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dindolino32


Oct 9, 2011, 10:19 PM
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Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident
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(Edit: Read rosco22's post for some clarification to the details of this original post.)
Saturday Oct 8th at HCR in Arkansas, a woman fell from near the top of what route I believe was Earl's Revenge. From what I gathered, she was being guided by a HCR worker. I heard a scream and thought it was just someone taking a lead fall and then hear what sounded like a rock hitting the ground. I thought a big plate had pulled and then heard some commotion. I can't express how lucky she was to fall where she did because there were a lot of rocks protruding out of the ground yet missed them. Unconscious and groaning I know she was not conscious but was still breathing. She had NO helmet as she was toproping after the guide led the route but appeared to have no head trauma. I noted she was not tied in and only 1 strand was hanging from the anchors. Her harness was new and intact. The most obvious conclusion is a knot tying failure was the cause as the single figure 8 was intact at the anchors. I don't know if there was a backup knot that also failed. She became more aware and started trying to move. She had a completely broken forearm and most likely spinal cord damage as she could not move her feet on command. Other injuries remain unknown. After 2-3 hours of waiting she was carried on a body board to a helicopter and flown to the nearest trauma hospital.
I really hope that she makes a full recovery and has little complications. I have read incident reports before and never thought I would write one. It always seems to be the same message so I thought this could once again repeat it. Double check and back up everything that you can. Knots, Rapelling, and Communication. I was always under the assumption that the double fishermans backup knot wasn't really needed because I never screw up the double figure 8. But if I do, I doubt that I would screw up both knots in a row thus I should be safe. I will make sure from now on to keep using that damn knot that gets in the way when I am trying to clip, because I would rather blow a clip than take a grounder.
Lastly, I would like to hear how she is doing so if anyone know or hears anything, a post would be nice.


(This post was edited by dindolino32 on Oct 16, 2011, 8:52 AM)


sungam


Oct 10, 2011, 3:37 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Ugh, the not moving the foot thing sounds pretty grim. Hope she recovers.


moose_droppings


Oct 10, 2011, 7:38 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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dindolino32 wrote:
Saturday Oct 8th at HCR in Arkansas, a woman fell from near the top of what route I believe was Earl's Revenge. From what I gathered, she was being guided by a HCR worker. I heard a scream and thought it was just someone taking a lead fall and then hear what sounded like a rock hitting the ground. I thought a big plate had pulled and then heard some commotion. I can't express how lucky she was to fall where she did because there were a lot of rocks protruding out of the ground yet missed them. Unconscious and groaning I know she was not conscious but was still breathing. She had NO helmet as she was toproping after the guide led the route but appeared to have no head trauma. I noted she was not tied in and only 1 strand was hanging from the anchors. Her harness was new and intact. The most obvious conclusion is a knot tying failure was the cause as the single figure 8 was intact at the anchors. I don't know if there was a backup knot that also failed. She became more aware and started trying to move. She had a completely broken forearm and most likely spinal cord damage as she could not move her feet on command. Other injuries remain unknown. After 2-3 hours of waiting she was carried on a body board to a helicopter and flown to the nearest trauma hospital.
I really hope that she makes a full recovery and has little complications. I have read incident reports before and never thought I would write one. It always seems to be the same message so I thought this could once again repeat it. Double check and back up everything that you can. Knots, Rapelling, and Communication. I was always under the assumption that the double fishermans backup knot wasn't really needed because I never screw up the double figure 8. But if I do, I doubt that I would screw up both knots in a row thus I should be safe. I will make sure from now on to keep using that damn knot that gets in the way when I am trying to clip, because I would rather blow a clip than take a grounder.
Lastly, I would like to hear how she is doing so if anyone know or hears anything, a post would be nice.

First and foremost I hope for a full recovery for her.

You say there was a figure 8 intact at the end, possible she had been clipped into the 8 with a locker and somehow became unclipped? Hate to speculate this early, but kind of sounds like it to me.

In time we'll know more and no doubt will find out what did indeed happen.


csproul


Oct 10, 2011, 8:40 AM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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moose_droppings wrote:
dindolino32 wrote:
Saturday Oct 8th at HCR in Arkansas, a woman fell from near the top of what route I believe was Earl's Revenge. From what I gathered, she was being guided by a HCR worker. I heard a scream and thought it was just someone taking a lead fall and then hear what sounded like a rock hitting the ground. I thought a big plate had pulled and then heard some commotion. I can't express how lucky she was to fall where she did because there were a lot of rocks protruding out of the ground yet missed them. Unconscious and groaning I know she was not conscious but was still breathing. She had NO helmet as she was toproping after the guide led the route but appeared to have no head trauma. I noted she was not tied in and only 1 strand was hanging from the anchors. Her harness was new and intact. The most obvious conclusion is a knot tying failure was the cause as the single figure 8 was intact at the anchors. I don't know if there was a backup knot that also failed. She became more aware and started trying to move. She had a completely broken forearm and most likely spinal cord damage as she could not move her feet on command. Other injuries remain unknown. After 2-3 hours of waiting she was carried on a body board to a helicopter and flown to the nearest trauma hospital.
I really hope that she makes a full recovery and has little complications. I have read incident reports before and never thought I would write one. It always seems to be the same message so I thought this could once again repeat it. Double check and back up everything that you can. Knots, Rapelling, and Communication. I was always under the assumption that the double fishermans backup knot wasn't really needed because I never screw up the double figure 8. But if I do, I doubt that I would screw up both knots in a row thus I should be safe. I will make sure from now on to keep using that damn knot that gets in the way when I am trying to clip, because I would rather blow a clip than take a grounder.
Lastly, I would like to hear how she is doing so if anyone know or hears anything, a post would be nice.

First and foremost I hope for a full recovery for her.

You say there was a figure 8 intact at the end, possible she had been clipped into the 8 with a locker and somehow became unclipped? Hate to speculate this early, but kind of sounds like it to me.

In time we'll know more and no doubt will find out what did indeed happen.
I took that to mean that there was a single figure 8 and not the complete know with follow through (i.e. figure 8 on a bight)?


dindolino32


Oct 10, 2011, 10:27 AM
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Re: [csproul] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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There was no carabiner attached to her harness, and the harness was in tact. Also no carabiner at the end of the rope. Knot failure is most likely but I dont know who tied it or if there was a backup knot.


(This post was edited by dindolino32 on Oct 10, 2011, 10:28 AM)


moose_droppings


Oct 10, 2011, 10:41 AM
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Re: [csproul] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
I took that to mean that there was a single figure 8 and not the complete know with follow through (i.e. figure 8 on a bight)?


After reading his next reply I think your right, and I'd agree with his analysis too.


majid_sabet


Oct 10, 2011, 11:06 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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If she was guided then her guide fuc*ed up and should be hanged by rope


kazanthink


Oct 10, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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I was just a down the wall a bit when it happened. I heard pretty much all the same stuff from some people that were right near when it happened. rope at the top was left with a start of an 8 and that was it all the hardwear was fine. seemed to just be human error unfortunately. make sure to check your partners knots!
my thoughts are with the climber hope she recovers as quick as possible.


(This post was edited by kazanthink on Oct 10, 2011, 11:37 AM)


bearbreeder


Oct 10, 2011, 1:10 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
If she was guided then her guide fuc*ed up and should be hanged by rope


for once i agree with mistah mahhjeed ... if it was guided then someone screwed up

best hope for her recovery


socalclimber


Oct 10, 2011, 3:14 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
If she was guided then her guide fuc*ed up and should be hanged by rope


for once i agree with mistah mahhjeed ... if it was guided then someone screwed up

best hope for her recovery

Yikes. Bad news indeed.

If this is true, and it was indeed a client/guide outing, then the guide is 100% at fault. Period. The client's safety and well being is your first and primary responsibility bar none.

I know nothing of the guide or the service they work for, but a knot failure is absolutely unacceptable and there is no good reason or excuse for it.

Unless I'm missing something, the knot was most likely a figure 8 follow through or re-traced figure 8. The double figure 8, like the double bowline is a different knot.

I do not believe, nor do I teach the concept of a "backup" knot. Myself and a number of seasoned guides all consider that to be a finishing knot.

Sorry to hear the bad news.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Oct 10, 2011, 3:17 PM)


thebouleoffools


Oct 10, 2011, 6:12 PM
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I was here for this and helped carry her out. Everything said so far is accurate. There was no failure of any equipment. My suspicion is that the follow through was not tied correctly, with little tail, no stopper, and was not set before she started climbing, although it was repeatedly stated that she was tied-in correctly.

She was able to wiggle her toes a tiny bit around a half hour after the fall, however by the time we got her out she wasn't able to move the left, perhaps due to spinal swelling.

It would have been very difficult if not impossible to have carried her out if it weren't for the large group of climbers that came to help.


jakedatc


Oct 10, 2011, 6:21 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
bearbreeder wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
If she was guided then her guide fuc*ed up and should be hanged by rope


for once i agree with mistah mahhjeed ... if it was guided then someone screwed up

best hope for her recovery

Yikes. Bad news indeed.

If this is true, and it was indeed a client/guide outing, then the guide is 100% at fault. Period. The client's safety and well being is your first and primary responsibility bar none.

I know nothing of the guide or the service they work for, but a knot failure is absolutely unacceptable and there is no good reason or excuse for it.

Unless I'm missing something, the knot was most likely a figure 8 follow through or re-traced figure 8. The double figure 8, like the double bowline is a different knot.

I do not believe, nor do I teach the concept of a "backup" knot. Myself and a number of seasoned guides all consider that to be a finishing knot.

Sorry to hear the bad news.

I agree. Only thing i consider the fisherman finish or fig 9 finish is to ensure that you have enough tail after your Fig 8 follow through.

definitely sounds like Lynn Hill's accident... started a figure 8 then didn't complete it.


socalclimber


Oct 10, 2011, 6:23 PM
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Yup. Agreed.

Edited to add:

Good for the climbers that assisted in the carry out!


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Oct 10, 2011, 7:49 PM)


lena_chita
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Oct 11, 2011, 8:07 AM
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I am very sorry to hear about the accident and I hope the climber recovers without major complications. She is very lucky to be alive.

It does sound from the description that this was a knot that wasn't tied right, probably incompletely tied.

I do doubt that this was a guided outing arranged through a reputable outfitter/guide service because usually the guided clients always wear helmets -- on toprope or not, doesn't matter, for insurance reasons. But if it was, then this sounds pretty bad.


pendereki


Oct 11, 2011, 3:40 PM
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I am also curious if this was a guided climb. I know a guide at the ranch and am concerned about both the climber and belayer. They do usually wear helmets at the ranch when guiding.

This is the third groundfall that I know of at the ranch in two weeks. The other two were during the competition. One was a worn Cinch that did not lock up and the other a belayer who grabbed the non-brake end while using an ATC--both were lowering from the anchors and both climbers received only minor injuries. I like my helmet and buddy check system more than ever.

I wish a speedy recovery for the climber.


dindolino32


Oct 11, 2011, 10:17 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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I think we can obviously agree that the guide was a main accomplice, however hateful phrases like hanging someone doesn't do anyone any good. He may read this and doesn't need any more guilt or regret. The purpose of my post wasn't to blame anyone but more importantly point out that once again the main factor in an accident was complacency and lack of redundancy. As for the posts that say the fig 8 doesn't need a backup, it is probably true. But that 1 time that it is improperly tied DOES need a backup knot. Almost every climb involves weighting the rope to lower, so a properly tied knot is needed. Majid, please don't post anymore pointlessly negative or finger pointing posts on this topic. I'm sure your life record (as well as mine) is complete with many screw-ups, yours just luckily didn't have such horrendous outcomes.


majid_sabet


Oct 11, 2011, 10:37 PM
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dindolino32 wrote:
I think we can obviously agree that the guide was a main accomplice, however hateful phrases like hanging someone doesn't do anyone any good. He may read this and doesn't need any more guilt or regret. The purpose of my post wasn't to blame anyone but more importantly point out that once again the main factor in an accident was complacency and lack of redundancy. As for the posts that say the fig 8 doesn't need a backup, it is probably true. But that 1 time that it is improperly tied DOES need a backup knot. Almost every climb involves weighting the rope to lower, so a properly tied knot is needed. Majid, please don't post anymore pointlessly negative or finger pointing posts on this topic. I'm sure your life record (as well as mine) is complete with many screw-ups, yours just luckily didn't have such horrendous outcomes.

I am a guide and an instructor so if an instructor tells you he fuc*ed, you better take it seriously cause next time we got to post a fatality report. This a serious business and no place to feel sorry for someone who does not pay attention to WTF he/she is doing.Now, you can argue with me all day long but I grantee you I am right on this


Regards


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on Oct 11, 2011, 10:38 PM)


jakedatc


Oct 12, 2011, 5:28 AM
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dindolino32 wrote:
I think we can obviously agree that the guide was a main accomplice, however hateful phrases like hanging someone doesn't do anyone any good. He may read this and doesn't need any more guilt or regret. The purpose of my post wasn't to blame anyone but more importantly point out that once again the main factor in an accident was complacency and lack of redundancy. As for the posts that say the fig 8 doesn't need a backup, it is probably true. But that 1 time that it is improperly tied DOES need a backup knot. Almost every climb involves weighting the rope to lower, so a properly tied knot is needed. Majid, please don't post anymore pointlessly negative or finger pointing posts on this topic. I'm sure your life record (as well as mine) is complete with many screw-ups, yours just luckily didn't have such horrendous outcomes.


Actually, you are wrong. A figure 8 follow through needs a tail long enough so that if for some off chance the figure 8 slips a bit that it will not pull through. The only way fisherman knot above a figure8 will help with the slipping is if you cinch it down tight right up against the knot... but most people do not tie it that way. It is usually 6-8" up the rope and half of the time will untie itself while you're climbing.

complacency yes, redundancy No. you need to tie your knot properly with enough tail. period. and even more basic you need to finish tying the damn thing.

The person in this accident apparently did not finish tying their knot. Evidence shows the first figure 8 was left on the rope and it did not hold. They didn't check their own knot and their belayer or anyone else responsible for them didn't check.


