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Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

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Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby clmbr » Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:07 pm

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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby Jesus Malverde » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:02 am

THIS.. is why going solo lower down (ladder and pole aside) scares the shit out of me...
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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby Sunny Buns » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:25 am

Any update on how that climber is doing? I'm amazed he survived - must have been colder than a popsicle when they hauled him out. :shock:
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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby Steve Gruhn » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:27 am

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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:36 pm

I broke through three crevasses on the boot path between the KIA and 14k. I was roped of course, but I met plenty of folks who were soloing. So pointless.
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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby nickmech » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:37 am

That is an amazing story of the rescue effort and his interview in the hospital.
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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:03 pm

I was irritated by his comment that it was safer to not rope up because he had a sled and a two man party. There are techniques to safely climb with a two man party on glaciers (e.g. butterfly knots in the rope) and that skis would have been safer. I had a partner, two man rope team, both of us on skis in the Ruth Gorge who broke through a crevasse and fell all the way in, the rope never coming tight on me because of the butterfly knots in the rope. So, skis are not failsafe, and there are techniques you can use. And using trekking poles instead of an ice axe is not safe. I saw lots of Euros wearing full down suits, soloing, and crossing the Autobahn with just trekking poles. Scary.
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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby clmbr » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:39 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:I was irritated by his comment that it was safer to not rope up because he had a sled and a two man party. There are techniques to safely climb with a two man party on glaciers (e.g. butterfly knots in the rope) and that skis would have been safer. I had a partner, two man rope team, both of us on skis in the Ruth Gorge who broke through a crevasse and fell all the way in, the rope never coming tight on me because of the butterfly knots in the rope. So, skis are not failsafe, and there are techniques you can use. And using trekking poles instead of an ice axe is not safe. I saw lots of Euros wearing full down suits, soloing, and crossing the Autobahn with just trekking poles. Scary.

"He said climbers go to the mountains to "find their limits." He started a year ago to climb the "Seven Summits," the highest mountains on each continent, and joked that he exceeded 100 percent of his limit by spending 15 hours trapped in the ice."

Personally I don’t go to the mountains to find my limits. The only limit one may find is death.

I cannot imagine crevasse navigation, especially crevasse crossing, without ice tools and crampons (with front points). Unless there is an easy walk out way, no one alone can get out of a crevasse without those tools. While attempting a bridge (especially questionable), the climber should/must expect to fall and estimate the potential consequences, take the necessary precautions and be ready to properly react; otherwise, it’s ignorance, arrogance or, simply, counting on luck (don’t want to name that).

And yes, getting stack in a narrow icy crevasse has always been my nightmare.
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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby ExcitableBoy » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:56 pm

Some of the best climbers in the world have died falling into crevasses unroped and some have luckily survived such falls (Reinhold Messner, Colin Haley). Glaciers are indifferent to how good a climber you are, they are equal opportunity hazards.
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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby boyblue » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:01 am

I first read a more complete version of this story in the AAJ (1983 edition I think). It has certainly haunted me for many years.

http://www.upi.com/Archives/1981/05/25/Climber-visits-family-of-man-he-had-to-leave-in-crevasse/8346359611200/
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Re: Unroped climber falls in a narrow icy crevasse on Denali

Postby clmbr » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:31 pm

(Rather) no one goes to the mountains with suicide thoughts. No one even expect to die there (why would one?). And yet some of us "never come back", sometimes even from easy (reasonably safe) attempts. It is foolish to think we are invincible. And yet there are so many ignorants among us.
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