Silvermine accident

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jeff
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Silvermine accident

Postby jeff » Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:02 am

Hi

heard the sad news this morning, does anyone know the details of what happened. Below is the piece I saw on a news website.

Rock climber dies after fall at Silvermine 6/4/2007 8:41:29 AM

A 23-year-old rock climber has died after falling five metres onto a ledge at Silvermine.

The man from Durbanville was sport climbing with two friends yesterday without any ropes when he was hit by a falling boulder.

Wilderness Search and Rescue's Kevin Tromp says the body was airlifted from the ledge.

Drifter
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Postby Drifter » Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:13 am

I wasn't there but this is what I read in the paper.

\"A Boulder struck a 23 year old rock climber on the head at Silvermine causing him to fall five meters on to a ledge from where his body was retrieved late yesterday evening\"

unixcrab
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Postby unixcrab » Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:21 am

Hi,

I was there. Me and a mate got there first and tried CPR but he was gone before we even reached him. It was a freak accident really and he was not sport climbing, he was bouldering. A large rock came loose, he fell and he took a direct hit on the head. The first doctor on the scene said it would have been quick and painless. A very sad incident because that area is very safe for hiking around and I doubt whether we'll hear about something like this again.

cheers,
Simon

Guy
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Postby Guy » Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:18 am

Whoa Simon

This is really tragic. Where exactly did this happen? Was he actually bouldering or scrambling?

My sympathies to his family and friends.

Sincerely

Guy
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

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fridge
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Postby fridge » Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:32 am

Yet a nother sad day in the history of climbing

all partys involved have my condolences


o from the looks of ot the articvle is in the cape times 2day can anyone get ahold of it for us vaalies

Guy
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Postby Guy » Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:36 am

Here is the article from the Cape Times:


A boulder struck a 23-year-old rock climber on the head at Silvermine causing him to fall five metres on to a ledge from where his body was retrieved late yesterday evening.

His body was airlifted from a ledge at the lower Silvermine crag below the resevoir overlooking Tokai.

He was climbing with two friends who called the rescue services when he fell.

The man is from Sonstraal Heights in Durbanville, but his name was not released.

'When the doctor arrived it was too late'
Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesperson Kevin Tromp said rescue services were called out shortly after 4pm.

\"He was doing rock-climbing where they don't use ropes,\" Tromp said.

The Red Cross helicopter was busy with another rescue and a helicopter from the SA Police Service airwing was asked to assist.

Tromp said the police helicopter took a doctor from Red Cross AMS (Air Mercy Service) to the ledge, but the climber was already dead.

\"When the doctor arrived it was too late.

\"A Red Cross AMS helicopter was sent with a stretcher and a rescuer to airlift the body off the ledge.

\"We have to say thanks to the police for a getting a doctor there so quickly,\" he said.

Table Mountain National Park spokesperson Phumeza Mgxashe said the man suffered head injuries from the falling rock.


This article was originally published on page 1 of Cape Times on June 04, 2007
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

Dav
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Postby Dav » Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:47 pm

Hard to believe that this happened... even harder to accept that this happened.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.

Guy
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Postby Guy » Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:58 pm

Evidently he was bouldering on the ridge above the Silvermine crags.

When we were in the states in 2001, we bouldered at the Priest Draw outside Flagstaff, Arizona. A few years earlier, the main developer of the area was killed when he pulled a rock on top of himself in a very similar incident. The local climbers put a plaque on the specific rock in memory of the bloke. How about doing the same thing here to remind people of the person who died and to remind everyone to keep safe.

What do people think of this idea?
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

Nikki
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Postby Nikki » Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:35 pm

This is very sad. This young man's family must be devastated. If anyone knows them, or the friends who were there, please pass on the condolences of the climbing community. Let us all know how we give them our support.

JonoJ
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Postby JonoJ » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:12 pm

Very sad indeed!

My condolences, and prayers go out to him and his family!

God (or whoever you had thought of in your final moment) has got you on belay now dude, climb free, climb high, climb eternally.

Stu
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Postby Stu » Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:34 pm

I agree with Guy, let's put up some kind of plaque
I know the entire climbing community takes a hit when something like this happens.
Sincere condolences to all his family and friends.

Stewart

unixcrab
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Postby unixcrab » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:14 am

I don't mind trying to arrange a plaque, unless someone else has done this before and knows the right people. I imagine the biggest hurlde would be getting permission from Silvermine reserve to put one on the rock. If anybody knows the family and when some respectable mourning period is over, we should approach them with the gesture.

Simon

Dav
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Postby Dav » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:03 am

Agree, but permission should also be sought from his family.
I'd be willing to donate a little towards the plaque.

guest
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Postby guest » Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:38 am

puhleese!

what good is a plaque going to do? If we had to put a plaque up for every death in the hills we'd eventually have more of an eyesore than bolting the dam thing would cause. I'm not against showing respect for someone who has passed, but for those who didn't know him, really, who cares? I'm sorry this sounds harsh, but life is life. We all live, we all die. Get over it.

This gesture is just pathetically sentimental and I'm sure the family is grieving enough without having to deal with this as well.

