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 Post subject: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:26 am 
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Real Name: chris m-w
sounds like the belayer was sleeping

http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/ ... wZ-o48aK1s

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:25 am 
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Thanks for sharing :thumright

Gavin shared the rescue report on fb - I was wondering how Dylan is doing. Good to hear the injury isn't major. Quite something - 12m is a heavy fall!

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:26 pm 
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Real Name: Jacques Redelinghuys
:shock:
:scratch:


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:42 pm 
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Location: Durban
Real Name: Russell Warren
I had I similar accident climbing on Promise of light at Blaze of Glory crag several years ago and decked from 11m up onto the rocks on my back. My head hit a climbers friend bush. Somehow I managed to walk away with a very sore hip, but no broken bones. The hip injury has come back to haunt me though. You will be amazed at how fast this happens. One second you are taking rope to clip a draw and the next second you are lying on your back wondering what just happened. Once you realise what has happened you are left checking for overall functionality and then wondering how you survived it.

What actually happened was the belayer fed the rope as I was about to clip. I slipped and fell during the feeding motion and before the belayer realised what was happening I was at his feet stunned and then swearing at the belayer like a trooper. He was in shock and could not climb. I had to go back up and retrieve my draws sore hip and all (with my wife belaying). To this day I still wonder how I managed to escape major injury. The rope flying through the bug had almost no slowing effect. My wife who witnessed the event said it looked like the rope had snapped.

After this incident the belayer bought a Gri-gri. I know accidents can and do still happen with a Gri-gri, but the chances are smaller.


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:09 pm 
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@Russell: had the belayer entirely let go of the rope while belaying you? First thing I was ever told when climbing was that when you belay you NEVER let go of the rope.

I belay with an ATC Guide which can be rigged to autolock - definitely a useful feature.

The one that didn't happen to me, but happened right in front of me was on North Hlubi Pass at Giant's Castle last year. We had some heavy hail - looked like it had been snowing afterward. We reached a spot on the pass where we had to either traverse out of the gully or climb down the black rock in the riverbed. As anyone who has done some Drakensberg hiking will know - wet black rock has no grip at all. So some of the guys opted to go down that black rock, the rest of us took a higher traverse on grass. It got very exposed and steep in the middle (I know now that you just go higher when this happens). In the middle of the worst bit there was very little to hold on to (just grass) and there was very little in the way of foot holds. Right in front of me a person fell about 10m and landed in the riverbed below. He came out with a dislocated toe, didn't even need mountain rescue. Fortunately as he fell his pack scraped against the slope and he hit the rock feet first. I came very close to falling as well, but fortunately didn't.

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:40 pm 
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Real Name: mike v.d H
Ah no the belayer was not sleeping and actually slowed dyl down a lot before he hit the ground. Furthermore the rope did play a part with the accident as it does have a coating on it that redufed the friction in the system. This was just a pure and unfortunate accident...

Dyl is fine by the way, got a screw in his wrist yesterday for the fracture...his back/hips are fine and nothing is fractured...and of course some bad bruising


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:04 am 
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Real Name: Mike J
Good lord, I will pass on climbing with any of you who celebrate belayers who merely slow you down before you deck. I'm sure the belayer is a friend / nice person / whatever, but this seems like a pretty unambiguous screw up. He's lucky he didn't kill or cripple his partner.

Just because the rope had a dry treatment or teflon coating or whatever is no excuse. The belayer is obligated to use a belay device suitable for the rope.


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:42 am 
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I am with you on this one mikej. My first thought is that is absolute bollocks. But, we were not there...

In the interest of not having situations like these, it would be great to get more details: what rope, what device...

How could this ground fall have been prevented?

