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60' Ground fall belayer drop


Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268
rging wrote:I find articles that use the words "natural instincts took over" mildly amusing. Find a partner without natural instincts.
That is the part of the story that is unclear. If he threw a rock at his belayer's head and the belayer was knocked out, same outcome. Are we supposed to find fault with the belayer here?
rging · · Salt Lake City, Ut · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 210

If someone through a rock at my head from 50 feet away I would take a step to the left.

apoet · · AZ · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 193
Rick Blair wrote: That is the part of the story that is unclear. If he threw a rock at his belayer's head and the belayer was knocked out, same outcome. Are we supposed to find fault with the belayer here?
Are you suggesting it wasn't completely the belayer's fault that the climber decked?
Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268
apoet wrote: Are you suggesting it wasn't completely the belayer's fault that the climber decked?
If you read my post, the part about it being "unclear", then maybe.

Was the belayer in a stance where they could get out of the way? How big was the rock? Could he initially see the rock coming at him while also focusing on his climber falling etc, etc. I don't think there is enough information.
Bill Shubert · · Lexington, MA · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 55
Rick Blair wrote:...Was the belayer in a stance where they could get out of the way? How big was the rock? Could he initially see the rock coming at him while also focusing on his climber falling etc, etc. I don't think there is enough information.
The information on the original page says that the belayer, while conscious, completely let go of the rope while their climber was still on the wall, 60' up. To me, that is exactly enough information to know, the belayer screwed up. It doesn't matter what's happening around you: If you, as a belayer with a tube-style device, let go of the rope while your climber is off the deck, then you made a mistake and a lot of the blame for what follows is on you. I'm not sure how you can disagree or cast doubt on this.
SMarsh · · NY, NY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 3

"Without thinking", he threw the rock towards his belayer.

Without having to think about it, I'd say that that was lack of thought at the time followed by poor judgment after the fact. If you have a rock in your hand, and I'm belaying you, there are a dozen directions you should throw the rock other than in my direction. If it's not obvious at that moment, it should be obvious after the fact.

"Natural instincts" to let go of a rope and raise one's hands? What about letting out slack as you move backwards with your hand on the belay device?

Neither party was guiltless. Neither would be one with whom I'd wish to climb.

And it wouldn't matter what belay device I used. Or the other party used.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

So one thing that I've noticed the article assumes is that the outcome would have been different had the belayer been using an assisted device. My question is: is that even true? I've never tried to ";catch"; a lead fall on a Grigri without holding the break strand, but it seems like the outcome would likely be the same. They are ";assisted"; breaking devices, not ";auto"; breaking devices, and I'm doubtful, though curious, if a Grigri could actually catch a lead fall without a belayer. Hold a person's body weight on toprope? Absolutely.

Edit: looks like some psychos at redriverclimbing actually tested it:
redriverclimbing.com/viewto…;t=13319&start=0

johnnyrig · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 105

How do you get a traumatic brain injury without sustaining so much as a concussion?

OAW King · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 50
johnnyrig wrote:How do you get a traumatic brain injury without sustaining so much as a concussion?
You don't... Thats clearly a misunderstanding.
OAW King · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 50
Blakevan wrote:I don't know what 8820 joules of energy feels like but sounds like a lot. I guessed at height and weight for the calculation and no friction from rope being in ATC. angio.net/personal/climb/sp… I guess that means is should be 8820 J/m
What are we talking about here? Electricity or force?
Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5
johnnyrig wrote:How do you get a traumatic brain injury without sustaining so much as a concussion?
A concussion is a mTBI, mild traumatic brain injury. They are basically synonyms, with TBI being the more modern term. If you have a TBI, you have a concussion (or worse).

Tim Lutz wrote: If the ATC cost the same as the Gri, would anyone own an ATC? good to know your climber's life is only worth $15 and a trip to your pack
You are implying that the only possible motivation to choose to use an ATC is cost savings; that isn't the case. They are two very different devices, each with pros and cons, cost being only one of them. (not at all sure what you mean by "and a trip to your pack"? Curious though...)
JulianG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 130
Ted Pinson wrote:So one thing that I've noticed the article assumes is that the outcome would have been different had the belayer been using an assisted device. My question is: is that even true? I've never tried to ";catch"; a lead fall on a Grigri without holding the break strand, but it seems like the outcome would likely be the same. They are ";assisted"; breaking devices, not ";auto"; breaking devices, and I'm doubtful, though curious, if a Grigri could actually catch a lead fall without a belayer. Hold a person's body weight on toprope? Absolutely. Edit: looks like some psychos at redriverclimbing actually tested it: redriverclimbing.com/viewto…;t=13319&start=0
It will catch. People use GriGis to self belay.

