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Marty Karabin accident, Etc.
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Jul 31, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Georgeous!
First off, Marty is alive, so this isn't a horrible post.
Too many of those lately.

But, Marty was bouldering last week up by Salt Lake City while he was there for the OR show, and cratered into the pads. They saved his head and shoulders, but his leg augered in under him and he came out with a badly broken femur. He was in the hospital for a bit while they plated and screwed his leg back together, but he is expected to make a full recovery. He is returning to Phoenix sometime today.

Now for the bad part... Marty didn't have medical insurance. Friends have set up an account in case other friends and partners in the community want to donate to help him out with what I'm sure are pretty horrendous medical bills. I believe the PRG guys are working on a couple of fund raiser projects as well, so stay tuned for info on those. Marty has spent a load of his own money over the years putting up a boatload of great routes in the Phoenix area (and elsewhere), so maybe this is a good time for some of us to pony up and help him out.

If you'd like to help Marty out, here's the account info:

Robert Olsen for Marty Karabin Recovery Fund

Wells Fargo
Name on the account: Robert Olson
Acct Number: 9613232793

Note: To donate to the account, you need to provide the name on the account and the account number.
The name on the account (because he set it up) is Robert Olson.
Greg Opland
Joined Nov 14, 2001
116 points
Jul 31, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Beer Anyone?
Yup, look for yourselves. Guy looks just miserable!

That's Marty for you. Broken leg, giant medical bills and loss of income due to injury and the sucker is still smiling?!!?!

Rock Climbing Photo: Marty Gone Wild.  Photo Credit - Brian SLC
Marty Gone Wild.

Photo Credit - Brian SLC

Photo taken by the man on the streets the local Brian SLC. Thanks for taking the time Brian to check in on our dear friend Marty.

One of the "Marty's Angels"


p.s. Thanks Greg :)
susan peplow
From Joshua Tree
Joined Jan 24, 2006
2,923 points
Jul 31, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Where do I go?
Glad it wasn't worse. THanks for the info on donating. I have enjoyed many of his routes in Queen Creek and elsewhere. I owe him a lot for all the great routes. Great guy. manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
Joined Jan 27, 2006
3,690 points
Jul 31, 2009
Sorry to hear the news. Marty has contributed a lot to Arizona climbing, when you think of all the routes he's put up and how many people he has introduced to climbing over the years. Arizona climbing wouldn't be the same without him. bio
From mesa, az
Joined Dec 20, 2007
970 points
Jul 31, 2009
I wish you a speedy recovery Marty. I hope you have learned your lesson about climbing without a rope! Ha Ha! 1Eric Rhicard
Joined Feb 15, 2006
8,939 points
Jul 31, 2009
Marty - sending you good vibes for a fast and full recovery. Geir and I were just out exploring in the QC area - so much great climbing out there - much thanks for the routes, guidebook, and great topos, Marty. You rock :)

From Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
Joined Oct 9, 2006
1,499 points
Jul 31, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: False Summit of the Thumb
OMG! I totally flipped when I saw this post. Damn near had a heart attack. Thank goodness your alright Marty! Hope your recovery goes smoothly. Miss ya from the days of Climbmax and ninja routes. Thx for taking me under your wing during my formative climbing years, for your awesome routes and for keeping that crazy hairdo of yours:). You the Man! suprasoup
From Rio Rancho, NM
Joined Mar 16, 2009
590 points
Aug 1, 2009
Hey Susan, You didn't include the caption on Marty's photo...

"Marty has a climbAXE in his hospital bed!"

When I had my accident years ago, I was totally overwhelmed and touched by the outpouring of help from the climbing community. I'm sure that'll be the same for Marty. Marty has contributed so much over the years that it's certainly now time to contribute back to him. And what a relief that complete recovery is in his future.

Another of "Marty's Angels"

Sandy Draus
Joined Aug 1, 2009
45 points
Aug 1, 2009
Hey all. Think the recovery fund is great for Marty. Wanted to donate to it but needed the account holder's first and last name as it appeared on the account along with the account number. Tried several combinations of "Marty Karabin" and others but no luck. Can I get that info? Others probably need it too.

Thank you


Joined Aug 1, 2009
0 points
Aug 1, 2009
I visited Marty today. He is in good spirits and is doing very well. They surgeon actually had to remove the pieces of his femur, screw them together on a rod and then insert the rod and bone back into his leg. It is expected that he will make a full recovery but it will take awhile.

