My friend took a fall from the top of Ghost Ship today. A very experienced trad climber, she had thankfully placed a cam shortly before topping out. A block came loose and caused her to fall almost 8m. She tumbled on the way resulting in scrapes on her chin and hit her leg causing swelling at the ankle. She inverted and got tangled in her ropes. After righting herself, she passed out briefly and then she managed to get to the top using her knee as her ankle and foot could take no weight. Some other climbers threw a rope down for her to pull out on and then bandaged her ankle while her second was belayed up. We carried her to the car park where an ambulance met us. After checking her over they asked one of our group to drive her to the hospital so they could be free to respond to any urgent calls.
Always protect the top out! Even when the going is easy or looks like it will be. Also worth thinking about what you would do if your leader did pass out completely or injured themselves so badly that they can’t continue. If you can’t lower them down, how would you deal with that situation? It’s a good idea to have a small selection of gear as a second too, and a phone just in case.
Trad rock climbing
Serious injury requiring medical treatment
Rescue Services Involved?
Paramedics from Haverfordwest.
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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.