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wanderlustmd


Apr 26, 2007, 3:15 PM
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Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident
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http://www.adn.com/...24681p-8725594c.html

Best wishes to the family/friendsUnsure


zealotnoob


Apr 26, 2007, 3:24 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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More fodder to use an auto-block or a fireman's belay, without exception. Condolences.


moose_droppings


Apr 26, 2007, 3:29 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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My condolences to all the family and friends.


(This post was edited by moose_droppings on Apr 26, 2007, 3:30 PM)


Partner j_ung


Apr 26, 2007, 3:30 PM
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Re: [zealotnoob] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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From the article, it doesn't sound like and autobloc would have worked and it doesn't sound like a fireman's belay was feasible. A knot in the end, however...

Terrible news. Whoever he is, my condolences to family and friends. His wife might not even know yet. Frown


wanderlustmd


Apr 26, 2007, 3:30 PM
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Re: [zealotnoob] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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zealotnoob wrote:
More fodder to use an auto-block or a fireman's belay, without exception. Condolences.

And to tie knots; looks like the best idea so far is that she was hit by something, let go and rapped off the end...

Horrible. Things like this suck the fun out of it.Unsure


the_climber


Apr 26, 2007, 3:47 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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Tragic.

Condolences to the family and climbnig partner. I can't imagine getting down alone after that.Unsure


Climb safe people, thing like this can happen to the best of them.


reg


Apr 26, 2007, 4:00 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
From the article, it doesn't sound like and autobloc would have worked and it doesn't sound like a fireman's belay was feasible. A knot in the end, however...

wasn't the autoblock reference to a prusik?

j_ung wrote:
Terrible news. Whoever he is, my condolences to family and friends. His wife might not even know yet. Frown

mine too


granite_grrl


Apr 26, 2007, 4:35 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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Terrible thing to happen.

Let this be a reminder to double check and backup your systems.

Condolences.


Partner oldsalt


Apr 26, 2007, 6:29 PM
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Re: [zealotnoob] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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zealotnoob wrote:
More fodder to use an auto-block or a fireman's belay, without exception. Condolences.

First, I wish God's blessings on the families involved.

I support this position, and I always rap with an autoblock. As I considered the article on this accident, I mentally put myself on the wall - and got a scary thought...

I rap with my right hand on the rope(s), below the ATC. My autoblock is above the ATC, managed by my left hand. I used to put the autoblock below the ATC and use my right hand to manage the entire process. I stopped doing that when I considered that the first notice I would have that I had rapped off one or both strands would be when the rope passed through both the autoblock and the hand now holding either nothing or the single remaining strand.

With the autoblock above, I could still react by releasing it with my left hand and letting it grab before the end could clear. I rap slowly, by the way.

The scary thought is that when I felt the end pass through my right hand (below the ATC), I would reflexively clutch the autoblock. An autoblock works when it is allowed to stretch out along the rope and tighten. If I keep a firm grip on it, due to panic/fear, it can't stretch out and it won't lock.

Am I missing something in this thought process?


zealotnoob


Apr 26, 2007, 7:05 PM
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Re: [oldsalt] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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Here's a good article on the topic:

http://www.chockstone.org/...otectingAnAbseil.htm


(This post was edited by zealotnoob on Apr 26, 2007, 8:08 PM)


rocknice2


Apr 26, 2007, 10:36 PM
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Re: [oldsalt] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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oldsalt wrote:
zealotnoob wrote:
More fodder to use an auto-block or a fireman's belay, without exception. Condolences.

First, I wish God's blessings on the families involved.

I rap with my right hand on the rope(s), below the ATC. My autoblock is above the ATC, managed by my left hand. I used to put the autoblock below the ATC and use my right hand to manage the entire process. I stopped doing that when I considered that the first notice I would have that I had rapped off one or both strands would be when the rope passed through both the autoblock and the hand now holding either nothing or the single remaining strand.

With the autoblock above, I could still react by releasing it with my left hand and letting it grab before the end could clear. I rap slowly, by the way.

The scary thought is that when I felt the end pass through my right hand (below the ATC), I would reflexively clutch the autoblock. An autoblock works when it is allowed to stretch out along the rope and tighten. If I keep a firm grip on it, due to panic/fear, it can't stretch out and it won't lock.

Am I missing something in this thought process?