Tipton


Oct 12, 2011, 6:14 AM
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dindolino32 wrote:
Saturday Oct 8th at HCR in Arkansas, a woman fell from near the top of what route I believe was Earl's Revenge. From what I gathered, she was being guided by a HCR worker. I heard a scream and thought it was just someone taking a lead fall and then hear what sounded like a rock hitting the ground. I thought a big plate had pulled and then heard some commotion. I can't express how lucky she was to fall where she did because there were a lot of rocks protruding out of the ground yet missed them. Unconscious and groaning I know she was not conscious but was still breathing. She had NO helmet as she was toproping after the guide led the route but appeared to have no head trauma. I noted she was not tied in and only 1 strand was hanging from the anchors. Her harness was new and intact. The most obvious conclusion is a knot tying failure was the cause as the single figure 8 was intact at the anchors. I don't know if there was a backup knot that also failed. She became more aware and started trying to move. She had a completely broken forearm and most likely spinal cord damage as she could not move her feet on command. Other injuries remain unknown. After 2-3 hours of waiting she was carried on a body board to a helicopter and flown to the nearest trauma hospital.
I really hope that she makes a full recovery and has little complications. I have read incident reports before and never thought I would write one. It always seems to be the same message so I thought this could once again repeat it. Double check and back up everything that you can. Knots, Rapelling, and Communication. I was always under the assumption that the double fishermans backup knot wasn't really needed because I never screw up the double figure 8. But if I do, I doubt that I would screw up both knots in a row thus I should be safe. I will make sure from now on to keep using that damn knot that gets in the way when I am trying to clip, because I would rather blow a clip than take a grounder.
Lastly, I would like to hear how she is doing so if anyone know or hears anything, a post would be nice.


It is not clear to me if she had reached the top of the climb. Perhaps the knot wasn't finished after she had cleaned the anchors rather than when she first left the ground. Regardless, I imagine more details will come out in the future.

Best wishes to all parties involved and thanks to the assisting climbers.


rtwilli4


Oct 12, 2011, 6:52 AM
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Hope that she recovers. Thoughts are with her and her family.

It's always sad to hear about a guide screwing up. And for once I agree with Majid when he says that there is no room for sympathy for a guide that failed to tie his client in properly. As a person, I feel for him. Bus as a fellow guide, I'm upset that he was able to make such a serious mistake.

What's worse is that their insurance is not going to cover anything because she was not wearing a helmet. Things could get ugly.


rosco22


Oct 12, 2011, 7:36 AM
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I am one of the climbing guides at HCR and was at the ranch during the accident. There are a number of things that need to be clarified and addressed, and our thoughts need to move on towards a speedy recovery for the girl.

First off, this was not a guided climb. It was three good friends out climbing. The belayer was in fact one of our guides, which is where the assumption came from, but he was simply out climbing with two friends he has known for a long time. It was his day off, and they had come up for the weekend.

Secondly, the accident was an unfinished knot. The climber tied her own knot, and unfortunately she did not finish it. She has been climbing for around 5 years. When she reached the anchors and sat in her harness, the knot came untied and she fell. She was not wearing a helmet, and is beyond lucky that she sustained no head trauma.

Thirdly, it did not take anywhere near 2 to 3 hours before she was flown out. Her belayer had a radio and immediately called it in. We received his message for a mediflight and immediately called 911. First responders were at the parking lot incredibly fast, and mediflight arrived at the same time the ambulance did. There were several EMT's and other knowledgeable people that were on the scene within a matter of moments. In situations like this it often feels like hours have gone by, but I can assure you that she was in the helicopter in around an hour.

This is exactly the kind of thing we all hear about and think will never happen, but that is why they are called accidents. A great majority of us go out and climb without helmets, and a good number of us don't double check our climbers knots. As guides we spend day after day, week after week, tieing clients in and double checking our systems before every climb. We use helmets as guides because that's the right thing to do. But when we go out with our friends, most of us are guilty of ditching the helmet or trusting that our climbing partner can and will tie their knot correctly. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, and she is very lucky things went the way they did.

I can't go into the details of her condition, but I can say that things look extremely hopeful. She has no head trauma, and has feeling in her legs. She is expected to make a full recovery, but it will be a very long and difficult road. If you could keep her in your thoughts, that would be greatly appreciated.


bearbreeder


Oct 12, 2011, 7:55 AM
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thanks for clarifying ...

i think people, including myself, take these double checks too casually ... there have been quite a few accidents lately for various reasons involving "experienced" climbers ... in some ways i think newbs are actually more safe, being more paranoid about checks and other things

sounds like a lynn hill type tie in accident

best of luck to her


Partner j_ung


Oct 12, 2011, 8:48 AM
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rosco22 wrote:
I am one of the climbing guides at HCR and was at the ranch during the accident. There are a number of things that need to be clarified and addressed, and our thoughts need to move on towards a speedy recovery for the girl.

First off, this was not a guided climb. It was three good friends out climbing. The belayer was in fact one of our guides, which is where the assumption came from, but he was simply out climbing with two friends he has known for a long time. It was his day off, and they had come up for the weekend.

Secondly, the accident was an unfinished knot. The climber tied her own knot, and unfortunately she did not finish it. She has been climbing for around 5 years. When she reached the anchors and sat in her harness, the knot came untied and she fell. She was not wearing a helmet, and is beyond lucky that she sustained no head trauma.

Thirdly, it did not take anywhere near 2 to 3 hours before she was flown out. Her belayer had a radio and immediately called it in. We received his message for a mediflight and immediately called 911. First responders were at the parking lot incredibly fast, and mediflight arrived at the same time the ambulance did. There were several EMT's and other knowledgeable people that were on the scene within a matter of moments. In situations like this it often feels like hours have gone by, but I can assure you that she was in the helicopter in around an hour.

This is exactly the kind of thing we all hear about and think will never happen, but that is why they are called accidents. A great majority of us go out and climb without helmets, and a good number of us don't double check our climbers knots. As guides we spend day after day, week after week, tieing clients in and double checking our systems before every climb. We use helmets as guides because that's the right thing to do. But when we go out with our friends, most of us are guilty of ditching the helmet or trusting that our climbing partner can and will tie their knot correctly. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, and she is very lucky things went the way they did.

I can't go into the details of her condition, but I can say that things look extremely hopeful. She has no head trauma, and has feeling in her legs. She is expected to make a full recovery, but it will be a very long and difficult road. If you could keep her in your thoughts, that would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for clarifying. My hopes are with her for a recovery that is as thorough and speedy as possible.


dindolino32


Oct 12, 2011, 10:36 AM
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Sorry for assuming that he was guiding a newer climber. My goal was to reiterate human error is mostly the culprit. I improperly assumed she was guided and never even thought that it was an issue. I hope I didn't alter HCR image as it is a sweet place to climb, hike and hang out. I am also very relieved to hear she has a good prognosis. Thanks


dagibbs


Oct 12, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Again, thanks for clarifying.

And, yes, always check and double-check your tie-in.

I was at a gym this evening, climbing with a few pick-up people -- I travel for work, and climb with strangers at gyms a fair bit. One was going to do a climb -- she'd tried it before, and hoped to get it this time. So, she starts up the climb without tieing in. I figure she's just going to boulder the first few moves, maybe to rehearse the sequence, I've done that, I've seen others do that. Then she keeps going...so I say, "Teenie (name she gave), you're not tied in". She nods, and keeps going. Now, she's getting high enough, feet probably about 12 feet up or so, and above a floor that's not particularly padded for falls, and I shout at her, that she's not tied in. And she goes "oh shit". She tries to down-climb a bit, doesn't like it, grabs a close by rope, and slides down it. (Gets a bit of rope burn in the process.) Apparently -- noise in the gym due to loud music, and the fact she was from Germany so English was a second language -- she had heard my first warning as something completely different.

So, don't just make sure that you finish your tie-in, make sure that you start it too.


socalclimber


Oct 13, 2011, 5:06 AM
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This really all comes down to partners checking partners, or in this case, not doing so. One of the things I see constantly these days is the rush through the belay signals and how they are done. When the climber TELLS the belayer "on belay" it is not a statement of fact, it is a question. For that question to be answered, the checks need to be done first before the belayer answers "on belay".


gblauer
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Oct 13, 2011, 6:30 AM
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Thoughts and prayers to the climber. I hope she has a speedy recovery and is unfettered by long term physical effects.


patto


Oct 13, 2011, 3:36 PM
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socalclimber wrote:
This really all comes down to partners checking partners

I politely disagree. First and foremost it comes down to the climber tying the knot properly. EVERY TIME. There are many situation where you can't have your partner check your knot or other item which your life depends on.

Your harness. Your knot. Your rope. Your anchor. All needs to be explicitly checked. The consequences for failure are obvious and great. Never let complacency creep in.

Partner checks? Well they're goo too. But 75% of my life critical decisions my partner isn't there to check.


sandstone


Oct 13, 2011, 5:59 PM
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socalclimber wrote:
This really all comes down to partners checking partners

patto wrote:
I politely disagree. First and foremost it comes down to the climber tying the knot properly. EVERY TIME..... Never let complacency creep in....

You're both right. It's your own responsibility, but the way I see it part of that responsibility is to be honest with yourself and your partners about human nature. We goof up -- all of us, there is no immunity from it.


DougMartin


Oct 13, 2011, 8:56 PM
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rosco22 wrote:
I am one of the climbing guides at HCR and was at the ranch during the accident. There are a number of things that need to be clarified and addressed, and our thoughts need to move on towards a speedy recovery for the girl.

First off, this was not a guided climb. It was three good friends out climbing. The belayer was in fact one of our guides, which is where the assumption came from, but he was simply out climbing with two friends he has known for a long time. It was his day off, and they had come up for the weekend.

Secondly, the accident was an unfinished knot. The climber tied her own knot, and unfortunately she did not finish it. She has been climbing for around 5 years. When she reached the anchors and sat in her harness, the knot came untied and she fell. She was not wearing a helmet, and is beyond lucky that she sustained no head trauma.

Thirdly, it did not take anywhere near 2 to 3 hours before she was flown out. Her belayer had a radio and immediately called it in. We received his message for a mediflight and immediately called 911. First responders were at the parking lot incredibly fast, and mediflight arrived at the same time the ambulance did. There were several EMT's and other knowledgeable people that were on the scene within a matter of moments. In situations like this it often feels like hours have gone by, but I can assure you that she was in the helicopter in around an hour.

This is exactly the kind of thing we all hear about and think will never happen, but that is why they are called accidents. A great majority of us go out and climb without helmets, and a good number of us don't double check our climbers knots. As guides we spend day after day, week after week, tieing clients in and double checking our systems before every climb. We use helmets as guides because that's the right thing to do. But when we go out with our friends, most of us are guilty of ditching the helmet or trusting that our climbing partner can and will tie their knot correctly. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, and she is very lucky things went the way they did.

I can't go into the details of her condition, but I can say that things look extremely hopeful. She has no head trauma, and has feeling in her legs. She is expected to make a full recovery, but it will be a very long and difficult road. If you could keep her in your thoughts, that would be greatly appreciated.

Praying for her and remembering to check my buddies knot! Glad a full recovery is possible!


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 14, 2011, 11:22 AM
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rosco22 wrote:
First off, this was not a guided climb. It was three good friends out climbing. The belayer was in fact one of our guides, which is where the assumption came from, but he was simply out climbing with two friends he has known for a long time. It was his day off, and they had come up for the weekend.

Secondly, the accident was an unfinished knot. The climber tied her own knot, and unfortunately she did not finish it. She has been climbing for around 5 years. When she reached the anchors and sat in her harness, the knot came untied and she fell. She was not wearing a helmet, and is beyond lucky that she sustained no head trauma.

I always check my belayer's harness and atc/biner/rope before I blast off, and they always check my harness and knot. This is the way I learned... And thank gOD, as we all mess up, and I have forgotten to finish my knot before.

Everyone I climb with does this instinctively, and I've climbed with people from all over the country in many different places.

The only people I've climbed with that didn't do this instinctively were ones that I was teaching to climb, and after a few climbs, they did it instinctively after understanding the possible concequences of not doing it.

I am dismayed that your guide is not in the habit of doing this.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 14, 2011, 11:24 AM)


socalclimber


Oct 14, 2011, 7:23 PM
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sandstone wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
This really all comes down to partners checking partners

patto wrote:
I politely disagree. First and foremost it comes down to the climber tying the knot properly. EVERY TIME..... Never let complacency creep in....

You're both right. It's your own responsibility, but the way I see it part of that responsibility is to be honest with yourself and your partners about human nature. We goof up -- all of us, there is no immunity from it.

I agree. I understand Patto's point, but they were standing next to each other when the climber left the ground. Therefore, there's no excuse for the partnership break down that occurred. Simple, if you climb with more than yourself, then you're now a team. Don't like it, then just stick soloing.

It's both members of the teams responsibility to ensure that the systems are in tact.


technogeekery


Oct 14, 2011, 7:24 PM
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I hope she recovers soon.

This is a mistake that anyone can make in a moment of inattention - you start tying in, get distracted by something, and never go back to finishing your knot. I try very hard never to get distracted once I start my knot - but it happens. I always double-check, talking it through out loud and showing my partner, and then he does the same. Just 2 weeks ago this double check picked up exactly this scenario - I'd stopped halfway through typing the knot to help with something, then neglected to finish it. No harm done, slapped myself mentally and carried on - but reinforced my longstanding practice of partner checks. And if my partner isn't there (cleaning, setting anchors, setting off on rap) I check again, out loud.

Whatever works for you - but don't kid yourself, everyone eventually makes mistakes, and partner checks better your odds.


socalclimber


Oct 14, 2011, 8:16 PM
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technogeekery wrote:
I hope she recovers soon.

This is a mistake that anyone can make in a moment of inattention - you start tying in, get distracted by something, and never go back to finishing your knot. I try very hard never to get distracted once I start my knot - but it happens. I always double-check, talking it through out loud and showing my partner, and then he does the same. Just 2 weeks ago this double check picked up exactly this scenario - I'd stopped halfway through typing the knot to help with something, then neglected to finish it. No harm done, slapped myself mentally and carried on - but reinforced my longstanding practice of partner checks. And if my partner isn't there (cleaning, setting anchors, setting off on rap) I check again, out loud.

Whatever works for you - but don't kid yourself, everyone eventually makes mistakes, and partner checks better your odds.

