American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Carabiner Impaled in Arm, Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2011

FALL ON ROCK, CARABINER IMPALED IN ARM

Colorado, Eldorado Canyon State Park

On September 4, Patrick Kadel (age unknown) was climbing Break On Through (5.11) when he fell seconding the first pitch. Before the belayer could stop his fall, Kadel somehow impaled his right forearm into the rope- end carabiner of a point of protection. According the victim, his fall was stopped by hanging from the carabiner impaled in his forearm. The climbers rappelled and walked out to the road with the carabiner still impaled in Kadel,s forearm. The victim refused medical attention and an ambulance and was transported to a hospital in a private vehicle.

Analysis

This type of accident rarely occurs. This year, however, two reports of a carabiner impaling and/or lacerating an arm were reported (see North Carolina). Although the actual cause of both accidents is only speculation, climbers can prevent this type of incident by not grabbing long slings during a fall and consider using locking carabiners on the rope-end of long draws. (Source: Steve Muehlhauser, Park Ranger, Eldorado Canyon State Park and Aram Attarian)

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