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California, Tahquitz Rock

California, Tahquitz Rock. On 17 August, D. H. Gilbert (33) and his wife were ascending a relatively easy 5-pitch climb that he had led at least six times before. He was about three moves into a moderate lieback, having placed a one-inch nylon sling and carabiner for protection about six feet below on a solid rock outcropping, when he came off. The length of fall was about 12 feet. The belayer was alert, and the protection held. The resulting injuries mainly a scalp wound, and assorted bruises. He was never unconscious, so they were able to rappel to the ground without any problem. They then went to a physician in a nearby town.

Source: D. H. Gilbert.

Analysis: A piton could have been placed higher in the lieback, but most climbers do not follow this practice at this point on the climb. Of course, a hard hat would have eliminated the head injury altogether. I was not in good climbing form, generally, that weeeknd, so perhaps I should have considered not attempting the route at all.