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Fall at Table Rock
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knieveltech


Nov 3, 2008, 6:37 PM
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Fall at Table Rock
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Posted Sunday:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/...ng/story/296289.html

In reply to:
TABLE ROCK MOUNTAIN, N.C.—Rescue crews are working hard to rescue an injured person who has fallen on Table Rock Mountain.

The person fell about 70 feet around 3:30pm Sunday in an area of the mountain called The Amphitheater.

Burke County EMS says this area is very popular for rock climbing.

EMS crews say its still going to be several hours before the individual is rescued. There are EMS crews on the ground with the victim but that person needs to be airlifted from the area.

Hoping for the best here. Anyone have additional information?


Partner wormly81


Nov 3, 2008, 6:53 PM
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Re: [knieveltech] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/296803.html


(This post was edited by wormly81 on Nov 4, 2008, 4:53 PM)


LineoFire


Nov 3, 2008, 6:55 PM
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Re: [knieveltech] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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was up there as part of the rescue last night. the victim fell roughly 35 feet and tumbled against the face on the way down. suffered lacerations to the head, seperated shoulder and prolly a broken collar bone. paramedic got to him around 630pm and found the paitient to be conscious and responsive but was unable to clear c-spine. victim was raised in a stokes basket sometime around 4am then airlifted out via blackhawk around 445am. keep this gent in your thoughts and climb safe.


knieveltech


Nov 3, 2008, 7:01 PM
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Re: [LineoFire] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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LineoFire wrote:
was up there as part of the rescue last night. the victim fell roughly 35 feet and tumbled against the face on the way down. suffered lacerations to the head, seperated shoulder and prolly a broken collar bone. paramedic got to him around 630pm and found the paitient to be conscious and responsive but was unable to clear c-spine. victim was raised in a stokes basket sometime around 4am then airlifted out via blackhawk around 445am. keep this gent in your thoughts and climb safe.

Thanks for posting up. I'm glad it wasn't a climber and am definitely pulling for this guy. Out of curiosity where exactly did he fall from?


LineoFire


Nov 3, 2008, 7:45 PM
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Re: [knieveltech] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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he fell from the pitch 3 of the daddy. and the victim is a climber just to put that out there.
In reply to:


knieveltech


Nov 3, 2008, 7:48 PM
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Re: [LineoFire] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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LineoFire wrote:
he fell from the pitch 3 of the daddy. and the victim is a climber just to put that out there.

Damn. The 2nd charlotte.com article made it sound like a hiker fell. Hopefully this guy recovers and either he or his climbing partner posts up details of the accident.


(This post was edited by knieveltech on Nov 3, 2008, 8:27 PM)


rsmillbern


Nov 3, 2008, 8:23 PM
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Re: [knieveltech] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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Do you mean the 3rd (super short pitch), or the one after (3rd on the 5.8 variation - 4th if you go way right at the big ledge).

Just curious, I have a hard time imagining someone falling from P3 (the short pitch).

the next one I can see though as there is a bit of loose rock and is a little spaced on gear...

Hope he is doing well! Thanks to the rescue guys!


Tipton


Nov 3, 2008, 10:20 PM
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Re: [rsmillbern] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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I was there climbing this weekend and there were definitely a decent number of people who had less than ideal amounts of experience. I left Sunday morning, but from what I saw on Saturday of two different parties in the Amphitheater area, I wouldn't be shocked if it were one of them.

One party was moving slow trying to get five people up The Daddy on one rope from what I saw. (they didn't make it out until well after dark) Another party of two was going very slowly up The Daddy, then bailed, and started on The Prow at an equally slow rate. That's the catch to these remote climbs, you need to be fully prepared and extra cautious. Evac at 4 am must suck total balls.

Hopefully this fellow will heal up okay.

Edited: Clarity


(This post was edited by Tipton on Nov 4, 2008, 3:54 AM)


lymankiserjr


Nov 4, 2008, 2:53 AM
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Re: [Tipton] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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Man I sure hope that guy turns out to be ok. I was at the Amphitheater Sat and Sun. Tipton your timeline is off. You are talking about Saturday. (The group of 5 on the Daddy topped out about 8pm and hiked off on Sat.) The accident happened on Sunday. And here i diverge from the accident to rant about etiquette. I was with the party that was slow on the daddy, bailed, and was equally slow on the prow Saturday. You were not one of the parties that were up our A** were you? Whoever it was, look either pick another route or be good enough to go around a slow party. We got to the Mummy and a party was on the first pitch, so out of politeness i went to the Daddy. We got pushed so hard from a group of 5 that came up on us but could not pass us- and who could have gone to the Mummy and climbed unemcumbered- that yeah we bailed off the Daddy. Comically while i was bailing, ANOTHER group climbed up past me while i was rappelling. (THERE WERE THREE SEPARATE GROUPS' ROPES STRUNG TO THE FIRST BELAY OF THE DADDY AT THE SAME TIME). We went to the Prow and yes we moved slow. I am rusty as usual and the guy i was with it was his second time . So we went to the Prow to avoid the crowds. Wrong. We get swarmed on by a group of 5 or 6 who were climbing in tandem. Obviously an easy meaningless tick for these guys. One of them literally hit my friends heels a couple of times he was that much up his A** (can you cuss on this group?) Both of these pushing groups said the same thing, take your time, don't mind us, enjoy your experience. And i think they are probably nice people who enjoy a lot of the same parts of climbing that i do. But they made some bad choices as far as routes and group size and timing based on the routes available and people there, and really just impacted us in a very negative way because they focused on what they wanted to accomplish and didn't think about other people. Look if you can pass me in a reasonable amount of time please do. And I could come up with a lot of do and don't's for etiquette, but really it just comes down to everybody managing their expectations of what they are going to accomplish out on the rock any given day, realizing how you may impact others, and working to make climbing enjoyable. I have climbed a lot of places over the last ten years, and have really never seen anything quite like this. I hope I can go another ten without seeing it again. Lyman


lymankiserjr


Nov 4, 2008, 2:58 AM
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sorry about this rant in the I&A section. I am trying to figure out how to get the rant part moved to the general forum.
Lyman


knieveltech


Nov 4, 2008, 3:25 AM
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Re: [Tipton] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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Tipton wrote:
I was there climbing this weekend and there were definitely a decent number of people who had less than ideal amounts of experience. I left Sunday morning, but from what I saw of two different parties in the Amphitheater area, I wouldn't be shocked if it were one of them.

