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ncrockclimber


Jun 16, 2010, 11:15 AM
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Re: [ltz] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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ltz wrote:
This is definitively NOT an official accident report and, to my knowledge, none of the parties involved has been contacted by any institution for an authoritative report. That said, no information is being actively repressed. There are no people to my knowledge withholding information. So, know in advance that what I post here is a third- and fourth-hand summary of what I have been able to piece together from various sources, including the belayer, who is continuing to work through his own recollection of this horrific accident. I know that the people involved in the fall and rescue intend to contact the organizations that report annually on Climbing and Alpine injuries and fatalities. For those of you seeking non-conjecture, authoritative finality, keep an eye out there.

The bottom line is that with any ground fall, if the rope or harness didn't break and bolts didn't fail - and in this case they didn't - the error is a human one. The failures that led to Mike's fall began long before his group hiked into the Darkside and they revolve around a set of beliefs and poor safety habits that are, unfortunately, all too pervasive in the climbing community. This includes “quickie” peer instruction for lead climbing/lead belaying; an over-reliance in the effectiveness of lock-assist devices; a willingness on the part of more experienced climbers to put less experienced belayers in situations requiring difficult catches (I've been told, and those of you who have belayed on Elephant man know, that it is a tough catch); and a general ambivalence toward the use of helmets - and I'm guilty of this too.

The belay device used at the time of Mike's fall was a Cinch, and the belayer inexperienced at using it. Clearly, it did not engage. Reports from the site indicate that the device was correctly loaded. Reports from the site also indicate that the belayer did not have a fixed hand on the brake. So, what this means is that the device did not engage and that the belayer was not using one of the fundamental actions required of a belayer: braking.

We know that a belayer should always have a fixed hand on the brake. But this accident presents a more complex situation that requires a look at what went wrong. On a Cinch, the device will not engage if 1) the device is manually held down, per Petzl's instructional videos on feeding rope to a lead climber; 2) the device is tipped on its side, which prevents rotation of the Cinch plates; or 3) if you belay from a position in which the pull force on the device is perpendicular to the belayer. This last scenario is particularly prevalent in a lead situation where the rope runs out (rather than up) from a belayer to the first bolt. Because of the steepness of Elephant man and the talus at the bottom, the latter situation seems to be the most likely.

Just because you know how to do something doesn't mean you know how to effectively teach it to someone else. What’s more, the people you choose to instruct become your responsibility. If you aren't qualified to teach someone don't pretend you are. Send them to someone who is qualified. And, if you're on the receiving end of instruction from your "buddy who's been doing it, like, forever and is really good" - use caution. Your instruction may well be inadequate.

Thank you for the report. My condolences to all involved.


psprings


Jun 16, 2010, 11:17 AM
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Re: [ltz] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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or, 4) an incorrect rope diameter was used.


Partner j_ung


Jun 16, 2010, 11:47 AM
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Re: [billl7] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
bigjonnyc wrote:
Your responses, blondgecko, are unneeded and entirely counterproductive. Those involved do not need to you to play the part of their protector. Likewise, you easily could have made the point you were trying to without taking such a defensive and incendiary tone.

That's not my take on the above exchange. The response was in equal measure to the innuendo. In a couple words: even handed.

Obviously, I do think this site needs to sometimes stand between subjects of threads who are suffering and us onlookers. It may not be perfect but it needs to be looked after in the name of decentness.

Bill L

I couldn't agree more. I can think of at least two situations in which RC.com volunteers purposefully removed entire A&I threads from the public eye at the request of friends and/or family members of people involved in the accident. In one of those cases, I did it myself. While I fully understand the advantages to the community as a whole that can come from analyzing accidents, I believe common decency far outweighs any "need" we may have to climb.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jun 16, 2010, 11:48 AM)


warrenw


Jun 16, 2010, 2:28 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
While I fully understand the advantages to the community as a whole that can come from analyzing accidents, I believe common decency far outweighs any "need" we may have to climb.

Hmmm. I’m sorry j_ung, but I think I would respectfully disagree. Though, I’m not sure I actually disagree, because I’m not sure exactly what your argument is. The sentence is somewhat ambiguous.

If you mean that common decency outweighs any thing (concrete or abstract) that we “need” to climb, then I presume you mean the chance of psychological harm to family and friends multiplied by that harm outweighs the chance of information about an accident has of saving life multiplied by the good of saving that life.

