Near miss on Open Road 6c, I was the belayer in this instance with climbing partner on lead. All draws were preplaced as I had led just beforehand. The route starts by climbing a ledge to the right of the route and then traversing over to the left to where the line continues up. First bolt is off to the right out of the way so second bolt was pre clipped to provide better safety. She climbed up past second bolt (clipped) and was in a precarious stance ready to clip third bolt. She took out a reasonable amount of slack then her foot slipped resulting in a fall. Fall was arrested just before she hit the ground and she narrowly missed the ledge underneath the climb. She was unharmed but I have injured my left hand. I had it gripped around the live rope to give the slack, she then fell and was caught by the rope which then became fully weighted at speed. This forced the rope out of my fingers which then whipped back again - causing trauma to the inside and outside of my left hand. This has resulted in soreness in all digits and bruising and swelling on the 3rd, 4th and 5th digits. Seems to be a soft tissue injury that will heal on its own with time.
This could have possibly been avoided by knowing the route better and by trying it on top rope first to know the best stance for clipping. In this instance the rope was already set up as a top rope as I had led it just beforehand, we pulled it through so that partner could lead (2nd bolt preclipped). The severity of the fall could have been avoided by preclipping the next bolt up - we didn't have a long enough clip stick in this instance. Finally, better communication could also have helped i.e. communicating in the moment and knowing if a fall was imminent or likely.
Sport rock climbing
Slip, trip or fall
Rescue Services Involved?
6 June 2021, 10:21:15
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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.