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Date of Incident

14/10/2023

Country

England

Route

Incident

The incident saw the trip organiser and university club president ignore safety concerns raised by other committee and more experienced club members about the next day's conditions for the selected crag. However, these were dismissed.

Climbing began at Long Scar in the morning before a hailstorm came in a couple hours ahead of forcast. Two climbers on route were pelted and with the wind exposure, particually with the aspect of the crag, became very cold. Both topped out.

One climber's belayer, unaware of their leader's situation due to no communication in the conditions, took their leaders bag of extra layer up to them suspecting they were cold. They found their leader bright pink, shivering, incoherent, and crying with a half built belay. Wet layers taken off and multiple put on, they retreived the only group surivial shelter brought to the crag (theirs personally). The group had brought a group of 25 to the crag. Assisted with putting layers and boots on and warmed up over 20 minutes.

The other leader was ghost white, unable to belay, and would worsen. Another leader releaved them to get layers and warm.

Two potential hypothermia cases.

Lessons

Organisers need to heed to the concerns of others, particularly those more experienced than them or those knowledgeable of the area, and not dismiss them for various reasons.

Trip organisers argued leaders should have been wearing more layers. This was unreasonable because the forcast was for rain and hail at 12, leaders started climbing at 10 in sunshine and clear skies. Lesson here is the weather can change quickly, and members should response to potential suspected needs of others as demonstrated.

Adequate group shelters should be brought to mountain crags.

A more appropate venue should have been selected. Sheltered aspect and in a valley. Almost as if this was raised to the organisers.

Activity

Trad rock climbing

When

Ascending

Injury

Minor injury

Causes

Adverse Weather

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Rescuer

Wearing Helmets?

Yes

Rescue Services Involved?

Author

29 October 2023 at 22:26:33

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. 

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