Forums: Climbing Information: Accident and Incident Analysis: Re: [rgold] Gym Death- Knot Failure: Edit Log


Apr 22, 2012, 12:24 AM

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Re: [rgold] Gym Death- Knot Failure
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rgold wrote:
The linked report says

The inquest heard that Mr Rothman had probably used a bowline rather than a figure of eight knot in his rope.

Damn lame inquest. They seem to have used a lack of evidence
as an impetus rather than impediment to making a conclusion! Crazy

In reply to:
A guy with 50 years experience, probably all of that with a backed-up bowline, ties it without a backup? As someone with the same amount of experience who has always used bowlines, I find this exceptionally unlikely. Once you start a rehearsed sequence of motions (rehearsed for half a century), you finish the sequence automatically, you don't stop in the middle for anything.

Definitely more "probable" than the inquest's reasoning.

I'm puzzled at the article : it talks of "Nov 07" yet has a current date?
--is it that the older accident is newly given an official verdict?

In reply to:
Tony Raphael, who has been climbing for 40 years, said he was belaying the rope for Mr Rothman when he felt some tension in it.
"I looked up and saw the rope separating from Dave. I saw it come away," he said. Almost immediately Mr Rothman fell.

He only then "looked up" --was he busy texting or something, prior?
From the Telegraph comes a further bit of suggestion:

In reply to:
It appeared Mr Rothman had failed to tie a stopper knot and his rope gave way just as he was beginning to descend from the top of the 11-metre high wall.

Now the question is Was he leading or on TR belay? --because in the
latter case, there shouldn't be a loosening-to-become-untied failure
of a bowline w/decent tail (knot oriented upwards, gravity pulling
tail downwards, holding it against going out. And the climber wouldn't
have been periodically handling the rope (needing some slack) to put
it into quick-draws.

In reply to:
Climbing instructor Alison Taylor said the standard knot is a figure of eight which tightens and does not need a stopper.
"A bowline will come undone under pressure unless it has a stopper knot and some climbing centres only allow a figure of eight knot," she added.

Egadz, knot knowledge is a scarce commodity. But, given that(!),
it may well serve many to stick with more *tolerant* structures.

In reply to:
A sad and terrible tragedy, but not one solved or even slightly ameliorated by banning the backed-up bowline.

Indeed sad; and worse than not being solved, but in fact by furthering
the myth of the "bowline" problem (though there can be some slight
merit in that) and hiding the real problem --that of checking
against distraction-- possibly actually harmful!

And I wonder : is a climbing gym likely to have more distractions,
compounded by maybe some sense of safety, vs. being *exposed* outdoors ?
(One might feel that Lynn Hill's outdoor circumstance was not so unlike
a gym's, too.) Complacency breeds carelessness?

RGold, I've backed up your remarks to DRaleigh (sad that you had to
reiterate what was clearly stated initially (sad that most of my text
lost its paragraph breaks!? WTF? (they were such nice breaks ...)).

Good that some other sites have at least challenged some of the bad
conclusions of the coroner, rather than just endorsed them!
(what's the term : "junk science" ?! Tongue )


(This post was edited by knudenoggin on Apr 22, 2012, 10:08 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by knudenoggin () on Apr 22, 2012, 10:08 AM

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