One party was moving slow trying to get five people up The Daddy on one rope from what I saw. (they didn't make it out until well after dark) Another party of two was going very slowly up The Daddy, then bailed, and started on The Prow at an equally slow rate. That's the catch to these remote climbs, you need to be fully prepared and extra cautious. Evac at 4 am must suck total balls.

Hopefully this fellow will heal up okay.

Five(!!?!?!??!!!thefuck?) people in one clump with one rope on the Daddy? For. Fuck's. Sake.


Tipton


Nov 4, 2008, 3:59 AM
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If you really want to bust out the math, it looks like there was one party of five, and two parties of two. The grand total looks like 9 people on three ropes, and one belay. I was with the party that passed on rappel. We had the go ahead to pass the party of five, but I was unaware of the circumstances regarding the bailing party until I was midway up the pitch and they were passing on the way down. The root of the problem was mis-communication from party to party.

Lesson learned,

Tipton


saxfiend


Nov 4, 2008, 4:02 AM
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Re: [rsmillbern] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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rsmillbern wrote:
Just curious, I have a hard time imagining someone falling from P3 (the short pitch).
I can definitely envision someone taking a fall on P3 if they do the 5.8 direct variation, especially if the rest of the climb was already at their lead limit. And the 35' LineoFire mentioned makes more sense in that scenario than the 70' stated in the Observer article.

Good luck to the injured climber.

JL


deltav


Nov 4, 2008, 4:05 AM
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Re: [LineoFire] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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The third pitch is more than 35 feet up, isn't it?


LineoFire


Nov 4, 2008, 4:22 AM
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in response to the question about fall location...the victim fell above aforementioned ledge and was lowered to said ledge for assessment and care. my appologies for any confusion.


majid_sabet


Nov 4, 2008, 5:02 AM
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MORGANTON - Emergency crews made Sunday what they called a dangerous rescue of a climber in the Pisgah National Forest.
Justin Almers, 28, from Mebane fell while climbing the "Big Daddy Climb" near the North Carolina Wall, an area popular with expert level rock climbers. He remains in a Charlotte hospital in serious condition.
Maj. Ken Anthony with Burke County Emergency Services said the operations center received a 911 call at 3:29 p.m. Sunday informing them of the fall.
Almers and a friend, Chris Beaton, of Cary, were climbing when the accident occurred.
The caller reported Almers fell between 100 and 200 feet and remained suspended by rope approximately 200 feet from the bottom of the rock.
Emergency responders gained access from the Table Rock parking area, but it took four hours for advanced life support personnel to reach Almers.
He received life-threatening injuries and Anthony said rescuers made a decision to allow minimal personnel to the rock area due to visibility, height and dangerous rock cliffs.
Rescue technicians extricated Almers approximately 200 feet to a safe, workable area. A helicopter was called in to complete the rescue.
The NC Helo-Aquatic Technician Team was activated with members of the Burke County EMS Special Operations Team and a Ull-60 Helicopter from North Carolina National Guard, which was supported by NC Emergency Management utilized for the rescue mission.
Responders transported Almers to the Foothills Regional Airport, formerly known as the Morganton-Lenoir Airport, where he was flown to Carolinas Medical Center.
Anthony said multiple safety factors made this a serious, life-threatening mission.
Personnel allowed in the high-level work area were highly trained and experienced with the equipment.
Anthony said, "This rescue mission was one of the most advanced and demanding technical missions ever completed in this area simply due to the high level of hazards, large amount of equipment needed and the mechanism of injury the victim had experienced."
More than 100 personnel from the following agencies were involved: Burke County Emergency Services, Burke County EMS Special Operations Team, Burke County Rescue, Eastern Burke County Rescue, Oak Hill Fire and Rescue, Jonas Ridge Fire and First Responders, US Forest Service, NC Outward Bound School, NC Helo-Aquatic Rescue Technicians (NCHART), North Carolina National Guard, NC Emergency Management, NC Forest Service BRIDGE Program, Linville Central Rescue Squad, McDowell County Rescue Squad, Drexel Fire Department, Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and Burke County REACT.


rsmillbern


Nov 4, 2008, 1:15 PM
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Re: [LineoFire] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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LineoFire wrote:
in response to the question about fall location...the victim fell above aforementioned ledge and was lowered to said ledge for assessment and care. my appologies for any confusion.

Thanks, this is one of my favorite climbs to take beginners on, I appreciate the clarification. Saxfiend, you are right, the 5.8 variation fits the description upon re-reading.

Lyman,
Good to see you are still around someplace. Come have a beer sometime, much has changed...


rsmillbern


Nov 4, 2008, 1:16 PM
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Re: [deltav] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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deltav wrote:
The third pitch is more than 35 feet up, isn't it?

The third pitch, as many parties do it, only gains about 35ish feet and is needed to reduce rope drag if you don't do the 5.8 variation.


socalclimber


Nov 4, 2008, 1:34 PM
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Re: [rsmillbern] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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It seems to me that the issue of all these parties log jamming a route have far more to do with safety than being polite.


