Date of Incident

12/06/2018

Country

Wales

Incident

I have done this route multiple times and went out on a nice day with a friend to have a chill adventure. The section after the 'snake' when you come out of the tunnel has a section where you can either down climb or absail. Every other time I've done it ive chosen to absail. This time we chose to downclimb. I climbed down first and was checking a flake I was going to hold onto. It seemed very solid but when I committed my weight to it a large chunk of the wall pulled away. Approximately a 2.5ft by 2ft block. I was holding it in my arms and started to fall. I threw it out of the way to the side and slid down the slab before dropping a few meters on to my right leg. I was starting to roll down the hill towards the next drop and into sharp rocks so I threw my body weight back to counteract the roll and slid to a stop.
It was an approximately 9m fall from top to bottom.
I was wearing helmet and didn't hit my head. I had some deep gashes in my left arm and what I thought was a badly sprained ankle.
My friend managed to climb down to me without incident and we managed to walk back to the car about a mile away.
We went straight to the hospital where I had my arm taped back together and found out that I actually had fractured my ankle (spiral fracture, fibula)


Lessons

I climbed down with the rope and should have either climbed down second or left the rope with my friend who was climbing second.

I underestimated the poor quality of the slate that broke despite testing it first. In hindsight I should have taken the extra time and just set up the absail. I will never down climb on slate again.

It is total luck that I was not injured a lot worse. My leg didn't require any surgery, and is pretty much back to normal less than a year later.
I have big scars on my arm but I managed to miss key blood vessels that would made this a lot more serious. Honestly total luck that this wasn't worse.

Activity

Scrambling

When

Descending

Injury

Serious injury requiring medical treatment

Causes

Route Selection, Hold breaking

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Participant

Wearing Helmets?

Yes

Rescue Services Involved?

Self rescue, we walked out ourselves.