If instead you mean that common decency outweighs any “need” to engage in the activity of climbing, then you seem to suggest that everybody should just stop climbing until family and friends have had sufficient time to mourn or an official accident report comes out.

Both of these seem false.

Perhaps you mean that common decency outweighs any “need” to satisfy various persons’ morbid curiosity. I’d agree with that. But no one had said anything to the contrary.

Could you clarify? I don’t intend this to be confrontational. It seems to me that most information about accidents should come out as soon as possible, save perhaps names, etcetera. I think this would include speculation based on scant details. As, even if incorrect, speculation can be informative. But I could be convinced otherwise.

w


Partner camhead


Jun 16, 2010, 2:41 PM
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Re: [jape] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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jape wrote:
I climb at the Darkside when I'm in top shape. I've not tried that route but if it has a dangerous eg deadly clip, it's best to know about it and even have community change it so it shouldn't prove the scene of another tragic accident. JMO...

Well, it will please you to know that the clip on the route was not the issue, according to eyewitnesses. If you want more information on that, you can find the thread discussing the accident on the regional red river climbing website.


majid_sabet


Jun 16, 2010, 3:47 PM
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Re: [ltz] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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ltz wrote:
This is definitively NOT an official accident report and, to my knowledge, none of the parties involved has been contacted by any institution for an authoritative report. That said, no information is being actively repressed. There are no people to my knowledge withholding information. So, know in advance that what I post here is a third- and fourth-hand summary of what I have been able to piece together from various sources, including the belayer, who is continuing to work through his own recollection of this horrific accident. I know that the people involved in the fall and rescue intend to contact the organizations that report annually on Climbing and Alpine injuries and fatalities. For those of you seeking non-conjecture, authoritative finality, keep an eye out there.

The bottom line is that with any ground fall, if the rope or harness didn't break and bolts didn't fail - and in this case they didn't - the error is a human one. The failures that led to Mike's fall began long before his group hiked into the Darkside and they revolve around a set of beliefs and poor safety habits that are, unfortunately, all too pervasive in the climbing community. This includes “quickie” peer instruction for lead climbing/lead belaying; an over-reliance in the effectiveness of lock-assist devices; a willingness on the part of more experienced climbers to put less experienced belayers in situations requiring difficult catches (I've been told, and those of you who have belayed on Elephant man know, that it is a tough catch); and a general ambivalence toward the use of helmets - and I'm guilty of this too.

The belay device used at the time of Mike's fall was a Cinch, and the belayer inexperienced at using it. Clearly, it did not engage. Reports from the site indicate that the device was correctly loaded. Reports from the site also indicate that the belayer did not have a fixed hand on the brake. So, what this means is that the device did not engage and that the belayer was not using one of the fundamental actions required of a belayer: braking.

We know that a belayer should always have a fixed hand on the brake. But this accident presents a more complex situation that requires a look at what went wrong. On a Cinch, the device will not engage if 1) the device is manually held down, per Petzl's instructional videos on feeding rope to a lead climber; 2) the device is tipped on its side, which prevents rotation of the Cinch plates; or 3) if you belay from a position in which the pull force on the device is perpendicular to the belayer. This last scenario is particularly prevalent in a lead situation where the rope runs out (rather than up) from a belayer to the first bolt. Because of the steepness of Elephant man and the talus at the bottom, the latter situation seems to be the most likely.

Just because you know how to do something doesn't mean you know how to effectively teach it to someone else. What’s more, the people you choose to instruct become your responsibility. If you aren't qualified to teach someone don't pretend you are. Send them to someone who is qualified. And, if you're on the receiving end of instruction from your "buddy who's been doing it, like, forever and is really good" - use caution. Your instruction may well be inadequate.

Thanks for your report

it took another posting and dozens of replies and suddenly, it took some one like you to came forward with this report to enlighten us on what really happened that day. , we were lucky to know the truth now however, there has been time where we were that close to end a case where the post got either locked, thrown away or evaporated in to digital world by some mod cause his views was not the same as 100s of others.


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Jun 16, 2010, 3:48 PM)


patto


Jun 16, 2010, 4:51 PM
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Re: [ltz] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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ltz wrote:
This is definitively NOT an official accident report and, to my knowledge, none of the parties involved has been contacted by any institution for an authoritative report. That said, no information is being actively repressed. There are no people to my knowledge withholding information......

Thank you very much for providing the community with this report. There was no obligation on you but you have helped the community. Thanks.