Stu
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Postby Stu » Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:02 pm

Guest, Re-read Guy's third post.

marijus
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Postby marijus » Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:56 pm

anyone know if his name has been released yet? the climbing community is small (especially amongst the boulderers), so odds are we did know him...

Drifter
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Postby Drifter » Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:12 pm

This is so tragic. It is the worse nightmare for any parent to have to bury their child.
No words could console them.

You could if you want to go and put flowers where the accident happen.

I think because to be realistic there are going to be more accidents in the future if you want a memorial you need a symbol which can represent all the climbers now who are no longer with us and who in the future won't be with us. A mining company have statue in their office in London of a miner to pay tribute to all the miners so maybe if you had smalle statue of a climber to pay tribute to all the climbers, this would have to be kept somewhere.

You could have also an online memorial where people put poems, tributes online etc. A forum on this website.
Last edited by Drifter on Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

guest
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Postby guest » Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:29 pm

@Stu: \"...to remind everyone to keep safe\".

ummmm, surely we dont need to be reminded of this? It was an accident. The dude pulled a rock onto himself. Do you think, had he seen a plaque on a rock in some obscure location that later on he'd have not run into this? Surely every nut, cam and sling on my rack reminds me to be safe? I'm against a plaque because it is a pathetic attempt to try and make yourselves feel better about something which awaits us all. None of us can hide from death, and unfortunately for this unlucky soul, it met him at silvermine. Why should our pristine nature become a memorial for one soul? Let the dude have a headstone, in a place where this is acceptable, namely a graveyard. I know of many deaths on climbs on TM. Are you saying that it should be a case of a plaque being left at each place where a death occurred? Think about it. People have even died on the easy classics like 'Jacobs Ladder'. Would you like to start the route by looking at a \"in memory of...\" plaque. Get a life everyone. Stu, Guy, you may have been climbing a while and consider yourselves veterans in our tiny climbing sect, however, this does not give you the right to think you can make a decision like this on behalf of everyone else. I'll tell you this much, if you do place a plaque, I personally will chisel it off the rock on behalf of those who appose your saccharine sentimentality. If you want to do something, look at what the Lowther family has done. We all miss Rory, and we get to remember him every year at his memorial comp at Swinburne. We celebrate what he stood for and his spirit. We don't look at a cheesy plaque before we head off on a route and think \"keep safe, cos Rory didnt\". Just get a frikken life, all of you.

Marshall
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Postby Marshall » Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:42 pm

I hope to die in the mountains one day, as aposed to dying on the side of the road or at an intersection. Please don't remember me with a plaque, especialy in the wilds. Rather chop 50 wattles & sip a few Red Hearts in remembrance.

My sincere condolences to all his family and friends.

MarkM
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Postby MarkM » Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:07 pm

I think you'll find that the Lowther family has indeed put up a plaque at Swinburne, two infact. There is one on the Skittle Boulder in the Barn Yard area and one on top of the main mountain at Rory's View. Are you going to chisel these off?
Should be quite easy on the soft sandstone.
Open hand, open mind...

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Mark
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Postby Mark » Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:32 pm

Chisselling someone placque down is a bit dramatic but I understand what guest is getting at.

Imagine if the road from JHB to capetown had a placque at every point that someone died?

A memorable person will live on in peoples memories, a plaque does not make this happen, for everyone who didnt know him it is just a morbid reminder of some unknown person who died.

The people who knew the climber will remember him forever without a placque

Dust to dust - Basically celebrate life dont create unnecessary reminders of death - we all know the risks (although we sometimes want to ingore them)

GBM
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Postby GBM » Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:00 pm

I have to say its not easy at first glance to \"swallow\" guests approach to the matter of placing a plaque ... particularly since most of us regard this as a tragedy, a life taken prematurely etc ... and somehow want to show his family that \"the climbing community cares\" and is there for them ... its natural its what makes us human.

Having said that I tend to agree that placing commemorative plaques like this on site does not do much for the one thing that most climbers, (most likely including the deceased), probably care about most ... maintaining the natural state of the outdoors that we so love to spend our time in.

If there is a need for a remembrance plaque then perhaps the Mountain Club could erect a stone boulder somewhere appropriate on which all \"fallen mountaineers\" names can be placed together ... for remembrance sake.

In that way the climbing community truly stays and stands together...

guest
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Postby guest » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:13 pm

I think you'll find that the Lowther family has indeed put up a plaque at Swinburne, two infact. There is one on the Skittle Boulder in the Barn Yard area and one on top of the main mountain at Rory's View. Are you going to chisel these off?


Yes, I will chisel them both off if I see them. Then again Swinburne is a little far away from me, so chances are, I'll not go there. If I do, they're both toast. I'll pack them in padded envelopes and post them to the parents. Why should every single passer by have to have a reminder? Have the weekend, have a gravestone, but please? Like I said, would you like TM to be littered with plaques?

MCSA erect a boulder memorial somewhere? The problem with this is that you'd need to put most of the member's names on it as even the alive ones are pretty dead! Maybe they could place it on one of the vast tracts of land they 'stole' and then later apologized for?

