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Zion: Lower Fridge Cyn September 2014

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by ratagonia, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    This from the ZNP Wilderness Guide 2019

    REFRIGERATOR CANYON

    On September 20, 2014, a group of eight people, including a thirteen-year-old boy, attempted the Refrigerator Canyon route. The boy attempted to rest by tying off his rappel device when he was about 40 feet off of the ground. He lost control while completing the tie off and fell 20 to 40 feet. A prussic caught him before he impacted the ground, but he still suffered back and chest injuries. The boy’s prussic backup prevented more serious injuries. Do you have a backup for all party members? Can all members of your group stop mid-rappel or ascend a short distance to correct a problem? If not, consider taking a canyoneering course before heading out on your own.

    Tom says: other than spelling prusik wrong, any comments on this accident report?
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  2. Dan H

    Dan H FNG

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    Where was the fireman’s?
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  3. Zach Olson

    Zach Olson

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    Group size is too large. If their group size is too large than maybe they didn't get a permit.

    Why no fireman but still a prusik? Was the kid going FPAR?

    Why did it take the prusik take 20 - 40 ft to catch him? Improperly tied?

    Did the kid have training and opportunity to practice locking off his device before starting the canyon?

    The adults responsible for this kid's safety really let him down (pun unintended).
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    C'mon people. Clearly, they failed to tie knots in the end of the rope!

    T
  5. Zach Olson

    Zach Olson

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    lol
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    "The boy’s prussic backup prevented more serious injuries. Do you have a backup for all party members? Can all members of your group stop mid-rappel or ascend a short distance to correct a problem? If not, consider taking a canyoneering course before heading out on your own."

    But seriously, my main complaint here is that the analysis reached the wrong conclusion. I do not expect a 13 year old kid to be a fully-trained canyoneer - I expect the leadership to be adequate and provide bottom belays where appropriate. This is an appropriate place for a bottom belay.

    Seems more like the author was searching for an accident to use as an example of why everyone should use a "prusik backup".

    Rock and Ice: "Though we are unsure of the details, we are sure this accident could have been avoided if the group had not used an EDK to tie the ropes together."

    AAC Accidents in North American Mountaineering: "The party failed to tie knots in the ends of their ropes, almost resulting in a tragedy."

    Tom
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  7. Zach Olson

    Zach Olson

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    "Rock and Ice: "Though we are unsure of the details, we are sure this accident could have been avoided if the group had not used an EDK to tie the ropes together.""

    Lolololol
  8. NM Ben

    NM Ben

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    My bet is that he had his hand clamped on the prusik, preventing it from engaging. After falling some distance, he let go of the prusik, and it engaged. That's one problem with relying on a prusik as a third hand, if you can't keep yourself imminently aware of that. Hard to fight the instinct to grab on if something goes wrong.

    Ben
  9. MeiDayMeiDay

    MeiDayMeiDay

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    Is the reason that he sustained back injuries due to this being a static rope and not a dynamic one?
  10. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    That would be my wager. Falling even 2' on to a static line can wreck you.
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  11. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Unlikely.

    And certainly, difficult to ascertain in any case.

    There is no mention of the rope, so we do not know if the rope used was a dynamic rope, semi-static, or truly-static. We also do not know if he was rappelling single strand, double strand, quadruple strand or ???

    I presented this as an example of forcing one's pet theory to the circumstances. Is this static-rope thing your pet theory? Certainly poor leadership is MY pet theory.

    Tom
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  12. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Bull poopy! Or perhaps, popular myth, based on poor engineering analysis done by people who should know better. Please stop saying this, but more importantly, please stop believing this.

    If your body was made of 80kg of steel plates, this would be true... except that if your body was made of steel plates you could take high loads without damage. MY body is not well-modeled by steel plates. In short falls, the flexibility of the human body is the energy absorbing element in the system, and loads are reduced by at least 50%. citation: http://caves.org/section/vertical/nh/54/Rescue_Randy_Mannequins.pdf

    Tom
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  13. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    Basing above wager on having accidentally fallen the 20-24", being caught by the long arm of my Spelegyca.
    Mass bruising next day on my back and bottom of thighs.
    Hurt pretty bad in the moment too; though not as bad as the 55' drop (2nd to last rap, Imlay) would have been. :hurting:
  14. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    But it did not wreck you. I didn't say it would not hurt!

    Tom
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