In addition to making a donation to his Recovery Fund I would like to suggest that if you need any climbing gear to please visit his store AZ Cliff Hanger. Every little bit helps.
Joined Sep 13, 2007
0 points
Aug 3, 2009
A little update on Marty...

I had nurse duty at Marty's last night.
Changed the bandage and cleaned him up. 36 stitches...some HUGE bruising...but looking good.
He's sleeping well with percoset.
It's a tough transition to being strong and capable to not being able to do much of anything alone.
He can get in and out of his wheelchair most of the time by himself...and does a good job around his small place after one of the doors was removed.
Changing his underwear is a challenge. He can't bend down, so his hotdog tongs do well.
The lazer pointer is really helping with showing us where things might be.
Any other hints are accepted.

Sandy Draus
Joined Aug 1, 2009
45 points
Aug 3, 2009
I cant believe this happened! I just met Marty for the first time bouldering in little cottonwood canyon last saturyday and he said he was planning on heading back to phenoex the next day. I had been to the Phenoex rock gym once and was stoked to meet the guy who put together that museum collection of old gear. He obviously loves life and climbing and I hope he can get back to activity quickly. Does anyone know which problem he fell off when this happened? We climbed with him and his buddies for almost an hour at the secret gerden and the atmosphere seemed way to relaxed for something like this to happen. Get well soon Marty! rehabing your leg is a bitch but there are worse things that could've happened. thanks for being one of the people who make climbing what it is. Tosh Peters
From Park City, UT
Joined Oct 11, 2007
143 points
Aug 3, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: False Summit of the Thumb
Never ever thought I'd see the day when Marty wasn't smiling. Chin up Marty!! suprasoup
From Rio Rancho, NM
Joined Mar 16, 2009
590 points
Aug 3, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit of Sheepshead--2004
We are all thinking about you Marty! Big Hugs!

From Scottsdale
Joined Nov 12, 2007
39 points
Aug 3, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: Russ
Marty ya puss.....

I got a bigger scrape than that falling off my longboard. Buck up would ya! You'll be fine!

(OMG!!!!!!!!! Don't tell Marty, it might scare him, but that thing looks F'n HORRENDOUS!!!!!!!!!111666)
Russ Walling
Joined Oct 5, 2004
3,460 points
Aug 3, 2009
Holy crap Marty,

That looks just awful. I hope you're on the fast track to full recovery. If I can do anything for you, just ask.

Curt Shannon
Joined Jun 3, 2006
20 points
Aug 3, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: girl40
Jesus Friggin' H. Christ - WTF Marty!?!?!?!

No wonder I didn't here anything from / about you after Stephane mentioned you were headed up to the show. Damn it dude - that's supposed to be 'Rock On'; not 'Rock Into it'. Should I send rare gear or money?
From PDX
Joined Jan 31, 2006
216 points
Aug 3, 2009
Hey Healyje...for right now, money would be best. He has no insurance and will be off work for a long while.
You can send the rare gear later.
Sandy Draus
Joined Aug 1, 2009
45 points
Aug 3, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: girl40
Sandy Draus wrote:
Hey Healyje...for right now, money would be best. He has no insurance and will be off work for a long while. You can send the rare gear later.

Money it is.

Hey, what are those funky calf sleeves with the black tubing?
From PDX
Joined Jan 31, 2006
216 points
Aug 3, 2009
Holy moley, Marty, get better and some insurance! Jay Anderson
Joined May 3, 2009
40 points
Aug 3, 2009
Speedy recovery, Marty;....your Queen Creek Guide is one of my favorites, and a guidebook that makes most climbing guides pale compared to it; sorry about the accident. I've also heard about your climbing "collection" of gear and such; the man. I'll buy some lottery tickets this week and see if I can send you some $.....but don't hold your breath.....I do have a good word and positive thoughts for you; RULE!....get it well and able ASAP.......cheers. Todd Gordon toddgordon
From Joshua Tree, California
Joined Nov 26, 2006
10,968 points
Aug 4, 2009
Healyje wrote:
Money it is. Hey, what are those funky calf sleeves with the black tubing?

