Date of Incident

04/03/2020

Country

England

Area

Route

Incident

Climbing a lead route next to a climber on top rope. My route crossed for a few moves beneath the route next door. There was a lot of space above me and he was on top rope and near the top, I was 7m below, theoretically well out of range. However I rapidly completed this section just in case and moved across onto a shelf. The next second the climber next to me fell 8m free fall before being caught at about 3 m from the ground.
I spoke with the belayer after and he said that the rope had got twisted around his ATC but he wasn't really 100% sure how it had happened. The climber said he felt like he was simply falling until close to the ground. He fell extremely fast. The belayer was wearing a hire harness and using a hired belay plate. Inexperience and lack of proper testing could have lead to death or injury of the climber or myself.

Lessons

1. Indoor walls stop setting routes that cross under other routes.
2. Approach with caution if routes do overlap.
2. This wall has a policy of allowing new climbers to be signed in and supervised by an experienced climber, but the experienced climber shouldn't be climbing while the new person belays, however this relies on people staying a three which doesn't always happen. Tighter rules on this at the wall would help.

Activity

Indoor climbing

When

Injury

No injury

Causes

Belaying failure or error

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Observer

Wearing Helmets?

Rescue Services Involved?

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.