It is the leader that benefits from the use of the grigri. So maybe the leader should just hand the cheap ass belayer their own grigri.

Also, it is a trad climb most people would use an ATC. Is the norm to use a grigri for everything?
Ian Machen · · Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi , Japan · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 35
Tim Lutz wrote: If the ATC cost the same as the Gri, would anyone own an ATC?
Yes, yes I would, at least until Petzl makes a GriGri that can do double rope rappels.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Patrick Michel wrote: Yes I would continue to use an ATC, both devices do the exact same thing except I can also rap off my ATC.... I think the argument that the Gri Gri is safer because "What happens when my belayer gets hit by a rock?! I still want to be on belay!" is sort of silly (especially with sport climbing). Have you ever thought exactly what you would do if there was 30m of air between you and your knocked out belayer? How would you get down if your belayer did not wake up? You would still be on belay meaning that you would either have to untie/cut the rope if your belayer did not wake up and you needed to down climb. How would you then descend safely? At least with an ATC I can anchor, pull the rope, rap to my belayer, and find a means to get the f off the mountain.
I would prusik up the rope to the nearest bolt, fix the rope, then rap down. Without cutting the rope.
Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871
Tim Lutz wrote: If the ATC cost the same as the Gri, would anyone own an ATC?
Yes, although I own both, I use my atc much more since I climb on gear, sometimes small gear, often. Same with most of my partners. If Bearbreader were still around, he would put up the chart showing noticeably higher loads on the top piece of gear with a gri gri vs atc.

Tim Lutz wrote: I am such a good ATC belayer that I can dodge falling rocks while keeping the brake hand?
Well, yes. My partners and I have done this many times. Many! The are strong arguments for either device. But, it comes down to the belayer.

Bring on the debate!
Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871
Patrick Michel wrote: Have you ever thought exactly what you would do if there was 30m of air between you and your knocked out belayer? How would you get down if your belayer did not wake up? You would still be on belay meaning that you would either have to untie/cut the rope if your belayer did not wake up and you needed to down climb. How would you then descend safely? At least with an ATC I can anchor, pull the rope, rap to my belayer, and find a means to get the f off the mountain.
Eek! May I suggest I self rescue course. There are many ways to get out of this scenario. And, quite frankly, if the leader has a gri gri with him, self recuse is easier.
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Rick Blair wrote: If you read my post, the part about it being "unclear", then maybe. Was the belayer in a stance where they could get out of the way? How big was the rock? Could he initially see the rock coming at him while also focusing on his climber falling etc, etc. I don't think there is enough information.
None of that matters. The "belayer" screwed up. Did you see the reference to Peter Terbush above?
Read: articles.latimes.com/2005/a…
maggie-girl Wenski · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 60

Letting go is never good.
So sorry to hear of the experience; glad to hear that both climbers are OK!
Belay device used by belayer is up to the leader; as long as the belayer is competent in its operation. 5.12 climbers have requested both the ATC or the GriGri specifically from me for their lead belay. Both work-- and your brake hand never leaves the brake end of the rope!
Neither the ATC or the GriGri are hands free devices on a lead belay!

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348
Tim Lutz wrote: If the ATC cost the same as the Gri, would anyone own an ATC? good to know your climber's life is only worth $15 and a trip to your pack I am such a good ATC belayer that I can dodge falling rocks while keeping the brake hand? You can pretty much jump out of a car that is crashing instead of relying on the seatbelt. They do it all the time on TV.
Climbers have been successfully belaying with the ATC for nearly 50 years. Tens of millions of lead falls have been caught on the ATC by millions of climbers without issue. As has been said several times, it's the belayer that matters. I can catch a whipper on any device on the market and I can drop you on any device on the market. Some devices have advantages over others, but in untrained hands ALL belay devices are unsafe. An experienced climber with an ATC is infinitely safer than an inexperienced one with a GriGri.
Mark Hudon · · Lives on the road · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 415

We need a Like or Thumbs up button on Mountain Project.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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