Oops, That Could Have Been Bad

Page Type
Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Aug 14, 2000
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Created On: Apr 1, 2004
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This trip was our thrid in three years. Third time would be the charm right? After our hike with 60+ lbs of back pack we bivy at the bottom of Petite next to sky pond. It was very windy and it rained on and off all night. I managed to stay dry by not moving much but my friend tossed and turned in his bivy sack letting water into the REI rental. (They returned our money.) He wakes up but is not his normal happy self. We hike to the base of the climb and I take the lead. We are behind a couple but our sorta late start gives them a good head start. I skip the first belay station and stretch our 60 meter rope out all the way. I then skip the next belay and fight some serious rope drag at the end of the rope. Four pitches in very short order I am feeling good and flying. I take the next pitch and arrive at the two bolts we stopped at two years before and set belay. The couple is now just above me and stuck, she can't climb any more. Of course as usual weather is closing in. I tell my friend via radio, 100 feet below me, that I would like to weather it out. Two climbers catch up to us while we are waiting for the couple to get out of the way. The couple is getting nervous about the weather and the fact she is out of steam and ask for help down. The two guys that caught up with us are also unhappy with the weather that seems to be moving in and want down but only have one rope. Neither the couple nor the two guys that caught up to us know the way down. Remember the two guys that brought us down two years before? Yup, thats us now. I tell my friend that we would be assholes to not play it forward. We have two ropes and know the way down so we agree to fix raps and take the two groups with us. I get ready to rap down to my friend on the ledge one rope length below while he sets up a double rap from there. I rap down just in time to see him dissapear around the edge and rap down. I lean over to check on his progress and see him on a ledge half way down about 100 feet below me cleaning up and tossing off the tangled ropes. I chat with the two other groups and look back down, now expecting him to be off rapel but see he is back on the ledge fussing with the rope or gear. He starts off again and I wave as he starts back over the ledge. He finally gets down and I rap down to him. He is in tears. Turns out he clipped in to his gear loop, not his belay loop, and heard it rip just after he first backed over the intermediate ledge. He was shook up pretty bad. We finish the last rap and put him on a plane home the next day.

Third time is a charm turns into strike three.


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