Partner wormly81


Nov 4, 2008, 4:52 PM
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Re: [lymankiserjr] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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lymankiserjr wrote:
We got pushed so hard from a group of 5 that came up on us (on one rope)

Im sure you're a nice guy so please dont take this as a personal attack but there are places better suited to take beginers climbing and brush up on your skills. When a team of 5 climbing on a single rope (my god, fact is stranger than fiction) is pushing you from behind on a 5 pitch climb, it should be taken as a sign that everyone on the rock needs to try and be more considerate.


deltav


Nov 4, 2008, 11:40 PM
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100-200ft fall?? Does any knowledgeable person know what really happened? Stupid newspapers...


ncclimber


Nov 5, 2008, 12:45 AM
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I topped out The daddy before the climber that fell. Talked with him while he climbed behind me. He was climbing with only passive pro, mainly nuts. I topped out the route he was on P3. I was at the bottom of the Mummy. When we heard the fall,long and scary. Someone yelled assistance on the Daddy, so me and my partner climbed the gully behind the buttress. We were the first on scene at the top of the route, Fixed a line to descend to the climber. Another climber who was an EMT arrived and he rapped down first to the victim.
I released the lead rope to use it as an extra line on the face. The climber had left the P3 ledge climbing straight up skipped P4 belay and climbed into the corner near the top. His top piece of gear was 4 feet above the dead tree on p5, so he was around 20-25 feet from the top when he fell. Best guess 30 foot fall on his head with no helmet. The high piece of gear held but all but one of the lower pieces zipped tumbled him another 40 feet. Unconscious for a couple of minutes after the fall. His second had to untie and climb up several feet to lower the leader to the p3 ledge.
The fall happened around 2:45 (Best guess with out a watch), paramedic to the climber by 5:30, Climber in litter and on the top (190 foot haul) 4:00, In blackhawk 4:00. A very long night for all, my partner was on the top above the climber shuttling, gear, ropes and communication for 13 hours.
As hard as the rescue was climbers stepped up and had an EMT to the climber within 30min. of the fall. we also had ropes set so the paramedic was lowered by climbers. The rescue teams where also escorted in by climbers. Special thanks to all and Outward Bound for the fixed lines arouhd the rim to make the rescuers safe.
I was proud of all the rescue personell. These guys risked their lives with out questioning, or understanding why we climb. As a climber I can't describe how I felt watching these guys saving one of our own. I cant thank these guys enough.
I hope this helps people to understand the accident.


deltav


Nov 5, 2008, 2:09 AM
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Re: [ncclimber] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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Thanks for the detailed report. Wow, that sucks. I agree, thanks to all who stepped in to help, putting their own safety at risk. My thoughts go out to the climber, his family and his partner. Just out of curiosity, how much experience did the climber have?


(This post was edited by deltav on Nov 5, 2008, 2:11 AM)


mazzystr


Nov 6, 2008, 4:56 PM
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Re: [knieveltech] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Five(!!?!?!??!!!thefuck?) people in one clump with one rope on the Daddy? For.

I don't feel that a party of five on a 5.4 moderate is out of the question.

I have taken at least 4 people (on one rope) up Bedtime for Bonzo in RRG at 7am, high noon, 3pm and THREE AM while you were in your tent sucking your thumb. I have seen parties of at least TWENTY climbing on Bedtime, no joke! You should see Nutcracker in Yosemite, that climb is a ridiculous superhighway, ppl do the most assinine things but its still fun as hell and every time its some story or another!

...and thats just the way the cookie crumbles! sometimes you win. sometimes you don't.

Personally, I do my best to keep my teams (especially my large teams) moving and placed out of the way so passing is possible but if someone is nipping at my feet...theyre going to kicked in the tooth.

/Chris C


m_daughtridge


Nov 6, 2008, 8:54 PM
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Helmets! [In reply to]
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It sounds like wearing a Helmet would have been very worthwhile in this scenario. I hope if nothing else it will encourage more folks to wear helmets more often.


saxfiend


Nov 6, 2008, 9:33 PM
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Thanks for the eyewitness report, ncclimber. Has anyone heard an update on the condition of the climber who fell? I hope he's recovering.

Regarding parties of five on a route on one rope -- I can't even imagine how you'd do that. Or why anyone would want to. What a nightmare.

JL


troutboy


Nov 6, 2008, 9:41 PM
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ncclimber wrote:
Best guess 30 foot fall on his head with no helmet. The high piece of gear held but all but one of the lower pieces zipped tumbled him another 40 feet.

I do not understand this. If his top piece held, why would he tumble 40 feet ? I can see a couple feet from the extra slack in the rope once the bottom pieces zipper, maybe. But 40 feet ?

I can also see several reasons why he might tumble another 40 feet, but not because the bottom pieces zippered. Am I missing something ?

TS


ncclimber


Nov 7, 2008, 3:13 AM
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The reason for the extra distance once the pieces zippered was the fact that the pieces were not in a straight line. please understand that the distances are just best guess. and 150 feet of rope where out accounting for rope stretch.


jalmers


Nov 8, 2008, 1:22 AM
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Hello all,

I am the one that fell at Table Rock on Sunday. Though it is very difficult for me to type at the present moment, I felt that I should let everyone know my status.

I was just discharged from the hospital today. The extent of my injuries are as follows:
1.) Fractured skull
2.) Small blood clot between my skull and my brain
3.) Lacerations and abrasions all over my head
4.) Horrible muscular trauma that can only be compared to full-body whiplash
5.) Separated collar bones and shoulders

I must say that I am truly fortunate to have made it out of this one with only the damage I received. The doctors expect me to make a full recovery, another thing I am extremely grateful for.

As far as what happened, I am not really sure how far I fell. My guess is around 60 feet but I was rendered unconscious somewhere during the fall. We were working on what I believe was the 5.8 variation of The Daddy. I climbed a ways a placed a piece of passive, ultimately, the one that caught me. I climbed a bit further and placed another, and eventually a third. Shortly after placing the third, I made a reach and either missed or my foot slipped and down I came. I believe the last two pieces I placed zippered and and I ping-ponged off the wall. Like I said, I was KO'ed somewhere during the fall and don't remember anything after the initial slip.

I would like to thank EVERYONE who played a part in getting me out of there. You all are heroes in my book and things could have gotten so much worse. My wife thanks you, my 2.5 year old daughter thanks you, and my unborn daughter thanks you.


saxfiend


Nov 8, 2008, 1:33 AM
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Re: [jalmers] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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It's good to hear that you're alive and serviceable enough to get on rc.wanker to tell your story! I'm glad you weren't hurt even worse. Keep us updated on your recovery when you're feeling up to it.

JL


chezdillon


Nov 8, 2008, 1:48 AM
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Re: [jalmers] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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Glad to hear you are recovering. It is amazing to hear that you are expected to make a full recovery. I hope you heal quickly.

