climber decks, kills dog?

Gaston? High Step? Drop Knee? Talk in here.
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goodguy
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by goodguy » Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:29 am

I am happy that the climber only has a minor physical injury and will recover. However, it sounds like it is the belayers fault that the climber decked. I have dealt with both teaching new belayers with ATC's and Gri Gri's. I have also intervened when climbers were using unsafe belay techniques and I have had the opportunity to talk to belayers after they made a mistake and nearly or did drop a climber.

In my experience the only way to change a belayers technique is to intervene immediately upon seeing the mistakes and if they are willing to take responsibility for their actions then someone must be brutally honest with them and let them know their and only their actions are the reason the climber hit the ground. Keep in mind, including the distractions as contributing factors is fine as long as they understand that it should not have happened even with them there. When something like this happens and the climber and belayer can walk away relatively unscathed it could turn out to be a good thing for the long safe future of their climbing lives.

OK. so I think it is sad that the dog is dead. I have always had a dog and I have 3 siblings and 3 kids. I don't bring my dog to the crag because it isn't safe for the climbers and belayers to have to worry about any other distractions. For the same reason I go to less frequented crags when I have new people and/or my kids.

Also, I have seen defensive responses on this forum for years and I hope that after re reading the post that , IDratherCLIMB put up. He/She will find the part about losing a dog like losing a sibling a bit over the top, but it is nice that the people involved in the accident have someone who will go to bat for them.
Oh man, he is messing that up. However, he is missing his left leg so that way would probably be harder for him. SCIN, just before spraying some beta for a climber doing a route the WRONG way.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by bentley » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:13 am

Wow are there a lot of confused people out there.

It's very cut and dry. The belayer made a mistake by grabbing the cam on the gri gri. Thanks to Toad, we know the root of the problem, she was incorrectly taught on how to use a gri gri. If this does not make sense, refer to my original post below.

If there is a tug on the rope and your reaction is to hold down the cam on a gri gri or if that does not make sense, please see my original post below.

If you think not touching the gri gri at all when using it, please stop belaying until you realize your incorrect and watch the link below.

If you think letting go of the brake end of the rope is the only way to give slack, your a dangerous belayer. If that does not make sense watch the link below.

Use a gri gri like an ATC, it is NOT an auto locking device. It is a brake assisted device.

First off, the the gri gri is still in one piece, the belay device did not fail. It was improperly used.

The music and number of people in this incident are irrelevant.

If you put your hand over the cam on a gri gri, it will not lock.

If that does not make sense to you please stop belaying with a gri gri until you can figure out how to use it properly.
Here is a video that explains this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSVchbjVKLE
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by Andrew » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:23 am

I wasn't going to post, but since this has turned in to a cluster of people I know arguing with one another I feel like I should try to provide some diplomacy.

For those who don't know I dropped my sister about 4 years ago. It was my fault, belayer error. I wasn't holding down the cam like most do when dropping someone with a gri-gri, but I was holding tightly to the climber end of the rope trying to regain balance on a rock. This didn't allow enough pressure for the cam to engage and for those that don't know, once rope starts flying through a gri-gri, especially a thin rope, it won't stop on its own. Anyway, my sister got really lucky and is fine, still climbs hard and still gives me hell about it.

1. People are bashing pretty hard on the two climbers who I know well. There is a significant amount of name calling and thumbing of noses like IdratherCLIMB said. But just as I had to accept, this was belayer error, plain and simple, and yes experienced belayers can make mistakes. Why people can't understand the fact that experienced climbers can make errors is beyond me. I think the numerous recent examples around the U.S. have proved this.
2. To the people that ran out of there as soon as the accident happened, shame on you. That is lame everyday of the week, and twice on sunday.(pun intended) Sure you have kids, so do I, so let one person take them, and everyone else stay and help, or even better sit them by possum lips and both help to make sure the situation is stable. I don't care how stupid or your assumptions of stupid the people who had the accident are, HELP THEM. I don't care if they were climbing while juggling chainsaws, help them. Yall are lame, and if I know you which I probably do, that was a lame move.
3. IdratherClimb, I am also sure I know you also, but are you really serious. Losing a dog is not like losing a sibling, when was the last time you heard of someone losing a sibling and then they went out and bought another sibling. Never.
4. Saxman you really are being an ass.
5. Once again we all really need to learn from this scenario. Belayers need to really think about their technique. People should be aware of where they sit and where they put their dogs, how many of us sit underneath climbers.
6. I got seriously made fun of for a long time for my mistake, and rightfully so... sorry D and M but I am probably going to give you a hard time, and after learning from the mistakes laughter usually is some good medicine.
7. If there is anything I learned from this is to climb with a pack of dogs below me with a layer of cats on top of them.(sorry I had to) RIP Pepper you were a cute dog.
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by chriss » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:42 am

