My friend and I climbed grooved arete and from the start, we had the mentality to solo some pitches and even started in approach shoes.
We underestimated the route as it can easily be done when looking from the base of a pitch.
We soon protected each pitch with myself leading all pitches except pitch 2 where my friend lead in short rope fashion.
We decided for him to lead the 6th pitch, the slab pitch. After little discussion and careless route reading, we agreed the pitch went up through the steep corner crack at the top of the slab. Once in the position, my friend decided to commit into the moves despite it feeling way beyond HVD, especially considering the pitch didn’t have a tech grade. His inexperience of the grades attributed to him moving forward and committing.
His last bit of gear was an extended cam on an alpine draw a metre below him, a suspect nut a metre below that and a solid nut a couple metres below. The solid nut being roughly 5 metres below from where he fell. There were slight angles between the gear that was placed therefore making the length of rope between longer than if it was straight.
When he slipped and fell, the first cam somehow didn’t have the rope attached, the nut below didn’t hold and the the nut below that took his fall however the run out, stretch in the rope and minimal slack attributed to the fall taking him to the belay stance where I was.
I maintained hold on the break rope whilst also positioning myself to break his fall as decking out seemed inevitable and I couldn’t move far enough back from my anchor to take in any more slack.
The rope only just broke his fall along with myself luckily however any more length in the rope could have been more serious.
Luckily he came away with a minor foot injury however we were incredibly shook up and learnt some serious lessons.
Careless route reading can be very serious and I feel it’s incredibly irresponsible of me to have allowed him to lead a pitch on a multipitch like this with only a few leads at similar grade on single pitch.
Trad rock climbing
On lead on pitch no.6
Slip, trip or fall, Navigation Error, Route Selection, Equipment failure, Inexperience on lead
Rescue Services Involved?
20 May 2021, 10:54:27
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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.