clear creek accident


Original Post
cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/rock-climber-in-clear-creek-canyon-seriously-injured-after-80-feet-fall

Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 81

"not wearing any gear when he fell"

Well there's yer problem

JulianG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 5

Is it me or the number of accidents are increasing. It will be interesting to see some statistics for the last couple of years

He had some gear it was belay or changing the anchors

Eric Bratschun · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2005 · Points: 5

Best of luck, and I hope he has a speedy recovery! Be careful out there-

Travis Provin · · Boulder CO · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 40

Excellent reporting

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 40

It was a friend of mine. Miscommunication between climber and belayer while cleaning the anchor. Something I had noticed a couple weeks ago in Utah. I talked to him about it. Told him what to do, how dangerous the alternative is, ways to double check. But it didn't help. I just don't know what I could have done to make My point more clear, now I can't stop blaming myself, wandering what I could have said differently.. Should I have lost my shit and yelled at him instead of trying to logically explained the full spectrum of possibilities? I just don't know....

He is neither paralyzed nor does he have detectable brain damage. But there were a lot of internal injuries. I hope to update ya'll once I have more info and the family's permission

Adam Fleming · · Moab, Utah · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 303
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:It was a friend of mine. Miscommunication between climber and belayer while cleaning the anchor. Something I had noticed a couple weeks ago in Utah. I talked to him about it. Told him what to do, how dangerous the alternative is, ways to double check. But it didn't help. I just don't know what I could have done to make My point more clear, now I can't stop blaming myself, wandering what I could have said differently.. Should I have lost my shit and yelled at him instead of trying to logically explained the full spectrum of possibilities? I just don't know.... He is neither paralyzed nor does he have detectable brain damage. But there were a lot of internal injuries. I hope to update ya'll once I have more info and the family's permission
Rough stuff. Don't blame yourself for this one. You did what you thought was the right thing. You saw your friend do something dangerous, so you said something.
JulianG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 5
Ana Tine wrote:omg 80 feet and still alive? That has got to hurt. I feel so bad for him. I don't know the specifics of what happened, but sometimes Clear Creek seems dangerous because of how far the anchors are from the belayer which can lead to miscommunication. In Eldorado communication is less of an issue because when I follow I don't take the climber off belay unless they are pulling the rope so fast I can't belay that fast. Sometimes I worry my belayer will think I yelled "off belay" to set up a rappel/clean anchors when I didn't say any such thing (and heard someone else). That's why in some ways it's safer to lower, so while on the ground you both agree to not take anyone off belay. But I always rappel not only because it seems to be the consensus for less wear on the rings, but also because I don't want to rely on a lower when the belayer thinks I'm rappelling. Are you able to share what we should do?
Sign language? Jokes aside on sport climbing you almost always see the belayer and see each other. Just make sure you get some king of plan before you start climbing. My sigh for take me or belay is cutting my throat

I did had one guy taking me off belay before one bolt before the anchor because someone else yelled off belay. Good thing there were other people around
Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 163

";A passerby"; was their only quoted source? 7 news, try a little harder.

The Blueprint Part Dank · · FEMA Region VIII · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 40
Ana Tine wrote:omg 80 feet and still alive?
OMG indeed,

Rick Blair wrote:";A passerby"; was their only quoted source? 7 news, try a little harder.
because, as Mr. Blair has said, poor journalism has added some height to the fall.
Tradgic Yogurt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 55
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:It was a friend of mine. Miscommunication between climber and belayer while cleaning the anchor. Something I had noticed a couple weeks ago in Utah. I talked to him about it. Told him what to do, how dangerous the alternative is, ways to double check. But it didn't help. I just don't know what I could have done to make My point more clear, now I can't stop blaming myself, wandering what I could have said differently.. Should I have lost my shit and yelled at him instead of trying to logically explained the full spectrum of possibilities? I just don't know.... He is neither paralyzed nor does he have detectable brain damage. But there were a lot of internal injuries. I hope to update ya'll once I have more info and the family's permission
No reason at all to feel any guilt, they are responsible for their own actions. You had already given them appropriate feedback, and they hadn't asked you for more advice or to teach them better.
Chris C. · · Seattle, WA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 81
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:It was a friend of mine. Miscommunication between climber and belayer while cleaning the anchor. Something I had noticed a couple weeks ago in Utah. I talked to him about it. Told him what to do, how dangerous the alternative is, ways to double check. But it didn't help. I just don't know what I could have done to make My point more clear, now I can't stop blaming myself, wandering what I could have said differently.. Should I have lost my shit and yelled at him instead of trying to logically explained the full spectrum of possibilities? I just don't know.... He is neither paralyzed nor does he have detectable brain damage. But there were a lot of internal injuries. I hope to update ya'll once I have more info and the family's permission
I'm sorry to hear that your friend was the individual in this mess. I truly hope that he and his loved ones are coping.

As for you, there is no reason you should feel responsible. You saw the mistakes and spoke up. Unfortunately nothing was done about it. Ultimately safety is up to the climber and the belayer.
Greg Barnes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,498

Add this to the long long list of accidents which could have been prevented by simply using tow hooks (aka Mussy hooks), "open" anchors where you simply pass the rope through and lower. Climbers at Owens River Gorge figured this out nearly 30 years ago. There is more anchor maintenance required, but it's easy (wrench, new hooks), and it's really no big deal anyplace with an active climbing community.

And for experienced active climbers you get more pitches in every trip to the crag, and it's much easier to do hard routes where your partner won't be making it to the anchor.