Again I can't disagree, but if you make it a habit to complete each task before you start another, then things like this are less likely to happen.

I have radically changed my approach to climbing over the past ten years for exactly these reasons. Also having to zip people into body bags or send them on their way in helicopters to a trauma ward tends change your perspective.


JimTitt


Oct 16, 2011, 10:32 AM
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patto wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
This really all comes down to partners checking partners

I politely disagree. First and foremost it comes down to the climber tying the knot properly. EVERY TIME. There are many situation where you can't have your partner check your knot or other item which your life depends on.

Your harness. Your knot. Your rope. Your anchor. All needs to be explicitly checked. The consequences for failure are obvious and great. Never let complacency creep in.

Partner checks? Well they're goo too. But 75% of my life critical decisions my partner isn't there to check.

Quite agree, I refuse to teach partner check as a concept for those reasons. I expect my partner to tie knots which I will be relying on when Iエm not there to check, same for building belays, setting up abseils in the dark and so on. Anything that removes any part of his responsibility to be 100% correct and double check himself is stupid and a system which promotes a culture of `itエs all right, someone else will checkエis doubly stupid.
Itエs illogical anyway, if he canエt be trusted to tie his own knot then Iエm not trusting his checking ability either!

I have a simple rule to check my own knot when I reach down to clip the first piece and consider this the best habit to get into.


sandstone


Oct 16, 2011, 5:06 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
... I refuse to teach partner check...Anything that removes any part of his responsibility to be 100% correct and double check himself is stupid and a system which promotes a culture of `itエs all right, someone else will checkエis doubly stupid.

Jim, a simple pre-climb check of your partner does not create in him a nanny mentality. It reminds him that he's fallible, and thus reminds him to watch out for himself (and his partners).

In reply to:
Itエs illogical anyway, if he canエt be trusted to tie his own knot then Iエm not trusting his checking ability either!

What's illogical is the thought that it is possible for any of us to reach a state of mind where we are "100% correct", i.e. that we have eliminated the possibility of mistakes.

In reply to:
I have a simple rule to check my own knot when I reach down to clip the first piece and consider this the best habit to get into.

That's not a bad habit. If humans were capable of training ourselves to operate perfectly, then that would work every single time. But the brutal truth is that we are not capable of that. One simple distraction, or one bit of complacency due to over familiarity, is all it takes. No one is immune from that, not the gym climber, not the world class alpinist, not anyone.

I check my partners before they start up, and I ask that they do the same for me.


Partner j_ung


Oct 16, 2011, 5:20 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
patto wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
This really all comes down to partners checking partners

I politely disagree. First and foremost it comes down to the climber tying the knot properly. EVERY TIME. There are many situation where you can't have your partner check your knot or other item which your life depends on.

Your harness. Your knot. Your rope. Your anchor. All needs to be explicitly checked. The consequences for failure are obvious and great. Never let complacency creep in.

Partner checks? Well they're goo too. But 75% of my life critical decisions my partner isn't there to check.

Quite agree, I refuse to teach partner check as a concept for those reasons. I expect my partner to tie knots which I will be relying on when Iエm not there to check, same for building belays, setting up abseils in the dark and so on. Anything that removes any part of his responsibility to be 100% correct and double check himself is stupid and a system which promotes a culture of `itエs all right, someone else will checkエis doubly stupid.
Itエs illogical anyway, if he canエt be trusted to tie his own knot then Iエm not trusting his checking ability either!

I have a simple rule to check my own knot when I reach down to clip the first piece and consider this the best habit to get into.

I think I've agreed with or learned from close to 100% of your posts. This one's an exception. I really don't agree that doing a partner check creates some sort of invalid that can then no longer be relied upon to tie a knot without one. It's easy to do and has enormous potential benefits; case in point, this thread.

I certainly agree, however, with the point that a climber needs to be able focus long enough to complete simple tasks without interruption.


patto


Oct 16, 2011, 5:38 PM
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sandstone wrote:
Jim, a simple pre-climb check of your partner does not create in him a nanny mentality. It reminds him that he's fallible, and thus reminds him to watch out for himself (and his partners).

So what happens the other 75% of the time when your partner can't check your anchor/knots/protection?


superchuffer


Oct 16, 2011, 5:49 PM
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In reply to:
This really all comes down to partners checking partners

I politely disagree. First and foremost it comes down to the climber tying the knot properly. EVERY TIME. There are many situation where you can't have your partner check your knot or other item which your life depends on.

Your harness. Your knot. Your rope. Your anchor. All needs to be explicitly checked. The consequences for failure are obvious and great. Never let complacency creep in.

Partner checks? Well they're goo too. But 75% of my life critical decisions my partner isn't there to check.

Quite agree, I refuse to teach partner check as a concept for those reasons. I expect my partner to tie knots which I will be relying on when Iエm not there to check, same for building belays, setting up abseils in the dark and so on. Anything that removes any part of his responsibility to be 100% correct and double check himself is stupid and a system which promotes a culture of `itエs all right, someone else will checkエis doubly stupid.
Itエs illogical anyway, if he canエt be trusted to tie his own knot then Iエm not trusting his checking ability either!

I have a simple rule to check my own knot when I reach down to clip the first piece and consider this the best habit to get into.

checking your partner's knot is like looking in the rearview mirror when someone else is driving. sure, you should trust them implicitly, but you give a different perception, and hence an decreased margin of error.


sandstone


Oct 16, 2011, 6:33 PM
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Jim, I agree with j_ung's comment about your posts. Your posts are signal, not noise -- and you deliver them with an enjoyable wit. Thank you for that, and for all the info on your web site.


notapplicable


Oct 16, 2011, 6:45 PM
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patto wrote:
sandstone wrote:
Jim, a simple pre-climb check of your partner does not create in him a nanny mentality. It reminds him that he's fallible, and thus reminds him to watch out for himself (and his partners).

So what happens the other 75% of the time when your partner can't check your anchor/knots/protection?

1. The base of most popular crags have a pretty casual atmosphere with people coming and going, gearing up, beta swapping, planning dinner, etc... Generally speaking, those type of distractions don't exist during our solitary moments on the wall. Usually we just have the task at hand to focus on.

2. People are fallible and it seems foolish to willfully pass up the opportunity to insert redundancy in to critical tasks when possible.


vencido


Oct 16, 2011, 7:16 PM
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patto wrote:
So what happens the other 75% of the time when your partner can't check your anchor/knots/protection?

Many of the other tasks we do don't necessarily spell death if we screw them up.

But this one is so simple to check.
I think if you climb with enough people you will have seen a few folks forget to finish a knot or lock a carabiner.

The fact the Lynn Hill messed this up once tells me that I and my partners are not above making this same mistake.


bearbreeder


Oct 16, 2011, 7:23 PM
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ditto ... if lynn hill can screw up tying a knot ... anyone can ... at any time

no one is perfect ...


patto


Oct 16, 2011, 8:14 PM
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I have never said don't do partner checks. But if you think that they are necessary then I question the your own competence and reliability.

notapplicable wrote:
1. The base of most popular crags have a pretty casual atmosphere with people coming and going, gearing up, beta swapping, planning dinner, etc... Generally speaking, those type of distractions don't exist during our solitary moments on the wall. Usually we just have the task at hand to focus on.

If there is a casual atmosphere that is leading to distraction and mistakes then the solution isn't partner checks. Wink


(This post was edited by patto on Oct 16, 2011, 8:15 PM)


notapplicable


Oct 16, 2011, 8:30 PM
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patto wrote:
I have never said don't do partner checks. But if you think that they are necessary then I question the your own competence and reliability.

notapplicable wrote:
1. The base of most popular crags have a pretty casual atmosphere with people coming and going, gearing up, beta swapping, planning dinner, etc... Generally speaking, those type of distractions don't exist during our solitary moments on the wall. Usually we just have the task at hand to focus on.

If there is a casual atmosphere that is leading to distraction and mistakes then the solution isn't partner checks. Wink

Good luck negating human nature in it's entirity.


JimTitt


Oct 17, 2011, 1:34 AM
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The difficulty I and many others have is the emphasis being on buddy-checks (which is clear from the number of previous posts) whereas the emphasis must be on self-reliance, own control and concentrating on what one is doing.
When I watch beginner groups being taught to tie-in they check each others knots before they are even remotely competent to tie them which unconciously reinforces the reliance on others, leading to the ludicrous (and not so rare) situation that they lead their first route and canエt re-thread to lower because they arenエt sure of their knot.

My view is that the instructor should check they are tying the knot correctly as part of learning knots as a clearly seperated section of a climbing course, then the learner then tests his knot by hanging on it above a boulder mat. This reinforces in their minds the need to get it right every time.

Sadly the modern pressure on instructors to get the climber through the course and on the rock in the shortest possible time before the customers for this `adventure sportエ get bored means they have to teach methods well suited to climbing walls and simple sport climbing but utterly unsuitable for anything more challenging.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 17, 2011, 10:16 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
patto wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
This really all comes down to partners checking partners

I politely disagree. First and foremost it comes down to the climber tying the knot properly. EVERY TIME. There are many situation where you can't have your partner check your knot or other item which your life depends on.

Your harness. Your knot. Your rope. Your anchor. All needs to be explicitly checked. The consequences for failure are obvious and great. Never let complacency creep in.

Partner checks? Well they're goo too. But 75% of my life critical decisions my partner isn't there to check.

Quite agree, I refuse to teach partner check as a concept for those reasons. I expect my partner to tie knots which I will be relying on when Iエm not there to check, same for building belays, setting up abseils in the dark and so on. Anything that removes any part of his responsibility to be 100% correct and double check himself is stupid and a system which promotes a culture of `itエs all right, someone else will checkエis doubly stupid.
Itエs illogical anyway, if he canエt be trusted to tie his own knot then Iエm not trusting his checking ability either!

I have a simple rule to check my own knot when I reach down to clip the first piece and consider this the best habit to get into.

See bold above, as I hope I'm reading this wrong...

Already up on a route, reaching down to clip the first piece, seems like a bad time to double check your knot. I certainly wouldn't consider that a "best practice/habit" by any means. We preach redundancy in climbing, and having us instinctively double check each other IS a form of redundancy.

Imagine run-outs with the first bolt or piece above a lengthy slab section... Bad place to find your knot isn't up to par.


No offense... But if I were belaying you, or you me, and I tried to look at your harness and knot, or get you to look at mine, and you offered up resistance, I wouldn't climb with you.

The only person I wouldn't check a harness or knot on was Reardon, when he wasn't wearing one... When we tied in together, we checked each other.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 17, 2011, 10:26 AM)


JimTitt


Oct 17, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Since it doesnエt matter how good my knot is until I get to the first piece it seems as good a place as any (though I have a look before I start anyway) since there I can clip in and do something about it, this seems better than getting to the top and checking the hard way!

Donエt worry, I keep an alert eye out for all the stupidity and forgetfulness we all get up to when we are climbing and I will have looked at your tie-in out of the corner of my eye. What I wonエt do is encourage a system which thinks safety is a series of simple rules taking over for a healthy alertness of what one is doing and the dangers.

Iエm the one tying-in with the rethreaded bowline anyway so most buddy-check fans would be screwed to start with.

Jim


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 17, 2011, 11:17 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
Iエm the one tying-in with the rethreaded bowline anyway so most buddy-check fans would be screwed to start with.
That would be me... I can't check those knots, and in the few instances I've climbed with one who ties in with it, I can only ask them to double check it while I check their harness.



And question regarding checking your knot whilst making the first clip...
In reply to:
...since there I can clip in and do something about it...

How are you clipping in if your knot isn't any good? I'm trying to imagine up on a route, placing a stopper, biner/draw, then reaching down to clip and noticing that your knot is fuxored... Clipping in and weighting an unfinished knot doesn't sound like a good plan.


Edit... BTW, I again mean no offense... I'm just trying to follow your reasoning for actually not emphasizing another form of redundancy. I agree that we all need to know what we are doing, and be self relient when needed, but to purposely exclude this form of redundancy (buddy check) seems a bad choice, IMHO.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 17, 2011, 11:48 AM)


Gmburns2000


Oct 17, 2011, 12:36 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
I have a simple rule to check my own knot when I reach down to clip the first piece and consider this the best habit to get into.

I'm having a hard time seeing how this is better than checking it on the ground (regardless of your partner checking your knot). First piece is 20ft off the ground, it's not that solid but might hold a fall, moves are difficult to reverse back to the ground, etc.

I don't know, but on the route, just about anywhere beyond the first couple of moves, is probably the last place I want to find out my knot isn't finished. I'd much rather find out on the ground.


sandstone


Oct 17, 2011, 12:53 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
The difficulty I and many others have is the emphasis being on buddy-checks (which is clear from the number of previous posts) whereas the emphasis must be on self-reliance...beginner groups being taught to tie-in they check each others knots before they are even remotely competent to tie them which unconciously reinforces the reliance on others, leading to the ludicrous (and not so rare) situation that they lead their first route and canエt re-thread to lower because they arenエt sure of their knot...pressure on instructors to get the climber through the course and on the rock in the shortest possible time before the customers for this `adventure sportエ get bored...

Yikes, that IS bad. I see more of where you are coming from now.

Neither self reliance nor buddy checks are perfect, but given our fallible nature, we need both. Leave out one or the other, and we fall quite short of the best we can do for ourselves, and for our partners.


ACJ


Oct 17, 2011, 2:05 PM
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Hoping for a good recovery to the climber.

My thoughts on the accident and the whole buddy check debate:

1. Even the fact that it was an "off duty" guide looks poorly upon the ranch and it's staff. He had a radio on him at the time of the accident? That sounds like 1/2 duty or something to me... I think that as a guide (I am one myself) that you never really get an off day. Even when I'm out with my friends I understand that my training and experience alters their expectation of the day. That's just how it is. I wouldn't want to live a double life of checking knots one day and not the next.

2. Buddy checks... Why not? I grab my belayers attention and run the check every time. When I am climbing recreationally here is exactly what I say and I touch the system parts while doing it... "correctly tied knot through both loops autoback buckle (that's my side) climbers on top breaks on the bottom (reference to the belay device) locked and double buckle." That honestly takes less than 10 seconds to do and is just a part of the ritual of climbing for me. Touch is huge, if I don't touch the pieces then I'm not really checking. Some research was done on this to back up the whole touch thing... I also can't imagine any time that I can't slow down a system to do checks. Multipitch climbing we never untie. Cleaning an anchor, weigh the rope before unclipping after tying back in.

