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Accident report - indian creek

Original Post
grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

I was climbing Fingers in a Lightsocket yesterday 9/8/16. Supercrack buttress, Indian creek. I have climbed it before and knew what to expect. Yesterday I was at the crux, where the route slopes back and there are two pin scars that you must hit one after the other. My left tips were locked in the lower scar, and my right tips were in the upper scar. I had a red C3 at my feet. My feet slipped and i shockloaded my tips which blew out of the scars. The red C3 got shock loaded and popped out as well as the piece below it. My 0.3 X4 held about 10-12 feet down.

I felt fine overall but when i looked down at my left hand I was missing my pinky and ringfinger ends. (The ringfinger tip is still in the pin scar...) They were bleeding a lot and the base of the climb is now covered in blood. My friends wrapped my finger in a bandana and we went to the hospital. I find out if i need surgery on Friday. My friend cleaned the gear up to the 0.3 and we booked it out of there.

Analysis: were there any red flags i missed? any glaring mistakes made? 1. I didnt quite have the right gear. For small gear in sandstone it is critical that your pieces are not undercammed. If you want to be the safest they should almost be overcammed. I remember wanting more 0.3s at the top but i didnt have anymore because I placed them lower and the red C3 was my biggest piece. I didnt read the guide book for gear suggestion because i had climbed it before and assumed i knew what i needed.

SO...if anyone up there climbs it please get my finger! Just kidding. But seriously, the 0.3 X4 saved my life and has some sentimental value...if you get it could you please return it to me? I can offer you beers and karma. I will be going from GJ to SLC in a few days.


Daryl Allan · · Sierra Vista, AZ · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 1,055

Wow man. Glad to hear you didn't ground and wishing you a quick recovery.

What's the prognosis on your finger? When you say " I find out if i need surgery on Friday." do you mean a 2nd surgery for circulation, etc?

Burt Lindquist · · Madison, WI · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 3,280

Wow! Looks like you sliced your finger tips clean off.. YIKES! That had to hurt like all get up! Very sorry you had this happen. The crack edge you were finger jamming must have been quite sharp to cause such damage. Looks like the surgery will be reconstruction.

Caz Drach · · Sugarhouse, UT · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 310

OH man! I wish you a speedy recovery!

R. Moran · · Moab , UT · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 140

Wow. Started reading and thought for sure it was a troll job. Scrolled down and saw pic. Yikes. My worst nightmare come true. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 90

Ahhhh! dude, that is really crazy.

Jake wander · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 180

nasty! hope you make a decent recovery.

Ray Lovestead · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 109

wow. Just. wow.

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 25

Daaamn. I hope you heal and recover as well as possible..

The dangers of lead falls are often forgotten. Even if you gear is good plenty of bad shit can still happen.

If you are at all squeamish don't look up what has happened to people who have worn rings on their fingers while climbing.

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Holy Shit Grog! ...+vibes! my friend and I just did a climb where we were talking about that happening, if you blew the move on a certain hold. We both were like ...nah, you'll get your fingers out.... knot

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

This reminds me of an accident report written up in a Climbing Magazine's Epic issue. Some guy lost a finger falling on the Yellow Spur in Eldo. Same exact deal. Ugh! This is just a risk of finger jamming from what it sounds like. You fall, you could lose them.

grassisstabby · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Pretty cool you can keep a positive attitude / sense of humor after getting your tips ripped off like that just yesterday. Feel like it would take me some time to get to that point. Hope you have a quick and easy recovery!

Mannamedstan Smith · · Carpinteria, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 35

Good for you to give some! Best of luck on the recovery

Jason Todd · · Cody, WY · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 1,113

Wow. Best wishes on a speedy recovery!
Nathan Self · · Louisiana · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 90

Bionic opportunity?

bionic commando

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 385

Grog, I think the fingertips were gone as soon as they had your full weight, so an accident. Could you have avoided it? Yeah, never fall. Yeah, don't climb. Probably not gonna happen, eh?

I'm guessing if your cam isn't fetched pronto by someone, you will get gifted a cam or two. Good people on here when it matters.

For what it's worth, my dad lost his two middle fingers on his right hand. Shot off in WWII. If you hold up your arm in a pistol shooting stance, you will realize why he celebrated that day as a second birthday ever after. He got a small disability check ever after from the gov too, but evveerrryy year, he had to go to the doc to verify he still had the disability. You guessed it: fill in a form saying "no, they did not grow back". :-D

So, so glad you are still with us! Best, Helen

Fingers in a Light socket!!! Dang!!!

Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 845

Holy shit!

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,759

Holy crap... heal fast and good luck with the recovery bro. GNARLY

I'm really surprised its the tip and not from the knuckle...not sure i get how that happens and never thought that could happen... so damn.

Dylan Carey · · TX · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 145

Best wishes on a speedy recovery bud! Thanks for sharing and for having a good outlook in a not so good scenario. Inspiring


climb 2 smile · · Sandy, UT · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 155


So sorry you had to experience the darkest side of a solid lock. Glad to hear you are alive. I wish you the best and hope you keep your positive attitude and recover fast.

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

Crazy, when I think of destroying skin in a crack, I always envision a sharp (granite) splitter with really deep fingers where both feet unexpectedly pop.

This is almost exactly the opposite. I know the jams you're mentioning. Most of us can't get a jam in up to the first knuckle. On top of that it's pretty round up there.

Do you think the early season heat + early season skin softened you up?

I'll go ahead and say what we're all thinking. Since you left your flesh up there, there will be a family of lizards at SCB who have gotten the taste for human flesh. This isn't going to end well.

FWIW, I have fallen on a blue alien up top and it seems to hold. Always looks a little to small to me though. It's been many years though, some of those SCB cracks tend to get wider over time.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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