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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 10 of 10. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 140 | 141 to 160 | 161 to 180 | 181 to 196
BOLT WARNING - Pierces Pass, Blue Mountains

8:31:37 PM
On 11/02/2009 Lucas Trihey wrote:
>>I understand there was an incident a few decades ago where a climber fell on the Three Sisters (seconding?) and their rope cut through and he fell to his death. I am
>assuming this was on an old style hemp rope though.
>Simey - I hadn't heard about that one - but about 20 years ago there was
>the scout traversing off the west wall around to the bridge who fell off (he was on the wrong ledge system which petered out in a blankish wall). his belayer was a novice and was using a shoulder belay of some sort and he couldn't hold the fall and the rope flipped over his shoulders as he was pulled forward. the climber fell all the way to the handrail on the walking track about 80m below and was killed.
>But I'll ask around if there was a cutting accident earlier.

A Guide To The Three Sisters Katoomba - by Roger Z.A. Collison. 1987 ISBN 0 9587835 0 0.

Page 9. ~ A Note Of Caution.
Excerpt ...
It is timely to remember that there have been three deaths on the Three Sisters, and the way these climbers died is a salutary warning even to the experienced climber.

In March 1961 Barry Willis was held after falling, but the rope cut through as he pendulumed from side to side. In his memory, a cross has been erected at the back of the First Sister. Barry was a highly respected member of the S.R.C. and held the position of Secretary in the Club.

The second death was of a relatively inexperienced climber from New Zealand; and the third man to die was also comparitively inexperienced. He fell from the Tourist Traverse and his belay failed. Both these last two incidents emphasize the importance of climbing with competent people. If you are inexperienced, learn first from a professional guide or with a club.

9:45:57 AM
On 11/02/2009 Richard Delaney wrote:
>I think it was earlier than this - hence the big cross placed on the back
>of the first sister
>that can be seen traversing back after completing WW but before getting
>around to the
>traverse ledge. I seem to remember a climber fell on hemp rope, the fall
>was held
>initially by a waist belay, but the rope cut at the last minute swinging
>back and forth
>across a protrusion.

Hi Richard and Lucas,

In the case of the accident that resulted in placement of the Barry Willis memorial cross at the back of
the First Sister, the rope involved was a hawser-laid nylon rope, Size 4, 1 3/8" circumference, made to
British Standard 3104 (1959). The rope was cut through/melted due (it is believed) to contact with an
ironstone ledge.

The belayer was in the small cave/overhang (near where the cross is) and could not see the leader
who was ascending the south-west facing wall enroute to the First Sister summit. Waist belay was the
technique of the day.
Richard Delaney
9:55:38 AM
Thanks Kevin,
good to be reminded of the facts - and also the memorial.
I guess not many people would see this these days but this thread has brought back
many fond memories of the West Wall and Skyline Traverse routes...

3:10:12 PM
Boris has posted a further explanation of everything on UKClimbing. There is little new stuff in it except saying Ivica did all the bolting.

3:46:47 PM
The point he makes is that they believed their bolts were good when they were climbing the route - and thus any accusations that they knew it was a time bomb and deliberately didn't tell anyone are wrong. He stresses that he would never have abseiled or belayed off the bolts if he realized how marginal they were. Obviously they did a poor job of testing them!
Lucas Trihey
11:00:29 AM
cheers Kevin, my memory must be going :( When I read your words the story came back to me. I've
belayed off the cross or used it as an anchor many times when guiding in the 90s. Are you saying it was
a leader fall that led to the rope cutting? Are any details known of the mechanism of the fall? Just
11:33:35 AM
These multiple conversations are getting confusing so I've started a new thread with all the comments about this historical accident so you discuss that there if you like. Hope that's OK.
12:46:16 PM
On 13/02/2009 nmonteith wrote:
>The point he makes is that they believed their bolts were good when they
>were climbing the route - and thus any accusations that they knew it was
>a time bomb and deliberately didn't tell anyone are wrong.

That's quite a change from your call for a lynch mob.

It's maybe a bit clearer now but we still don't know the full story; probably never will. It might be interesting to hear Ivica's story.

Because we don't know it all it's hard to have a definite position. At the moment my feeling is that perhaps Ivica didn't fully comprehend the implications of the problems he was having, and that they both at least suspected that the bolts were poor but perhaps hadn't realised just how bad they really were. I can accept that they hadn't really understood how bad they really were because none of us had -- until we tested them.

This is just an explanation; nothing more, nothing less.

12:58:22 PM
Simey - re double ropes. I've emailed two rope manufactures to see if there has been any comparative testing done. Will let you know.

My feeling is that it would depend on diameter of the ropes and what the ropes ended up cutting against. It probably would have made a difference in the Muldoon incident, as the second rope wouldn't have caught on the rock, but in this instance both ropes would have been subjected to sharp edges.
mikl law
1:32:28 PM
I've been thinking about this too, I think it might be better to use double ropes (each rope clipped through different pieces) rather than twin ropes (both ropes clipped through each runner) as there is less chance of each rope of the double setup catching on an edge.
1:35:52 PM
Here's a bit more information which may further explain why they were so keen to do this route.

On 9/02/2009 cuja wrote:
>6. Motivation ? For some of them poor. For me personaly : Why poor ? Because
>we want to climb a new route on every continent ? What abaout Pou brothers
>? Seven summiters ? Climbing higher grades ? Everybody has his own story
>and motivation

We knew they were trying to complete their "new route on every continent" quest. I guess Boris hadn't spelt it out but he was also working on a book about all this. The final chapter covers their Australia trip and their route “Last Chance for Happy End”. The book was published soon after their return to Croatia.

And here's Google translator. Just copy in the URL above.

1:55:54 PM
One thing that is positive out of all of this is that there is a lot of dialogue going on. The guys who bolted the route are copping a lot (read the UKClimbing thread - it's much fiercer than Chocky), and in my and many others opinion, so they fricken should. But then, maybe it's our 9/11 - time to tighten up security.
1:58:36 PM
Passport controls are being installed at Glenbrook as we speak.

9:58:14 PM
From UKC

7. Regarding cleaning holes : by ground climbing sometimes this is difficult because you can not . Ok it was keeped this "style" not cleaned in upper part by bolting from the top.

They didn't clean the holes.
10:45:29 PM
At least one person has been following all of this closely in Croatia. Unfortunately google translator doesn't give all the details but on 23 Feb Zdravko rips Boris' statements to shreds:,712.30.html

2:45:03 PM
Was interesting following those three pages in translation.
Rip into the arguments he did indeed.
Also interesting how many quotes from the many international climbing forums were commented upon, including a goodly amount from this one...
We live in a small world folks.

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There are 196 messages in this topic.


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