I think these checks enforce that we are a team, they don't breed complacency. Usually when you catch something wrong with your partners gear the look on their face is oh crap dude I am so sorry. It's embarrassing to screw up with your friends life in your hands. It's never, haha man on belay have fun!

A long time ago I started to feel as though climbing wasn't that much fun. It's climbing with my friends that I really enjoy. As a result, when I head to the crag I don't expect them to be on their own. We take care of each other. I honestly wouldn't want to climb if the mentality at the cliff was more about we're both on our own, we just happen to be sharing gear today...


sandstone


Oct 17, 2011, 3:40 PM
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I think two of the most dangerous mindsets in climbing are:

- Thinking you have enough control over yourself that you will not screw up.

- Being experienced and good.

The first is just a delusion, a situation that can only exist in our minds, not in reality. Cockiness is usually easy to spot, even online. A dose of reality, through making a mistake or two, or learning from someone else's, can go a long way toward resolving it.

The second is far more sinister. We normally think of those things as assets, things that will help protect us. Familiarity can breed complacency, which can lead to the tragic situation where even our brightest stars are taken down by blunders that can only be classified as beginner mistakes. Lynn Hill's close call due to an unfinished knot has already been mentioned. Todd Skinner knowingly chose to climb on a harness that was so worn that probably most noobs would have been scared to use it. Mugs Stump, one of the greatest alpinists ever, walked to an unstable crevasse edge with a bunch of slack in the rope -- a beginner mistake that cost him his life.

I'm not belittling those people -- far from it -- they are some of my heroes. I am truly awed by their accomplishments, and truly humbled that greatness did not protect them from even the simplest of dangers.

patto wrote:
I have never said don't do partner checks. But if you think that they are necessary then I question the your own competence and reliability.

If we ever share a rope I will welcome you to question my competence and reliability by asking you to give me a quick check before I head up. We can argue semantics, that buddy checks are not necessary (i.e. required, essential, or a necessity), but that is missing the point. No one can rise to a level that they cannot benefit from a simple buddy check. If you think you have, then you fall squarely into that first category.


Bats


Oct 17, 2011, 4:02 PM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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I am so sorry for this accident and wish well to the injured as well as the belayer. I have climb with my favorite guide for years, and we always go through the buddy check. He said that he goes through the check with his wife/partner of 20+ years. He told me that he knows too many experienced climbers that have made beginners' mistakes and ended up dead or severely injured.
I am so glad medical attention was given so fast consider where HCR is located in Arkansa.
Please keep us inform of the climber's well being.


(This post was edited by Bats on Oct 17, 2011, 7:05 PM)


majid_sabet


Oct 17, 2011, 5:28 PM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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There are reasons on why planes come with two seats in the front and why two pilots are required on most flights

one guy is to check and another guy to double check

both flying and climbing have one thing in common

gravity is their biggest enemy


superchuffer


Oct 17, 2011, 7:54 PM
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I am not hearing a counter argument for non-buddy checks. anyone?


JAB


Oct 18, 2011, 1:53 AM
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I think the main argument against buddy checks was that since you can't always do them, it's not fool-proof and thus not worth doing at all.

Besides the obvious counter-argument that some double checks are better than none, ACJ also raised the good counter-argument against the multi-pitch / rappel non-check argument. To reiterate: on multi-pitch you don't untie. On rappell, instead of the double check, you weigh the rope while still being tied into the anchor (with slings, PAS or whatever).

When starting up on lead you don't weigh the rope, so the double check is essential.


JimTitt


Oct 18, 2011, 3:15 AM
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rrrADAM wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
Iエm the one tying-in with the rethreaded bowline anyway so most buddy-check fans would be screwed to start with.
That would be me... I can't check those knots, and in the few instances I've climbed with one who ties in with it, I can only ask them to double check it while I check their harness.



And question regarding checking your knot whilst making the first clip...
In reply to:
...since there I can clip in and do something about it...

How are you clipping in if your knot isn't any good? I'm trying to imagine up on a route, placing a stopper, biner/draw, then reaching down to clip and noticing that your knot is fuxored... Clipping in and weighting an unfinished knot doesn't sound like a good plan.

One of the virtues of the rethreaded bowline is you will have checked the first knot when you thread back through again.

If youエre arriving at the first piece and you havenエt got anything to clip your harness into the gear then by definition a buddy check was rather irrelevant and needs to be expanded to cover a lot more than just the tie-in!

A healthy awareness of all the things around you and their potential to hurt is essential to climbing, learning safety rules by rote means anything outside of those rules is in danger of being ignored. Having a climbing partner who takes an alert interest in how you buckle your harness or tie-on amongst all the other things that we do is desirable but in no way a substitute for learning to do these things properly oneself.
As has been mentioned previously, your partner is not always with you and your survival depends on your own abilities and self-checks and this principle should never be diluted by learning to rely on an rule which is only sometimes effective.


rsmillbern


Oct 18, 2011, 3:54 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
Iエm the one tying-in with the rethreaded bowline anyway so most buddy-check fans would be screwed to start with.
That would be me... I can't check those knots, and in the few instances I've climbed with one who ties in with it, I can only ask them to double check it while I check their harness.



And question regarding checking your knot whilst making the first clip...
In reply to:
...since there I can clip in and do something about it...

How are you clipping in if your knot isn't any good? I'm trying to imagine up on a route, placing a stopper, biner/draw, then reaching down to clip and noticing that your knot is fuxored... Clipping in and weighting an unfinished knot doesn't sound like a good plan.

One of the virtues of the rethreaded bowline is you will have checked the first knot when you thread back through again.

If youエre arriving at the first piece and you havenエt got anything to clip your harness into the gear then by definition a buddy check was rather irrelevant and needs to be expanded to cover a lot more than just the tie-in!

A healthy awareness of all the things around you and their potential to hurt is essential to climbing, learning safety rules by rote means anything outside of those rules is in danger of being ignored. Having a climbing partner who takes an alert interest in how you buckle your harness or tie-on amongst all the other things that we do is desirable but in no way a substitute for learning to do these things properly oneself.
As has been mentioned previously, your partner is not always with you and your survival depends on your own abilities and self-checks and this principle should never be diluted by learning to rely on an rule which is only sometimes effective.

Just a couple comments. Only my opinion...

Every climber is responsible for their own safety, but also for the safety of their partner. This means, for me, checking their knots, harness, ect... However the this is not an excuse for my partner to be irresponsible and I won't climb with someone who is.

Checking the knot at the first clip sounds sketchy to me. I can think iof at least 2 climbs where the first bolt is 10-15 m up and the clip is from crappy holds (Stone Mtn, NC).

Rethreaded bowline, if your partner is using it you owe it to them to know how to check it. I only recently got comfortable checking this, but I feel like I owe it to my partner to learn that.

In reply to:
A healthy awareness of all the things around you and their potential to hurt is essential to climbing, learning safety rules by rote means anything outside of those rules is in danger of being ignored. Having a climbing partner who takes an alert interest in how you buckle your harness or tie-on amongst all the other things that we do is desirable but in no way a substitute for learning to do these things properly oneself.
As has been mentioned previously, your partner is not always with you and your survival depends on your own abilities and self-checks and this principle should never be diluted by learning to rely on an rule which is only sometimes effective.

Very nicely said!


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 18, 2011, 4:07 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
One of the virtues of the rethreaded bowline is you will have checked the first knot when you thread back through again.
Ummm... We can say the same thing about the fig 8 rethread, so this isn't a valid argument, especially given that a rethread fig 8 yields a neat symmetrical knot that is easily checked, even by a n00b, where a rethread bowline doesn't yield a knot with any symmetry.

In reply to:
If youエre arriving at the first piece and you havenエt got anything to clip your harness into the gear then by definition a buddy check was rather irrelevant and needs to be expanded to cover a lot more than just the tie-in!
I don't understand your answer here as it relates to your 'best practice' of checking your knot when you reach down to grap the rope to clip in to the first piece en route. If you, doing your best practice, find that your knot is bad, what are you going to clip into while UP (meaning there is now a potential fall DOWN associated with a bad knot) on a route? That was the question I asked.


Again... I agree that we need to know what we are doing, and we don't RELY on buddy-checks, but rather it is a form of redundancy that we can utilize when available, and it seems absurd, to me, to proactively discourage this, and to posit that a "better" way is to check your knot while up on a route.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 18, 2011, 5:24 AM)


patto


Oct 18, 2011, 5:29 AM
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Re: [sandstone] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Why stop at buddy checks. Why not have a third party come in a check. Why not fourth person checks?

How is your buddy checking you better than you checking yourself a second and a third time? Would two self checks equal a buddy check? What about three?

I check everything I do. I then check it again. I don't NEED a buddy check EVER. If I did then I shouldn't be climbing.

Am I infallible? No. But my failings aren't things that a token buddy check will pick up on.

If I am THAT worried about "redundancy" then I would climb on two separate alternating single ropes with independent belayers and backup belayers. Sure we can always improve safety, but 'buddy checks' are well down the list for me.

rrrADAM wrote:
Again... I agree that we need to know what we are doing, and we don't RELY on buddy-checks, but rather it is a form of redundancy that we can utilize when available, and it seems absurd, to me, to proactively discourage this, and to posit that a "better" way is to check your knot while up on a route.
Nobody is proactively discouraging buddy checks. And nobody is stating that a "better" way to check is up on a route.


(This post was edited by patto on Oct 18, 2011, 5:34 AM)


lena_chita
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Oct 18, 2011, 6:52 AM
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ACJ wrote:
2. Buddy checks... Why not? ...

I think these checks enforce that we are a team, they don't breed complacency. Usually when you catch something wrong with your partners gear the look on their face is oh crap dude I am so sorry. It's embarrassing to screw up with your friends life in your hands. It's never, haha man on belay have fun!

A long time ago I started to feel as though climbing wasn't that much fun. It's climbing with my friends that I really enjoy. As a result, when I head to the crag I don't expect them to be on their own. We take care of each other. I honestly wouldn't want to climb if the mentality at the cliff was more about we're both on our own, we just happen to be sharing gear today...

I just wanted to quote this because it was very well said!


sandstone


Oct 18, 2011, 7:59 AM
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patto wrote:
...I don't NEED a buddy check EVER. If I did then I shouldn't be climbing...

Patto, you're just as human as anyone else. I got a feeling it's going to be really hard for you to eat your humble pie when you make a simple yet potentially fatal blunder that you thought you were immune from. I hope for you and your partners that it's only "potentially" fatal.

In reply to:
...Nobody is proactively discouraging buddy checks....

That may not be the intent you and Jim have in your minds, but it's coming off that way in this forum. That's why so many have spoken up in favor of the practice.

If the dead had wifi there would be even more posts in support of buddy checks.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 18, 2011, 10:20 AM
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patto wrote:
Why stop at buddy checks. Why not have a third party come in a check. Why not fourth person checks?

How is your buddy checking you better than you checking yourself a second and a third time? Would two self checks equal a buddy check? What about three?

I check everything I do. I then check it again. I don't NEED a buddy check EVER. If I did then I shouldn't be climbing.

Am I infallible? No. But my failings aren't things that a token buddy check will pick up on.

If I am THAT worried about "redundancy" then I would climb on two separate alternating single ropes with independent belayers and backup belayers. Sure we can always improve safety, but 'buddy checks' are well down the list for me.

rrrADAM wrote:
Again... I agree that we need to know what we are doing, and we don't RELY on buddy-checks, but rather it is a form of redundancy that we can utilize when available, and it seems absurd, to me, to proactively discourage this, and to posit that a "better" way is to check your knot while up on a route.
Nobody is proactively discouraging buddy checks. And nobody is stating that a "better" way to check is up on a route.


Ummmmm.....
Jim wrote:
I have a simple rule to check my own knot when I reach down to clip the first piece and consider this the best habit to get into.
How do you read this? "best habbit", by definition, would be a habbit that is "better" than any other, hence the word BEST.

And....
In reply to:
...I refuse to teach partner check...
That is proactively refusing to teach (i.e., discourage) this. See, he doesn't just not teach it, but he does so proactively, as in, for a reason.



As for the rest of your post... Really?

[butt hurt?]

Stop taking oyurself so seriously, brutha... Nobody here is trying to chop anyone else down, so no need for egos to start sounding off.



To put it bluntly... What would YOU think better:

1. Your belay catching your knot wasn't finished BEFORE you blasted off.

2. You reaching down to make your first clip, 20' up over sketchy ground, finding your knot not quite right?


Or...

1. Before you blast off, finding your belayer's biner not locked and having them lock it.

2. Taking a fall 30' up and having your rope come out of the biner and ATC on your belayer's harness?



I eagerly await your answer?


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 18, 2011, 5:10 PM)


JimTitt


Oct 18, 2011, 11:04 AM
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rrrADAM wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
One of the virtues of the rethreaded bowline is you will have checked the first knot when you thread back through again.
Ummm... We can say the same thing about the fig 8 rethread, so this isn't a valid argument, especially given that a rethread fig 8 yields a neat symmetrical knot that is easily checked, even by a n00b, where a rethread bowline doesn't yield a knot with any symmetry.

In reply to:
If youエre arriving at the first piece and you havenエt got anything to clip your harness into the gear then by definition a buddy check was rather irrelevant and needs to be expanded to cover a lot more than just the tie-in!
I don't understand your answer here as it relates to your 'best practice' of checking your knot when you reach down to grap the rope to clip in to the first piece en route. If you, doing your best practice, find that your knot is bad, what are you going to clip into while UP (meaning there is now a potential fall DOWN associated with a bad knot) on a route? That was the question I asked.


Again... I agree that we need to know what we are doing, and we don't RELY on buddy-checks, but rather it is a form of redundancy that we can utilize when available, and it seems absurd, to me, to proactively discourage this, and to posit that a "better" way is to check your knot while up on a route.

