Weather: dry, overcast, approx. 16degrees. Climber leading the 7b route at Bram Crag Quarry had fallen just before clipping the third bolt, following which the rock around the second bolt came away from the face with the draw and rope attached. This resulted in a ground fall for the climber (5-10m) who sustained an injury to the back of the head and neck (they were wearing a helmet, the plastic straps of which snapped during the incident), as well as a wound/gash to top of thumb. The belayer said the rock fell on climber as they fell. The belayer escaped the rock falling directly on them but they had a shallow leg wound from the rock fall/being pulled into and up the face. 4 other climbers in the close vicinity quickly went to assist, call emergency services, administer first aid, kept climber still and warm and calmed and assessed belayer. Mountain rescue and NW Ambulance service attended (arriving approx 30-40 mins after incident occurred) and stretchered the climber off for transportation to the hospital.
Despite removal of loose rock at the quarry, there are frequent rock falls at Bram Crag, some larger than others. Hollow areas and loose rock are often encountered even on popular routes and as such it is important to be mindful when climbing, as well as wear a helmet at all times. Having other climbers in the vicinity (and Mountain Rescue out training reasonably locally at the time) helped to ensure the climber received quick attention. The climbers who acted to assist after the incident questioned whether they want to return to climb at the crag.
Sport rock climbing
Serious injury requiring medical treatment
Slip, trip or fall, Falling rock, snow, ice or object, Equipment failure, Rock around bolt came off with bolt still in it
Rescue Services Involved?
Keswick Mountain Rescue (report on their FB page) and North West Ambulance Service. Ambulance arrived first and first Paramedic walked in and undertook initial assessment before Mountain Rescue truck and Ambulance could make it up the track close to the quarry. Mountain Rescue doctors and team joined assessment and stretchered the climber to Ambulance close by.
30 June 2023 at 14:26:14
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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.