My partner ended up fracturing his spine after pulling off a tv/mini fridge sized rock, a load of dirt/smaller chunks and taking a 6m fall onto a ledge. We are both experienced trad climbers and have climbed together for at least 5 years.
Vinnie ended up off line whilst trying to avoid an area of lose rock. When surmounting a bulge, it gave way in its entirety. Circa 2ton of rock and debris fell. Vinnie retained his grip and came off the route as the debris fell just below him. The fall was around 6m, and although gear was placed well, with rope stretch and the potential impact of the bilayer avoidance of falling rock, he landed in a sitting position on a ledge. All gear held. He was complaining of back pain and a bit out of it so the decision was made to call for help. After a long rescue from the amazing fire & ambulance service and several hours in A&E he got lucky - a few stitches and doctors orders not to do any heavy work or exercise for 3 months whilst his spine heals. A full recovery is expected.
Huge thanks to the other climbers who helped direct the emergency services and hung around the whole time to check we were OK.
The route dosn't get much traffic and the guide book advised of lose rock. Although this was taken into consideration we should have taken more time to route read on the ground. Although I had advised Vinnie was trending off route I should have been more insistent he correct his position. Helmits definatly prevented a potential fatality.
Trad rock climbing
Serious injury requiring medical treatment
Slip, trip or fall, Navigation Error, Falling rock, snow, ice or object
Rescue Services Involved?
Bristol temple fire service: White watch. HART paramedics. Ambulance service
4 August 2022 at 12:25:58
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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.