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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
Mini rescue question

groveller
6-Oct-2018
9:34:03 PM
Hi all, turned up to climb a 30 meter grade 8 yesterday to find the following situation.
A male at the top of the climb belaying a 7 year old boy who had frozen half way up. The boy had not been seconding the male.
My son debated myself lead climbing up to the boy as opposed to walking up to abseil down to the boy. After 10 minutes the boy unfroze and was lowered down uninjured.
What would be the best option?
Ps The boy had no harness but the rope was tied around his waist. I suggested to the male that he join and outdoors club.
Douglas H
6-Oct-2018
10:41:11 PM
If there's the option of avoiding a ground up rescue and it doesn't use excessive time relative to the emergency then it's usually the better option.
Regarding the rope tied around the waist... No words

White Trash
6-Oct-2018
10:51:09 PM
>What would be the best option?
Amongst other things like call 000, walk away, put out a bumbly alert on social media, etc?

I would’ve given the kid verbal encouragement from below.
If that fails and further action is needed (request from the belayer?), then abbing in to continue abbing down beside while continuing to encourage said kid being lowered by the belayer would work, especially if tethered to you as a backup.

On 6-Oct-2018 Douglas H wrote:
>Regarding the rope tied around the waist... No words

Yeh, should have gone around the waist two or three times for comfort and redundancy ala Joe Brown style back in the day.
kieranl
7-Oct-2018
4:04:08 AM
What was the emergency?

Frozen kid on a top-rope?

I'm struggling to think why you'd contemplate putting yourself at risk by lead climbing up to him rather than going around to the top.
jacksonclimbs
7-Oct-2018
9:21:15 AM
I think in most instances if a situation is 'good enough' there is no need to jump in and give advice. Like an anchor might not be 'prime' but if it's not going to kill them, probably no need to give them your opinion on it.

Issues like not wearing a harness, but using the rope - I mean, a tape harness probably fits into the above not prime, but 'good enough' - but a rope harness on a 7 year old just tied around the waist... I'd feel a responsibility to advise the person on some way that it's unsafe. Otherwise it wold haunt me if something did happen, but I'd said nothing.

Approaching a parent is tough - it's going to be hard for them to receive feedback. It sounds like the suggestion to join an outdoor club is pretty good in the described instance. Simple, concise, gets the point across.
widewetandslippery
7-Oct-2018
12:23:07 PM
I can't see any problems apart from the kid never c.limbing again or the belated doing things different next time.

Nothing at all wrong with a rope around the waist.

Kid after a while will fall off buggered or a few sharp jerks on the rope and they,d fall off and get lowered.

Think you were being overly sensitive and Dudley do right

E. Wells
7-Oct-2018
2:04:32 PM
Around the WAIST!?!! Jeeez , good for some! My Dad would tie blue and yellow nylon chord around my ankle just to really drive it home how important helmets were. He belayed with a milk whisker somehow turning the handle and the chord would coil into the two whisks.
jacksonclimbs
7-Oct-2018
6:35:48 PM
I'd be happy to be schooled by the guy on technique for setting up a rope harness if an approach was seen as too 'dudley do-right' (ps. google image searching 'rope harness' yields some interesting results) - but if the situation was as has been described, and the guy was seeking help to rescue a youth stranded half way up a route, is this really the type of trad-dad with a diverse skillset?


Duang Daunk
7-Oct-2018
9:00:40 PM
On 6-Oct-2018 groveller wrote:
>Hi all, turned up to climb a 30 meter grade 8 yesterday to find the following
>situation.
>A male at the top of the climb belaying a 7 year old boy who had frozen
>half way up. The boy had not been seconding the male.
>My son debated myself lead climbing up to the boy as opposed to walking
>up to abseil down to the boy. After 10 minutes the boy unfroze and was
>lowered down uninjured.
>What would be the best option?
>Ps The boy had no harness but the rope was tied around his waist. I suggested
>to the male that he join and outdoors club.

Joining an outdoors club bro?
Wrong, wrong, wrong dude. Everyone knows that they keep having heavy duty accidents, especially the university ones. Much better to suggest he gets on Chockstone to be schooled, as there’s no end of advice to be had here!

This scenario of yours, it’s a classic case of schooling if ever there was one, because now you know not to lead climb up if there’s easier options. Just imagine what you would have had to deal with on lead if the frozen youngster panicked when your salvation was at hand and latched onto you in that location for security!

