Date of Incident

10/05/2020

Country

England

Area

Route

Incident

I have been lead climbing for only a couple of months. I was lead climbing for the second time that day an easy 5c route with a bit of an overhang, despite feeling already fatigued and without concentrating. I was focusing on clipping to the overhang quickdraw from a different and more comfortable position (stretching the arm to reach the quickdraw) but did not notice I had z-clipped the previous quickdraw. Trying to climb past it, I felt the drag and knew something was wrong but not quite sure what it was. I thought I had back-clipped (since it was the most common mistake, I thought about retracing steps and correct back-clip). As I started to fiddle with rope when the climbing wall manager shouted and told me to stop and yelled I had z-clipped. He instructed me to just hang on the quick draw that was correctly clipped and either come down or correct the z-clip below. My belayer couldn't see the mistake from where he was standing. It would have been a long fall had I unclipped from the correctly placed quickdraw (mistakingly having thought I had back-clipped it) and not having the rope in the right place in the quickdraw below.

Lessons

Concentrate even on 'easy' routes that have been repeated. Also, rather than 'assume' the mistake was a back-clip because it is the most common clipping mistake, I should have stopped for a second and look at what was wrong or ask for help to figure it out rather than make wrong assumptions and try to fix the 'problem' without even knowing what the problem was. The manager probably saved me from a big fall, potentially close to the ground. Feeling quite silly for that mistake but a stern lesson.

Activity

Indoor climbing

When

Ascending

Injury

No injury

Causes

Climber errorclimber error

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Participant

Wearing Helmets?

No

Rescue Services Involved?

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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.