- Jeff


knieveltech


Nov 8, 2008, 1:51 AM
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Re: [jalmers] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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Thanks for taking the time to post. I hope you mend quickly.


gothcopter


Nov 8, 2008, 2:48 AM
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Re: [jalmers] Fall at Table Rock [In reply to]
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jalmers wrote:
I was just discharged from the hospital today. The extent of my injuries are as follows:
1.) Fractured skull
2.) Small blood clot between my skull and my brain
3.) Lacerations and abrasions all over my head
4.) Horrible muscular trauma that can only be compared to full-body whiplash
5.) Separated collar bones and shoulders

Might want to add brain damage to the list -- signing up on rockclimbing.com is a sure symptom! Glad to hear you're alright(ish). Godspeed on the recovery.


haley913


Nov 8, 2008, 3:40 AM
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Jay...glad to hear you are out of the hospital and beginning to heal. I work for Outward Bound and we were a part of your rescue. I ended up with your rack, shoes, boots, and your wedding ring. A guy from Burke County EMS came by our basecamp yesterday and picked it up. I wanted to make sure that you got all that stuff back...if not i have a phone number for you. i am real glad to hear your alright.


jalmers


Nov 8, 2008, 3:05 PM
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Thanks so much! I have to say that this is by far, the most pain I have ever experienced. As far as my rack is concerned, a gentleman did bring me a bag of stuff but it was missing a couple of items. My boots (brown leather Timberlands) and my climbing shoes (neon green Evolvs). I got my wedding ring, gear, and partner's climbing shoes.

Again, thanks to everyone for the help and well-wishes.


LineoFire


Nov 8, 2008, 8:35 PM
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my thoughts have been with you over the last few days and am exceedingly happy to hear that youre on the up and ups. god speed towards your recovery and keep your head up.


Partner j_ung


Nov 8, 2008, 9:54 PM
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haley913 wrote:
Jay...glad to hear you are out of the hospital and beginning to heal. I work for Outward Bound and we were a part of your rescue. I ended up with your rack, shoes, boots, and your wedding ring. A guy from Burke County EMS came by our basecamp yesterday and picked it up. I wanted to make sure that you got all that stuff back...if not i have a phone number for you. i am real glad to hear your alright.

jalmers, I'm glad to hear you're okay, man. And haley913, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you guys at OB being there for all of us over the years. You and those who preceded you have pulled so many asses out of the fire. THANK YOU. Smile


knoxes


Nov 9, 2008, 3:22 AM
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LineoFire wrote:
my thoughts have been with you over the last few days and am exceedingly happy to hear that youre on the up and ups. god speed towards your recovery and keep your head up.

Yup - lots of random anonymous climbers out here have their thoughts with you. Extremely grateful those kids still have a dad. Best wishes on your recovery.

And a very big thanks to the rescue group.


ncclimber


Nov 9, 2008, 10:17 PM
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Jay, you've been on our hearts and minds alot. Great to hear that with time you will heal.


tmullenix


Nov 10, 2008, 3:52 PM
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I wish to post information regarding this climbing rescue on the Daddy. As always this event has generated a significant amount of confusion and partial truths. I hope that this post will clarify some things and more importantly get climbers thinking about some important points to remember after an accident. I responded as a member of the Mountain Wilderness Team of McDowell County Emergency Medical Services. My team was called by Burke County who commanded the incident. I am also an AMGA certified instructor with Fox Mountain Guides.
Because I was at this scene in an official capacity I can not and will not comment on anything other than the facts of what was done while I was on scene. Please do not ask me to delve into anything connected to why the climber fell or what his condition was.
What I can clarify is how the rescue was conducted for the purposes of making the climbing community more knowledgable about official rescue operations.
Firstly: Information coming into the 911 center by callers was confusing and pointed toward Table Rock and the Mountains to Sea trail. Anyone calling 911 after an accident should be very specific with location of the victim. Dont assume that rescuers will not know climbing routes. The person taking the 911 call will relay your information even if they dont know the area of the climber.

Burke county command utilized recreational climbers who knew the area and this added to the efficiency of the operation. Dont expect this to happen at every scene however. The foremost concept on the incident commanders mind is maintaining control of all persons in the area and preventing further accidents. As we all know attempts to "control" recreational climbers is about at easy as herding cats. It is quite possible that future incidents may result in the quick removal of all non-offical persons from the scene. Please understand the pressure put on rescue commanders to maintain safety. The interaction between climbers on the scene and the offical rescue personell was effective and without conflict from my view. This operation occured without further injury to the best of my knowledge.
Comments were made regarding how slow the operation was. I think that the rescue happened almost as quickly as can be expected given the conditions. Once the decision is made that the injured is unable to assist in any form the scope increases, the size of the equipment increases and the speed decreases. The patient had Paramedic level care quickly in order to monitor and maintain the patient condition. The lesson to be remembered is that if you are unable to self rescue it will be a very long and tedious process that will focus on safety first, second and third. The rescue will then be made a priority. Hopefully every climber is attempting to achieve the highest level of medical and rescue training they can manage.
The rescue itself from my view of participation started after the Paramedic was with the patient. There were four people on the largest ledge on the Daddy. This ledge is on the end of pitch 3. A master point anchor was extended to the edge. A basket was lowered to the ledge. The lowering of the basket was challenging due to the angle of the cliff. The basket wanted to stop frequently. The hazard here is that if the basket stops on a small ledge and slack is continued to be fed the basket will then dislodge and fall free to the persons below. In retrospect I wish I had attached a light source to the basket as I lost visual of it after about 30 feet. The patient was packaged,the Paramedic attached to the basket, the partner secured to a separate haul line and backup belay lines secured. Communication between bottom and top was by radio which causes a delay. The greatest challenge of the haul was getting the basket over the lip and onto the cliff top without flipping the basket. After the patient was moved to a safe area away from the edge the last climber was belayed from the ledge. A national guard helicopter was on stand by and hovered above the top of the buttress. A cable was lowered and the patient was hauled. The National Guard helicopter brought the patient to a landing zone and transferred care to Med Center Air helicopter staff who flew him to hospital care.
I hope that this post will help the climbing world understand more about what happens after a climbing accident becomes a rescue commanded by officals of an Emergency System. I think that we as a climbing community do a great job of keeping ourselves safe and handling our own problems. Occasionally however there will be an incident that requires a 911 call. In order to help determine the distinction between self rescue and a 911 call I encourage everyone that enters the wilderness to obtain medical and rescue training from a certified and experienced source.

