Alongside many chaotic scenes up on the Downfall on the 13th February the most shocking was a belay at the top of pitch 1 of the downfall. The participant had constructed his belay with one ice screw (badly placed half screwed in) and bull dog, a sling had been placed through each of the pieces and the participant had clipped with large crab , not in, but around the sling. Therefore, if the bulldog, which was flexing in the poor quality ice, had blown the belayer would have fallen directly to the ground. When questioned about his belay, the man refused to admit and worse acknowledge anything was wrong. My belay was set near by, and I spent the next 10 minutes in position ready to grab the man if the bulldog had ripped. I have climbed in over 24 countries around the world in various styles and can honestly say this was the worst unnecessarily belay I have seen constructed.
Pointing out mistakes like this are important for your own mental well being if the worst happens.
Not injured. Near miss.
Inadequate equipment, clothing or footwear, Belaying failure or error
Rescue Services Involved?
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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.