Thanks TJ311. I didn't realize it would seem that scary but I re-read it after your comment and definitely feel the "horror" vibe :). Everyone is okay though...it's more just the feeling of coming close to worse problems.
& an honest retelling of a scary & painful event. Kudos.
I still have an occasional nightmare about a climb last summer where I watched a close friend fall unroped 500 ft and smashing his head on a rout finding mistake that was my fault. He survived after a one month coma. It is a terrible feeling, but I just had to accept the fact that everyone forgave me and nothing more could be done. It has changed the way I climb.
Oh man that is really rough. I feel for you and your friend and everyone involved and am really glad things have worked out!
Thanks Sergio, that is an excellent takeaway.
after i took a 20'+ whip on a stupid overhanging corner 450' up the sw face of the tooth (with an easy traverse below it which i completely missed), i told myself i was going to go back and lead through it. i went back there about a month ago. as i arrived at the belay about 30m below the overhanging corner i got angry and ashamed; angry because i couldn't believe i even tried the corner in the first place, and ashamed because i was standing there thinking about doing it again. i took the rack and traversed right to meet up with the s face route where we rapped off. i didn't talk the whole way back to the car.
i think the thing that made me most ashamed was the fact that i tried leading through the roof with only a cam in a wet flaring slot below me. below that was only the belay, i would have surely pull both my partner and i completely off the mountain.
It's a good learning experience, eh? Sometimes it's a fine line between being bold in a way that gives credit to the climbers and the route, and in just doing something dumb. It's understandable to be mad at yourself when you recognize you are on the wrong side of that line! :-) Heck, that's how you'll survive and thrive.
Thanks for posting your story here too!
"Watch the weather. Don't drive exhausted. Protect the belay."
Words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing your story.
I had my closest call so far driving back home from the mountains 3 yrs ago, one of my TRs begins and ends with that. I just can't imagine how I'd feel if something had happened to that trucker I just narrowly avoided...
Such experiences change our perspective of everything, besides all that you wrote there's a good side to it, no matter how much fucked up the life can become, we're just grateful we're still here...
Thanks again, Michael. I just realised how difficult it must've been for you to write this story.
You are welcome. I'm sure that it's made you a bit more cautious and safer too, which is a great thing.
Took some guts to bring all that back. Thanks for a valuable contribution to this site. I try to make a mental note to protect early from the belay, and this will help re-inforce that in my mind.
Fine job on a tough event to write about.
Right on. Thanks Myles!
Thanks for sharing such a tough subject man. WOW
Thank you, and thanks for your time and comment too!
You sound like a wise man.
The year after my climb of the Nose, my main climbing partner was with her other partner and he took a 60 foot groundfall on what he considered easy ground because he didn't put in any pieces. He walked away uninjured, but maybe that wasn't a good thing. The following year, he took a factor 2 fall on a pitch high on the Middle Cathedral on a route that they'd climbed the previous year. He hadn't put in any pieces and his fall ripped out the belay and both climbers fell a thousand feet to their deaths. That was the end of one of my very good friends.
If only my friend's partner had learned from his errors the first time, she would most likely still be alive.
It sounds like you have...
Thanks for the story. I know that it's tough to write things like this.
Dang Rob, that is a really terrible story. Seeing what you wrote and some other contributors to this thread, I have this image of these darker experiences "coming out of the woodwork," so to speak. We don't talk about them much...they are certainly nothing to brag about. But they never leave us either. These kinds of brushes with death and (worse) culpability are more common than I would have thought. I really appreciate all these comments, they are deepening and adding new dimensions to the article.
Thanks for sharing this. It's good for all of us to hear these types of stories to remind us that we're not invincible. I'm just glad you're still around to write it.
Thank you so much, your comments are right on. Mat, aside from a little bit of shaking his head at how silly people can be, doesn't blame me at all. That says so many great things about him, but it also deepens my feeling of responsibility. Writing this and then reading all of the thoughtful comments has really been a growing experience for me. Thank you for contributing!
for being so honest. Maybe the good thing about shame is that it's a good motivator to act differently in the future, in any aspect of our lives. I hope you have found some peace with this. From your tr's you seem to me to be a very competent and careful climber. At least it's not kept you from climbing the Ortler Northface! Happy climbing.