I apologise if you took any offense. Comments of 'withholding information' referred to people who too the time to post in the previous forum indicating they knew exactly what happened yet refusing to tell the community.


It would be good for the original thread to be UNLOCKED and updated with this information. This will assist people who seek information about this accident in the future. Furthermore somebody should make a post on redriverclimbing if they have access.


blondgecko
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Jun 16, 2010, 5:22 PM
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Re: [bigjonnyc] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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bigjonnyc wrote:
blondgecko wrote:
The only people who know anything about the accident are the belayer and anyone who he confided in - and as far as I'm aware, that doesn't include anyone here.

This incident involved a death, from which I surmise that a police report was taken from those involved, and that an investigation, albeit likely short, was carried out. All I was wondering was if the findings of this investigation had been made public. I was not, in any way, demanding information from anyone directly related to the accident, as I had assumed any pertinent information had already been passed on to someone less emotionally involved.

Your responses, blondgecko, are unneeded and entirely counterproductive. Those involved do not need to you to play the part of their protector. Likewise, you easily could have made the point you were trying to without taking such a defensive and incendiary tone.

That and $7.50 will get you a half-caf vanilla soy frappuchino at Starbucks.

No, those involved do not need my "protection". I don't know any of them, and will probably never meet any of them. But that's completely beside the point. The point is respect. As long as I am a mod of this forum, I will be doing my best to make sure that discussions (a) remain accurate and fact-based, and (b) are held at the discretion of those close to the accident.

If those who know what happened do not want to share, that is their perogative. Coming in with an entitlement complex, making accusations of cover-ups and/or demanding information from those for whom the shock and grief is still fresh, is the surest way to get a thread shut down, and to get yourself banned from the A&IA forum.

Ask, politely, for information. If none is forthcoming, move along. Do not complain, do not demand, do not make shit up. It's that simple.


ncrockclimber


Jun 16, 2010, 6:40 PM
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Re: [blondgecko] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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blondgecko wrote:
bigjonnyc wrote:
blondgecko wrote:
The only people who know anything about the accident are the belayer and anyone who he confided in - and as far as I'm aware, that doesn't include anyone here.

This incident involved a death, from which I surmise that a police report was taken from those involved, and that an investigation, albeit likely short, was carried out. All I was wondering was if the findings of this investigation had been made public. I was not, in any way, demanding information from anyone directly related to the accident, as I had assumed any pertinent information had already been passed on to someone less emotionally involved.

Your responses, blondgecko, are unneeded and entirely counterproductive. Those involved do not need to you to play the part of their protector. Likewise, you easily could have made the point you were trying to without taking such a defensive and incendiary tone.

That and $7.50 will get you a half-caf vanilla soy frappuchino at Starbucks.

No, those involved do not need my "protection". I don't know any of them, and will probably never meet any of them. But that's completely beside the point. The point is respect. As long as I am a mod of this forum, I will be doing my best to make sure that discussions (a) remain accurate and fact-based, and (b) are held at the discretion of those close to the accident.

If those who know what happened do not want to share, that is their perogative. Coming in with an entitlement complex, making accusations of cover-ups and/or demanding information from those for whom the shock and grief is still fresh, is the surest way to get a thread shut down, and to get yourself banned from the A&IA forum.

Ask, politely, for information. If none is forthcoming, move along. Do not complain, do not demand, do not make shit up. It's that simple.

Wow... What a classy response.


(This post was edited by ncrockclimber on Jun 16, 2010, 6:41 PM)


jt512


Jun 16, 2010, 6:53 PM
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Re: [blondgecko] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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blondgecko wrote:
As long as I am a mod of this forum, I will be doing my best to make sure that discussions ... are held at the discretion of those close to the accident.

I'm not sure that that is the best policy. I can think of no other risky activity where those close to the accident have veto power over public analysis of the accident. The benefit of the information to the safety of other participants in the activity is considered paramount. In both skydiving and flying, accident reports and analysis are major features of publications that cater to skydivers and pilots. When I was flying, the accident reports were the main reason I subscribed. Reports on accidents investigated by the US's NTSB are available on line, in searchable database form. Coal mine and oil well accidents are analyzed in all the media. I don't see why discussion of climbing accidents should be treated differently.

Jay


patto


Jun 16, 2010, 7:09 PM
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Re: [blondgecko] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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I agree with Jay. Shocked

It is absolutely incredible that you, blondgecko, would suggest that discussion should be at the discretion of those close to the accident.