Todd Mullenix
McDowell County EMS
tmullenix@mcdowellems.com
Fox Mountain Guides
todd@foxmountainguides.com


onceahardman


Nov 10, 2008, 11:06 PM
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In reply to:
Five(!!?!?!??!!!thefuck?) people in one clump with one rope on the Daddy? For. Fuck's. Sake.

The "one rope" is really the goatfuck here.

Years ago, I led a party of five up Pete's Farewell (3 pitch 5.7) on Pitchoff Chimney cliff in the Adirondacks. It was the day after a buddy got married in Vermont, and a bunch of us who traveled to the wedding got up early and went for it. BUT-we used four ropes, and were all experienced, and I don't think we ever had 3 people on the same belay ledge. It went off without a hitch, and we finished the route in about 2 hours...15 man-pitches. Quick and efficient, inchworm-style.


jamatt


Nov 11, 2008, 1:43 AM
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hey j.

best wishes to you and your family. i took a 40 footer 10 months ago at shortoff mtn. in the gorge and broke myself up pretty good too. i didn't get a 'copter ride though, instead we self rescued and hiked out. it took almost five hours to get to the truck and i can relate to the "most pain ever" feeling.

i've been out climbing four times this fall. i'm still a little sketchy but every day out is progress.

anyway, i'm in nc also, asheville area, let me know if you need anything--really. a whole bunch of people helped me out and and i feel like i need to pay it forward. you can PM me here or catch me at holleratjohn@gmail.com

john


(This post was edited by jamatt on Nov 11, 2008, 1:44 AM)


socalclimber


Nov 11, 2008, 3:10 AM
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jamatt wrote:
hey j.

best wishes to you and your family. i took a 40 footer 10 months ago at shortoff mtn. in the gorge and broke myself up pretty good too. i didn't get a 'copter ride though, instead we self rescued and hiked out. it took almost five hours to get to the truck and i can relate to the "most pain ever" feeling.

i've been out climbing four times this fall. i'm still a little sketchy but every day out is progress.

anyway, i'm in nc also, asheville area, let me know if you need anything--really. a whole bunch of people helped me out and and i feel like i need to pay it forward. you can PM me here or catch me at holleratjohn@gmail.com

john

Good for you!


medic67


Nov 11, 2008, 2:18 PM
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I am replying to the fall at Table Rock. I was the Paramedic that repelled down to him. I would just like to say that the climbers that was on the rock and in the area did a great job with assisting with the rescue. The total call time was approx. 14 hours. There was one climber that stayed on the edge and helped for the entire time. My hat goes off to him. This was a very difficult place due to the travel time getting there and the amount of equipment needed to raise the subject off the ledge. You guys were great and provided much needed help and information. The climber that fell should be okay. Can't give details about his condtion but lets just say he was very lucky. A helment would have helped him. You climbers be careful and may God look over you. You have my respect...........Joe


Partner j_ung


Nov 11, 2008, 6:20 PM
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I detached and recycled a bunch of off-topic arguing and whining. It's I&A, folks. Keep it on topic. Insult each other via PM. Smile


ncclimber


Nov 12, 2008, 1:47 AM
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  Todd you where awesome out their you represented fox mountain guides with the highest professionalism my hat goes off to you.

THIS WAS A BIG DEAL. Getting out to The Daddy on the rim trail with rescuers carrying heavy bags in the dark is no joke.
The rescuers did the best they could given the area. Things moved smooth and as fast as they could giving the area.

I had tears in my eyes seeing that helo and thinking of all the people out their risking their necks to save one of us climbers. Even though they had no understanding why we do what we do.

God bless everyone who risks their lives to bail out us climbers when we screw up.


medic67


Nov 12, 2008, 3:16 AM
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You guys did alot to help out on the fall at Table Rock. I am the Paramedic that repelled down to him. That dynamic rope is different, anyway you guys were a great help. The fellowship was obvious there. That rim trail was something else....a danger waiting to happen. The helo was a National Guard Blackhawk from Salisbury. Again thank everyone that was there for there help. Even taking me to the climber was a job. Please be careful and wear helmets


jalmers


Nov 12, 2008, 6:21 PM
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Joe, I owe you a pack of smokes. You brought the morphine, and for that I am eternally grateful.

For the rest of you, a quick status update. I am up and walking...slowly and with a limp, but walking nonetheless. My black eye is almost gone, the headaches are lessening in both severity and recurrence, and my shoulders are getting stronger. I don't know if it is my personality, remnants of the Marine Corps, or all the prayers and well-wishes I have received but I am recovering faster than I thought I would have.

Thanks again, and be safe out there.


saxfiend


Nov 12, 2008, 6:47 PM
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jalmers wrote:
I am up and walking...slowly and with a limp, but walking nonetheless. My black eye is almost gone, the headaches are lessening in both severity and recurrence, and my shoulders are getting stronger.
That's great news!

So -- you up for the Mummy next weekend? Heh heh!

JL


jalmers


Nov 12, 2008, 7:06 PM
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saxfiend wrote:
So -- you up for the Mummy next weekend? Heh heh!

Uhhhhhh...no. :)


movingoverstone


Dec 3, 2008, 8:52 PM
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Well fancy meeting you here, Joe. This is Jerimiah, the EMT-B from the ledge. It was definitely a relief to have a Medic arrive. Jay, his friend Chris and you all had really cool heads and good humor (a morbid commonality between climbers and people in emergency medicine?) that kept the experience manageable. It went well all things considered and I certainly learned a great deal. Definitely impressed with the number of people who stepped up to help.