I never hear any response to open anchors which could not be used to argue against having a bolted anchor in the first place, at least for areas where you could build a top anchor and walk off...

ErikaNW · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 40

I would definitely support the addition of mussy hooks at Canal Zone. Doesn't address the underlying problem of unclear communication/ miscommunication - climbers still need to take responsibility for this. But, with the high traffic routes and popularity with new climbers, this might be a really good option for this particular area. I will talk to the FHRC and see if we can't get some funding (if they agree) to do this.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 234
ErikaNW wrote:I would definitely support the addition of mussy hooks at Canal Zone. Doesn't address the underlying problem of unclear communication/ miscommunication - climbers still need to take responsibility for this. But, with the high traffic routes and popularity with new climbers, this might be a really good option for this particular area. I will talk to the FHRC and see if we can't get some funding (if they agree) to do this.
Sent you a PM.
I'm happy to help with mussys.
JulianG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 5

Spearfish canyon has mostly open shuts anchors. New route and routes that are being updated they use regular anchors. Also, I have seen the rope getting unclipped from mussy hooks they are good to lower but probably not the best option for top ropes.

Learning how to do it before getting into trouble might be a better, easier and safer option. Unless you can get to change all the anchors everywhere it will not help.

Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:It was a friend of mine. Miscommunication between climber and belayer while cleaning the anchor. Something I had noticed a couple weeks ago in Utah. I talked to him about it. Told him what to do, how dangerous the alternative is, ways to double check. But it didn't help. I just don't know what I could have done to make My point more clear, now I can't stop blaming myself, wandering what I could have said differently.. Should I have lost my shit and yelled at him instead of trying to logically explained the full spectrum of possibilities? I just don't know.... He is neither paralyzed nor does he have detectable brain damage. But there were a lot of internal injuries. I hope to update ya'll once I have more info and the family's permission
Hey, sir, feeling bad about this is pretty reasonable, because you care about this person. You have no blame in what happened, but even if it was your mistake, still, humans make mistakes. We just do.

I climb with my son, which is magnitudes higher in the care department. So, i actually had to think about accident potential, not just an accident, but the mental impact on my child of doing something bad to mom.

My son is an adult, so is your friend, and our love and respect for these people means we have to let them decide what risks are reasonable, chance making their own mistakes, and be appropriately angry and compassionate when it happens.

My ultimate decision with my son, is that if I am willing to trust him with my life (and I am), then I need to also trust him with his life.

Best to you, your friend, and the belayer. Helen
ErikaNW · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 40
JulianG wrote:Spearfish canyon has mostly open shuts anchors. New route and routes that are being updated they use regular anchors. Also, I have seen the rope getting unclipped from mussy hooks they are good to lower but probably not the best option for top ropes. Learning how to do it before getting into trouble might be a better, easier and safer option. Unless you can get to change all the anchors everywhere it will not help.
Really good point Julian. I've also seen hooks get deep grooves worn in them from toproping. I think we need to continue our education efforts in our area (and elsewhere) to keep people from TRing through any fixed hardware. In thinking about the anchors at the area in question, I do think they are all on steep enough terrain that it would be highly unlikely for a rope to come unclipped - although strange things can and do happen.

Installing hooks definitely doesn't address the deeper issue of communication and knowledge about safe anchor cleaning practices, but I still feel it would be a nice addition to this particular crag.

Since this thread has been derailed somewhat (thanks Helen for getting it back on track) - I want to extend best wishes to the climber. Blueprint - you can't blame yourself for this. It sounds like you tried and your advice wasn't taken to heart. That really sucks and I'm sure you are hurting for your friend, but you can't own what happened. I sincerely hope your friend can recover from his injuries, honestly assess what contributed to the fall to learn from it, and get back out there if that is his desire.
Old lady H · · Boise, Idaho · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 120
ErikaNW wrote: Really good point Julian. I've also seen hooks get deep grooves worn in them from toproping. I think we need to continue our education efforts in our area (and elsewhere) to keep people from TRing through any fixed hardware. In thinking about the anchors at the area in question, I do think they are all on steep enough terrain that it would be highly unlikely for a rope to come unclipped - although strange things can and do happen. Installing hooks definitely doesn't address the deeper issue of communication and knowledge about safe anchor cleaning practices, but I still feel it would be a nice addition to this particular crag. Since this thread has been derailed somewhat (thanks Helen for getting it back on track) - I want to extend best wishes to the climber. Blueprint - you can't blame yourself for this. It sounds like you tried and your advice wasn't taken to heart. That really sucks and I'm sure you are hurting for your friend, but you can't own what happened. I sincerely hope your friend can recover from his injuries, honestly assess what contributed to the fall to learn from it, and get back out there if that is his desire.
So, to derail again, slightly, as a beginnerish climber, I would have appreciated an anchor set low, as a practice anchor. As is, I just practiced cleaning and swapping to a rappel in my living room, on some coat hooks. But, this could ba a great addition to even a city park on a big boulder, or college campus, even just on the side of a wall, in parts of the country with lots of climbers.

What I keep in mind, and tell other newbs, is to always do (and double check) the next bit that keeps you alive, before undoing the current bit that's keeping you alive. Simple.

Helen
Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240

I didn't catch the full sequence of events. Was this someone expecting to be lowered off after cleaning and being dropped, or did the person mess up the cleaning sequence?

patto · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 0
Stich wrote:or did the person mess up the cleaning sequence?
When aspects of climbing become merely a sequence that is a lead up towards an accident....

We need to THINK safety not merely follow sequences...
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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