Date of Incident

23/06/2009

Country

France

Incident

The route requires an abseil down a gully. I was wearing an Alpine Bod harness which doesn't have a belay loop, so the karabiner has to go around the harness itself and also the strap connecting the leg loops. It was only when I unclipped at the bottom that I found that I had attached the abseil device to the rucksack waist belt instead of to the harness. If the buckle had failed I would have only been held by the leg-loops (which also depend on buckles) and an autobloc.

Lessons

I had checked before abseiling but saw what I expected to see - a krab around a black webbing strap. A tug on the rope held, although it was only held by the side-release buckle on the rucksack. I was last to go so there was no one to buddy-check me.

My lessons from this:
Be extra vigilant when there is no one to buddy-check your setup.
I am now more aware of the possibility of clipping the waistbelt so will specifically watch for this.
I would probably use a sling around the harness to extend the belay device, as this is easier to thread around the harness than a krab (especially as I am not a slim as I used to be!)

Activity

Alpine Mountaineering

When

Injury

No injury

Causes

Anonymous?

No

Reported By

Participant

Wearing Helmets?

Rescue Services Involved?

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.