Climbing accident Table Mountain

What your instructor never taught you. Continuing your education and learning from others. Climbing safety topics and accident/incident discussions.
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Climbing accident Table Mountain

Post by GBM »

I have just read about the accident on Sunday on Table Mountain. Some time ago i thought of writing in to say that it was now clear to me why so many tourists seem to lose their lives on Table Mountain. We climb a lot around the lower buttresses (India Venster area) and have on several occasion had to dissuade tourists from trying to find their way up (clearly lost or with no idea as to the route and with about an hours light left in the day). We have also had to guide one or two off when they ended up trying to downclimb sections that required abseiling.

More often the not they were wearing \"slops\" and shorts. Regrettably all the ones we have come across were Yanks.

I don't know if Sundays tragedy was a rock climber or a hiker but it seems to me that the Table Mountain National Park needs to make the signs at the base of India Venster (and elsewhere) clear ... i.e it takes 90 minutes to the top or some suitable conservative estimate; follow the yellow \"foot print\" markings ... these need a fresh coat as well.

It seems to me that foreign hikers / climbers seem to think that Table Mountain is a nice afternoon stroll ... the message needs to go out that they should find a guide or buy T Lourens' book and go prepared.

The National Park needs to take more responsibilty for what people do and don't do on the mountain ... sure you cant force the horse to drink but you can show him the way to the water.

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Rescue team to retrieve climber's body

Post by justin » appeared as if Andretta had been attempting one of the upper Africa climbing routes.

Rescue team to retrieve climber's body
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Re: Climbing accident Table Mountain

Post by Avatar »

GBM wrote:The National Park needs to take more responsibilty for what people do and don't do on the mountain ... sure you cant force the horse to drink but you can show him the way to the water.
I'm not sure to what extent the National Park can be held responsible, but otherwise a damn good post.

Here's the latest so far:
Climber's body found on ledge

Cape Town - A spokesperson for Wilderness Search and Rescue, Anwaaz Bent, says the body of an American tourist, David Andretta who died on a solo rock-climbing excursion on Table Mountain, has been found on a ledge.

Andretta, 31, had planned to scale the mountain on Sunday while his wife took a walking route up Plattekloof Gorge.

When hours later Andretta had not arrived at the top, his wife phoned for help.

An aerial search with a Skymed helicopter had to be called off in the gathering darkness, but searchers combed the mountain until after midnight.

The search resumed on Monday morning, and Andretta's body was found.

Rescuers intended to hoist it into a cable car so it could be taken down to the lower cable station.

Bent said it appeared as if Andretta had been attempting one of the upper Africa climbing routes.

It seemed he had injuries to the chest, head and lower legs.

Bent also said a specialist ice and snow climbing team was waiting for better weather before trying to retrieve the body of Capetonian Andrew Johns, who fell down a gorge while hiking on the Matroosberg near Ceres.
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Post by MargheritaIntrona »

I was climbing on India Venster on Sunday with two friends. We noticed a guy soloing Fraser’s, but seemed way off course and appeared to be struggling. We all breathed a sigh of relief when he topped out on the lower buttress.

From the description of what David was wearing, I am sure it was the soloist we saw. This is such sad news to hear…
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Post by Brent »

It could well have been the climber you saw on Frasers, we are unsure as to exactly which route he took to get to Africa ledge. We are, however, fairly sure he managed to do the flakes traverse (dassie crawl) on Africa Wall. It appears he may have come unstuck somewhat higher than this, probably on one of the chimneys to the left of Africa cracks. Route finding in this area (to keep the grades down) is very tricky, and involves a lot of zig-zagging. Even in summer those chimneys are wet and slimy.

His body was found on upper Africa ledge after a fairly exhaustive search of the various ascent options. It appeared that he had died on impact. He was wearing rock climbing shoes at the time of the accident. Rescue teams were busy on the mountain all day in truly appalling weather conditions, with very poor visibility, driving rain, wind and cold temperatures.

According to his wife, he intended to do some scrambling or easy climbing to get to the top; he had not specifically set out to climb any particular route. Knowing nothing of the mountain or the grades he may have assumed that many of the crack systems he could see from lower down could be done without too much difficulty. He was apparently comfortable on 5.10 - 5.11 type grades, with a fair amount of experience.

We will not know precisely what happened to cause him to fall, but accidents happen, and we know that a whole lot more people solo than will speak about it. It is always particularly sad for us to have to perform the recovery of a fellow climber who has fallen while spending time in the mountains that we love.

Take care out there.

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Post by maximus »

We were climbing Frasers Variation on Sunday and spoke to David soon after he topped out and was walking along the top of the Lower butress. I was nearing the end of the 3rd pitch. He must have climbed a line closer to the ab points.

My condolences go out to his wife and family.

Accidents happen so quickly. Keep it safe.
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