They inflate intermittently so the blood doesn't pool in your calves and clot while you're laying in bed.
Zach Allen
Joined Sep 1, 2005
78 points
Aug 4, 2009
marty marty marty!

the one good thing about injury down time is you can really get to work on your beer belly.

when you are ready to start climbing again, holler at me and we can start ticking off 5.5's together.

hang tough.

luv ya,
deidre burton
From winslow, az
Joined Feb 11, 2007
0 points
Aug 4, 2009
For everyone local in Phx we are having a Fundraiser for Marty/Jim Waugh slideshow at Climbmax, Thursday August 13, starting around 7:30 pm. Mike Covington
Joined Mar 31, 2007
0 points
Aug 4, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: False Summit of the Thumb
Mike Covington wrote:
For everyone local in Phx we are having a Fundraiser for Marty/Jim Waugh slideshow at Climbmax, Thursday August 13, starting around 7:30 pm.

Wish I could make it...Say hi to everyone for me Mike:)

From Rio Rancho, NM
Joined Mar 16, 2009
590 points
Aug 6, 2009
Rock Climbing Photo: zebra power
The canyon was out for blood that day my friends. Deceptively beautiful but with vicious teeth gnawing at the flesh of it's visitors. Robert, Will and I had our usual ten star fun at the Outdoor Retailers Show, which the highlight was Chris Sharma seeing me compete in my Zebra tights and face paint at the Citizens Comp at the Front Climbing Club. Don't get me wrong, there were tons of absolutely cool stuff at the OR Show, but Chris cheering US on in the crowd was HUGE to me.
The show ended on Friday so on Saturday we were excited to go bouldering in the famous Little Cottonwood Canyon. I must say that the day started off disappointing since we didn't know where the classic boulder problems were. It was really hot, we were in the sun, and our clothing was covered with tons of plant burrs. Eventually we came across the Secret Garden area with the problem "Twister" and the fun began. This is where we must have seen you Tosh. A cat named Bennett showed up and became our tour guide to the area. Bennett just started climbing 2 1/2 months ago and he was fearlessly walking up the 20' boulder aretes which to me and the guys was quite intimidating . We all are off the couch 5.12 climbers and are course setters at the Phoenix Rock Gym in AZ, and it took us a while to get used to the tall boulder situations. Nice climbing Bennett!!! As the day went on we gobbled up every problem that we got our hands onto. Then moved over to the area with the "Surfboard" problem. It was at this time that we noticed that some jerk was flattening the tires of our car, and every vehicle parked along the canyon road. Like all four tires on every vehicle turning the valve stem insert so when you refilled your tires with air, the tire would go flat again and again. Nice trick! My rental car was the only vehicle that only had one flat even though all four of the caps were removed, so we jetted into town to refill the tire with air, and then back to the bouldering fun.
We went to the tall 5 hole drilled face problem area which was quite fun but the day was ending and was slowly getting dark. Bennett was also able to flag down a patrolling Sheriff and made a report of the flat tire problem. The Sheriff continued to patrol the canyon. We chose to climb one more problem which was slightly more uphill than the other problems. Further uphill meaning still within 50' of the road and our car. We wanted to keep an eye on our vehicle just in case our little tire flattening mouse returned. The boulder problem is shown in the Pusher video "Yank on This" and I recognized it right away and was excited to climb it. It is only approximately 8' tall and has two variations. First one you grab the big rounded lump hold and hook your right foot on a big mellon hold and surge right hand up to a big car hood size sloper. Easy walk up to the left finishes the problem giving it probably a V0 rating or something. Not hard but intimidating since if you miss catching the sloper, you probably will be landing on your back. The big sloper was slippery but I easily flashed the problem, yeah me! Then I went after the more advanced way of doing the problem which seemed safer since it was straight forward dynoing. Start on the melon hold, easy bounce to the big lump hold left, paste your feet on the wall and dyno both hands to the giant sloper. I missed the first try but saw it was easily within my reach. Probably only V1 or something.
I gave it more energy and hit the giant sloper, maintained the swing and totally felt that I had it! On the swing back to the rock I surged my right foot out to the lump hold and suddenly my hands slipped off of the giant sloper. My right foot got hooked on the lump hold which pulled me away from my spotter team and the triple Mad Pad safety net causing my head to hit the pad first, then my shoulder hit the pad and the rest of my body smacked the Terra VERY Firma. I think with my foot trapped up high and my head down low, it caused my mid-body to act like a giant spring which slapped my legs severely onto the ground. Like holding a ruler firmly on a table and lifting the other end and letting go and "POP."
Bennett was on the 911 Sheriff call right away which I believe the same Sheriff was there within 5 minutes calling Search and Rescue which got an ambulance there within 20 minutes. I forcefully rolled myself onto the Mad Pad and proceeding screaming to Gods Angels. Wow! I mean holy shit did that hurt. 8 shots of morphine later the EMT needed to roll me onto the flat board which was a scary maneuver but I did it. They then strapped my waist firmly to the board and put a harness on my right ankle and said that they needed to straighten the leg. All I heard was a clicking ratcheting sound and then once again I woke up all of the local Utah residents with my horrifying screams. The ambulance ride was also screamer as well as the EMTs kept popping more morphine needles into my leg to calm my dehydrated muscle from twisting around the damaged femur bone fragments in my leg.
By the time Robert and Will arrived at the hospital, I was in a bed with a bar through my right shin bone and weights hanging off of the bed. Surgery was 6 hours later in the morning. 7 days in the University of Utah hospital, then uncomfortable plane ride home. It was awesome to see my friends waiting for me in Arizona figuring that at the show, thousands of people know me to a 7 day hospital stay where I knew nobody. It was a frightening shock to my system. A friend named Brian with the American Alpine Club showed up at the hospital on the last day bringing along his fantastic collection of Chouinard hammers, and a rare version of a Chouinard Climbaxe. (Shown in a photo of me in bed with axe). Thank you Brian for being there for me. With the strong drugs and the many unfamiliar faces I saw I was about to go psycho! Brian you totally gave me the energy to get home.
