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I shoulda died...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ratagonia, Sep 1, 2022.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    This is a thread for you to tell one on yourself, when you almost perished and did not largely due to dumb luck...

    Almost kilt someone else is also a valid topic here. Ready, set...
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  2. Ram

    Ram

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    OMG, let me count the ways......Just three to start. It is good to be lucky

    #1- 1993, on the shoulder of Cutthroat Peak in the North Cascades. We have done the west ridge route and am on descent. I am at a rap station, a rap of 150 feet. I clip in and start to lean back. The rope comes out. It was not threaded thru the biner. The only reason I did not die was that I was so tired as to lean back lethargically enough that the rope came out before I was over the edge. I was so tired that it didn't even scare me. Near death by lack of conditioning. It was not that hard of a day. Here Jenny is at the rap station, after a solid lead, on ascent, 20 years after I should have been dead
    CUT.JPG

    #2- I go on rap in remote Escalante. My harness is not doubled back. The harness stays on the rope. I ride the rope down 26 feet to the ground. Not a good strategy anytime, but particularly bad on blood thinners. Cause? I was too fat to correctly inspect my system. Death by sloth.
    http://canyoncollective.com/threads/near-terminal-carelessness.24736/

    #3- An attempt to "attitude" myself to death. Near death by arrogance.
    http://www.math.utah.edu/~sfolias/canyontales/ram/?i=arrogance

    There are more....I am sooo proud!
    Ram
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2022
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  3. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    Flying my plane over the Rockies, trying to force through the weather, got trapped as said weather closed in behind me; forced scud-run for 2 hours, low enough to almost get blasted out of the sky over Old Faithful (literally), until I finally raced the closing gap of rain in the canyon north of West Yellowstone, 150' off the deck, praying I didn't catch an unmarked powerline. My sweat had a different kind of stink after that flight.

    Not canyon related, but the thread that ties it with my other near-misses: forcing the thing when you should do it later. Is there a better term for that? It's related to summit-fever.


    Re: Ram
    Funny the timing of your post; I just shot the gap of Cutthroat Pass in my plane yesterday... think I scared some mountain bikers.
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  4. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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    Hiking in the Uinta Mountains I stepped over a fallen log only to lose my balance and fall into a depression on the other side. Just as I hit the ground the log rolled over the top of me. The depression kept me from feeling any of the log's weight but it also caused me to be entombed under the log. Maybe I could have dug myself out. Fortunately, I was hiking with other people and after they stopped laughing they rolled the log off of me.
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  5. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    I am last person down on a rappel in Kolob.
    It is COLD and wet :cold:. I am stupid tired from a different canyon the day before.:sleepy2:
    Double check, then weight the rope while standing on a little sloping ramp before the big drop.
    SHOCK- I am stumbling backwards with no resistance and catch myself right at the edge of the plunge :eek:.
    My device is correctly clipped in- on the wrong side of the rope, with the biner block, with a 60? foot ride to the deck.:hungover:
    Lesson: even when checking twice, a tired brain (mine at least!) may see what it wants/expects and perhaps not what
    Actually IS.
  6. Flapbag

    Flapbag

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    Early in my experiences knocked some loose rocks down on a friend on the final rap in a canyon in Capitol Reef. He had me on fireman belay, no helmets. Would have been death by youthful foolishness and the influence of helmet-less cool guy skateboard culture.
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  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    An important detail of the firefighter's belay is standing out of the fall line, as you have noted.

    Tom
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  8. townsend

    townsend

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    This thread has began at a sad moment. Earlier this week, a woman fell 900' to her death while trying to climb Capitol Peak in Colorado: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...n-dies-fall-capitol-peak-colorado/7995986001/

    It is most probable that she died on a section known as the Knife's Edge (AKA Satan's ridge), a very narrow section with loose rock and extremely steep on both sides of the rocky traverse. There are many youtube videos capturing the route. And yes, it is one of Colorado's five most deadly peaks, and this despite have a "low" Yosemite climbing rating (mostly 3s, 4s, and low 5s).

    I am beginning to wonder about whether this misadventure was "inspired" by youtube videos. After all, dozens have successfully completed the traverse, and many posted their climbs on youtube. Be careful what you watch, and condolences to her family and friends.
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  9. Canyon.406

    Canyon.406

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    The only major "man I got lucky" situation I've had so far has been in a particular class C canyon outside of Bozeman Montana. I brought a figure 8 rappelling device and a grigri. I would like to mention that the grigri's intended purpose was as a rope climbing device and not meant for descending, however that's what it became. While descending the canyon I rappelled down into a waist deep hydraulic, and due to its mostly foam nature it was relatively safe since it was mostly air. However my first mistake was not wearing neoprene gloves and I could not feel my fingers in that particular hole after a couple seconds. With this in mind, I "intelligently" tried to move my figure 8 off my belay loop and to the side. This was to make the hooking, slinging and rope climbing easier to get out of the hydraulic. However, what I instead did, was drop the figure eight into the wonderfully loud white void that was at my feet. At this point I realized that I was not going to complete the last two rappels in the fall line due to grigri's being incredibly dangerous in water paths. I was able to hook myself out of the hole and climb out of the water path to complete the last two rappels with my partner. While I realize most people do not like figure 8's, I find them fantastic for rappels under 50 feet. Their cheap (replaceable), Easy to use and are relatively great for smooth, fast rappels. Since this experience I now carry 2 figure 8's and my SQWRL3 for larger rappels. If I had been in a more committing canyon, I cannot say that I would have had a safe or effective option to finish the water path. While I know some people don't bring back ups into canyons to save weight, I will say it's one of those things that you're really grateful to have when you need it, and it could potentially save your life.
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  10. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Good on ya.

    Captain Obvious says: The rope and the rappel device are a system. A regular (normal, simple, archaic) Figure 8 is not a good device for most people on modern USA skinny canyoneering ropes, as it does not produce sufficient friction (easily). It does work on many other ropes. But... be careful out there.

    Tom
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  11. stefan

    stefan wandering utahn

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    not so much a shoulda, more a definite maybe

    it was windy and i was hiking solo in the uinta mountains up to dead horse pass en route to meet two friends in a nearby drainage. at some point on the trail up to the pass, i reached a point where the trail went forward on talus but i could alternately hike up on consolidated snow if i switchbacked to my right. after momentarily deciding, i started to switchback on the snow. within seconds i heard a very brief sound of rock scraping behind and above me. i quickly turned around and saw a large flat rock cartwheeling in the air like a propeller down the hill at high speed approximately where i would have been had i taken the trail. i imagined it hitting me in the head though it might have missed me also.

    edit: a few years later i did see someone almost get hit by a boulder tumbling down the grand couloir on mont blanc during a severe heat wave with more frequent rockfall than usual. there were signs strongly recommending not to attempt the route. a group had waited for a long time to descend the long switchback/crossing towards the bottom after repeated bouts of rockfall that didn't seem to let up. after a sustained quiet period, one person decided to proceed and just before they reached the halfway point across the couloir, a boulder dislodged and came rapidly tumbling down the steep slope. the person suddenly began to run at high speed and the rock came whizzing by just missing the person, fortunately. the others stayed put after that.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2022
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  12. Magnus Tveit

    Magnus Tveit

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    A few years ago 2 of my friends and I spent too much time exploring oak creek after doing boundary. Pretty much we end up trying MIA in the dark, got lost, and ended up doing some of the most sketchy climbing I've ever done. Pretty much digging 5 inches of pine needles out of each hold, not fun.
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  13. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
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  14. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2022
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  15. Sandstone Addiction

    Sandstone Addiction Headed South

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    Had the opportunity to descend Das Boot on Oct. 1st and also had the opportunity to learn a valuable lesson. Our group arrived at the last rap and I'm looking at the little Charlie Brown Christmas tree with webbing around it and wondered why people weren't using the pile of driftwood logs over the dryfall that would drop you into the pool at the bottom.

    So I proceeded to put a sling around a 12" log and was about to start threading the rope through the quick link. My team mate, who has much more experience with Zion canyons, said he needed to test the log and so he put his foot on it and pushed it. With hardly any effort, it twisted and rolled to where it was just barely hanging on the the opposite side.

    I usually test the anchor after the rope is in my devise, but that most likely would have pulled me over the edge with the log. And, if I didn't test it first, then the log would have likely been like a pile driver on my head in the pool.

    Grateful for having someone along with the foresight to not overlook the basics.

    Lesson learned.



    My son Trevor (15) having fun in Das Boot.

    DSCF9245-R.JPG
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2022
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