I knew the route was long and pumpy before starting and that this was my weakness, but I wanted to push myself. At about the 30m mark I was at the end of my endurance and a little way above my last gear. I noticed as I was trying to shake-out that the ropes (doubles) had slipped behind my heel. This caused me to lose all composure and I began to peel off. I managed to shake one of the ropes free before falling and I don't recall the other rope snagging on my leg as I attempted to fall in such a way as to free it; however, in the process of trying to free the other rope I pivoted over backwards and inverted anyway. As I was falling I heard my latest gear (a 00 cam) pop but was caught on my next two bomber nuts. When the ropes caught I struck the wall back first with my head snapping back into the rock. When I hit the rock I sustained two injured ribs (not broken), a concussion, and whiplash. The helmet I was wearing is cracked but still in one piece. I lowered off and was helped back to the top of the crag as the concussion was making me dizzy and I had difficulty focusing on the scramble out. I rested for an hour before walking out whilst my friends retrieved the gear from the route.
It goes without saying, always wear a helmet. Always be aware of how the ropes are moving around your feet, most climbers are typically careful not to step through their ropes, however in this case I believe they snagged behind my heel as I leaned rightwards over the foot to inspect the next few moves. I will be adding "check your ropes" to my list of things to do when in a stable position.
Trad rock climbing
Slip, trip or fall
Rescue Services Involved?
12 May 2019 at 20:55:52
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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.