On a rethreaded fig 8 the first 8 has no function whatsoever and the rethreeading has to be completed to achieve a functioning knot. This you may wish to get checked since a failure to complete all the steps may be fatal. With a rethreaded bowline the first bowline is a functional tie-in and by rethreading you both enhance the security and strength of the knot and check the first was correctly tied. It is also easily recognisable as a bowline to any competent climber with a basic knowledge of knots.

The first clip is the first time your knot (good or bad) will be of any use to you and the first clip is the first opportunity you have to clip into the piece with the entire rest of your rack, sit back, reflect and make corrections. Or climb back down. This is better than checking the hard way at the top.

You are correct in that I am actively against the teaching of the buddy check system as a primary safety goal in climbing, it is my opinion that it must be correctly put into the wider context of safety and not taught as a simpe, catch-all solution.
Clearly, according to the account above a culture which depends on buddy checking even involving climbing professionals has its drawbacks and is not 100% safe since nobody appears to have noticed the check was missed.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 18, 2011, 11:11 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
It is also easily recognisable as a bowline to any competent climber with a basic knowledge of knots.
Then I must be an incompetent climber, as I could not recognize if a bowline were tied corectly or not, as I have little use for the knot... And get this, I sail too, quite a bit, and still don't use that knot.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 18, 2011, 11:12 AM)


Partner j_ung


Oct 18, 2011, 12:14 PM
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patto wrote:
Nobody is proactively discouraging buddy checks. And nobody is stating that a "better" way to check is up on a route.

Are we reading the same thread?


Partner j_ung


Oct 18, 2011, 12:17 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
You are correct in that I am actively against the teaching of the buddy check system as a primary safety goal in climbing, it is my opinion that it must be correctly put into the wider context of safety and not taught as a simpe, catch-all solution.

Now that I agree with.

In reply to:
Clearly, according to the account above a culture which depends on buddy checking even involving climbing professionals has its drawbacks and is not 100% safe since nobody appears to have noticed the check was missed.

And that I don't understand. Are you saying that buddy checking is fallible because we may forget to do it?


(This post was edited by j_ung on Oct 18, 2011, 12:19 PM)


sandstone


Oct 18, 2011, 1:46 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
... I am actively against the teaching of the buddy check system as a primary safety goal in climbing...

"Primary" is the critical word. I don't think anybody is advocating that the buddy check be the primary method of safety. Certainly no one in this thread has said that. I think we can all agree that the primary responsibility for safety falls on yourself.

You feel that buddy checks erode that sense of personal responsibility. I'm happy (and I think many others are also) to leave it that we just disagree on that point.

ACJ's post hit that nail right on the head.

In reply to:
... it must be correctly put into the wider context of safety and not taught as a simpe, catch-all solution.

It sounds like you have seen some very sloppy guiding/teaching, but were they actually teaching that the buddy check is the primary safety method? I find that hard to fathom.

In reply to:
...Clearly, according to the account above a culture which depends on buddy checking even involving climbing professionals has its drawbacks and is not 100% safe since nobody appears to have noticed the check was missed.

Jim I really think you're off in the weeds with your assertion that there is "a culture which depends on buddy checking". No such culture exists. People do use buddy checks as a safety technique, but to say there is a culture which depends on it is distorting reality.

The closest thing I can think of to that "culture" would be a group of newbies out on their own for their first outings. They're going to be checking themselves, re-checking, checking each other, double checking, triple checking -- and rightly so.

As they get better and gain experience, that culture of checking will undoubtedly diminish. One day, one of them may forget to check their own knot before they leave the ground. That does not mean they are incompetent or dangerous, it just means they are human -- a simple distraction is all it takes.

Hence the buddy check, where we are honest with each other about our fallible human natures, and we help each other out when we can.


Partner drector


Oct 18, 2011, 2:25 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
There are reasons on why planes come with two seats in the front and why two pilots are required on most flights

one guy is to check and another guy to double check

both flying and climbing have one thing in common

gravity is their biggest enemy

NO! The co-pilot is there because a large plane that requires two pilots has enough work to do that one person can't do it alone inthe time required to get things done. It is NOT because one guy checks the other although there is some amount of working together to be more efficient at a single task like going over checklists. It is quicker to have one guy read a checklist and the other check things, than to have one guy both read and check things while the other sits around waiting. It is about efficiency, not redundancy.

Except in the situation where one of the pilots eats the fish.

In a slower plane with one engine, the FAA has no problem requiring only a single pilot. I know this from experience as I have a private pilot license for S.E.L.

The requirements of a lone pilot in a smaller single engine plane are much higher than the requirements of a rock climber tying in and climbing a trad pitch. Procedures, actions, communications, etc., are all much more complex and numerous in actions as compared to climbing. The difference is that the pilot works very hard to learn the proper way to do things and does them without compromise less they die in a fiery crash. Climbers just go out and climb and many are not taught about how serious their inaction might be if they screw up.

Dave


Partner robdotcalm


Oct 18, 2011, 2:40 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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"JimTitt wrote:
The first clip is the first time your knot (good or bad) will be of any use to you and the first clip is the first opportunity you have to clip into the piece with the entire rest of your rack, sit back, reflect and make corrections. Or climb back down. This is better than checking the hard way at the top..

I can't believe you are serious about this. You're 8 meters up and about to make the first clip and find that your knot is bad so you "sit back" or down climb. Both are potentially dangerous options.

Rob.calm


JimTitt


Oct 18, 2011, 2:51 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Buddy checks are clearly a good idea if they are done by someone competent to check, if there is someone there to do them and if they are actually done. The rest of the time they are clearly worthless as we have seen.


majid_sabet


Oct 18, 2011, 3:17 PM
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Re: [drector] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Dave

I got my FAA A&P in 1986 and worked around and against the safety rules too many times and yet, most of the problem I see in climing in from climbers turning their autopilot switch on and assume that the other person knows what he /she is doing or system is safe. these sort of assumption has been hurting many climbers.


patto


Oct 18, 2011, 3:44 PM
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Re: [drector] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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drector wrote:
The difference is that the pilot works very hard to learn the proper way to do things and does them without compromise less they die in a fiery crash. Climbers just go out and climb and many are not taught about how serious their inaction might be if they screw up.

If that is the case, and in many situations I believe it is, then the solution isn't to introduce buddy checks.

If the problem is complacency then the solution isn't another complacent person check 25% of the life critical aspects.


socalclimber


Oct 18, 2011, 5:20 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Self reliance is a very important thing. I agree with it.

To forgo basic safety checks between partners is just plain stupid.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 18, 2011, 5:22 PM
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Re: [JimTitt] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
Buddy checks are clearly a good idea if they are done by someone competent to check, if there is someone there to do them and if they are actually done. The rest of the time they are clearly worthless as we have seen.

Again, no offense here, but as we have seen, not using the buddy check contributed to this accident...

What started this thread was a climber who fell when climbing with a GUIDE as a belay, who did NOT check her knot before she left the ground. You stated that you purposely do not teach the use of buddy checks, thus non was done... I would not say that the buddy check was worthless in this situation, as it would most likely have averted this entire situation.

Good to see you are coming around to understanding that buddy checks are a good thing, when added as another link... I.e., redundancy

I hope that you will consider teaching it as a "good practice"... To be honest, I cannot think of ANY reason to not encourage people to check one another as an additional layer of safety. It can only add to safety, not detract from it. Conversely, to proactively avoid it, or purposely NOT TEACH it, seems reckless.

Again... "Redundancy"... In climbing, it's a good thing.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 18, 2011, 5:48 PM)


sandstone


Oct 18, 2011, 5:41 PM
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Re: [patto] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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drector wrote:
The difference is that the pilot works very hard to learn the proper way to do things and does them without compromise less they die in a fiery crash. Climbers just go out and climb and many are not taught about how serious their inaction might be if they screw up.

patto wrote:
If that is the case, and in many situations I believe it is, then the solution isn't to introduce buddy checks.

If the problem is complacency then the solution isn't another complacent person check 25% of the life critical aspects.

What is your approach Patto? Best I can tell, you think it is possible to operate at a level of 100% perfection, where you can never make a mistake. Airplane pilots never reach that level, even with hundreds of hours of training. There are graves (many of them filled with passengers who died due to simple pilot errors) to prove that point.

No one has said that buddy checks are a solution to everything -- that would be ridiculous. Of course buddy checks can't help you all the time, because many times no buddy is there. Those are hollow arguments you are making.

If a quick and simple buddy check will give me and my partners a better chance at avoiding a few potentially fatal mistakes, then that's what I'm going to do. I would be a fool not to.


patto


Oct 18, 2011, 6:09 PM
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Re: [rrrADAM] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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rrrADAM wrote:
Again, no offense here, but as we have seen, not using the buddy check contributed to this accident...

Not tying ones knot properly contributed to this accident. Not checking ones own knot contributed to the accident. To blame it on buddy check is a joke.

sandstone wrote:
What is your approach Patto?

I concentrate on what I am doing. I check myself. I check myself again. And I check myself.

How is having a buddy check me once for a small aspect of my climbing better than having me check myself multiple times for ALL aspects of my climbing?


Anyway. If people want to do buddy checks then that is fine with me. I'm not stopping you. Every little bit can improve safety. In my opinion there are more important aspects to focus on.


(This post was edited by patto on Oct 18, 2011, 6:11 PM)


socalclimber


Oct 18, 2011, 8:06 PM
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Re: [patto] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Again, no offense here, but as we have seen, not using the buddy check contributed to this accident...

Not tying ones knot properly contributed to this accident. Not checking ones own knot contributed to the accident. To blame it on buddy check is a joke.


I don't even know how to respond to this. There's clearly no point after that statement.


notapplicable


Oct 18, 2011, 8:23 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
patto wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Again, no offense here, but as we have seen, not using the buddy check contributed to this accident...

Not tying ones knot properly contributed to this accident. Not checking ones own knot contributed to the accident. To blame it on buddy check is a joke.


I don't even know how to respond to this. There's clearly no point after that statement.

It all strikes me as something of a romantic ideal that no one here stands a chance of achieving it.

As I said before, spitting in to the headwinds of human nature has a long and storied history of not working out so well for those doing the spitting. I wish them the best of luck though!


bearbreeder


Oct 18, 2011, 8:34 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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the simple fact is that a simple buddy check COULD have saved the person from screwing up ...

it takes a few seconds, and has no costs except to ones ego if they get caught messing up ... either way anyone who has mistied a knot, or threaded through the rope through only one loop is grateful for their partner pointing it out

this includes myself having put the rope through the lower tie in loop, if it wasnt caught, i would have inverted

complacency kills, and no one is perfect all the time ...


jt512


Oct 18, 2011, 8:50 PM
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Re: [drector] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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drector wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
There are reasons on why planes come with two seats in the front and why two pilots are required on most flights

one guy is to check and another guy to double check

both flying and climbing have one thing in common

gravity is their biggest enemy

NO! The co-pilot is there because a large plane that requires two pilots has enough work to do that one person can't do it alone inthe time required to get things done. It is NOT because one guy checks the other although there is some amount of working together to be more efficient at a single task like going over checklists. It is quicker to have one guy read a checklist and the other check things, than to have one guy both read and check things while the other sits around waiting. It is about efficiency, not redundancy.

Except in the situation where one of the pilots eats the fish.

In a slower plane with one engine, the FAA has no problem requiring only a single pilot. I know this from experience as I have a private pilot license for S.E.L.

And your Private亡EL license makes you qualified to discuss cockpit management in a commercial airliner? Who knew! I have a Private, SEL, MEL, IA, and I had no idea was I was qualified on that subject!

Jay


patto


Oct 18, 2011, 10:13 PM
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Re: Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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SIGH.

An argument for "more safety" is an easy one to make and a hard one to refute. But the fact remains the comes a point where we cannot take on every safety concept. If we did so we wouldn't even leave the ground let alone take on the sport.

Nobody has begun to answer the hard questions of why they insist on buddy checking when personal checking is largely identical with a stronger vested interest. Not to mention that most life critical decisions can't get buddy checked.

But no there is a mindless mantra that buddy checking will save personal mistakes which meanwhile breeds the very complacency that causes such accidents. Crazy


jt512


Oct 19, 2011, 1:15 AM
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Re: [patto] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
Nobody has begun to answer the hard questions of why they insist on buddy checking when personal checking is largely identical with a stronger vested interest.

*raises hand* Because if I mis-tie my knot, and forget to check it, my partner might catch my mistake.

In reply to:
Not to mention that most life critical decisions can't get buddy checked.

Fallacy of irrelevance.

In reply to:
But no there is a mindless mantra that buddy checking will save personal mistakes which meanwhile breeds the very complacency that causes such accidents. Crazy

Data to show that buddy checks in climbing increase complacency?

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Oct 19, 2011, 11:57 AM)


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 19, 2011, 4:05 AM
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Re: [jt512] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Your sig is appropriate, Jay. Wink


ACJ


Oct 19, 2011, 5:45 AM
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Re: [patto] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
Nobody has begun to answer the hard questions of why they insist on buddy checking when personal checking is largely identical with a stronger vested interest. Not to mention that most life critical decisions can't get buddy checked. Crazy

I'll answer that hard question... Climbing is an inherently chaotic activity. When we leave the ground we are engaging in a very unique and in some ways difficult to predict form of recreation. We don't always know the rock will hold, where the gear is at, how hard the catch of a fall will be, or even what the movement will feel like, how our body will respond, or what our mind is going to be doing during the climb.

This chaos, although I don't talk about it much, is a big part of what is attractive to me and other folks in climbing. It's what makes it adventurous. That's why when I feel shaky on lead I'll top rope a few routes to allow my mind to relax, stop calculating variables, and just engage in the outrageously low risk situation of top roping.

In an attempt to control this chaos, we have all this crazy new gear, harnesses, ropes, helmets and super sticky shoes. There are also new belay techniques and devices to ensure the best belay. All of these things attempt to control chaos. Even look at the double backed buckle... There are TONS of people who have forgotten to double back. I even saw a video of a guy taking a horrible lead fall on ice that resulted in multiple fractures, even a broken skull while wearing a helmet. His harness wasn't double backed though, and it didn't slip at all (falling from the top of the route almost to the ground). Yet, we don't advocate not doubling back right?

