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How afraid are you of rock fall ?

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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby RayMondo » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:31 pm

I'm more afraid of the route falling off. Happened to some climbers in N. Wales, many Moons ago. They'd just finished a route a Tremadoc, sat back from the edge at the top, and began eating their sandwiches. Crump, the route peeled off the crag, right in front of them.
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby Gafoto » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:03 am

I worry less about the things outside of my control (lightning, rockfall, general weather) than the things inside my control. If I get squashed by a random boulder cascading down the mountain I'd chalk that up to bad luck. I just don't want my obituary to read something like "fell off the mountain while trying to take a duckface photo of himself".
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby TScott27 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:33 am

For us who love to climb, rockfall is simply something that we have to live with. I'm not saying that we should expect it or think that wherever we climb, there would be one, it's just that there will always be things - natural occurrences, that we couldn't stop even if we want to. I'm afraid of it, yes, but I don't let that fear get in the way of one thing that I love to do. The best thing is, equip ourselves with as much information on these things, research on the route that we will take and be prepared for eventualities.
If you want to climb, deal with rockfall. If you can't bear the thought of its "possibility", then read a book at home. :)
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby lcarreau » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:09 am

I've been involved in trail maintenance (construction?) where we were moving rocks off the trail ... one B.F.R. moved and ended up crushing my coworker's leg.

I've always been an advocate for Free Choice ... If you choose to work, climb or play among rocks, there's always a chance something might happen ...

Guess your own level of experience would dictate the circumstance ... ROCK ON!

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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby Wastral » Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:25 pm

How afraid?

Very.

Almost killed my brother once. Would have except we had setup the belay behind a solid rock outcrop. The three foot slab/boulder I thought rang good when smacked fell out beneath me leaving me hanging on one hand as I did the Flinstone trying to keep my feet ankles out of the cascade of boulders. Said three foot slab Slammed into the rock outcrop where my brother was hiding. If we hadn't taken said precaution... As it was we lost the rope making the rest of the climb rather... Interesting. It was mashed/severed in several spots.

Guy I learned rock climbing from almost had his brother die from rockfall on the North Face of the Grand Teton.

I simply refuse to climb super loose choss fests. Guess I will never get the 100 highest points of washington as several of those are class 5 rotten vertical choss fests. I am not bummered in the slightest.

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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby mountainsandsound » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:22 pm

I really tried hard not to think of sharks when I was surfing on the north coast of California even though I looked like a seal in that black wetsuit.
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:26 am

I took a ping pong ball sized rock on the shoulder at Seneca Rocks WV. It got dislodged by a party about 150ft above me. Talk about pain........and I wasn't wearing a helmet......that may have been my 8th life. :)
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:30 am

RayMondo wrote:I'm more afraid of the route falling off. Happened to some climbers in N. Wales, many Moons ago. They'd just finished a route a Tremadoc, sat back from the edge at the top, and began eating their sandwiches. Crump, the route peeled off the crag, right in front of them.


Yeah well, that's Welsh rock for ya! I was on Clogwyn and some stuff near Barmouth......you guys have some loose rock! You're maniacs for putting routes up on that stuff! Especially the seaside routes......shudder.......
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby DudeThatMustHurt » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:03 pm

How afraid? Not at all, I get paid to clean up rock fall and land slides :-)
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby Matt Lemke » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:36 am

I am more afraid of falling snow/ice. I have done MANY loose rock climbs and I should be more afraid than I am. But when it coves to traversing below a hanging glacier in summer....I am downright terrified to the point I usually don't even consider continuing.
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby WyomingSummits » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:27 am

I caught a softball sized chunk on my thigh......my vision went blurry it hurt so bad. Was sore for a month. I was lucky as those were the days when I climbed with no helmet. I helmet up every time now!
Last edited by WyomingSummits on Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby reboyles » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:23 pm

I accept natural rock fall as part of the game and I've been hit a few times but never seriously. It's not like I haven't come close though. The worst ones were where I had to just sit, tied off on a belay stance and then wait to see which way to duck at the last minute. There's no sound like the buzz or whrrrr... or a rock flying by at terminal velocity or the grating of a large rock before it slides of a ledge. And then there's that unforgettable smell of smoke from rocks impacting at high speed.

The rockfall that scares me the most is that which is thrown by people. It happened to us 2 years in a row on the same face and there's no excuse for it. Last summer the barrage lasted for nearly 10 minutes and it came in 30 second intervals. The sound was so loud our buddies heard the rockfall from over a mile away on a different peak. Watching rocks explode while flying and bouncing down a 2000' face was impressive but unnerving to say the least. I'm carrying an air horn the next time I'm up there and hopefully that will alert any idiots that there are other humans on the mountain. If I ever catch anyone throwing rocks they'll be damn lucky I don't carry a pistol (yet).

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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby Andrew Rankine » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:53 pm

Yes, very afraid. My dad got hit by rockfall a month ago in Montenegro by a block the size of a small cooler. He was lucky that it only hit his right index finger, causing an open fracture. It is still infected and pretty bad, could require amputation. So since then it has been on my mind a lot more.
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Re: How afraid are you of rock fall ?

Postby Garon Coriz » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:58 pm

Scale of 1-10; about a 7

I tend to avoid areas of rock fall like Mount Hood in late summer. It's best just not to be there. Here are a couple experiences I had.

2009 - rock fall from a rock face in southern Germany during a rainstorm. Jumped under a overhang and booked it out of there as fast as possible.

2010 - A car-sized rock gave way on the neighboring peak in RMNP. Luckily, nobody was on it.

Occasional small rock falls on peaks over the next 3 years. Saw many times how hikers and downclimbers can send crap down onto the people below. The more experienced alpinists seemed to cause fewer problems.

2013 - Had a friend die when a beach-sized rock gave way while free-soloing in New Mexico.
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