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Climbing Accident at My Gym Last Night

An older man fell from a little over 30ft yesterday while top-roping. My friends and I were bouldering when we heard a scream followed by a loud thud. Everyone went into the roping area to see what happened. There we saw a man laying on his back surrounded by workers and other gym members. 

“What happened?”
“See that knot?” A witness points to a single figure 8 at the end of a rope hanging 5 feet from the top of the wall. “He didn’t fall from that height, he’d be dead. But he fell from about half that height.”

Note: Our walls reach up to 60ft in height

He didn’t land on his legs, so he must’ve landed on his back or his shoulders. The cause for this accident? He didn’t tie in correctly. That’s why you could see one figure 8 at the top of the climb, and the climber on the ground. I mean he must’ve really fcked up his knot that bad for it to come undone completely. But this seriously reinforces the idea to check and double check your safety standards before you start climbing! 

Climbing is becoming more and more popular as a sport and a recreational hobby. New climbers are eager to jump on the wall and try crazy things they may have seen around the gym or on the internet somewhere. Don’t forget that climbing, although super safe, can easily be made dangerous with even the slightest amount of carelessness! Belayers, check your partners before they climb! Don’t trust their word. Same goes to the climber, check your belayer and don’t trust yourself! Make your belayer check you as you check them. This goes to all rookies and oldies alike! Rookies are new to the sport, you guys are still learning the ropes and getting the hang of things (see what I did there ;). And veterans, don’t get too overconfident and overlook these simple safety measures that can cost you or your partner a serious injury, or worse, your/their life. 

This brings to attention another thing: gym climbing doesn’t always mean you are safe. I know I’m guilty of always thinking that you’re always safe in the gym. But the results of yesterday reminded me that just because you’re in a gym does not give you any leeway to be careless. And this goes especially to the veterans who have been doing this for a while. It is so easy to just be lazy and skip the safety stuff. But this is exactly how people can get hurt, even in the gym. 

This is so serious. Climbing is not a dangerous sport. It is often viewed as so and can easily be if you are not careful (as with any other sport). But please please please do your safety checks!!! Don’t give climbing a bad name. 

Climb responsibly. Thank you.