Nothing beats a knot at the bottom of each strand.

My condolences to the family and friends.


papounet


Apr 26, 2007, 10:42 PM
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What you could be missing is/

It takes some tme for a "autoblock knot3 especially a prussik it seems) on a rapidlw moving rope, this translates into distance/ there is no garantee that the knot will catch in time

if the lenght of cord is long enough to allow the atoblocking knot to clinch the rope n the advent the rope goes trough the rappel device, the knot will be probably out of reach

The knot will be very tight

After numerous tries;, I have found that the most useful way is the one teached by french national guiding school/

The rappelling device is extending via a sling, the autoblock is below and attached by a locker to the harness. (if a double length sling is used, there is a overhand knot at the middle of the string: sling s girthitched to the harness tie-in point,device is attached by locker in the first loop of the sling, (which is extended° the remainig loop of the sling is clipped back with another locker on a girthitch to the ti in point. at the belay station, this extra can be used as a daisy

Most of the times a autoblock is used by the first to go dozn to breath, find the enxt rappel station or sort ou the ropes, ths is common enough that to have the knot easy to free is rather important.
having the knot belw the descender means that the knot need to hold "less3than wehn it is above (because f the friction introduced bythe descending evice°


Partner oldsalt


Apr 30, 2007, 12:39 AM
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papounet wrote:
What you could be missing is/

The rappelling device is extending via a sling, the autoblock is below and attached by a locker to the harness....having the knot belw the descender means that the knot need to hold "less3than wehn it is above (because f the friction introduced bythe descending evice°

That is the way that I set it up until I worked through some scenarios in accidents that I read about. It is true that there is less load on a prusik/autoblock below the rap device. It is also true that if you rap off the end of the rope, it will pass through your hand, through the prusik, and through the rappel device in an instant. You will have no second chance to grab the rope end.

With the prusik above the device, there is a chance that the prusik will grab after the rope tail passes through the device. You must note that the tail has passed and release the tension on the prusik in order for it to grab the rope and save your life.

The key is to visually monitor the rope strand or strands so that you may see a short strand before you get to it. I am meticulous about rapping, since that is when I feel stressed during a climb. Too many experienced people have done just one thing wrong and paid dearly for the error.


alicex4


Apr 30, 2007, 3:50 PM
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From NPS Morning Report
Denali National Park & Preserve (AK)
Climbing Victim Identified As Past NPS Employee

The park has released the name of the climber who died on Mt. Wake on Monday, April 23rd. Lara-Karena Kellogg, 38, of Seattle, Washington, died from injuries sustained in a 1,000-foot fall that occurred while rappelling the technical Northeast Ridge. Her climbing partner did not directly witness the fall, and it remains unknown exactly what caused the rappelling accident. Lara – then Lara Bitenieks – was a former seasonal climbing ranger and member of the search and rescue team at Mount Rainier NP. A current US Forest Service employee living in the Seattle area, she would often help with SAR missions at Mount Rainier during the fall, winter and spring. She and her husband, Chad Kellogg, another former climbing ranger, last assisted the park in the search for two RMI guides in the winter of 2005. Mike Gauthier, the park’s search and rescue coordinator, writes this about Lara: “She was an exceptional climber, snowboarder, surfer and world traveler. When choosing adventures, Lara always sought remote locations off the beaten path. She did not seek the spotlight, but was easily recognized as a leader amongst her friends. Her independent spirit touched many people, including people at Mount Rainier.” [Submitted by Kris Fister, Public Affairs, Denali; Mike Gauthier, Search and Rescue Coordinator, Mount Rainier]


Partner kimgraves


Apr 30, 2007, 4:02 PM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] Climber Dies in Rappelling Accident [In reply to]
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This is very tragic accident that sadly seems wholly preventable.

The party only had one rope - It was an alpine rope I think an 8ish. The plan was for the leader to rap the whole length of the single line placing protection as she went, then establish an anchor at the end of the rap. The second would then down climb being belayed by the "leader".

The leader was rappelling using a Reverso - the report does not indicate whether it was a Reverso or the smaller Reversino or whether it was one of the newer models with the teeth. But either way, a single thin line was being used in a relatively low friction device. The women remarked how difficult it was to control. This was a red flag that was not addressed.

