Climber takes a 40 foot fall.

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16 years 11 months ago - 16 years 11 months ago #125418 by treeman
Climber takes a 40 foot fall. was created by treeman
A professional climber took a 40 foot fall while using double handled Kong ascenders recently. From what I understand, he was using the ascenders for foot locking up into the tree. He got too close to his anchor branch and the two ropes jumped out of the cams. I know a prusik loop can slip if you get too near to your tie in point for the same reason. The spreading rope looped over the branch pulls the prusik knot open or jumps entirely out of the ascender.

The climber got lucky. He walked away. I do not know if his spine was compressed or not but he walked, which is a good indicator the life will resume for him. I’ve known falls of less than 10 feet to permanently maim a person.

Waving from a treetop,
Peter Treeman Jenkins

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16 years 11 months ago - 16 years 11 months ago #125422 by oldtimer
Replied by oldtimer on topic Mechanical Ascenders
I have seen this type of posting in other places and it seems to me that operator mistakes are mostly to account for these type of acidents. I suggest that clipping a small carabiner across the top hole on the ascender will definitely prevent the rope from coming off the body of the ascender. It does not have to even a rated carabiner, since it will never carry any load.

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16 years 11 months ago - 16 years 11 months ago #125449 by oldtimer
Replied by oldtimer on topic Follow Up to Ascenders Accident
I looked closely at my Ultraascenders and the ascenders pictures posted on Sherrill catalog and ( I think) it is almost impossible to remove the rope from the ascender without actually manually doing it yourself. All of the ascendencers (new ones at least) have a "locking or safety trigger that has to actually be pulled back with one finger while you actually remove the ascender from the rope. Even if something (like a small branch)somehow hams itself from the top into the ascender it is not physically possible to open it. Look closely at your ascenders and you will come to the same conclusion. This guy that fell off the tree must have done something else that caused his 40 feet fall but I am almost positive that it was not the ascender coming off the rope.
He may have climbed higher and over the TIP and in that case the ascender will still be attached to the rope but the rope will not the tied to the branch anymore! Be carefull up there!

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16 years 11 months ago - 16 years 11 months ago #125528 by treeman
Replied by treeman on topic Ultra asceneder triggers can break.
I do not know much about Kong double handle ascenders. I do know that the Ultra ascenders can snap off, the plastic triggers that is. It has happened to me 4 times over the years.

Waving from a treetop,
Peter Treeman Jenkins

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16 years 11 months ago - 16 years 11 months ago #125531 by Tom Dunlap
Replied by Tom Dunlap on topic Climber takes a 40 foot fall.
It's possible to "thumb the cam" too. All you have to do is push the cam back far enough and the ascender can slide down the rope. If a person is using a smaller diameter rope with a tight sheath it is possible. One of my climblers did this a few years ago.

If we did a forensic investigation into these "ascender failures" I'd bet sawbucks to sawdust that it was pilot error.

Is anyone connected with cavers or other ascender users? I occasionally follow some big wall and rock jock chatter. I've never hear of accidents like arbos get themselves into.

Strong limbs and single ropes!
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16 years 11 months ago - 16 years 11 months ago #125539 by icabod
Replied by icabod on topic CLIP IN
Oldtimer is right...clip that upper hole, that's why it is there. Torqing the ascender can have grave consequences too...this can be done if the handle is pulled perpindicular to the plane of the rope, it happens, and when it does, snap goes your rope. clip in the bottom works to prevent this.

Climb Safe!
Icabod

Cam "Icabod" Taylor

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16 years 4 months ago - 16 years 4 months ago #127073 by rboreal
Replied by rboreal on topic Torquing the ascender - Petzl ascenders
If you grab it and twist it forward, it can slip completely, losing all bite. Happened to me a few times. I make a concious effort to keep the bottom of the handle down when I grab it. I have had the upper ascender (clipped to suspension ring) slip a good amount down the rope. Never came off, but you'd never think it could slip either.

I have never used paired ascenders on a double line. SRT only.

Get hitched!

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15 years 10 months ago - 15 years 10 months ago #127937 by SRT-Tech
Replied by SRT-Tech on topic Climber takes a 40 foot fall.
if the climber had a THIRD clip in point, he/she would not have fallen. its common knowledge amongst SRT users to use a third rope attachment point with the two ascenders...

ie: a Gibbs or a Petzl robe grab attached to the harness clip in point, in addition to the two ascenders.

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15 years 10 months ago - 15 years 10 months ago #127938 by moss
Replied by moss on topic Climber takes a 40 foot fall.

Originally posted by SRT-Tech
if the climber had a THIRD clip in point, he/she would not have fallen. its common knowledge amongst SRT users to use a third rope attachment point with the two ascenders...

ie: a Gibbs or a Petzl robe grab attached to the harness clip in point, in addition to the two ascenders.


Welcome to the TCI board SRT-Tech.

This question keeps coming up on a regular basis. I'd love to put it to rest if that's possible :-) My understanding is that if two separate ascenders are attached at the waist or above (saddle or chest attachment) then it is a sufficiently redundant system. If one ascender fails to grab or the rope comes out of the ascender, the other ascender is the backup. Adding a third device or hitch sounds wonderfully safe but is it useless gear glut?

In the case of the 40 foot fall at the beginning of the thread, it appears that the climber was using a single two-sided ascender on a doubled rope for footlock climbing. In that case it is well known that if either side of the doubled ascender fails the climber will fall unless they have a hitch or other type of backup.
-moss

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