On another note, my partner Brian who remained on the top during the rescue is still missing most of his rack. I'm beginning to think we may have left it at the top of the Mummy, which we had climbed earlier that day. He is a newish leader and the rack was only a few months old: Black Diamond C3s up to a 3 Camalot. Racked on Trango wiregates. So if that sounds familiar to anyone please send me an email. The only other party that had been on the ledge were some young men from Boone who I have been unable to find. Small loss though considering what was at stake... perhaps the rats made off with it! mmmm, shiny.
Jerimiah


Medic56


Jan 21, 2009, 5:02 AM
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My name is Jeff. I was the Team Leader in charge of doing the actual raise. Medic67 ie Joe is a very good friend of mine and we have watched each others backs for over 20 years. I have a son, TJ; who climbs way better than his Dad ever dreamed about. TJ was schooled in his climbing adventures by a dear friend and great person named Mike Fischesser. I started my own adventures in the mid 70's doing stupid things and not getting killed. I am so glad that Jay is doing so well. I have told Joe and many others that this rescue is what I have spent my entire career training for. We were very lucky. To Todd who was very instrumental in pulling this off at the edge...Thank You. There were so many people who were involved and were critical to the execution that I could never remember all of them. I only got to talk to Jay as we transferred him from the Junkin onto the portable that would fit into the Baughman Bag that was used to lift into the helo. I know he heard my voice on the radio as I talked to Joe and tried to reassure him and keep him focused.

What was established were 2 mechanical advantage haul systems. We did not have access to a high directional like a Larkin Frame or Vertex which is exactly what we needed. One thing climbers need to understand is that all rescue operators are taught to use a 15:1 safety margin. We would still be carrying equipment in if we stuck to that to the absolute letter. One of the ropes we started with was only 200 ft and we had to start off with a 3:1 z drag with the other set up as a 5:1. After 2 pulls, we converted the z drag to a 5:1 also so everything would be equal. During the raise, one of the prussik's was found to be almost severed in half. Rope drag was a real problem to say the least. Safety issues were addressed and corrected as they arouse.

I just returned home tonight with my oldest son TJ after receiving a commendation for performing this rescue. TJ found this thread and it brings all things into perspective. Joe received an award like mine but also received an addition award that has never been given before. In fact, I have been doing rescues in this area since 1981 and have never seen or heard of anyone being recognized for doing this. I hope that when Jay feels better that he will come back to this area and Joe and I can meet him in better circumstances. Also, I'd like very much to go climbing with Jay and his friends and family because I know lots of climbers around here and would love to make a day of it!


majid_sabet


Jan 21, 2009, 6:30 AM
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Medic56 wrote:
My name is Jeff. I was the Team Leader in charge of doing the actual raise. Medic67 ie Joe is a very good friend of mine and we have watched each others backs for over 20 years. I have a son, TJ; who climbs way better than his Dad ever dreamed about. TJ was schooled in his climbing adventures by a dear friend and great person named Mike Fischesser. I started my own adventures in the mid 70's doing stupid things and not getting killed. I am so glad that Jay is doing so well. I have told Joe and many others that this rescue is what I have spent my entire career training for. We were very lucky. To Todd who was very instrumental in pulling this off at the edge...Thank You. There were so many people who were involved and were critical to the execution that I could never remember all of them. I only got to talk to Jay as we transferred him from the Junkin onto the portable that would fit into the Baughman Bag that was used to lift into the helo. I know he heard my voice on the radio as I talked to Joe and tried to reassure him and keep him focused.

What was established were 2 mechanical advantage haul systems. We did not have access to a high directional like a Larkin Frame or Vertex which is exactly what we needed. One thing climbers need to understand is that all rescue operators are taught to use a 15:1 safety margin. We would still be carrying equipment in if we stuck to that to the absolute letter. One of the ropes we started with was only 200 ft and we had to start off with a 3:1 z drag with the other set up as a 5:1. After 2 pulls, we converted the z drag to a 5:1 also so everything would be equal. During the raise, one of the prussik's was found to be almost severed in half. Rope drag was a real problem to say the least. Safety issues were addressed and corrected as they arouse.

I just returned home tonight with my oldest son TJ after receiving a commendation for performing this rescue. TJ found this thread and it brings all things into perspective. Joe received an award like mine but also received an addition award that has never been given before. In fact, I have been doing rescues in this area since 1981 and have never seen or heard of anyone being recognized for doing this. I hope that when Jay feels better that he will come back to this area and Joe and I can meet him in better circumstances. Also, I'd like very much to go climbing with Jay and his friends and family because I know lots of climbers around here and would love to make a day of it!

where was this prusik in your system and what was its purpose? ie, belay, haul.....etc

Any picture from this prusik ?

Thanks


Medic56


Jan 24, 2009, 9:45 PM
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Sorry. No Pictures and the prusik was not retained. The running pulleys in the 5:1 haul were connected by tandem double wrap prusiks to the haul line. We were doing two raises in tandem. One was a 2 person load ( Pt and paramedic ) and a second single person load beside the medic to help manage the basket as we were doing a horizontal raise. As we did not have a high directional such as an a frame or such, we used padding over all of the rocks that were in the way. I really wished I had an Oz Pod, Larkin Frame or Arizona vertex in my car. Each set of pulleys had a person assigned who would pick up on the system when needed to clear something. The prusik that was cut was found on the third or 4th pull before we assigned someone to follow them. The package was only approx. 5 - 10 ft off the ledge by then as we had bunches of slack to take out with it being about a 190 ft raise. We could only pull about 15 - 20 ft at a time and would have to reset for another pull. Very limited on space but anchors were plentiful and bomb proof. I was really more worried about the stresses on the rope. That's why I had the guys do tandem double wrap prusiks. 8mm on 5/8 static for the haul lines I hoped a prusik would start to slip some before we reached dangerous stress levels. Act sort of like a fuse-able link. All ropes and prusiks used were removed from service and I think destroyed. Sorry this was long, but I hope it answers your question.


jalmers


Feb 22, 2009, 1:40 AM
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Hi all. This is Jay, the guy that fell. I just wanted to touch base with anyone else that is still paying attention to this thread. You all have no idea how grateful I am for everyone involved in my rescue. You all put your lives at risk to help someone you didn't know, and for that, you are all heroes in my book.

