About to start climbing a sports route. Easy moves towards the first bolt at 1.5m height, and just before clipping the first bolt, a substantial and solid looking (and obviously well used and chalked) hold simply "exploded" when used, depositing the climber on the ground, sustaining torn shoulder ligaments and broken ribs from the impact on the uneven rocky ground.
Spotting by the belayer may have helped, but the location and layout was not really suitable or possible for "spotting" (and the "spotter" could have also been injured by the falling rock had they been directly underneath). Despite the easy ground and what appeared to be innocuous moves to the bolt, using a stick clip to clip the first bolt would have prevented the ground fall and maybe should be considered more often on sports routes.
Sport rock climbing
Rescue Services Involved?
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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.