When we store our gear, we don't treat it like crap, leave it in a moldy basement corner, weave our rope into a rug for the off season, or soak in in battery acid, only to bust it back out a year later at the crag. Gear that is dropped gets replaced. Gear that is old gets retired.

I do all this stuff and I'm willing to bet that most people who are avid climbers do a lot of the things I mentioned, have experienced some of these thoughts, and have the new gear.

So why do I insist on buddy checks? It's just one more simple way to control the chaos of climbing. There is no way I would look to my best friend lying there in the dirt next to me after taking an 80 foot fall from an anchor and think "idiot, should have checked his knot." I would expect that there is plenty of guilt in the guides heart that he didn't check his friend, just as I would have if I blew it in such a terrible way.

Buddy checks are great and I don't think there is a legit argument against them. If you don't want to use them that's fine, I bet your partners feel the same way. I do however think it's irresponsible to advocate in any way against them.

Several times during this thread I've heard the whole

"Not to mention that most life critical decisions can't get buddy checked." comment.

What decisions are these? Perhaps I do a different style of climbing compared to you or others but I don't face that many dramatic "life critical" situations in climbing. Both climbers on the ground is a life critical point, covered by the buddy check. Cleaning an anchor, test the system, aka buddy check from a distance. On lead, buddy watches the rope around my leg and gives me a heads up. Other than that I can only think that leading an entire route runout on manky gear is really "life critical" and out of my buddies hand from the ground. Yet, my buddy should know me well enough to say that I shouldn't be leading in that situation, so again a buddy check. Perhaps if you can expand upon this category of decisions I'll have more clarity into what you have to say. Honestly though, I have my systems dialed in and have NEVER felt like I had to make a life critical decision completely on my own in climbing.


jakedatc


Oct 19, 2011, 6:23 AM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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robdotcalm wrote:
"JimTitt wrote:
The first clip is the first time your knot (good or bad) will be of any use to you and the first clip is the first opportunity you have to clip into the piece with the entire rest of your rack, sit back, reflect and make corrections. Or climb back down. This is better than checking the hard way at the top..

I can't believe you are serious about this. You're 8 meters up and about to make the first clip and find that your knot is bad so you "sit back" or down climb. Both are potentially dangerous options.

Rob.calm


Ok, Both you and Adam are missing the fact that you can clip in direct with a quick draw, sling, etc that should be on your harness... especially if it's a sport route. If it's a trad route then you'd hope you have a decent piece for your first piece but a marginal piece at a good stance would be enough to re-tie a knot.


kappydane


Oct 19, 2011, 6:51 AM
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Given that it's a good thing to do buddy checks. Hard to argue against BUT have all of you done it 100% of the time? Your buddy is on top rope, you turn around to get a drink, they turn around and make a move or two up the rock while you finish your drink. Did you check their knot? You weren't there so you don't know what happened at the start. Now all you perfect people: Do you watch your leader 100% of the time? Do you notice every time his leg is behind the rope, every time he back clips? Have you ever let the loop of slack get a little too long? Have you ever short roped your leader? Do you carry on conversations while belaying? He is your responsibility, right? Can you argue against paying attention 100% of the time while belaying? If not, then you are a bit self-righteous with a type of momentary inattention we may have all, unfortunately, done to some degree in the past.


patto


Oct 19, 2011, 7:51 AM
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Re: [ACJ] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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ACJ wrote:
Climbing is an inherently chaotic activity.

Chaotic activity?

Wow that is a bizarre notion. Certainly along way from the climbing I know. The climbing I know involves calculated thought and control of ones environment. Compare to most sports this climbing is a long way from chaotic.

But thats just me.


sandstone


Oct 19, 2011, 8:27 AM
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patto wrote:
Chaotic activity? Wow that is a bizarre notion...

By definition it is chaotic. There's no need to try to explain that further, ACJ laid it out quite clearly.

In reply to:
Certainly along way from the climbing I know. The climbing I know involves calculated thought and control of ones environment.

It's already pretty clear you think you can overcome your basic human nature. Now you are saying you can control the environment you climb in. I'm sorry dude, but both of those are truly bizarre notions. You can exercise some level of control, but never enough to completely overcome the chaos that is natural (both human nature and the natural environment we live in).

In reply to:
But thats just me.

Apparently so. I sincerely wish you the best of luck. You're gonna need it.


ACJ


Oct 19, 2011, 8:37 AM
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patto wrote:
ACJ wrote:
Climbing is an inherently chaotic activity.

Chaotic activity?

Wow that is a bizarre notion. Certainly along way from the climbing I know. The climbing I know involves calculated thought and control of ones environment. Compare to most sports this climbing is a long way from chaotic.

But thats just me.

Your answer makes me smile.


vencido


Oct 19, 2011, 9:05 AM
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patto wrote:
I concentrate on what I am doing. I check myself. I check myself again. And I check myself.

Patto,
If I were to ever climb with you, I would check you for the fourth time.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 19, 2011, 9:29 AM
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jakedatc wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
"JimTitt wrote:
The first clip is the first time your knot (good or bad) will be of any use to you and the first clip is the first opportunity you have to clip into the piece with the entire rest of your rack, sit back, reflect and make corrections. Or climb back down. This is better than checking the hard way at the top..

I can't believe you are serious about this. You're 8 meters up and about to make the first clip and find that your knot is bad so you "sit back" or down climb. Both are potentially dangerous options.

Rob.calm


Ok, Both you and Adam are missing the fact that you can clip in direct with a quick draw, sling, etc that should be on your harness... especially if it's a sport route. If it's a trad route then you'd hope you have a decent piece for your first piece but a marginal piece at a good stance would be enough to re-tie a knot.

Actually, I wasn't missing that... I was wondering if he would commit to statically "anchoring into one piece", and hanging from it while retying his knot. And if the counter was, 'well hey... we all do this if we hang or fall on the first piece', there is a reason we don't build anchors with just one piece.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 19, 2011, 9:29 AM)


durangoclimber


Oct 19, 2011, 9:34 AM
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Is there any word on her condition?


JimTitt


Oct 19, 2011, 9:48 AM
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I was born in 1952, not yesterday.

Jim


jakedatc


Oct 19, 2011, 9:59 AM
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rrrADAM wrote:
jakedatc wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
"JimTitt wrote:
The first clip is the first time your knot (good or bad) will be of any use to you and the first clip is the first opportunity you have to clip into the piece with the entire rest of your rack, sit back, reflect and make corrections. Or climb back down. This is better than checking the hard way at the top..

I can't believe you are serious about this. You're 8 meters up and about to make the first clip and find that your knot is bad so you "sit back" or down climb. Both are potentially dangerous options.

Rob.calm


Ok, Both you and Adam are missing the fact that you can clip in direct with a quick draw, sling, etc that should be on your harness... especially if it's a sport route. If it's a trad route then you'd hope you have a decent piece for your first piece but a marginal piece at a good stance would be enough to re-tie a knot.

Actually, I wasn't missing that... I was wondering if he would commit to statically "anchoring into one piece", and hanging from it while retying his knot. And if the counter was, 'well hey... we all do this if we hang or fall on the first piece', there is a reason we don't build anchors with just one piece.

I'll hang off a bolt at a major sport crag all day.. you don't make a sport anchor out of one bolt but you'll hang dog up a route while working it.. same amount of hanging if not less.

sunday i was rapping off a trad route and realized my ends weren't even.. i stopped on a ledge, placed a piece, clipped in and fixed it. 1 cam, good ledge.

For me, I try to check my knot by pulling a foot or so from the knot to see that it's tied and is through both tie in points. I also tie in from top down so that even if i miss the 2nd tie in i'm through the waist belt not the leg loops. There are plenty of times, especially cleaning anchors where you are not able to be double checked. backup when it's available.. sure.. but habit and repetition should have you checking yourself. Also when able, I feed a bight of rope through the rings/links and use a fig 8 on bight and locker instead of untying.

as it relates to this thread.. if you are bringing out a noobie then you should be checking them and if they are out of sight confirming everything before they weight the rope.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 19, 2011, 11:24 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
I was born in 1952, not yesterday.

Jim

I know, Jim... It is apparent that you are knowledgeable.


Partner drector


Oct 19, 2011, 3:45 PM
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rrrADAM wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
Buddy checks are clearly a good idea if they are done by someone competent to check, if there is someone there to do them and if they are actually done. The rest of the time they are clearly worthless as we have seen.

Again, no offense here, but as we have seen, not using the buddy check contributed to this accident...

What started this thread was a climber who fell when climbing with a GUIDE as a belay, who did NOT check her knot before she left the ground. You stated that you purposely do not teach the use of buddy checks, thus non was done... I would not say that the buddy check was worthless in this situation, as it would most likely have averted this entire situation.

Good to see you are coming around to understanding that buddy checks are a good thing, when added as another link... I.e., redundancy

I hope that you will consider teaching it as a "good practice"... To be honest, I cannot think of ANY reason to not encourage people to check one another as an additional layer of safety. It can only add to safety, not detract from it. Conversely, to proactively avoid it, or purposely NOT TEACH it, seems reckless.

Again... "Redundancy"... In climbing, it's a good thing.

"not using the buddy check contributed to this accident..."

Really?

Hypothetically, getting in my car this morning contributed to my being in a car accident, as did talking to my wife for five minutes longer than I might have, but I'm not going to change that aspect of my life. I will change the fact that I made a left turn in from of oncoming traffic by not doing it again!

Failing to tie in was a mistake.

I would agree however that a guide in a teaching situation who does not check their client is 100% at fault in any accident. For climbers in a partner-partner situation, each person is one their own and checking the other person is secondary to doing things right and double-checking yourself.

Or is the buddy check for non-guide situations now another rule of climbing? I climb to get away from rules and oversight.

Dave


Partner robdotcalm


Oct 19, 2011, 5:07 PM
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JimTitt wrote:
I was born in 1952, not yesterday.

Jim

Big deal! I was born in 1930.

Robertus Vetus


jt512


Oct 19, 2011, 5:47 PM
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robdotcalm wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
I was born in 1952, not yesterday.

Jim

Big deal! I was born in 1930.

Robertus Vetus

^^^^^^^^^

Rob's so old that at the time of his birth people were still actually speaking Latin.

Jay


socalclimber


Oct 19, 2011, 7:29 PM
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jt512 wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
I was born in 1952, not yesterday.

Jim

Big deal! I was born in 1930.

Robertus Vetus

^^^^^^^^^

Rob's so old that at the time of his birth people were still actually speaking Latin.

Jay

This accident was pure and simple partnership failure. Don't like it, don't climb with partners. Just solo.


Partner robdotcalm


Oct 19, 2011, 7:41 PM
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jakedatc wrote:
sunday i was rapping off a trad route and realized my ends weren't even.. i stopped on a ledge, placed a piece, clipped in and fixed it. 1 cam, good ledge.

It creates an unnecessary danger lowering the ropes so that the ends are not even. There's no excuse for doing that. Minimally, it's inefficient, and maximally sets the stage for a serious accident. Of course, one should know how to fix uneven ends while hanging in space during a rappel without the benfit of a convenient ledge and gear placements.

rob.calm


bearbreeder


Oct 19, 2011, 10:00 PM
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as long as its through rings or biners ... all one has to do is grab the short end tightly and feed the long end through the respective atc grove ... self lower till the ends are even ...

helps if there are knots in the rope so you dun die
Wink


patto


Oct 20, 2011, 12:26 AM
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socalclimber wrote:
This accident was pure and simple partnership failure. Don't like it, don't climb with partners. Just solo.

Pure and simply false.


socalclimber


Oct 20, 2011, 2:40 AM
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A simple backup check of the knot would have been enough to prevent this.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 20, 2011, 4:04 AM
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Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

Would you appreciate it?

Pumped before an overhanging crux, you place a solid piece but backclip the rope... Would you appreciate your belayer or climber in another group letting you know this before you get into the crux? (buddy check)


jakedatc


Oct 20, 2011, 5:49 AM
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robdotcalm wrote:
jakedatc wrote:
sunday i was rapping off a trad route and realized my ends weren't even.. i stopped on a ledge, placed a piece, clipped in and fixed it. 1 cam, good ledge.

It creates an unnecessary danger lowering the ropes so that the ends are not even. There's no excuse for doing that. Minimally, it's inefficient, and maximally sets the stage for a serious accident. Of course, one should know how to fix uneven ends while hanging in space during a rappel without the benfit of a convenient ledge and gear placements.

rob.calm

no shit, i didn't do it on purpose. I took much more care the rest of the weekend on that rope (no middle mark) to tie knots and feed the ends together more carefully. trust me i was not happy with how it went.


socalclimber


Oct 20, 2011, 10:22 AM
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jakedatc wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
jakedatc wrote:
sunday i was rapping off a trad route and realized my ends weren't even.. i stopped on a ledge, placed a piece, clipped in and fixed it. 1 cam, good ledge.

It creates an unnecessary danger lowering the ropes so that the ends are not even. There's no excuse for doing that. Minimally, it's inefficient, and maximally sets the stage for a serious accident. Of course, one should know how to fix uneven ends while hanging in space during a rappel without the benfit of a convenient ledge and gear placements.

rob.calm

no shit, i didn't do it on purpose. I took much more care the rest of the weekend on that rope (no middle mark) to tie knots and feed the ends together more carefully. trust me i was not happy with how it went.

Granted it was a less than optimal situation, but at least you caught the mistake and fixed it. Therefore you're still alive.


Partner j_ung


Oct 20, 2011, 11:35 AM
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patto wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
This accident was pure and simple partnership failure. Don't like it, don't climb with partners. Just solo.

Pure and simply false.

While I actively disagree with anybody in this thread who says buddy checks are worthless, I agree with this statement, patto. The lack of a buddy check was certainly not the root cause of this accident.


erisspirit


Oct 20, 2011, 12:08 PM
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j_ung wrote:
patto wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
This accident was pure and simple partnership failure. Don't like it, don't climb with partners. Just solo.

Pure and simply false.

While I actively disagree with anybody in this thread who says buddy checks are worthless, I agree with this statement, patto. The lack of a buddy check was certainly not the root cause of this accident.

I tend to agree with this too. While I do partner checks, and do not find them worthless, if I tie my knot wrong and I don't catch it, that's my fault. I do however think that having a quick partner check doesn't take a lot of extra time, and it could have caught the climbers mistake before it became and accident.


hyhuu


Oct 20, 2011, 12:37 PM
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j_ung wrote:
patto wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
This accident was pure and simple partnership failure. Don't like it, don't climb with partners. Just solo.

