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Date of Incident

26/06/2022

Country

England

Route

Incident

Yesterday a helmet saved my life.

And a lesson learnt after a fall yesterday. Risks were mitigated before the climb with a boulder pad and a run through of potential outcomes. Unfortunately, an aspect outside of that made for an injury and trip to the hospital. No serious injuries but was very lucky.

Gear placement.

I had a piece of protection placed where the red circle is, at the time I could see it wasn't perfect and even disregarded another placement in favour of gaining a higher piece, in my head I trusted it enough to climb on past. After realising I couldn't make the next moves, I climbed down so my waist was level with the gear. In hindsight, if I'd have jumped straight down to the mat I could've landed in a more controlled manner. But the moment got me, and I stated to my climbing partner I would 'sit' on my gear for a rest before resuming.

That was the mistake. My belayer took me on tight and as I 'sat' down the angle and tension of the rope pulled the protection out from the rock. A force and direction I hadn't anticipated on initial placement and one in which I definitely should've analysed before letting go (or, placed something I knew was solid) - My own complacency that it would 'be fine' because I'd already gave it an ok in my head to climb past. (Even though I knew initially, it wasn't the best) I understand why even climbing past it was silly. I have reflected.

I fell backwards onto the ground, bashed my lower back on the boulders under the pad, and hit the back of my head on a rock behind me.

Pad and helmet reduced what could've been fatal.

I'm thankful to everyone who has helped me, those at the crag for being with me through the following moments of immobility, Sal and all for driving to Lancaster to aid and taking me to hospital, and those who assisted Kathryn with Ralph. Much appreciated ♥️

I'm doing okay, just sore.
Time for a rest day and recover.

Lessons

Attention to gear placement. Especially your first life saving one. Don't think 'it'll be fine'. Belayer closer to wall. Wear helmet.

Activity

Trad rock climbing

When

Ascending

Injury

Minor injury

Causes

Equipment failure, Belaying failure or error

Anonymous?

No

Reported By

Participant

Wearing Helmets?

Yes

Rescue Services Involved?

Here is the position of my gear and waist for fall.

Author

Ray Begg

27 June 2022 at 14:42:08

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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