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Chockstone Forum - Accidents & Injuries

Report Accidents and Injuries

 Page 2 of 4. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 71
Grounder at SICG

4:08:09 PM
On 7/10/2009 egosan wrote:
>Finally Mattjr has asked the question which is on all our tongues. Did
>the gym maintain
>the auto belay properly? There has been no answer to that, guesswork
>or otherwise.

actually if you read what I wrote in my response, I did not ask if the gym maintained their auto belays properly!

4:15:49 PM
cruze - GM said the same when Ralph Nader started making noises.

4:41:50 PM
Just state the facts, that's all I am asking.

4:42:10 PM
On 7/10/2009 nmonteith wrote:
>For social outcasts such as myself those things were gold. Looks like my
>gym days are over...

i reckon they should introduce "nigel tags", similar to the tags they give you to say you can lead climb, but instead it says feel free to ask me for a belay
6:24:05 PM
Which one was it as there has been one i know of playing up intermittently eg not letting
you down then suddenly releasing.
7:01:53 PM
It was the one close to the stalactite. I was there last night - only a metre or two away when it failed. The
auto-belay made a very nasty noise - and we all turned around as the guy (I think his name is Lyndon - a
regular at SICG) hit the ground very hard.

8:45:07 PM
The same thing happened a few years ago at the Westway wall in London so they took them all down. This was mainly because after inspection they couldn't pinpoint a fault so couldn't actually say what had gone wrong.

Occasionally people have climbed up without attaching themselves which does make you wonder (although that hasn't happened here).
One Day Hero
9:03:08 PM
I've always been too scared to clip into one of those farking things, pretty shit that someone's been hurt by one. Hope the dude's ok.

11:19:24 PM
Went for climb tonight - all the auto belays are gone not surprisingly. Asked after the dude - he will be ok and make a full recovery (2 broken heels they said).
12:04:12 AM
i wouldn't bother suing the gym, It wasnt there fault that it failed.. i know they take them down for mantaince more than recomended.
SICG are very strick on safety, i have even been told to stop leading untill i get my belay pass on my harness and i climb there 3 times a week.
I would sue the manufacter... As i remember when these things came out they went around everywhere trying to sell these at all the indoor gyms boasting how good and safe they are...Of course SICG took down all the auto belay's if i owned a climbing gym and this happened to one of those devises, wouldn't you take them all down and send them away back to where they came from. I would...

1:42:28 AM
On 8/10/2009 SummitSlag wrote:
>i wouldn't bother suing the gym, It wasnt there fault that it failed..
>i know they take them down for mantaince more than recomended.

i'm sure everyone would like to know where the issue has come from. anyone thats used one has trusted their life to it and it was just a random draw about who ended up using it at the wrong time. luckily it seems the person involved is going to come out of it ok.

IMO this isn't just bad luck, its either the wrong product in the wrong place, been incorrectly used, badly specified, or badly manufactured. either way i expect there'll be a fair bit of trouble out of it.

10:19:12 AM
Hi Mike from SICG here. The known facts that have come out so far are:

- lyndon was using the device normally i.e he let go about 2 m from the top and when he
weighted the device he came down fast.
- he's in hospital getting scans and will need an operation - he has heel/ankle injuries.
- we've sent all the devices we have (6) including the failed one back to the manufacturer
MSA. MSA Australia has said that the device will be sent to their headquarters in the
US for inspection.
- we have followed the manufacturer MSA's instructions and have had them serviced and
inspected by MSA every 12 mths or less. This one was serviced, inspected and had its
strap replaced as standard procedure in May 09. We have generally been satisfied with
their performance - we have had them here between 2 yrs and 3 yrs. This incident
changes how we think about them obviously. We are dismayed about what has
happened and probably won't be re-installing them although we need to know the reason
it failed.
- I would hope that MSA will recall all of these installed in Australia, but if they don't I
wouldn't be using them in other gyms until MSA releases more information about the
cause of the failure. I would also advise other gym owners to take them down even if
MSA don't advise you to.
- we will post any information that is forthcoming from MSA on chockstone as soon as
we hear it.
- in the meantime we hope Lyndon has a good recovery.


10:36:17 AM
>- in the meantime we hope Lyndon has a good recovery.

+ one.

Thank you for your clarifying post garbie (Mike).

11:15:03 AM
Thanks for the reponse Mike. Will be interested to see what MSA say about the device.

Best wishes to Lyndon for his recovery.
11:42:29 AM
Thanks for the info Mike. Sounds like it's good that the strap wasn't longer.

A very alarming accident. Hadn't realised I was playing Russian Roulette with those things...

11:50:35 AM
>Hadn't realised I was playing Russian Roulette with those things...

... makes me wonder how many are in use out there for other applications like height safety systems for building workers etc.

11:53:07 AM
Thanks Mike - sounds like you did all the right things, I hope that the impact to your business is minimal. I would suggest posting an informational notice somewhere in the gym (if you haven't already) to try to prevent rumours and innuendo.
12:06:08 PM
On 7/10/2009 oldfella wrote:

>what i would like to know is;
>1. a picture of the internal workings of them and how they work

The "redpoint descender" is advertised as being patented. Not sure if it's the same device, but could well be - and the patent should give a pretty detalied explanation of the construction of the device and how it works.

US patent number is 6,810,997. Available here:

Hope Lyndon has a speedy (and uncomplicated) recovery!
12:03:30 AM
Essentially these things are a variation on the inertia reel thats used in car seat belts. The inertia generated by the downward motion causes the part of the braking mech that is attached to the line drum against the stationary friction surface. Because of the nature of the two surface it creates friction that is enough to slow a descent but not stop it all together. Most also have a 'run-away' brake which is exactly the same as a car seat belt. In the event that too much momentum is gained the secondary mechanism will throw out a one way ratchet to arrest the fall.
4:38:28 PM
I wish Lyndon a speeding recovery and look forward to hearing what information Mike receives from

Found a system with built-in redundancy, think I will be only using these for myself in the future. Oh
yeah... plus friends!

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There are 71 messages in this topic.


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