Discusssion should be free and open. If those close to the accident believe that there is slander or false information being taken as fact then that could be a concern that would need to be made clear.

blondgecko wrote:
If those who know what happened do not want to share, that is their perogative.
You keep insisting this, yet nobody is suggesting otherwise.

blondgecko wrote:
Coming in with an entitlement complex, making accusations of cover-ups and/or demanding information from those for whom the shock and grief is still fresh, is the surest way to get a thread shut down, and to get yourself banned from the A&IA forum..
Users have been requesting information. Nobody is demanding information.


psprings


Jun 16, 2010, 7:13 PM
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Re: [jt512] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Reports on accidents investigated by the US's NTSB are available on line, in searchable database form. Coal mine and oil well accidents are analyzed in all the

Could rockclimbing.com have such a feature added to it? The ability to input accident, injury, cause, other factors? That would be really, really cool.

There is a mountaineering journal that reports accidents (I think it's quarterly?), but an online database by type would be a pretty useful tool.


jt512


Jun 16, 2010, 7:40 PM
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Re: [psprings] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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psprings wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Reports on accidents investigated by the US's NTSB are available on line, in searchable database form. Coal mine and oil well accidents are analyzed in all the

Could rockclimbing.com have such a feature added to it?

Interestingly, rc.com's sister site, dopzone.com, has one here. If you click on an item under "Cause of Death" there is a link for discussion of the accident.

Jay


currupt4130


Jun 16, 2010, 8:11 PM
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Re: [jt512] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
blondgecko wrote:
As long as I am a mod of this forum, I will be doing my best to make sure that discussions ... are held at the discretion of those close to the accident.

I'm not sure that that is the best policy. I can think of no other risky activity where those close to the accident have veto power over public analysis of the accident. The benefit of the information to the safety of other participants in the activity is considered paramount. In both skydiving and flying, accident reports and analysis are major features of publications that cater to skydivers and pilots. When I was flying, the accident reports were the main reason I subscribed. Reports on accidents investigated by the US's NTSB are available on line, in searchable database form. Coal mine and oil well accidents are analyzed in all the media. I don't see why discussion of climbing accidents should be treated differently.

Jay

Agreed.


kostik


Jun 16, 2010, 9:07 PM
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Re: [ltz] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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I was not present when the accident occurred, but I was the 'buddy' who had given the belayer a 'quickie' instruction in the fall of 2009. Therefore I feel responsible for what happened.

I was the one who recommended the Cinch over grigri and ATC to the belayer involved for the lead belay, because I have witnessed an accident involving an ATC used by inexperienced belayer, who panicked and let go of the breaking end of the rope, and because I did not like the idea of manually blocking the grigri when feeding out the rope. Cinch, when used properly, allows easy rope release without need for blocking the cam. At the same time, when you hold it with your index finger and a thumb, the breaking end of the rope is always in your hand. You never need to let it go.

It was his first, I believe, instruction in lead belaying. We went to a gym and I explained how to hold the cinch properly with a finger and a thumb in the pivot hole and holding the breaking end of the rope in the hand. Unlike Grigri, the Cinch during the lead belay has to be tilted horizontally with its colored side up. When the leader falls, the cinch turns up and blocks the rope, providing the rope is held with the hand. When held properly, the rope is always in your hand and you never need to let go of it. See the demo video, around 2:10:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9TO5ikqXwo

Unfortunately, due to schedule conflict, I never had a chance to continue instructions and watch the belayer to practice more with the device. I was planning to go with him to the Red, but our weekend schedules never matched.

After the accident, my other friend experimented with the cinch and found that when it was held like grigri, i.e. vertically and not tilted, the device did not lock the rope. I did not know about this when I was giving my instructions, but I remember that I specifically told the belayer involved in the accident to hold the cinch horizontally, green side up, with index finger and the thumb in the pivot hole and the breaking hand always on the rope.

I don't know how the cinch was actually held during the accident.

I still think that when used correctly Cinch is a very safe device. However, the rules for using grigri are not applied to the cinch. These are two different devices and are supposed to be held differently. Perhaps, Trango needs to explore potentially dangerous positions of cinch and make the results of this study public.

Lee is correct by saying that when force is applied perpendicular to the belayer the cinch may not lock, especially since it is normally held horizontally. Like with all other devices, it is advisable that the belayer stays under the first draw.