I will say that out of the seven day stay, the first two days at the University of Utah hospital, I would give them a great 5 star performance rating but it slowly went down hill from there and it got damn scary for me by the end of the week. The attentiveness of the nurses was lacidazical and they seemed confused. Like having a baby and following a book to take care of it. With humans it does not work that way. Ask any mother! I came out of surgery and was so doped up I did not know where I was. It was like a dream. I can't remember much of Sunday or Monday, and Tuesday was my birthday. I requested to speak to the doctor with my growing concerns of the nursing staff and the way they were handling me. I believe I talked to him on Tuesday morning and informed him that the staff had no answers for me, just kept suggesting stuff and saying it was up to me. "You want more drugs for your pain?" But at the moment I didn't know how much I should take so that was my first question and the answer was that it was up to me. I told the doctor if I took him climbing for his fist time, I would not hand him the lead end of the rope and say go. I would tie him in and talk about how the climbing works, what to expect, and definitely would not put him on lead. I felt the nursing staff was handing me the rope and was saying "Go." I told the doctor this and he saw my concern, but nothing changed. There was a new shift of nurses every 6 hours or so, constantly new faces and hardly did you see the same person twice. The assistant nurses were taking care of all of the action when the button was pushed, but I hardly ever saw the lead nurse of the shift which had the answers, or not, to my questions.
My birthday came along and the staff presented me with a b-day card with mountain scene on the front and a small cake. I was in no mood to eat the cake, but very appreciative of the warmth. My sister called and asked how things were going and I explained the situation to her and she flipped out. My sister is a nurse for a maternity ward in Michigan. She was amazed of how over drugged I was and that how the staff was handling the questions. 3 oxm-cotton-somethings every 4 or 6 hours and it was up to me on how many more I wanted. She immediately told me to drop it to one pill every 6 hours and educated me on what to do to get the hell out of there. Thank god for my sister, I love you!!! She also informed me that all of the drugs probably got me stuffed up and it could be a big problem. I had suppositories shoved up my butt and was sitting on a bedpan for over 2 1/2 hours and nobody was checking on me, and nothing was happening below as well. That bedpan was part of my body when they finally came back and peeled it off of my ass then moved me to another room. I demanded an enema and prune juice to try to get things rolling. My sister informed me to get off the pan and shit in the bed, and I did! For like 6 hours through the night. Finally the nurses were responding especially since I had an older roommate in the same room, and it smelled bad! They changed the sheets over and over until It was finally subsiding, and I could sit on the bedpan again. But now I have the opposite problem where it was still bubbling and my stomach hurt. Once again the clueless staff was back giving me rich Salmon and broccoli and orange juice for dinner, even though my stomach was already so overfilled with gas, and I complained to them of this problem. "Pain level at 10 for stomach I told them!"
Thursday came along and I was feeling much better and physical therapy was working to show me how to get on my feet. Scary! I can stand up with this leg like this? Hard to believe but I had to go home. The first few times were okay but then on Thursday afternoon, the Physical Therapist left me sitting on the end of the bed to relax and help me believe that I can do this. "The nurse will be in soon to get you back to bed", and she walked away. My roommate was also sitting up in his chair with nobody around. Both of us were out of reach of the nurse button and nobody ever came back to check on us for a long long long time. I was getting very green being out of bed not laying down for such a long time and was getting really freaked out. I was shouting and shouting "HELP" toward the hallway and some visiting older lady ran in to aid me and put the bed back into position. From the patients side the bed goes up and down, but I was in the sitting position. The controls to roll the bed backwards was on the outside of the bed and nowhere I could feel the buttons to rescue myself. The visiting lady got the bed back and ran after the nurses. As it turns out my roommate was not supposed to be out of bed and he was stranded in the sitting position as well for over 45 minutes. I was concerned for my roommate since he has something damaged with his hip and had developed what it sounded like to me Pneumonia from being in the bed too long. His cough was getting worse. He is a handsome older spanish man whose family stayed with him during the day. I took the night shift for him barking commands for him at the nurses so he could relax.
He too noticed the problem with the staff. We were both back in bed chilling and passed out from the experience.
Later Thursday night Brian from AAC stopped by with his gear. I informed the nursing staff that I had a plane set up and taxi was to be here at 10:30 am on Friday to take me to the airport. The nurses never wrote it down and I realized this. I mentioned it to the next shift, and the next shift and still nobody wrote it down. Thursday night was rough since after midnight my roommate was coughing up blood, and both of us had the nurses buttons pushed and no nurses ever came. I was yelling at the top of my lungs as he cried in pain and finally a nurse ran in exclaiming "oh my god!" Next thing I know the doctors are running in with the portable x-ray machine, lung tubes, the works. The doctor thanked me on the way out of the room once the situation subsided.
6:00am Friday came along and I once again was pushing the nurses that I was leaving at 10:30am to catch a 1:30pm flight home to AZ. They still never listed my departure. I realized that if I was going to get the hell out of this hospital, it was all up to me so anybody who passing by my room I asked for assistance. "Please get me that bathing kit", "My belongings out of the closet", "My stuff out of the drawers." I packed all of my stuff up , dressed myself, washed myself, everything. The main nurse never came into the room for that whole morning. I was sitting in my bed at 10:30 still having IVs in my arm, had no discharge paperwork, had no pills for the way home, and the taxi was here to get me. In the hallway the wheelchair guy was saying "what the f--k?", the lady waiting to clean my room was frustrated pacing back and forth wondering why I was still there. Finally a nurse rushed in to pull out the IV from my arm, and wheel chaired me down to the pharmacy for drugs. The taxi guy was compationate and waited for me. As I was just out the door of the hospital and about to get into the taxi, a nurse ran out with my discharge papers giving them to me just in the nick of time.

