Forums: Climbing Information: Accident and Incident Analysis:
El Potrero Chico fatalities
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Accident and Incident Analysis

Premier Sponsor:

 


sonso45


Jan 6, 2015, 4:52 PM
Post #1 of 12 (14189 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 31, 2002
Posts: 997

El Potrero Chico fatalities
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Two men died in separate rappelling incidents last week in Mexico's limestone playground, El Potrero Chico.

The first was a German climber on Time Wave Zero that rappelled off the end of his 80m rope. One end had been cut and the rope had uneven ends when the rappel failed. On the way down, he struck another climber but he was uninjured.

Second climber was a visitor from Arkansas that also died from a rappel that failed. He was descending Estrellitas when it happened.

Please be mindful of your rappel set up. If you are unsure at all, use knots at the ends of your rope; just be sure to untie them prior to pulling the rope.

May both RIP.


(This post was edited by sonso45 on Jan 6, 2015, 4:53 PM)


sungam


Jan 7, 2015, 12:58 AM
Post #2 of 12 (14114 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 24, 2004
Posts: 26800

Re: [sonso45] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

sonso45 wrote:
Second climber was a visitor from Arkansas that also died from a rappel that failed. He was descending Estrellitas when it happened.
Do you mean the anchor failed or just that something went wrong and we're not sure what?

Sad news either way :(


sonso45


Jan 7, 2015, 5:22 AM
Post #3 of 12 (14087 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 31, 2002
Posts: 997

Re: [sungam] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

The anchor was ok; they both rappelled off the ends of the rope. A day apart.

I'm not a fan of knots but I would recommend them to anyone that doesn't do a lot rappelling. I do not use knots but I am constantly checking and rechecking. I also use an auto back up knot when doing long rappels or I am not sure of my landing.

Use knots to be ultra safe.


majid_sabet


Jan 7, 2015, 11:21 AM
Post #4 of 12 (14024 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 8390

Re: [sonso45] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Both case short rope on one end and no tie
http://www.climbing.com/...otrero-chico-mexico/


Dirteater


Jan 8, 2015, 6:25 AM
Post #5 of 12 (13892 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 7, 2015
Posts: 2

Re: [sonso45] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

sonso45 wrote:
The anchor was ok; they both rappelled off the ends of the rope. A day apart.

I'm not a fan of knots but I would recommend them to anyone that doesn't do a lot rappelling. I do not use knots but I am constantly checking and rechecking. I also use an auto back up knot when doing long rappels or I am not sure of my landing.

Use knots to be ultra safe.

It's called closing the system and your never skilled or experienced enough not to close the system. Arrogance and ignorance kills.


sonso45


Jan 8, 2015, 7:12 AM
Post #6 of 12 (13876 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 31, 2002
Posts: 997

Re: [Dirteater] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

Nice first post dirteater. I'm not ignorant nor arrogant IMO. Are you religious cause you sound like a fundamentalist: do it my way or you die. Sorry but there is more than one way to do anything.

Telling folks there is only one way is plain wrong.


jmeizis


Jan 8, 2015, 9:28 AM
Post #7 of 12 (13843 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 25, 2006
Posts: 635

Re: [Dirteater] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

http://www.climbing.com/...otrero-chico-mexico/

I wouldn't necessarily call a party involving a French guide and simul-climbing 5.12 ignorant. At that level complacency and fatigue are more likely contributing factors. I think complacency amongst those of us who spend the majority of their time in the mountains is pretty common (it's where heuristics of familiarity and the expert halo come from). There are a lot of times it's a good idea to close the system. This would of certainly saved the climbers life, but constant vigilance is draining if you spend almost every second of every day either in the mountains or preparing for the mountains.

When someone says you should always close the system it suggests they have most of their experience in a low committment environment. If you take that dogmatism to big walls or big peaks you're very likely to learn that climbing systems have lots of variables and always or never are concepts that should be removed from your vocabulary in big terrain. If you're lucky you'll only have to spend a few miserable nights out to learn it.

