Climbing dangers – Martin Paley

Martin’s Near-Death experience while climbing

Just over a week ago my friends and I went out to some small rock faces in Bathford. Nothing huge, just having a bit of fun abseiling down and climbing back up.

We were having a great time and had spent a couple of hours larking about. On our favourite wall which happened to be the biggest (of course) I was hanging over the edge tied on to a tree viewing, Sam was at the bottom belaying and Alex had just climbed up. Once at the top Alex asked if Sam was on the rope (implying he was about to abseil down) so Sam unclipped from the rope and stood back giving the “OK!”. My eyes widened as I just witnessed Sam unclip from the belay and then saw Alex starting to walk backwards (whilst tied in with a Fig8 rather than a belay plate) towards the sheer drop totally unaware that there was no support. I shouted at each of them to stop. Alex was totally unphased and had no idea he was inches away from death. My heart was racing as I could have just watched my friend fall to his doom.

Some communication skills need to improve I think!

Martin Paley
Bath

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