UKC

TRAGIC NEWS: Dangerous Bolting Leads to Climber's Death

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Climber Nick Kaczorowski died in a tragic accident in Australia in early January. He fell from a route called Last Chance for Happy End at Pierce's Pass in the Grose Valley.

...All of the bolts (including belays) failed at ridiculously low loads. Many were simply tugged out by hand....

This news item includes a video of the removal of the bolts

Read More: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/
J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
So who placed the bolts, are they answerable to anyone?
If you do not know who bolted a route should you climb it?
I would expect people to come along screaming risk averse litiigaous society, but when I would not trust a lot of people I see to put a shelf up, bolting climbs is way beyond a lot of people.
Cheers Beds
 onsight 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
> So who placed the bolts,

That is all answered here:
http://www.onsight.com.au/news-blog/articles/37/report-follow-up



 Dan Lane 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Terible news!!

Hopefully we will find out who it was but it will proberbly end up like the tree at Raven Tor.

Dan
 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 03 Feb 2009
In reply to dan lane:
>
>
> Hopefully we will find out who it was but it will proberbly end up like the tree at Raven Tor.
>
> Dan

If you read the whole of the link it is all in there.


Chris
 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Herein lies a problem for bolted routes. I don't think you should hold anyone responsible for a bolt failure. The responsibility lies with the climber to ensure that the bolts are sound as it does with anyone placing protection say on a trad' route. It is probably reasonable to assume that a bolt is secure and just clip it but obviously you are placing your trust in the hands of someone you have never met, and so the risk is yours.
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:

Too true blue... This was discussed a few days ago. It illustrates the whole problem with "equipped" routes as the French say... If you get half way up and the equipment is duff, you can cry to mummy and look for someone to blame, but it's basically entirely your own fault. We all (I'm as guilty as any) head off up 1000 foot routes in the mountains with just quickdraws and slings... not even pegs and a hammer generally, all on the assumption that all the gear is there and in good nick.
RobE 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

That is truly terrifying.
J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:
A responsible way of approaching this would be.
Find out who bolted it.
When was it bolted.
Are the bolts and fixings suitable for the rock.

I don't think you should hold anyone responsible for a bolt failure.
Why not?

The responsibility lies with the climber to ensure that the bolts are sound as it does with anyone placing protection say on a trad' route.
I think in this situation, the bolter takes on some responsibility?
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to onsight:

Simon, at the end of the video, you show an 8.5, then 9mm bit being pushed into the hole. Is this due to the softness of the sandstone or have the holes actually been drilled that size. Surely a double expansion bolt - even 8mm shouldn't pull that easily unless the rock was VERY soft. Have you tried any of the bolts you pulled in harder rock? What make are the bolts? Is it possible that they inadvertently drilled with imperial size bits (though, of course, I don't know where they'd find them)
 goneforever 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:

Ultimately, what you say is true, but unless the bolts are as truly awful as these, which could be pulled out by hand (40kg load or less), it's very hard to assess which ones will pull or break following a leader fall.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
> (In reply to redsulike)
> A responsible way of approaching this would be.
> Find out who bolted it.
> When was it bolted.
> Are the bolts and fixings suitable for the rock.
>
> I don't think you should hold anyone responsible for a bolt failure.
> Why not?
>
> The responsibility lies with the climber to ensure that the bolts are sound as it does with anyone placing protection say on a trad' route.
> I think in this situation, the bolter takes on some responsibility?

If a hanger breaks or a chain snaps, then clearly the manufacturer is to blame. If all the bolts on a route can be pulled out by hand (remember the pull out strength is normally about 1.5 - 2 tonnes depending on the rock and size and type of bolt) then clearly the equipper has done something wrong.

 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to redsulike)
>
> Too true blue... This was discussed a few days ago. It illustrates the whole problem with "equipped" routes as the French say... If you get half way up and the equipment is duff, you can cry to mummy and look for someone to blame, but it's basically entirely your own fault. We all (I'm as guilty as any) head off up 1000 foot routes in the mountains with just quickdraws and slings... not even pegs and a hammer generally, all on the assumption that all the gear is there and in good nick.

This is in fact a question I'm trying to get answered at the moment. Not for crags in the valley - écoles, but fully equipped routes in a mountain setting - that fall awkwardly some where between crags and terrain d'aventure. J-M Troussier at the FFME says for these type of routes there has never been a claim against a commune, maire or an equipper (read into that what you will) as it is deemed, as you say, that the climber is responsible for his actions (ie that the equipment was placed for the FA and it is up to you if you want to do the route and clip the gear). I wonder what the stance would be if you came along and had an accident by trying the route bolt free? I feel like you if there is insitu gear, that I should be able to trust it. This is obviously only France's take on it. It would be interesting to find the official line elsewhere.

 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

Why is the person who originally put the bolts in to blame? He (or she) did it, used them and didn't take them out after... From then on it's still the responsibility of all of us to check out a route before repeating it, from guide books or talking to people, to find out what the gear is like.

Going down the blame road would be very dangerous for all of us as once started there is no limit. Why not hold a person responsible for an accident of someone who tries a route that someone had put up (without bolts) and published the description of? If it was harder than he said, or the description was poor or had an error?

In the French Alps, the attitude of the gendarmerie is that in climbing accidents we are all responsible for ourselves, it's a dangerous activity. There have been brinks in this rule lately concerning errors made by a guide who was held responsible for his clients (even though he had gone off to help someone in difficulty and told them to wait for him where they were... they didn't wait and had an accident) but until now it hasn't been extended to non-guided situation (AFAIK)... I certainly hope it never does, as the result would inevitably be restrictions on access to the mountains.

PS. I find the headline itself rather scandalous, but out of respect for the deceased I won't suggest a more pertinent alternative.
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

Sorry, our posts crossed.
 Rich Mayfield 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

How scary and sad is that? Just goes to show that even sport climbs can be dangerous, especially if bolted with inappropriate gear or worse still home made gear which has never been tested.

Not all bolts are equal.

Rich
J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Sorry I have to disagree with you, if you go around putting bolts, you take on a responsibility. Really a stamped metal tag should be affixed to the foot of a sports route, say bolt through tag and hanger, who bolted it and when.
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> Sorry I have to disagree with you, if you go around putting bolts, you take on a responsibility. Really a stamped metal tag should be affixed to the foot of a sports route, say bolt through tag and hanger, who bolted it and when.

Then nobody would bolt any routes
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:

Clearly noboby would be interested in equipping routes on that basis. There is a moral responsibility on whoever equips a route to ensure fixed gear is as safe as possible. The overall responsibility has to remain with the climber every time they go climbing. Otherwise you simply couldn't have bolts at all as they could never be guaranteed to be 100% safe. If you don't like that then stay on the climbing wall.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
Sure you have a moral responsability but, as has been said, if you go down the blame road you'll be heading for no more sports routes. Or is this what you want - I notice from your profile you haven't done any...?
J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:
> (In reply to bedspring)
> [...]
>
> Then nobody would bolt any routes

No, I know who bolted Robin Proctors and I would imagine a lot of the routes in yorkshire are not anonymously bolted. A week after they are bolted you can give no g/tees, however as it is you could have a psycho murderer going around bolting. To be honest this is one of the reasons I prefer trad, my gear, my responsibility.
IMHO if your not prepared to even take a moral responsbility for your workmanship you should not place bolts. The tag would mean the person who placed it believed at the time of placement the bolts where structurally safe, if you cannot say at least that, you should not leave them in position.
J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:
If you look in my photo gallery you will find I have
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:

It would make life a bit stressful for a bolter... he'd never know if he wasn't on someone's hit list if one of his bolts failed!
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:

Oh no, you haven't gone and bolted Mohammed the Mad Monk from the Moorside Home for Mental Misfits, have you?
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
> (In reply to teddy)
> [...]
>
> No, I know who bolted Robin Proctors and I would imagine a lot of the routes in yorkshire are not anonymously bolted. A week after they are bolted you can give no g/tees, however as it is you could have a psycho murderer going around bolting. To be honest this is one of the reasons I prefer trad, my gear, my responsibility.
> IMHO if your not prepared to even take a moral responsbility for your workmanship you should not place bolts. The tag would mean the person who placed it believed at the time of placement the bolts where structurally safe, if you cannot say at least that, you should not leave them in position.

I follow your reasoning; however, I think it is a sad day when we even have to consider these questions in light of tragic accidents such as these. I think on balance, putting the bolter's name on a tag is a step too far; just because no such details are given does not mean the bolter doesn't accept moral responsiblity for any accidents that happen.

J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:
I object to the blame culture as much as anyone, but a tag would focus peoples minds.
Trip on a step, step in dog shit, you should look where your going.
A bolt a week old ripping on a route?
 Jimmy D 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to redsulike)
>
> It illustrates the whole problem with "equipped" routes as the French say... If you get half way up and the equipment is duff, you can cry to mummy and look for someone to blame, but it's basically entirely your own fault. We all (I'm as guilty as any) head off up 1000 foot routes in the mountains with just quickdraws and slings... not even pegs and a hammer generally, all on the assumption that all the gear is there and in good nick.

One of the reasons I have reservations about 'modern' alpine rock. They seem like an unhappy medium - the gear and bolts means they're not properly adventurous, but then they're not usually hard or safe enough to be 'sport'. Give me one or the other!

Very sad the hear about this accident. I also feel for whoever did the bolting, who will most likely be feeling devastated, regardless of negligence/culpability issues.

 Tobias at Home 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:
> (In reply to bedspring)
> [...]
>
> Then nobody would bolt any routes

surely a fringe benefit.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Ironic isn't that the rope getting cut probably saved a second life...
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
> (In reply to teddy)
> I object to the blame culture as much as anyone, but a tag would focus peoples minds.
> Trip on a step, step in dog shit, you should look where your going.
> A bolt a week old ripping on a route?

Why not insist on stamping the name of all those who made engine components on car engines in case they blow up and cause the car to crash. then you could track down the people who may have bodged the engine and sue them for negligence. This is simply not practical.

With bolts, the duty of pre-inspection on the user militates against the imposition of blame on the bolter. This is why I cannot agree with you on the issue of naming the bolter in a tag.
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to jon)
>
> Why is the person who originally put the bolts in to blame? He (or she) did it, used them and didn't take them out after... From then on it's still the responsibility of all of us to check out a route before repeating it, from guide books or talking to people, to find out what the gear is like.

Because they knew that people would rely on the bolts and that if they weren't in properly this would cause injury/death. More, they knew that the bolts were dangerous but didn't bother to tell anybody.

> Why not hold a person responsible for an accident of someone who tries a route that someone had put up (without bolts) and published the description of? If it was harder than he said, or the description was poor or had an error?

Because it's entirely different. One's just a description, one's placing safety gear.
J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:
Interesting, the climbers Mantra is responsibility for your own actions, yet you seem to say that Bolters have no responsibility for what they do.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:

The point everyone is missing is that in equipping a new route the equipper does it to the best of their ability, knowing that other people will rely 100% on them - especially abseil stations. No one just bangs the bolts in any old how because they just don't give a toss. (though sadly maybe this might be an example) If I get a bolt in the wrong place I go back and chop it and replace it. Likewise if it spins - sometimes bolts just won't tighten for some reason and they're buggers to break off or even to get the hangers off, but will normally give up eventually. Sometimes hangers come loose. This can be due to people hanging and swinging on them, but can also be because they've been placed too far to the left of the line (this has an L ward twisting effect on the hanger and encourages the nut to unscrew, and probably needs moving, or recessing into the rock to resist the unscrewing tendance) There's a lot more to it than most people think.
 Eric9Points 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Would I be correct in thinking that if the climber had been using double ropes the accident would have been avoided?

One other observation about one sentence in the report: "However we also have a duty to ensure that any fixed equipment we do install is adequate for the job." I would have added the word "moral" in front of "duty".

J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to thomasadixon)
>
> There's a lot more to it than most people think.

Precisely
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
> (In reply to teddy)
> Interesting, the climbers Mantra is responsibility for your own actions, yet you seem to say that Bolters have no responsibility for what they do.

Not at all, the climbers' responsibility is to check the bolts before use. I think this is the most important thing and is the bottom line in these situations. It is very difficult to apportion responsibility between different parties; best to not even try to do this in my view other than acknowledge that a moral responsibility exists (on the part of the bolters) in order to ensure that people are not put off from bolting. A bolter is afterall not a climber when bolting, he or she is just a 'bolter'.

Anyway, this is the last I will say on the subject, I think this is a can of worms and its a real shame that we are having to discuss such issues in light of such a tragic accident.
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Because they knew that people would rely on the bolts....

That's your way of looking at things, it's not a universal truth. I don't know in the UK as I have never been involved in an accident there, but in France the onus is still firmly on the responsibility of the individual climber to be careful... and if in doubt retreat.

I suspect that's the rub, most people brought up on bolts find this hard to imagine... they see things in a climbing wall fashion, and would push on regardless. As I've said already, it's easy to get into this way of thinking and have acted myself on the presumption that the route was all set up for me, but it's still fast food climbing and, as this accident shows, potentially dangerous.

On commercially prepared ski runs it's reasonable to assume that behind the bump there is not a 100 metre cliff, off piste it isn't. Outdoor climbing is the same, "user beware" just has to be the rule.
 Eric9Points 03 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to thomasadixon)
> There's a lot more to it than most people think.

I've seen bolts placed which were of an improvised design which could have been become lethal after checking. They were placed on a couple of crags by an enthusiastic amateur who obviously didn't understand much about mechanics.

They were all removed.



 jon 03 Feb 2009
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
 Jamie B 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:

> It is probably reasonable to assume that a bolt is secure and just clip it but obviously you are placing your trust in the hands of someone you have never met, and so the risk is yours.

You also place your trust in the hands of people you've never met when you drive a car, sit in a train, use a chainsaw or eat in a restaurant. If somebody's stupidity or recklessness caused a catatrophic outcome in these contexts, that person/organisation would be held to account.

I appreciate that climbing is different; you have not paid anybody any money to ensure a level of provision/safety. But do you really think that the vast majority who go clipping at Portland or the Costas are testing every bolt? I think you're looking at quite a commodity-minded demographic at these venues; by definition not natural risk-takers or assesors.

The Blue Mountains look to be somewhat different; a bit more of an adventure bolting ethic.

 Banned User 77 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: "I think you're looking at quite a commodity-minded demographic at these venues; by definition not natural risk-takers or assesors."

Can you be anymore condescending..
 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234: To hold the person who placed the bolt responsible is wrong. There are routes that use old pitons and if one were to fail the person who placed it would not be responsible for the person who fell on it.If you choose to use a piece of ab' tat left by someone else its your call. What should happen is that everyone should place their own bolts, but obviously that is totally impractical. If therefore you choose to use those bolts someone else left then again, its your call. The bolts got the original climber/bolter up the route and in that sense they did the job they were intended for. I can only think that bolts should be relied upon as guaranteed secure in a commercial sense where you pay for the route that has been bolted for you.
 chris_j_s 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:
> (In reply to bedspring)

> Why not insist on stamping the name of all those who made engine components on car engines in case they blow up and cause the car to crash. then you could track down the people who may have bodged the engine and sue them for negligence. This is simply not practical.

That is actually a terrible example.

These bolts are the equivalent of taking delivery of a new car where the wheel nuts aren't tightened properly. Then 200 yards down the road your wheel comes off and you cause an accident.

Is that the drivers responsibility because they should have checked every wheel nut before they drove the car away, or is it negligence on behalf of the person who put the wheels on?

I believe that the expectation is that when you buy a new car the wheels are properly attached. Similarly I expect that a route which is freshly bolted should be trustworthy.

Also the equipper would (or certainly should) have known that his work was unsafe due to the fact the it was possible to further tighten some of the nuts by hand. In my book that is negligence, and although I am not a fan of the excessive blame culture we live in there are times when blame and some form of action are appropriate.
 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: Yes , well in a commercial sense I agree as you are paying for that security and should expect a degree of minimum standards. Similarly, if a piece of trad' pro' fails mechanically you have a claim as it was bought with certain guarantees. But if you use 'my' pro' and it pops out, that's not my responsibility as it got me up the route and was not intended to save 'your' life.
 Banned User 77 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike: I don't see how this is so black and white. One or the other. I think both are responsible. I agree with Eric about 'moral' responsibility. I'd feel as guilty as hell myself.
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s:
> (In reply to teddy)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> That is actually a terrible example.
>
I think it is actually quite a good example. If you think it is bad, what is a better example to use in your opinion?

The key issue here is that the motorist pays for the engine, the climber who follows the bolter does not pay anything.
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
>
> That's your way of looking at things, it's not a universal truth. I don't know in the UK as I have never been involved in an accident there, but in France the onus is still firmly on the responsibility of the individual climber to be careful... and if in doubt retreat.

Where the onus is (I do agree with you on that) and what people are actually expected to do are entirely different things. Do YOU think that people climbing bolted routes rely on the bolts?

> ...have acted myself on the presumption that the route was all set up for me...

So you rely on bolts yourself. Day dreaming about how people ought to act (but don't) is fairly pointless.

> On commercially prepared ski runs it's reasonable to assume that behind the bump there is not a 100 metre cliff, off piste it isn't. Outdoor climbing is the same, "user beware" just has to be the rule.

Realism has to be the rule. Trad cliffs are your responsibility, bolted routes are seen as being safe.
 Jimmy D 03 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s:

You don't have a contract (at least, not the same kind of contract) with a bolter of a route like you do with a supplier of a car. Not really comparable situations.
 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s: Well if you steal a car and the wheel comes off I wouldn't be surprised if 'Injury Scheisters for U' made a claim aginst the owner on your behalf as it would be reasonable to expect that the car was mechanically sound when you stole it. This is what has become fundamentally wrong with the legal system and you are part of that culture whether you say otherwise or not if you believe as you do. You are looking for someone to blame as 'somebody MUST be to blame surely?'
The bolts were not placed for anyone other than the original climber and could not be expected to hold anything other than them. If someone who follows chooses to use them then it should be in the knowledge that there is no guarantee they will hold a their fall, they were not designed to do so. When you MOT your car there is no guarantee that it is roadworthy five minutes after it leaves the garage, it is your responsibility to make sure it is.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to IainRUK:

Apologies IainRUK, this isn't a reply to you, just an observation, but imagine an outsider (non climber) looking at UKC. In one thread someone is praised for leading a hard route protected by a doorhandle and a nail, and then they find this, criticising the use of expansion bolts!
 argyle_dude 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Reading the article it seems both parties acted irresponsabley. The bolters for a horrific bolting job. I know nothing about bolting routes and for that reason wouldn't attempt to. If I did, I'd make sure that I knew what I was doing and that it was appropriate for the rock type and properly test the bolts I'd place. Reading the two reports it would appear that they knew little about the rock type before climbing, let alone bolting and noted while putting the bolts in that they were far from safe, and yet they left them, knowing that other people would use them.
But it is unfair to put all the blame on the bolters. The climbers went on a long route and went off that route because they didn't take any guide books or topo with them. If you don't know the route surely common sense dictates you take topo with you, even if it it is some scribbled notes. The report also suggests they had concerns about the bolts but continued to climb.

 chris_j_s 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:
> (In reply to chris_j_s)
> [...]
> I think it is actually quite a good example. If you think it is bad, what is a better example to use in your opinion?

The example that I gave!

It's a bad example (IMO of course) because you can't obviously look at most engine components and, even if you could, most drivers wouldn't be able to identify whether one of them had been manufactured/fitted badly anyway.

In the example I gave it focuses on something which most people should be able to identify as badly fitted, but that they wouldn't normally expect to check when the car is new.
 ghisino 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Eric9Points:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
>
> Would I be correct in thinking that if the climber had been using double ropes the accident would have been avoided?

interesting comment. I'd say "could have been", both ropes could have been cut or the other bolts could have popped with the belayer attached...

but yes, this makes me a bit less happy of climbing big walls with a single rope, at least where you are likely to take big falls and the rock is sharp.

 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon: I think again your post has highlighted an issue with bolted or sport routes. Climbers assume the route is safe and you are suggesting that because everyone assumes them to be safe then a responsibility to make sure they are comes into effect. I think it is an issue with sport climbing that as climbers progress from the indoor wall to outdoor routes they assume the same standards are in force... and they are not. When you are outside on a rock route for which you have not paid then you are responsible for your own actions. Trad' climbers recognise this but it seems from some of the posts here that climbers on bolted routes expect that someone has taken on that personal responsibility by the act of placing bolts on the route.
 argyle_dude 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:
> The bolts were not placed for anyone other than the original climber and could not be expected to hold anything other than them. If someone who follows chooses to use them then it should be in the knowledge that there is no guarantee they will hold a their fall, they were not designed to do so.

I disagree the bolts were only placed for the original climber. They named and reported the route and sent topo to a guidebook editor. IMO as soon as you report a route you are accepting and encouraging other people to climb it. I agree that you still climb it at your own risk but surely by reporting the route you are accepting a moral responsability to properly place the bolts.
 chris_j_s 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jimmy D:

You are absolutely right of course.

I was trying to compare something which most people could very easily identify as faulty, but that you wouldn't normally expect to have to check when it is new.
 54ms 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:

But if you use 'my' pro' and it pops out, that's not my responsibility as it got me up the route and was not intended to save 'your' life.

If everyone had that attitude then imagine how many bolts there would be in routes. I think if you bolt a route then you should accept responsibility to make them safe, not just for you, but other who may come after.

 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Duncan_S:
> (In reply to redsulike)
>
> But if you use 'my' pro' and it pops out, that's not my responsibility as it got me up the route and was not intended to save 'your' life.
>
> If everyone had that attitude then imagine how many bolts there would be in routes.

The nail has been hit on the head. There are no norms. No one body dictates the spacing of bolts. So it can't be black or white. The size of the bolts is obviously another matter.
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to Jamie Bankhead) "I think you're looking at quite a commodity-minded demographic at these venues; by definition not natural risk-takers or assesors."
>
> Can you be anymore condescending..


Or indeed, (let's be honest) any more right.

jcm
 dhwsa 03 Feb 2009
Surely the 'bolter' owes a duty of care to future uses since he knows they will rely on his workmanship when they try the route. Thus any bolts placed must be done so to a reasonable standard (open to interpretation depending on rocktype etc). Therefore if a 'bolter' places bolts that fall below that reasonable standard he is negligent and potentially liable?
 chris_j_s 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:
> (In reply to chris_j_s) Well if you steal a car and the wheel comes off I wouldn't be surprised if 'Injury Scheisters for U' made a claim aginst the owner on your behalf as it would be reasonable to expect that the car was mechanically sound when you stole it. This is what has become fundamentally wrong with the legal system and you are part of that culture whether you say otherwise or not if you believe as you do. You are looking for someone to blame as 'somebody MUST be to blame surely?'

Where does stealing come into it?

The climber who died wasn't climbing on these bolts illegally so I struggle to see your point.

I am most certainly not part of the culture as you suggest. If I had an accident due to the failure of fixed equipment I would take full personal responsibility as I rightly should. In this case there was no 'failure' of equipment - it was blatantly never attached to the rock properly but looked new enough to convince people that it was trustworthy.


> The bolts were not placed for anyone other than the original climber and could not be expected to hold anything other than them. If someone who follows chooses to use them then it should be in the knowledge that there is no guarantee they will hold a their fall, they were not designed to do so. When you MOT your car there is no guarantee that it is roadworthy five minutes after it leaves the garage, it is your responsibility to make sure it is.

Two points here:

1) Fixed bolts are most certainly not just placed for the original climber. If that was the case I would expect, similar to a trad route, that the gear be stripped afterwards.

2) Actually if I took my car to the garage and they refitted a part so badly that it failed almost immediately, it would most certainly be the responsibility of the garage. However, as mentioned by someone earlier this is a slightly different scenario because by paying for this service I have entered into a contract, whereas no such contract exists between climber and equipper.

 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:
> (In reply to thomasadixon) Climbers assume the route is safe and you are suggesting that because everyone assumes them to be safe then a responsibility to make sure they are comes into effect.

Pretty good way of putting it.

> I think it is an issue with sport climbing that as climbers progress from the indoor wall to outdoor routes they assume the same standards are in force... and they are not.

That's the thing though - they generally *are*. People climbing on sport routes don't have an expectation that's bizarre, they have an expectation that's normal and generally correct.
 Monk 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:
> (In reply to thomasadixon) I think again your post has highlighted an issue with bolted or sport routes. Climbers assume the route is safe and you are suggesting that because everyone assumes them to be safe then a responsibility to make sure they are comes into effect. I think it is an issue with sport climbing that as climbers progress from the indoor wall to outdoor routes they assume the same standards are in force... and they are not.

The problem is that the whole point of sport climbing is to push your limits in a safeish (compared to trad) environment. When sport climbing you expect to take falls. That is part of the point of it. Hence, there is a reasonable duty of care when placing bolts and reporting a new route. Of course, the climber has a responsibility to themselves to check the bolts they are trusting, and that comes from seeing rust, looseness etc, but often you would then climb past, knowing not to fall hoping the next bolt was solid. Therefore I can easily see how these two guys got into bother. They were getting committed to using these dangerous bolts as a belay. What should they have done differently? My belief is that the bolters of this route, knowing that the bolts were dodgy should have gone back and sorted something out, or at least made it known that they were dangerous.
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s:
> (In reply to teddy)
> [...]
>
> The example that I gave!
>
> It's a bad example (IMO of course) because you can't obviously look at most engine components and, even if you could, most drivers wouldn't be able to identify whether one of them had been manufactured/fitted badly anyway.

Does this even matter? If the driver can't identify it then his lawyer could.
>
> In the example I gave it focuses on something which most people should be able to identify as badly fitted, but that they wouldn't normally expect to check when the car is new.

Its basically the same example. You took my example and added a little bit to it calling it your own, therefore you can't say mine was 'bad'.
 abarro81 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:
I hope you're high on crack. I'm not quite sure why else you'd think trad climbers got on sport routes thinking 'i wonder if these bolts will hold, there's loads of screw ups out there bolting routes horrendously so i'd better go testing each bolt rigorously with my handy kit and top rope before continuing'.
 Toby_W 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

In their shoes how many of us would have stopped in time? SERIOUSLY.

A bad bolt. Next one looks alright. As does the next, all brand new. No you decide you're not happy. Clip one that looks O.K to lower and pop. You're dead and the only thing that saves your 2nd is the ropes being cut..

If I drove down the road and spilled diesel all over it, didn't bother to clean it up and caused a terrible crash could I get away with saying "well they should all have been driving slower and with more care".

If this went to a law court I think the bolter would be done as it's all to do with what is reasonable to expect and so on.

A very sad tale.

Cheers

Toby
 chris_j_s 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:

Fair enough - I didn't mean to antagonise you.

If you prefer, I took your automotive theme and used it to highlight a different situation because I thought it was a better comparison.

Your example wasn't actually 'bad' but I felt it was less relevant because of the level of expertise that would be required to ascertain what had gone wrong. It would only have taken a relative layman on toprope with a crude test to identify the problem with these bolts though.

This is why I believe that the original equipper has to take the majority of the blame here. It was left in a very obviously dangerous state but no effort was made to communicate this.
 raphael 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy: Thats almost right, however its not the name that should be stamped. Its the testing of the bolts several weeks after placement and a tick to say that they have withstood test falls along with the date.

This mandatory step I posit would be genuinely useful and acceptable by bolters and climbers. Mr Thomas Dixon, any legal advice on this? So far climbing has been viewed as an outsider thing so its regarded as outside of rules though not for equipment. Why should bolting be outside of law?

Tom, a dissertation in the making?
J1234 03 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s:
> (In reply to teddy)
>
>
>
> Your example wasn't actually 'bad' but I felt it was less relevant because of the level of expertise that would be required to ascertain what had gone wrong. It would only have taken a relative layman on toprope with a crude test to identify the problem with these bolts though.
>
>
Isn`t this route 270m, that`s a bloody long top rope.

 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to raphael:
> (In reply to teddy) Thats almost right, however its not the name that should be stamped. Its the testing of the bolts several weeks after placement and a tick to say that they have withstood test falls along with the date.
>
Who will do this and who will pay them to do it?

 chris_j_s 03 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
> (In reply to chris_j_s)
> [...]
> Isn`t this route 270m, that`s a bloody long top rope.

I feel you may have missed my point.

This is precisely why those climbers could not have been expected to check out the gear before they started climbing.

But for the people who came to investigate afterwards (on abseil, I expect) the problems were immediately apparent using a simple pull test. Hence, this problem should also have been apparent to however placed them.
 hal 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:

A climber attempts a long route of which he has little knowledge and does not take a topo. He goes off route onto ground that is too hard for him to climb. He bellays of a single piece of pro and clipps a piece of insitu gear which rips, his rope cuts and he tradgically dies.
If this had been trad we would be calling this guy a muppet.

Obviously it is very sad that he has died and this was not trad.

If you climb a hard aid route you often find insitue gear. Why: because if the first ascentionist took out his mashie and then every subsequant climber placed one the route would be ruined(same with bolts). When you climb these routes you use this protection because you have no alternative. But you don't trust it blindly.
If you clipped a piece of trad gear that a guy who climbed a route had left behind you wouldn't even consider blaming him if it ripped.

So what is the difference with bolts?
Although some climbers see bolts for what they are many see them as a 100% safe infalable solution. You should check bolts!!!!

If you can turn the nut then don't even bother clipping it unless you are treating it as aid gear.
If you can move the hanger then you should at least half the rating on it.
If large portions of the hanger dont touch the rock then it could be dodgy.
If the arrow on the hanger does not point at the ground(direction it will be loaded) then it could be dodgy.
If the bolt is near a crack or the rock around it is unstabel don't trust it.
If they are home made forget it. (ie no markings on the hanger or look like bent aluminium).
If they are rusty, especialy on sea cliffs then be very careful.
Try giving them a bash with a gate, they should not move!
Personaly I'm not a fan of 8mm bolts at all, but if placed properly they do the job.

These things in themselfes may not indicate that the bolt won't hold but it tells you something about the abilities and knowledge of the people who placed them.


This blame issue is a bit irrelevant realy. This is all part of a denial of personal responsability. Parent kills child: state should have done more. Loose my job: banks fault(possibly true). Kids are fat: states fault. Hurt myself: not my fault, sue. If I loose stuff I'm insured. At some point you have to take responsability.

The reason people like sport climbing is they don't want the responsability of placing protection which they must rely on. They feel that by using protection placed by someone else this person takes responsability for they're safety and so its less stressful for them.

