I was belaying my climbing partner. It had just rained, we gave a short time for it to dry but the rock was still quite damp. The route was tricky, limited protection placements and few/ no solid holds. Having followed the crack and placing protection, my partner attempted a difficult move and fell. The gear did not hold and he fell 10 metres off the slab, then a further 5 metres down the rocky/muddy/brambly path. I ran to him, slipping on the mud and hitting my chin hard on a rock. Other climbers came to our aid and called emergency services. My partner was conscious though shocked and dazed. Thankfully, he was a bit battered with some cuts but nothing major. Ambulances and an air ambulance attended. The air ambulance was not needed and he was taken to A&E. I drove to A&E. We were very lucky.
Avoid climbing after rain where possible but definitely stick to easier routes with better holds and protection. Be extra careful on traversing routes like this. I do worry that if I had him tighter on the rope the protection might have held. Clearly, injuring myself is not ideal. It was fairly minor but I could easily have made myself a second casualty and no help to anyone. I will invest in a better first aid kit and ensure I have it with me.
Trad rock climbing
Slip, trip or fall, Adverse Weather, Equipment failure
Rescue Services Involved?
Ground and air ambulance. Air ambulance attended but not required. Ambulance checked us both and transported my partner to A&E.
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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.