To give everyone a status update on my condition. I know I stated my injuries that I endured earlier in the thread. There were actually more complications that the hospital did not find, and did not inform me that I would come to experience. It is going on four months now from the day the accident actually happened. I just had surgery to repair a broken wrist about two weeks ago and I have three shattered bones in my foot that are mending still. I have had pain every day since the accident in some form or another. I just got over the withdrawals from the physical dependence on the pain killers that I had to take for over three months. I am seeing a therapist for the PTSD that I am going through from the fall. When I look in the mirror, I don't see the same person I was 6 months ago and I was just informed last night, that no matter how hard I try to hide inner-turmoil, I apparently am not the same person to everyone that knows me.

I don't intend for this post to bring anyone down. I just wanted to let everyone know what I have been going through to-date.


Medic56


Feb 22, 2009, 3:37 AM
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Jay, Glad to hear from you!!! You had a life changing event and it sounds as if you are a better person for it. Keep your head up because things will get better every day. I'll make sure Joe knows this post is up. Just cause you're off the rock does not mean that Joe or myself can't still help...if you need anything or someone to chat at or have a question, just give me a shout.


uprocks


Feb 23, 2009, 4:06 AM
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Tipton wrote:
One party was moving slow trying to get five people up The Daddy on one rope from what I saw. (they didn't make it out until well after dark) Another party of two was going very slowly up The Daddy, then bailed, and started on The Prow at an equally slow rate.
Suprised to see this thread still alive, but since it is...as the one leading the party of five (on the magical "one" rope), I can verify (from pics, if needed) there were three other ropes in the group.

My sympathies to the dude who took the fall...just thought it was worth stepping into a still "live" thread to clarify a little mis-information.

And thanks to the (slow) dudes who transitioned to the Prow [also no issues with the 2 passing parties of 2] so I could lead my son and 3 other friends up the Daddy on his first full day as a 13 YO, 15 yrs after his dad's FA in his final days as a bachelor.

Yes, the last person did follow the last pitch via headlamp (ooooo...scarey). FWIW, hiking out after dark (after a late supper on the buttress) is not such a big deal when equipped with a 200+ lumen MTB light.


(This post was edited by uprocks on Feb 23, 2009, 4:07 AM)


Partner j_ung


Feb 23, 2009, 8:50 PM
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jalmers wrote:
Hi all. This is Jay, the guy that fell. I just wanted to touch base with anyone else that is still paying attention to this thread. You all have no idea how grateful I am for everyone involved in my rescue. You all put your lives at risk to help someone you didn't know, and for that, you are all heroes in my book.

To give everyone a status update on my condition. I know I stated my injuries that I endured earlier in the thread. There were actually more complications that the hospital did not find, and did not inform me that I would come to experience. It is going on four months now from the day the accident actually happened. I just had surgery to repair a broken wrist about two weeks ago and I have three shattered bones in my foot that are mending still. I have had pain every day since the accident in some form or another. I just got over the withdrawals from the physical dependence on the pain killers that I had to take for over three months. I am seeing a therapist for the PTSD that I am going through from the fall. When I look in the mirror, I don't see the same person I was 6 months ago and I was just informed last night, that no matter how hard I try to hide inner-turmoil, I apparently am not the same person to everyone that knows me.

I don't intend for this post to bring anyone down. I just wanted to let everyone know what I have been going through to-date.

I don't see how anybody could be the same person after all that -- or why they would want to be. Stick with it, bro, and come out of it changed for the stronger. You're alive! Everything else is still possible.


limeydave


Feb 23, 2009, 9:00 PM
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jalmers wrote:
Hi all. This is Jay, the guy that fell. I just wanted to touch base with anyone else that is still paying attention to this thread. You all have no idea how grateful I am for everyone involved in my rescue. You all put your lives at risk to help someone you didn't know, and for that, you are all heroes in my book.

To give everyone a status update on my condition. I know I stated my injuries that I endured earlier in the thread. There were actually more complications that the hospital did not find, and did not inform me that I would come to experience. It is going on four months now from the day the accident actually happened. I just had surgery to repair a broken wrist about two weeks ago and I have three shattered bones in my foot that are mending still. I have had pain every day since the accident in some form or another. I just got over the withdrawals from the physical dependence on the pain killers that I had to take for over three months. I am seeing a therapist for the PTSD that I am going through from the fall. When I look in the mirror, I don't see the same person I was 6 months ago and I was just informed last night, that no matter how hard I try to hide inner-turmoil, I apparently am not the same person to everyone that knows me.

I don't intend for this post to bring anyone down. I just wanted to let everyone know what I have been going through to-date.

Jay -
I hope the healing goes fast for you.

Your comment about not being the same person struck a chord with me; although it wasn't a climbing accident, I had a biggie as a motorcycle courier in London about 13years ago.

Long story short, although I was very grateful for all the help, and generally in good spirits while I spent time recovering, I was often an a**hole to my friends and family, it was out of character for me to be like that and I think it was result of frustration from not being able to get around by myself.

After about 3 or 4 months I was able to walk again, but I'd say the frustration and delayed stress lasted a good 6 months after the accident.

I don't know if this is directly relevant or even helpful, but I wanted you to know you reminded me of a time when I was dealt a hand like yours, and you're right, the tough bits to deal with are the ones you didn't expect....

Good luck.


jalmers


Feb 23, 2009, 9:11 PM
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limeydave -

Thank you for this. I am pretty much over the physical aspect, sans occasional moments of pain in my wrist or foot. The biggest issue is that I am constantly, in one way or another, reminded of the accident. That coupled with the fear of falling, inability to close my eyes for a period of time without waking up with that "falling feeling", the panic attacks (which I am on medication for now), and the numbness inside. All of those things, for so long, have created a person that I don't recognize and apparently it isn't just me that doesn't recognize him. The good news is, I do realize that something isn't right, and that I am getting help from people that are experienced in traumatic event-related therapy.

