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Climbing Accident in Staunton State Park
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By First Track Jack
From Evergreen
Aug 25, 2014
FTJ
There was a life flight for an accident Saturday 8/23/14? I heard it was in the Tan Corridor.. Anyone have any information on this. I hope the climbing team is OK...

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By PeterW
From Dryden, NY
Aug 25, 2014
I wasn't there, but it was a friend of mine.

Short story is that she was cleaning an anchor on a climb that was 40ish feet high, tethered in with an alpine draw. The draw had a tape keeper for extending purposes. Whether or not the tape caused confusion or a non-locker opened up they aren't sure. She fell to the deck, hit a slab and a tree branch on the way down. My buddy spotted her as best he could. She was conscious on the ground. Airlifted to the hospital, no internal injuries, no concussion, no broken bones, just bruised up a definitely some lessons learned. She walked out of the ER later that night.

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By First Track Jack
From Evergreen
Aug 25, 2014
FTJ
Glad to hear she is OK.. Thanks for info....

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 25, 2014
Bocan
Eesh that sounds horrible. Good reminder about two tie in points.

Glad to hear she walked away from that!

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By teece303
From Highlands Ranch, CO
Aug 25, 2014
Aiding.
That is good to hear! Walking out of the ER after that is awesome.

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Aug 25, 2014
Lincoln Lake
Damn. Glad the injured party sounds to be doing alright, all things considered. For what it's worth the description of the accident location sounds more like the Whistle Pig.

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By Bill M
From Fort Collins, CO
Aug 25, 2014
I believe There was a death several years ago I'm WV due to a similar scenario.

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By First Track Jack
From Evergreen
Aug 25, 2014
FTJ
A park worker told me Tan Corridor, but he could have been confused. I did some laps on Whistle Pig a few weeks back and all four rapid links were open on both anchors.. Good thing to double check at each station.

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By gblauer
From Wayne, PA
Aug 25, 2014
Wow, what a story. In the last four years, we have had two cleaning incidents at our local crag and the climbers were severely injured.

Just two weekends ago, a friend of mine rescued a climber at our local crag who had just cleaned a climb and was holding on to her biner...she had failed to clip the biner to her harness. She was lucky that Chris was able to rap in and get to her so quickly. Otherwise it would have been a 40 foot fall.

Since our local crag is very conducive to "gym to crag", we installed some anchors ground level so that climbers new to outdoor climbing could learn to clean climbs in a safe environment.

I am so glad the climber is ok.

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By J mac
Aug 25, 2014
Zermatt
gblauer wrote:
Wow, what a story. In the last four years, we have had two cleaning incidents at our local crag and the climbers were severely injured. Just two weekends ago, a friend of mine rescued a climber at our local crag who had just cleaned a climb and was holding on to her biner...she had failed to clip the biner to her harness. She was lucky that Chris was able to rap in and get to her so quickly. Otherwise it would have been a 40 foot fall. Since our local crag is very conducive to "gym to crag", we installed some anchors ground level so that climbers new to outdoor climbing could learn to clean climbs in a safe environment. I am so glad the climber is ok.


So she was at the anchor, clipped a biner to the anchor, grabbed it and called off belay? I am trying to figure out how this could happen. I imagine that's a pretty scary wait until your friend rapped in.

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By Mike Morin
From On the Road
Aug 25, 2014
Lincoln Lake
Interesting First Track Jack. I would defer to the park employee, just can't think of a 40 foot slab route in the Tan Corridor. It's really here nor there anyway, just glad the climber is still with us.

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By First Track Jack
From Evergreen
Aug 25, 2014
FTJ
Roger that Mike.

Maybe some more info will come up on the location; I did not think it made sense either...

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By gblauer
From Wayne, PA
Aug 25, 2014
J mac wrote:
So she was at the anchor, clipped a biner to the anchor, grabbed it and called off belay? I am trying to figure out how this could happen. I imagine that's a pretty scary wait until your friend rapped in.


Honestly, we don't quite know what she did. When Chris got to her she was hanging on to a biner which was clipped through her belay device. Her belay device wasn't clipped to her harness.

