Well that sucked

Discussion in 'Awakenings' started by Raven27, May 21, 2017.

  1. Raven27

    Raven27 Active Member

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    So, I fell out of a tree today, no real Inuries, just a bruised forearm.

    We were trimming a white Pine and I had my climbing line over several good limbs amd had been working my way up and had just about reach my last limb to drop . I was climbing and had my line anchored at the base with a running bowline.
    All of a sudden the top branch my line was on started cracking, I had my lanyard over my shoulder still,.for my ascent, and told my ground guy thorough our Sena headsets that I was about to take a drop, I knew it was coming, but had other good limbs just below that one, I was trying to quickly get my lanyard off my shoulder and onto the stem, but it was too late( my right leg was still in my HAAS, and my left foot was still in my cmi, I dropped a few feet, but that dropped proved too much for the lower limbs and my line crashed through them, I fell back first, but was oddly very calm, like I just accepted it before I even went down. I felt a stinging in my right forearm and instantly thought I had severely cut my arm on my limbing saw, I looked, just a scratch from a branch.
    My climbing saw, with 16" bar, speared itself 8" into the ground , which probably saved me from getting cut. It did tear the attachment ring right off the saw, and amazingly, I landed in the only spot that didn't have any brush, clear ground. I did a quick assessment and realized I was pretty much unhurt. Total fall was about 20', which was fortunate.
    I hate Pine trees and had tested the hell out of the climbing line, and had already been on it a good 30 minutes working the tree. Now I hate pines even more. Stay safe, all I can think of is my line was just out on the limb a little bit and not right against the trunk, but I thought it looked good, and had no concerns.

    Rest of day was great, banged out 3 jobs today. Lol
     
  2. FreeFallin

    FreeFallin Well-Known Member

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    :endesacuerdo:
     
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  3. Drumbo

    Drumbo Active Member

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    Glad you ended up okay.

    I hate climbing white pine for pruning.
    Whenever I do I just try to isolate my line, if its too thick I hope there is another tree nearby that I can set a high line in and then redirect it through white pine to avoid putting too much pressure on those brittle bastard limbs. Or work the tree with moving rope technique and just keep resetting my tie in.
    If you sneeze too hard on a white pine limb they go flying, I hate em.
     
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  4. evo

    evo Well-Known Member

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    Had a good friend/family member die from 25-27' fall... dont get cocky
     
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  5. jdhoward

    jdhoward Active Member

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    What a coincidence. I to fell from a tree because my tie in point broke out. This was Thursday though.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. jdhoward

    jdhoward Active Member

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    Also my knee ascender broke right before I fell.


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  7. rope-a-dope

    rope-a-dope Well-Known Member

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    I can firmly say now I only like to set a rope half way up a pine from the ground. Climb higher to set a stem anchor by hand.
    I can also say i only like to kill them.
    No prune for you!
     
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  8. colb

    colb Well-Known Member

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    Glad you're okay.

    "Tested the hell..." I think we're supposed to test with twice body weight, static, without dynamic force. What does "...the hell" mean? Good for us all to learn, if you care to share...

    You had just about reached the last limb to drop, at 20 feet? I have cognitive dissonance here, lol. Small 40' tree? Line in small branches, in small tree? Sounds like pole saw work. I'm curious to know what really happened... ;)
     
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  9. Raven27

    Raven27 Active Member

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    Couldn't reach the last limb with a pole saw the tree was probably 55 feet limbs were 4 inches may be that we are removing. By testing the hell out of it I mean what we usually do is both myself and the ground I put our body weight on it and give it a good tug and like I said I'd already been in the tree for about 30 minutes clearing out all the dead stuff in the bottom part of the tree they just wanted the bottom of the tree cleaned up. The tree is eventually coming down. Hope that helps. Someone mentioned getting cocky we definitely weren't getting cocky we consider ourselves extremely careful. We watch other tree companies in this area and just shake our heads at the lack of even minimal safety equipment. But I know or think that everyone can always improve I'm just looking at this as another lesson
     
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  10. macswan

    macswan Well-Known Member

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    Was your rope out on the initial limb at all, or up against the trunk?
     
  11. TimBr

    TimBr Well-Known Member

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    Glad you are ok, too. I was wondering if you might think that the breaking of the knee ascender is what caused the breakout and fall. I could see how a sudden jerk of weight might cause more force than usual to be applied to a tie-in point.