I feel that my instructions were adequate and correct, but insufficient in terms of practicing time with the device. I don't know whether in 6 or so months between my lesson and the accident the belayer used the cinch correctly and did not confuse the grigri and cinch belay methods. I simply never had a chance to lead climb with him after that.

I also know that Mike was not very familiar with the Cinch. He asked me about the device a few months before the accident being curious about it. Therefore, he could not provide the belayer with proper instructions and he might suggest the incorrect grigri technique when using cinch.


majid_sabet


Jun 16, 2010, 9:17 PM
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Re: [kostik] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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kostik wrote:
I was not present when the accident occurred, but I was the 'buddy' who had given the belayer a 'quickie' instruction in the fall of 2009. Therefore I feel responsible for what happened.

I was the one who recommended the Cinch over grigri and ATC to the belayer involved for the lead belay, because I have witnessed an accident involving an ATC used by inexperienced belayer, who panicked and let go of the breaking end of the rope, and because I did not like the idea of manually blocking the grigri when feeding out the rope. Cinch, when used properly, allows easy rope release without need for blocking the cam. At the same time, when you hold it with your index finger and a thumb, the breaking end of the rope is always in your hand. You never need to let it go.

It was his first, I believe, instruction in lead belaying. We went to a gym and I explained how to hold the cinch properly with a finger and a thumb in the pivot hole and holding the breaking end of the rope in the hand. Unlike Grigri, the Cinch during the lead belay has to be tilted horizontally with its colored side up. When the leader falls, the cinch turns up and blocks the rope, providing the rope is held with the hand. When held properly, the rope is always in your hand and you never need to let go of it. See the demo video, around 2:10:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9TO5ikqXwo

Unfortunately, due to schedule conflict, I never had a chance to continue instructions and watch the belayer to practice more with the device. I was planning to go with him to the Red, but our weekend schedules never matched.

After the accident, my other friend experimented with the cinch and found that when it was held like grigri, i.e. vertically and not tilted, the device did not lock the rope. I did not know about this when I was giving my instructions, but I remember that I specifically told the belayer involved in the accident to hold the cinch horizontally, green side up, with index finger and the thumb in the pivot hole and the breaking hand always on the rope.

I don't know how the cinch was actually held during the accident.

I still think that when used correctly Cinch is a very safe device. However, the rules for using grigri are not applied to the cinch. These are two different devices and are supposed to be held differently. Perhaps, Trango needs to explore potentially dangerous positions of cinch and make the results of this study public.

Lee is correct by saying that when force is applied perpendicular to the belayer the cinch may not lock, especially since it is normally held horizontally. Like with all other devices, it is advisable that the belayer stays under the first draw.

I feel that my instructions were adequate and correct, but insufficient in terms of practicing time with the device. I don't know whether in 6 or so months between my lesson and the accident the belayer used the cinch correctly and did not confuse the grigri and cinch belay methods. I simply never had a chance to lead climb with him after that.

I also know that Mike was not very familiar with the Cinch. He asked me about the device a few months before the accident being curious about it. Therefore, he could not provide the belayer with proper instructions and he might suggest the incorrect grigri technique when using cinch.

do you mind tell us what is climbing experience? years leading or top roping etc

most experienced climbers do know that none of the auto-belay devices lock by themselves and you as the belayer have to manually engage the locking cam to arrest the fall.


jt512


Jun 16, 2010, 9:19 PM
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Re: [kostik] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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kostik wrote:
[T]he Cinch during the lead belay has to be tilted horizontally with its colored side up. ... See the demo video, around 2:10:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9TO5ikqXwo

I've never used a Cinch, so I can't speak from experience, but looking at the video and the design of the device, it does not appear to me that the Cinch has to be held horizontally to feed rope.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jun 16, 2010, 9:50 PM)


kostik


Jun 16, 2010, 9:23 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
do you mind tell us what is climbing experience? years leading or top roping etc

I started lead belaying in 2005 using ATC, then switched to grigri, practiced with super-8 and then switched again to Cinch.

majid_sabet wrote:
most experienced climbers do know that none of the auto-belay devices lock by themselves and you as the belayer have to manually engage the locking cam to arrest the fall.

This is incorrect. I hope you were testing me with this statement. Just holding the breaking end is sufficient to lock the rope. Grigri will lock most of the time even without holding the end, but it is not recommended.


kostik


Jun 16, 2010, 9:28 PM
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Re: [jt512] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:

I've never used a Cinch, so I can't speak from experience, but looking at the video and the design of the devise, it does not appear to me that the Cinch has to be held horizontally to feed rope.