Thanks for the thoughtful post Andrew. Finally someone with some tact and insight.
Andrew wrote: But just as I had to accept, this was belayer error, plain and simple, and yes experienced belayers can make mistakes. Why people can't understand the fact that experienced climbers can make errors is beyond me.

Very well put!

Andrew wrote: To the people that ran out of there as soon as the accident happened, shame on you. That is lame everyday of the week, and twice on sunday.(pun intended) Sure you have kids, so do I, so let one person take them, and everyone else stay and help, or even better sit them by possum lips and both help to make sure the situation is stable. I don't care how stupid or your assumptions of stupid the people who had the accident are, HELP THEM. I don't care if they were climbing while juggling chainsaws, help them. Yall are lame, and if I know you which I probably do, that was a lame move.
Yes, shame on you! Well put again Andrew. People really ran out, wow!!! That to me is the worst part of the situation. (How about setting an example for your kids?)

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by krampus » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:57 am

michaelarmand wrote:Right or wrong - most everybody using a gri-gri takes their hand off the brake to feed slack..... But when my climber needs a lot of slack to clip quickly - I take my hand off the brake - BRIEFLY.
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by GWG » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:10 am

A very well respected "old school" gorge climber taught me how to belay years ago and something he said has stuck with me all these years. At my age, not much sticks with me anymore but this did:

When the climber asks "On belay?" and you reply "Belay is on." you have essentially entered into a verbal agreement (contract is the word he used) to keep the climber safe no matter what. This verbal agreement is in effect until the climber says "Off Belay" and you reply "Belay is off".

Secondly, he asked me the difference between belaying with a gri gri and an ATC and I went into a long description of how to use the gri gri. He stopped me in mid sentence and said "Nothing". Use them the same way where you never take your hand off the brake end. He was big on keeping things simple.

The wording isn't important, the understanding of the request is what's important. Take the responsibility of belaying seriously because it is. If you see unsafe belaying, address it. The belayer may get pissed off but I'm sure the climber's grateful.

shear
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by shear » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:10 am

People are really quick to jump on the bashing bandwagon...pretty easy when you're sitting anonymously on the internet huh?

I never see anyone belaying using the Petzl technique, ever...and I doubt any of the people here who are so quick to crucify the belayer use it either.

Andrew...we're gonna be up there Sat/Sun, I think you will be down also. Can't wait to have an all out rock climbing spray session with you.


xoxoxoxo

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by rastaman » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:24 am

From IDratherCLIMB:
"If By witnessed you mean fleeing the scene so fast you left a trail of smoke behind you glancing over your shoulder just long enough to capture a mental image of something you can blog about? Then yes you were."

Really? The climber decked less than 20' from where I was belaying. I wouldn't have posted anything, but it seemed people were being misled. I also thought this story could reinforce the importance of belayer safety for everyone.

Andrew, shortly after the accident the climber was sitting up consciously speaking with people in his group. I had initially sent the kids down the trail with my wife with the intent of sticking around. The climber seemed okay and there was a large group there to help. In hindsight, yes I should have at least asked if the group needed help. And no... you don't know me and I don't know you.