I have a huge complaint toward a man named Andre H. who is with financial services. Get rid of that ASS HOLE!!! Second day after the operation while I was still heavily drugged out he was forcing my hand to sign papers of responsibility pressuring me and stating "You are paying something toward this operation before you leave this hospital." The bastard was damn near holding the pen with me to get my signature on his papers. I mistakenly put my birthdate where the present date was supposed to go while I was seeing triple at the time, and could not understand even who he was, then I passed out in front of him.

What I observed at this hospital is that everybody was in place in their departments, but there was no manager running the store. Now I get this astronomical bill for the use of the TV, a clean set of sheets, and three nice meals per day.
I do want to give a HUGE thanks to Dr. Higgens, Nurses Tim, Roo, Danielle, another Danielle and Terra. Everybody else please go back to school before you really hurt somebody, seriously! Taking care of a human is more than what you read out of an instruction manuel.
I am home, safe, my friends and parents are taking awesome care of me, but still I wake up at night in fear of this bad dream. Anyways seeing all of your beautiful responses on Mtn Project really makes me feel like I am home again. The most fantastic, warmest, kindest, generous people I have met in life all have been rock climbers. Maybe this is why I continually exhaust myself to show everybody in the world how special the world of climbing is to me. I hope you guys feel this energy as well!
Everybody, thank you, thank you, thank you for believing in me through the years giving me this incredible feeling of what it truly feels like to be alive.

Marty Karabin
karabin museum
From phoenix. AZ
Joined Aug 5, 2009
677 points

Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.

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