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Inexperienced belayer using a grigri 2 on a DMM boa carabiner. Climber wanted to be lowered a couple of feet after which he was to climb again. During the lowering, the lever of the Grigri moved through the carabiner and got caught, sticking it in the rope freerunning position (It is difficult to reproduce the movement, but it is possible!). Maneuvering the handle back to the correct side of the carabiner was difficult and needed some wiggling and couldn't be done with climbers rope in any way tight. Dealt with by initially standing on the rope to make a brake, then another climber putting a belay using an ATC onto the brake rope, so that the rope could be paid out using the ATC through the inoperable grigri.
The incident occurred when climbing in the lead area of the climbing wall. I was preparing to belay my partner when a climber fell from the top of the overhanging section of the wall, hitting the ground and very narrowly missing me and others nearby. The climber was tied on correctly and being belayed using a non-autolocking device. It was very busy and noisy in the wall at the time, and the belayer was standing right next to the bottom of the route, underneath the overhang. As their partner was at the top, due to the shape of the wall they did not have visual contact. What appears to have happened is that the climber was at the top, having clipped the lower off, and let go, leaning back onto the rope ready to be lowered down. The belayer did not realise this, and thought that the climber was pulling rope through to clip so let it run through their hands. Once they realised their mistake the climber was falling and the belayer was unable to catch the rope, so it ran all the way through the belay device without slowing the fall at all, leaving the climber to hit the ground. The climber sustained lower leg injuries.
The incident: - a top-roping climber took a fall on a GridLock carabiner with the gate lodged in the open position. The risk: - the rope could have come out of the open gate, and the climber could have had an uncontrolled fall to the floor. The outcome: - the rope stayed in the carabiner and the belay device worked as intended to catch the fall. No-one was hurt and the climber was unaware of the near miss at the time. Background: We were running a family have-a-go climbing session on a ~10m outdoor artificial climbing wall, with under-18's belaying on ATCs, each supervised by an adult who held a permit issued by the national youth organisation which we are members of. This was the climbing team's first time at this wall, and first time belaying off slings attached to ground anchors, rather than directly off the belayer's harness. The belay setup was in accordance with written operating procedures for the wall. During the course of the afternoon, the belayers DMM Gridlock carabiner became rotated 180 degrees. While it was not unsafe in that position, the adult on that rope system let the under -18 belayer know that they could flip it back if they wished to. While doing so, the Scout undid and rotated the carabiner, but did not fully re-seat the sling into the small end of the Gridlock carabiner. In addition the gate was closed but the screwgate was not done up. The DMM Gridlock has an unique shape, designed as an additional safety feature over a plain HMS-shape carabiner. In this case, the unusual shape meant that once the rope was put under tension, the unseated sling pulled the gate of the carabiner into a fully open position. This was not noticed, was climbed on and a fall was taken (and thankfully held) on it.
Witnessed (and intervened in) a near miss at a climbing wall today. A climber reported to me that another climber was using auto belays and had been clipping to the gear loop at the rear of her harness. She had climbed a few routes like this apparently and had (luckily) down climbed 😳 When approached she had no idea of her mistake and was a bit shaken when I told her about the extreme danger of her error. I corrected and clipped her to her belay loop before reporting her to the walls staff who then took her aside to re-run through basic safety with her. Scary stuff!
I am a short female climber and have been climbing over 20 years (indoors and outdoors; mountaineering, trad, sport and bouldering). I was bouldering on a problem graded well within my capability. The climbing centre often sets reachy bouldering problems and unlike another local wall it does not indicate 'low reach' routes (i.e. routes that go at the grade for climbers who are short). I had easily climbed all except the last move. At the final move my left foot was on a bad hold, left hand just touching the final hold, right foot at the top end of a volume and I was unable to reach the final hold with my right hand. I don't recall how I fell, but I assume my right foot slipped off the volume. I only remember landing on my neck with a huge jolt as my head snapped forwards. The next thing I saw I was lying on my back with my right arm facing the climb and my legs facing 90 degrees to the left of it. I lay on the ground for a while, then got up. By the time I had walked to the climbing wall reception I knew I was concussed and asked for a first aider. They recorded the incident and advised me to seek medical help. My partner came with me to A&E by car. I was then immobilised in a room in a neck brace for MRI scans of my brain and neck. I was discharged several hours later with a concussion but no fracture to the neck. The NHS staff were brilliant. I feel lucky to have walked away, but I do not know if the concussion will cause ongoing problems.
I was working on a session at an indoor wall. Whilst instructing a group of children I saw a person set off leading. The belayer had a lot of slack out and I recall thinking they would struggle to take in the slakc quickly once the first bolt was clipped. The belayer did struggle but much more than expected. After a few seconds they hadn't taken in any slack and seemed to be fiddling with something. I couldn't see but expected they had put a grigri on the rope upside down and were taking it off to sort it out. The climber was still going. I was backing up a child and had the climber lowered off as quickly and safely as possible. I rushed over to the struggling belayer who was just doing up the screw gate again. The climber had been at least at 4th not attached to the rope at all. They had no idea they had been off belay.
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