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By First Track Jack
From Evergreen
Aug 26, 2014
FTJ
Just a follow up. I confirmed with Park worker on the SAR team that responded and it was the Tan Corridor. The tree branch part didn't make sense for the Whistle Pig area. He was not able to give me any details, they would have to come from the climbing party.. Anyways, glad she walked out of the ER that night..

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By Kerndouglas
Aug 28, 2014
So to clarify a little more I was at the scene. Peter w has the story correct. She was cleaning the anchor of reef on it, in the tan corridor. Essentially the tape on the alpine draw was the only thing holding her and the climbing tape is very strong so it was holding her full weight for a minute while she was cleaning. As she began to feed the rope through the chains to rap, it broke. Leaving the carabiner up there and she came down with the alpine draw girth hitched to her harness and broken tape stuck on the sling still.
This most likely occurred as a result of her accidentally clipping the sling behind the tape and in front. Causing a failure similar to the scenario where you clip two loops of a daisy chain and blow out the stitch. As for the tree branch, if she hit any part of the tree it was a small branch. God is good.

PLEASE be so careful with new people and be redundant ALWAYS!

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By Adam Burch
From San Dieger
Aug 28, 2014
you local?
I'm trying to visualize this tape thing - what was the intended purpose/setup? I've not heard of it before.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Aug 28, 2014
Stoked...
Sounds like the same mechanism by which that young gun died due to the keepers being installed wrong.

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By Kerndouglas
Aug 28, 2014
The purpose is to stabilize one end, like a quick draw. So you can easily grab it and extend your tripled alpine draw.

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By wivanoff
Aug 28, 2014
High Exposure
Adam Burch wrote:
I'm trying to visualize this tape thing - what was the intended purpose/setup? I've not heard of it before.


I'm picturing that someone used adhesive tape like a rubber band to trap one carabiner on an alpine draw:

"Essentially the tape on the alpine draw was the only thing holding her and the climbing tape is very strong so it was holding her full weight for a minute while she was cleaning."

And this happened ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?i...

But, it took a bit longer than with a rubber band because a few wraps of climbing tape would be stronger.

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By Adam Burch
From San Dieger
Aug 28, 2014
you local?
Kerndouglas wrote:
The purpose is to stabilize one end, like a quick draw. So you can easily grab it and extend your tripled alpine draw.


Say word?

I've never found the need to do that, although I've seen some good arguments about the benefits of keeping the biner properly positioned when you whip.

What a feeling it must have been, for the gear to just cut loose and you go falling like that. Amazing and fortunate that she's okay.

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By Kerndouglas
Aug 28, 2014
The video demonstrates exactly what we believe happened.

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By wivanoff
Aug 29, 2014
High Exposure
Found this link to a previous discussion

mountainproject.com/v/10934996...

If there was THAT much tape on the draw, I'd be interested in hearing why the climber did not recognize the danger. Were they borrowed slings?

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Aug 29, 2014
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
It's all of our responsibility to learn not to use tape or rubber keepers on long sling draws. I first heard about this sort of failure from a friend down in Potrero Chico cleaning a route on The Wave. He fortunately had been taught as I had to use two independent slings to clip in for cleaning, so his second one caught him. Once he told us the story, we all removed those sorts of things from our own draws. I had at least two long slings set up like that on my rack.

I hope your friend recovers well. Everyone else, check your and your friend's gear and remove any tape, rubber bands, o-rings, whatever you have to fix your carabiners to your long slings. Just double them up instead.

Also, consider using two different slings when tying into an anchor for rappelling and cleaning.

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By newrivermike
Aug 29, 2014
Sounds like this was the same "phenomenon" that caused the death of Karen Feher here at the New River Gorge. She was using two slings, one to each anchor bolt, and both were looped over like this. The number of accidents caused by long slings with any kind of keeper (including rubber bands, Petzl strings, climbing tape) has become uncountable. This danger has been consistently covered in climbing media, yet it seems there are always folks that aren't aware of this. I still see folks at the crag that have this set up. Call them out!

Here's the video that clearly shows how this happens:

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Aug 29, 2014
Bocan
newrivermike wrote:
Here's the video that clearly shows how this happens:



Say's video can't be played here. gotta cut and paste.

But that's pretty scary stuff.

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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Sep 2, 2014
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.
When I see stuff like that, the TAPE .....

I show them just what can happen.

I hope the climber is OK

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