Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Watch Your Step

On Sunday morning I made a very early morning run up to Boulder Canyon to try the Hug. While standing on the riverbank by the tyrolean crossing and checking the creek for a way across, my feet very suddenly came out from under me and I landed hard on my rear end, resulting in one of the worst falls I have taken in recent memory. I wasn't carrying anything and have been to that site many times before so no excuses, just a sudden slip and fall.

I am still recovering from it but am glad nothing more serious happened, such as a sprain or fracture of something, or hitting my head, any of which could have happened. I still ferried my pads across and tried the problem, which was stupid since over-the-head heelhooks are kind of difficult with a severely pounded posterior. The point of all this is to remind readers that incidents of this type can come out of nowhere. After a summer of tiptoeing across huge talus an hour from the road carrying three pads, I would not have guessed that I could take such a fall, literally next to the road. Maybe I let my guard down or was not quite awake. Whatever the reason, it was a hard reminder to never let your guard down.

Obviously I am glad I emerged with only a bruised butt and some scrapes. Sadly the climbing world recently learned of the death of Chloe Graftiaux, killed when a hold/block pulled while she was soloing easy ground while descending from a route in the French Alps, sending her for a 600-meter fall. A very experienced and talented young climber, Ms. Graftiaux was a master at multiple climbing disciplines with a plan to become a climbing guide. It is a shame that she is gone. While we can never know exactly what happened or why, the accident is food for thought. Always be aware and alert when climbing, even on the approach or descent and maybe especially then.

1 comment:

Brent Apgar DC said...

I remember when I first got into doing multi-pitch climbs and having a partner of mine remind me of the old mountaineering adage, that getting to the summit is only half the climb.