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Date of Incident

05/09/2023

Country

England

Area

Portland, Battleship Back Cliff

Route

I’m Doing it Anyway

Incident

A climber was lowering off from the top of the route which was equipped with Ram Horn Anchors attached by glue bolts. The climber was cleaning the route of quickdraws but was only lowering from one of the bolts with the rope through the ram horn. The bolt sheered off, Or pulled out. He fell but was stopped half way down the route by the remaining quick draws.
Nearly a ground fall from considerable height.
Obviously he should have been lowering off both ram horns creating redundancy however this is a critical fail of the glue bolt The ram horn didn’t break.
No obvious rust on the glue bolt and climbers weight looked below 70kg.

Lessons

Always have redundancy when lowering from routes never just pass the rope through one bolt at the top.

Belayers always be on high alert for unexpected occurrences.

Bolts may look good but there is always potential for failure.

Is there another reason why this bolt which looked in good condition failed?

The persons who were involved in the incident will also be submitting information and have retained the bolt so pictures or inspection can be carried out if needed.


Activity

Sport rock climbing

When

Descending

Injury

No injury

Causes

Bolt at anchor broke

Anonymous?

No

Reported By

Observer

Wearing Helmets?

Unknown

Rescue Services Involved?

None

Author

Tom Gilbert

17 September 2023 at 08:27:13

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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