Climbing Wall Accident

What your instructor never taught you. Continuing your education and learning from others. Climbing safety topics and accident/incident discussions.
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Post by Rastaman » Wed Feb 08, 2006 8:34 am

In is un-acceptable to blame your staff (casual or not) for the problems in your gym. That is why their is managment, they are ultimtely responsible for all of their staff actions.
Perhaps they should employ better, less lazy people?

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Post by Owl101 » Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:37 am

I hate to dig up a dead horse in terms of this topic :/ I have been meaning to post a bit of info on this incident itself and put in my 2 cents worth.

My first and only first thus far to the Kya Sands joint was when this accident happened and I had the misfortune of actually seeing the guy take the 2/2.5m fall to the ground.

The kid involved had climbed the route and was on his way down when the rope snapped and it was as a result of the rope burning through the safety rope through which it had been put through, and yes, the rope was not clipped through the biner at the top.

I would put the fault with both the gym and the guy who rigged that top rope. To the dude who rigged it I would have to say that I hope he learnt something from this, nothing in any safety area can be checked and/or done quickly. Poor show dude, really poor. Apologies help for nothing when things go wrong.

As for the gym fault, if the safty rope was well kept, which it should have been, it wouldn't have burnt through plain and simple and if the biner at the top was anywhere near the condition of the biners that you rent to your clients then I would be rather sceptical as to how much strain they could take.

Not withstanding the poor logic involved in the type of safety system that is used for all the top ropes at the gym I must say that all of the equipment in the place is in a poor state.

I must say that I had heard rumours of the gym's saftey record before I went and decided to check it out anyway, talk about a delightful first visit :/

I see and understand everyone's views on this thus far and I would suggest two other possible courses of action, either buy the gym out, get management for the gym or volunteer some elbow greese and make this place a worth while gym to go to.

From my visit I know for certain that there is damn near next to no maintainence or replacement of any of the equipment in the gym.

I'm suggesting the elbow greese because it might motivate the owners to get the place in shape and then maybe we can get them to addopt some decent guidelines for maintaining the gym properly.

Costs I think ought to be handled by the gym owners and the labour we could provide, fix up what needs to be fixed, switch to using dual bolts like every top rope I have ever climbed outdoors, that sort of thing.

Although this has one fatal floor and that is the apparent lack of response or care as such by the owners for the gym, as well as their stand on investing 'more' money into their own gym.

I suppose they don't realise that by improving their gym they would in turn attract more seasoned climbers which in turn help in boosting their revenues.

The management idea might be a decent possibility as it would be an opportunity to get MCSA involved and possibly generate a bit of revenue for them through management of the venue and putting a stamp of approval on the joint.

Granted, these are just ideas and they may be shyte ones but I believe this may be an opportunity for improving on a situation instead of burning it at the proverbial stake.

I'm curious to know your opinions and then maybe we can do something for the love of the sport :)

Alan Tennent

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Post by African Climber » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:06 am

I'm just a little curious as to what has been done regarding this gym. I believe the MCSA has been investigating an alternate venue for a gym, this is good. However, I am rather cocerned that there has been no mention of any action that the fore mentioned gym has taken any steps to redeem themselves and create a safe and fun venue. Maybe I have not been in the correct circles but I have heard nothing further. Will this issue be raised in a years time again, when someone has fallen and died or been permanently injured?

Why is it that this gym always gets away with these incedents? Sorry about bringing this up again, but over the past few years this gym has had much critisism and nothing seems to change.
What were the real results of this fiasco ?

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Kya Sands

Post by anton » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:23 pm

How does one find this gym... There does not even seem to be a website :?

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Post by Owl101 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:09 pm

Well, talk about diggin up an old one :)

If I get the chance I'm gonna see about making a turn at the joint this weekend. I've been told by one of my buddies that they have moved to another warehouse and that they have 'improved' (hopefully replaced) alot of their equipment.

I'll report on my findings and hopefully we'll have a place to go climb in the north of jhb.

Aside from that, there is a long shot idea that I've been sitting on, and that is that I want to get a decent gym opened somewhere (relatively) convenient in jhb / midrand. I have a couple of friends and contacts that are capable of investing in the gym, the problem is getting them to do it :) we'll see how that one goes, but as I say, that's a long shot and it's going to take time.

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Post by Drifter » Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:47 am

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but no place can wash their hands of all liability and are liable if an accident is a result of their negligence.

Correct me if I am wrong.

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Post by nosmo » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:04 pm

Oh I do, don't you worry, I do...

Lucky for you, today is at a close and thinking of a response this close to dinner might give me heartburn.

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Post by waynarky » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:55 am

When I was working at Urban Crag we had an incidentof a father dropping a kid. unfortunately the kid broke both arms. I wasn't there at the time but apparently what actually happened was that he clipped in to the same side of the rope and his son. So the rope was going straight from the climber to the belay then up to the kari at the top. The person manning the gym was on the other side attending to another climber so didn't see it.

He had been shown numerous times correct belaying procedure and that wasn't his first time there.
The father was pretty mad at the gym at first, but later accepted that it was his fault. The kid recovered and was back climbing after he healed but understandably the father wasn't keen to belay again.

Its a touchy issue but safety is both in the hands of the gym and the patrons. its up to the gym to make sure that the gear is up to scratch and that the climbers know what to do BUT If the patron isn't sure of correct procedure its his responsibility to ask advice.

In this case it was obviously a lapse of concentration on the fathers part.
Of course we all felt hella guilty about someone getting injured at the gym but the staff can't be everywhere.

Theres no room for mistakes when it comes to climbing!

Ropes breaking? Heeeellll, thats the gyms fault!
Adventure Sports Directory and Mobile Climbing Wall.

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Post by Owl101 » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:09 pm

Curiosity truely is a wonderful thing :)

Waynarky, in this incident the rigging config at the top of each of the climbs was a bolted loop with a carib through and then an additional rope running as a catch rope which was attached to the wall itself, this loop ran under the carib between the two sides of the belay rope.

For some reason the belay line was running through this loop and not the carib, this is the rope that broke and dropped the kid.

I agree completely with you Drifter :) Now on to why I started with the statement about curiosity :) I figured I would check the site in Waynary's sig and what do I find? An article regarding the gym we be referring too :D hehehehe Mad I tells ye!

Well, the article says that the Gym is now under new management and is now called Wonderwall and that it will be opening on the 1st of August :D WEEE!

Here's the info: ... 4&Itemid=2
Here is the contact person's mail addy:

He be wreckonin that the new venue will include:

- 15 walls ranging from beginner to experienced which will be re-routed on a monthly basis
- Bouldering wall
- Fully stocked bar (license pending) – ‘Cos nothing tastes better than a cold beer after exercise
- Pool table and foosball table – so you can bring your friends
- Food available
- Gear for sale
- Travel tours and trip both nationally and internationally
- Lockers to keep your stuff safe

Worthy in my mind :)

Never mind, here's the post RE said gym :)

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Post by nosmo » Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:50 am

Owl101 wrote:I agree completely with you Drifter
What, not another rouge milkman??

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Post by waynarky » Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:42 pm

As Justin mentioned theres been a whole post about the gym and the safety issues involved on this site.
Im really looking forward to it I tellz ya!
thanx for visting the site though :wink:
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