To the people involved in the accident I'm sorry, but posting this is educational for everyone. I'm also sorry I didn't offer my assistance. The climber seemed stable when I left the scene. I'm not posting these things to sound "holier than thou". I was part of a similar accident years ago and learned from it. The more people read about accidents the more aware they are of the dangers of climbing and how to prevent them.

Saxman, I believe your initial post clouds the story a little. The belayer's statements after the incident that you posted could easily have been misheard and are irrelevant to the cause of the accident.

I'm glad everyone is OK and sorry that the dog didn't make it.
be

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by Andrew » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:39 am

Glad to hear that you stayed and helped rastaman.
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by pkananen » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:05 am

michaelarmand wrote:
Saxman wrote:
stmbtclimber wrote:I am a mountain guide in Colorado and have been climbing a long time, and was the first to teach my niece how to climb when she was a little girl.
You might want to refresh your memory. From the AMGA website:

http://amga.com/images/misc_PDFs/Petzl_ ... poster.pdf

Lets not make this personal, but I do want to learn from this. I have never seen anybody use the technique shown here by Petzl. I'll give it a try tomorrow at the gym.

Right or wrong - most everybody using a gri-gri takes their hand off the brake to feed slack. I can use a gri-gri just like an ATC to slowly feed out rope. I can also loop a few feet of rope and hold the cam with my thumb while keeping my index fingers on the rope - I can feed a few feet quickly this way. But when my climber needs a lot of slack to clip quickly - I take my hand off the brake - BRIEFLY. More importantly, my thumb is only on the cam for the half second in which I am yanking rope out. I am open minded to there being a better way - but lets not claim this method caused this accident. The only way a climber is decking from 50 feet is if you death grip the cam.

"Paying attention to your climber" is nice - but not always possible. I've been on many rock and ice climbs where you can neither hear nor see your climber. The basis of belaying is paying attention to where your hands are, period.

Mike, I've belayed this way for 2 years. I always have my hand on the brake when giving slack with the grigri.

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by blakeleathers » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:05 am

im still worried about the poor dog :(
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michaelarmand
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by michaelarmand » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:04 am

Jeez, I guess I'm going back to the ATC. Eight years climbing you are all telling me I'm a dangerous belayer. I recall the last fall I caught with an ATC the climber said he doesn't want someone using an ATC to belay him - I finally made the switch giving in to the idea that the gri-gri was safer (in some ways it is). I said I'm open to learning a better way. But I'll do some random auditing tonight at the gym - I know I'm going to find some very experienced friends in the "dangerous belayer" group. Peter can give us some remedial lessons...
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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by DuppyC » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:13 am

[quote7.] If there is anything I learned from this is to climb with a pack of dogs below me with a layer of cats on top of them.(sorry I had to) RIP Pepper you were a cute dog.[/quote]

+1, If you already know how, there does not seem to be much to learn from this, other than there finally being a good reason to have a dog at the crag. sorry for your loss and I am pysched no humans were worse off. Be safe everyone.
"No one has to do something he doesn't want to do for the rest of his life. But then again, if that's what you end up doing, by all means convince yourself that you had to do it; you'll have lots of company." HST

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by caribe » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:28 am

michaelarmand wrote:Jeez, I guess I'm going back to the ATC.
I have caught many many falls that happened faster than thought and caught me completely by surprise with both gri and atc. I have use the pinch method w/ the gri sparingly. When I pinch the grigri, the rope is still in the palm of my hand. When I pinch my eyes are on the climber or if I can't see the climber I am hyper-aware of what is happening to the rope. This incident has me questioning whether the pinch method is optimum grigri management. I am going to reprogram myself with the petzl recommendations. I really like Mike's attitude here; I don't know him but this response leads me to think that he is a safe conscientious and honest person. If we are going to learn from these incidents we all need to question our tech and the margins of safety involved in our tech. The wrong approach is to think "those idiots, I am glad I have this right." :?
• Mike if you use the grigri like can ATC (never take your hand off the brake) how is switching from the gri to the ATC going to increase your climber's safety?

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Re: climber decks, kills dog?

Post by TradWanker » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:31 am

And I always thought there was no valid reason to bring a dog to the crag.
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