Wrong! I'v bolted routes and if someone died on them due to bad bolting I would feel absolutly terrible and I would probably feel somewhat 'responsible' but when I bolt a route I don't blindly trust a bolt even if I have placed it.
Bolting a long mountain rout could take weeks/months and costs a fortune(potentialy) and lets face it you are providing a service so that others can climb it without having these issues and if you do this to the best of you abilities and knowldge even if its badly done I don't think you can be blamed

The people who bolted this were clearly morons, they new the bolts were extremely poor and told no one. They were even asked by locals not to bolt. But the guys climbing it made no effort to check the bolts and even noticed they were poor and continued. I'm guilty of having climbed on the odd bolt that I suspected was crap but not a whole pitch worth and then bellay of one of them!

sorry I went on a bit there....
 hal 03 Feb 2009
In reply to hal:

just realised some of my spelling is atrocious!
 Legendary Stu 03 Feb 2009
In reply to raphael: agreed. there should be a standard testing of the bolts to a certain level of safety a few weeks after the route has been put up and a tag attached to the route in some form (may just be in the guidebook) as to the quality of the bolts.

this test could be repeated every so often by the local climbers who frequently visit the area.
 steve456 03 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s:
> But for the people who came to investigate afterwards (on abseil, I expect) the problems were immediately apparent using a simple pull test. Hence, this problem should also have been apparent to however placed them.

Sounds like it was:

"Their report on the climb on a Croatian web site mentioned problems with the rock and bolts. I had part of this translated as saying:

“This kind of rock, sandstone, turns into a featureless mass of mud, sand, lichens and human sweat when the rain falls. It is impossible to climb on it as there is no friction (very different from limestone which is climbable when wet). Also the wet sandstone is prone to breaking. During our ascent some parts of route looked like we were climbing on a pile of ceramic tiles. You carefully grab a horizontal tile like hold (harder layers in sandwich between softer sand base) sticking out of a rock, you move up and when you step on it, it brakes, but you are already holding a next hold.”

“Grade of the route tells nothing about its complexity. We started climbing early in the morning after a few days of rain. Everything was slippery, breakable and full of mud. The worst thing is that the bolts are not holding in this soft rock. You place the bolt, apply the weight and it’s already turning. Some of them we could take out with a bare hand!”
"
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I looked into how to place bolts recently, and when I found out just how tricky it was to make absolutley sure they were bomber, I backed off, precisely for the fear of another climber coming along and pulling out a novice-placed bolt. The fear of being responsible for someone else's death was just too much.

Thanks to the likes of Gary Gibson and Gordon Jenkin who have given of their time, money and expertise, we have got some cracking sports routes in the Bristol/Wye/Cheddar area that have fairly recently been re-equipped and I can put a lot more trust in them than other areas. Nevertheless, I am still the person responsible for my actions, and it a bolt were to fail, it would be my fault for climbing up a cliff in the first place. If there was a legal duty of care put on the bolter, guidebooks would be two thirds the thickness, and only half of those climbs listed would ever be climbed.

 James Oswald 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
That's scary.
James
 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to james oswald:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> That's scary.
> James


Take note James.

Whilst bolts are usually OK at established sport crags and are often looked after by locals. When you get out in the wild and on multi-pitch routes always check the integrity of the bolts, back up with hand placed gear if possible, even take some pegs/a bolt kit with you.

Mick
 Monk 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Legendary Stu:
> (In reply to raphael) agreed. there should be a standard testing of the bolts to a certain level of safety a few weeks after the route has been put up and a tag attached to the route in some form (may just be in the guidebook) as to the quality of the bolts.
>
> this test could be repeated every so often by the local climbers who frequently visit the area.

Come off it! Who the hell is going to pay for that testing? And who the hell is voluntarily going to check routes every few weeks. Most crags have upwards of 50 routes on them. That is a pretty major undertaking. I lived about 10 minutes from Rivelin for 10 years, I certainly didn't climb many routes multiple times as there are so many other routes to climb!

The original bolter should ensure that they place solid bolts in the knowledge that following climbers will expect them to be safe, but equally, climbers must take responsibility for observing the bolts they are clipping and deciding whether or not to trust them.

The only slight improvement that could be made might be a central resource where dodgy bolts could be reported (maybe with the local boltfund so donations are easy to make too) and can be acted upon whenever someone feels so inclined.

The outdoors is not a climbing wall, although we all have responsibilities.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
 James Oswald 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
Hardly makes it easy to "onsight" that sport route at your limit though does it.....
Interesting.
James
 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to james oswald:

Climbing can be dangerous, you may die climbing.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to james oswald)
>
> Climbing can be dangerous, you may die climbing.

Isn't that what Ian McNaught Davies said (hundreds of) years ago "...climbing's about dying? If you're not prepared to die, you shouldn't go climbing." That probably coincided with the birth of sport climbing.

 Rich Mayfield 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I think we are missing a legal point here: if you buy a new car or have work done on your car, then surely that´s a professional relationship. You would have a guarantee for that work and expect that work to be carried out to a safe standard. The garage will have insurance and you´d be protected by law at least in the UK.

What some people seem to be suggesting is that a similar relationship should exist between people who equip routes and every climber there after. This is not a professional relationship, and I don´t think ever could be.

People who equip lower offs and routes etc do have a moral responsibility to ensure that what they do is safe and in line with best practice at the time.

Jack G. - Would I have tired to test the bolts shown on that video, they all looked very good if a little too small. I suspect unless something alerted me, I may well have trusted these bolts, and I´m paranoid about my safety.

 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Rich Mayfield:

Legally I think bolts are classed as abandoned property - that was a professional opinion in the early 90's I believe.
 Rich Mayfield 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

That´s interesting. Was that in a case of some kind?
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Rich Mayfield:

Actually Rich, they are all in very soft sandstone. The testers on the video state that many of the bolts were loose to the touch with loose nuts etc. The bolts are different to all the other bolts used in the area as there is a known problem.

I would always be dubious about compression bolts placed in sandstone.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Rich Mayfield:

You may be surprised to learn that in France the FFME have equippers who are paid for doing just that. Surely in those circumstances someone can be 'responsible'!
 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Rich Mayfield:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> That´s interesting. Was that in a case of some kind?

Could have been 80's Rich when a lot of bolts were going in in the UK.

Alex... jeez whatisname did some research for the BMC as they were concerned about liability.

Memories fuzzy. Don't take that as gospel please.

Where's John Cox? He may know.


 Rich Mayfield 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

Well in which case don´t think I would have gotten on the route in the first place.

Just out of interest what is the norm on those cliffs,any one know?
 John2 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com: I think the 'abandoned property' designation of bolts applies under American law, not UK law - seach for 'abandoned property' in this link for instance http://www.safeclimbing.org/about_overview.htm .

There is certainly no parallel between placing a bolt and repairing a car because once you pay money to a company the law of contract and the Sale of Goods Act come into play. I'm no lawyer but I'd be very surprised to learn that any form of implied contract existed between an unpaid bolter and a climber.
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Rich Mayfield:

Simon Carter does go into it in some detail in the articles. They seem to be some form of long resin bolt. This has the benefit of glueing everything together if the sandstone disintegrates to powder beneath the surface.
 Rich Mayfield 03 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

I wonder who funds that? It may be something other EU countries should be considering like Spain. But the FFME (the testers) would be responsible if they passed a route safe and something happened.
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

There's probably a lot to be said to leaving bolting to the locals in a particular climbing area. They will have built some experience up from the history of placing fixed protection in that area, and will have learned something about the characteristics of the rock. Similar to the experience developed in placing bolts at Pen Trwyn and also in Thailand.
 JSA 03 Feb 2009
I've read the whole thread and can't believe no one has picked up on this

The bolts were 8mm, after a bolt was pulled a 8.5 mm drill bit was placed in the hole, followed by a 9mm bit, ergo the bolters clearly used the wrong drill bit! No matterwhat bit you use, if it's oversize then the bolt will not tighten, period!

I've used hundreds of thru-bolts in construction and never had one fail yet, i've even re-bolted routes and i'm 100% confident that the bolts i placed will perform to their given lifespan.

imho the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the bolters.


ps the bolts also looked way too short!
 Rich Mayfield 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

This is going to be interesting to follow. Not best or recognised practice then, is there going to be any police involvment?

How experienced are the climbers who had the accident, cos if inexperienced and unable to make the judgment call then perhaps crimal charges could be brought?

Got friends in Oz I´ll email them and get a local take on things.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Rich Mayfield:
> (In reply to jon)
>
> I wonder who funds that? It may be something other EU countries should be considering like Spain. But the FFME (the testers) would be responsible if they passed a route safe and something happened.

The FFME is the national body for climbing. One of its functions is to supply bolts, for instance communes who have crags that they'd like to see developed. A convention is then signed between the commune and the FFME which protects the commune and the equipper (who may or may not be paid by the Federation) Here we are talking one pitch crags that can almost be classified alongside climbing walls - ie no objective dangers such as rockfall, for instance that you'd get in the mountains. They must be funded by their member associations and I'd guess by the government. I suppose a Gallic BMC? If there are any factual errors there I apologise...
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Rich Mayfield:

Simon Carter who posted earlier on this thread and whose site is linked to in the article will be the point of contact. It doesn't sound like there's any intention of pursuing things legally. The bolters were visiting Croatian climbers and have been contacted (see the article).
 Rich Mayfield 03 Feb 2009
In reply to the inspiral carpet:

The bolt had just been pulled out and I suspect this would have damaged the rock inside the hole making it slightly larger due to it being weak sandstone. Hence using glue in as the norm.

I thought 75mm from the vid, that´s too short even for limestone!
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to the inspiral carpet:

Just because the holes are larger doesn't mean that the wrong size bit was used. Ever tried drilling into shit plaster where it turns to powder and you can end up with a larger hole (I think I spend too much time puuting shelves up).
 Rich Mayfield 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

Makes me nervous of climbing in Croatian if they´re using short thru bolts as the norm.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to the inspiral carpet:
> I've read the whole thread and can't believe no one has picked up on this
>
> The bolts were 8mm, after a bolt was pulled a 8.5 mm drill bit was placed in the hole, followed by a 9mm bit, ergo the bolters clearly used the wrong drill bit! No matterwhat bit you use, if it's oversize then the bolt will not tighten, period!
>
> I've used hundreds of thru-bolts in construction and never had one fail yet, i've even re-bolted routes and i'm 100% confident that the bolts i placed will perform to their given lifespan.
>

I did ages ago and it wasn't picked up on then. I wonder if the holes were drilled that size or if the sandstone was so soft that it didn't resist. My own feeling is that if the holes were oversize in the first place, you wouldn't be able to tighten the bolt to the stage where it looked good or resisted even 40kg
> imho the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the bolters.
>
>
> ps the bolts also looked way too short!

 Enty 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

There's alot of treading on eggshells going on here. The lads who placed, then left the bolts, in that state should be hung from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

There's simply no excuse. Is it just me thinking like this?
I've placed bolts on lots of types rock for both climbing and in work situations. There's no problem with expansion bolts in sandstone if they are done right. Use the correct kit. In fact I've placed them in red sandstone on Ormskirk hospital to ab over the edge of a tower. No problem.

You shouldn't need to check / test shiny new bolts on a sport climb before climbing - end of.

The Ent


 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
>
> There's alot of treading on eggshells going on here. The lads who placed, then left the bolts, in that state should be hung from Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Are you suggesting they should be put to death Ents?

This is a very tragic accident. Best if the whole global climbing community learns from this and Simon has done an excellent job of getting the word out across the globe.
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:

Expansion bolts in sandstone depends massively upon the consistency of the sandstone. And that can vary to a huge level, which may not be obvious from the surface texture.
 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
>

> You shouldn't need to check / test shiny new bolts on a sport climb before climbing - end of.

Agreed. But this is hardly a sport climbing cliff. Multi-pitch climbing on chossy rock. Nick Kaczorowski's rope was cut by the rock and he fell to his death.
 JSA 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:
> (In reply to the inspiral carpet)
>
> Just because the holes are larger doesn't mean that the wrong size bit was used. Ever tried drilling into shit plaster where it turns to powder and you can end up with a larger hole (I think I spend too much time puuting shelves up).


yes, i'm a joiner so i use different types of fixings all the time, the 'plaster' you describe could have been 'clinker' block, very hard to fix to without the correct fixings.

In Reply To Rich Mayfield:

It's quite clear that a 9mm bit was used, the fit was too perfect for anything else to have been used, another clue was when he pulled out the 9mm bit was the colour of the dust, it was white, had the bolt made the hole larger the dust would have been a different colour.

In Reply To Enty:

agreed apart from death! :0)

In reply to Hugh Cottam:

Sandstone in all it's guises that is able to be climbed on is more dense that many construction blocks that are about, still i've never had a problem fixing to blockwork.
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Although I wouldn't agree with blaming the Croatian climbers concerned, there is little doubt that they did not consult local climbers enough and did not warn people about the state of the bolts. They reported problems with the bolts on a Croatian website yet didn't say anything to the Ozzies despite having submitted a new route toppo to Simon Carter.
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to the inspiral carpet
>
> Sandstone in all it's guises that is able to be climbed on is more dense >that many construction blocks that are about, still i've never had a >problem fixing to blockwork.

Climb extensively in Jordan and you'll change your mind about the consistency of Sandstone.
 JSA 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam: there are fixings and drillbits that suit eachother and they together suit different substrates, use the correct materials and and knowledge of how to use them and the job will be done correctly...
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to the inspiral carpet:

Not much good if the whole rock just disintegrates to dust though is it.
 JSA 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam: then if bolts were to be used a longer resin anchor should be used, there are fixings for everything these days, even soft stuff.

what i'm saying is the bolts used were not suitable for the application, and the drill bit wasn't suitable for the bolts..
 Hugh Cottam 03 Feb 2009
In reply to the inspiral carpet:

I think the local consensus is that only long resin bolts are really suitable.
 Enty 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:
> (In reply to the inspiral carpet)
>
> Not much good if the whole rock just disintegrates to dust though is it.

That's when you use your nowse and don't place them.
Nowse - something these chaps didn't have.

The Ent
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to raphael:

Certainly an interesting thing to be looking at imo he'd have a negligence claim on his hands in the UK and the bolter would lose. Hopefully it won't happen!
 apulmatt 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Well this will make me check bolts as i clip into them....
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Trad cliffs are your responsibility, bolted routes are seen as being safe.

Therein lies the error, you sum it up nicely, but I draw a different conclusion. I conclude that doing this is foolhardy and that it is our fault if we use a bolt which is obviously poor... it's not that hard to see if they look rock solid or a bit iffy after all. In this case they were, apparently, so poor as to move when tugged and yet they still did a long run out on one. It seems callous to say but I don't think it's the fault of the bolter.

I would never dream of blaming someone else for my own risk taking, and I was more mea-culpaing on the fact that although I take a few nuts on bolted routes just in case but on long (>10 pitch) routes I think I should really take a hammer and a few pegs in case I ever had to abb off and couldn't find the descent abb pints, got lost or something... I can't be bothered to carry the weight and it's 99% sure that it won't be needed, but it's for me to assume my risk.
 Enty 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

If I went to Malham, climbed a sport route, clipped in at the top and decked because 10mm bolts were put into 11mm holes - If I survived I'd go and find the culprit.

The Ent
 JSA 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> If I went to Malham, climbed a sport route, clipped in at the top and decked because 10mm bolts were put into 11mm holes - If I survived I'd go and find the culprit.
>
> The Ent

Ditto Ent, i don't think some people clearly understand the mechanics of expansion bolts!
 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Duncan_S: I think you misunderstand, its not an 'attitude' and no-one is going to start bolting trad routes. But on a trad route, 'my' gear is for 'me', 'I' place it to safeguard 'my' life. Someone else could not use it and expect me to have any responsibility for its effectiveness. Of course your second cleans the route but the principle is sound.
 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s:
> (In reply to redsulike)
> [...]
> >
> 2) Actually if I took my car to the garage and they refitted a part so badly that it failed almost immediately, it would most certainly be the responsibility of the garage. However, as mentioned by someone earlier this is a slightly different scenario because by paying for this service I have entered into a contract, whereas no such contract exists between climber and equipper.

Not what I said though is it. At an MOT nothing is fitted. You have parts replaced after an MOT to get it through- and the parts and labour have a guarantee.

 Moacs 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Jack

You might want to name check whoever (Adam Lincoln?) brought this to attention here first.

J
 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to abarro81: No not high on crack just talking sense, even if you don't like it.

Sport climbers might not want to go through the rigmarole of testing each and every bolt before they clip into it...and I agree it would be too ridiculous to contemplate. So, you take it at face value with a simple tug and accept the risk. But the argument here is that you don't accept the risk and that someone else has mitigated that risk to an acceptable level of safety for you.
To argue that first ascentionists are bolting routes with some kind of philanthropic agenda to bolt routes so that others might follow in their footsteps is unfathomable. If your argument is accepted- because of the risk of litigation- it is more likely that bolts will be cut from an abseil after the first ascent. Anyone wanting to repeat the route will have to re-bolt it themselves and then remove them once they have completed the route. In other words cleaning a route as a trad climber might. Actually what is more likely to happen is that as a climb is completed the report will contain a disclaimer about not guaranteeing the integrity of any bolts and any climbers using them do so at their own risk. Which puts us back to square one.
 redsulike 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty: Are you in your post accepting responsibility for the integrity of the bolts you placed, (because you know that they were placed properly)?
That's fine if you want to, but how long are you prepared to guarantee them for? It seems to me that if you accept responsibility now you do so in the future also -in the absence of any written agreement. You might find that you will have to check and replace them at regular intervals acting in the role of a H&S officer in order to protect yourself from action should one fail due to corrosion.
You might not agree but I think acting to accept responsibility puts us on the slippery slope of policies and best practice, litigation and organisation and guidelines, which is the antithesis of the climbing ethic.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:
> (In reply to Enty) Are you in your post accepting responsibility for the integrity of the bolts you placed, (because you know that they were placed properly)?
> That's fine if you want to, but how long are you prepared to guarantee them for? It seems to me that if you accept responsibility now you do so in the future also -in the absence of any written agreement. You might find that you will have to check and replace them at regular intervals acting in the role of a H&S officer in order to protect yourself from action should one fail due to corrosion.
> You might not agree but I think acting to accept responsibility puts us on the slippery slope of policies and best practice, litigation and organisation and guidelines, which is the antithesis of the climbing ethic.

In the case of stainless glue-ins, provide they are properly placed ie recessed into the rock to resist turning, and that the resin went off in the first place, then they will last until you are dead and buried. Humid salty air does seem to be an exception though...
SS expansion bolts are are less long lived but still pretty tough things, so I have pretty much 100% confidence in those I've placed. Of course they can come unscrewed, but this is just about the only way that someone can check each bolt as they climb. A loose hanger will theoretically weaken the bolt, but not catastrophically, and even finger tight it will easily hold a fall or at least let you back off from it. If it's fallen off then that's altogether different!
 JSA 03 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

a bolt tightened properly then the thread hit with a hammer and cold chisel stops the bolt unscrewing, but if for any given reason it did come loose it can still be tightened.

oh, i too have 100% confidence in the bolts i place, on rock or at work.
 Enty 03 Feb 2009
In reply to redsulike:
> (In reply to Enty) Are you in your post accepting responsibility for the integrity of the bolts you placed, (because you know that they were placed properly)?
> That's fine if you want to, but how long are you prepared to guarantee them for? It seems to me that if you accept responsibility now you do so in the future also -in the absence of any written agreement. You might find that you will have to check and replace them at regular intervals acting in the role of a H&S officer in order to protect yourself from action should one fail due to corrosion.
> You might not agree but I think acting to accept responsibility puts us on the slippery slope of policies and best practice, litigation and organisation and guidelines, which is the antithesis of the climbing ethic.

I have 100% confidence in the bolts I've placed in Yorkshire. The stainless glue-ins have a life span - after that it's up to you. Common sense.

I've also hung heavy objects from bolts in public places as part of work I used to do. If something came down and landed in a pram - i'd expect a knock on the door.

The Ent
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to redsulike)
> [...]
>

>
> I've also hung heavy objects from bolts in public places...
>
> The Ent

I've occasionally fallen on mine, too!

 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> If I went to Malham, climbed a sport route, clipped in at the top and decked because 10mm bolts were put into 11mm holes - If I survived I'd go and find the culprit.
>

No hassle... if you were daft enough to clip into a 10mm bolt slopping about in an 11mm hole then there's little chance you would find them

Sorry.
 jon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> No hassle... if you were daft enough to clip into a 10mm bolt slopping about in an 11mm hole then there's little chance you would find them
>
> Sorry.

Excellent Bruce, I feel I know you...

In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

Some of you people have amazingly little idea about the law. And why not, I suppose?

First of all, the question of whether there is a contract is neither here nor there. A contract is an agreement, There is an entire field of law, called tort, connected with the duties people owe to other people they don't have contracts with.

For example, I have no contract with other drivers, but if I kill them by my inattention when out driving, I am liable. This is called the tort of negligence.

The circumstances in which the law imposes tortious liability are many and various, and determined essentially by judges on a case-by-case basis, although obviously certain principles arise. They also all depend upon their individual facts: two outwardly similar cases may on inspection produce different results.

Since there has not yet been a case where a climber has been sued for placing bad bolts, we don't know even the general approach a court is likely to take.

However, when a climber is placing bolts on a sport climb (or probably any climb; I strongly doubt that the courts are going to differentiate), he knows beyond doubt that other climbers are going to rely on them without question and that if the bolt fails another climber may be killed.

I would be very surprised indeed if the law did not consider that such a climber had a duty to take at least some care in the placement of those bolts. It is true that those other climbers assume the risk that even a well-placed bolt might fail, but I doubt whether they assume the risk that a series of bolts may be placed in such a wholesale inadequate way as seems to have happened here.

In this particular case the perpetrators are in a different jurisdiction (and likely to remain so if they're wise, I would suggest), and doubtless uninsured, so we are most unlikely to find out, but if the circumstances recorded by Simon Carter are true I would be amazed if a claim didn't succeed, at least in a jurisdiction where the common law is similar to ours.

In fact, if I were these two I'd stay well out of Australia. Obviously I know nothing about the criminal law there, but it wouldn't surprise me either if there were jurisdictions where they could be imprisoned for causing death with such recklessness. And frankly they should be if some of the facts alleged are proved.

I don't know who owns bolts, I'm afraid. My guess would be the landowner, but there's a lot I don't know.

jcm
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to dhwsa:

> Therefore if a 'bolter' places bolts that fall below that reasonable standard he is negligent and potentially liable?

He's not doing it professionally for goodness sakes! It's nothing like the examples of new cars going wrong either... If someone asked if he could abb down your rope after you had gone down, you said yes, then as he was coming down the abb point gave and he fell to his death, would you say you were responsible? Don't forget you'd gone down yourself, and in the case I'm thinking of so had the partner and no one knows if the loop lifted off or wore through.

For information the police concerned considered it was a climbing accident and took no proceedings. Reading this thread it sounds like a lot of you consider they should have!
 Enty 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Enty)
> [...]
>
> No hassle... if you were daft enough to clip into a 10mm bolt slopping about in an 11mm hole then there's little chance you would find them
>
> Sorry.


That's rubbish Bruce. As you saw in the video clip, 8mm bolts were put in 9mm holes and some were still fairly tight. Enough for you to think they are ok but obviously not.

The Ent
 Enty 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to dhwsa)
>
> [...]
>
>
> For information the police concerned considered it was a climbing accident and took no proceedings. Reading this thread it sounds like a lot of you consider they should have!

I think they should. Idiots like that need removing from the climbing scene.

The Ent

 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> I think they should. Idiots like that need removing from the climbing scene.

How do you propose to do that Ents?

In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

A high-profile prosecution for manslaughter would go a long way to achieving it, as indeed would a civil suit.

The latter would have interesting consequences for sports climbing in general.

jcm
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:

Who was the idiot, the one who placed the abseil used it safely followed by his partner or the third man who couldn't be bothered to place an ab himself and then had the accident, presumably because he lifted the loop off the spike as he started or because he didn't check the state of the loop?

My view is that climbing is dangerous so we should all be careful... in the abseil case as in this accident.

One point no one has clarified is whether the climb was in a guide book, and if it was whether the editor should have checked the state of the gear or if this was not possible have mention any doubts. There is a mention of a text translated from Croatian but it's not clear if this was in the guide book/topo?

The way this is turning people will just be obliged to keep their climbs secret to avoid being put in clink when someone comes along afterwards and gets killed!
 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>
> A high-profile prosecution for manslaughter would go a long way to achieving it, as indeed would a civil suit.
>
> The latter would have interesting consequences for sports climbing in general.

This isn't sport climbing John, it's multi-pitch climbing in a wild area. So find a different whipping post.

Also consider the 100's if not 1,000's of routes both single pitch and multi-pitch around the world that have dodgy bolts many placed on the lead.

Time bombs?

Mick

 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Enty)
>

>
> One point no one has clarified is whether the climb was in a guide book, and if it was whether the editor should have checked the state of the gear


That is another question. One Simon Carter answers in his blog.
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Enty)
>
> Who was the idiot, the one who placed the abseil used it safely followed by his partner or the third man who couldn't be bothered to place an ab himself...

Sounds to me like no one was, that was just an accident. Entirely different to this scenario and not relevant.

> One point no one has clarified is whether the climb was in a guide book...

Personally I don't think this is relevant if it's on a crag with sports climbs.

> The way this is turning people will just be obliged to keep their climbs secret to avoid being put in clink when someone comes along afterwards and gets killed!

No, it's not. What it would mean is that people placing bolts have to place them properly. Doesn't sound bad to me.
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Sent this to my sister as she is studying law, her answer seems like a reasonable point of view for a rational law system to adopt, but am sure she would welcome critique from more qualified observers. (NB: I am not comfortable with these duel threads encompassing an actual accident and a more general discussion that is highly relevant to the climbing community, think UKC should seperate specific accidents from disussion of important safety issues) :-

There is generally no law for a failure to act, eg a failure to prevent harm, unless the involved parties have a special relationship or a contractual duty, so for example if a person agrees to take care of their elderly aunt they will have presumed a duty of care. similarly if a railway worker fails to check the line is clear they may be liable due to the contractual relationship they have with the rail company.

However the climbers failure to prevent an accident by ensuring the gear were fitting sufficiently does not amount to an ommision which could be legally liable. There is however the question of the neighbour test, which is involved in the area of negligence, which suggests you should take action to prevent those closely and directly affected by your actions from suffering as a result.

The neighbour test is quite limited however as it would be unfair for one individual to be responsible for the safety of many others, and would open the floodgates to many claims. i believe it would be unlikely for the climber to be liable for these reasons, unless of course it could be proved that he intentionally or maliciously badly placed the gear with either the intention to kill or commit gbh, if the mens rea (guilty mind) is lacking , then the actus reus (guilty act) appears unsubstantial.
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:

> Personally I don't think this is relevant if it's on a crag with sports climbs.

It wasn't.

> What it would mean is that people placing bolts have to place them properly. Doesn't sound bad to me

I don't see why you think that people doing new routes do it for you? There is no real justification to think this.

I blame climbing walls.
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Sankey:

Nice Latin
 steve456 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker: The report on onsite explicitly says that the bolters named and reported the new route (along with a topo) to the local guidebook guy. It also explicitly states that they did not mention the quality of the bolts in this report.

The translated piece was written by the bolters on their home forum and it explicitly states that they felt the bolts were a pile of crap.

Whilst I totally understand British bolters being concerned with the talk of liability, it seems that the bolters in question did absolutely everything wrong.
 Michael Ryan 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to thomasadixon)

> I blame climbing walls.

Got to blame someone Bruce eh?

Might as well make it an inanimate object.

Didn't the French invent the panel and bolt-on-hold system? Pyramid wasn't it?

Maybe get a lawyer knocking on their door.

Mick
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> It wasn't.

I take it you haven't read the report?

> I don't see why you think that people doing new routes do it for you? There is no real justification to think this.

Don't twist my words, I don't. I do think that people placing bolts know they will be relied upon by others.

In reply to Sankey:

This isn't an omission, it's the act of placing the bolts that's at issue. If she's talking about the neighbour principle in Donoghue & Stevenson then she seems to have misunderstood it completely...

JCM is a lawyer I understand and has explained negligence above.
In reply to thomasadixon:

> This isn't an omission, it's the act of placing the bolts that's at issue. If she's talking about the neighbour principle in Donoghue & Stevenson then she seems to have misunderstood it completely...
>


Ah, bless her, I shouldn't have edited the first part of her mail as I did:

"i believe that omissions might be relevant here..."
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> [...]
>

> This isn't an omission, it's the act of placing the bolts that's at issue. If she's talking about the neighbour principle in Donoghue & Stevenson then she seems to have misunderstood it completely...
>
> JCM is a lawyer I understand and has explained negligence above.

Yes it is an ommission. It is an ommission to place the bolts correctly - I'm a lawyer too. For me, there isn't a clear LEGAL duty of care between the bolter and the climber relying on the bolts, as much as it is heinous that the bolts were not placed properly and that it seems morally wrong.



Carnage 03 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> In fact, if I were these two I'd stay well out of Australia.

Nick was a good friend to many of us. In view of the circumstances I think that getting done by the cops would be the least of these guys worries if they set foot in Blackheath again.
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:

Could you explain how/why you'd consider placing the bolts incorrectly an omission rather than an act?
 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

You lot all seem a bit humouristically challenged... I wasn't blaming guide book writers if that's what's upset you. The point I've been trying to make (but failed) is that we shouldn't blame anyone in such cases... except ourselves. I just watched the film and it seems to show that the bolts were all half loose, and yet they kept climbing up using them.

I have used bolts in parts of France, there's no much choice as it's all bolted, which were tattier than these... some were just ring-screws into wooden pegs bashed into the holes, or bent bits of rusty iron... but only where I was reasonably sure I wasn't going to fall off.

These wouldn't be really considered to be "sports routes", I imagine, but I doubt that anyone would think of taking legal action against the pioneers... It's considered to be for the climber to make his own judgement... sometimes following guide book warnings such as the famous "most of the essential gear is usually in place", or something similar. Anyone reading that knows what to expect.
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Sankey:

Perhaps I just can't understand what she's written!
noxious 03 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
> A high-profile prosecution for manslaughter would go a long way to achieving it, as indeed would a civil suit.
> The latter would have interesting consequences for sports climbing in general.
> jcm

Due to the burden of proof (if this had been here) I think a criminal case would fail but a civil one would succeed. But God help us when we invite the lawyers into the sport.

 Bruce Hooker 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:

> I take it you haven't read the report?

