A video of how to not self-arrest.

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Re: A video of how to not self-arrest.

Postby Alby426 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:10 am

Stevo68 wrote:I had a incident like this. I was up in the medicine now range. I had a handful of backcountry outings prior to this. At the time I would say I was a noob mountaineer but experienced snowboarder fighting money and resources. I had never practiced self arrest nor watched it but out of instinct i flipped to my stomach knowing i wouldnt be able to stop.But after my mistake I knew immediately what lead to each careless mistake and how I will learn from it. 1. Didn't let the snow soften up enough 2. Mislead by surrounding landmarks. 3. Lack of proper equipment. 4. Being scared out of my mind. Here the link of course on camera....

Be critical, make judgements, I don't care, I've been out many times since learned from this, experience,readings; I got appropriate gear now and at the end of the day not make a mistake like this again :oops:

Great video, thanks for sharing.
You definetly made the best of a bad situation. We all made bad decisions at some point, it's how you cope with it that makes up for it.

As far as the original video, my assessment is that, self arrest was almost impossible. When you are on a steep slope, do not slip and fall. Don't be too hard on the guy, he made a small mistake with big consequences.
My duty, as a human, is not to take, but, to give!

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Re: A video of how to not self-arrest.

Postby lazy climber » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:04 pm

It did make my stomach churn a bit while watching it but I was impressd that he did not yell, I would have been cursing a blue steak. I am not sure he did anything wrong, it looked like he watched the chunk of ice coming all the way in and just misjudged his dodge/duck. If you get hit by anything very big it can do some damage, the conditions and slope looked like he did not have a lot of room for evasive action, it looked like he had already waited too long to duck so just took the hit and hoped for the best, which in his case did not turn out well.

Helmets work well but that piece of ice looked big enough to ring your bell (or worse) and still knock you off your stance, the best option is to bury your head and hope the thing hits your pack.

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Re: A video of how to not self-arrest.

Postby madbuck » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Alby426 wrote:Glad to hear he is ok.

Couple of points about this exceptional video:

1- things happen very fast! React quickly and, try to be ready.

3- always tuck when objects come at you, let the helmet do it's job.

4- it is way easier to sit here and speculate than, to be up there and requiring good judgment, so, good habbits are important ( I am very guilty of not having them).

Agree, and #3 is a good one with respect to the situation in this particular video at least: watching something like that helps to visualize what you would do in the situation. It needs to be instinct, to stay on the mountain rather than flinch or try to deflect a falling object.
(That, and keeping the axes attached/in hand).

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Re: A video of how to not self-arrest.

Postby tlongpine » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:17 am

dpage wrote:I'm not an ice/steep snow climber and would like to learn something from this.So what is the appropriate response if caught beneath some falling ice?

Don't climb beneath / below other climbers.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: A video of how to not self-arrest.

Postby pvnisher » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:34 am

tlongpine wrote:Don't climb beneath / below other climbers.

That's a little simplistic. On routes like these in steep, narrow couloirs, you don't have a lot of choice. The whole thing looks very similar to one of my trips to Scotland. On one particular trip, a large chunk of ice fell down and knocked off my goggles. I saw it coming, tried to press my face into the wall and let the helmet and pack take the impact, but wasn't quite fast enough and BAM. No damage done, but it knocked them nearly off. As I was readjusting them, the wind came up (like from a freight train) and took them out of my hands. I had to do the rest of the day without goggles, and kept getting facefuls of ice and snow. But sometimes your stance is directly in the fall line and there's naught you can do about it.

Lots of these things are climbed unroped. A rope alone wouldn't necessarily have saved him from the fall. It might have just pulled his buddy off, too. A rope on steep terrain without an anchor (or two) is just a suicide pact.

atalarico wrote:Regardless, he somehow lost two leashed semi-technical axes. Two...leashed...axes. That's just absurd.
. How do you figure? Holding two axes means it's very hard to start the self-arrest since you have to let go of one. And once that thing is out of your grip, it's basically just a flail trying to poke you. The leashes are more to keep you from dropping them whilst climbing than to allow you to recover them mid-tumble. Good luck with that.


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