It's in the manual that comes with the device. I don't have it handy to show here. If you hold it vertically, like grigri, it locks when you try to feed the rope and if you try to block the cam in this position, you'll deck your partner.


patto


Jun 16, 2010, 9:41 PM
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Re: [kostik] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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The problem isn't the orientation of the device. The problem is blocking the cam with you hand. This should never be done when a climber is falling. Crazy


kostik


Jun 16, 2010, 9:42 PM
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Re: [jt512] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
I've never used a Cinch, so I can't speak from experience, but looking at the video and the design of the devise, it does not appear to me that the Cinch has to be held horizontally to feed rope.

In this video at 0:30 and 2:30. And at 2:36 he shows incorrect way of holding:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUM0d-wByCY


kostik


Jun 16, 2010, 9:46 PM
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Re: [patto] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
The problem isn't the orientation of the device. The problem is blocking the cam with you hand. This should never be done when a climber is falling. Crazy

Orientation matters. If you hold it in your palm vertically, like Grigri, instead of with a finger and a thumb horizontally, the cinch may not lock. I played a lot with it after the accident and there are positions in which the cam does not engage.


majid_sabet


Jun 16, 2010, 9:46 PM
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Re: [kostik] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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kostik wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
do you mind tell us what is climbing experience? years leading or top roping etc

I started lead belaying in 2005 using ATC, then switched to grigri, practiced with super-8 and then switched again to Cinch.

majid_sabet wrote:
most experienced climbers do know that none of the auto-belay devices lock by themselves and you as the belayer have to manually engage the locking cam to arrest the fall.

This is incorrect. I hope you were testing me with this statement. Just holding the breaking end is sufficient to lock the rope. Grigri will lock most of the time even without holding the end, but it is not recommended.


the rope size, the position of the hand has to be in the right angle to engage the caming device in the gri gri . just holding the end of the rope does not grantee full arrest of a falling lead climber.

the accident forum of this site is full of accident cases where people got dropped by auto-belay devices where they thought their device automatically stop a falling leader but it did not.


patto


Jun 16, 2010, 9:53 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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kostik wrote:
I was not present when the accident occurred, but I was the 'buddy' who had given the belayer a 'quickie' instruction in the fall of 2009. Therefore I feel responsible for what happened..

Kostik. You shouldn't feel responsible for what happened. Every climber needs to be responsible for themselves. Nobody should be using a belay device they don't understand.

Thank you very much for providing your input into the matter. This discussion is just warming up. And knowning this site debate will rage. If you find the discussion uncomfortable then don't feel obliged to participate.

kostik wrote:
Orientation matters. If you hold it in your palm vertically, like Grigri, instead of with a finger and a thumb horizontally, the cinch may not lock. I played a lot with it after the accident and there are positions in which the cam does not engage.

Ideally you shouldn't BE holding the device at all if you are catching a fall!

majid_sabet wrote:
the rope size, the position of the hand has to be in the right angle to engage the caming device in the gri gri . just holding the end of the rope does not grantee full arrest of a falling lead climber.

I disagree. Tension on the brake rope will activate the cam if there is nothing blocking the cam.

I am not aware of any incident where the gri-gri has failed to lock when the brake rope has been held and there has been no interference with the climber's rope or the cam.


If you operate a self locking device the same way as a ATC you can't go wrong. Hands off the device and only on the rope. Of course the drawback of this is difficulty giving rope quickly. But if a beginner is belaying me rope quickly is the least of my concerns.

The ORIGINAL and classic method of standard feeding as recommended by Petzl does not involve touch the device. This is much more 'fool' proof. Methods that involve holding the cam are prone to accidents, this isn't the first.


(This post was edited by patto on Jun 16, 2010, 10:11 PM)


jt512


Jun 16, 2010, 9:54 PM
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Re: [kostik] Darkside accident [In reply to]
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kostik wrote:
jt512 wrote:

I've never used a Cinch, so I can't speak from experience, but looking at the video and the design of the devise, it does not appear to me that the Cinch has to be held horizontally to feed rope.

It's in the manual that comes with the device.

I tried to download the manual from Trango's site earlier today, but their link to the manual is wrong; it goes to a blog entry. Maybe if Mal reads this he can get the link fixed.

Jay

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