:wink:

cliff stalker
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Silvermine Accident

Postby cliff stalker » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:22 pm

Speaking from experience, losing a child IS the most difficult thing in the world to come to terms with. We as parents can only sympathize with the parents of this young man. They are presently in a state of severe shock. The first couple of weeks, you merely exist, wake up, go to sleep and function on automatic pilot. In fact you are not sure what you are saying, who comes to visit, even remembering clearly who was at the funeral is a blur.

What most of the climbing community did for us that was truly amazing, was the support , phone calls, emails and messages of sympathy. One tip - Don’t ignore them, but also don’t make decisions for them. Every person handles death differently, every family has their own ideas, value systems and beliefs. Support the family in the way that they choose, without being contentious.
The Lowther Family chose not to put anything at the place where Rory fell for the simple reason that those that knew him well enough would never forget the spot. However, permission was received to put a plaque on one of the farmyard boulders, a granite stone was placed at his place of rest on the top of the mountain, which will ultimately be used as a direction pointer. We celebrate Rory by holding the Rory Lowther Memorial Challenge annually at Swinburne. A time when those that knew him can reflect, and those that did not, can participate in a climbing competition with a difference. The difference being that the purpose of the challenge is to promote safety and training within mountain climbing in South Africa. As parents who have lost a son whilst climbing, if we can channel positive energy back into the sport and prevent other parents from going through the same grief by creating an awareness of safety, and a reminder to climbers that accidents happen, even if it means putting up a plaque in our late sons name. So be it.

We have approached the owners of Swinburne to build a Wall of Remembrance in conjunction with the MCSA. Perhaps there should be a ‘special’ place where the climbing community can pay their respects to those who have lost their lives doing what they enjoyed most. The Memorial Challenge could become an ‘ode’ to fallen climbers nationwide.

Our support and good memories go out to all of you, especially those in bereavement at this time !
Love you all,
Eric, Debbie, Gary and KC Lowther
PS: A reminder, may the day come that all climbers wear helmets, as in cycling, so that you do have a second chance and maybe one day share your story.

We miss you son !

G1ZA
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Postby G1ZA » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:38 pm

Suggestions for a plaque for Guest - Here lies 'guest' a great big rock fell on his chest! He was the guy who did his best, not to let the forum, come to a rest!!!

Ksm
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Postby Ksm » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:41 pm

Just get a frikken life, all of you.

Yes, I will chisel them both off if I see them.

Guest if you didn't agree with this idea why couldn’t you have said it in a more respectful way to both the forum and the deceased. You can voice your opinions but consider others. Try Marshall and Mark’s ways of objecting… it is milder. :?
Maybe a plague is not the best idea, but we should do something even if it is small. I don’t have any ideas at the moment but i am more than willing to contribute.

My condolences to his family...

Marshall
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Postby Marshall » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:25 am

Thanks Cliff Stalker

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Mark
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Postby Mark » Wed Jun 06, 2007 9:55 am

In my opinion:

A Rory Lowther memorial event celebrates his life

A memorial wall is a somber list of dead people

A statue at the MSCA with the names of \"fallen\" climbers demonstrates a common love / goal and the people who died living it (that said this is not really comparable to a list of great soldiers - climbing is self inflicted - rather leave the names off and just have a statue in memory of all who died for \"the cause\")

A plaque marks the place that some unknown (to me) person died

Guy
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Postby Guy » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:14 pm

Dear Guest

My 2c says that we (all of us) frequently forget that climbing can be a very dangerous sport. The idea of the plaque is to remind people of this.

To preach about my sentimental reasons for placing the plaque is nonsense. I have absolute certainty that when you die, you simply die. But wouldn’t it be awesome if one person saw the plaque and did something differently so that another family doesn’t have to senselessly lose a kid?

And to go on about Silvermine Ridge being in a pristine natural environment. Get real, it is above a plantation of alien pines, a golf estate and a prison!

But maybe you’re just giving your 2c, which is what I asked for.

Regards

Guy Holwill

PS – it is a pity that you don't use your real name, because it might be good to discuss this like other people (and not in the fake world of an internet forum).
There's no point being pessimistic, because it probably won't work

guest
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Postby guest » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:43 pm

Dear Guy,

Perhaps you've noticed that most other people on the forum have not given their names either. Why change a good thing?

My 2c says that we (all of us) frequently forget that climbing can be a very dangerous sport. The idea of the plaque is to remind people of this.


Gee Guy, since most things are dangerous, maybe we should just 'plaque' those things too. How about a plaque outside MacDonalds for every person who's died from heart disease. How about a plaque on every street corner to remind people that driving is potentially deadly too. Since people have died on staircases, walkways, fallen off bicycles, you name it, perhaps we should just make glasses that can be worn that have a little \"DANGER\" printed inside so everything you look at can be plaqued?

I have absolute certainty that when you die, you simply die.


Now why would an athiest/agnostic give a sh1t about leaving 'memorabilia'?

Regards to you then.


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