I just did, and another a few days ago... it was a 270 metre crumbling sandstone wall with loads of sharp edges... If that's your idea of a sports venue than you go up in my opinion
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:
> (In reply to teddy)
>
> Could you explain how/why you'd consider placing the bolts incorrectly an omission rather than an act?

Its a glass half full or half empty question. Sure, they acted to place the bolts but in my view they ommitted to put them in the correctly sized hole. Just like the railway worker ommitted to put the nuts on the points that caused the train derailment. You could say that the railway worker was acting in maintaining the points but in reality, he also ommitted to do something crucial, ie. put the nuts back.
 Moacs 03 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Hmmm. Clear and sensible.

Thank you.

J
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy:

Say I agree with that - they made the hole for the bits they were putting in in the first place, so they've still acted in making the wrong size hole into which they then put their equipment. The railway worker has not done something (I'd agree it's a crucial thing!), I don't see how the two are similar.
 thomasadixon 03 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

An interesting sports venue then...I didn't actually say a sports venue anyway I said a venue with sports routes. This from the (first) blog - "They were all intending to climb Bunny Bucket Buttress (270 metres, grade 18, protected entirely by carrot bolts)"
 JSA 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:

i wonder if action could be taken against the bolters for not removing the bolts knowing them to be dangerous?
 teddy 03 Feb 2009
In reply to thomasadixon:

You'd better explain it to the judge then! I am no tort lawyer, just trying to remember my textbooks from years ago. Its all about the floodgates. You have to draw a line somewhere on these claims.

Recently, a ridiculuous finding of a duty of care was between a homeowner who put barbed wire on the wall of his garden and the burglar of his house! Apparently, the homeowner owed the burglar a duty of care for his safety whilst on his property and should have put up a sign saying 'danger, barbed wire!' You couldn't make it up.
In reply to teddy:

>You couldn't make it up.

I think you will find that someone did.

I might be wrong, but I'm guessing from your posts above you're not a litigation lawyer!

jcm
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

>This isn't sport climbing John, it's multi-pitch climbing in a wild area.

I appreciate that, but my point was that any prosecution for placing bolts negligently would have consequences for sport climbing. Which it most certainly would, as I think on reflection you'd probably agree.

As I said, circumstances alter cases. I think the law would take a different view of bolts placed on the lead, when clearly the bolter can't be expected to take the same care and might have to go with what he's got. Even then, if you disseminate a description of your route locally without saying the bolts are rubbish, and then go back home and publish statements saying you know they are in fact deathtraps, I think you're going to find yourself very poorly placed in any court case.

jcm
In reply to Sankey:

Would I be right in thinking that your sister is studying for O-levels? Without wishing to be unkind, she seems to be at something of a beginner stage.

There is plenty of law about failure to act. For example, a landowner who finds that a naturally occurring feature of his land is causing a nuisance to others has s duty to others to do something about it (eg National Trust -v- Leakey, riparian owners failing to maintain rivers to prevent blockages and flooding).

Deliberately placing duff bolts is not in any event an 'omission'. Nor is publicising the route without mentioning the fact the bolts are in unsafe. In any case the entire omission/action distinction is pointless. Negligence may just as easily involve failure to act as action.

The neighbour test is not the opposite of having a duty. It is what causes a duty to arise.

It is right that the courts will bear in mind that making one individual responsible for the safety of an indeterminate class of others is a Bad Thing and will lean against it, but it can happen quite easily, for example a landowner who knows that a dangerous mineshaft exists on his land has a duty to put up appropriate warning notices.

The last two lines seem to confuse civil and criminal liability. Intent has nothing to do with civil oliability for negligence, and everything to do with murder or other criminal charges.

Actually thinking about it, I reckon publishing the route without a warning is really the most heinous aspect of all. Although in fact that didn't here cause the damage, since as far as one can tell the injured party wasn't deliberately following the actual badly bolted route.

jcm
In reply to noxious:

>Due to the burden of proof (if this had been here) I think a criminal case would fail but a civil one would succeed

I don't know about the burden of proof, but yes, intuitively I don't think a manslaughter charge would succeed here, although really I know nothing about the criminal law. But what I said was that I could easily imagine jurisdictions where a criminal offence was being committed. For example I believe the US has an offence of 'reckless endangerment'. I don't know what the ingredients of that are, but one can readily imagine them being present here.

jcm
mick o the north 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: All very emotional/ emotive . You cant legislate in this life for someone less informed than yourself fuking up your day / life . You take account for your own actions and judgement . Climbing is dangerous i would say now more than ever . Sport climbing removes alot of the skills of crag awareness etc that you learned as a trad climber if you were lucky enough . A bolt in theory should not fail but they occasionally do . In this case i would say nothing is cut and dried . Yes you should not take it upon yourself to equip a route if you're not sure how but this boils down to intelligence / common sense , however take it from me if you go climbing you might get hurt or worse, thats a fact . Dont blame anyone else if it happens it wont make it better .
 alicia 04 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to noxious)
>
> >Due to the burden of proof (if this had been here) I think a criminal case would fail but a civil one would succeed
>
> I don't know about the burden of proof, but yes, intuitively I don't think a manslaughter charge would succeed here, although really I know nothing about the criminal law. But what I said was that I could easily imagine jurisdictions where a criminal offence was being committed. For example I believe the US has an offence of 'reckless endangerment'. I don't know what the ingredients of that are, but one can readily imagine them being present here.
>
> jcm

Google had something interesting to say on Australian criminal law here. Apparently section 35 of the Crimes Act 1990 (for New South Wales, as far as I can tell), making it an offence to 'recklessly cause grievous bodily harm to any person', was amended in 2007 to remove the word 'malicious' from the definition of the offence. If this Act is in the right jurisdiction, that'd tip things a bit towards the prosecution, if this were to ever end up in a criminal case.
mick o the north 04 Feb 2009
In reply to mick o the north: Sorry should add that my heart goes out to everyone associated with this tragic incident .
In reply to mick o the north:

It would be interesting to know the Croatian viewpoint. Having spent some time with Romanian climbers who thought nothing of climbing 8a on home-made pegs ten metres apart, I have an idea the Eastern European mentality might be different from ours. As indeed this case rather demonstrates.

Alicia - "cause". Hmm. Am I right that the US has this reckless endangerment offence? What's that about?

jcm
Carnage 04 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to mick o the north)
>
> It would be interesting to know the Croatian viewpoint. I have an idea the Eastern European mentality might be different from ours. As indeed this case rather demonstrates.

Maybe it is, but this Oz. The local ethic here is well known and there is wealth of information on the correct bolting procedure for the 'soft' Blueys sandstone. But this is beside the point, what stinks is that these guys were told not to use the bolts by a local climber and went ahead regardless. Its much more effort to equip a route with the proper glue-in staples and they were either in too much of a rush (no excuse) to do this or simply didn't give a f*ck.
 Tdubs 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
So from what I gather from the majority of UKC users it is the climber's fault, as it is up to the climber to assess fixed equipment. Seems fair for dodgy ab tat etc, but...
So he rocks up to the crag, tugs on a nice shiny bolt and has somehow 'taken responsibility'. Except that as a skinny young man his 'checking tug' wont be anywhere near his bodyweight, let alone his bodyweight on a decent fall.
It is basically impossible to tell if a bolt is any good or not from the ground. And while I am very anti the whole litigation society thing, if you choose to bolt you need to do it properly, because you'd be an idiot to assume nobody else would turn up and try your line that somebody else clearly did on fixed equipment.
Personally, if I was going for the onsight (apparently it is very important these days?) the only bolt available for this 'responsibility checking' is the first one, if that is even reachable from the ground (normally it is not), and tugging carefully on every single bolt on a massive multipitch is simply not an option, because you either a) will come off by losing balance or even even worse b) will lose the precious onsight because you are basically aiding because your weight came for a millisecond onto said equipment.
What I am trying to say is normally you see a bolt, you desperately clip it.

8mm bolts are not designed for climbing on any rock, and it has been said that for this tragic example it is not the best rock for bolting anyway. Even the Avon(!) guidebook warns the reader specifically about every route with 8mm bolts (to quote Martin Crocker, in his understated style: "...the bolts are original 8mm bolts and should be treated accordingly") I don't blame the bolter, but it is probably just somebody who didnt know precisely what theyre doing, putting badly-sized bolts (badly) in poor rock, who just wanted to encourage climbing in their local area, like we all do.
Tragic accident, nobody to blame as such, but I just don't like the whole 'climber is to blame' suggestion. With trad, and mixed ethic trad (i.e. dodgy pegs) most climbers are at least aware of the risk. When a climber sees a nice bolted sport line, they will probably think that bolts can at least hold 30kg!
Not to say it is exclusively the bolters fault, but it is such a f*cking shame that he clearly didn't know what he was doing. The way I see it is, I personally have no idea how to bolt, as a result I wouldn't get a Hilti out and go for it, until I had been taught properly and maybe tested the results. Not one to preach, but I would not morally be able to bolt until I was certain my bolting was up to scratch; in the same way I wouldn't go make a top-rope anchor off anything that isn't 100% bomber and then leave it there for other people to use. While it is a bit absurd to suggest the bolter should have checked every bolt, if I was putting in a belay I would get advice from someone more experienced and definitely test every belay. If the belays in this case could be lifted out by tugging, that strikes me as pure and simple negligence. You should never permanently install something that you know will be used as an anchor and not be certain through experience and a little testing that it won't fail.
J1234 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:
What is the legal status with Via Ferrata, similair thing to a bolted route, with an assumed safety. They must cost a shedload and are perceived as "safe". I was walking along a track above Garda and found one that was not in the guide book, quite hard but not exposed, all shiny bolts and I just went up it. Was I supposed to ab down it, check it and then do it? I imagine clubs must put them up and if one rips down after a couple of months, I doubt they can say "nowt to do with me Guv".
Cheers Beds
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:

In many places via ferrata are put up by local councils (or by people working for them) so I would imagine they could be held responsible... They are seen as money spinners for mountain areas, especially as the snowline heads higher (usually!) and a lot have lost revenue from skiing. They are turning towards summer activities - mountain bikes, climbing etc.

On the other hand, usually you would go to the local tourist office and get the documentation before heading off up a line of gear... it may not be finished or known to be in bad condition... you often come accross random bolts on little crags in the pre-Alps, perhaps some local playing, it's foolish to assume that because there are a few bolts they lead anywhere or are correctly done.

As said above many French low altitude cliffs are "equipped" under contract arrangements between the land owner, the council and a climbing club. This covers the land owner if some one dies and he hasn't physically put up fences to save us all from ourselves! Whether this does imply a legal responsibility of the club, "equippers" or council though I don't know.

I think it's sad and symptomatic of a rather sordid turn that climbing seems to be taking that the question arises... to hear climbers calling for other climbers to be prosecuted is rather nauseating (literally it gives me a queasy feeling in the stomach) to me. Climbing walls, bolted climbs, fast food climbing... stop the world, it's time to get off!

PS. I forgeot to mention chalk
 Enty 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Aaaaarrrrrgggghhhh!!

THEY PUT 8MM BOLTS IN 9MM HOLES - THEY SHOULD BE SHOT!

The Ent
 teddy 04 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Thank God no! I don't think anybody can say with certainty how this would be viewed in court so it is pointless talking as if we know how this would pan out - the truth is we don't.

 JDDD 04 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234: Is it not a bit sad that we now live in an age where via ferrata has to have a legal status. Sure someone put it in, but you choose to use it.
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:

I watched the film and this isn't certain, it looks like they used 8mm drills but as the stone is so soft they opened up a bit more. The 8.5mm drill could be pushed in (unusual size?) but the 9mm had to be forced. Obviously the job was badly done, but years ago everyone from E Europe you met in Chamonix, for example, had pretty home made gear, they went round the campsites trying to flog titanium stuff, so maybe it's still hard to get the right stuff and they are used to "making do"?

The suggestion that they should have used resin glued bolts when they were bolting as they lead the route is amusing too! It would have been a long ascent.

Whatever, you won't convince me that the poor man who died was victim of anything else but his own poor judgement... Hard to say (or hear, I apologise for any who are offended) but when the wolves are baying for blood and looking for someone to lynch - one poster suggest physical violence if they come back to Oz - then perhaps it needs to be said.
 Enty 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

You've never placed a Rawl bolt have you?

A 12mm bolt needs to be tapped into a 12mm hole.

A 10mm bolt needs to be tapped into a 10mm hole.

A 8mm bolt needs to be tapped into a 8mm hole.

The collar at the end of the bolt is slightly larger than the bolt diameter. This bit grips as the bolt is pulled out.

Even if the rock is soft.

Ciao

The Ent

J1234 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Jon Dittman:
> (In reply to bedspring) Is it not a bit sad that we now live in an age where via ferrata has to have a legal status. Sure someone put it in, but you choose to use it.

Maybe, maybe not. Your grieving widow and children may not share your ethical stance on negligent/incompetent Via Ferrati installation.

Bouldering and Soloing pure own responsibility,
Trad, natural thing pretty much all your own responsibility but you and your partner are responsible for each other to varying extents.
Sport, now somebody, like it or not, is taking "some" of your responsibility away from you because it is in many cases impossible for you to make an assesment of a bolt on the lead, and it would be reasonable for a complete novice to set off up a sport route.
Via Ferratta, I would make an assumption that the gear on this is very safe, to the extent I would take a child up it.
Cheers Beds
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:

> You've never placed a Rawl bolt have you?

I have actually, quite a few, but not when climbing - I am against the use of bolts when climbing... they are just raping the cliff rather than persuading it to yield by caress. This thread doesn't exactly make me change my mind! Clearly the widespread use of bolts has lead to a very dangerous attitude amongst many climbers.

If you look at the film, as I suggested above, it really doesn't look like the holes were made with a 9mm bit... which is what I just said. You seem to take this very personally... is it because you are a keen bolter yourself?
 Monk 04 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:
> (In reply to Jon Dittman)
> [...]
>

> Via Ferratta, I would make an assumption that the gear on this is very safe, to the extent I would take a child up it.
> Cheers Beds

Don't go to the dolomites then. Via ferrata are in a mountain environment, subject to damage every winter from freeze thaw and from stonefall all the time. They are mountain routes that happen to have metal work on them. Some of them are very old. Some of them are newer. They are not childrens playgrounds, they are routes up very steep mountains. Your assumption is wrong. You should always approach a via ferrata knowing that you could face damaged sections.

The case in france is different where the routes are newer and normally funded by the local municipality. Equally, french routes are more dependant on the metal rather than the rock.
 alicia 04 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to mick o the north)
>
> It would be interesting to know the Croatian viewpoint. Having spent some time with Romanian climbers who thought nothing of climbing 8a on home-made pegs ten metres apart, I have an idea the Eastern European mentality might be different from ours. As indeed this case rather demonstrates.
>
> Alicia - "cause". Hmm. Am I right that the US has this reckless endangerment offence? What's that about?
>
> jcm

I know at least some states do, e.g. in New York, there was a 2003 case in which a man disabled the pilot light of his oven, turned on the gas and took some tranquilizers in an attempt to commit suicide. This was, I believe, in an apartment building. The suicide attempt didn't work, and a spark ignited the gas, causing an explosion. He was charged with reckless endangerment. I believe the relevant element is "evincing a depraved indifference to human life."


 Matt Vigg 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Tdubs:

Totally agree with what you've said here. This case is definitely tragic and I think it's very harsh to be in any way "blaming" the climber - how many people check every shiny new bolt as they climb (or even old crappy looking ones), I reckon about 0% of climbers do. That may say something about the dangers of sport climbing but I don't think it says anything much about the climber concerned (who I think was very experienced).
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to J1234:

> Your grieving widow and children may not share your ethical stance on negligent/incompetent Via Ferrati installation.

But sometimes they wouldn't be grieving if people were more careful. It's not a question of ethics but a result of a change in attitudes which tends to mean that many people now take fixed protection for granted... and some even go as far as to say it is the duty of previous parties to make sure that any gear they leave in place is safe. If applied this completely reverses the until now accepted climbing code that each individual is responsible for his own safety.

A dangerous trend in my opinion, which seems to have contributed to this tragic accident. I say contribute as the breaking of the rope seems to be getting little attention... yet this is very rare. Would using double ropes have helped? Was retreat not attempted as this was impossible with only one rope? The bolts aren't the only issue.
 Enty 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

It's my inability to suffer fools Bruce which is on a par with JCM.

The Ent
 Bill Davidson 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

As they were looking to find, bolt & climb a new route on every continent, would it not be prudent to find out what possible damage they have done elsewhere?

Bill
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
>
> It's my inability to suffer fools Bruce which is on a par with JCM.
>

Which rather makes you look like one.

Look at the film, there's no way the hole they showed was made with a 9mm bit. You didn't answer as to whether you have a vested interest in the mass destruction of French cliffs with bolts... ashamed?

 koopa 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Im absolutely appalled by the ignorance of the people who originally bolted that route, whats even more alarming is that bolts are supplied to people that are so alarmingly weak. I'm an Engineer by trade and i would never trust a bolt that small to climb on what ever the rock type.

Watching that video it was shocking to see how little force was needed to pull those bolts out of the rock, as climbers we are responsible for our own safety and when i was first shown how to climb i was told NEVER trust someone else rigging, always check it for yourself before you rely on it. Common sense really. Im pretty sure there are allot of people who rely blindly on preplaced pro and as such it will be your own ignorance that will get you injured if you do this.
 Banned User 77 04 Feb 2009
In reply to koopa:
>
> Watching that video it was shocking to see how little force was needed to pull those bolts out of the rock, as climbers we are responsible for our own safety and when i was first shown how to climb i was told NEVER trust someone else rigging, always check it for yourself before you rely on it. Common sense really. Im pretty sure there are allot of people who rely blindly on preplaced pro and as such it will be your own ignorance that will get you injured if you do this.

So if you went to a new area, shiny new bolts, you'd serilusly test every bolt you clipped into? If leading it would be pretty hard to give it that much of test while climbing through.

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 04 Feb 2009
In reply to koopa:
>
> Watching that video it was shocking to see how little force was needed to pull those bolts out of the rock, as climbers we are responsible for our own safety and when i was first shown how to climb i was told NEVER trust someone else rigging, always check it for yourself before you rely on it. Common sense really. Im pretty sure there are allot of people who rely blindly on preplaced pro and as such it will be your own ignorance that will get you injured if you do this.

Have you ever been sport climbing?


Chris
In reply to IainRUK:

Quite, and moreover what would happen if you did test it and it failed, exactly? I'm not sure I see how that would have made you safer.

jcm
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

A real shame to hear about this, and a pretty shocking video. Can we take the ethical argument about bolts etc to another thread, out of respect for Nick?

Sport climbing can still be dangerous. Even though we may rely on equipment left by others, the maxim of personal responsibility still holds true.

For advice on how to come to informed decisions about using bolts, the following web feature might be useful:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=2412

Any feedback on the feature would be appreciated.

In reply to teddy:

Not certainty, no, but after all it's my job to tell clients how they're going to get on in court. And at the very least we can avoid stuff 'there's no contract, so they're not liable'.

After all these people have:

Used bolts which the manufacturer says are unfit for climbing.

Been warned by local climbers (echoing the local guidebook) that not only are these bolts unsuitable, but so are the methods they propose to use to install them.

Found out for themselves that this is true when bolting the lower pitches.

Gone ahead and equipped the whole route in this style anyway, possibly in addition using the wrong size drill for the bolts in question.

Sent a description to the local guidebook producer which makes no mention of dangerous bolts.

Gone home, leaving in situ what appear to be a line of shiny new bolts with a description of a nice well-protected route in the guidebook, and boasted on their own website about how dangerous the route was because inter alia the bolts wouldn't stick.


Frankly I'm surprised that any lawyer could consider that those circumstances weren't pretty likely to breach the lowest duty of care one can readily imagine.

jcm
 Bill Davidson 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Dan Middleton, BMC:

Good call Dan
Sarah G 04 Feb 2009
In reply to the inspiral carpet:
> (In reply to jon)
>
> a bolt tightened properly then the thread hit with a hammer and cold chisel stops the bolt unscrewing, but if for any given reason it did come loose it can still be tightened.
>
> oh, i too have 100% confidence in the bolts i place, on rock or at work.

Ahh....Hatfield rail crash, anyone?

Sxx
 teddy 04 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Frankly I'm surprised that any lawyer could consider that those circumstances weren't pretty likely to breach the lowest duty of care one can readily imagine.
>
> jcm

You have not mentioned the climbers' duty of inspection. This is not a climbing wall.

 Steven Love 04 Feb 2009
In reply to the mob:

It's time to put the machetes, hanging ropes, six shooters away and quell that lynch mob, its evident that circumstances conspired and mistakes where made by both parties.

You simply can not hold two Croatian climbers directly responsible for this death, however difficult it may be to swallow, the fact is that route finding is your own responsibility as well as your choice of rope(s).

However, FAs have a moral responsibility to ensure that when they visit another patch to tick some multi-continental project that they observe local ethics and place the correct type of bolts in the correct type of rock in a safe manner, if at all.

From Carter's research we can assume that negligent bolting skills were at work here.

Tako je.


 dustbuddy 04 Feb 2009
In reply to teddy: This would not prevent the duty arising or whether or not it was breached. For what its worth I agree with JCM's analysis in that respect. It would only be relevant in relation to the question of contributory negligence.
 onsight 04 Feb 2009
Hi Everyone, Simon Carter here, I wrote the original reports. Just quickly checking in to see if anything needs clarifying and saw a question about the bolts:

As mentioned in my first blog report, they are 8×78mm Italian made Raumer brand bolts. Their website recommends them as suitable for caving and canyoning but climbing is not indicated as a suitable category: http://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodotti_dettaglio.asp?prod=hang_fix_inox_m8l&qi=0-2-23

I'll check back tomorrow. Cheers.

PS. Eight pitches up a nine pitch route... two meters of blank rock to get past then the difficulties are obviously over... It's easy to be smug, sure the climber (Nick) probably made some mistakes, but I really wonder how many of us would have done anything differently?

PPS. Personally I'd be surprised if there were any legal action resulting from this. The police say they got all the info they needed about the climb by talking to the other climbers on the day of the accident. They are preparing a report for the coroner who, however, can decide anything.
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Dan Middleton, BMC:

Your feature on bolts seems fine... but will people apply it?

From what I read on this thread many won't and don't see why they should.
 Michael Ryan 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Dan Middleton, BMC)
>
> Your feature on bolts seems fine... but will people apply it?
>
> From what I read on this thread many won't and don't see why they should.

You need to get up to speed Bruce.

The BMC and Dan in particular run bolting workshops: they have an integrated approach to bolt education which goes beyond the article.

Most areas in the UK now have equippers who know what they are doing and use good materials.

Much has changed since the 80's when bolters were self-taught.

I don't normally write on forums but I found some posts on this thread, particularly Bruce Hooker's, to be offensive.

In the case described it is inane to suggest that 'it is the climbers own responsibility to test....'

How should the climber test the anchors in this case if sitting on them to is enough to pull them out and result in death? It seems from the video that tugging at them isn’t enough to move them.

I am pretty confident that 99.9999...% of climbers would not rigorously test a line of shiny new bolts. The same logic that applies to a rusty bolt in an alpine setting obviously does apply to a newly bolted sports route for very practical reasons (e.g. no-one has the time to test all bolts on a sport’s route). In this situation therefore there is more onus on the bolter to ensure that the bolts are correctly placed considering the rock type etc...And I refuse to agree that in this case that the bolter is free of responsibility.

Bruce, you should save your ‘high-horsed’ posturing for the non-serious threads.


 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Isn't that what I said? I said the feature "seemed fine"... what I liked was the way he insists that bolts shouldn't be taken for granted any more than any other bit of in place gear and it was each climbers individual responsibility to check the bolts before relying on them. That's what I've been arguing on this thread. Others have said this is not realistic, ie. they don't accept the point of view expressed by Dan Middleton in his feature.

Your knee seems to be a bit jerky.
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Jody's post is an example

To Jody: I don't think it's a high horse, just plain common sense. In a well used area of low sports cliffs you can be pretty confident of bolts, or someone will tell you if there's a bad one... on high (270 metres of vertical choss according to the articles) routes it's crazy to take them for granted.

Anyway in this case there is the complication of them getting off route and perhaps they got to the point of no return, especially with only one rope to play with. You shouldn't take it to badly, this thread was posted to cause debate and with a pretty provocative header "Dangerous Bolting Leads to Climber's Death"... which is pretty close to calling for a lynch mob. The OP must have expected strong reaction...

Why not though? It might save someone else's life.
 Michael Ryan 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> what I liked was the way he insists that bolts shouldn't be taken for granted any more than any other bit of in place gear

Yes, you agree with that, I agree with that, and countless other climbers.

You don't have a monopoly on that view Bruce.

Yes you said the feature was fine but you also said that

> Your feature on bolts seems fine... but will people apply it?
>
> From what I read on this thread many won't and don't see why they should.

Seeing as you are over the water there Bruce and I politely pointed out that the BMC are doing sterling practical work as regards fixed gear in the UK in the form of workshops and gear, as are many area bolt funds.

On your next trip sport climbing at Cheddar, Giggleswick, Portland, Malham or the Peaks, you can breath easy that those bolts you clip are top notch.

Still, be careful though Bruce.

Cheers,

Mick
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
 koopa 04 Feb 2009
In reply to IainRUK:

would you just grab hold of a loose flake without testing it first? same applies...
 koopa 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> (In reply to koopa)
> [...]
>
> Have you ever been sport climbing?
>
>
> Chris

What does that have to do with anything?

 Brown 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

This is a difficult ethical question.

Three years ago I equipped a route in a sandstone/magnesium limestone quarry in Yorkshire using 12 mm expansion bolts. Not ideal I know but they were what I happened to have at home at the time.

I pull tested one using a force meter and it started to pull out of the rock at 2.5 kN about the same as the ratings of small RPs. (no catastrophic failure just a movement of a couple of mm)

I considered climbing the route using the gear as physiological protection backed up with some other rubbish but did not feel I could ethically leave something which looked like a sports route laying around the countryside when it was in fact still a really scary snappy chop route.

I still do not feel I would be culpable had anyone hurt themselves but I might have lost sleep over in none the less. Half the route was made of mud so it clearly was never going to be safe but there are some stupid people out there..
Personally I think this was a tragic accident which "could" have been avoid but unfortunately wasn't.

From the Croatians stand point: You're travelling round the world climbing routes the same way you did in your country using bolts the same as those you've fallen on hundreds of times. You climb a route in Australia and find it one of the scariest things you've done because your bolts don't hold like you expect. - coming home you post a report of this on a local site (maybe similar for them to this one) to warn others of the nature of the route and send your description into the guidebook writer. later someone dies on the route you put up.

Personally I'd feel dreadful.

From the locals stand point: you set off up a climb you know you can manage - clearly thinking there's no routes near this one I'll just follow the bolts (or something similar) so don't bother with a topo. unfortunately it turns out harder and the bolts seam dodgy but your not far from the top so think you can make it. Unfortunately as your resting on a bolt it blows and you fall.

It's obvious that neither party expected this to happen. As for who's responsible - both groups made judgements as we all would. the locals could have backed off at the first sign of bad bolts and the Croatians could have made more efforts to let the locals know about the state of the bolts.

I'd say a tragic accident that could have happened to anyone - condolences to friends and family.

Legally I expect the Croatians would be to blame but personally would hate to see this happen as it takes away those judgements made by each party and to be able to make our own judgements about what's safe is one of the many parts of our sport - even if those judgements are wrong sometimes.
In reply to J1234:
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> What is the legal status with Via Ferrata, similair thing to a bolted route, with an assumed safety.

It may be useful to clarify what’s the “legal status” of Vie Ferrate and bolted routes in Italy (may partially apply to France). In short:

Vie Ferrate come in basically two flavours: “traditional” (i.e. “Dolomitic”) type, and “sport” (i.e. “French” type). The former are the big, traditional equipped trails derived from military use on WWI. Most of the new ferrate are of the second type – shorter, more aerial and strenuous, with Tibetan bridges etc.

As written by someone else, 99% of the ferrate opened in Italy in the last 10 years have been sponsored/paid by local councils or “comunità montane” (a term including group of mountain administrative units that “bond” together to manage fundings etc). To build a via ferrata under this type of sponsorship, a construction project is prepared (almost invariably under the direction of a guide) and signed by a civil engineer. The ferrata is then put in place by guides (or private companies hiring guides), and is subject to a test phase and a maintenance/overhaul plan, with mandatory retirement of the equipment after a certain date. If anything happens there because of protection/cables/step etc failure, the legal responsibility falls on the project sponsor (normally, the local council). The same process applies to:

1) older vie ferrate who have been restored/re-equipped
and
2) bolted crags whose equipment (or re-equipment) has been paid using the above mentioned process (again, to be built their subject to the production of a formal construction plan etc)

Anything else (abandoned equipped trails, routes bolted by clubs or individual, whatever) falling outside the above mentioned cases has no real “legal status”, and if you kill yourself clipping the wrong bolt there, there’s no legal liability on anyone. This includes of course the majority of multipitch bolted mountain routes (particularly those advertised as “plaisir” routes) which are often paid by the local hut warden / bar owner etc, to increase frequentation. As a side note, I’m a strong believer that ALL bolted routes that falls outside the “certified” example above should be advertised as potentially lethal (and not nonsensical labels like “plaisir”), as there’s absolutely no guarantee with the state of their in situ gear.

It should be noted that given the current costs of material, almost all "private" crags are now equipped by guides under some form of sponsorship (private or public). Even in the case of private money paying for it, it’s unlikely that a guide would do a sloppy job there, because of the image problem an accident would create.

This kind of system gives some strong bonus in terms of safety Of the in situ gear, but has some otherwise definite downside. The first is that it encourages indiscriminate frequentation of ferrate/ sport crags, something that, for a simple law of statistic, increases exponentially the probability of accident due to inexperience/stupidity/bad luck etc. Second, it’s good business, which means ferrate/crags are often created even if there’s absolutely no need for them. A lot of idiotic retrobolting of otherwise perfectly fine trad routes was done by people looking for some revenue at expenses of those gullible enough to believe that (for instance) a route with ONE pitch of IV is safer if has ALL the belays bolted.
 deepsoup 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> who refuse to admit that checking a bolt (by looking at it!) is really too much to ask

I don't think anyone is suggesting that looking at a bolt is too much to ask. Earlier you've been speaking of "testing" bolts - it is testing them in any meaningful way that is impossible for a leader to do during a climb.

Assessing the quality of a bolt visually is an entirely reasonable thing to do, but the problem with an incompetently placed, brand new shiny bolt is that it is worthless but looks bombproof.