    Tim
     
  12. kiteflyingeek

    kiteflyingeek Member

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    Glad to hear you are ok. That is good to know about white pines -- I'm so new to this industry I wasn't aware there was that much difference to a pine's structure. I'll be keeping this in mind.

    --andrew
     
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  13. flyingsquirrel25

    flyingsquirrel25 Well-Known Member

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    Glad to hear you are ok. Also sounds like you got your delivery. The lanyard over the shoulder bugged me when I first tried it just because it was sometimes fussy to get disconnected. Have yoou tried the chest harness?
     
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  14. TimBr

    TimBr Well-Known Member

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    @Raven27; Thanks for starting this thread and sharing your experience. I'm glad you are also ok. This might save someone from a serious injury.

    Tim
     
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  15. adolan

    adolan Member

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    Glad to hear you are ok. This is one of the reasons I don't base tie ! The load put on your anchor point is much higher with a base tie compared to a canopy anchor. Where I work we started not bounce testing our tie-ins. We will do a static pull but not bounce- the way it was explained to me was think about a rigging line. If you were to load a rope almost to its breaking strength and it didn't break you have potentially reduced its strength by a lot. But the next time you load it with significant weight the likely hood of failure is much higher due to the previous loading. I guess its along the lines of cycles to failure right?
    There was a climber that took a fall last year in a climbing comp due to a failed anchor point- part of this was from bounce testing the tie in. I'm pretty sure there is an article about it some where.
    Climb safe and learn from this!
     
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  16. southsoundtree

    southsoundtree Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I'll chose a loose (large loop that might cinch a bit more as line angle changes, but as tight as possible from the various line-angle pulls/ shakes from the ground) choking TIP non-Isolated around a couple limbs and the trunk, over a base-tie.

    I base-tie all the time. Anybody have a load cell? I've had to tie back a storm-tipped alder with the effectively-same-set-up as a base tie. One ground anchor, bare crotch, tensioned on the other leg. As I pulled back with a Maasdam continuous rope puller, the Maasdam-side became tight while the 'base-tie' leg was having maybe half the tension or less (no-measurement, just a guess).

    Sure base-ties increase loading. You should have a strong enough anchor point for the forces applied, with a cushion.

    A static load-test (probably mostly straight down)shows that the branch didn't completely fail at whatever line angle it was tested. It doesn't show more.
     
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  17. rope-a-dope

    rope-a-dope Well-Known Member

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    I like to do what Southsound suggested as well, usually because throwing for a pine tip sucks. But it also eliminates the cascading branch failure thing that a base tie might do.
    Choking the line around a whole clump of limbs and stem works great for access and can be pretty darn safe compared to a not-quite-right base tie.
    Raven's example is scary because he probly did everything I would have done to get those "easy" pine limbs.
    Pines are on my not-to-be-trusted list, fo sho.
     
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  18. southsoundtree

    southsoundtree Well-Known Member

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    FWIW to anyone...

    many are familiar with 'throwing a spiral' up the rope to try to get it to hop toward the desired spot (like against the bole). Clove hitching the rope to a stick or pole tool makes it much easier to get more height above the redirection branch and more horizontal movement toward the desired spot, as compared to just your unaided arm. Its like having a twice as long, twice as strong arm, using 6-8' of pole with both arms.
     
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  19. evo

    evo Well-Known Member

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    I said "don't get cocky". Meaning you could be dead right now. This was a good warning, that you need to change your work practice. I know I am guilty of choosing a small base tie knowing it's likely to break out into the large limb below. Something I need to change.

    I took a 10-12' whipper when I forgot to clear my line from some epicormic limbs on a fir that I was planning to bust out with a bounce test. Had 190' of rope in my system, and about 50' in the air. All my weight was on my foot and hand ascenders rope wrench and hitch not engaged as I was in mid stride. Now I changes my habits..
     
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  20. TimBr

    TimBr Well-Known Member

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    I think it might have been Burnham from the TreeHouse forum that talked about installing a series of girth hitched slings with biners up the stem of sketchy trees, to try to provide as much backup as possible. I'm liking that idea after reading this thread. More trouble, but probably worth it for peace of mind.

    Tim
     
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