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:18 am 
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Real Name: Greg Dobbins
I fully agree, but not saying burn the Belayer in this situation. The accident happened and thankfully no-one was seriously injured but hopefully climbers can learn from this and avoid it happening to you.
Belaying is definately down played, never seen first assent by XYZ and Belayed by ABC.
But seriously climbers need to make sure their belayers are confident and comfortable with situation. I have mainly been doing Indoor climbing and have seen climbers swinging into their belayers or climbers falling and belayers meeting them some distance up the wall. Belaying beta should also be discussed as much as climbing beta. Be it to tell the belayer to stand to one side because when you fall you will swing out or when you fall you may be pulling the belayer up so clip your belayer to the ground or there are no good holds at the chains so belayer must give slack and lock immediately. NEVER LET GO OF THE ROPE ON THE BRAKING SIDE OF THE BELAY DEVICE. NEVER.

Would you trust just any climber to belay you?


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:38 am 
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Real Name: Russell Warren
At some point even with your hand on the rope you are not holding as tight as you could be (especially when feeding to a climber using poor technique like I was and taking out too much rope to clip quite high) and once the rope goes at that speed you are not going to catch it without help from a self locking device or at least a close to self locking device like a tre. As I said it was all over in a second.


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:24 am 
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Real Name: Justin Lawson
Gustav wrote:
In the interest of not having situations like these, it would be great to get more details: what rope, what device...

I second Gus - it would be useful to know the details.

What Mike says - Remember that this was an accident (which is an unplanned event). The belayer did not intend on dropping the climber.
FYI: A similar type of accident has happened to a top SA climber (twice) and on one occasion resulted in a broken ankle.

Gregory wrote:
NEVER LET GO OF THE ROPE ON THE BRAKING SIDE OF THE BELAY DEVICE. NEVER.

Agreed, however sometimes the pain from the burn of the rope passing through ones hands overcomes the need to hold on.

Gloves: These handy (excuse the pun) hand covers can prevent rope burn and belaying accidents - A pair of pig skin gloves from your local hardware cost around R50.

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:53 am 
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Real Name: Greg Dobbins
I would tend to disagree with the use of gloves for belaying with the thoughts that if you are experiencing rope burn during belaying then either there is an issue with your rope, belay or the combination of the two or just poor belaying technique. All should be looked at if you are experiencing this issue now.


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Real Name: Nic Le Maitre
Gloves do prevent rope burn but they also reduce the amount that you can grip the rope...

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:39 pm 
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When I had just started climbing I was belaying someone on top rope and they fell as I was taking in slack. I never take both hands off the rope, but only had one hand on the rope at the time of the fall. The person fell about 1.5m before I managed to stop the fall (the rope was dodgy - I know better than to use that type of rope now, it wasn't my rope). I came out with 18 blisters on my hand and couldn't move my pinky on my right hand for a full month afterward. But I did not let go of the rope despite the intense pain at the time, had to fight the urge to let go. The climber's feet were about 5cm off the ground when he stopped falling.

I completely agree that belaying is vital. You can't mess around with safety. This isn't a joke.

Similarly - when I had that issue with a member of a team I was leading taking a 10m fall in the Berg (although there was no rope work involved), it taught me the vital lesson of how to safely approach route selection. I have been on many exposed ledges, 2 days ago I had a really steep 200m drop between myself and a river in thick mist - but I knew how to choose the line in a way that a fall wasn't a significant risk.

Its so easy to get into a "basically nobody dies doing this" head space, and once you are in that head space you can bank on the fact that something will go wrong and it will be serious.

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:21 pm 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
guy takes a fall on a sport route and hits the deck from 12m up = the belayer cocked up. can sugar coat it any way you like with slack, slippery ropes etc. but we have to call it what it is.

honest mistakes do happen (i have made some but luckily without consequence except losing skin on my hands).
but
it does freak me out sometimes at crags to see how casual & inattentive belayers can be. talked to a guy once who dropped his bud from 10m up; the guy broke his back and manages to walk with aid nowadays. you do not want that on your conscience.

belayer, your duty is to:
make sure your device is working, appropriate for the rope & attached correctly to your working-condition harness
check the rope & the climber's knot & harness
check that your gate is screwed close
be sure the climber is not too heavy and that you won't get knocked out if yanked upwards / forward
decline to belay if any of the above is not 100%
pay attention to the climber at all times (i also need to change my ways here :wink: )


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:33 pm 
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mokganjetsi wrote:
belayer, your duty is to:
....