Of course a climber has to take responsibility for evaluating, as far as possible, the reliability of fixed gear - but that in no way absolves the responsibility of a person placing permanent fixed gear to make sure they know what they're doing first. We're not discussing Donald Rumsfeld's 'unknown unknowns' here - if someone is competent to place bolts they know it.
 teddy 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Luca Signorelli:

Thank you Luca for a very interesting and informative post. It would seem that there is significantly more regulated bolting going on in Italy than in the UK.
In reply to teddy:
> (In reply to Luca Signorelli)
>
> It would seem that there is significantly more regulated bolting going on in Italy than in the UK.

It's not exactly "regulated". If you want to bolt a line on your own, you're free to do it (some people does it quite often). But there's far more - how can I call it - "public bolting". Sport crags and ferrate are seen as turism resources in many areas, particularly in the north, so local administrations are quite often keen to sponsor them. But to do that, some kind of regulation was needed. Actually, there's a strong polemic going on in Italy between guides and "indipendent" equippers in relation to the facto monopoly of the trade by guides. And of course there's the eternal question (that was raided again in occasion of the Aiguille du Midi tragedy last month) of the "certification" of routes, a dangerous nonsense that surface from time to time.

 UKB Shark 04 Feb 2009
In reply to onsight:

I've read the thread. The only thing I can add is that whilst Aussie climbers may have cleaned up their act up more recently lest we forget they are the inventors of the dreaded carrot bolt and originators of other mixed sport/trad abonimations. In general they are, or should be, more wary than we are of bolts. I forget where I read or heard but Dave Jones was clipped into a single bolt with no backup high on a belay on Taipan Wall. After setting the ab the bolt fell into his lap. I mention this just to add some additional context to those who have pointed this wasnt a pure sport climb at a sport climbing crag - but somewhat more adventuresome.
Carnage 04 Feb 2009
In reply to 31770:

> From the Croatians stand point: You're travelling round the world climbing routes the same way you did in your country using bolts the same as those you've fallen on hundreds of times. You climb a route in Australia and find it one of the scariest things you've done because your bolts don't hold like you expect. - coming home you post a report of this on a local site (maybe similar for them to this one) to warn others of the nature of the route and send your description into the guidebook writer. later someone dies on the route you put up.


Ignorance cannot be used as a defence here. Like I said before, its not that simple. One of these guys was told by a local not use the bolts as they were unsafe but they chose to do so anyway.
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Carnage:

I wasn't going to post again, but just one remark: they did whatever job they did, but they also used the gear to do the route themselves, so they must have thought it was good enough... and they did assume their acts.
 Bruce Hooker 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Luca Signorelli:

In France local councils finance via ferrata for the same reasons. Otherwise bolting of crags is often done in a three way deal between land owner, council (possibly the same) and a local climbing club usually with non-profit association (loi 1901 status). You are expected to buy the topo to help finance the bolts.

The result is often very bolted crags, if you like that sort of thing. I don't personally... I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw it as I had a 20 year lay-off from climbing and when I next looked all the cliffs were covered in shiny chains The horror!

Finished!
Carnage 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Carnage)
>
but they also used the gear to do the route themselves, so they must have thought it was good enough

I know that. The tragedy is that someone else died as a result of the bolters stupidity.

They were aware that the bolts weren't safe in that rock but were reckless enough to do the route anyway. Fine. But why didn't they tell Simon that the bolts weren't good when they sent him the route info? They had this information. I won't put down here what I think of them.

 martin heywood 04 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:


Haven't read through all the thread but in my view you take on a responsibility when you bolt a route.
For me it is digraceful to put a bolt in a dangerous position(when there is no need), eg the second in a position where you could hit the ground.
I often come across very badly bolted routes and don't understand how people can do this.
I am not directing these comments at whoever bolted the route in question, but would like people to think a bit more when bolting, it does not take a genius to put the bolts in the right place on the vast majority of routes.
monkeyboy1983 04 Feb 2009
Ask yourselves this?

Do you think the climber who lost his life wants people arguing over who is to blame? To be honest both parties are to be held responsible in some sort of way BUT nothing can be done about it now except for the rest of us to learn a lesson from this tragedy :-

1) Check bolts before you use them, thats YOUR resposibility and to report them if they are not safe.
2) If you are a bolter, ensure bolts that are left up are safe for others to use, to report any problems and to do research on what bolts to use for the rock you are planning on climbing.

My comment isnt here to offend anyone, so im sorry if it does, its just to keep the respect for the climber who has died.
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

I'm amazed, but I suppose not surprised, by the naivety of those who seem to think that the law doesn't apply to climbing.

If you were assaulted in the mountains, you'd expect the law to apply. If your gear were to be nicked from the foot of a crag, you'd expect the law to apply. So why do you think you shouldn't be held responsible for your actions, if you do something which causes injury to someone else?

Let's just remind ourselves - these guys went out with the intention of putting up a new route, which they named and sent to the guidebook editor. They clearly expected others to try to climb it. They therefore had a moral, and almost certainly a legal, obligation when equipping the route to ensure it was done to a reasonable standard of competence, because they could reasonably expect that other people would rely on the gear. Instead, they used bolts which weren't rated for climbing, weren't suitable for the rock type, and possibly weren't fixed properly anyway. They knew the bolts were dodgy, but still didn't mention this when they sent the details to the guidebook.

They're culpable. Throw the book at them.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

The law will apply, but are you sure you know the law? What boxers do during a fight would send them both to prison in the street, motor sports don't respect the normal rules of the road.... many activities take you outside the normal rules of society, by your own free choice, and this is recognised by most legal systems.

And so it should be, or in no time most dangerous hobbies would become illegal, or so severely regulated that they would lose most of their interest... To give another example from climbing... a leader who falls, either by mishap or because he pushed it too far, and in the ensuing fall causes his second to be injured, or killed, but survives himself...not an entirely unknown case, would he be liable? Could he be sued by the family of the deceased if it was clear that he had been careless? Or if you accidentally knock a rock down which lands on someone... are you liable?

Until now we have all accepted the rule that climbing is a dangerous activity and all those who do it accept the risks... you would never dream of blaming anyone else when things went wrong. This corresponds to the attitude of police forces, in the cases I've been involved in and as far as I know elsewhere. Not because climbers are above the law but because any other attitude would mean the end of the sport and also, perhaps more so, climbing is an activity based on individual responsibility and assuming ones risks and life... which is, for many, one of the principal attractions in a world where this is becoming more and more rare.

A lot of you are opening Pandora's box here.
J1234 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Luca Signorelli:
Thanks for that. .
 Monk 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Howard J)
>

> And so it should be, or in no time most dangerous hobbies would become illegal, or so severely regulated that they would lose most of their interest... To give another example from climbing... a leader who falls, either by mishap or because he pushed it too far, and in the ensuing fall causes his second to be injured, or killed, but survives himself...not an entirely unknown case, would he be liable? Could he be sued by the family of the deceased if it was clear that he had been careless? Or if you accidentally knock a rock down which lands on someone... are you liable?
>


I think the answer to your question is 'potentially, yes'. This is already an issue and why the BMC provides liability insurance as part of it's membership. I don't know if it has ever happened but the risk of litigation is certainly there and has been for as long as I remember (fortunately not that long).

 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Monk:

It may be different in France then, as here the only possible responsibility concerns guides - there was a recent test case of this which caused a bit of a controversy - but otherwise the gendarmes consider climbing accidents to be just that, accidents, considering that when freely choosing to take part in a dangerous past time you accept the risks.

This despite France having a law which is absent in the British system about "non-assistance to persons in danger".. You can be prosecuted if you don't take reasonable action to help someone at risk, at the scene of a car accident, for example. The limit being what is meant by "reasonable", I suppose.
 John2 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker: 'It may be different in France then, as here the only possible responsibility concerns guides'

Is that so? I remember the mayor of Chamonix positioning gendarmes next to the Grand Couloir a few years ago with instructions to turn away anyone wanting to cross it. I thought his reason was that he feared prosecution for allowing alpinists to cross it when it was exposed to unusually dangerous stonefall.
md@r 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
The law (and juries) deal with the word reasonable all the time.
I assume it's about what is a reasonable expectation for a participant in the sport.
Is it reasonable for a boxer to punch his opponent?
Is it reasonable for a boxer to use an ice axe in the ring?
Is it reasonable if a bolted route on natural rock has the potential for the odd dodgy bolt?
Is it reasonable if a route is made up entirely of dodgy bolts?

The bolting example might not be criminally liable "beyond reasonable double" but civil liability is only "balance of probabilities".

Rockfall - climbing puts me in a position where I know the potential to dislodge a rock onto some climber or non-climbing member of the public walking past. I really should join the BMC to get some third party insurance.
Again nonsense:

"Dangerous Bolting Leads to Climber's Death"... which is pretty close to calling for a lynch mob

The title is simply stating the specific case in which "Dangerous Bolting Leads to (A) Climber's Death"

It does not state that "All bolters are liable for climbing accidents" which would the only title that would possibly justify your reactionary, and extreme stance.

No matter how you weasel around the fact, using a thread that refers to a specific case (and death) to promote your ill thought out, parroted, sanctimonious, generic arguments on climber liability is sickening to me.

If that makes me sanctimonious, then so be it. I have bolted a number of new routes and I know that if it was me that had bolted that line I would not sleep easy ever again. For me that is enough proof of bolter liability.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to John2:

It wouldn't have been the mayor of Chamonix, but St Gervais les Bains, there's an ongoing fuss about numbers on Mont Blanc with the Mayor of St Gervais calling for restrictions and such like, the Mayor of Chamonix doesn't agree. Many say that behind it all there's a money question as Chamonix profits a lot more from Mont Blanc but the access to the normal route is by the commune of St Gervais.

People being turned away may have been those without hut reservations as there is a bye-law prohibiting camping on the top of the Aiguille de Gouter just above the hut... they want you to camp lower down next to the Tete Rousse hut where they have flown in "portaloos" specially by helicopter.

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been just stone fall danger, but I think gendarmes do have the power to tell you to turn back if conditions are really deadly... I've never heard of them doing it though elsewhere.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Jody:

OK, so you're a bolter, you feel the need to justify your actions. I'm against all bolts as I think they spoil climbing, bring the climb down to the climber rather than the other way around, but both opinions are valid.

What is less valid is your language, and also the title - it's simply not true that bad "bolting caused the accident", what caused it was these climbers starting the climb, getting lost (they had no topo or sufficient information), continuing to climb on what they could see were dodgy bolts (even using a single poor bolt as a belay at the time of the accident), the climber falling, and then the single rope cutting because of possibly poor rope management.

Sorry to be so brutal, but these are the facts, and hiding them will just encourage others to kill themselves in the future. Every time there is an accident this happens and a useful, calm, objective debate about the casuses of the accident and how to avoid it get squashed in a sea of sentimentalism.

The best way of showing respect for those who die is to try and make sure that it doesn't happen again (even though we all know it will) and the only rule to reduce accidents is not gear but attitude and knowing when to turn back... individual judgement. Apply this rule to any of the accidents on these threads, from Scottish winter climber freezing a few yards from the road to the endless deaths in the Alps each summer (and winter nowadays) and there would be a lot fewer grieving families.

In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> The best way of showing respect for those who die is to try and make sure that it doesn't happen again

you mean like people who want to bolt something learning how to do it properly?

I'm not a massive fan of bolts, I only sport climb a little, but this is so obviously a case where bad bolting turned a fall into an accident. If the bolts had done what they are meant to do the rope never would have got cut. That much is simple, even if the legal and moral dimension aren't.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>To give another example from climbing... a leader who falls, either by mishap or because he pushed it too far, and in the ensuing fall causes his second to be injured, or killed, but survives himself...not an entirely unknown case, would he be liable?

Not unknown at all - surely everyone knows of the Smiler Cuthbertson case, where exactly this did happen and the climber was liable. Admittedly there were differences - he was a guide, and the argument was mainly about the belay, but it wasn't so very far away from this hypothetical.

jcm
In reply to TobyA:

>but this is so obviously a case where bad bolting turned a fall into an accident

Without the bad bolting there wouldn't have been a fall at all.

Causation's a tricky subject and Bruce's absurd observations aren't doing him much credit. You can always say this and that caused an accident, but the truth is that lots of factors come together and without each one of them there wouldn't have been an accident - after all in some trivial sense the decision to go climbing instead of stay on the sofa 'causes' an accident. It is more instructive to ask which of those factors is outside ordinary expectations.

jcm
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:

> you mean like people who want to bolt something learning how to do it properly?

Yes, it would be better, although it would be nice to have their view before stringing them up!

The problem seems to be that they wanted to lead a new climb before going home, they had the bolts on them they were used to using and they wanted to bolt it on the lead (in itself a worthy thing)... They may have been warned that the rock was not suitable but did they understand? Did they know sandstone and think they were Ok? We don't know any of this. All we know is they did the route without mishap and went home happy.

They sent the description in, apparently without commenting on the rock and the bolts (if this is true it seems to me to be their main fault).. but once home put detailed reports on the danger of the climb on internet.

Not perfect but still one sided as we haven't heard anything in their defence... but these are things that happen, which brings me back to my point, we are all ultimately responsible fro what we do, in climbing this can have more drastic consequences than elsewhere, so we should be doubly careful... and not presume anything, especially when setting out on a fairly major undertaking in an area with notoriously poor rock.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Admittedly there were differences - he was a guide.

That's a pretty major difference! Guides are legally responsible for the safety of their clients (in France anyway) otherwise they'd lose half their reason for existing.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Bruce's absurd observations aren't doing him much credit.

You could say it to me directly... what is absurd about saying a climber is individually and entirely responsible for his own safety? It's the basic rule of climbing, as many others have pointed out on this thread... Are they all "absurd" too?

Pragmatically there is simply no other practical solution... apart from limiting us all to climbing walls or guided climbing... and beware, the latter solution has already been proposed on the continent.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Not that it should make any difference (yet it does in your narrow mind), I have put up far more trad routes than sports routes mainly because bolting a line properly takes a great more effort than just cleaning one.
However, now knowing your distain for sports routes I will endeavor to put them up where ever possible.

The offensive of my language can never get close to the offensive of your non-arguments.

Quite frankly in my opinion you represent everything that is bad about internet forums, and I find it ironic that an old man like yourself is one of the main reasons I am turned away from such a relatively new media
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Jody:

Insulting people is not the best way of improving a media... and I'm not old, by the way, I'm only 59.

Why would it matter if I were?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>what is absurd about saying a climber is individually and entirely responsible for his own safety?

The fact that he's patently not. For example he has a partner holding his rope, who is also responsible for his safety.

But anyway it was your comments on causation that were so stupid and offensive. You continue to suggest that this climber was largely responsible for his own death by what you rather bizarrely perceive as his various inadequacies, which is offensive, and to support your desire to prove that you mangle the concept of causation ("it wasn't x that caused the accident it was y", when the fact is, as I pointed out above, that it was both and lots of other things too), which is stupid and offensive.

jcm
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce, you know absolutely nothing about the law. Guides are legally responsible for taking reasonable care in the circumstances to protect their client, which is not the same as 'responsible for their safety', and indeed clients also owe a duty to their guides to take such care for their safety as is reasonable in all the circumstances.

jcm
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Your mind is already in the grave. Instead of delivering the wisdom and intelligence your years would suggest you are spouting an old and tired dogma with the sole purpose of promoting your standing in ‘internet land’.

Traditionally you would be mumbling your nonsense in a tired old village pub where you sit 7 days a week drinking from a personalised mug. However, in this age you are spouting on-line under the illusion that there is 'no consequences to what I write'.

I am not under the illusion that what I write is not attributable directly to me. If one the consequences is that I offend your sensibilities then so be it, because I am quite frankly tired of reading an important and informative issue turned into a chest thumping session for the narrow minded.

 Hugh Cottam 05 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

There are indeed multiple parties that can held liable in the event of an accident.

My brother (another heinous lawyer type) once represented a prisoner who was seriously injured whilst being transferred in a car by 2 prison officers. The car crashed in to a lorry that was attempting to make a u-turn on a dual carriageway. Both prison officers were killed.

So who's liable:

1. The lorry driver.

2. The estate of the dead prison officer who was driving.

3. The highways authority for the design of the road.



Actually my brother successfully sued all three.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

There was a recent case in France concerning a guide... I don't know if UK law is the same.

What I find offensive is the cyber-lynching of two Croatians, without even trying to find out their side of the story.

As for the death, sad to say, like most deaths in climbing it is ultimately our own fault... there was even a thread recently arguing that it was the risk of death that made climbing attractive (started by a young climber before more "ageist" accusations fly). I don't agree with this at all, but I don't see how you can deny that putting yourself high up on a 1000 foot wall of crumbly sandstone, or any other climbing situation outside bouldering or training climbs, is anything but a self inflicted and totally futile danger.

We do it because we want to, so it is ultimately and absolutely our responsibility... it's nothing to do with laws, or understanding them... thank goodness, it's just you and the mountain (and your partner if you want to be pedantic, but even then you chose who you climb with).

I don't have any problem with that.
 goneforever 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> What I find offensive is the cyber-lynching of two Croatians, without even trying to find out their side of the story.
>
Straw man. This thread may have contained a couple of ill-advised comments like that, but the people you're discussing it with now are talking about where the responsibility, legal, or moral, lies for the safety of bolted routes.

Stick to that.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Jody:

Would you like to say something on the subject rather than just strings of bile? It's hard to see what your point is except that you don't like me saying that bolts are bad... if it's something else why not try explaining it? If you try exchanging arguments instead of insults you may realise that forums are really quite useful.

As you seem obsessed my my age is it that you have a problem with your own father and are using me as a punchbag?
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Martin76:

How can you dissociate the two?

My point is that looking for someone to blame is, or should, not be applicable in climbing situations... unless there is a professional relationship possibly, but even then I'd be against.

This from both pragmatic and moral points of view.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Yes, it would be better, although it would be nice to have their view before stringing them up!

Bruce, normally you save this rather obvious tactic of pretending people wrote something they didn't for your political discussions (X - "I think Hamas seem like dogmatic zealots"; Bruce - "you Mossad zionist stooge! I know you want to drink the blood of Arab babies!"). Is it really necessary to drag it into a bolting discussion.

From what I remember of reading all the above - one friend of the victim of the accident basically offered them a fist fight. Perhaps we can forgive his anger as he has lost a mate.

No one has tried to hang them. I'm sure they feel pretty terrible about the whole thing just as imagine any climber would, and of course worried that there may be legal ramifications for them.
 chris_j_s 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> As you seem obsessed my my age is it that you have a problem with your own father and are using me as a punchbag?

Bruce that is exceptionally rude and unnecessary.

You should apologise.
 JimR 05 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s:

its attention seeking behaviour, and you're feeding it!
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

"Would you like to say something on the subject..."

Not really, I don't think it should be necessary to add to my previous points or to the well constructed answers on this topic. You seem incapable of assimilating any useful points of view.

"using me as a punchbag?"

Hhhhmmmm....my dislike of your on-line points of view don't extend that far. Unfortunately, the issue cannot be as simple as your age or even your age of mind. It seems appropriate that you try to tie your narrow mindiness or need for simple manipulations to a single, easily identifiable criteria. Fortunately, there are an uncountable number of 'old' people in the world with far better grasp of common sense and integrity than you; my Father being just one.


 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:

I don't see your point... You of all people usually insist on seeing the other point of view, I'm the one who says (sometimes) there's no point as it's obvious where the right is. There were some pretty hard words used above. Some said they had used the wrong sized drill bits, and the nuts weren't even tight, and yet they did the climb themselves using this gear! Seems odd... we don't know if they had used bolts before, or if this was their first try... again it seems a funny place to learn.

Concerning bolts, I am just agreeing with the BMC guidelines as set out in an article linked above by Dan Middleton, and which concludes:

"9) Never assume a bolt is safe to use, whoever has placed it. YOU are responsible for deciding whether or not to use it. Whenever possible avoid relying on a single bolt for safety."

Apparently this is out of the question for some... That's their problem, I suppose finally.
 onsight 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> My point is that looking for someone to blame is, or should, not be applicable in climbing situations...

Despite saying that you try to blame the climber entirely.

Your repetitive opinionated posts are offensive. Please, give it a rest.

 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to chris_j_s:

I'm rude! Did you read what he said?

I'm sorry but I don't see that making remarks about age, normally on ukc its against young people (Cookson & co), sometimes against older, is reasonable. In neither case is it anything we can do anything about and the intention is always to hurt. I don't feel old, but I don't particularly like being reminded that I'm only a dozen or so years from death (on average) and I don't see how it can bring anything into the debate... which isn't the intention clearly... just simple spite.

As for my remark... there must be some reason for his nasty reactions... this just seemed one possibility... It's often the explanation for unusual behaviour, relations with parents, but it's not something to take out on others.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to onsight:

I haven't said I blame the climber, I have said we are all responsible for being careful and objected to the lynch mob reaction of many against those who did the first ascension.

I've just noticed who you are... could you answer the questions I posed about the climbers accused of causing this accident,

- Was it their first bolting experience?

- Had they been clearly told that their bolts were not safe on this rock,?

- Didn't they mention that the climb was dangerous when they gave the info for the guide book?

- Are there any explanations for the rope breaking so easily?

 steve456 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Have you even read the report? It answers all of those questions.

1. No (although it could have been their first on crumbly sandstone)
2. Allegedly yes
3. No
4. Yes; factor two over a sharp edge
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> and objected to the lynch mob reaction

There is no lynch mob reaction. Its just clear to most climbers that if you bolt a cliff and then leave the bolts there afterwards, its your responsibility to make sure they are within reason safe.

BTW the idea that the rock is particularly crumbly or something is as far as I can see, not the case. One of my climbing partners has bolted many routes in the Blue Mountains and is a big fan of both the sport and trad climbing there. He says that well placed glued-in bolts are just as good there as they are anywhere else.
 Hugh Cottam 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce, I think people are overreacting to you. But you've written a huge amount on this thread and you clearly haven't even read the article and reports that were the start of it. No wonder people get wound up.
 JimR 05 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:
>
> BTW the idea that the rock is particularly crumbly or something is as far as I can see, not the case. One of my climbing partners has bolted many routes in the Blue Mountains and is a big fan of both the sport and trad climbing there. He says that well placed glued-in bolts are just as good there as they are anywhere else.


from the report

"There are good reasons that the Blue Mountains guidebook says:

If you are intending to put up new routes, ask a local how. The rock is very soft here so normal bolting methods don’t work."

In reply to JimR: Exactly - which is why I guess they have to use well place glue ins rather than expansion bolts.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> Its just clear to most climbers that if you bolt a cliff and then leave the bolts there afterwards, its your responsibility to make sure they are within reason safe.

How do you do this on a long route that you have bolted while climbing? It's a precedent though that new routers must think of those who will follow... what if they had a bit of a struggle too? Have you never left a peg in when you backed off something? Are you supposed to get a helicopter to take you back up to remove it in case of an accident? (and yes, it is an extreme example, the helicopter, that is, but it has happened to all of us to leave gear in after a forced retreat).

> BTW the idea that the rock is particularly crumbly or something is as far as I can see, not the case.

I was going by what was said on the blog linked to the article... they said that the area where the route went was an area of poor rock... see, I did read the reports, although they didn't answer all the questions, nor give any reply from the "accused"... at least I didn't see it.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

I read the article and the blog some of it after another thread on the same subject... it didn't answer all the questions. I couldn't read the original in Croatian though.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>nor give any reply from the "accused"... at least I didn't see it.

These gentlemen maintain a blog, so presumably they have internet access, and they're aware from Simon Carter of what happened. If they want to comment they've got plenty of opportunity, assuming they speak English. If they don't then I don't see how anyone here is supposed to communicate with them.

jcm
 Hugh Cottam 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Hugh Cottam)
>
> I read the article and the blog some of it after another thread on the same subject... it didn't answer all the questions. I couldn't read the original in Croatian though.

Then why ask 4 questions that are answered directly in the article and blogs that you claim to have read. Not meaning to be rude Bruce, but go back and read them again.

In reply to Bruce Hooker:

The law will depend on what country you're in - I know nothing about Australian law. I do know a little about English law, although I'm not a lawyer.

The comparison with boxing is misleading. A boxer, by getting into the ring, consents to being hit. He willingly accepts the risk. However if his opponent has a horseshoe in his glove, or hits him with a chair, or deliberately hits him after the bell when his guard is down, that is outside the normal parameters of the sport. His opponent could then be held liable for his injuries, and could also be assault.

A climber willingly accepts certain risks, and the law will recognise that. However that does not mean that other parties can act recklessly or negligently without regard to the consequences. The law recognises that accidents can happen, and also that the injured party may have contributed to the situation. But don't imagine you can get away with acting recklessly or negligently in the mountains any more than you would anywhere else.

If a climber falls and injures his second, he may indeed be liable, especially if his actions were not what should be expected from a climber of his experience and ability.

To go back to the case under discussion, the guys who bolted the route failed on several counts to do a proper job, when they could reasonably expect that others would rely on their bolts and to whom they therefore owed a duty of care. They were probably negligent, but that would be for an Australian court to decide. The climber who was killed may or may not have contributed to the accident, these things are never black and white, but it doesn't absolve the bolters from responsibility.

Wishing the law won't get involved won't make it so. It's not up to us. It's not just the police (these are usually civil rather than criminal matters), it's the injured parties, their next of kin or their insurance companies who will want to seek redress, through the courts if necessary.
In reply to Howard J:

Good grief, intelligent, reasoned and correct comment about the law from someone who actually understands it.

Just go away, will you? We don't want your kind here....

jcm
In reply to Howard J:

> The comparison with boxing is misleading. A boxer, by getting into the ring, consents to being hit. He willingly accepts the risk.

So a better comparison I guess would be a footballer punching an opponent. Just because they are in a competitive game against each other, it doesn't mean assault is allowed?
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to steve456:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker) Have you even read the report? It answers all of those questions.
>
> 1. No (although it could have been their first on crumbly sandstone)
> 2. Allegedly yes
> 3. No
> 4. Yes; factor two over a sharp edge

Were you out there when it happened... your profile says you live in Sheffield. If so a little more detail is what I would be interested in... your replies say no more than the article.

Carnage 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Theres is nothing more to add to the article as Simon has done all the research and tells it how it is.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

> If a climber falls and injures his second, he may indeed be liable, especially if his actions were not what should be expected from a climber of his experience and ability.

If applied, goodbye climbing... think about it a bit.

> and to whom they therefore owed a duty of care...

Again, who would lead a new route and leave fixed gear if this were to be applied? You'd have to be nuts to take the risk.

Would this be extended to giving concise route descriptions of new routes (by concise I mean not absolutely detailed and with numerous warnings of risks and possible dangers)? Even without such an extension it would turn accepted practices of climbing on their heads... and it would also have the effect, again if applied, of making private route bolting a very risky business indeed... which wouldn't worry me as if there was never another bolt drilled on a cliff or mountain in the world I think this would be a good thing, but it might not suit some of the more virulent posters here.

And all because maintaining as a principal the climbing is a risky hobby and each of us is a responsible individual who assumes his life and the risks he chooses to take no longer suits climbers brought up on climbing walls, bouldering and sports cragging?

I really can't believe that this is what the majority of climbers want... I could be wrong though, alas.


 Hugh Cottam 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

It's not about what climbers want Bruce. We don't exist in a bubble that is independent of the law. You can't really put it any better than Howard J has.
It's about what is reasonable to expect of your activity and the other people who partake in it.
 steve456 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Were you out there when it happened... your profile says you live in Sheffield. If so a little more detail is what I would be interested in... your replies say no more than the article.

Of course I wasn't out when it happened or I wouldn't have repeatedly suggested you read the article (and I see I'm not the only person to do so). Your questions asked of nothing that wasn't in the article or the original blog.

You've opened an ugly can of worms with your absolute anti-liability sentiments (mixed in with some anti-bolting) and it looks like you're on your own.

Anyway, I'm off to pack my bags to go climbing (sans-bolts).
 chris fox 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

One of the guys in questin has written the climbing guide for his country. Going by what i have read he's very experienced, so why bolt a line in a country with a rock type you are unfamiliar with (Croatia is mainly Limestone) and place expansion bolts into sandstone? It baffles me.

Nick was a very good mate of mine, i had known him for nearly 5 years, climbed regularly with him and drank many beers with him.

A good friend has gone.

Chris
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

Of course it's what we want... If no one sues or makes complaints then most of the time the courts will not become involved. Up until now such things were rare, I hope they stay that way, but when people go on like on this thread, one even suggested that any climber needs third party liability insurance! Others call rabidly to "Throw the book at them" and so on.

There's also the BMC (who seem to have a responsible attitude on this subject, some posters here could do worse than read their guidelines about bolts) and many ways of making opinions known if necessary, petitions (like the one to outlaw bolts in the UK mentioned on another thread). Laws are made to serve people, not the other way around.
In reply to TobyA:

Or indeed illegal tackles. Players (or more to the point their clubs' insurers) have paid out a lot of money for those too. Iain's example about serving time is criminal liability, which is a bit different, but basically it's the same thing.

jcm
 Hugh Cottam 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

That's thinking in a dream world. It's rarely the climbers themselves who take things to court. It's usually the dead climbers family. Naturally they are grieving and searching for answers. Wishing the modern world would go away won't make it so.

You have to look at what the climbers who bolted the route have done in terms of their actions. It's hard not to at least consider that their actions in this instance were extremely negligent. Personally I've removed rotten fixed gear on occasion when I've found it as I'd struggle to live with my conscience on considering the potential consequences of leaving it in-situ. Same goes goes for loose rock. When you see an accident waiting to happen you don't do nothing. This surely must be doubly so when you're the actual architect.
 Bruce Hooker 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Hugh Cottam:

They put the gear in and used it. Not as if they bolted the route and then left...

Maybe people shouldn't leave gear in at all, that way the problem couldn't arise again? Here it was a bolt, it could have been a piton, so we shouldn't leave them either as there's no way they can be guaranteed safe. Even if ok when put in. As soon as you demand safety from others at an indeterminate time later I can't see any other solution. Madness.
 Banned User 77 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker: I just don't get you here at all. Of course there is a responsibility. If your offspring were killed crossing a river on an unsafe bridge which collapsed would you blame your offspring for not testing the bridge? or the designer or builder whose faulty work caused the failure and the death of a member of your family?
 chris fox 05 Feb 2009
In reply to Rich Mayfield:
> (In reply to Hugh Cottam)
>
>
> How experienced are the climbers who had the accident, cos if inexperienced and unable to make the judgment call then perhaps crimal charges could be brought?