Pure and simply false.

While I actively disagree with anybody in this thread who says buddy checks are worthless, I agree with this statement, patto. The lack of a buddy check was certainly not the root cause of this accident.

This.


Rocquestar


Oct 20, 2011, 8:43 PM
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Buddy Checks...

When I, as the climber, consider the buddy check as part of the routine, it leads to complacency, since it gives me a 'safety' that is my partner's responsibility, not mine. So, if I don't get it right, that's okay. (forgive me for spelling out what may be an obvious cause of complacency)

As a belayer, it is my responsibility to ensure that my rigging, device, etc., is configured properly for belaying before I tell my partner that (s)he is on belay. I do not rely on buddy check, but should my partner wish to check my setup, I welcome it.

As a climber, it is completely reasonable that I would check my belayer's setup, when possible. However, if my partner *requires* that I 'buddy check' them, they are relying on me to validate their setup, and they have the same potential for complacency.

The buddy check is, I think, not a bad thing to do, but making it a taught part of the routine is where lies the problem.

By all means, double-check your partner's setup/knot, but take responsibility for that for which you are responsible.


JAB


Oct 20, 2011, 11:39 PM
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Rocquestar wrote:
When I, as the climber, consider the buddy check as part of the routine, it leads to complacency, since it gives me a 'safety' that is my partner's responsibility, not mine. So, if I don't get it right, that's okay. (forgive me for spelling out what may be an obvious cause of complacency)

Actually, I think it is exactly the opposite. Humans are social beings, and the fear of being embarrased is quite strong. In a buddy check context, it means that you unconciously will check your own knot extra well, since you don't want to face the embarrasment of your buddy seeing you screw up.


patto


Oct 21, 2011, 12:11 AM
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If fear of embarrassment is stronger than your fear of death or serious injury then your need to reassess your approach to climbing.

I check my knot and my systems multiple times. My own paranoia has me looking down at my knot, my harness, my belayer and my gear at the first whiff of exposure. I check my anchor several times before it is weighted.


JAB


Oct 21, 2011, 6:46 AM
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Isn't this the same as why solo climbers feel strongly about only climbing alone. I often see them argue that if they'd solo with their buddies around, there is a much larger risk of them starting up stuff they shouldn't climb in the first place.

I don't know about you, but I don't fear imminent death when tying my knot, nor when starting up the climb. That feeling can creep up when runout over sketchy gear, but if I feared death when safely on the ground I would not even start the climb.


bearbreeder


Oct 21, 2011, 7:04 AM
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theres a very simple selfish reason one should do buddy checks IMO ... if your buddy misses something, falls and gets hurt .. youre up shiets creek and at best need to call in the SAR chopper, at worst needs to self rescue leaving all your shiet behind ...and at the very worst, make plans to attend a funeral, god forbid

now we all know and like to believe that the people we climb with will never make mistakes ...ever ... accident reports suggest otherwise

you are responsible for your own checks, but theres absolutely no reason to not check the other persons as well ... at least until REAL data comes forth about checks reducing safety ...


viciado


Oct 21, 2011, 8:04 AM
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rrrADAM wrote:
Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

... etc.

Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management. This is what I hear Jim Titt arguing. There are several normally occurring scenarios in relation to your examples in which a buddy cannot see the rope ends or what you are doing on the wall. I certainly appreciate it when someone calls those things to my attention. However, it is still my reposnibility to have my "stuff" together.

Best practice (as opposed to good prcatice) is to avoid needing the buddy check altogether. Anyone who has climbed for long enough can easily document cases in which a buddy has caught potentially fatal errors. In any of those cases, we would each have said "oops" because we failed in our Best Practice of self-check. Yes, we make mistakes, but the buddy system should be considered good practice as a secondary system to a best practice primary system in which we are individually responsible to check, re-check and final check. Best practice avoids the possibly false assumption that "someone has your back."


JAB


Oct 21, 2011, 8:41 AM
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viciado wrote:
Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management.

I don't know where you got the strange idea that someone claimed the buddy check is the first line of risk management. At least nobody in this thread has ever claimed that.


Partner j_ung


Oct 21, 2011, 10:58 AM
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viciado wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

... etc.

Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management. This is what I hear Jim Titt arguing. There are several normally occurring scenarios in relation to your examples in which a buddy cannot see the rope ends or what you are doing on the wall. I certainly appreciate it when someone calls those things to my attention. However, it is still my reposnibility to have my "stuff" together.

Best practice (as opposed to good prcatice) is to avoid needing the buddy check altogether. Anyone who has climbed for long enough can easily document cases in which a buddy has caught potentially fatal errors. In any of those cases, we would each have said "oops" because we failed in our Best Practice of self-check. Yes, we make mistakes, but the buddy system should be considered good practice as a secondary system to a best practice primary system in which we are individually responsible to check, re-check and final check. Best practice avoids the possibly false assumption that "someone has your back."

What Jim originally argued, and what a few others have echoed, is that teaching buddy checks to beginners builds a complacent beginner. To me that sounds off葉hat teaching vigilance somehow equals the opposite of vigilance.

But whatever. I think we all have enough common ground on this issue that it's not so much an outright disagreement as it is a nuanced one.


viciado


Oct 21, 2011, 3:41 PM
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I overstated my case. You are correct, no one has made that explicit statement. However, there have been a variety of posts that attempt to identify a buddy check failure as the root cause while others have been diligent in pointing out that personal checks come before the buddy check to the point of excluding them entirely from a didactic presentation. It seemed to be me to be a very polarized and resulted in my post in which I again, overstaed my point. Jung is more correct (and less wordy) in pointing out that it is probably more about nuances in how we do things than fundamental differences in safe practice. Thanks for pointing out my error in expression.

In any case, I hope the injured lady is recovering.


socalclimber


Oct 21, 2011, 5:19 PM
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j_ung wrote:
viciado wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

... etc.

Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management. This is what I hear Jim Titt arguing. There are several normally occurring scenarios in relation to your examples in which a buddy cannot see the rope ends or what you are doing on the wall. I certainly appreciate it when someone calls those things to my attention. However, it is still my reposnibility to have my "stuff" together.

Best practice (as opposed to good prcatice) is to avoid needing the buddy check altogether. Anyone who has climbed for long enough can easily document cases in which a buddy has caught potentially fatal errors. In any of those cases, we would each have said "oops" because we failed in our Best Practice of self-check. Yes, we make mistakes, but the buddy system should be considered good practice as a secondary system to a best practice primary system in which we are individually responsible to check, re-check and final check. Best practice avoids the possibly false assumption that "someone has your back."

What Jim originally argued, and what a few others have echoed, is that teaching buddy checks to beginners builds a complacent beginner. To me that sounds off葉hat teaching vigilance somehow equals the opposite of vigilance.

But whatever. I think we all have enough common ground on this issue that it's not so much an outright disagreement as it is a nuanced one.

I have to disagree here. This whole argument about teaching beginners to do buddy checks builds complacent beginners. If you even have the vaguest clue of how to teach you make sure to entrench the model of self sufficiency. I do it all the time with my clients and beginners I sometimes climb with. A classic example is when I do basic classes. After the initial knots portion is done, they have to tie it themselves. Of course we check them, but when they ask "How does this look", or "Is this good enough", I always answer the same way.

"Is it good enough for you?".

Sorry, but buddy checks are essential and important, and the lack of them was a mitigating factor in this accident.


jakedatc


Oct 21, 2011, 5:54 PM
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socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
viciado wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

... etc.

Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management. This is what I hear Jim Titt arguing. There are several normally occurring scenarios in relation to your examples in which a buddy cannot see the rope ends or what you are doing on the wall. I certainly appreciate it when someone calls those things to my attention. However, it is still my reposnibility to have my "stuff" together.

Best practice (as opposed to good prcatice) is to avoid needing the buddy check altogether. Anyone who has climbed for long enough can easily document cases in which a buddy has caught potentially fatal errors. In any of those cases, we would each have said "oops" because we failed in our Best Practice of self-check. Yes, we make mistakes, but the buddy system should be considered good practice as a secondary system to a best practice primary system in which we are individually responsible to check, re-check and final check. Best practice avoids the possibly false assumption that "someone has your back."

What Jim originally argued, and what a few others have echoed, is that teaching buddy checks to beginners builds a complacent beginner. To me that sounds off葉hat teaching vigilance somehow equals the opposite of vigilance.

But whatever. I think we all have enough common ground on this issue that it's not so much an outright disagreement as it is a nuanced one.

I have to disagree here. This whole argument about teaching beginners to do buddy checks builds complacent beginners. If you even have the vaguest clue of how to teach you make sure to entrench the model of self sufficiency. I do it all the time with my clients and beginners I sometimes climb with. A classic example is when I do basic classes. After the initial knots portion is done, they have to tie it themselves. Of course we check them, but when they ask "How does this look", or "Is this good enough", I always answer the same way.

"Is it good enough for you?".

Sorry, but buddy checks are essential and important, and the lack of them was a mitigating factor in this accident.

I think a self check should be more emphasized than a buddy check. a bit overkill but a friend of mine used to check his buckle, leg buckles, knot and ask for a "click test" from his belayers biner. It made him sure that he was tied in correct and had his harness doubled back (before speed buckles). A simple knot check and a look to see it's through both tie ins would be a good habit.

a solid self check would have prevented this one as much as a buddy check.


socalclimber


Oct 21, 2011, 6:28 PM
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Re: [jakedatc] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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jakedatc wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
viciado wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

... etc.

Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management. This is what I hear Jim Titt arguing. There are several normally occurring scenarios in relation to your examples in which a buddy cannot see the rope ends or what you are doing on the wall. I certainly appreciate it when someone calls those things to my attention. However, it is still my reposnibility to have my "stuff" together.

Best practice (as opposed to good prcatice) is to avoid needing the buddy check altogether. Anyone who has climbed for long enough can easily document cases in which a buddy has caught potentially fatal errors. In any of those cases, we would each have said "oops" because we failed in our Best Practice of self-check. Yes, we make mistakes, but the buddy system should be considered good practice as a secondary system to a best practice primary system in which we are individually responsible to check, re-check and final check. Best practice avoids the possibly false assumption that "someone has your back."

What Jim originally argued, and what a few others have echoed, is that teaching buddy checks to beginners builds a complacent beginner. To me that sounds off葉hat teaching vigilance somehow equals the opposite of vigilance.

But whatever. I think we all have enough common ground on this issue that it's not so much an outright disagreement as it is a nuanced one.

I have to disagree here. This whole argument about teaching beginners to do buddy checks builds complacent beginners. If you even have the vaguest clue of how to teach you make sure to entrench the model of self sufficiency. I do it all the time with my clients and beginners I sometimes climb with. A classic example is when I do basic classes. After the initial knots portion is done, they have to tie it themselves. Of course we check them, but when they ask "How does this look", or "Is this good enough", I always answer the same way.

"Is it good enough for you?".

Sorry, but buddy checks are essential and important, and the lack of them was a mitigating factor in this accident.

I think a self check should be more emphasized than a buddy check. a bit overkill but a friend of mine used to check his buckle, leg buckles, knot and ask for a "click test" from his belayers biner. It made him sure that he was tied in correct and had his harness doubled back (before speed buckles). A simple knot check and a look to see it's through both tie ins would be a good habit.

a solid self check would have prevented this one as much as a buddy check.

How about this. If both self checks and the "buddy" system were in place, this accident would not have occurred.


jt512


Oct 21, 2011, 6:32 PM
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socalclimber wrote:
jakedatc wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
viciado wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

... etc.

Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management. This is what I hear Jim Titt arguing. There are several normally occurring scenarios in relation to your examples in which a buddy cannot see the rope ends or what you are doing on the wall. I certainly appreciate it when someone calls those things to my attention. However, it is still my reposnibility to have my "stuff" together.

Best practice (as opposed to good prcatice) is to avoid needing the buddy check altogether. Anyone who has climbed for long enough can easily document cases in which a buddy has caught potentially fatal errors. In any of those cases, we would each have said "oops" because we failed in our Best Practice of self-check. Yes, we make mistakes, but the buddy system should be considered good practice as a secondary system to a best practice primary system in which we are individually responsible to check, re-check and final check. Best practice avoids the possibly false assumption that "someone has your back."

What Jim originally argued, and what a few others have echoed, is that teaching buddy checks to beginners builds a complacent beginner. To me that sounds off葉hat teaching vigilance somehow equals the opposite of vigilance.

But whatever. I think we all have enough common ground on this issue that it's not so much an outright disagreement as it is a nuanced one.

I have to disagree here. This whole argument about teaching beginners to do buddy checks builds complacent beginners. If you even have the vaguest clue of how to teach you make sure to entrench the model of self sufficiency. I do it all the time with my clients and beginners I sometimes climb with. A classic example is when I do basic classes. After the initial knots portion is done, they have to tie it themselves. Of course we check them, but when they ask "How does this look", or "Is this good enough", I always answer the same way.

"Is it good enough for you?".

Sorry, but buddy checks are essential and important, and the lack of them was a mitigating factor in this accident.

I think a self check should be more emphasized than a buddy check. a bit overkill but a friend of mine used to check his buckle, leg buckles, knot and ask for a "click test" from his belayers biner. It made him sure that he was tied in correct and had his harness doubled back (before speed buckles). A simple knot check and a look to see it's through both tie ins would be a good habit.

a solid self check would have prevented this one as much as a buddy check.

How about this. If both self checks and the "buddy" system were in place, this accident would not have occurred.

Honestly? It would have been less likely to have occurred.

Jay


socalclimber


Oct 21, 2011, 6:48 PM
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Re: [jt512] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
jakedatc wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
j_ung wrote:
viciado wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

... etc.

Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management. This is what I hear Jim Titt arguing. There are several normally occurring scenarios in relation to your examples in which a buddy cannot see the rope ends or what you are doing on the wall. I certainly appreciate it when someone calls those things to my attention. However, it is still my reposnibility to have my "stuff" together.