In the interest of safety this climb should be spray sportified with recessed rings and both the belayer and climber tested on their climbing calls like they do at Kangaroo Point.

Groveller
8-Oct-2018
1:56:37 AM
Thanks all. On reflection it would have better to top rope to help the kid. However this would have involved a 20 minute thrash to get to the top. In the end he got down on his own steam.
widewetandslippery
8-Oct-2018
12:28:28 PM
In all seriousness what's wrong with a bowline around the waist for toperoping? Fancy knoted harnesses just sound like a step towards a proper phuck up.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
8-Oct-2018
1:17:14 PM
On 8-Oct-2018 widewetandslippery wrote:
>In all seriousness what's wrong with a bowline around the waist for toperoping?
>Fancy knoted harnesses just sound like a step towards a proper phuck up.

WW&S you surprise me with that question as I thought you knew climbing history pretty well.

To answer let me first say that a rope around the waist can and does work, certainly better than no rope, but it has its issues.
Most early serious climbing was done this way and even our relatively recent by comparison early Australian climbing history is included. A great example being the classic photos of Dr Dark and his cohorts climbing at Boar’s Head and in the Warrumbungles.

The main issues being that with kids, most are slim with narrow hips and can easily slip out of the waist bowline, especially if involved in a sideways or inverted fall... even while toproping. Constructing a rope harness that includes going over their shoulders is a good way to solve that problem if making do with just a rope.

A far more important reason for not relying on a waist rope is when hanging free of the rock after taking a fall on steep climbing.
If such hanging around involved much time then it can setup a situation where blood flow to extremities is interfered with and toxins can be released that can be harmful if not fatal!
People have died from experiencing this, including an Australian, though the name of the condition and other details of that incident escape my memory at the moment, other than the fact that this can happen in a surprisingly short time, ie minutes!!

If that doesn’t happen to you then the other likely outcome is that the rope will ride up under the rib cage and cause considerable discomfort along with breathing issues.

The main reason harnesses were invented was to overcome these issues.

By the way, harnesses didn’t just happen in their modern form either. It was a transition to them and well I remember carrying a sling in reserve during my early climbing, to lay over the taught rope above the waist while hanging inverted to enable one’s feet to be passed through either side of that loop thus transferring one’s weight to it when you pulled yourself upright on the rope again.

I’m sure you have spent plenty of time hanging around in a swami seat made from the newfangled invention of nylon tape, so you already know how uncomfortable that can be, so it’s little wonder that manufactured harnesses like the Whillans became rapidly popular ... though I doubt you’d convince young folk of today that a Whillans is a comfortable harness by today’s standards.

Duang Daunk is right - consider yourself “schooled”! Heh, heh, heh.
gfdonc
8-Oct-2018
3:35:20 PM
Just by way of correction/clarification:

On 8-Oct-2018 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>A far more important reason for not relying on a waist rope is when hanging
>free of the rock after taking a fall on steep climbing.
>If such hanging around involved much time then it can setup a situation
>where blood flow to extremities is interfered with and toxins can be released
>that can be harmful if not fatal!

This was what I learnt when I started climbing, and we made leg loops out of tape to prevent it.
However what has come out of further studies since then is that 'harness hang syndrome' is serious and potentially fatal even when a proper harness is used.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspension_trauma
widewetandslippery
8-Oct-2018
9:31:48 PM
My point is keep it simple stupid.. if you don't know how to construct something a one off demo is a road to disaster and a rope around the waist where there is not going to be a fall just restraint is totally adequate.
kieranl
8-Oct-2018
11:19:58 PM
I'm with Wide on this. Keep your analysis simple too.

Is it a life-threatening emergency? No. So, not time critical. So, no heroic efforts required.

Mr Poopypants
9-Oct-2018
1:28:45 AM
On 8-Oct-2018 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>

>WW&S you surprise me with that question as I thought you knew climbing
>history pretty well.
>
>To answer let me first say that a rope around the waist can and does work,
>certainly better than no rope, but it has its issues.
>Most early serious climbing was done this way and even our relatively
>recent by comparison early Australian climbing history is included. A great
>example being the classic photos of Dr Dark and his cohorts climbing at
>Boars Head and in the Warrumbungles.
>
>
>Duang Daunk is right - consider yourself “schooled”! Heh, heh, heh.