There was no rap backup and no knot in the end of the rope. So when the victim got to the end of the rope, she would have had to stop and control the rap with one hand while establishing the anchor with the other. There is speculation that she was hit by something, but it seems just as possible to me that in a moments inattention while she was trying to deal with the clusterfuck of establishing an anchor while trying to hold on to a single thin line that she lost control.

Certainly a backup and a knot in the end of the rope might well have saved her. She could have also used double biners to give her more friction at the device and/or double devices.

But there are two ways I can think of (and probably more) to handle this situation that are even better.

1) There was no reason that I can think of that she needed to be untied from the end of the rope. Simply stay tied in and rap the line. A backup is still useful so you have the option of going hands free to establish the anchor. The additional plus is that you have control of the end of the rope so it can't blow around. The reason the report gave for not tying a knot is that they were worried about the rope getting stuck.

2) The other option is not to rap, but to lower. Both people stay tied in. The advantage of lowering is that each person in the party only has one thing to do and they can concentrate on that task. There is no chance of the rope getting stuck. Once you practice, lowering is very fast at the transition point. Of course the lower should be backed up so that if the lowerer looses control the person being lowered won't go anywhere. But if both people are tied it, you still have that ultimate backup.

Lowering is not a technique many people think of or practice. There is a good discussion of it in Alan Jolly's DVD "Moving Faster". My feeling is that it's a technique that should be used more.

Condolences to all.

Best, Kim


billl7


May 1, 2007, 3:07 PM
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Staying tied in for a single line rap sounds interesting. Just need to keep track of all that loose rope.

Being lowered out-of-sight while setting pro sounds tricky since communication could get sketchy - especially near the end of the _full_ rope length. Unless communication is good, the person setting pro should have control IMO.

And unlike this situation, if the first one is lowered and the second rappels on two strands then the lowerer will damn well need to know the location of the middle of the rope (tie it off first?).


Partner kimgraves


May 1, 2007, 3:52 PM
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billl7 wrote:
Staying tied in for a single line rap sounds interesting. Just need to keep track of all that loose rope.

Being lowered out-of-sight while setting pro sounds tricky since communication could get sketchy - especially near the end of the _full_ rope length. Unless communication is good, the person setting pro should have control IMO.

And unlike this situation, if the first one is lowered and the second rappels on two strands then the lowerer will damn well need to know the location of the middle of the rope (tie it off first?).

No need to keep track of all the loose rope - it's hanging down from you. Or better you can coil it into a sling/rope bag and it will feed as you go.

Communication is ALWAYS an issue. My partner and I had a similar issue last winter when we dropped into a gorge for an ice climb. We couldn't see each other over the edge. We ended up using walkie-talkie's which worked great.

For your final issue - of course the middle of the rope should ALWAYS be marked - and indeed I would find it first and tie an overhand knot prior to the lower.

Best, Kim


billl7


May 1, 2007, 4:21 PM
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kimgraves wrote:
billl7 wrote:
Staying tied in for a single line rap sounds interesting. Just need to keep track of all that loose rope.

Being lowered out-of-sight while setting pro sounds tricky since communication could get sketchy - especially near the end of the _full_ rope length. Unless communication is good, the person setting pro should have control IMO.

And unlike this situation, if the first one is lowered and the second rappels on two strands then the lowerer will damn well need to know the location of the middle of the rope (tie it off first?).

No need to keep track of all the loose rope - it's hanging down from you. Or better you can coil it into a sling/rope bag and it will feed as you go.

Communication is ALWAYS an issue. My partner and I had a similar issue last winter when we dropped into a gorge for an ice climb. We couldn't see each other over the edge. We ended up using walkie-talkie's which worked great.

For your final issue - of course the middle of the rope should ALWAYS be marked - and indeed I would find it first and tie an overhand knot prior to the lower.
I prefer to minimize my reliance on communication. There could be a lot of tedious comms for pro over a full rope length.
I get very nervous about being in a remote location and having a huge loop of thrown rope hanging below me; so I'd 2nd your suggestion of keeping it with you (if staying tied in on rappel). Bill L


clayman


May 1, 2007, 4:57 PM
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oldsalt wrote:
papounet wrote:
What you could be missing is/

The rappelling device is extending via a sling, the autoblock is below and attached by a locker to the harness....having the knot belw the descender means that the knot need to hold "less3than wehn it is above (because f the friction introduced bythe descending evice°

That is the way that I set it up until I worked through some scenarios in accidents that I read about. It is true that there is less load on a prusik/autoblock below the rap device. It is also true that if you rap off the end of the rope, it will pass through your hand, through the prusik, and through the rappel device in an instant. You will have no second chance to grab the rope end.

