The leader took a fall in the upper section of the route. The belayer wasn't paying attention and let the rope run through the belay device (tubes), resulting in the fall not being arrested immediately. The leader fell past a small ledge which caught her feet, flipping her, and when the belayer finally managed to stop the rope from running through the device, the leader was slammer head-first into the rock face. Fortunately she was wearing a helmet, and despite feeling disorientated and groggy, no serious injury was sustained.
The belayer was not watching or listening to the leader. She was standing too close to the rockface, and was not braced for a fall. She was talking to other people on the ground, and when the fall occurred, she was incapable of holding the rope and arresting it. The lessons to be learned are to ensure that one is always paying attention and prepared for a fall, and that the climber and the belayer should have checked together that both of them were capable of behaving in a safe manner.
Sport rock climbing
Belaying failure or error
Rescue Services Involved?
12 May 2019 at 21:15:14
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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.