After a long day of scrambling I met an old mate to squeeze in a climb before dark. It was the first time we’d trad climbed together and we probably exaggerated our abilities somewhat. To make it “worthwhile” we picked a climb at our limit without a warmup as time was short.
The first 5 metres or so of the route consist of an underclinging layback on a crack with a constant width. With only one cam that would fit in this crack, I waited until a height I thought was a good compromise to minimise the risk of an injury from decking.
As I was unracking the cam to place, my remaining hand slipped off the layback and I fell about 3 metres onto an outstretched palm which took the brunt of the fall before I bounced down the remaining ledges until the rope became taught.
I suffered a broken wrist which required a lengthy surgery to fix.
A number of factors contributed to the poor judgement of starting the climb including the excitement of seeing an old friend and perceived lack of time.
Being fatigued after a big day in the hills combined with greasy rock and no warm up climb meant my head wasn’t in the game and I slipped where I normally wouldn’t have.
Having to conserve gear and the body position I was in made the slip much more higher consequence than it normally would have been.
Trad rock climbing
Serious injury requiring medical treatment
Slip, trip or fall, Inadequate equipment, clothing or footwear
Rescue Services Involved?
Joshua Cormack Butler
19 December 2021, 15:18:14
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All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.