The physical is almost healed, now it is time to focus on the mental/emotional.


limeydave


Feb 23, 2009, 9:20 PM
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jalmers wrote:
limeydave -

Thank you for this. I am pretty much over the physical aspect, sans occasional moments of pain in my wrist or foot. The biggest issue is that I am constantly, in one way or another, reminded of the accident. That coupled with the fear of falling, inability to close my eyes for a period of time without waking up with that "falling feeling", the panic attacks (which I am on medication for now), and the numbness inside. All of those things, for so long, have created a person that I don't recognize and apparently it isn't just me that doesn't recognize him. The good news is, I do realize that something isn't right, and that I am getting help from people that are experienced in traumatic event-related therapy.

The physical is almost healed, now it is time to focus on the mental/emotional.

You are absolutely right - knowing that something isn't right and puzzling it out tells me that you will be successful eventually.

There's a lot of what you are experiencing that I remember dealing with myself, and it's hard. Ha, I remember wanting to puke every time I got on a plane while the panic attacks were still common. I won't give you any beta though, your strengths are probably different to mine!

If you're ever in the RDU area I'll buy you a beer and we can talk about anything other than climbing...how's that? Smile


jalmers


Feb 25, 2009, 12:50 AM
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I actually work in Chapel Hill and live about 25 minutes from the RDU area. I'd be down for a beer or two. :)


boymeetsrock


Feb 25, 2009, 2:05 AM
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Jay,

Glad to hear you are on the mend, albeit slow. Keep you're head up. Your perseverance is an inspiration.

Good vibes your way! Cool


saxfiend


Feb 25, 2009, 4:00 AM
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jalmers wrote:
I don't intend for this post to bring anyone down. I just wanted to let everyone know what I have been going through to-date.
You have my sympathies, Jay, and don't worry about bringing anyone down. Like limeydave, I spent close to a year on my back after a motorcycle wreck, so I can kind of relate to your suffering.

Recovery may take a long time, but it'll come. In the meantime, try to roll with the person you are now and let go of the one you were six months ago.

Keep in touch here on the forum.

JL


marciontheclimb


Apr 10, 2009, 8:53 PM
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seen and heard too much about not wearing a helmet, this string is another one, we all like to be on the wild side.

People are doing crazy things. Check out All Sport Helmets it is an internet site, just got a pretty nice CAMP.
In reply to:


http://www.allsporthelmets.com


HIGHER_CLIMBER


Apr 11, 2009, 10:33 PM
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Hey Jay, how you doin now man?


jalmers


Apr 30, 2009, 12:23 PM
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Hey guys...

I am doing better now, for the most part. Have been on medication to help with the PTSD and panic attacks for several months and they are working great. Only really had 1 "episode" since I have been on them so i guess they are doing their job.

I have decided to walk away from climbing. Not because I am afraid of heights or because I am giving up. When you climb, especially trad. climbing, you cannot second-guess yourself. I know I would be second guessing every single move I make and it would take the fun out of the sport. I want everyone to know, I am still a HUGE supporter of climbing and want everyone who is thinking about climbing to give it a shot. Just be smart about it, wear a helmet!

On a lighter note, we had our second baby (hence the delay in this post) about 2 months ago and she is doing swimmingly. I think she has helped me get through a lot of my issues, or at the very least...gotten my mind off of things.

I have also been semi-keeping up with a blog about my experiences. For those of you that are interested, it is at http://www.jayalmers.com/blog. For those of you who were there, please let me know if I have missed anything or gotten anything wrong as I still don't remember a whole lot for about a week after my accident. I haven't shared that link with anyone except my family. As climbers, you are all my family too so it is only fitting.

Thanks for checking up on me and keep in touch.


Partner oldsalt


Apr 30, 2009, 2:01 PM
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Jay, your last part about "family" got me. I have been following your story and I find that I really care that you are still part of this family, even if you are not active at present.

If you never go back, keep the good memories. I am through skateboarding, which destroyed my hip. I look back and sometimes ache to go to Kona again. Then I realize how great it is to be able to climb with a bionic hip, and the irrational urge passes.

Best wishes,

Steve


boymeetsrock


Apr 30, 2009, 6:31 PM
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Jay !!!


What wonderful news on the birth of your daughter!! Congratulations to you and your wife!!

Very glad to hear of your progress in mending too. Your perseverance, and the way in which you are dealing with your accident continue to be truly inspiring. You seem to be handling a VERY challenging situation with much grace.

My thoughts continue to go out to you, and congratulations again on the new life ahead of you!

-Wyeth


HIGHER_CLIMBER


May 10, 2009, 12:52 AM
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Glad to hear things are looking up for you again. Congrats on your second child! I'm sure you have your hands full. Maybe you'll throw on the ol' harness (actually, probably a new one, lol) when your kids are old enough to want to do what daddy used to do! Take care man, and check back in with us.

-James


jealmers


Jan 30, 2012, 7:40 PM
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Hello everyone.

This is Jay, the climber that this thread was all about. I just wanted to touch base with everyone that is still interested. It has been 3 years and 29 days since my accident and believe it or not, I am still alive. I have had part of my wrist removed, my ankle reconstructed, still suffer from mild PTSD, and have frontal/global damage to my brain. It has been a bit tough learning how to deal with and overcome my deficits that until about a year ago were being masked by the PTSD. But...I am learning.

I am still working as a Web developer / programmer. I actually just transferred from UNC to UNC-TV so that is pretty exciting. My girls are growing up, entirely too fast. My youngest, that I came close to not meeting will be 3 on Feb. 25. Thank you to those involved in my rescue and the ones rooting for me during my recovery, for helping me continue this ride we call life.

Oh, and BTW. I am in the process of forming a non-profit organization dedicated to the advocacy and support of brain injury survivors, their friends & family, and their caregivers. Check us out online or on Facebook.

Again, this was just a quick check in for anyone interested.


Partner j_ung


Jan 31, 2012, 4:03 PM
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That's great to hear, Jay! Thanks so much for the update.


sungam


Feb 1, 2012, 3:29 PM
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Great to hear you are recovering well, Jay!


boymeetsrock


Feb 3, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Thanks for sharing the update Jay. Good work on your continued recovery.


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