Trust me, Nick was very experienced, climbed 5.12b sport and 5.12a trad. He had many FA's around NSW, both glue in and expansion bolts, he knew how to place bolts, and mentioned to his partner that the bolts the were on were suspect. Why didn't he back off, well we were not there, do not know the circumstances. My opinionim (knowing him well) is he probably saw this one blank section then easier ground to the next belay, then 1 more pitch to the top and thought it was easier than rapping. After all, they did not know they were off route.

Nick's gone, it was a bad state of circumstances. There's a lot of anger in oz at the moment. it's all over the news, not fair on the Kaz family, their son has gone and this is not going to help them.

In reply to chris fox:

>Why didn't he back off?

I imagine it never occurred to him that the bolts could be THAT bad.

jcm
 chris fox 05 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

My point exactly JCM.
 Jubjab 06 Feb 2009
Here is a Google translate of the bolter's point of view. If somebody knows Croatian they can probably clarify it a bit more.

Quoted from http://209.85.135.101/translate_c?hl=fi&sl=hr&tl=en&u=http://www.pdsvelebit.hr/AO/forum/...

While I was considering whether to write ovoi on the forum considering that the assembly or meeting the right and the official place for it obviously is still necessary for those who are interested to write. Those who have built their position anyway, and it will continue to have. This shall be the end of the story:
Decree on the mistakes of Australian naveze:

1 fulali their direction, and instead, like all exit left by police turned in their direction right, unknown, and thus retrieve the possible risk.

2 but at high gredini to see what is krakter rocks (full horizontal scales, which could rupture - a potentially dangerous for the rope). In mountaineering, I preuzimaš risk when you come to a rock. Potentially dangerous places for a rope and how much will Paklenica btw.

3 pass one light weight, come to the police with two Split (evident stand) and continue on. Since there is no more rope stand the midst of a length on one Spitu. Following is continuing, can not pass the most difficult position, trying to engage his staff certain Spit (probably at the HOPS by Spitu - in such a way to understand sometimes in spite izletiti limestone). Spit It turns out from soft sandstone, and the decline SHOT cords (the main cause of death). That you have already entered in an unknown direction on the right štandali anchored the rope line would probably be different and may be despite STAROM rope avoid pogbija.

Cujic - Matkovic:

We went to the proviso that ispenjemo primary direction. We were not doing sports direction, or we have it reported as such but simply the direction of using material that allows the rocks. Where are the footsteps of friend we would put them, not where we went with the spite. As the soft rock 2-3 were izvrtila were held (at least then). What made atmospheric later the question is. We ispenjali in the lead and the most difficult long - no problem with breaking meðuosiguranjima except those scales - it is a rock, so is her character, which we then accept - shell and shoot at Klek in the Alps-waste and whole sections of walls with spits ....

About how we wrote to all our reports (Portals - Book Great rocks the world).

Only ten days after returning, I sent a mail Simonu Carter with sketches and a description of the direction and character descriptions and information about the material we used to be that I stand at your disposal for further clarification (Btw spite climb before we showed because we were the guests-even the president their federation and several climbers - no one has said that will not roll). Carter is a given but not published. Before a couple of days after the halabuka I sent him today with my ancient copypastiranim mail and additional explanations. I got his apology! Why is it now on their forums, no longer occurs? Maybe that he dropped it responsible for what he had information and they announced that people know what kind of kind of the work.

It was built around the so-called chase. ignoring the local scene and who is actually ignored the publication of the obtained data?

In short:
I'm sorry of course for the accident, but can for her we wrong. We send the data, describe the direction of what is. We are not, nor okarakterizirali as a sport (as if I tužim a man for directions to El capu who ispenjao only on the hook without spite, and I can then break up in it-not a problem in the author already in me) but as a direction to not be satisfactory stone with insurance what are (at risk then we were ourselves). And at the end of the rope puklo - whether it should sue the manufacturer? Today the ropes tested at very sharp edges! Or is it very old?
End!
Cuja
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

"If applied, goodbye climbing... think about it a bit."

You could say the same thing about driving a car.

The law will accept that accidents happen. If there's an accident but you've follow recognised good climbing practice, you should be OK. You're only going to be held liable if you've been negligent or not followed recognised practice.

"Again, who would lead a new route and leave fixed gear if this were to be applied? You'd have to be nuts to take the risk."

If you're competent and you've fixed the gear properly, in accordance with good practice and the bolt manufacturer's instructions, you should be OK. But you'd be wise to have insurance.

It's no good sticking your head in the sand and hoping the law will go away - it won't. People get hurt doing all sorts of activities, not just climbing (I play in a band and we have to have insurance), and sometimes it's someone else's fault. If they're left unable to work again, or need constant medical care, then their dependents or their insurance company will seek damages to help pay for this, just as they would if the person was injured in a car accident. That's why you should have third party insurance.

 JimR 06 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Howard J)
>
> Good grief, intelligent, reasoned and correct comment about the law from someone who actually understands it.
>
> Just go away, will you? We don't want your kind here....
>
> jcm


One thing that veryone overlooks is, in this particular case, you would have to get the "offenders" out of their own country and back to Australia to face trial .. I suspect that might prove problematic
 Bruce Hooker 06 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

It's probably time to end this thread, as it seem to upset people but the world you paint, which in my opinion is not yet the world that exists, sounds a pretty dismal place. And a pretty difficult one too, as if, as you suggest, families will (or do... Are you sure?) sue the partners involved in an accident, or those who they feel responsible... the climber who left a peg or sling for abbing which gave way, ok at the time but not necessarily a while later, the club which organised a meet to Glencoe, on which a party is lost, someone who accidentally knocks a stone down on someone else (was he negligent or not?) then the only way to discover if the person is "guilty" or not would be court action... Interesting for lawyers (some of whom may see their interest!) but not for anyone else.

As far as I know, which you may not think is very far, most climbers are happy with the existing consensus, ie. shit happens, that's the risk of the game, and do not resort to legal action, or witch hunts, except in extreme, and very clear, cases. But what is an extreme case and clear case? I don't think this one is, you do, apparently... but no amount of legal action ever brought anyone back, alas.
 JimR 06 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Just to take a step back a bit. What is the purpose of legislation?
1) Is it to solve a problem? eg.Stop injury caused by negligent bolting
or 2) Provide a system of providing damages to the injured party
or 3) Give justice to the injured party.

I would suggest 1 & 3 probably involves criminal law requiring a higher standard of proof and culpability than 2 which would probably be a civil action. In England ,at the moment given British parties, (JCM knows a lot better than me) in this case, a decent lawyer could probably make a good fist of bringing and winning a case. However, unless the perpetuators, were very rich it would probably cost a lot more to bring the action than it would return.
A criminal case would stand absolutely no chance of success.
You all keep talking as if climbing is in some way special. It's not (OK, it is to us, but that's not what I'm talking about).

People do get hurt. Accidents happen - it's in the nature of the sport, although it's not the only one where people can get hurt or even killed. When we're talking about the law being involved it's because someone has been hurt because someone else has f*****d up. Some people apparently think that's OK, even if it leaves someone living on benefits because they cannot work again, or because their partner has been killed.

It's not a question of whether or not we want the law to apply. It does - that's indisputable. That doesn't mean that people can no longer climb, or equip routes. It does mean that they have a responsibility to the people around them - which should be obvious without needing to bring in the law. Why do you think that climbers should be somehow exempt from the obligations expected of the rest of society (which, let's not forget, we're all part of when we come down from the mountains)?

Every day, people do far more dangerous things than climbing. Surgeons operate on patients, electricians wire houses, mechanics mend cars. If they make a mistake, people may die. It doesn't stop them doing these things. It does mean that they must do them to a properly competent standard, or they may be held liable. Why shouldn't we expect the same of climbers?
In reply to Howard J: hear hear! well said!
 Bruce Hooker 06 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

> It's not a question of whether or not we want the law to apply. It does - that's indisputable.

That's an opinion, and not a very realistic one, take a look at the Unions thread, loads of laws exist but aren't applied. Also it's the interpretation of the law and the degree to which a sub group of the population try to make laws apply that changes everything. Ask any artisan, if he applied all the laws and regulations as the bureaucrats and the parasitic law vultures would have it they would all be out of business.

Reality check please... and beware, activities like climbing could well become outlawed if we follow your logic, they are inevitably dangerous, unless limited to the castrated versions such as indoor walls and sports climbing... and even they can be dangerous. Apply the nanny state logic and there would be no more climbing, or even hill walking probably

They are not like repairing a car or wiring a house, climbing can never be 100% safe.
In reply to JimR:

To be fair, I did say that in my very first post.

jcm
 deepsoup 06 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> if he applied all the laws and regulations.. ..they would all be out of business.

Your artisan would be out of business a lot sooner if he failed to apply the most fundamental 'laws and regulations' - the ones that say causing death and injury through negligence and/or incompetence is not ok.

> Reality check please...

Having checked in with reality (reality says 'Hi' by the way Bruce, misses you, hasn't seen or heard from you in ages apparently) - I realise you're not going to stop being so boorish any time soon. But really, do you *have* to be so wilfully obtuse, its extraordinarily tiresome.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> That's an opinion, and not a very realistic one,

It's not an opinion, its a statement of the bleedin' obvious. Go and shoot someone and find out if laws apply or not. You might see that law is not just someone's opinion after all.

The year I went to uni the club had to fight a case brought by the parents of a girl seriously hurt in hillwalking slip on the freshers meet. That's 17 years ago. Chouinard went bankrupt because of a legal action brought against it. A British mountain guide sued by the family of his client killed in an accident on the Tour Ronde. I'm sure others can come up with plenty of other examples of situations where it has been only too apparent that climbers are subject to the same laws as everyone else.
 JimR 06 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Sorry, John, missed that one ..
 Bruce Hooker 06 Feb 2009
In reply to deepsoup:

I suggest you have a chat with an electrician in the uk, or a gas fitter. Climbing up a step ladder to change a light fitting is not really life threatening if you are on your own, but it is against the regulations... ask any one of them, they'll be far more "boorish" than me about what they are supposed to put up with.
 Bruce Hooker 06 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:

I started a long post about this, and the Tour Ronde, an oft chosen place for young Brits to kill themselves (4 were killed there just before my first visit to the Alps in 1969) but finally I couldn't see what point you were trying to make.

"Death by misadventure" exists... in the French Alps it's the usual conclusion of the Gendarmes concerning climbing accidents, 60 odd a year on average. Climbers are not outside the law but the law, in France at least, recognises the right for all of us as free individuals to risk out lives, and in doing risk those of those we climb with... You are not suggesting they should change their attitude are you?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

We're not talking about the criminal law here (although in extreme cases it could apply) but about the civil law of tort. I suggest you go and look at a law textbook, it might open your eyes.

What you seem to be saying is that because we as free individuals choose to engage in a dangerous activity then climbers should be free to behave however they wish without thought to the consequences.

Here's a couple of scenarios:

1) Climbers A and B are climbing together. A's leading and B's belaying. They're doing everything in accordance with good climbing practice. A slips, the gear rips, he's injured. Typical climbing accident, nobody's fault, certainly not B's, whose belaying was meticulous. A bit rough on A, since he's permanently disabled and unable to work, but hey that's what we sign up to isn't it? Let's hope he had insurance.

2) This time B isn't belaying by the book. He's dicking about, chatting with his mates and watching the girls. When he bends down to get some chocolate from his sack, he tugs the rope and pulls A off. Since B is standing too far from the bottom, the gear unzips and A decks.

So there's A, disabled and unable to work, and facing a life of financial hardship because B f****d up. It's not unreasonable for him to expect B to do something about it. A sues B, who's found to be negligent and has to pay A damages. You seem to want A to turn the other cheek, which is very Christian but hardly realistic in the circumstances.

Apart from anything else, it may not be up to A, because he did have insurance. He claims, the insurance company pays out, A's financial problems are solved. Now the insurance company looks to see who's fault it was and they sue B.

This is no different from what would happen with a car accident or an accident at work.

Let's be clear, a simple accident where nobody's to blame isn't going to bring down the law. It's situations where somebody has been negligent, resulting in injury to someone else.

It's like the boxing analogy you raised some time back. A boxer consents to being hit, so he can't sue his opponent for ordinary boxing injuries, only if his opponent steps outside what is correct behaviour in the ring. A climber consents to a level of risk, but he is entitled to expect that the people he climbs are competent and will not put him at risk. If they fail in that, then they will be liable for the consequences.

 deepsoup 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Climbing up a step ladder.. ..is against the regulations

Most people don't care if an electrician uses a stepladder in their home. But they really do care if the electrician makes a hash of the wiring, uses the wrong sized fuse and burns the house down. The latter is a better analogy for placing a shiny new lethally sub-standard bolt.

Besides which, your example is factually just plain wrong. There are no regulations that prohibit using a stepladder at work - its a myth.
 Steven Love 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

>bedspring wrote “I would expect people to come along screaming risk averse litiigaous society, but when I would not trust a lot of people I see to put a shelf up

>Howard J wrote " Let's be clear, a simple accident where nobody's to blame isn't going to bring down the law. It's situations where somebody has been negligent, resulting in injury to someone else."

Indeed we expect to take risks and we expect to be able to mitigate these risks, so there is a valid point about the law still applying in the crags, as uncomfortable as it may be for some it's not a lawless frontier. It is perfectly reasonable for a climber to expect a new set of bolts to be of an accepted standard, if however they aren't to this standard and fail their intended purpose with ease, I believe this is classed legally as an action which occurs outside the rules of expected conduct. Which means there could be a case for legal negligence as it was foreseeable that other climbers would rely on these bolts after the route setter had finished with them.

The problem with negligence is that its never exclusive, many other factors can and do contribute to an accident or fatality. Once these are taken into consideration all you are left is a case of contributory negligence. So with regards to any legal redress with any bad bolting, there would be a basis for a civil claim but a court would only be able to attribute a certain level of responsibility, due to the contributory negligence factor, it seems the burden of proof is a balance of probabilities.

If we had the situation where route setters and FA’s could be summoned to court as and when an accident occurred. How would this help climbing as a sport? Any increase in the threat of litigation would be bad for climbing, as happens to activities that fall foul of risk assessment, becoming discouraged and restricted. If you alter the perception of ‘ the risk’ with regards to insurer's cover you risk increased premiums or the withdrawal of cover for instructors, guides, groups or schools. So too councils and landowners willingness to allow crag access due to this increased perception of risk.

Our unprecedented and fortunate access to information about climbing incidents is rather regrettably our best way to insure ourselves against the worst, better that we respect a life lost by making sure the lessons are learnt for all.




 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

> What you seem to be saying is that because we as free individuals choose to engage in a dangerous activity then climbers should be free to behave however they wish without thought to the consequences.

No I'm not but never mind.

At least your examples demonstrate the negative role on insurance in all this. They also demonstrate why A and B need to choose their partners carefully... the example you gave showed that A was daft to climb with B, who was clearly a poor climber. "A" made the choice though, even if your bending down for chocolate and pulling the leader off is a bit contrived and trivial.

Roll on Brave New World!
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to deepsoup:

> There are no regulations that prohibit using a stepladder at work - its a myth.

Apparently you didn't notice the words "if you are on your own,". Ask an artisan. My cousin John, who has an electrical installation company told me this one, another cousin, Pete, has the same sorts of problems in the electroplating company where he has worked for years... get them together and they'll happily rant on about the subject for hours.

I often wonder in which party of Wonderland many ukc posters live... they don't seem to have much contact with everyday life in the real world... there's thread called "What's the point of unions?" running at present which gives the same impression.
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Steven Love:

I totally agree with the overall gist of your post... especially the conclusions, which sum up my own fears better than I have been able to do.

I do differ on one point though:

> It is perfectly reasonable for a climber to expect a new set of bolts to be of an accepted standard,

This may be true on a training crag maintained by a club, association or local authority - like most of the Burgundy cliffs, places like Portland etc, which are very frequented and people are actively keeping an eye on them. However, on larger cliffs, or in mountain areas where the frequency use and the reality doesn't permit this I'd say that a climber would be imprudent to do so. That's my basic point.

These bolts were placed to enable one party to climb the route... they were clearly fit for this purpose as they got to the top without mishap.... What happened then we don't know, perhaps this was the second attempt, perhaps they could have been loosened by falls... We should never assume a bolt is solid, (see BMC advice), nor place our lives at the mercy of just two of them... the bolt that failed and the belay bolt, which didn't but was not tested as the rope cut.
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

Seems I hit on a major controversy as there are loads of sites abut this notably the government one denying this and saying it is a myth! Not surprising they were embarrassed by things like this:

http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/News/Stepladders-Banned-for-English-Firefighters/46$52991

which is apparently true. It is also true that the rules are ambiguous as they still say that "For straightforward, short duration work stepladders and ladders can be a good option, but you wouldn’t want to be wobbling about on them doing complex tasks for long periods."

The maximum duration authorised is 30 minutes, but, as usual, it is a question of the employer being able to prove that his choice of using a step ladder for the job was a "suitable choice" if an accident occurs and professional associations (or insurance company lawyers) may have different views on this.

They say that the myth is believed by many companies, my cousin being one as we talked about this last Christmas, but when you read the texts fully he may be right to say that if one of his workmen had an accident installing a light fitting from a step ladder unassisted then he could be in trouble... even the HSE say this if the job takes more than 30 minutes.

There are always sliver linings, as this text shows:

http://www.amicustheunion.org/pdf/ECBAlternativesToStepLaddersPart2.pdf

It seems that the sale of access equipment is booming... I hope it's made in Britain.
In reply to Bruce Hooker: That article (the fireman one) is a great example of these myths spread, it's based on hearsay, quoting 2 firemen, one anon. There is a problem with over zelous H&S but it is usally with the companies (or councils) own H&S people and their interpretation of advice, or confusion between advice and legislation. I work in engineering and from my experience the people who end up in these roles tend to be of a certain type.... I'm trying to be tactful but I'm sure you know what I mean.
 shaggypops 07 Feb 2009
In reply to deepsoup:

>
> Besides which, your example is factually just plain wrong. There are no regulations that prohibit using a stepladder at work - its a myth.

Im afraid you are wrong there. Many sites do not allow steps now.
In reply to shaggypops: see above
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

From what I read this morning the myth is that step ladders were banned, they are not, but their use is limited - fitting a fire alarm wouldn't be ok if it took more than a few minutes, changing a light bulb would - but overall the problem for small companies and artisans is the general terms like "suitable" and "adequate measures" which they fear, rightly or wrongly (but often using their professional bodies' advice), could lay them open to a claim if ever there was an accident. A court action and the legal fees, whether they win of lose, could cripple them.. to which Howard will reply "insurance", but this isn't free, is it?

Anyway, even here we are talking about professional situations where people are being paid to do a job, a contractual situation exists, so it isn't really the same case as for bolting, gear left in place or climbing in general. It's just an example of the way things could go if climbers are not careful.
In reply to Bruce Hooker: Back on topic.. my tuppence worth.

I don't think this will ever go legal and I think this is for the best... this accident does seem to be unfortunate chain of event and decisions but in this case I think the guys who put the bolts in do have some 'moral' blame to carry and should expect flak from the climbing community.
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

I'd agree with that... the thread's getting a bit heavy, no doubt about that.
Bruce, the same principles apply to everything you do, not just climbing. If you fail to exercise proper care, resulting in someone suffering injury, then you will be liable. It's not black or white, it doesn't absolve the other party from responsibility for themselves, but that's the general principle.

Third party insurance is simply a way of protecting both parties - the injured party can actually get the damages he deserves, and the party who was negligent won't be bankrupted. That is why the law makes it compulsory for drivers. It doesn't affect the question of liability.

Most climbing accidents are actually fairly minor and are sorted out informally, usually on a sliding scale from "having a word", giving them a slapping, not climbing with that person again, not speaking to that person again. And there is no obligation to go to law, which is always expensive and risky. However, it is the serious cases, where someone has suffered a major injury because someone else is at fault which are likely to end up in court. In those circumstances, the ongoing needs of the injured person are likely to override "the spirit of climbing" or even the relationship between the parties involved. And to repeat the point, the initiative may be taken by next of kin or an insurance company who don't have any romantic ideas about climbing being above the law.

I emphasise those words because that is crucial - there must be fault. A simple accident with no blame won't give rise to liability. That is why most people most of the time are able to get on with normal life without worrying. But sometimes we make mistakes which have consequences, sometimes devastating, for others, and those have to be rectified. Usually that mean financially.

The simple point I am trying to make is climbing is governed by the law. Whether you, or even the majority of climbers, think that is a good thing or not is beside the point - it isn't something we can opt out of. Individuals can of course choose in specific cases whether to go to law, but however principled they are, the decision may be forced upon them by outside circumstances.

If you were injured and permanently disabled, unable to work or climb again and faced with having to pay for essential modifications to your house and car to accommodate your disability, because someone else (perhaps a total stranger) had negligently caused an accident, can you put your hand on your heart and honestly say you wouldn't seek the compensation to which the law says you are entitled? Or that you wouldn't claim on your insurance, should you have it?
 JimR 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

Absolutely .. but to go back to where this thread started, in this particular case it would seem that the climbers thought the bolts were dodgy, however it would appear that their judgement was overruled by their belief they were on a "classic" route .. and the little voice inside their head was stilled until they were in too deep?

The learning here to me seems to be, to keep listening to that little voice.. after all its my or my partner's life .. and damages payouts to my dependants are no use to me if I'm 6 ft under or getting wheeled about in a wheelchair....
 deepsoup 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> From what I read this morning the myth is that step ladders were banned, they are not

The myth that you were insisting was true. What, no fulsome apology now that you've been forced to concede that you were just flat wrong on a point of fact?

> overall the problem for small companies and artisans

Oh, so we're back to "ask an artisan" are we? FFS Bruce, I don't need to ask an artisan, I *am* an artisan. You have steadfastly refused to listen to artisans above who routinely place bolts in rock.

> to which Howard will reply

Howard seems to me to be quite capable of expressing himself, why dont you let him write his own reply?

> It's just an example of the way things could go if climbers are not careful.

It seems to be one of your contentions that if people placing bolts were legally liable for any negligence on their part (leaving aside the arguments you ignore above, that they already are) - no one would be bolting routes or building via ferratas any more. This is not the case.

Some of the people you've been arguing with above *do* place bolts for the protection of people working on a rock face, at work where we all know they would be fully liable for any negligence or incompetence on their part. I've never bolted any rock myself, but I do occasionally install fall protection systems in the course of my work - in effect building industrial via-ferratas.

Their legal liability, and mine, is quite reasonable. If one of Enty's bolts or one of my wires were left to rust for a few years before someone came along, fell on it and it failed - that would be bad news all around, but there'd be no real chance of any legal comeback.
If one of his bolts or one of my wires failed a week after they were placed because we'd used unsuitable gear, didn't know any better and/or just didn't care, we'd be in deep shit, and rightly so.

Of course the situation is not the same with climbing - because the climber accepts responsibility than someone using a fall protection system at work does not. 'Volenti non fit injuria' and all that.
Nevertheless, the climber accepting responsibility does not entirely absolve the person who places fixed gear of theirs. Not legally, not morally.
 deepsoup 07 Feb 2009
In reply to JimR:
Quite right and well said.

As they say, 'hard cases make bad law'.

To go back to where the thread started, this is a hard case. Its complicated morally, and if there were ever a prosecution, court case or whatever it would be complicated legally too.

One thing we can be fairly certain of is that anyone who insists (like Bruce) that this guy was 100% at fault whereas that guy is entirely blameless - is just plain wrong.
 deepsoup 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:
> my experience the people who end up in these roles tend to be of a certain type.... I'm trying to be tactful but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Amen to that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobsworth
Its only the catch-phrase that has changed - from "can't do that, it's more than my job's worth" to "can't do that, elf 'n' safety".
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

Ok, so you're into the blame and compensation culture, I'm not. Each to his own view, although I don't respect yours. I also think you are mistaken in your interpretation of what the law means, certainly for France, and for the UK have you heard of many court actions against climbers accused of negligence? Thankfully not I suspect.
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to deepsoup:

> The myth that you were insisting was true. What, no fulsome apology now that you've been forced to concede that you were just flat wrong on a point of fact?

The "myth" is only partly a myth, and what my cousin said isn't a myth at all unless the electrical installation takes less than a few minutes. Even then as the HS website explains, if it can be shown that the use of a step ladder was an "unsuitable" method he could still be liable.

It's obvious that the HS people were a bit miffed at being made to look so foolish so they used the straw-dog method (saying a myth existed that step ladders were entirely banned from use by artisans or on sites) then showing that this was not what they had said... which is true, more or less, but not entirely. The interpretation of the HS rulings about using unattached step ladders for electrical installations (for example) taking more than 30 minutes seems still to be that this is not allowed.

So what is the small company to do? Most will take the risk... which could cost them their livelihood if there was a serious accident and the courts rules against them.

Again, climbers are not employed by other climbers, the situation is different. Those who bolted this route, or left some abseil gear in place, did it for their own use, unless there is proof to the contrary (ie. a contract, written or even verbal, that shows they were setting up the route for someone else). As their own life is at peril they will usually do it as well as they can, which in many cases may not be very well if they are having an epic, but that's only because they want to stay alive and reach the top (or the bottom, for the abseil). If someone else comes along, even more so much later on, then by using the fixed gear it could be argued that they were engaging their own responsibility, not that of the first ascensionists.

What is ironic is many people who seem to be very critical of the Croatians, may well have, if there hadn't been this accident, been greatly impressed by such a "necky" crew, pressing on to do a new route, technically hard, on poor rock and at least part bolted on the lead. When listening to their account, at a lecture for example, in which they described how bad the bolts were, and how they could see them moving under their weight, most of the audience would have been impressed by their courage. Now they are pariahs... spot the difference.

Reading Touching the Void, I was struck by the incredibly risky nature of the climb up, especially the part where they were floundering up runnels of powdery ice... I thought to myself they were extremely lucky to have survived... and yet most consider them to be good climbers (me too, but necky). If the leader (whichever it was at the time) had fallen, killing the second but surviving himself, by the logic expressed here a legal action by the next of kin would have been reasonable? Or, if the rope cutting had resulted in death, again the courts could have been quite legitimately called in?
In reply to JimR:

> and damages payouts to my dependants are no use to me if I'm 6 ft under or getting wheeled about in a wheelchair....

I don't know about that. They'll still be missing you but at least they'll have the proverbial better class of misery.

jcm
In reply to Steven Love:

>The problem with negligence is that its never exclusive, many other factors can and do contribute to an accident or fatality. Once these are taken into consideration all you are left is a case of contributory negligence.

Cobblers. Why DO non-lawyers insist of posting telling people what the law is, I wonder?

jcm
 deepsoup 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Ok, so you're into the blame and compensation culture, I'm not.

You're obviously not into the reading comprehension culture either.
I don't know what imaginary post you're responding to with this drivel, but its clearly not what Howard J has written above.
 JimR 07 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

must admit I'm having a lot more sympathy with your earlier viewpoint and apologise profusely for calling a post of yours OTT
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

"Ok, so you're into the blame and compensation culture, I'm not. Each to his own view, although I don't respect yours."

I'm just telling it how it is. If by the "blame and compensation culture" you mean the desire to seek "compo" for every little accident, I don't approve of that. But where someone's mistake leads to serious harm to another person, it has its place.

You're perfectly free to choose not to sue should you be unfortunate enough to be injured because of someone else's actions. That could cause you considerable hardship, but that's up to you. I'm not sure everyone would take your principled stand, or could afford to. And it wouldn't prevent you getting sued should you be negligent.

"I also think you are mistaken in your interpretation of what the law means, certainly for France,"

I've been talking about the law in England. As I said earlier, I'm not a lawyer but I have studied some aspects of law for my professional exams, including tort. I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I believe I've got the general principles right. You can find a brief summary here:

http://www.law-essays-uk.com/tort/negligence.php
http://www.apil.org.uk/pdf/Campaigns/AccidentOrNegligenceBooklet.pdf

and specifically about climbing:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=1544

I've no idea what the law is in France. I'd be surprised if they have no legal redress in similar circumstances.

"and for the UK have you heard of many court actions against climbers accused of negligence? Thankfully not I suspect."

The best-known is probably Woodroffe Hedley -v- Cuthbertson. Then there's Trustees of the Portsmouth Youth Activities Committee (a charity) v Poppleton [2008] EWCA Civ 646, although that was overturned on appeal. And Pope v Cuthbertson (the other one), where the case was dismissed. The case of Michael Matthews, who died on Everest, against his guiding company was settled out of court. I found those with a few minutes' googling, no doubt there are more. There are certainly cases involving other sports, where the participants probably have similar feelings to yours about whether the law should get involved.

I suspect that due to the very nature of climbing, and the fact that there are no defined rules, it might be difficult to establish negligence in many instances; the fact that two of the cases I quoted were unsuccessful supports this. But where negligence can be proved, then a claim will succeed.



 Steven Love 07 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> Cobblers. Why DO non-lawyers insist of posting telling people what the law is, I wonder?

Because it's not a lawyers forum and we are discussing legal recourse in light of negligent bolting, oh and step ladders.

I'll rephrase it then, "The problem with negligence is that its 'rarely' exclusive.."

My information regarding liability comes from a sports injury lawyer.

 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

Seriously, your first two examples were overturned and the third one is about a guide... a different kettle of fish altogether - I've already cited an example in France where a guide was prosecuted (even though it was controversial as he had left his clients in a safe place while he went to help someone else in trouble. They ignored his instructions to wait for him, tried to get down and had an accident. Even though he had been helping someone in distress - a legal obligation in France - it was ruled that he had a stronger obligation to his clients. I don't know if it has gone to appeal). The rather negative result of this is that in the future guides in his situation will feel obliged just to watch the third party die while they stay with their contracted client! Hardly a "good thing".

This last example wasn't even judged, they settled out of court, so, I'm glad to say, in the UK there don't seem to be that many cases that go the way you, and others, maintain it "obviously" should.

As for myself, I have been in a few situations where I could have sued people, but I always let it drop... I prefer to turn the page and think of the future rather than the past. I'm not a great believer in insurance either, I find it leads to an unpleasant view on things, not to mention that insurance companies always seem to wriggle out of paying. I only insure what I absolutely have to, house structure and third party risk, and car as repairs are so expensive these days and the risk of killing someone is so real. That's all..... Never for climbing, I just try to be careful.
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to deepsoup:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> You're obviously not into the reading comprehension culture either.
> I don't know what imaginary post you're responding to with this drivel, but its clearly not what Howard J has written above.

