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Go Back   KOTR Forums > Climbing > Accidents & Injuries

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  #1  
Unread 08-08-2007, 09:00 PM
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shanja shanja is offline
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Check, 1 - 2, check 1 - 2

Okey dokey folks, here's the new thread and a grim reminder of how a safe activity like indoor sport climbing can lead to disaster.
An un-named climber friend of ours was at Taejosan indoor wall last week when the worst happened. LET'S LEARN FROM THIS:
She was lead climbing and fell from about 12 m up. She hit the deck. She will be in hospital a month or so and a wheelchair long after. She is a good and experienced climber. BUT she didn't check her belayer. Her belayer, unfamiliar with a gri-gri had threaded it upside down and it failed. She fell, her belayer feels awful and she feels sore. Check each other everytime!
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  #2  
Unread 08-09-2007, 08:07 PM
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Sending all the positive energy. . .

KOTReres are generally good about checking such things. . . I know I probably drive everyone crazy with my continuous: OK, I'm the break hand, you're the climber (I look at the diagrams on my gri-gri every time). . . but . . . anyway, prayers for your friend and thanks for the timely reminder.

Check knots, belays. . . work out communicative signals. . . it's easy to be so psyched to climb and it's super easy to feel "safe" sport-climbing, esp indoors. . . sometimes it feels weird to refuse a belay because you don't want to "hurt someone's feelings".

Having been on both sides of some serious evacuations and injuries, I no longer care about people's feelings. . . I daresay there are people on this site who've shown such poor judgement I would not climb with them and would rather not be around when they climb!
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  #3  
Unread 08-10-2007, 08:21 AM
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Goddammit, I wrote a fairly long response and then accidentally clicked the "back" button on my mouse.

Summary:

-Ouch. That's bad.
-I don't like gri-gris.
-I prefer ATCs (or 8s) because of their simplicity and idiot-proofiness.
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  #4  
Unread 08-10-2007, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
I prefer ATCs (or 8s) because of their simplicity and idiot-proofiness.

gri-gris generally fail when threaded wrong (or if someone pulls and holds the lever back!)-- the former easily checked. . . 8's and ATCs fail anytime someone's attention lapses, and I've witnessed this far more!!

Bottom line-- when you belay, pay attention; when you climb insist on a belayer who pays attention. Where's ShagyMB when you need him. . . or Miguel?! K-L and Shanja rock as belayers too! I belay attentively, but make sure I'm tied in or I fly!
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Unread 10-09-2007, 11:14 PM
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I'm with normalcyispasse grigris are bad. Not in themselves they are not, on their own there is nothing wrong with them its the belay habits they breed especially in climbers that start with the grigri. Seriously how many times have you been out climbing and watched a belayer take a hand off the brake end of the rope?"Oh its fine because I'm using a grigri" I see it EVERY time I go out climbing here.
Both Grigris and ATC's can be threaded wrong but ATC's are just easier to check (and yes they should be checked every climb). And they don't breed bad habits, you don't take your brake hand off the rope because you can't (at least in theory, I have seen that too. "grimace")
Moral of the story is most climbing accidents can be prevented. I'm not of the school that believes climbing should be dangerous to be fun.

I am really sorry for your friend and I hope she is on the road to a speedy recovery. I am sure we are all sending our well wishes.
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  #6  
Unread 10-10-2007, 07:59 AM
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It seems like the current trend is to teach people how to belay ONLY using a gri-gri, too.

There's also the bit that using a gri-gri can, in many cases, inspire laziness. Since it's an autobraking system, it's easy to get distracted; on TR, the climber can quickly climb ahead of the tension and then if they fall, there's a lot more fall to take. On an ATC, 8, or other plate-style belay device the belayer is constantly aware of the tension in the rope (well, discounting rope drag) and, even if he/she isn't watching the climber, he/she can still belay a safe amount of rope at any given moment.
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Unread 10-10-2007, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normalcyispasse
It seems like the current trend is to teach people how to belay ONLY using a gri-gri, too.
There's also the bit that using a gri-gri can, in many cases, inspire laziness.
i fully agree!

Quote:
Since it's an autobraking system...
i know someone who decked their climber using a grigri. the rope zipped through and would not lock up.
the grigri is not an autobraking device!!
this is the key misunderstanding that leads to laziness.

Quote:
on TR, the climber can quickly climb ahead of the tension and then if they fall, there's a lot more fall to take. On an ATC, 8, or other plate-style belay device the belayer is constantly aware of the tension in the rope (well, discounting rope drag) and, even if he/she isn't watching the climber, he/she can still belay a safe amount of rope at any given moment.
i disagree. this is an attention issue and can happen with any device.
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  #8  
Unread 10-10-2007, 02:09 PM
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Hey Ryan, thanks for he wishes, I'm sure she will appreciate them as she lies still in her hospital bed (she did "sneak" out for our gyms re-openning party a few weeks back). I guess that you said the key point I have tried to make before. Gri-gri's are fine, but they have the unfortuneate tendency, (especially in beginners) of creating a dangerously false sense of security. Nothing beats attentiveness and experience with any belay system though. Thanks also to Rick, Brandon and Sonia for their valid points too.
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  #9  
Unread 10-10-2007, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Check, 1 - 2, check 1 - 2

I think you said it best here.

(Anyone who's climbed with me and my gri-gri know I have the annoying habit of saying: OK, I am the break hand and you are the climber. And then I show them so they can check against the diagram.)

This thread was quite awhile ago! I am sorry to hear your friend is still in the hospital! It must have been pretty serious! Hopefully nothing permanent.
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  #10  
Unread 10-10-2007, 04:05 PM
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if you are climbing on a top rope and you're unsure if your partner has threaded the grigri correctly, just grab the rope between you and the anchor and pull down. you should see the device lock up.
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