Human Error Blamed For Grapevine Climbing Wall Death

Back in September a woman fell to her death while climbing at a gym in Texas, and as speculated at the time it was due to improper use of the gym’s auto belay equipment:

In the report, witnesses told police that Mailloux “looked like she knew what she was doing.” And even though “she thought she was clipped in” to her rope line, in fact, “the belay system was not attached to (her) harness.
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When she got to the top of the wall, she, “let go and fell to the ground.”

While this is the first fatality I’ve heard of resulting from this sort of thing, I’ve unfortunately heard of many similar cases, some resulting in serious injuries, of a climber falling to the ground after not actually securing themselves to an auto belay system.  Even though you or I probably can’t understand how this could happen, the fact that this problem occurs, oftentimes to experienced climbers, tells me there is something worth paying attention to here.
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 I know that my awareness of this issue has made me extra paranoid each time I go to use an auto belay, or any belay system for that matter.
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(Via Climbing Business Journal)

Posted In: Asides, Industry


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