Are you sure of it? He isn't, read his last post. It's the "modern" way of seeing the world I suppose.

 JimR 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce, what makes me suspect that if you were a murderer that your modus operandi would be suffocation rather than the judicious application of a stiletto?
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to JimR:

Strangling.
 Bruce Hooker 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Steven Love:

Ukc has a long tradition of cocky lawyers, or trainee lawyers, who love telling people what idiots they are... even on a subject which is not essentially a legal one.

As anyone who has had the misfortune to pay lawyers to defend his interests knows they very often turn out not to be so hot in reality... You then go through a period of them never being in when you phone until, when cornered, they sheepishly admit that "an unusual aspect or" the case hadn't been expected and so what they had insisted months ago turns out to be not quite the case today They never apologise though, or offer to waive their fee!

They are extremely good at claiming superior knowledge though... must be good at bluffing in a game of poker
In reply to Howard J:

Actually I don't know of a case between two climbers where there wasn't also a contractual relationship (not counting tortious claims against manufacturers. But it's only a matter of time.

jcm
Bruce, you started by arguing that the law didn't, and shouldn't, apply to climbing. You seemed to think that if it did, then it would kill off climbing.

I've tried to show that there's no "if" about it, the law applies and always has done. It hasn't stopped people climbing, or equipping routes.

If you choose not to sue in any circumstances, that's up to you. You haven't persuaded me that no one should ever sue, especially if they would face financial hardship as a result of someone else's negligence.

I think the reasons there aren't more cases are two-fold. Firstly, the difficulty of establishing negligence - many climbing accidents are the result of many factors and it is difficult to single out one person as being to blame. Secondly, most climbers are very safety-conscious without needing the law to make them so. I expect most people equipping routes are very well aware that other climbers will depend on the bolts they fix, and aim to do a good job, not because they fear litigation but because they are aware of their responsibility.

But when people are clearly to blame, they should expect to be held responsible.

Boris Cujic 07 Feb 2009
My name is Boris and I am one of two «bastards» and «cold killers» from Croatia.
We have climbed a route in Blue Mountains where a climbers was died.
Mr. Simon Carter was made a big report abaout that incident and many people formed their opinion .
By my opinion he was not try to look the situation from point of the first ascensionist . I want to explain a little bit this from our point of view ( If I can because of not perfect english).
Somebody say a bad motivation to climb a route in that part of the wall. Which motivation is right one ? Someone want to win a competition , someone to climb seven summits. We like to climb new routes and our idea was to climb them on all continents . For our soul on the first place.
If we have chosen bad wall what abaout other routes in the same wall- and their protection too? What abaout all ugly routes on the world? Maybe our tollerance for bad rock , protection etc is slightly higher than this of true «sport» climbers.
We have not idea to establish a «sport» route. We try to climb a route using possible protection directed by the rock. There was not so much place for natural protection so we bolt.
We start ground up, but due a bad weather and with wish to finish a route before flight back we finished from top. But we climbed it in lead from the ground . By ground climbing it is not common cleaning the holes because you can not. During our climb we have seen that rock is softer than we expected. We can drill faster. But this is sometimes happen in soft tufa limestone too. Some bolts on belay start to rotate so we put one more . In the pitch where we drill a bad bright hole we drill another one and put a bolt. We definitly drill with 8mm drill
( and not with 9mm as mr. Carter suggest)
We definitley can screw the bolts. But we have NOT test them tryng to pull them horizontaly out. We hang from some of them before final climbs. We have rappel on them to the base. We do not dye as you see. So we not feel at that moment that we have created anything dangerous. Most of the route was bolted by my partner Ivica because he was in better shape at that time ( I was broke my foot that year). I belive him 100%.
Regarding speculation that hard section is impossible: Ivica got this pitch , climb a passage , say it is arraound 6b+ ( it was filmed by third person from the top ) . I was folloving but in the meantime it start to rain so I must grab one express to pass.
Regarding a «clear» warnings frome some of local climbers: We was on dinner by president of Australian sport climbing federation. We was joined by two local climbers. We have shoved them bolts and where we want to climb. One of them is claiming now that he was warn us clearly. It is not honest ( I can remember even what they have wear, color of shirts , socks – so me and my partner will remember IF somebody was tell us something- and take notice abaout that – we was hosted by president of their federation – I am 47 , Ivica is 46 - we are not rebbel youngsters).
This is maybe irrelevant for whole situation , and you not need to belive me but It was a lot of words abaout us as iggnorants of the locals etc.
After comming back to Croatia I have sent topo to mr. Carter and mentioned bad rock and 8mm Raumer bolts . It was not strange to him . Not any doubts as a local expert. Why I was not mentioned anything else I was explain before . My e mail to mr. Carter:
Hi Simon!
There is information abaout new route which we have climbed at Pierces pass. It start between Bunny Bucket and Big Nose by big boulders in a shallow diedre. First bolt is 15m above ground. Route is protected by the bolts ( 8mm Raumer double expansion ). Lower part is not so nice but upper part is fine. For repeat you need 12 draws some slings and cams from smaller to nr.3 for lower part. We have climbed it on 30.11 but rappeled in heavy rain and we have finished route on 03.12 again with rain . Our names : Boris Cujic and Ivica Matkovic . We are from Croatia.
Name of the route : Last chance for Happy end. We climbed it as part of our project to climb new routes on all continents ,and this one was the last one from this project.
Best regards
Boris

There is probably some mistakes from us but as was suggested we are not blody bastards as someone have mention, iggnorants and definitely not cold killers as was written on one web page in Croatia.
English climbers can remember two Croatians coming to BMC meet 2-3 years ago. That was we: Ivica and Boris.
And at the end , I will not speak a lot abaout possible mistakes of Australian climbers which they definitely did comming to unknown route and taking some risk by this . There is a lot of sharp rock in this wall , what you can see a lot before fatal pitch. From that reason we have climbed with double ropes . They have not . I am interested in sort of their rope ( manufacturer ?).

I am definitely very sorry abaout this fatal accident . I am not slep well, and I am asking my self if WE are realy kill this young guy?

Best regards to everywone
Boris Cujic
Croatia
PS
A couple of years ago in Croatia we have situation with Austrian climbers . They bolt a whole climbing place with home made bolts, later discovered from very bad material. They was glue in sort of the bolts. They put them without glueing in some of the routes. One climber was injured because you can very easy take them out . Me, as author of climbing guide try to contact them . One of them send me to the particular place and later the president of our federation too . But we do not put them on lynch…





 Michael Ryan 07 Feb 2009
In reply to Boris Cujic:

Thank you Boris.

I hope you sleep well soon.

A very tragic set of circumstances.

Mick
 dycotiles 07 Feb 2009
Well, I think there is a good point here. The bolts were dubious, but the rope also broke with the sharp rock. So the accident was caused by a combination of factors: bolt failure + rope failure
In reply to dycotiles:

You reckon? Having seen the video of the bolts being extracted, I think the fact the rope broke is a blessing and the only reason we're not looking at a double fatality.

Boris C, it doesn't matter what you say. You just can't leave whole strings of duff bolts around the place.

I don't care if you were warned or not. If you don't know how to bolt safely locally, then bl**dy well find out.

You were responsible for this death, and I hope you don't sleep well.

jcm
 JimR 07 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

At the very first lecture I ever attended as a law student, the lecturer told us the major benefit of having a law degree was that we would never be called to serve on a jury. Now I can see why.
In reply to JimR:

He was wrong then. First of all a law degree never disqualified you; you had to be an actual solicitor or barrister, and secondly the law has now been changed such that you can now be on a jury. It's not clear that was right, but that's another story.

From what I've seen this route was left in a condition where it was more or less inevitable someone was going to have a bad accident on it sooner or later, if it got climbed at all, and it was left in that condition by experienced climbers. I'm afraid I just think that's unforgivable.

jcm
 JimR 07 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to JimR)
>
> He was wrong then.

Would'nt have been the last time

In fairness he did say that it would be because the defence lawyer would object (in the days of so many objections without reason .. and it was Scotland)

He had suffered shellshock in the war and every so often someone would do an "incoming" whistle .. terminated by the entire lecture theatre stomping their feet in unison!
 Bruce Hooker 08 Feb 2009
In reply to Boris Cujic:

Not everybody thinks you are "bastards and cold killers", I don't for a start and judging by various forums, I'm not the only one. It was a tragic accident in which language and differences of climbing culture and perception clearly played a role.

Let's hope we all learn from it.
Reccles 08 Feb 2009
I would not normally post, but I think some clarification needs to be made so a conclusion can be made and learned from. Note: I have no axe to grind with either sport or trad. Sorry for the rather long post.

1. Sport or Adventure Climbing?
A distinction between sport climbing and adventure climbing needs to be made. From the information reported the terrain where this tragic accident happened was not a sport climbing environment. What is a sport climb? My definition would be a route that utilises fixed protection that is accessed reasonably easily and is relatively short (2pitch max?) with the possibility of a quick escape. An adventure climb can be bolted or semi bolted, is in a remote or difficult to access location and could require self rescue skills if something goes wrong.

2. Sport Climbing - Risks
I agree with majority of posts that it is reasonable to assume that the bolts have been installed with respect to local bolting practices and the installers should act responsibly when installing the protection. It is unreasonable to think that most climbers will test these bolts before use. Though it is common sense to make a visual inspection of the bolts. It is upto the climber’s judgement to decide whether to clip old or obviously badly installed protection (Bolt hangers loose etc) Clipping a homemade hanger and then complaining that it failed is unreasonable.

3. Adventure Climbing - Risks
To climb in an adventure environment requires a different attitude to sport climbing. It is essential that you are prepared for the unexpected. This starts with the equipment that you pack. Clothing, Ropes(2x), self rescue equipment, small trad rack, Helmet etc. The second is the attitude you must adopt, if you get into difficulties then it will be more difficult for anyone to provide assistance - be it by the fact that you are 100m's off the ground or that you are in a remote location, this should start changing your risk decisions, can the route be abseiled if you run into difficulties? What are the weather conditions? etc. During the climb you should be making risk assessments regarding the insitu protection available, nature of the rock and your ability to climb the route - the equipment should not be taken for granted (drilled on the lead?), test the gear and if in doubt do not use it or back it up with something else, threads, trad gear where possible. Also remember it is better to retreat and play another day.

With climbers travelling increasingly to other parts of the world to climb, it becomes more important to make this distinction between sport and adventure climbing. It is irresponsible to turn up to at the bottom of a 300m route with a sport climb setup of a single rope and a few quick draws. It is also irresponsible to assume that the insitu equipment will be of a high quality.

Here are a few examples to clarify the situation.

Long multi pitch route - first few pitches are protected by bolts because of the nature of the rock, subsequent pitches the bolts become longer and longer apart because the rock provides natural protection. Not possible to retreat due to an indirect line and overhangs. If you only have quick draws...!

Your only rope gets snagged in a crack!

From what I have read, the climbers involved in this tragic accident may have underestimated the risks associated with this route. Rather than retreat to better ground they decided to press on because the end was in sight. I feel the Croatian climbers have been unfairly criticised by some uninformed people who have a fairly narrow experience and opinion of climbing.

My best wishes to Boris and Ivica who must be feeling terrible.

My condolences to Nick Kaczorowski's family.

rgds Richard

PS johncoxmysteriously: you are heartless b*..., ever heard of empathy for other people?
I don't think they're "bastards and cold killers" either. They're just ordinary climbers who went out for an adventure, and they're clearly remorseful about what followed. But they made not just one but a series of mistakes:

- they used bolts of a type which weren't suitable for the rock
- even if they had been, those particular bolts weren't rated for rock climbing purposes
- it is being questioned whether the bolts were properly fixed
- they left the route in a dangerous condition and failed to mention this when they reported it.

Leaving aside the legal position, if you bolt a route you have a massive moral responsibility to other climbers who will follow. If you are bolting outside your local patch, on a rock that's strange to you, it seems to me you have an extra responsibility to research what is good practice in that area, and to seek advice from the locals.

All credit to these guys for putting their hands up to it and coming forward. My heart goes out to them, as well as to the relatives and friends of the climber who was killed, because I don't doubt that they never intended any harm and are deeply saddened by what happened. But it seems to me that this was an avoidable accident.


Richard, the climbers involved in the accident were intending to climb something else, it wasn't a question of them underestimating the risks associated with this route. Certainly they made a mistake in going off route, presumably they followed the bolts not realising that a new route had just been put up next to the one they were doing.

I'm a bit puzzled what you're supposed to do if you find yourself unexpectedly on a route where not just one but most, if not all, the bolts are unsafe, and where there are no alternative natural anchors (even if you've taken trad gear). Do you ab off the dodgy bolts and trust they'll hold, or do you try to climb out, in the hope that you won't fall and have to test the bolts? Presumably these climbers took the second choice.

We still don't know the whole story, perhaps we never will, and perhaps the second team made some poor decisions which contributed to the accident. And there are no certainties in climbing. But you can't get away from the probability that had the Croatians fixed the correct type of bolts according to local practice then the bolt probably wouldn't have pulled out and the accident probably wouldn't have occurred.

Reccles 08 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

Hi Howard, I dont think there is much to be gained in saying that the visiting climbers should have used different bolts - the official report says this...

"Expansion bolts are often used by those establishing a new climb as a temporary measure before more appropriate bolts are placed."

As new projects can take a long time to complete - It is therefore quite possible in the future that someone could find themselves on another "new project" that is equipped with the same type of bolts and this could occur before the equippers had chance to change the type of bolts to the officially sanctioned ones.

I think you are missing my main point, I was trying to draw attention to the fact that multipitch routes equipped with bolts should not be approached in the same way as single pitch sport routes. People with only experience in the latter may find themselves in trouble approaching big routes in mainland europe with a sport climbing mentality. Whats the harm in bringing along a bit of extra kit which could save someones life even if it might not have been possible in this case.

The report also says this....

"Climbs in the Grose Valley are often long and have a higher level of
hazards such as loose rock, difficult access and remoteness compared
to other more popular cliffs in the Blue Mountains. Route finding is
often difficult."

I have experienced quite a few routes that would have been a nightmare if we hadent been prepared. 30m run outs between bolts, stuck ropes, violent storms, parts of the route missing etc. I also see a lot of people on mountain routes with only a set of quick draws and a single rope. On one ocasion a party needed rescuing because they were off route and incapable of self rescue.

Perhaps we should use this tragic accident to highlight that multipitch "bolted routes" should be treated with a little more respect than skipping off to Portland for the day.


Richard





In reply to Reccles:


>PS johncoxmysteriously: you are heartless b*..., ever heard of empathy for other people?

There's no point in not telling like it is; these people left a dangerous mess behind them because they couldn't be bothered to act responsibly, partly because they were in the grip of some absurd ego-driven seven-summits style crusade. My heart goes out to them exactly the way it goes out to drunk-drivers; they should go to prison, but I'd stop short of wishing them a misfortune in the showers. Still let's hope their souls are OK.

This epsiode does illustrate one point, which emerged pretty clearly from the parking lot wars in the US in the 1970's: ground up and rap bolting ethics don't mix.

Who wants to bet me that Reccles holds at least an SPA and climbs about Severe?

jcm
 Enty 08 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Well said - just saved me 10 minutes replying.

The Ent
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>Not everybody thinks you are "bastards and cold killers", I don't for a start

'By your friends ye shall know them"!

jcm
 Bruce Hooker 08 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I can't decide how to answer you, I thought of simply "tit", but this doesn't cover your pretension, or make reference to your legal vulture status... Finally, I think I'll just let people read your posts and let them decide for themselves.
Richard, I'm not disagreeing with your general point, it certainly pays to be prepared.

The climber who died is reported to have been an experienced climber, who presumably knew the area and what equipment was appropriate for the route they were attempting. One wonders why they didn't take a topo, but perhaps they thought it was just a question of following the bolts (unaware that a new line had been put up).

If the Croatians hadn't bolted the line, the second team wouldn't have been there. If they'd bolted properly, then the bolt probably wouldn't have failed.

I don't doubt for a second that the Croatians feel terrible about what's happened, and I'm sure we all sympathise with the anguish they're going through. But I don't think it's OK simply to say, "that's OK, these things happen in climbing". I don't think the Croatians are bad guys, but they fouled up - at the very least they were complacent in thinking their existing bolting skills and equipment were sufficient for the area they were climbing in.
 Bruce Hooker 08 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

I'm trying to avoid commenting any more about the individual responsibilities in this now much over publicized affair, but you only seem to be looking at the "errors" of one side.

It seems, that the only safe method of bolting for this sort of rock, are very long glued in bolts but such things cannot be placed on lead as you have to wait for the glue to go off... So, like many other Australians, according to a bit of googling, it doesn't seem that strange to protect a route with expansion bolts at first. The alternative would be to somehow ban new routes by people who couldn't do this. The question as whether they knew the bolts were not suitable is denied by Boris & Co, as is that they were told not to use the bolts they had with them and also he insists that he did give the information about the dangerous nature of the climb. His post explains his point of view.

Did they have to take into account that people would go off route and not be prepared or equipped for their new route? It seems to be asking a lot... it's not black and white... as an attentive reading of the exact circumstances of the accident show... but whether it was a good idea for all those concerned to be exposed to such public scrutiny is also very debatable. The only justification being if it helps to prevent similar accidents in the future... but that's been said and re-said.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Bruce, honestly, I truly think you're the most pigheaded moron on this forum, and that's saying a very great deal.

I don't know that I can bothered to expose all the fallacies in what you say, but here's a few.

>it doesn't seem that strange to protect a route with expansion bolts at first.

AT FIRST. Not the case here.

>The alternative would be to somehow ban new routes by people who couldn't do this

Couldn't do what?? Forgetting your pathetic straw man about banning, it's obvious that people who can't leave safe bolts behind should not put up new bolted routes. You seem to be denying this.

>he insists that he did give the information about the dangerous nature of the climb.

No he doesn't. He says there was bad rock in the lower section. Not a whole line of zipper bolts.

>people would go off route

Red herring. What difference does it make what route the climbers thought they were on? They thought the bolts would have been properly installed. They weren't. So the guy died. End of.

> not be .... equipped for their new route

They were equipped you berk. The Croatians' own route description tells you what you need - 12 quickdraws only plus some trad gear for the lower section.

jcm

In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

It's all very, very simple. If you put duff bolts in, people will very probably die. So you take care not to. These guys didn't take that care. And someone died.

That's really, truly, all there is to it.

jcm
 chris fox 08 Feb 2009
In reply:

I've bolted a fair amount of routes in Oz, always using glue in rings/U botls (think you call them staples here) i was shown how to do this originally by a friend who wrote a thesis on bolting and glue in bolts. The first thing he told me was, drill the hole, clean it with a pipe brush (bottle brush) till all the loose sandstone is out (this is repeated several times including blowing through a flexi-tube to clean the hole) then once fully cleaned glue into the hole and then place the bolt and remove the excess.

I've climbed on carrots there (remember this was 60's and 70's style when holes were hand drilled, so it was the norm then). Iv'e climbed on expansion bolts in places they were designed for, this unfortunate set of circumstances in which my friend died comes from a collection of errors. Errors from both the croatian guys and errors from Nick. At no point should a bolt fail so easily, and on the other hand, Nick trusted a single bolt whilst trying to clip a bolt.

I would not go to the slate quarries and go sticking in glue-ins, without asking locals if they were acceptable (as i have never bolted on slate) likewise i wouldn't put a glue-in bolt on granite (it'd take forever putting in U's!.

My friend has gone, there were many reasons why, and i am sure if the bolt was glue-in it would have held. But alas it wasn't. It seems the croatians are truelly sorry for what happened, i'm not going to call them the names others have. They screwed up (un-knowingly) and they will have to live with this.

As much as i should have anger with this, i'm just remembering my friend and the good times.
In reply to chris fox:
> likewise i wouldn't put a glue-in bolt on granite (it'd take forever putting in U's!.

Glue ins are now considered best practice it seems on Finnish granite. It's what the national climbing association will provide you with if you are following all their guidelines.

Having watched mates bolt though, its not so much the time it takes, rather the number of batteries you need even to make say eight holes for a shortish route and lower off. One mate has bolted a lot of routes in the Blue Mountains previously, and was quite surprised how little his drill would do here on granite on one charge.
Reccles 08 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: "The Croatians' own route description tells you what you need - 12 quickdraws only plus some trad gear for the lower section." 12 bolts in 270m - not exactly what I would call a fully equipped route.

It seems to me from this thread and others you have posted on, that you are exploiting this forum for your personnel grandification. Saying that they shouldent havent placed the dodgy gear isnt really very constructive / there are stacks of routes all round the world that have dodgy gear in place - Are you going to start hunting down all the people responsible. Sounds to me like you had your moment of glory and now you are unable to square up to becoming a middle aged desk jockey, so now take your frustrations out on unfortunate posters in this forum.
 jon 08 Feb 2009
In reply to Reccles:

Is your first paragraph a joke, or do you really not understand?
In reply to jon:

Hard to tell, isn't it? I love those posts; they're the best kind. Moron or troll - you decide.

jcm
In reply to Reccles:

>/ there are stacks of routes all round the world that have dodgy gear in place - Are you going to start hunting down all the people responsible

If there are routes around the world with bolts like this, and you know of them, then forget about hunting down the people responsible - hunt down those who can publicise the routes in question and get it widely known that they're dangerous, and do it now.

Or, of course, if you were just spouting large in the hope of proving your point, then carry on.

jcm
 Michael Ryan 08 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

John

You might want take to take a look around Red Rocks and many other areas in the US if you are on a quest to find bad fixed gear.

Although rather than spraying vitriol, a young man called Greg Barnes and his extended network at the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) do sterling work and are supported by climbers and climbing companies in the US

http://www.safeclimbing.org/

They have replaced thousands of dangerous bolts.

The BMC are doing similar work in the UK.

Mick

 Michael Ryan 08 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

More:

To quote ZZ Top, they're bad and they're nationwide. Sketchy and dangerous 1/4" bolts are everywhere and the ASCA goal is to replace as many of them as possible with secure anchors. We list here routes that the ASCA has upgraded with over 6300 bolts to date. Help the ASCA prioritize which routes to rebolt! Send your suggestions to greg@safeclimbing.org. Please include the climbing area, route name, approximate number of bolts that need to be replaced, and the date when you saw the poor anchor.

http://www.safeclimbing.org/replacement.htm
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Honest, Mick - have you ever seen a line of bolts, just over a year old, which could be extracted by hand?

As to reccles:

http://www.cumbrialife.co.uk/General/ViewArticle.aspx?categoryId=1501

It couldn't be, could it?!

jcm
 Michael Ryan 08 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

You are right, much of the crap stuff is ancient.
 chris fox 08 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:

Sorry, thats what i meant about taking forever to put in U's. A few scando's i've met told me it takes ages to drill into granite. But i'd still ask a locals opinion before putting bolts into a place i didn't know.
 Enty 08 Feb 2009
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

Mick,

Some of the 1/4 inch rivets at Redrocks must be nearly 30 years old. Wasn't Levitation 29 first climbed in 1981?
When I was there 10 years ago I knew about the condition of the fixed gear there and climbed with this in mind.
I fail to see how ASCA replacing old gear and the work we did in Yorkshire has any relevance to this incident in Australia?

Enty
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> You are right, much of the crap stuff is ancient.

Quite. So quit with the fluffy stuff and tell it like it is. "These people were disgracefully irresponsible and as a result someone's been killed." Go on, you can manage to say that, surely?

As for spraying vitriol, by the way, if you think this is vitriol you have much to learn. I'd wager if you bought the local climbers a drink you'd learn what vitriol was.

jcm
Reccles 08 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Sorry not me, as usual you are not looking in the right place for your anwsers or even in the right country.
 Michael Ryan 08 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com)
>

> I fail to see how ASCA replacing old gear and the work we did in Yorkshire has any relevance to this incident in Australia?
>
> Enty

That's because you didn't comprehend what I was answering and replying too.

I was pointing out that there are many routes with very bad fixed gear, and that in some countries they have climber organisations who replace gear and educate climbers about safe climbing, like ASCA.

New bolts now on Leavitation 29.
In reply to Reccles:

Shame.

Anyway, you never answered Jon's question. Go on, humour me, which was it, moron or troll?!

jcm
hipster 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Reccles:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) "The Croatians' own route description tells you what you need - 12 quickdraws only plus some trad gear for the lower section." 12 bolts in 270m - not exactly what I would call a fully equipped route.
>
Oops Reccles, it appears you don't get it when multi pitching, or you didn't really read the report properly. 12 quickdraws DOESN'T mean only 12 bolts... it' refers to the amount you'll need to do the longest pitch.
There were in the vicinity of 50 bolts, the majority of them absolute shite. These guys didn't voluntarily give themselves up either, though I bet they new straight away when the report came out. As soon as one of our local climbers saw Simon's picture of the bolts used, his heart sunk..he'd met the 2 Croats in Tasmania and had seen their bolts there, and TOLD them not to use them in Blue Mountains rock. But hey, they got them for free through a sponsorship, so why not use them. They only got caught out because they placed the bolts next to the easiest multi pitch in the area. in fact it was all too easy to get off-route from a half-way ledge onto their death bolts.
Boris mentioning the President of Sport Climbing Australia as someone who would say the bolts were OK...that's just wrong. The (now Ex)President is a great guy who did a heap of work for the indoor climbers, but he's just a young kid's father who wouldn't know anything about bolting, let alone say "Yeah, those bolts are good, they'll be fine "
Boris questioning the rope's integrity..he's got a hide. If that rope had not cut we would DEFINATELY be debating 2 deaths.
That video was edited by me, and I had to stop and cry more than once at the terrible job these 2 blokes did. I'm a tough bastard and don't usually cry. You people defending them don't know what you're on about, we're a pretty easy going bunch out here in Australia and welcome climbers with a bed to doss in, a lend of the guide book and a chat at the crag. Why have we all fired up over this one..man how would you feel if some foreigners came and did this in your back yard. We could have had ALL climbing banned in the area, it's a tenuous toloerance we're given at the best of times.
Saying the climbing was 6b+, well one of the lads removing the bolts climbs 7c+ onsight, he had a little play at the crux and looked to be having a fair bit of trouble.
So you've got some crap bolts placed next to a well-setablished, easy classic, so it's easy to get off-route. You've got moderate grade climbing to an impossible move. The first person to go up there was gonna die, and did.
So Boris, go and watch a movie, a good thriller about getting away with murder, because that, my friend, is exactly what you've gotten away with.

Adrian Laing
 onsight 09 Feb 2009
Appologies for the long post but I wish to reply to some of Boris's comments about my report.

In reply to Boris Cujic:
> Mr. Simon Carter was made a big report abaout that incident and many people formed their opinion . > By my opinion he was not try to look the situation from point of the first ascensionist .

My report was about the accident and the various things that contributed. I think I have being entirely fair to you Boris and even quoted you directly where I though it most appropriate. If people have formed an opinion that you are not happy with, then I suspect it has rather a lot more to do with the actual bolting.

> If we have chosen bad wall what abaout other routes in the same wall- and their protection too?

If you’d done your research, spent more time in the area, and engaged more with the locals, then perhaps you might have known the answer to this. The rock quality here varies considerably from spot to spot. Mike Law had to abseil down in six different places to piece together the good consistent climbing on good rock for Bunny Bucket Buttress. In recent years bolts placed in the Blue Mountains are generally good, and rap bolted sport route (like the upper pitches of yours) generally excellent. Going off route onto a line of new rap placed bolts would not normally be such a problem around here.

There are over 3000 routes in the area, there is a very active local community, and there are some delicate local issues to consider. The notion that you can just rock up here and do whatever you want, without understanding the local situation is, well, misguided.

> In the pitch where we drill a bad bright hole we drill another one and put a bolt. We definitly drill with 8mm drill > ( and not with 9mm as mr. Carter suggest)

Thanks for confirming the bit size. So there is no confusion just let me clarify this: I never said that you drilled with a 9mm bit. The video showed that the holes are 8.5 or maybe even 9mm. There could be several explanations why an 8mm bit could/would produce a larger hole in this rock.

> Regarding speculation that hard section is impossible: Ivica got this pitch , climb a passage , say it is arraound 6b+ ... I was folloving but in the meantime it start to rain so I must grab one express to pass.

On the day we removed all the bolts from the climb one of us also top-roped this section and we think it is several grades harder than 6b+ if you go straight up. It is all rounded and mossy and hasn’t been cleaned so it is hard to see where the holds are precisely… I have no doubt that Ivica climbed it, but I am not surprised to learn that you pulled on a draw. The line of least resistance actually takes you 4m left of the bolt which Nick was trying to stick clip. The reason I mentioned the relative blankness and difficulty was to explain why they belayed where they did and why Nick attempted to stick clip. I think a lot of climbers who might have got on this route (either mistakenly or deliberately) would have ended up in the same situation.

> Regarding a «clear» warnings frome some of local climbers: <snip> One of them is claiming now that he was warn us clearly. It is not honest ...

I guess this needs a response. I have absolutely no doubt as to Andy’s integrity and honesty. I have discussed this with him several times and I am sure this would stand up to scrutiny otherwise I wouldn’t have made it public. He is confident that he told you guys. Maybe you guys didn’t understand, forgot, or didn’t appreciate the importance of what he said. Anyway, I’ll put it (both the warning and suggestion of dishonesty) down to a language problem, but please more careful before accusing people of not being honest because that could be considered insulting.

> After comming back to Croatia I have sent topo to mr. Carter and mentioned bad rock and 8mm Raumer bolts . It was not strange to him . <snip> My e mail to mr. Carter:
> <snip> Lower part is not so nice but upper part is fine. </snip>

What can I say? Your description is woefully inadequate in the circumstances, it tells nothing of the dangers you knew existed or the problems you’d had with the bolting. I don't appreciate how you've tried to insinuate blame on me for this (as you have in the Croatian forum).

> I am interested in sort of their rope ( manufacturer ?).

It was a 10.5mm, two years old, in good condition. I honestly believe that any brand rope would have cut here so I think it quite unfair to mention the brand and won’t be making that public.

Please let us all know if you guys have placed any more of these bolts in soft rock anywhere else around the world?

Simon Carter
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to hipster:

Impassioned post, and clearly a very distressing subject.

Accusing someone of getting away with murder is beyond the pale - rise above such comments or you just look as though you have no class.

Either that or go get a dictionary and look up 'murder', and if you still think that whoever bolted this route had the premeditated intention of killing then say whatever you like.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to rolypoly:

Why are you posting your foul abuse at me?

Murder requires a premeditation to kill - if you truly believe that these climbers intended to kill someone (anyone) then you are a fool.

