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Date of Incident

18/09/2021

Country

England

Incident

We were climbing at the Narrows, and we were just moving to our next route. Something made me glance up and I saw a large rock, probably the size of someone's head, falling towards us from the top of the crag about 20m up. I tried to move out of the way, but it wasn't clear in that split second where it was going to land. Luckily it did land without hitting anyone, but it then bounced down the sloping ground, hitting my thigh on the way down.
A quick look at my leg established that it was a fairly deep flesh wound, but wasn't bleeding much. My climbing partner helped me down to the car, which was just below us, collected up our gear, and took me to A & E at Weston-Super-Mare General, where they stitched my leg up.
Earlier I had noticed a much smaller rock falling, and because there were quite a few goats around, we assume that one of them dislodged the rocks.

Lessons

Don't take the goats at Cheddar for granted - we had been watching them fighting, and it hadn't occurred to us that they could be doing that above us. Rockfall doesn't have to be from other climbers or walkers.
Always wear a helmet - it doesn't bear thinking about it if that rock had hit one of us on the head, but a helmet would have lessened the resulting injury. The only reason I wasn't wearing a helmet is because it was an unexpected climbing trip, and my helmet was elsewhere. I had commented at the start of the day that it felt wrong not to be wearing it.

Activity

Sport rock climbing

When

Between climbs

Injury

Serious injury requiring medical treatment

Causes

Falling rock, snow, ice or object

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Participant

Wearing Helmets?

No

Rescue Services Involved?

A&E Weston-Super-Mare General Hospital

Author

20 September 2021, 05:43:37

For more advice and guidance on good practices visit BMC skills

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.