top of page
It was a simple mistake that should not have happened. The route was longer than it appeared, we had cut 10m off the rope to remove a worn area. We had climbed a lot on the crag and were experienced climbers. My belayer was using a new belay device that she was struggling with a bit and there was no knot in the end of the rope. We normally check it but it was missed. Lowered off the end of the rope fell 10 to 15 m onto rocks. Apparently I flipped at the last moment and landed head first. I don't think I free fell the whole distance the bottom of the route slabs out a bit, so would have slowed me down a bit. Damage done six broken ribs and three hairline cracks in my lumber vertebra. Unconscious for a few seconds. Cut to my head where the helmet cracked. Airlifted to a hospital in Alicante where I spent three days in intensive care and another six days on a general ward. I am six month later climbing but the incident set me back. I am getting my climbing head back but it is taking time to get over the mental hurdles. Physically I am surprised at how well I have healed with my ribs causing little pain and only slight stiffness in my back.
Steep pockets (maybe)
A local Spanish climber who was not part of our group was on route and approximately at the height of the third bolt. There was a clear view of all of the route from the belay. Also the belayer was wearing a bicycle helmet and the rope and gri gri they were using didn't appear worn. This would suggest that they were new to sport climbing. Whilst they were on route a member of our group came over and commented on the belayer's use of their gri gri. It appeared they were only using one hand, pulling slack through and then letting it hang, not keeping a hand on the brake rope. Almost immediately after this comment was made, the climber fell. Their belayer panicked and grabbed the live rope which ran through and burned their hand. The climber tumbled and span down the wall until the belayer grabbed the brake rope and stopped them around 2m from the floor. After the climber gathered themself, they got back on the route and climbed to their furthest quickdraw. From here they downclimbed whilst unclipping, shaking all the while and nearly falling off again. The belayer continued to use the gri gri one-handed as one of them was now injured. Shortly after they both left having not done any more climbing.
bottom of page