We were in the area when it happened. There was also a third minor accident with a leader breaking their ankle at the Mota Wall. A pretty bad day for the Potrero unfortunately.

For some reason I thought there was a trained rescue group in El Potrero but from what I saw it seemed like the fire department and a couple well meaning people.


viciado


Jan 9, 2015, 4:30 AM
Post #8 of 12 (13717 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 9, 2003
Posts: 429

Re: [sonso45] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

sonso45 wrote:
Telling folks there is only one way is plain wrong.

Are you fanatically absolute on that? Wink
In the spirit of a BLUE thread...

While closing the system with knots is certainly a viable option in many cases, it is not the only way to go. Knots in the ends often have draw backs... namely getting the rope stuck.

Rather than reaming the dude out, I can think of 3 valid alternatives off the top of my head. None are perfect and all have limitations.

- Top rope belay for 1st descent, fireman's for 2nd rappel. (cumbersome and slow)

- Keep and eye on the ends at all times. (not always possible)

- Bag the rope. (Requires time to prepare the bag and can create other rope management issues.)


(This post was edited by viciado on Jan 9, 2015, 4:31 AM)


sonso45


Jan 9, 2015, 8:34 AM
Post #9 of 12 (13669 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 31, 2002
Posts: 997

Re: [viciado] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

The first option mentioned works especially well in Cochise Stronghold when the winds are roaring. Before we figured out that lowering the first person would work best, we would rap in the wind with the rope directly out 90 degrees for the length of the rope. Put knots in that and good luck pulling your rope through the belay device.

I have used knots when I thought it best in my judgement. There are many different ways to get a thing done right in climbing and just as many to make a fatal error.

Absolutism does not work in climbing, only religion.


Partner camhead


Jan 12, 2015, 5:44 AM
Post #10 of 12 (13454 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 9, 2001
Posts: 20939

Re: [jmeizis] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

jmeizis wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily call a party involving a French guide and simul-climbing 5.12 ignorant.


FWIW, there are maybe one or two moves of 5.12 on that entire route, and 99% of climbers just pull through them on bolts that were placed for that reason. The majority of Timewave Zero is easy 5.10-.

That said, I agree that the party was not "ignorant." As I kind of laid out in this article, I think that it is very easy to get lured into a false sense of complacency at Potrero because of its easy-access, 100% bolted routes, and then forget that it is still a very big, serious place.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/..._Dangerous_1605.html


jacques


Feb 7, 2015, 1:09 PM
Post #11 of 12 (12690 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 13, 2008
Posts: 318

Re: [majid_sabet] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

majid_sabet wrote:
Both case short rope on one end and no tie
http://www.climbing.com/...otrero-chico-mexico/

As they said in the news. it is a sport climbing accident with two very strong climber.

As they where in a sport route, and that I analyze trad climbing accident I can't say any things.

I just state that it is sport climbing accident and, if you make the distinction between those who learned sport at the beginning and those who learned trad at the beginning, you will see a bigger incidence of accident by those who do sport...particularly when they do technique very close to trad climbing.

Just make the distinction


rocknice2


Feb 8, 2015, 2:59 PM
Post #12 of 12 (12608 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 13, 2006
Posts: 1221

Re: [jacques] El Potrero Chico fatalities [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

jacques wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
Both case short rope on one end and no tie
http://www.climbing.com/...otrero-chico-mexico/

As they said in the news. it is a sport climbing accident with two very strong climber.

As they where in a sport route, and that I analyze trad climbing accident I can't say any things.

I just state that it is sport climbing accident and, if you make the distinction between those who learned sport at the beginning and those who learned trad at the beginning, you will see a bigger incidence of accident by those who do sport...particularly when they do technique very close to trad climbing.

Just make the distinction

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.


Forums : Climbing Information : Accident and Incident Analysis

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook