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Morocco Mishap #2 April 2018

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by ratagonia, May 3, 2018.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    At the Dark Horse Rendezvous we went down to do Morocco with a bit of a crowd, spending some time working on deadman anchors at the start. Then we had a mishap at one of the pools.

    A pool. The water was murky of course, so the depth could not be assessed. We had been dry to this point. After the first two persons, medium to tall young persons, bridged over the pool fairly easily. The next person in line was of diminuitive stature.

    I arrived, just as the diminuitive person got to the wide part, which required a full extension bridge. Alas, too much of a full extension. She first stalled, then moved slightly, then decided to jump down. Unfortunately, the pool was shallower than expected (less than knee deep) and the landing was awkward. The result was a mildly sprained ankle (we hope).

    Analysis:

    1. Judging climbs by how other people do on them CAN be problematic. It is important to see or not see a successful route based on your own body and skillset.

    2. Then again, one develops a skillset by trying things when consequences are low. With about the worst possible landing, limping away with a mild sprain is acceptable.

    Comments?

    Clarification: The bridging was at about 2 feet above the surface of the water. Such a short drop, she did not have time to get her feet under her.
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
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  2. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Jumping is bad, never ever ever jump:devil:. Joking aside, I love to jump, and have even jumped a few things where the known depth could be called questionable, but I've never jumped into a pool that I didn't know the depth of.

    IMG_0145.JPG
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
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  3. Sam G

    Sam G

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    “ I've never jumped into a pool that I didn't know the depth of.”

    Maybe not intentionally:rofl:

    One of my favorite in-canyon happenings ever was a Wile E. Coyote-esque moment where you tossed your large pack into a pool of water only to discover a half second later, in slow motion, that it was still tethered to your harness.
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  4. spinesnaper

    spinesnaper

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    Let's face it, there are times when jumping is somewhat of a necessity but it is helpful when a member of the team, has already inspected the landing zone and found its depth to be satisfactory. If you are 6'3", your 5'6" partner will not be able to pull off what you can bridge or chimney. I am 5'6" so I have learned this the hard way.:facepalm:
  5. Scott Byington

    Scott Byington

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    Analysis:
    1. Judging climbs by how other people do on them CAN be problematic. It is important to see or not see a successful route based on your own body and skillset.
    2. Then again, one develops a skillset by trying things when consequences are low. With about the worst possible landing, limping away with a mild sprain is acceptable.

    Comment:

    I think we've all been there in the spirit of staying dry and pushing our skills to the max.
    Understanding your capabilities can sometimes be difficult if you haven't challenged yourself or put yourself into a situation to challenge yourself.
    I tend to call this "Situational Awareness" as in:
    -Know your capabilities
    -Know Canyon Beta
    -Know Level of Fatigue
    -Know Cost Benefit Ratio: (IS staying dry worth the level of physical effort, risk of injury if something happens)
    -Team Communication: (updating your status back and forth, asking for partner assists and or cheering them on)

    Many times if there is someone in front, you may have to help ensure the safety of those who follow. This may include getting down and dirty for spotting, assisting or ensuring another's safety. That person in front may not be the group lead or the most advanced, but if they have past the obstacle, don't leave your teammates behind without support (this is where team communication is important).

    On the flip side if you are the lead person you should use "Situational Awareness" to help you finish the canyon safely. There isn't a "walk of shame" if you are wet but unhurt.

    For the record I support "Jumping" after the conditions are KNOWN and the conditions support jumping.
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  6. deathtointernet

    deathtointernet

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    I think the most important takeaway from this is that you should always be tall. Forgetting to be tall in canyon can lead to some very unfortunate consequences, not just for the person but for their whole group. I personally try to remind everyone in the groups I canyoneer with to be tall at any situation requiring a wide bridge or a lengthy downclimb. And I must say I really appreciate how creative folks have been over the years in expressing their appreciation for my reminders. :)
  7. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    Yeah I guess that one slipped my mind while I was pretending to be perfect.:angelic:
  8. PBarnhart

    PBarnhart

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    I had a moment like that in Elbow the following week. Except I was just stupid and it wasn't a Pool. High Stemming a Tight Section for about 50 feet and when the bottom widened, I started down. It was still narrow enough that I turned and body slid using both walls. With about 4 feet to go, I relaxed a bit, thinking that the bottom was nothing but sand, as far as I could tell, and had been for the last 50 feet. I was only 50% right. I wasn't freefalling by any means but going fast enough that when my Right Foot hit a Rock, it smarted pretty sharply as my Ankle hyperextended. I was able to walk it off with just a half dozen steps, but it got my Attention. It could have been bad and I knew it... Sometimes Dumb Luck saves you but those small Mistakes can have pretty big Consequences.... Another Lesson on a never Ending Learning Curve....
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