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Final Report of Randall''s death

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by dshearnv, Jun 20, 2002.

  1. dshearnv

    dshearnv Guest

    The following is a cut and paste from the Las Vegas Review Journal today. Previous to this report, there were a number of other thoughts by many as to the cause of death. It appears that Metro is 99% sure. I am not familiar with the knot or the release hitch in question but hope to learn about it. I "heard" that it was some kind of assembly that incorporates a bowline slip and prusik. I am attempting to find out more about the knot and hitch while maintaining dignity and respect for all concerned. Respectfully, Dick Shear, Las Vegas

    Internationally renowned mountain climber Randal Grandstaff fell to his death at Red Rock National Conservation Area on June 5 when a knot in his rope came undone, Las Vegas police said.

    "We're 99 percent sure that the knot was either tied incorrectly and came undone or that it was tied correctly but the release hitch was too short," and slipped through the knot, said Sgt. Clint Basset of the Metropolitan Police Department's search and rescue unit.

    "Either way, both are just mistakes of complacency."

    Grandstaff, 44, fell about 150 feet after he was five or six feet into a rappel from a rock face. He had lowered a tourist from the same rock shortly before the accident.

    Basset says there was no evidence of equipment failure and that the anchor bolted into the rock was in good repair.

    Investigators brought in climbing experts from around the country to help recreate the two scenarios.

    "That knot failed every time we tried it," Basset said.

    Basset says there is a slight chance that Grandstaff never tied the knot at all, but that the evidence shows the knot probably failed when the climber put his full weight onto the rope.

    "He was still holding the rope like he would in a rappel when he hit the ground," Basset said.

    The Clark County Coroner's Office ruled Grandstaff's death an accident, determining he died from multiple blunt force injuries as a result of the fall.
  2. beadysee

    beadysee Guest

    Tough deal.

    I'm not familiar with the knot in question, but, here's how I think it was supposed to work...

    This was apparently rigged as a double rope rappel and a technique employed which releases both ropes without leaving a sling or gear thru the bolt station.

    Tie the two long climbing ropes together. Tie a long cord-a-lette to the "pull rope" (downside of the knot which ties the ropes together) with a prussic. Feed the long cord thru the two bolt anchors and tie the opposite end of the cord with some type of bowline variation on the other side of the knot on the other rap rope. Rap. When at the bottom, you pull the "pull rope" side of the configuration and the prussic side of the pull cord comes tight and apparently pulls the knot out of the other side, which releases the cord thru the double bolt hanger anchor, and the whole shootin' match falls to the deck.

    Anyone know how this works or how to describe this method??

    Climb in question was the Great Red Book. Not commonly rap'd. They apparently only did the first pitch and he lowered his "client" off. Probably just a bare bolt station with no rap slings.

    Bad news in the last couple of weeks. Been a rash of accidents. Jack Tackle hurt on Mount Augusta, couple of fellers I'd met killed on Mount Foraker, etc etc.

    Heavy sigh...

    Let's all be super careful out there.

    Brian in SLC

    --- In canyons@y..., "dshearnv" <pem@l...> wrote: > The following is a cut and paste from the Las Vegas Review Journal > today. Previous to this report, there were a number of other > thoughts by many as to the cause of death. It appears that Metro is > 99% sure. I am not familiar with the knot or the release hitch in > question but hope to learn about it. I "heard" that it was some kind > of assembly that incorporates a bowline slip and prusik. I am > attempting to find out more about the knot and hitch while > maintaining dignity and respect for all concerned. > Respectfully, Dick Shear, Las Vegas
    Internationally renowned mountain climber Randal Grandstaff fell to > his death at Red Rock National Conservation Area on June 5 when a > knot in his rope came undone, Las Vegas police said.
    "We're 99 percent sure that the knot was either tied incorrectly and > came undone or that it was tied correctly but the release hitch was > too short," and slipped through the knot, said Sgt. Clint Basset of > the Metropolitan Police Department's search and rescue unit.
    "Either way, both are just mistakes of complacency."
    Grandstaff, 44, fell about 150 feet after he was five or six feet > into a rappel from a rock face. He had lowered a tourist from the > same rock shortly before the accident.
    Basset says there was no evidence of equipment failure and that the > anchor bolted into the rock was in good repair.
    Investigators brought in climbing experts from around the country to > help recreate the two scenarios.
    "That knot failed every time we tried it," Basset said.
    Basset says there is a slight chance that Grandstaff never tied the > knot at all, but that the evidence shows the knot probably failed > when the climber put his full weight onto the rope.
    "He was still holding the rope like he would in a rappel when he hit > the ground," Basset said.
    The Clark County Coroner's Office ruled Grandstaff's death an > accident, determining he died from multiple blunt force injuries as > a result of the fall.
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