With the prusik above the device, there is a chance that the prusik will grab after the rope tail passes through the device. You must note that the tail has passed and release the tension on the prusik in order for it to grab the rope and save your life.
.


Although I put my prussik below the ATC, I'm not advocating it. But, I do remember a story (urban legend?) of where a climber was rappelling with the prussik above the ATC, he went over an overhang, hence he was free from the rock, lo and behold in the ceiling of the overhang was a bees nest. The whole nest attacked him, causing him to let go of the rope and engaging the prussik. Since the prussik was above the ATC, all his weight was on it and he couldn't reach the wall, he died. Something to think about too.


AAC


May 3, 2007, 5:41 PM
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AAC Grant Established in Lara Kellogg's Name

Lara-Karena Bitenieks Kellogg Memorial Conservation Grant

A fund has been established in Lara Kellog’s honor at the American Alpine Club. Kellogg, an AAC member, died during an attempt on the the Northeast Buttress of Mt. Wake in the Alaska Range.

Contribute to the grant fund at the AAC support page. Please indicate that your contribution is for the Lara Kellogg Memorial in the comments field.

Details of how to apply for the grant are yet to be developed. Awards will begin in 2008.


iceisnice


May 14, 2007, 3:20 PM
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Lara flew in with us to the Ruth Gorge. I also ran into her at Hafner Creek up near Banff this winter. I only met her those two times, but she left an impression. Amazing woman.

That being said. I get tired of these threads. We just want to give our condolences and remark on the effects these amazing people had on our lives. Instead, we get a lot of "know it alls" who have the benefit of hindsight preaching about how things should be done. You weren't there and you'll never know. Some with preach that this is a learning experience. Well, if there is a lesson, its that the mountains are an uncontrollable environment. Things happen up there that will baffle most of the "lowlanders" (and that includes most climbers). Its random and chaotic. From your armchairs I'm sure you are all amazing, safe climbers.......


aerili


May 14, 2007, 8:45 PM
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kimgraves wrote:
2) The other option is not to rap, but to lower. Both people stay tied in. The advantage of lowering is that each person in the party only has one thing to do and they can concentrate on that task. There is no chance of the rope getting stuck. Once you practice, lowering is very fast at the transition point. Of course the lower should be backed up so that if the lowerer looses control the person being lowered won't go anywhere. But if both people are tied it, you still have that ultimate backup.

Lowering is not a technique many people think of or practice. There is a good discussion of it in Alan Jolly's DVD "Moving Faster". My feeling is that it's a technique that should be used more.

Is this by any chance also called short roping? (Not what most of us climbers think as short roping when we're lead belaying.)

From what I heard from a friend who is in the process of getting AMGA certified, the lowering method via short roping is not that easy to do well and properly.


Partner kimgraves


May 14, 2007, 9:56 PM
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aerili wrote:
kimgraves wrote:
2) The other option is not to rap, but to lower.

Is this by any chance also called short roping?

Short roping is not the same thing (that I know off). My understanding is that short roping is used by guides to give their sports a temporary belay as needed while moving up or down. It's "not easy" because there is no anchor.

Lowering someone involves using the anchor (just like in a rap) but controlling the rope at the anchor rather than at the climber. You use a rap device in the lower just like in a rap.

I suggest getting Jolly's DVD to see what lowering is. It's a good tape as is his self-rescue tape.

Best, Kim


aerili


May 15, 2007, 5:33 PM
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Right, I've seen lowering in action, I understand.

Ah, I think I remember what you're talking about with regard to short roping now--I believe I remember my friend saying you use a hip belay to do so....In essence, it could be like "assisted downclimbing" for the guidee I guess?

Thanks.


Partner kimgraves


May 15, 2007, 5:38 PM
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aerili wrote:
Ah, I think I remember what you're talking about with regard to short roping now--I believe I remember my friend saying you use a hip belay to do so....In essence, it could be like "assisted downclimbing" for the guidee I guess?

That's right - a hip belay or in the old days a shoulder belay. The belayer braces their feet or straddles a rock/tree etc. to create "the anchor".

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