Nice list :thumleft:

You forgot "don't moan that your neck is aching and you are getting blinded by the sun"

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:34 pm 
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Real Name: Greg Dobbins
Safety is of the utmost importance.
Safety gets compromised when you start to assume.
I would go so far as to say never assume that your belay device will work on any rope. I bought a rope and a wild contry variable controller belay device at the same time and have had many good climbs at Strubens with them. I took this belay device to an indoor climbing gym and had many battles with it with the different type, size and aged rope at the gym and the issues varied from route to route and even on different areas of the same rope. I take my kids to the indoor climbing gym and use a figure of 8 to belay them, due other belay devices jamming and then you start trying to feed the rope through the belay device and start letting go of the rope, even for one second as you move your hands down the rope is all it takes for an incident. Saying this I wouldn't dare attempt to use the figure of 8 to belay anyone over 20kg. I tried a Wild country VC pro belay device and could lock off the climber solid but looked like I had never used a belay device before when lowering the climber, as the rope tended towards the teeth of the belay device and lowering the climber was stop start. But this could also be a hand and rope position I have gotten use to from using the variable controller belay or just the fact I assumed one belay device was like the other.
So what I am trying to say never assume your belay device will fit all ropes and never assume the climber next to you knows how to use your belay device.


Last edited by Gregory on Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:39 am
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Real Name: Greg Dobbins
I wanted to quote:
"Belay like you would want to be belayed"
But besides being at the risk of sounding corny, I was more worried at the risk that some climbers are not sure what is a safe way to belay.

[quote="mokganjetsi"]guy takes a fall on a sport route and hits the deck from 12m up = the belayer cocked up. can sugar coat it any way you like with slack, slippery ropes etc. but we have to call it what it is.

I do agree and entered the forum to try stop the sugar coating and make people aware of the risks.

The duties of a Belayer has merit but climbers please check with your belayers knowledge and abilities.


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:29 pm 
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Real Name: Justin Lawson
Out of interest....
I recall being taught how to belay with a Grigri when they first arrived on the scene.
"If the climber falls, don't touch it" A lot of people around me at the time used this method. Luckily it never failed!

Nowadays I subscribe to one of the recommended methods of belaying with a Grigri.

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:05 pm 
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Quote:
guy takes a fall on a sport route and hits the deck from 12m up = the belayer cocked up. can sugar coat it any way you like with slack, slippery ropes etc. but we have to call it what it is.

Exactly. This could not have been a freak accident?

When a little shard of shale drops into your shiny new belay device, preventing your shiny new coated rope from locking or otherwise preventing friction from being applied to the certainly secure safety chain, it could be regarded as a freak accident...

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:18 am 
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Real Name: Greg Dobbins
I recall reading a thread on "How not to belay". Cannot find it now but it linked to some videos showing what not to do and there was also a video on how to use the grigri. Definitely worth watching.

http://www.petzl.com/en/outdoor/news/pr ... king#video
Search:
Belaying: three videos that outline good habits to get into


Last edited by Gregory on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:35 am 
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Real Name: Wesley
I have recently seen an issue where the climber went for a long clip and his foot popped, as he was hauling up slack, but he didnt make a sound The belayer wasnt looking up at that point and he ended up about 1m above the deck.

