Honnold injured being lowered


Original Post
rob.calm · · Loveland, Colorado · Joined May 2002 · Points: 545

Alex Honnold was recently climbing at Index. He was being lowered from a climb. The rope went through the device his belayer was using. He fell a short distance and fractured two vertebrae.

What is there to say other than this is a frequently reported accident.
Here’s the report from

publications.americanalpine...

“I had run up the route Godzilla (5.9) to put up a top-rope for my girlfriend and her family. At the last second her parents asked us to hang their rope instead of ours. I didn't think about it, but their rope was a 60m and mine was a 70m. I was climbing in approach shoes and everyone was chatting at the base—super casual, very relaxed. As I was lowering, we ran out of rope a few meters above the ground and my belayer accidentally let the end of the rope run through her brake hand and belay device. I dropped a few meters onto pretty gnarly rocks, landing on my butt and side and injuring my back a bit (compression fracture of two vertebrae).
Analysis
Lots of things should have been done better—we should have thought about how long the rope was, we should have been paying more attention, we should have had a knot in the end of the rope. I wasn't wearing a helmet and was lucky to not injure my head—had I landed on my head, it probably would have been disastrous. My belayer had been climbing less than a year. Basically, things were all just a bit too lax. (Source: Alex Honnold.)”

Rob.calm

A. Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

I read about this a couple weeks ago and was surprised nobody brought it up on MP. But yeah, not much to say about it, other than to mention the obvious irony of the world's premier living free soloist falling off a rope...

keithconn · · LI, NY · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 0

Goes to show, you never know!

I always try to remind myself that I need to check everything like it's my first day out.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

If you climb long enough you will get an injury of some kind. In some light they are good - it can force us to take a step back and reflect, maybe take a step away from climbing and work on other things in life (its an obsession for most of us that we are addicted to). In other cases such as chronic injuries its beneficial because we actually take a rest day.

Glad honnold is okay. He will be back at it in no time.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 45

This will teach him to stop climbing with ropes! Sh!t is dangerous!

Could have been much worse...glad he's ok. I'm sure once he's recovered he'll laugh about this, as the other time he seriously injured himself was also comparably mundane (hiking) compared to his usual antics. You have to at least appreciate the irony...

Fernando Cal · · Long Beach, CA · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 0
Ted Pinson wrote:This will teach him to stop climbing with ropes! Sh!t is dangerous! Could have been much worse...glad he's ok. I'm sure once he's recovered he'll laugh about this, as the other time he seriously injured himself was also comparably mundane (hiking) compared to his usual antics. You have to at least appreciate the irony...
....dude should've downclimbed!
Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 105
keithconn wrote:Goes to show, you never know! I always try to remind myself that I need to check everything like it's my first day out.
I always reference Lynn Hill forgetting to finish her knot. I always do the double check with partners to avoid easily missed mistakes of that nature.
D Argyle · · Green Mountain Falls, CO · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 510

Sucks. Guy should just stick to free-soloing, way less dangerous.

Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 55

i was there that day.
i believe the lore has since become...

Honnold fell while being lowered.

Beckey was belaying him, but was too weak to catch the force of the fall on the rope-ya know, cuz he's like 95.

Rope slid through his hands.

Honnold decks; blames Beckey.

we were all pretty surprised...

Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5
Tim Lutz wrote:Honnold has a girlfriend?!
Right???
Paul Hutton · · Dirtbaggin' western US · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 601

He went to China and projected Corazón de Ensueño with his fractured vertebrae. Look up "Getting up Getu" on YouTube.

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165
Tim Lutz wrote:Honnold has a girlfriend?!
Honnold isn't going to last much longer if he keeps being careless like this. Girls and ropes are dangerous.
ChossKing · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0
Tim Lutz wrote:Honnold has a girlfriend?!
you missed your chance.
jleining · · CO · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 8
Downtownt wrote:i was there that day. i believe the lore has since become... Honnold fell while being lowered. Beckey was belaying him, but was too weak to catch the force of the fall on the rope-ya know, cuz he's like 95. Rope slid through his hands. Honnold decks; blames Beckey. we were all pretty surprised...
What?
Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,332

should have used a gri gri?

Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 55
jleining wrote: What?
index folklore.

Morgan Patterson wrote:should have used a gri gri?
ropes go right through those, too...?
Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,332
Downtownt wrote: index folklore. ropes go right through those, too...?
didnt for me when we used a short rope unknowingly... saved my buddy's life. If it was an ATC he would have likely been killed or seriously injured.
Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 55
Morgan Patterson wrote: didnt for me when we used a short rope unknowingly... saved my buddy's life. If it was an ATC he would have likely been killed or seriously injured.
does not compute.
care to elaborate?
anyone else had this happen?
A. Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

If the belayer had lightening quick reflexes and let go of the lever the instant the end of the rope passed through his brake hand, the falling climber would actuate the cam. Of course there would need to be just enough rope left after passing through the brake hand for the friction to stop the climber before the rope passed all the way through the device. I can see it working, but it would have to be a very lucky catch.

Ashort · · Tacoma, WA · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 25

I love the humble brag "I was climbing in approach shoes" as if that actually adds to the story/lesson.

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,332
Downtownt wrote: does not compute. care to elaborate? anyone else had this happen?
Used cam to hold/brake rope when there was only inches of rope left. . . if was ATC with no brake probably would have dropped friend
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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