Best practice (as opposed to good prcatice) is to avoid needing the buddy check altogether. Anyone who has climbed for long enough can easily document cases in which a buddy has caught potentially fatal errors. In any of those cases, we would each have said "oops" because we failed in our Best Practice of self-check. Yes, we make mistakes, but the buddy system should be considered good practice as a secondary system to a best practice primary system in which we are individually responsible to check, re-check and final check. Best practice avoids the possibly false assumption that "someone has your back."

What Jim originally argued, and what a few others have echoed, is that teaching buddy checks to beginners builds a complacent beginner. To me that sounds off葉hat teaching vigilance somehow equals the opposite of vigilance.

But whatever. I think we all have enough common ground on this issue that it's not so much an outright disagreement as it is a nuanced one.

I have to disagree here. This whole argument about teaching beginners to do buddy checks builds complacent beginners. If you even have the vaguest clue of how to teach you make sure to entrench the model of self sufficiency. I do it all the time with my clients and beginners I sometimes climb with. A classic example is when I do basic classes. After the initial knots portion is done, they have to tie it themselves. Of course we check them, but when they ask "How does this look", or "Is this good enough", I always answer the same way.

"Is it good enough for you?".

Sorry, but buddy checks are essential and important, and the lack of them was a mitigating factor in this accident.

I think a self check should be more emphasized than a buddy check. a bit overkill but a friend of mine used to check his buckle, leg buckles, knot and ask for a "click test" from his belayers biner. It made him sure that he was tied in correct and had his harness doubled back (before speed buckles). A simple knot check and a look to see it's through both tie ins would be a good habit.

a solid self check would have prevented this one as much as a buddy check.

How about this. If both self checks and the "buddy" system were in place, this accident would not have occurred.

Honestly? It would have been less likely to have occurred.

Jay

Sorry, agreed. Long day at work. 2 more to go.


Rocquestar


Oct 21, 2011, 7:18 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
I have to disagree here. This whole argument about teaching beginners to do buddy checks builds complacent beginners. If you even have the vaguest clue of how to teach you make sure to entrench the model of self sufficiency. I do it all the time with my clients and beginners I sometimes climb with. A classic example is when I do basic classes. After the initial knots portion is done, they have to tie it themselves. Of course we check them, but when they ask "How does this look", or "Is this good enough", I always answer the same way.

"Is it good enough for you?".

Sorry, but buddy checks are essential and important, and the lack of them was a mitigating factor in this accident.
+1
+1 more for your answer to that nagging question.


theguy


Oct 21, 2011, 10:34 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
Sorry, but buddy checks are essential and important, and the lack of them was a mitigating factor in this accident.

So you're doing JimTitt one better and claiming that the accident would have been worse with buddy checks? Now I understand why the climber miraculously survived Unsure


(This post was edited by theguy on Oct 21, 2011, 11:02 PM)


theguy


Oct 21, 2011, 10:45 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
theres a very simple selfish reason one should do buddy checks IMO ... if your buddy misses something, falls and gets hurt .. youre up shiets creek and at best need to call in the SAR chopper, at worst needs to self rescue leaving all your shiet behind ...and at the very worst, make plans to attend a funeral, god forbid

... theres absolutely no reason to not check the other persons as well ... at least until REAL data comes forth about checks reducing safety ...

Interesting illustration: brings to mind diving, where it's routine to carry an octopus since not only could it save your buddy's life, but it could save yours since your regulator is the first thing they'll grab when they're asphyxiating.

To the JimTitt assertion, I don't recall hearing any arguments that the octopus breeds a lack of personal responsibility and contributes to diver asphyxiations. Any more experienced divers care to chime in?


theguy


Oct 21, 2011, 10:58 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
If you even have the vaguest clue of how to teach you make sure to entrench the model of self sufficiency.

So you agree with the park service that "To maintain and improve opportunities for challenge, self-reliance, and adventure that are integral to the wilderness character of the inner canyon wilderness zone, guided climbing would not be authorized".

Someone with principles!


(This post was edited by theguy on Oct 21, 2011, 11:36 PM)


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 24, 2011, 9:18 AM
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Re: [viciado] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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viciado wrote:
rrrADAM wrote:
Setting up a rap, double or songle rope... You thread the station, tie knots in the ends, and toss your line(s) over... You ask someone at the bottom if your lines are on the ground (buddy check).

Good practice, or not?

Or, someone on the bottom climbing a route next to you offers up that your lines are or are not reaching the bottom (buddy check)

... etc.

Your examples are fine in as much as they demonstrate how a buddy check can help, but a buddy check can never be the first line of risk management.

NOBODY has said this is the first line of defense, or primary anything... It is simply an additional layer of protection, that when available SHOULD be encouraged and utilized.

In the nuclear industry we address "Human Performance Errors"... One way of doing this, is through "Independent Verification", as people can and do make mistakes. Now, this isn't the primary defense, as training, testing, certification, mock-ups, experience etc. are all part of it.

Even in science... When discoveries are made, or even often when tests performed, they are immediately validated through independant verification. Ask yourself why, given that they are very well trained, and follow strict procedures.

To put it simply... There is a nonzero chance that any of us (climbing, nuclear, what ever) will make a mistake. If there is a way to reduce it even more, it should be encouraged and used.

Again... NOBODY is saying 'buddy checks' are the first line of defense, but simply an added layer that may further reduce that NONZERO chance that a mistake was made. If it is avaliable, it should be taken. If one's ego is such that they cannot accept them, then their nonzero chance is MUCH greater than one who has less ego and appreciates the input.


(This post was edited by rrrADAM on Oct 24, 2011, 9:32 AM)


jbone


Oct 24, 2011, 9:51 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Wow, everyday I see this post refreshed on the boards I am amazed.

What if this is just proof that some people put less a value on life than most.

We all do it, some more than others, the significant contribution to this scenario is that it happened during an activity that one would assume their life was at risk at all times.

Same thing happens when you see that kid on the freeway texting away while swerving through traffic.

People take situations for granted and put their life on the line everyday. Why do we try so hard to look for the answer in the situation when its entirely on the person?

Because we do not want to think its possible that people would act in such callus disregard for their own or any other life. Especially in an activity that so obviously exhibits its hazards like Climbing.

The truth is people don't want to think they are mortal till their lives depend on it.


sandstone


Oct 24, 2011, 12:23 PM
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Re: [jbone] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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jbone wrote:
Wow, everyday I see this post refreshed on the boards I am amazed. What if this is just proof that some people put less a value on life than most.

I haven't seen anything in this thread that would make me think the people involved in the accident, nor the people who have commented on it afterward, have put a lesser value on life.

In reply to:
We all do it, some more than others, the significant contribution to this scenario is that it happened during an activity that one would assume their life was at risk at all times.

Same thing happens when you see that kid on the freeway texting away while swerving through traffic.

That analogy doesn't work. To make it work, the victim in this accident would have had to have been intentionally tempting fate by intentionally climbing with a partially tied knot. From what we know that was definitely not the case.

Nobody is surprised when they find that a swerving car is being driven by a kid who is texting, but I'm sure everyone at the site of this accident was very surprised when it happened.

In reply to:
People take situations for granted and put their life on the line everyday. Why do we try so hard to look for the answer in the situation when its entirely on the person?

A simple distraction (a situation) can cause someone to forget to finish their knot, and to forget to check it before climbing. In a different situation, the climber would have not made the error, or would have caught it in a self-check. On another day, that same climber may have responded differently to the same distractions. I don't see a clear black and white dividing line between situation and person.

In reply to:
Because we do not want to think its possible that people would act in such callus disregard for their own or any other life. Especially in an activity that so obviously exhibits its hazards like Climbing.

I have read nothing about this incident that would make me think that any type of "callus disregard" was involved. That comment seems way out of line to me.

In reply to:
The truth is people don't want to think they are mortal till their lives depend on it.

We do indeed take serious things for granted, however I think that is part of our very nature. Familiarity can cause us to be complacent, even though we know our life is on the line. Your example of driving is a good one. That's the single most dangerous thing most of us do on a regular basis, yet all of us are guilty at one time or another of not giving it the attention it deserves. Have you eaten and driven at the same time? It doesn't make any sense does it? Yet we do it. We get familiar and comfortable with driving, and the danger isn't as immediate as it was to us when we were just learning to drive.

An experienced climber in a familiar situation may be at their highest point of risk.


ACJ


Oct 27, 2011, 7:09 AM
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sandstone wrote:
An experienced climber in a familiar situation may be at their highest point of risk.

I agree. I think it's at it's worst when you think you are safe...

One of my most memorable climbing experiences was right at the end of my first year of climbing. I was working a toprope site with a long time local NC climber named Jeep. I asked him if we had to use tethers while near the edge of the cliff and breaking things down at the end of the day. His response?

Jeep: "No, you don't have to use a tether if you don't want to. Just remember that this is a great way to get yourself killed."

5 years later I rarely use a tether to break down a toprope, but I do commonly say to myself, "this is a great way to get yourself killed." Then I go about my business with a little extra care to not do anything stupid.


IsayAutumn


Oct 27, 2011, 7:51 AM
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Re: [dindolino32] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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Has anyone heard any more about how this climber is doing?


viciado


Oct 27, 2011, 10:58 AM
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Adam,

I agree with the concept that buddy checks are important. I also indicated upthread that I overstated my point in a poor attempt to respond to what I perceived as a polarized discussion. Sorry for the inconvenience.

edited to bump the more important point:

IsayAutumn wrote:
Has anyone heard any more about how this climber is doing?


(This post was edited by viciado on Oct 27, 2011, 1:20 PM)


Partner srwings


Nov 4, 2011, 4:39 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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So Majid, the comment about hanging, is that just hyperbole or is that the professional judgment of a professional guide?


(This post was edited by srwings on Nov 4, 2011, 4:40 PM)


majid_sabet


Nov 4, 2011, 4:55 PM
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srwings wrote:
So Majid, the comment about hanging, is that just hyperbole or is that the professional judgment of a professional guide?

I was little over acting but if I had the authority and the power, I would had removed some of the privileges or put the person under some sort of suspension till they put their acts together.

Again, this is coming for an instructor .


socalclimber


Nov 5, 2011, 5:14 AM
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Based on the attitudes of some around here, what I find more frightening than the accident is that "self reliance" excuses not using a simple check between two partners mere feet from one another before starting a climb or pitch.

Since "self reliance" is so important, and buddy/partner checks are a sure sign of complacency, I suggest you just stop using the basic On Belay, Belay On etc all together. Clearly based on the attitudes of some, these commands are worthless.

Best wishes to the climber.


patto


Nov 5, 2011, 2:00 PM
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socalclimber wrote:
Based on the attitudes of some around here, what I find more frightening than the accident is that "self reliance" excuses not using a simple check between two partners mere feet from one another before starting a climb or pitch.
Or just do a simple check yourself without even having to ask your partner.

socalclimber wrote:
Since "self reliance" is so important, and buddy/partner checks are a sure sign of complacency, I suggest you just stop using the basic On Belay, Belay On etc all together. Clearly based on the attitudes of some, these commands are worthless.
Your logic doesn't make sense. Some tasks necessarily involve the partnership and for those clear communication is important. I trust myself and I trust my partner. For tasks that I do myself I don't need my partner to check it for me to feel secure.


If I am on my own then I check my work until I am 100% confident in it. If I am not on my own then I check my work until I am 100% confident in it.

If I am 100% confident why would I get my partner to check it? If I am NOT 100% confident then I would check it or change it until I am.


billl7


Nov 5, 2011, 2:54 PM
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rrrADAM wrote:
In the nuclear industry we address "Human Performance Errors"... One way of doing this, is through "Independent Verification", as people can and do make mistakes. Now, this isn't the primary defense, as training, testing, certification, mock-ups, experience etc. are all part of it.

I also have worked in that industry. It was interesting. The fact that someone was going to check your work did not shield you from the ensuing gang-rape if you did it wrong. Not only were you going down the sewer pipe but so was the inspector with whom you enjoyed working.

Still, this is an interesting discussion ... am enjoying hearing both sides.

Bill L


socalclimber


Nov 5, 2011, 7:22 PM
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patto wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
Based on the attitudes of some around here, what I find more frightening than the accident is that "self reliance" excuses not using a simple check between two partners mere feet from one another before starting a climb or pitch.
Or just do a simple check yourself without even having to ask your partner.

socalclimber wrote:
Since "self reliance" is so important, and buddy/partner checks are a sure sign of complacency, I suggest you just stop using the basic On Belay, Belay On etc all together. Clearly based on the attitudes of some, these commands are worthless.
Your logic doesn't make sense. Some tasks necessarily involve the partnership and for those clear communication is important. I trust myself and I trust my partner. For tasks that I do myself I don't need my partner to check it for me to feel secure.


If I am on my own then I check my work until I am 100% confident in it. If I am not on my own then I check my work until I am 100% confident in it.

If I am 100% confident why would I get my partner to check it? If I am NOT 100% confident then I would check it or change it until I am.

My logic is sound, based on twenty years of climbing experience and guide experience.

If the system you choose to embrace works for you, that's fine. I just won't condone that attitude being asserted on new climbers.


jt512


Nov 5, 2011, 7:34 PM
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Re: [patto] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:

If I am 100% confident why would I get my partner to check it?

Because you might be overconfident.

Jay


patto


Nov 5, 2011, 9:22 PM
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Re: [jt512] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
patto wrote:

If I am 100% confident why would I get my partner to check it?

Because you might be overconfident.

Jay

So what saves me for the other 75% of my decisions when my partner isn't around? Is it just pray and hope my confidence is not misplaced?


jt512


Nov 5, 2011, 9:44 PM
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Re: [patto] Horseshoe Canyon Ranch Accident [In reply to]
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patto wrote:
jt512 wrote:
patto wrote:

If I am 100% confident why would I get my partner to check it?

Because you might be overconfident.

Jay

So what saves me for the other 75% of my decisions when my partner isn't around?

Nothing. You are not infallible. You could make a mistake on one of those decisions where you can't be double checked, which could end your life. Likewise, you could make a mistake on one of the 25% of your decisions where your partner could double-check you.

The error in your logic is obvious. There is a benefit to having someone double check you. The existence of situations in which you can't be double checked doesn't negate the benefit when you can be. So why not take advantage of double checking when it is possible.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Nov 5, 2011, 9:45 PM)


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