It was the lead climbers 1st route to Fair Head - the belayer had led the route before and led P1 this time. Near the top of P2 the leader encountered a loose rock - he later said it was a stone he brushed against rather than one he weighted. He yelled a warnign but could not hold the stone and the 3 on the belay ledge could not avoid it, It traveled down ca 15-20m and hit the belayer on shoulder and back. The belayer managed to maintain grip on the lead climbers rope. Another climbing pair were on the belay ledge and took over the belay. A paramedic on a neighboring climb abseiled down, checked the injured climber and they were both taken to the top of route using an assisted hoist. The climber was taken to local hospital with deep cut to arm (requirement stitches and tetanus shot) and possible fractured rib but released later that day
Loose rock can be an issue at fair head but Taoiseach is a relatively popular line, The guidebook warns of loose rock near top of route. Have since been told that the route had been cleaned a few weeks earlier but this may have exposed fresh rock
Trad rock climbing
Serious injury requiring medical treatment
Falling rock, snow, ice or object
Rescue Services Involved?
Local climbers helped raise the casualty to cliff top, coastguard arrived and evacuated him to waiting ambulance. Helicopter support was requested but already out on a call
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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.