I'm no more happy with the situation than anybody else here, but we have to be civilised and not act like animals baying for blood. Certainly not abusing each other. Go get some anger management and try to be rational.

Peace - I don't know you and you don't know me, I won't swear at you so perhaps you should do the same.
In reply to Rampikino: You asked for that.

The Ozzies are right... if a couple of foreigners had turned up in the UK and pulled this kind of stunt, I can Imagine our reaction would be a lot stronger than that we are witnessing from down under.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

"asked for that?"

Are we civilised or do we engage in witch-hunts? Being foul-mouthed with each other gets us nowhere, and nor does accusing people of being murderers across the web.
 tobyfk 09 Feb 2009
In reply to onsight:

Simon, this is a very sad and unsettling subject. I am sure many of us feel very sorry for Nick and his family and friends and can empathise with the horror of bolt-failure and a cut rope. And the analysis you are publicising serves as warning and education going forward. However, the publicity inevitably opens the can of worms that is FAers liability for fixed gear in a general sense. And as you can see from this thread, and others at places like rockclimbing.com, climbers have very disparate views on that topic and momentum toward an actual legal test case is quite conceivable (something I personally believe would be catastrophic for the sport). So I wondered what local climbers in the Blue Mountains actually want as closure in this matter? Were it possible, would they like to see some kind of legal action?
In reply to Rampikino: Personally, I wouldn't presume to give advice to those who are much closer to the incident, both geographically and emotionally. I'm bright enough to see their words as an expression of anger rather than a description of the legal situation and I'm sure you are too.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

Indeed - and I'm bright enough not to accuse someone of murder no matter how upset I may be. This post has gone on and on and on and the accusations of murder come very recently. There has to be a point where the anger abates and sense takes over.

Personally I feel the moderators should not allow someone to be accused so blatantly of murder on this forum. I think it is unfair, inappropriate, unhelpful and contrary to our system of "innocent until proven guilty".

Anger is understandable, but it is not an excuse. My own views on people putting up "dodgy bolts" are probably no different to anyone else, but if we all stood up and accused these guys of being murderers then we would have simply made the matter worse.
In reply to Rampikino: ok.. but just reread your post, you mention style, but your style is just the sort of thing to get someone's back up.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

If I fail to convey empathy then I am sorry. Perhaps a separate discussion would be appropriate over a beer sometime.

However, I would rather get someone's back up by pointing out the need for caution when accusing someone of murder than being foul-mouthed and ignoring the rule of law.
 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to all:

For those who are so adamant about the obviousness that the bolts were so dangerous, and if, as suggested, this was the first, albeit unintended, second attempt at the top pitch, over a year after it was put up (December 2007) then how come nobody did anything about it before?

If all this was so clear cut, taking out the bolts that enabled people trying to do a much easier established route (according to what has been posted) would have removed all danger... and perhaps a letter to these visiting, but well known climbers, to warn them of their mistake would have avoided any further efforts of the same type?

Unless, of course, all this is hindsight at a moment of grief, and, as often accompanies grief, anger.
 John2 09 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: Actually John, Mick makes a good point. I recall your fulminations against the replacement of twenty year old bolts on slate - you were making the opposite argument on that occasion.
 Enty 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Rampikino:

Oh for god's sake get of your high horse!

Thankfully I've never had a good friend killed by someone's incompetence like this.
However I have had a family member killed by a drunk driver. This still makes me feel like Rolypoly who posted above and I see direct comparisons.

The Ent

 Enty 09 Feb 2009
In reply to John2:

Again a very poor comparison. People know what to expect on Slate - that's why we like it and climb slate accordingly.

You know the difference between a 20 year old bolt and a new one.

The Ent
 John2 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty: So you'd be quite happy to see a member of your family killed as a result of ripping out a 20 year old bolt in a fall?
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:

You personally said they should be shot and said that they had drilled 9mm holes - something they refute themselves.

Making crass accusations and calling people murderers just is not the way to go.

 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to John2:

I'm sure that's not what he meant at all John2, and if you saw the earlier post about drunk drivers I'm sure Enty wouldn't like to see any family member killed at all. Nor would any of us.

This is a passionate debate, and one of the most intense I have seen on UKC since joining. I don't think I can add any more - my simple point was that no matter how tragic this may be, however much anger it provokes and however impassioned it becomes we should stop short of labelling people as murderers.

The law will decide, and if it fails then civil action is something that could be considered, until then we should express our opinions in careful terms - "innocent until proven guilty."

Peace to all and safe climbing.
 John2 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Rampikino: Look, I'm trying to direct that argument away from the throwing about of accusations of murder. I'm simply saying that in the interests of safety best current bolting practice should be applied everywhere, in Australia and on Welsh slate. It seems perfectly reasonable to me to replace rusty 20 year old bolts with safer modern equivalents.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to John2:

Fair enough - I guess there is a question here about who becomes 'responsible' for bolts once they have been placed. If there is a strong and active local climbing community then it is likely to happen naturally, but in other places where there is no motivation, no money or no activity then it is not so simple.

 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Rampikino:

The best might be to stop using bolts altogether and go back to each climber placing his own protection in total responsibility?

This would remove a lot of climbs, but if people really insist on in-place gear being guaranteed safe, and refuse to accept that they should only use it if they are satisfied with their own judgement, I can't see any other solution.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

I see your point and get your logic but don't necessarily agree, if only from the simple perspective that this would close off a lot of climbing to many people.
 Enty 09 Feb 2009
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to Enty) So you'd be quite happy to see a member of your family killed as a result of ripping out a 20 year old bolt in a fall?

Completely different. You have a different mindset embarking on a route which you know to have bolts which are 20 years old and a route with brand new bolts.

The Ent
 Enty 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Rampikino:
> (In reply to John2)
>
>
>
> This is a passionate debate, and one of the most intense I have seen on UKC since joining. I don't think I can add any more - my simple point was that no matter how tragic this may be, however much anger it provokes and however impassioned it becomes we should stop short of labelling people as murderers.

>
On the news just now the Australian PM has just called the people who started some of the bush fires mass murderers.
This means that they must have started the fires with the intent of killing lots of people. Kids playing with matches? Mass murderers?

The Ent
In reply to Rampikino:

Rampikino: I cannot pretend to know what it is like to lose a friend in such circumstances therefore would not begin to assume that I could tell someone who has lost a friend what they should or shouldn't write. To do so makes you an arrogant twerp.

Mr Hooker: Again your logic is only skin deep. The only way it could be 100% the climber’s responsibility is if the climber chooses to solo naked. Any equipment used opens the door for negligence on the part of the equipment manufacturer (and rightly so).

The case in this thread is closely comparable to, for example, a well known cam manufacturer that lazily (i.e. without due diligence) produces a batch of crap cams (which a climber would buy a whole set of) unable to hold any weight beyond 40kgs.

The least that should be expected is that the bolters inform the right parties of other routes the same type of bolts were used on.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:

I see your point - and the Aussie PM has clearly reacted to a very emotive event, as have some people on this forum.

Does it mean that we can say for certainty that any of them are murderers? Not until the rule of law has taken its course.

I think something I didn't make clear is that my issue is not with people being brought to account, but simply labelling them as murderers is not valid. It could just as easily be manslaughter, in fact in my view it would be more valid - causing death without intent but through ones own deliberate actions.

But ONLY if proven in a court of law and not on a website forum.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Jody:

I think anyone can presume to urge caution when accusing people of being a murderer on an internet forum. That doesn't make you an arrogant twerp.
nmonteith 09 Feb 2009
Ok, the results are in! As suspected by Andy and Simon these bolts will not work in soft sandstone. I found a piece of medium strength sandstone along the Cook River in Sydney. It has similar properties to the Blue Mountains - fairly large grained and soft enough to scrape easily. I first drilled with an 8mm bit using a 24v drill. As you can see on the video the hole created was more like 9mm+ and the bolt just slipped into the too large hole and was not possible to tighten. I then switched to a 6.5mm bit (1/4inch) and this created a hole that seemed the right fit (end of bolt fits in - but bolt requires several heavy blows of a hammer to get it all the way in). I then tightened it up with a spanner - but as the guys found on the route the bolt just kept pulling out and out and never gripped properly. It felt firm against the rock - like it "might" hold - but then when I put a small hammer through the eye and levered it out the bolt pulled easily. It would not hold anything more than body weight I would suspect.

It came out so easily I see no point in doing further tests with an actual bolt tester. It is clearly obvious that this style of bolt would never hold in soft rock.

Watch the full video here.
youtube.com/watch?v=Gzuhyi76UqE&

Thanks once again to Simon, Andy and Mike for cleaning up this mess and providing an actual bolt from the route to test.
 Enty 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Rampikino:
> (In reply to Enty)
>
> I see your point - and the Aussie PM has clearly reacted to a very emotive event, as have some people on this forum.
>
>

Cheers. I just think that the people directly involved in this - Nick and Andy's mates and some of the locals should be cut a bit of slack.

We're not stupid. We know non of this is murder.
What has suprised me thoughis the weight of feeling for the bolters and the weight of feeling against the Aussies.

Enty
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:

No worries, I would imagine we are all human and all find this quite a scary prospect.

This weekend I'm going to do my first bit of bolting. Naturally I have read up on it (specifically some local articles about bolts and the type of rock I will be bolting), and have booked a bolting session with a local expert who has bolted hundreds of routes in the area. I won't be doing anything until we are both satisfied that I know what to do.

Even so I will still have the thought in the back of my mind that no matter how careful I am you just never know. I will be placing the bolts with care and with absolutely no intention of any of them ever failing and there is no way I want anyone to get hurt on the route.

Now I know the Croatians APPEAR to have taken a different approach, but we all know that they had no intention of harming anyone. If I do my best and place my bolts with care and still something goes wrong, do I want to be labelled as a murderer? Should I be dragged up in front of the courts...? I'm certain that I would have to explain myself for a start...

Praying it never, ever comes to that.
 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Jody:

> I cannot pretend to know what it is like to lose a friend in such circumstances...

I do, 5 in one summer, buried one myself because we couldn't get him down. It affects you for life. It's the choice we all make when we chose to go climbing though... in my case I stopped for twenty years a few years afterwards as I didn't think it felt worth dying for... but you come back eventually.

Nothing in this world is ever 100% but you choose your equipment from your own experience... suing the manufacturer would be just an admission that you were incapable of personal judgement... When you cross a gulley and get nearly killed by rock fall or narrowly escape seracs tumbling down a glacier, both of which are random events ultimately to a great degree, who would you sue? God?

As I said above, given the mind set of many people, as demonstrated by this thread, whether a majority or minority, it would seem to show that bolting will need to be controlled in some way eventually if you all want some kind of guarantee. The long term implications for climbing as we know it today would start to look grim... but as you so kindly pointed out the other day, by then it will no longer be my problem

In reply to Rampikino:

>
> Now I know the Croatians APPEAR to have taken a different approach,

Just like drink driving
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

I don't understand your point or what your are trying to say. You can go back to my previous post if you like about manslaughter if that helps...
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> As I said above, given the mind set of many people, as demonstrated by this thread, whether a majority or minority, it would seem to show that bolting will need to be controlled in some way eventually if you all want some kind of guarantee.

Nobody wants that and I think you are inventing arguments. People just want common sense applied when bolting, and it is clear from the bolt removal video this was not the case here. Have you watched the video?
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

I'm sure he has seen the video, but perhaps the argument goes something like this:

a. You have a 'common sense' approach but everyone is responsible for their own safety.

or

b. You have a legislated and controlled approach and there is a legal culpability.

Not sure if that's the right interpretation, but I think that's what I read....
In reply to Rampikino: Definitely go with (a), but if you do not posses common sense, and do something this stupid in quest of an ego driven box ticking exercise, with such tragic consequences, expect to be called an idiot and worse internationally.
 Steven Love 09 Feb 2009
In reply to nmonteith:

Thanks Neil for putting doing that test and putting the video up, just goes to show even more so that those bolts were woefully inadequate for the job.





 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

...which is exactly what has happened to these guys.

I don't think we have much option but to go with (a), after all I'm sure nobody wants to take on this kind of responsibility. Certainly when it comes to this weekend (see earlier post about my upcoming bolting) I will be taking all reasonable steps to ensure I do a proper job.
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to tobyfk:
> (In reply to onsight)
>
> Simon, this is a very sad and unsettling subject. I am sure many of us feel very sorry for Nick and his family and friends and can empathise with the horror of bolt-failure and a cut rope. And the analysis you are publicising serves as warning and education going forward. However, the publicity inevitably opens the can of worms that is FAers liability for fixed gear in a general sense. And as you can see from this thread, and others at places like rockclimbing.com, climbers have very disparate views on that topic and momentum toward an actual legal test case is quite conceivable (something I personally believe would be catastrophic for the sport). So I wondered what local climbers in the Blue Mountains actually want as closure in this matter? Were it possible, would they like to see some kind of legal action?


I think this question is still valid - especially in light of the recent post of the re-testing of the bolt. Do the local climbers/family/friends want the Croatians to be held accountable?
 JimR 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:

Hi Enty, I don't think there is any "pro" feeling for the bolters.
It was stupid etc etc etc all that varies is the degree of "anti" and the extent to which the climbers contributed themselves. One thing that does pzzle me a bit is that if it was known locally that the only bolts that would work there were glue ins, would'nt they have looked different to the bolt ins that were used?
 Enty 09 Feb 2009
In reply to JimR:

I don't know. I once aquired a set of soft rock rawl bolts with a double sheath but they were 12mm.
In fact two of them are in the Great Harwood viaduct and were used for Bridge Jumping.

Who knows.

Enty
 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

> Have you watched the video?

For the nth time, yes! Including the bits where the experts concluded that the wrong drill bits had been used (they hadn't), and all the blogs and associated comments and the Croatian web site (looked, not read) and did a fair bit of googling about carrot bolts, glued bolts and various forums where people were saying that a new bolt had pulled on them but they weren't hurt so no fuss... etc etc. Plus Boris's post on this thread.

For the second time, if the bolts were so obviously bad, why did they continue climbing on them and why was nothing done about them during the year after the first ascent?

It was an tragic accident, with multiple causes, one of which was the bolting... but the sort of bolts (8mm Raumer double expansion) and the nature of the rock (soft sandstone) were known right after the first ascent by the same bloke who is now pushing the issue hard. It doesn't justify this one sided witch hunt, even if some emotion is understandable... we're adults, aren't we?

 deepsoup 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
(And quoting bits from three separate posts)

> The best might be to stop using bolts altogether and go back to each climber placing his own protection in total responsibility?

Nobody is looking for a lifetime guarantee but it certainly might be good to stop placing deceptively good looking piss-poor bolts on the lead. And it would be good for visiting climbers (and locals alike) to make themselves aware of the local ethic, aquire the appropriate hardware and make sure they know how to place it before they take a drill to the rock.

> Nothing in this world is ever 100% but you choose your equipment from your own experience... suing the manufacturer would be just an admission that you were incapable of personal judgement...

Something of a strawman, Bruce. If you choose inappropriate equipment then suing the manufacturer would in any case be doomed to failure. If, for example, you were to bolt a climb with bolts the manufacturer says are not appropriate for climbing you'd be wasting your time and money.

> It was an tragic accident, with multiple causes, one of which was the bolting...

Y'know what? This seems like a bit of a break-through. Finally, you're prepared to admit that the sub-standard bolting was a contributory factor.

That's me done with this thread I think (and I'm really not interested in getting into it by email ta Bruce).

Sx
 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to deepsoup:

> Finally, you're prepared to admit that the sub-standard bolting was a contributory factor.

I said this right from the start.

I sent you the email, something I rarely do, because there is too much being said openly... and a lot's not accurate. Just bin it.
 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to hipster:

> But hey, they got them (the Raumer bolts) for free through a sponsorship, so why not use them?

Could you say a more on this... ware they provided by Raumer or by a climbing gear shop? In either case the sponsor must have thought they were suitable, unless they are considered suitable for climbing on different rock types.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to hipster)
>
> [...]
>
> unless they are considered suitable for climbing on different rock types.

They are

http://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodotti_dettaglio.asp?prod=hang_fix_inox_m8c&qi=0-2-25

not sure if it was these are not but as you can see they recommended for a certain type rock.
 jon 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:

For certain types of rock for CAVING and AID CLIMBING.
 deepsoup 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> I said this right from the start.
Oh right? I guess I missed it.

> there is too much being said openly...
Maybe so, but I don't have anything to say beyond what I'm prepared to say on the open forum. And like I said, I've already wasted more than enough bandwidth with that.
 jon 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> They are
>
> http://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodotti_dettaglio.asp?prod=hang_fix_inox_m8c&qi=0-2-25
>
> not sure if it was these are not but as you can see they recommended for a certain type rock.

Sorry to repeat myself, but this link says it all. It says for hard rock - limestone, marble and dolomite, for CAVERS and AID climbers. It could not be any clearer. The actual bolts were a bit longer and had double expansion collars, but as Jim Titt said somewhere else, double expansion doesn't provide more grip.

 onsight 09 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

Here's the link to the actual bolt:
http://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodotti_dettaglio.asp?prod=hang_fix_inox_m8l&qi=0-2-23

The manufacturer edited the description recently in response to an email from someone who posts on Supertopo.
 jon 09 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

Actually these, I think. It says suitable for caving or canyoning.

http://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodotti_dettaglio.asp?prod=hang_fix_inox_m8xl&qi=0-2-22
 jon 09 Feb 2009
In reply to onsight:

Sorry the posts crossed...
 jon 09 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

However, before anyone gets the wrong idea about RAUMER products, I'd like to say that provided the correct bolts are used, there is no problem. Their hangers, which are similar in shape to PETZL are equally fine.

http://www.raumerclimbing.com/eng/prodotti_dettaglio.asp?prod=hang_fix_inox_m10l&qi=0-2-12
 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

So it's simply a matter of size... 2mm bigger diameter and 8mm longer?
 jon 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

God Almighty, Bruce, what a dumb answer
 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

It's not an answer, it's a question! Most of the web sites I have looked at suggest much longer bolts for this area and of the resin glued variety.

You seem up tight again?
 jon 09 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

I would have thought it was obvious that I was setting the record straight for RAUMER in general and NOT suggesting that those bolts were to be used in sandstone. After all that has been said about glue ins being the only way to go in the soft rock I'm surprised even Bruce would think that. The 10mm bolts on that link are for use in a CLIMBING situation in HARD rock types. Better, Bruce?
 nealepj 09 Feb 2009
Seeing all that has been said before, I think there is always a tendancy to find a reason, and if possible apportion some blame to equipment, a company, or individual not involved in an accident.
Its human nature to try to solve and reconcile the grief - my thoughts are with the people whose lives are affected by this event.

I also need to add...
1/ I think the French attitude towards safely is correct - we are all responsible for our own actions.
2/ I also agree that a duty of care and responsibility is implied when you bolt a route - but its secondary...

So, Lets all not forget about point 1 and hope a certain people can sleep in connection with point 2 - if in doubt, don't do it!

Lets all learn by this, and ensure something positive comes from such sadness.

But if you consider yourself a climbing professional and write books on the subject - and then you ignor local knowledge (BC)- no words can describe my thoughts towards you, but thats just anger, it won't help...


 Bruce Hooker 09 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

On the link you gave Raumer say:

"This bolt made of 304 stainless steel is designed for anchoring walls in alpine, rock and aid climbing technique.
A super strong and safe piece of equipment with two expansion elements ideal for use on any type of rock.
Of great value to alpine and rock climbers.
Overall length: M10x86 mm in diameter."


Some other Raumer bolts say "for hard rock only", or "not suitable for sandstone" - apparently they added this after the accident - this sort is advertised as suitable for use fro climbing and any rock type... and yet we know they aren't.

I have used these sorts of bolts (8mm, single expansion) in brick work and concrete and they seem to hold well even for fixing fairly heavy electric rams in house bricks... not the same shock loading as for a leader fall, but they would have certainly held my weight. This sandstone must be really soft.
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC:

In reply to someone higher up; murder does not require an intent to kill. A sufficient degree of recklessness to a unacceptably high risk of human death is also sufficient.

jcm
In reply to John2:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously) Actually John, Mick makes a good point. I recall your fulminations against the replacement of twenty year old bolts on slate - you were making the opposite argument on that occasion.

I am large. I contain multitudes.

To be fair, I seem to recall my objections were principally to sanitising the placements and runouts, good ol' straightforward retrobolting of some routes to make them accessible to everyone, and the creation of wankfests like Costa del Dali, rather than replacement of unsafe bolts as such.

jcm
 Rampikino 09 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Not true. Common Law states that there must be intent.
 alicia 09 Feb 2009
In reply to Rampikino:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> Not true. Common Law states that there must be intent.

No, actually. Extreme indifference to the value of human life, with emphasis on the 'extreme', plus all other relevant elements, can equal 'depraved heart' murder at common law. And even if the 'depraved heart' term wasn't used in England, the concept was the same. The example we always got in law school was shooting a gun into a crowd. I'd guess Australia's got a similar concept.
 alicia 10 Feb 2009
In reply to Rampikino:

Realised that I should have explained that example more fully. The idea is shooting at an inanimate object which happens to be within the crowd of people. The perpetrator is shooting at a non-human target, yes, but he is nevertheless shooting a rather dangerous weapon in the direction of many people; the chances of hitting a person are high and the chances of killing anyone who is hit are great, hence the 'extreme indifference'...etc.
In reply to Rampikino:
> (In reply to johncoxmysteriously)
>
> Not true. Common Law states that there must be intent.

I don't think it has to be intent to kill, just intent to perform an action that has a significant risk of death.

An example, someone stabs somebody with no intent to kill, maybe just to injure them, but the stabbed person dies. Now - especially with all the recent stabbing deaths - I think it would be held that stabbing someone is a known event with a significant risk of death and the stabber would be charged with murder.

However all this is getting off thread - I think one of the main lessons is that any serious accident like this is only caused by many factors in combination - as I believe is often found in serious accidents. All the arguments above are really doing is deciding which factors had the highest contribution.

I have to agree with the people who assign most blame to the bolters as they basically created an "accident waiting to happen". However I don't feel that their act of bolting was the "crime", anyone can make poor decisions. Their worst omission was surely in not making sure that the local Aussie climbers knew about what they had done; i.e. the poor state of the bolts, so that something could be done to rectify their mistake.
 alicia 10 Feb 2009
In reply to Michael Hood:

I took Rampikino's post to mean that he meant to write 'that there must be intent to kill or cause GBH', which would still cover your scenario. I might be wrong about what he meant, of course!
Ord1 10 Feb 2009
In reply to Rampikino:

Some comments on New South Wales law...

Our criminal law is statute based. The relevant (New South Wales) definition of murder can be found at:
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/ca190082/s18.html

Civil liability: the common law of negligence has been modified by the Civil Liability Act in NSW (and most, if not all, other Australian states) such that, in a nutshell, a defendant will not be liable for harm suffered by a plaintiff when the plaintiff was engaging in a risky recreational activity, and that harm was a result of that risk materialising, even if the risk is unlikely to materialise or one which the plaintiff was not aware of:
http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/cla2002161/
nmonteith 10 Feb 2009
Would you test a murder weapon by shooting yourself in the head????

People forget that the Croatian bolters used the bolts as well - self testing in other words. They abseiled on them, belayed off them and put their own lives at risk by climbing above them. They were very lucky they didn't kill themselves. Surely this would mean that they didn't knowingly and deliberatly create a 'death trap'. If they knew they were that dangerous they would not have climbed the route. The Croatian climbers said they were horrified when they saw the video showing the bolts being removed. I see no grounds at all for any sort of accusations that have been written here regarding murder, or even manslaughter.
 thomasadixon 10 Feb 2009
In reply to nmonteith:

It doesn't mean anything of the sort - I've lowered off seriously crap gear before - that was my own stupid choice, I've soloed and climbed trad protected by gear that wouldn't hold a fly - that was my own stupid choice. If I'd led someone else to believe that gear was solid or the ab was perfectly safe then if that person had injured themselves I would be at least partly responsible for their injury.

In reply to Ord1:

It says *obvious* risk. It's not an obvious risk under the definition in that Act that bolts will fail because that wouldn't be obvious to a reasonable person in that person's position.

In any case negligence is built on moral principles - it's just wrong to leave such a risk in place when you know what's likely to happen. If the tort of negligence didn't exist in any country anywhere it would still be wrong. They should, at the very least, when reporting the route have made it very clear that the bolts were crap. That they didn't is to my mind indefensible.
 Rampikino 10 Feb 2009
In reply to Ord1:

Fair play on the legal definition - good to get the Australian definition as that is where this occured.

I'm absolutely certain that the bolters had no intention of causing any harm whatsoever, and it would be very hard to show reckless indifference considering the very placing of a bolt is intended to provide safety (even if poorly placed).

 tobyfk 10 Feb 2009
In reply to nmonteith:

> I see no grounds at all for any sort of accusations that have been written here regarding murder, or even manslaughter.

Neil, can you answer the question I put to Simon Carter higher in this thread: what do local climbers in the Blue Mountains actually want as closure in this matter? Were it possible, would they like to see some kind of legal action? It sounds from your post that you don't personally feel that way, but I wondered what the consensus view is?

nmonteith 10 Feb 2009
In reply to tobyfk:

I think we all just wanted an apology from the bolters (which we have now received) and to know the full details on why it was equipped that way (which we have now gotten). None of us wants to press for any sort of legal action. It has been a learning experience for all of us, and some of the questions and answers will help to stop accidents like this occurring in the future I believe. Some may never forgive the bolters and I guess that is their right. Local climbers around here know that legally we aren't on the most solid grounds anyway (bolting in National Parks is technically illegal) so most don't want to bring this into the mainstream legal process.
 tobyfk 10 Feb 2009
In reply to nmonteith:
> (In reply to tobyfk)
> I think we all just wanted an apology from the bolters (which we have now received) and to know the full details on why it was equipped that way (which we have now gotten). None of us wants to press for any sort of legal action.

Thanks. I hope some of the armchair pundits on this (UK) forum spouting loose talk about bolters' liability and salivating over the possibility of a test case take that onboard.
 Rampikino 10 Feb 2009
In reply to nmonteith:

A very fair and reasonable response. I hope you are right that accidents like this will not happen again in future.
 Bruce Hooker 10 Feb 2009
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Their worst omission was surely in not making sure that the local Aussie climbers knew about what they had done; i.e. the poor state of the bolts, so that something could be done to rectify their mistake.

Apparently they did... see Boris's post above.
 Bruce Hooker 10 Feb 2009
In reply to nmonteith:

> I see no grounds at all for any sort of accusations that have been written here regarding murder, or even manslaughter.

This seems to sum it up, and the post by ordi1 just above yours states the case concerning civil liability as climbers are most certainly "engaging in a risky recreational activity"... so perhaps the legal beagles will now shut up?

Especially as it turns out that bolting is illegal in national parks there according to nmonteith. One wonders why this law is not enforced.

What remains is yet another tragic accident and how to try and make sure that it doesn't happen again... more useful than blame and calling for lynching. I reckon all directly concerned are quite aware inside their heads, and probably don't need any more reminding.
 alicia 10 Feb 2009
In reply to tobyfk:

Toby, the idea with the discussion of civil and/or criminal liability wasn't to say that a legal proceeding should or shouldn't happen. It's more to correct the misinformation that gets spouted (like Rampikino's post that I replied to above) so that there can at least be a clear picture of the situation.
 tobyfk 10 Feb 2009
In reply to alicia:

I am sorry but I don't buy that. The really simple principle here is that we climb at our own risk. How non-climbers view that through a human abstraction like "the law" - or any other arbitrary frame of reference - is irrelevant and we risk undermining the sport everytime we imply otherwise.
 chris fox 10 Feb 2009
In reply to tobyfk:

To the majority of people on here Nick, Boris and his un-skilled bolting buddy Ivica are just names. Although the latter two are still just names to all us Aussie crew (i still class myself as one) Nick, to myself, Neil, Ado and Simon is a person we climbed and interacted with. So we want answers.

Neil, as to your post about wanting the croatians to apologise, i doubt it's going to happen. An apology then is an admission by them that they were at fault, and thats something i can't see happening.

You've bolted hundreds of routes and know probably better than most how crap those bolts were.

Oh, to all on here, just to show how popular Nick was amongst the climbing scenein Oz, over 500 people turned up to his funeral.

Chris
In reply to tobyfk: Of course we climb at our own risk. But to say that the law is irrelevant is to misunderstand the situation - as I argued above, climbing is governed by the law just like any other activity, and could potentially end up being judged by non-climbers. To pretend that this is not the case is just naive. We can debate until the cows come home whether this is a good thing or not, it doesn't change the reality.

Of course, the law varies from place to place. It is interesting that Australian law excludes risky sports by statute - that should please Bruce - so in that jurisdiction at least climbers do truly climb at their own risk. That's not necessarily the case elsewhere, although a court would probably take the risky nature of the activity into account.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Michael Hood)
>
> [...]
>
> Apparently they did... see Boris's post above.

I must say, Bruce, your commitment to falsehood would be impressive, were it in a better cause.

jcm
In reply to tobyfk:

I'm not sure who's spouting loose talk. There was a lot of fatuous talk about what the law was. Some of us took it upon ourselves to explain it more accurately, as best we could. If that's spouting loose talk, count me in.

Having said that, assuming the poster above correctly summarises New South Wales law then it's clear that there is no possibility of an action in this case anyway, not that there ever was of course against uninsured foreigners.

>The really simple principle here is that we climb at our own risk. How non-climbers view that through a human abstraction like "the law" - or any other arbitrary frame of reference

This is utter tosh. I particularly like the notion that 'we climb at our own risk' is not a 'human abstraction' whereas the law is.

>is irrelevant

Real world, Toby, real world. The law is seldom irrelevant, much as it would sometime be convenient to think so.

>and we risk undermining the sport everytime we imply otherwise.

Now this might be true, but it doesn't really justify the nonsense I quoted above.

jcm
In reply to nmonteith:

>They abseiled on them, belayed off them and put their own lives at risk by climbing above them. They were very lucky they didn't kill themselves.

I haven't entirely forgotten that. But I must say I do find that statement of theirs hard to square with them saying that they could take some of the bolts out by hand, and I can't see how they can possibly have been horrified when they saw the bolts being removed by hand on video when they had already stated that they themselves had been able to do so.

