Date of Incident

12/05/2019

Country

England

Route

Incident

Leader was climbing a steep sport climbing bolt-to-bolt (i.e. resting on each bolt).
Both leader and belayer appeared to be relatively inexperienced sport climbers.
Leader moved away from 4th bolt and fell off at around 10m.
Belayer did not hold the fall and the leader hit the ground.
Leader was airlifted to hospital after initial support from Mountain Rescue.
Head and lower back injuries.

Lessons

Belayer was using a conventional tube-style belay device and they were climbing on a new rope. Greater familiarity with the slickness of this system, or the use of an assisted belay device, may have helped.
Belayer was not wearing belay gloves, which may have helped secure the dead rope with this system.
Possible lack of communication between climbers. Better communication and belayer vigilance may have helped.
Climbers were not wearing helmets which would have limited head injury.

Activity

Sport rock climbing

When

Ascending

Injury

Serious injury requiring medical treatment

Causes

Belaying failure or error

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Observer

Wearing Helmets?

No

Rescue Services Involved?

Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue https://www.uwfra.org.uk/incidents-full.php?thisincident=25
Ambulance
Paramedic
Air Ambulance

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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.