Sorry M9,

if they were belaying like Dr. Dark on the Boar's Head or the Bungles I'd be really worried. Dr. Dark, Eleanor et.al. used to all tie in to the same rope and then climb at the same time. No belay. Best they seemed to have done was hold the rope in their hands or wrap it loosely around their back while standing up, no anchor. Amazing they lived into their 90s, eh?
Ahhh, the good ol' dayz... :-)
G.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
9-Oct-2018
3:13:07 AM
On 9-Oct-2018 Mr Poopypants wrote:
>On 8-Oct-2018 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:
>>
>
>>WW&S you surprise me with that question as I thought you knew climbing
>>history pretty well.
>>
>>To answer let me first say that a rope around the waist can and does
>work,
>>certainly better than no rope, but it has its issues.
>>Most early serious climbing was done this way and even our relatively
>>recent by comparison early Australian climbing history is included. A
>great
>>example being the classic photos of Dr Dark and his cohorts climbing
>at
>>Boar’s Head and in the Warrumbungles.
>>
>>
>>Duang Daunk is right - consider yourself “schooled”! Heh, heh, heh.
>
>Sorry M9,
>
>if they were belaying like Dr. Dark on the Boar's Head or the Bungles
>I'd be really worried. Dr. Dark, Eleanor et.al. used to all tie in to the
>same rope and then climb at the same time. No belay. Best they seemed to
>have done was hold the rope in their hands or wrap it loosely around their
>back while standing up, no anchor. Amazing they lived into their 90s, eh?
>Ahhh, the good ol' dayz... :-)
>G.

Ahh. good to read your response Mr P.
You do know that waist belays work don't you, so maybe not so amazing?

Far from being a loose affair, they actually practiced their belay technique by belaying falling logs thrown off cliffs as simulation exercises, so those attempting the serious climbs of the day were not unprepared for belaying falls. In fact one of Dr Darks lasting legacies to the Australian climbing scene was actually introducing belaying to the game we play, and Sydney Rockies perpetuated this practice (falling log belaying), for many years afterwards as part of that legacy.

Although this thread is about a rescue scenario, I'll continue the hijack.
You mention that they often simul-climbed, and yes that is my understanding too; however they did so on ground they felt comfortable on and looped their climbing rope over/behind natural protection trees/spikes etc, such that the 'anchor-weight' - lower climber became a moving belay of sorts anyway, ... if the leader fell.
I'm not sure I'd want to trust a manila rope to that extent myself, but hey I wasn't there (though I've repeated some of their climbs), so I'll reserve that judgement!
Mind you the adage / mantra of those days was that ‘the leader must not fall’!

... & yes, those were the (inspirational to me) days*.
;-)

(* Where is kuu when I need backup? Heh, heh, heh.)
Mr Poopypants
9-Oct-2018
4:47:28 PM
Hey M9!

Sorry, but as much as I love Dr. Dark and his crew, I am sure they did not practise the SRC belay style used at Mt Boyce.

And, yep, I know how to hip and shoulder belay, that's why I'm sure they didn't do it - and I've got the film footage to prove it!

Great stuff. Although, I'd love someone to prove me wrong with some new evidence of some sort??

Having collected some footage of them climbing I couldn't help smiling at your choice of example. You'd love the footage of them climbing on the Boar's Head. (valid points, though obviously, although hanging in a bowline is no fun) No offense intended. I love the way they used those ropes!

They did, however, love a good trundle! Some things never change - who doesn't love a good trundle?!

Back to kids on topropes - pretty simple, wait till they get tired and do what we all do when we're tired - fall off! Of course, if they are a teenager just wait till they get hungry.

Cheers R.

G.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
9-Oct-2018
5:50:57 PM
>Great stuff. Although, I'd love someone to prove me wrong with some new evidence of some sort??

Thanks for the further enlightenment Mr P, as I haven’t seen any footage of them climbing and would consider that a treat!

When I re-peruse my old book/s sources on the subject, if I turn up anything of interest I’ll let you know and in the meantime am happy to take your word for it.

Maybe a Sydney Rock-climbers Club (or precessor Katoomba Suicide Club!), Historian can throw some light on the circumstances and instigation of their first belay learning sessions?
Kuu; would you have any old SRC journals that might elaborate further?

There are 19 messages in this topic.

 

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