Canadian rock-crusher Mike Doyle narrowly survived unscathed after a quickdraw sling broke during what was supposed to be a short fall at the Virgin River Gorge. Doyle was about 65-feet off the deck and about 12-feet above his bolt when he fell – far enough above the ground for a relatively safe catch with a fall of this length. When the draw sling broke, Doyle continued to plummet and was caught only 10-feet from the ground. Doyle had previously inspected the fixed draw and had noticed that it was mildly abraded, but assumed that it was still safe. Obviously it was not.
Doyle does not “blame anyone for what happened. The gear on the climb wasn’t mine but that doesn’t change the fact that it is my responsibility, and the responsibility of each climber, to inspect and make sure the gear you are climbing on is safe. This isn’t just for fixed gear but belay devices, partners, harnesses, etc.”
“Fixed gear is a convenience but a convenience that must be maintained by each and every climber in the community,” says Doyle.
More details on Mike Doyle’s blog.