is a rope man and a guide style belay plate. If I have to haul a climber, the latter is easier to use and set up.


Wainers44 - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

So just to be clear you would prefer they fell?
Simon4 - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to John Clinch (Ampthill):

> You called for help before you fell?

What is your point caller?

Juan and mate thought they were in trouble, they asked some other climbers for help and it was given. They have learnt from the experience, and will no doubt at some point in the future help someone else who has got a little out of their depth.

Isn't that sort of how things are supposed to work? Best to swallow your pride if you know things are not good, so no-one gets damaged.
John Clinch (Ampthill) - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Juan S:


If your not sure surely the simple thing is to ask a question? That is what I did? I was trying to get the narrative straight in my mind and learn

No problem with calling for help if you need it. Not sure why anyone would think it wasn't OK

I called for a rope on the top pitch of Old Sam (E3 6a) as I couldn't deal with the vertical turf. So yes I've been there. We had friends with us on the crag as it seemed possible we would need it
David Staples - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to Juan S:

Looks like it was a case of

Mistaken Identity (E1 5b)

Nevertheless at least you are ok

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