I find it hard to believe that any climber could leave a route behind with bolts removable by hand and without warning the locals. It's a level of irresponsibility I find hard to comprehend, but you're right, I don't think they'd be convicted in a criminal court, much though I'd like to see it happen.

jcm

In reply to thomasadixon:

I don't know about that. As so often it depends; on whether the obvious risk is the bolt failing or the climber falling to the floor, for example. It does say that a risk is obvious even if there is a low probability of it occurring, mind. Is it not obvious that bolts *might* fail? Although presumably (?) a rope manufacturer would still be liable for an obviously defective rope which broke, even though in a sense the risk of the rope breaking is obvious. Maybe product liability is dealt with under some other Act altogether.

I suspect there must be some case law about what 'obvious risk' means in that Act, and if there isn't I imagine there will be one day.

jcm
 Bruce Hooker 10 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Bruce Hooker)
> [...]
>
> I must say, Bruce, your commitment to falsehood would be impressive, were it in a better cause.
>

Boris writes:

"After coming back to Croatia I have sent topo to mr. Carter and mentioned bad rock and 8mm Raumer bolts . It was not strange to him . Not any doubts as a local expert. Why I was not mentioned anything else I was explain before . My e mail to mr. Carter:"

On this thread, just above.

He also confirms that he used 8mm drills - although this was obvious from the film for anyone who wanted to see...

As for the legal side, as you, presumably through professional deformation, but maybe also because it gives you the occasion to do a bit of pompous browbeating ("An expert speaks!"), see it as a legal problem, there are references above which make it clear that what I said about the civil liability situation over there excludes dangerous leisure activities, which is how it should be. It seems unlikely that jurisprudence in the Uk doesn't lead to the same practical results, as it does in France, it's quite logical. As you admit yourself, there have been no cases successfully prosecuted by non-pros in the UK.

As you think laws rule all, apparently, notice that bolting is illegal in the areas concerned, so carry on with your legalistic trumpeting, you might succeed in getting climbing of all the routes there banned.


In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>I have sent topo to mr. Carter and mentioned bad rock and 8mm Raumer bolts

That is not a warning that the bolts are dangerous. Presumably the words 'which can be pulled out by hand' were tragically omitted from his email by some error.

As I said, people were talking crap about the law. I attempted to set them right. I pointed out that I was speaking of UK law. As to your views about that, I can only suggest that when we wait until leaves behind a line of joke bolts in the UK, a climber is killed as a result and his estate sues. You can then put your money where your mouth is by having a large bet with me on the outcome of the case. I shall look forward to it.

jcm
 thomasadixon 10 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Agreed on all - I was just trying to make the point that it doesn't say that everything that may happen during participation in risky sports is now outside of negligence, what it says is something far more reasonable (and, as usual, unclear).
AndyRicho 11 Feb 2009
In reply to Boris Cujic:
> We have shoved them bolts and where we want to climb. One of them is claiming now that he was warn us clearly. It is not honest

Hi, My name is Andy Richardson. I am the Blue climber that met Boris and Ivica before they headed to the Blue Mountains. I would like to reply to Boris's statment above as i feel it brings my integrity into question. I live in the Blue Mountains and have developed routes in the area over the last ten years. If I need to make an temporary anchor to rapel off while bolting i will equalise at least 3 10x100mm dyna bolts (these work differently to the Raumer sleeve style expansion bolts and will at least give maximum expansion in soft rock). I have had a 10x75mm pull on steep ground that was just being used as a directional piece.

Would people really think that when I was introduced to visiting climbers and saw the equipment that they intended to use that I would not inform them of the dangers? After I told them that their bolts were not safe and that we use glue-in's, one of them (Boris or Ivica, I'm not sure sorry) responded to me "that they did routes ground up in very remote locations and that few would ever see repeat ascents". I repeated again that this style of bolt is not safe in our soft rock and that they could not be trusted. I was telling them as a concern for thier safety. Weather they chose to ignore what I said or they could not actually conceive just how dangerous the bolts really could be I don't know.

When they showed me in the guidebook (photo topo) were they wanted to bolt, I explained to them that the reason why there were no routes where they were pointing was because the nice looking yellow rock is absolute choss. I tried to give them some beta and even tried to explain of another area with almost no routes, unclimbed corners that would go entirely trad, would be fun and adventurous, only had a 1 to 2 hour approach and is in direct view from the Three Sister's. I even gave them my phone number.

None of this will change what has happened now, but I just wanted to set the record straight.

Cheers
Andy
Lorenz 11 Feb 2009
Hello guys,

I would like to point out an important issue, which I guess has been ignored in this story: the deteriorating effect of rain and bad weather on sandstone.

Boris and his partner did not find anomalies in their bolts, contrarily to those who, later, tested them.
During and after their bolting, there was heavy rain.

Among other things, I think it should not be excluded the fact that the rain, after the croatian bolting, eroded severely the holes where the bolts where inserted, reducing significatively their strength.
In reply to Lorenz:

It's true that Boris said in this thread that they had no problems with the bolts. However according to Simon Carter's report on the accident, the Croatian's own internet report on the route said "The worst thing is that the bolts are not holding in this soft rock. You place the bolt, apply the weight and it’s already turning. Some of them we could take out with a bare hand!” This was presumably posted before the accident.

I don't know how good that translation is, but no one seems to have challenged it.
In reply to Lorenz:

I wouldn't be a bit surprised - everyone knows sandstone and rain are a bad combination.

Which is exactly why any sensible person would find out what they were doing before bolting it.

jcm
 Mr Andersson 11 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:
> (In reply to Lorenz)
>
> However according to Simon Carter's report on the accident, the Croatian's own internet report on the route said "The worst thing is that the bolts are not holding in this soft rock. You place the bolt, apply the weight and it’s already turning. Some of them we could take out with a bare hand!” This was presumably posted before the accident.

This does not necessarily refer to the bolts they finally used and left behind. I think he said this together with saying they had to replace bolts and drill new holes. I don't know...
In reply to Mr Andersson:

Only they know for certain what this means. Even if your interpretation is correct, they should have realised that the other bolts were, or were likely to be, poor.

The reason that feelings are running high is not just that they did a crap job of bolting, but that they failed to give warning that the bolts might be poor, when they had the opportunity.
 Bruce Hooker 11 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

For the third time, they say they did, and publish an email they sent... I don't think Simon has denied this. It isn't very specific but if everybody was so sure that the bolts they had with them were so completely wrong for the rock why did no one go and have a look? It was also on their website.

As they climbed it a year before the accident there was enough time for the information to get about. It may not have changed much as the climbers had no topo or guide book with them and got off route, but they could have heard through the grapevine so that when they came across these different sort of bolts they would have smelt a rat. Apart from informing the guide book writer what else could reasonably be expected of people who lived on the other side of the world?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Howard J)
>
> Apart from informing the guide book writer what else could reasonably be expected of people who lived on the other side of the world?

Not doing something so stupid in the first place?
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

All they said in their email was that they'd used 8mm Raumer double expansion bolts. No mention of bad rock, or problems fixing the bolts. It's expecting a lot of Simon to deduce that from what they sent.

As no one had been on the route since they put it up, how do you expect the information to "get about?" As soon as someone tried it the information got about quickly enough. How do you expect someone to hear "through the grapevine" about a route that no one had been near?

"what else could reasonably be expected of people who lived on the other side of the world?" They could have said, "here's the details of the route we did, we used 8mm Raumer double expansion bolts and we had a lot of trouble fixing them so please warn anyone trying the route to be very careful"
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

"It was also on their website."

So you don't think it reasonable to expect "people who lived on the other side of the world" to warn the locals a bit more clearly than they did, but you do expect Australian climbers to go looking for information on a Croatian website? I think that's taking due diligence too far.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

>It isn't very specific but if everybody was so sure that the bolts they had with them were so completely wrong for the rock why did no one go and have a look?

Bruce, FFS, your continued idiocy on this is really getting tiresome. I imagine Simon Carter had never heard of Raumer 8mm bolts. It's not his job to check people are using suitable equipment.

It's not that difficult. If you leave behind bolts which can be pulled out by hand, you bloody well make sure everyone you can possibly tell knows about it in the clearest possible terms before someone gets killed.

Now which part of that don't you understand?

jcm
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

Why not just read Boris's post? In his email he said:

"Route is protected by the bolts ( 8mm Raumer double expansion ). Lower part is not so nice but upper part is fine."

It's true that it makes one wonder how bad the first part must have been but if, according to the thesis that it was so obvious that this sort of bolt was unsuitable, shouldn't this have been enough to tip off someone involved in the local scene and guide books? Enough perhaps to consult a website... I did days ago when I first read the blogs, and I'm never even likely to go to Oz. The wording also makes it clear that the author (Boris) thought the sort of bolts used were suitable... he doesn't, for example hide the fact that they were 8mm bolts - he could have said simply "Raumer bolts" if he was aware that this diameter was not big enoough.

Also I said they could have heard "through the grapevine" if local "experts" had reacted to this information... simply because they had no guide on them during the ascent them so they couldn't have read it then.

All this is dragging on, but the point I'm trying to make here is that everything is just so clear with hindsight, and as the truth unfolds, bit by bit, the extreme views expressed by some seem harder and harder to justify... I'm sure this won't stop you though.
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Calling other people "idiots" is not really a substitute for using arguments... nor is it the usual attitude of people who really work in the legal profession... except on ukc where self proclaimed legal experts seem to traditionally find abusive language "de rigeur"; you aren't original on this, one of a long line.

Perhaps you yourself should read the "evidence"... do you really think that the climbers who did the first (and only, apparently) ascent of this route would have abseiled down (twice for the lower half) and climbed up (again twice for the lower half) a route on which they were themselves aware that the bolts "could be pulled out by hand"?

If so, they would surely have another line of defence (to use your "Perry Mason speak"), that of insanity.
Bruce, you seem to hold everyone responsible except the climbers who actually placed the bolts. According to you:

Simon Carter should have read between the lines of Boris's email and realised that the bolts were likely to be unsafe

The local climbing community should have scoured the internet for any website, in any language, which might warn of poor bolts on their local crags.

Nick and his partner should have been aware of this new route through the "grapevine", although how information about a route which hadn't then been repeated should get onto the grapevine is unclear to me.

Nick and his partner certainly made a mistake in going off-route, although who hasn't done that? The fact that they didn't have a topo possibly contributed to this, but if they thought there was only one route in the area and it was just a matter of following the bolt line it's not a surprising decision.

But according to you, the people who fixed the bolts in the first place carry no responsibility, even although they ignored local practice, used bolts which in any circumstances would have been unsuitable for lead climbing, and wrote on on their own website about the poor state of the bolts but failed to mention this clearly when giving information about their route to the locals.

In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> Calling other people "idiots" is not really a substitute for using arguments...

As you called me a "liar" the other week and were clearly wrong, so you're on rather thin ice if you take exception to JCM's harsh language.
 onsight 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> The wording also makes it clear that the author (Boris) thought the sort of bolts used were suitable...

And yet you persist (in trying to blame me).

I think JCM summed it up nicely before:

>
> I must say, Bruce, your commitment to falsehood would be impressive, were it in a better cause.
>
cuja 12 Feb 2009
I have seen that people still discuss on this forum abaout this accident.
I was sent my statment to Australian forum too. I was think a lot about this situation and decided to give some more informations to give a more clear view to the circumstances leading to the accident. I think it can help to prevent possible future similar situations . I was learn a lot from whole situation a lot abaout climbing but also a lot abaout people.
Boris Cujic
Here are once again some facts abaout accident in Australia from my point of view .
I think it is important for understanding the whole situation and circumstances leading to the sad and fatal accident.
It can be halpful and school for everywhone including me:

1. It was part of our long term «project» starded 12 years ago. We have climbed a lot of new and by repetitors graded as « good « and «nice» routes in Croatia . Withaout Ivica I was climbed on Greenland aid route ( repeated free by English climbers ). We have climbed in Mali , Chile and Sichuan . All of them trad except Mali where was mixed route ( 10mm bolts).
2. To Australia we have bringed 8mm Raumer double expansion bolts . Why ? Because it is in common use by many Italians and by us in some of long sport routes because of less weight and because it spare energy from the drill and it is still material of the «state of the art» means enough strong. It was never before problems with this bolts. Some people use even shorter ones. We was thinking double expansion is right. In old catalogues from producer it was written that it can be used for climbing , mountaineering , speleology and for rocks of not so good quality too.
3. We have showed our planned route to some of local climbers. One of them was suggested also another wall with possibilities for new routes. On the forums and reports was spoked abaout warnings because of the bolts. I was not tell that one of this guys is not speaking thruth but by swear to the god I can not remember that this was clearly spoken to me ( I was send e mail to one of them , try to clear this situation ). It will be judged one day...If this was problem in communication I do not know now.
4. When we arrived to the Blue mountains it was a lot of rain and bad weather . But we definetley was motivated to climb our planned route. We planned ground up style but because of bad weather we finished from the top.Between two sessions it was a couple of days of constant rain.
5. I was not in good shape and not psyched enough ( because of my accident that year still afraid for my leg ) so Ivica friendly take whole job of bolting.
6. We have used 8mm drill.
7. Regarding cleaning holes : by ground climbing sometimes this is difficult because you can not . Ok it was keeped this "style" not cleaned in upper part by bolting from the top.
8. When I was come to the ( second or third belay ) I was see one bolt is moving so I was ask for the third one and probably bolt it.
9. When I was ask Ivica abaout quality of work answer was : Will be OK !
10. When bolted from top I have hear in one moment and speak with him abaout particular part where he was try several times to dril a propper hole. He put the bolt and take it out by hand. Later he was saying that he was find better part of the rock and put a better ( good ? ) one.
11. I belive that ( by his words ) everything is OK. So I have climb on this bolts ( looking good from outside) and even rappel on them. Just to ilustrate : I have 6 and 11 years old sons. Do you think I will rappel on bolts which can failure? I have no time to test them on the way shoved in movie ( means try to pull them out ) and no reason too. After seeing movie I was truly schocked for my life too. I can not answer at the moment why and how Ivica is not realised that the bolts are so bad. If in the meantime rain or weather make them worser ? Mr. Carter ask me how I was not feel that bolts are bad? Hard to answer but as you can see on pictures : they was look good. I have seen that Ivica can drill faster than for example in hard limestone ( but I have expirience also from certain routes that also in softer tufa limestone you can drill faster but in the same time good bolts). But I do not know if he was feel that he is putting bolt which will not hold. I just belive to his words.
12. By our first impressions on Croatian web sites it is thruth that I have mention some bad bolts ( and taking them by hand ) and bad rock in some parts . This was definitley thruth specialy in conditions we have
( lot of rain , mud ...). Maybe I was in some euphory take more of «poets freedom « because the fact is that by climbing we actualy take by hand only this ones mentioned above.
13. My description sent to mr. Carter was included topo , information abaout size and manufacturer of the bolts. It was mention also bad rock in lower part of the wall.By present point of view it was definetley not apropriate but why ? Why I was not mention soft rock ? Because locals must know that. Why I have not mention anything else ? Because I was be assured that everything was OK. My partner told me this. Because all of our previous climbing I have no reason to not belive him. I have asked him a couple of days ago abaout whole situation ( and even inform him because he is not so much on internet) and answer was : « At that time we do not know ... « ( means when we was in Australia). I am now 47 , I have seen a lot of accidents ( help to many people in Paklenica ) . Am I realy so stupid not to inform abaout danger If I was aware of it ?
14. Regarding speculations abaout crux point and 6b+ grade. I was on lower belay and can not see him . I only belive that he was passed and that grade given is correct. Me personaly have no expirience with crux detail. I was try but give up due rain because rock was wett and slipery
( rain was started when he was passed crux detail).
15. For the rock itself: This wall is full of sharp edges what can be seen a lot before fatal point. This is the reason why we have climbed with double rope. We have accepted this kind of rock quality . Maybe we have a lower tollerance for bad rock in comparation with true sport climbers and finaly this is «adventure» too.

At the end I can only say it was mix of many small things and circumstances.
Australian climbers also have maded some mistakes :out of route , comming to another one not published yet , belived to one bolt ( not excuse for fact that bolts are bad) , climbing with single rope in so bad wall ( many sharp edges ) and finaly rope was cut on sharp edge ( probably any will be ) what was reason that one life was saved. I think that on some questions abaout possibly different scenario is now hard to answer.

I think all facts was described. I was send my appologies to Australia and I am truly sorry for what was happen. I know that some things is hard to understand and all this hit a black blot on my career but I am not a killer as was written on the internet in Croatia.
For any other explanations I am there and I can provide also e mail from my partner if needed.
Boris Cujic

cuja 12 Feb 2009
Following some suggestions for let say chapter 13 i want to clear it :
By present point of view it was definetley not apropriate but why ?
Means: was completely inadequate in the circumstances.
In my first e mail to Mr Carter I was not say: bed rock . I was say : rock is not so good in lower part...
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:

Ooh! Were you offended? Poor little thing... I only do it when you take liberties with the truth though,... as you often do. Don't forget getting burnt and kitchens. This thread is perhaps not the place for personal tiffs though.
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to onsight:

Who are you? I haven't blamed anyone, I've just argued against cyber lynching. Any objective reader would have noticed the "blaming" was against those who put this route up... from talk of legal action to threats of physical violence.

Also, for the nth time, I have not said that the bolters were in not in any way responsible. It's not black and white, they thought they had done a good, rather necky new route - not a sports route - and clearly didn't imagine the consequences. I don't think they thought the bolts were as bad as they are now either (until taken out). People who talk about "murder" (not you, I don't think) are letting their emotions get the better of them.
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

PS. I wrote this reply before reading Boris's second post, which clarifies things a little more, also how bad he feels about it for those that have said that they haven't apologised.

To onsight:

Tell me one place where I have said things that were untrue... and didn't come from this thread, Simon's blogs and the replies on them. Obviously you are upset, I suppose you know the victim, but there have been a lot of fibs published - the accusation about them using oversized drills for example, which has now been shown to have been untrue... as for the accusation that they didn't give any warning about the bolts used and the state of the rock.
In reply to Bruce Hooker: You accused John of calling you an idiot as a substitute for an argument, as opposed to what I presume was his reason (your continual ridiculous posts on this thread). I was just pointing out to the others who might not follow the non climbing threads, that when you can't think or suitable response you call people liars, then look silly when you can't back it up.

I'm vaguely offended by you continually putting words in others' mouths (lynching) so you can rant on your personal and rather odd agenda. This seems distasteful in relation to an important issue such as this, but beyond that please call me what you like if it makes you feel a bit better.

p.s. click on onsight's profile and it's very obvious who he is why he might take your comments personally.
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:

If you don't play with the truth, be economical as Lady T, another Pinochet fan, used to say then I wouldn't point it out.

As for the ridiculousness of my posts on this thread, most of what I said above has been proved true once we started to get replies from the people concerned (the accusations of using the wrong drill bits, that they hadn't informed Simon Carter, that they knew the bolts were all unsafe and unsuitable - see Boris's last post, the legal situation in the area concerned to give a few examples).

It might have been better, don't you think, that the position of Boris and his mate had been obtained before launching the whole rather nasty process?
 deepsoup 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> Tell me one place where I have said things that were untrue...

Well, since you're asking...

> - the accusation about them using oversized drills for example

That looks very much like one right there.

Carter says of the holes that "I would not be surprised if they are over-sized for the bolts." In the video someone (I don't know which of the three it was) says plainly, and demonstrates, that an 8.5mm and then a 9mm will fit into the hole.

Unless I've missed it, there is no 'accusation' that an oversized drill was used. Have I missed it, Bruce? Please point out exactly where Carter makes this "accusation".
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> If you don't play with the truth,

You said I had said something that the search functions clearly and simply showed that I hadn't. You were wrong, and then you obfuscated sadly trying to avoid admitting that. You are the one "playing with the truth".

Of course the "fan of Pinochet" thing can be taken as a throw away comment, but actually it is quite indicative of your standard "arguing" style. You pretend people have position that they don't, lynching in this case, and then attack that. Don't they say in football that you play the ball, not the man?
 Moacs 12 Feb 2009
In reply to cuja:

Boris

I've thought quite hard before posting this....and I'm not going to comment on what happened.

But I do want to thank you for coming to this thread and posting as you have - I applaud your courage in doing so.

J
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to deepsoup:

Go through the thread again, there was a whole exchange about this. Simon Carter didn't post much on the thread himself, until he came on line using the "onsight" tag as I've just seen from his profile. The video shows the drill bits to imply and demonstrate that the size of the holes is too big... but it doesn't prove this at all... clearly the 9mm bit is a tight fit and so the hole must have been made with something smaller... by soft rock drilled from on a rope and after pulling the bolt out with tugging would obviously explain the size of the hole (as any one who has drilled holes in soft friable material knows) but that didn't stop the accusations on this thread about the size of the holes.

Boris has confirmed that they used 8mm drill bits for 8mm bolts...

From just the start of this thread, I didn't trawl through it all:

"It's quite clear that a 9mm bit was used,"

"8mm bolts were put in 9mm holes"


And loads of remarks about them obviously knowing the bolts were bad... All denied, with explanations, by Boris's two long posts.

And saying "I would not be surprised if they are over-sized for the bolts." along with the video is not an "accusation"?

 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:

Is this the time and the place Toby? I remember to this day the long exchange about Chile, in which you steadfastly tried to minimise the number of deaths at the hands of Pinochet... You would perhaps have us believe that this is out of an intellectual obsession with "proven facts", but it's not very convincing.

Have you anything more to say about the subject, if you just want to settle a grudge then start another thread.
chicken 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker and others:

Could it all down toned a bit? The events are still fresh and feelings still painful.
 Enty 12 Feb 2009
In reply to chicken:

Agreed - that's why I pulled out days ago. Sorry for any upset.
You'll have to wait for Bruce to have the last word though I'm afraid.

Enty

 deepsoup 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> And saying "I would not be surprised if they are over-sized for the bolts." along with the video is not an "accusation"?

No, it is not.
You're confusing two different things - the size of the hole, and the size of the drill bit that was used to make the hole.

In the video, and in his written reports, Simon Carter is at pains to be as objective as possible. Saying the hole is over-sized is a plain statement of objective fact - it is: a 9mm drill bit will not fit into an 8mm hole. At no point does he suggest, let alone make an accusation, that an oversized drill was used to make the hole.
 deepsoup 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Enty:
Quite so, I thought I'd pulled out but then let myself get drawn in again. Sorry about that, I'll try harder to let Bruce have the last word next time.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

> I remember to this day the long exchange about Chile, in which you steadfastly tried to minimise the number of deaths at the hands of Pinochet...

Yes Bruce, I remember that very clearly. You cited a film review in the Guardian as your source for the casualties (where I suspect the figure was a typo). I checked and found for you the reports of the Chilean Truth and Reconciliation committee and judicial enquiries from after military rule ended along with a Human Rights Watch report. You didn't want to believe them. Unsurprisingly I've been suspect of your grasp of "facts" since.

> Have you anything more to say about the subject,

Not particularly, I think that like most people here I think this is a terrible accident. It terrible for the family and friends of the deceased, and it's terrible for the bolters who whilst of course not setting out to hurt anyone, accept they made mistakes and will have to live with that. I do strongly object though to your posts that suggest people have taken something other than the positions that they have - your references to lynching - and your attempts to use the issue to criticise bolting more generally.
Firstly, I think Boris deserves respect for his lengthy and I believe honest post.

It seems that they were confident that their bolts were OK, which is why they didn't think to warn anybody. In particular, Ivica who did the bolting told Boris they were OK, and Boris trusted his partner (and why wouldn't he?). I'm not entirely sure why they were so confident that some bolts were good when others were so obviously bad, but the fact remains that they were sufficiently happy with them to abseil off them.

They are both clearly very experienced climbers, and perhaps that was the problem. They were probably confident in their ability to fix bolts and assumed that their previous experience would be sufficient. It turns out they were mistaken, because of the unusual nature of the rock which the locals tell us requires a special approach. It is perhaps a result of over-confidence in their ability both to fix the bolts and to judge their security in this particular rock type. There also seem to have been a number of misunderstandings which may have contributed.

I've never been in any doubt that these climbers never intended, indeed never expected, what followed, and I've also never doubted their sincere regret. I am sure they are suffering over it, just as Nick's friends are suffering. However, it all comes back to the basic principle that if you equip a route you have a responsibility to those who will follow to do the job properly, and they manifestly failed to do that. There are a number of reasons why that happened, and it's easy to see how it could happen again - let's hope that this incident will make everyone think a little more carefully in future.
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to deepsoup:

> At no point does he suggest, let alone make an accusation, that an oversized drill was used to make the hole.

He didn't, I didn't say he did, it was others. I don't see how you can deny that there is a link between showing in some detail the size of the hole and the phrase you cite and the suggestion that the holes were badly drilled though... Going to the trouble of actually showing the drill bits, even the man saying the 9mm was "a bit tight but still goes in", when he was clearly having to jiggle it to get it in... Others who are less delicate actually expressed the obvious conclusion. Read the title of this thread "Dangerous Bolting Leads to Climber's Death"... if that's not an accusation I don't know what is but again they were not Simon's words.

Those saying that this is enough are right though. All the facts are there to be seen or read, we can each draw our conclusions... hopefully we will bear them in mind next time we come across a bolt, and also think about the implications of all the arguments that have been exposed, and the accident itself, when we consider whether bolted climbs are really the way forward.
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

I have no trouble agreeing with all this post, except the conclusion that any one who leaves gear in is responsible for anyone who uses it later on... unless they were specifically equipping a cliff for other climbers, whether paid or not. My conclusion would be that we are all responsible for our own safety, including choosing our gear and the way we use or not anything we find in place, and also in the way we prepare for the climb. I can't see any other practical possibility.

At least things have calmed down a bit, it's apparently harder to call people "murderers" or "killers" and such like when they are face to face, that is after reading their side, with a man's name at the bottom, than when they are just anonymous foreigners.
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
> (In reply to Howard J)
>
> I have no trouble agreeing with all this post, except the conclusion that any one who leaves gear in is responsible for anyone who uses it later on... unless they were specifically equipping a cliff for other climbers, whether paid or not.

But when you bolt a route, you are equipping it for other climbers, especially if you name it and try to publicise it.

That is the fundamental difference between trad and climbing on bolts - the creator of a new trad route simply establishes a line, but when bolts are placed surely you must have regard to the likelihood that someone else will rely on them in the future.

You seem to imply that I'm suggesting that if you climb on bolts you don't need to take responsibility for your own safety - I'm not. Of course a climber should make his own judgement about the bolts he is intending to use. But he is also entitled to expect that the bolts have been placed by a competent person. In this case, despite their experience elsewhere, the bolters were apparently not competent on this type of rock.

I'm not suggesting that bolters are 100% responsible for the state of their bolts for the rest of time. But they do have some responsibility, moral and in some cases legal (although, as it happens, not in Australia). Boris and Ivica, to their credit, appear to recognise this, even if you do not.
 Bruce Hooker 12 Feb 2009
In reply to Howard J:

There's no end to this! I'm not replying to have the last word, as implied by some charming people, but to reply to you.

For the third (or 4th) time, I'm not saying that the bolters have absolutely no responsibility - I don't know why you won't accept this constant position, but I am saying that safety is primarily our own problem - I don't think the "blame" solution is a solution, even from a purely selfish point of view as once you have become a victim it is little consolation to know it was someone else's fault.

> You seem to imply that I'm suggesting that if you climb on bolts you don't need to take responsibility for your own safety - I'm not.

I'm not saying this of you, but some others higher up the thread (or the other one?) most definitely did say this... they said they couldn't be expected to check every bolt, that this was a "ridiculous" suggestion.

The question is that your idea of why they used bolts seems to disregard what they themselves said, ie. that because of the nature of the rock where they had chosen to put up their last new route before returning home it was impossible to protect it with other means... so they used bolts, seeing that others had done so in the area, just as they might have used any other method but in the spirit of doing what would possibly be a one off climb (he actually says this) and not as a sports route to be frequented by others... which would clearly have been impossible for them due to the time they had and the style initially chosen (lead bolting) which would not be compatible with resin glued bolts - required for safety in this very soft rock.

This difference of attitude, possibly out of touch with local practice, seems to make a difference, to me, and this is where we differ. I could accept this, but this accident demonstrates the problem that it poses. The other point that comes out in Boris's second long post is that they thought, from Raumer's old documentation that these bolts were suitable for climbing and even in poor rock dues to their double expansion system. Raumer's present web site seems to be in a state of flux even since the discussion started... maybe they fear a court action too, so this may not be too hard to believe. For example the 10mm diameter version of the same bolt, 8mm longer, was still listed as safe for climbing in all types of rock yesterday and yet it's hard to believe this would be the case.

I don't know if there will be an inquest, if so this might all come out more clearly.
 jon 13 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:

Is that your last word, Mr Hooker?
 Bruce Hooker 13 Feb 2009
In reply to jon:

B*gger you Jon, I'm trying to stop.

I've corrected the bouquetins, by the way.
 jimtitt 13 Feb 2009
In reply to Bruce Hooker:
Hi Bruce
Don´t confuse the type of rock with the quality of the rock. There is plenty of sandstone in which this type of bolt is suitable as well as plenty of limestones and others where they are unsuitable. For European climbers (that is, in the EU) the regulations are quite clear and all bolts have to be tested in the equivalent of 50N/mm² compressive strength which is a pretty soft piece of limestone for example. The manufacturers are required to print in the instructions supplied advice on suitability for use in softer rock than this.

The rock in the area concerned is around 20N/mm² though typically in this type of formation it is very variable and when wet will be considerably weaker than this ( a general rule is 50% weaker) and at this stage a prudent bolter will be looking at 16mm X 150mm bolt-ins or glue ins to achieve good results (by this I mean the pull-out values for EN959.

Outside the EU , including Croatia and Australia, climbers are left to their own resources and judgement though it is clear that the Australians, knowing their rock as they do have wisely decided to use glue-ins.

There are no 8mm bolts currently certified for use in the EU in any rock as they fail on the axial strength requirements just short of the nescessary 25kN due to the thread root diameter being too small.

Jim
In reply to jimtitt:

> There are no 8mm bolts currently certified for use in the EU in any rock

Gosh, that's interesting. Have these 8mm bolts been used in the past for climbing and the EU regs something new? Or has this been the case for some time?
 jimtitt 15 Feb 2009
In reply to TobyA:
Correction: in my pevious post "axial" should of course be "radial".

EN 959 2006 was required to be implemented by April 1997 in the EU member states.
 M9iswhereitsat 03 Mar 2009
Interesting thread with a further development noted in the link
Forum.asp?ForumID=5&Action=Display&MessageID=4942&PagePos=0&Sort=

If that link does not work then try this one
http://www.lugarnica.com/smf/index.php/topic,712.30.html


It is good to see the Croatian democracy at work.


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