My point is that COMMUNICATION is very important and shouldn't be ignored. If the belayer hears that the climber is falling, he can take up an arms length of slack. (It isnt possible to always be looking up)


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:14 am 
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Real Name: Willem Boshoff
gustav wrote:
it could be regarded as a freak accident...


i guess there is the 1% of failures where it is truly not due to some form of human error.
what is worthwhile is to promote the awareness that belaying is a big deal and should be done very responsibly :thumleft:


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:12 pm 
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Real Name: Greg Dobbins
http://vimeo.com/80489871


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:39 pm 
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Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Wes wrote:
My point is that COMMUNICATION is very important and shouldn't be ignored. If the belayer hears that the climber is falling, he can take up an arms length of slack. (It isnt possible to always be looking up)


I normally let my belayer know I'm falling using the universally accepted communication method; I go

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH SHIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Real Name: Charles Edelstein
In my now 40 years of climbing experience that includes dropping Robert at Cityrock I have learned that it is a really bad idea and Dangerous to clip above your waist. Most people do so because they feel safer. Gives one a top rope for the next move. In so doing the belayer is feeding rope. If you blow the clip and you fall off and especially if you are close to the belayer causing a high fall factor your belayer, will by my reckoning and experience in most cases lose control of the rope and you rely almost entirely on the friction of the rope in the belay device. So belayer give out the rope in advance when you are sure your buddy is not going to fall. Climber clip at your waist or don't fall off clipping.

Communication is all very well but does not solve this problem. I get very frustrated with my belayers when I have just clipped a piece or the top lower offs and they insist in taking in rope rather than just locking down while I am desperately clinging on waiting for them to do so. I would much rather have them just hold the rope and I take a small plunge on a springy rope than risk having them control of the rope because they are feeding it. This obviously is in a situation where you are not close to the ground.

The problem is most people feel insecure taking any kind of fall on a rope. Make a habit of it and get used to it.


Last edited by SNORT on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:26 am 
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Real Name: Josh Pickering
Ja, clipping above your head might feel safer but it's really not a good idea, and yet I see even quite experienced climbers do it all the time and in places that it makes no sense. I've seen guys clipping off the worst crimp, in an off-balanced position, with a jug just one move higher... and it would have resulted in a ground fall from the third bolt.

But with the incident in question, I do not think we need to thrash the belayer. I have no doubt that human error was the cause, but this can happen pretty easily. A big fall, slight lack of concentration, new rope; before he knew what happened the climber would have been next to him. It doesn't excuse him, but I'm pretty sure he feels like crap already without being publicly flogged on the forum. I'm just glad he held Dylan enough to prevent serious injuries.

Belaying is taken way too lightly, and this should remind all of us, no matter how experienced, that we are holding someone's life in our hands. Don't let someone distract you, watch your climber especially when he's clipping, be attentive and anticipate what is going to happen. And if you are climbing at my gym, stop watching the gymnasts and FOCUS guys!


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:44 am 
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Real Name: Greg Dobbins
SNORT wrote:
I have learned that it is a really bad idea and Dangerous to clip above your waist.


If you watch local videos and solely look out for clipping in above the waist you will notice this practice is more a standard with possibly little thought of the risks of what if I fall before clipping in.
I can almost positively say that I am guilty of this practice as well. If you see the anchor or clip you feel you have to try clip in as soon as possible - to be safe.


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:29 am 
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Real Name: Mike J
Some routes are bolted in such a way that high clipping is expected/mandatory.

Also, high clipping shouldn't be a reason for decking from 12m. Even if the climber is a couple of metres above the last bolt and has a couple of arm lengths of slack out s/he should still be a few metres off the deck after a fall.

Not trying to crucify the belayer. Like I said the person is almost surely a nice person and a friend of people on here. But it also seems like there should be a lesson in this and we shouldn't argue that losing control of the belay is okay.


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 Post subject: Re: slippery rope ???
PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:45 am 
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mikej wrote:
Some routes are bolted in such a way that high clipping is expected/mandatory.

Yup, and often routes at the gym are set in the same way.

- Here is the article that got written by the guy who took the fall/deck


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