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Rappel accident in Birch Hollow near Zion, Sept 5, 2020

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by ratagonia, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    Kane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue

    On September 5th, 2020 a fall was reported in the Birch Hollow area located in Kane County, near Zion National Park. A Canyoneering guide was giving a tour when the biner block got stuck on the edge of a rappell. The guide scaled the rocks back up to get it unstuck and then rigged to the rope that you would normally pull. This caused him to fall approximately 15 feet causing traumatic injuries. East Zion Fire Department went to the scene and requested KCSAR. Kane County Sheriff Search and Rescue Technical Ropes Team responded. A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was asked to assist KCSAR with their hoist system in extracting the patient out of the canyon and to an ambulance waiting nearby.
    The guide is now in stable condition.
    KCSAR would like to thank all agencies involved for their assistance.

    https://www.facebook.com/Kane-County-Sheriffs-Office-Search-and-Rescue-250555315018593
    Ram likes this.
  2. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Another biner block error. Yet we have yet to see a fiddlestick error fall. It might be anecdote, but I think there's a lesson there about where the risk actually is in canyoneering.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Please state a claim, rather than insinuating.

    Tom
  4. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    How about this assessment: No method is immune from failure when practiced in a careless use case.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
    Yellow Dart and hlscowboy like this.
  5. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Factual Update

    I talked with the guide, who is recovering well. First rap in Birch. Started to pull the rope, but the biner block got stuck on the edge. The rappel side was then out of reach, so he climbed up on the ledges and reached out to get the end. (I think he then pulled the biner block up to the top again, but that was not explicitly stated.) Rather than climb back down and around, he decided to rap the 15 feet back to the ground, and (brainfart) hooked up on the wrong strand. And fell off. That is how you take a 15 foot fall into that pile of sharp rocks and survive.

    Tom would like to point out that there are times when rappelling double-strand is a good idea.

    Tom
  6. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    What do you mean? The article pretty much said the rappeller clipped into the wrong side of a block didn't it?
  7. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    You mean there is greater risk in things that are done more often? Or by things that are done by less-expert people? These are banal observations. Got anything interesting to say?

    Tom
  8. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Looking up "banal"....
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