2 Climbers Fall From El Capitan

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painless4u2
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2 Climbers Fall From El Capitan

Post by painless4u2 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:36 am

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way ... n-yosemite

The article states they were simul-climbing. As a non-technical hiker, I would like to understand the use for this technique, as they are roped together but do not use fixed anchors. This would seem to be a set up for catastrophe if one should fall, as it seems in this case. Why bother with ropes at all?
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Monster5
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Re: 2 Climbers Fall From El Capitan

Post by Monster5 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:16 am

There's a lot of speculation and a few partial accounts on supertopo. Not enough info yet.

Jason Wells was from Boulder. Extremely fit and excellent climber. Great guy with a lot of local presence. This is extremely sad.
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TravelFar
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Re: 2 Climbers Fall From El Capitan

Post by TravelFar » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:22 am

painless4u2 wrote:The article states they were simul-climbing...This would seem to be a set up for catastrophe... Why bother with ropes at all?
There is so little information provided that I hesitate to comment at all, but it's my understanding that simul-climbing does utilize some protection. The climbers may not be building anchors, per se, but still place pro as they move. But yeah, it is generally considered more dangerous. It's also way faster, and therefore utilized in certain situations in rock climbing or mountaineering.

Maybe someone can correct me, but I believe it's the style used for all the speed ascent records of the Yosemite big walls: that pursuit is absolutely far more dangerous than traditional styles of rock climbing.
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Re: 2 Climbers Fall From El Capitan

Post by pbakwin » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:28 am

Terrible, tragic accident.

With simul the leader does place pro, but instead of a fixed belay the second climbs up a rope length behind. This is obviously much faster and not as safe. It is especially bad if the second falls, as he will pull the leader hard against the top piece. But it is fairly common technique for places where the climbers are well within their technical abilities.

When Honnold & Caldwell set the speed record on the Nose recently they carried 11 pieces of pro according to reports, and used fixed gear as well. They exchanged gear once during the climb, so you can get an idea of how much pro was in play at any time (not much). Ideally, you'd have at least 2 pieces between the 2 climbers at all times.
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Re: 2 Climbers Fall From El Capitan

Post by Monster5 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:32 am

Again, there's no info stating simul climbing has anything to do with the accident, however, simul climbing in the modern world isn't nearly as dangerous as it used to be with progress capture devices (i.e. Petzl Microtraxion).
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Re: 2 Climbers Fall From El Capitan

Post by Herbert » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:05 pm

Here is some more information from climbing.com --

https://www.climbing.com/news/jason-wel ... freeblast/
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