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Saddle Death… Stay safe out there.

raisins

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I wonder, what does the average rock climber weigh? The only people I've seen doing it in Alabama are pretty lean and mean.

Much less fluffy than the average Alabama bambi-killer.
small guys kill it for strength to weight ratio...my cousin-in-law is 5 foot tall and about to turn 70 years old and he can still do 15 pull ups (strict...no leg swing) and probably 50 push ups!
 

Vtbow

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Well there’s no padding whatsoever on the dryad harness from I can tell. How do you think that would affect not only comfort but also cutting off circulation. If we say that we think that no padding and thinner waist belt and leg straps would decrease the amount of time it would take to loose blood flow. Then let’s add on top of that additional weight. It may not cut circulation for a 120-150 LB rock climber, but would it for a 240 lb Hunter? So could less padding and more weight increase ones odds and decrease the time it would take in a harness to lose circulation? I certainly think it would.
Agreed, and (while not trying to offend anyone) that is a personal risk of being heavier (or even what might be considered obese) and participating in these types of actives. .

Like adding another stick of butter to the sauce you're making when you know you have high cholesterol and the doctor has already educated you on your risks... Is this the right thing for me to do personally and can I do it safe? Or is it just the cool thing the media giants are shining down my throat?

Should saddles be made in xl? Just because we can and they fit and they pass the 900lb test before breaking, does that mean they should be marketed to someone who may have a higher risk of bodily harm based on predisposed body shape? Not a whole lot of social responsibility that persay...

Again, I'm not trying to offend anyone, just trying to potentially frame some perspective...
 

Fl Canopy Stalker

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Sorry, I don't completely agree. You're going to have to Define "extended period" . RCH are designed to be hung in for at least some extended periods of time, not just fall in. VERY Often multi pitch routes require a hanging belay. Sometime that's a 10 minute hang, sometimes it's a 30 minute hang depending on the route and your partner leading.

Also, though there are "big wall" harnesses available, other than wider straps and extra padding the general design is the same, and there are times climbing big wall or aiding where you might be suspended for easily over an hour or other "extended periods" of time.

There are also crappy, non anatomical RCH like a BD alpine bod, and there are more well designed and engineered harnesses like the petzl Adjama. Support and comfort is very different in each of those...


And I'm 100% not trying to argue suspension trauma isn't a real thing. But, RCH always get the finger around here, and I think there are some major misconceptions.

Also, I hate to come back to it, but some 250 vs someone 185 is going to have a VERY different experience in the same RCH...
Wider padding and straps distribute the weight very differently. Also when pitch climbing even if you are the rear on belay, you would clip in at a belay station or ridge with an anchor point (quad anchor or other) so you aren’t simply hanging with your legs dangling there. It takes on average about 14 to 15 minutes of motionless dangling for suspension trauma to occur. Rock climbers are rarely motionless nor are they spending 30 minutes free hanging on their harness. While I typically agree with you VT, I think basic RCH are poorly designed for what we do. Now the top of the line big wall ones are better but even then the pull on the inner thigh would contribute to accelerated mechanical asphyxia verses a saddle harness which is designed differently. For sake of this thread, I’ll leave it at we agree to disagree. You are correct though 260lbs is gonna feel the effects much quicker than 185lbs will
 

Vtbow

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Wider padding and straps distribute the weight very differently. Also when pitch climbing even if you are the rear on belay, you would clip in at a belay station or ridge with an anchor point (quad anchor or other) so you aren’t simply hanging with your legs dangling there. It takes on average about 14 to 15 minutes of motionless dangling for suspension trauma to occur. Rock climbers are rarely motionless nor are they spending 30 minutes free hanging on their harness. While I typically agree with you VT, I think basic RCH are poorly designed for what we do. Now the top of the line big wall ones are better but even then the pull on the inner thigh would contribute to accelerated mechanical asphyxia verses a saddle harness which is designed differently. For sake of this thread, I’ll leave it at we agree to disagree. You are correct though 260lbs is gonna feel the effects much quicker than 185lbs will
it's all good, gotta disagree sometimes or it's not real life. But I don't think where that far apart on this.

Alsi, I'm not going to argue semantics, but if you're "on belay" your the one on the sharp end of the rope climbing. You'd be "belaying" while hanging(wink :) ) And, there isn't always a designated belay station when climbing, especially multi pitch trad-sure you want the most comfortable place possible, but it's not always ideal.

I never said a rch was the best designed solution for saddle hunting. BUT I have never been hanging solely from my saddle while saddle hunting... I always have my feet on something leaning in a semi-reclined position, or my knees on the tree, feet on a ros.

Only a fall in which someone could not get their feet on a tree, or resulted in someone being unconscious would result in a full hang. In that scenario, you may be better off in a "saddle" (like maybe an Aerohunter Evo) but I don't believe today's popular saddles effectively address all safety concerns we are discussing here.

I'm bowing out here everyone. This was a horrible tragedy that may have been fueled by popularity, social media, marketing, money, and what's cool. I hope we can all look at this and reflect about what and how we oursleves put things out in the world for everyone to see. My sincere condolences again to the family.
 
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Fl Canopy Stalker

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it's all good, gotta disagree sometimes or it's not real life. But I don't think where that far apart on this.

Alsi, I'm not going to argue semantics, but if you're "on belay" your the one on the sharp end of the rope climbing. You'd be "belaying" while hanging(wink :) ) And, there isn't always a designated belay station when climbing, especially multi pitch trad-sure you want the most comfortable place possible, but it's not always ideal.

I never said a rch was the best designed solution for saddle hunting. BUT I have never been hanging solely from my saddle while saddle hunting... I always have my feet on something leaning in a semi-reclined position, or my knees on the tree, feet on a ros.

Only a fall in which someone could not get their feet on a tree, or resulted in someone being unconscious would result in a full hang. In that scenario, you may be better off in a "saddle" (like maybe an Aerohunter Evo) but I don't believe today's popular saddles effectively address all safety concerns we are discussing here.

I'm bowing out here everyone. This was a horrible tragedy that may have been fueled by popularity, social media, marketing, money, and what's cool. I hope we can all look at this and reflect about what and how we oursleves put things out in the world for everyone to see. My sincere condolences again to the family.
I stand corrected on my terminology. Thank you for all the input. I really do appreciate what you’ve added to this post. People need to see all sides of this for it to be helpful. And I agree about what’s popular verses what’s sold. Also a cut out while on the lineman’s rope could also lead to a potential free hang while in the saddle. Otherwise I do agree completely! Thanks again for correcting my rock climbing terminology.
 

Jammintree

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Back when I worked in arborculture I had a coworker that was approximately 6’ tall and had to weigh close to 300 lbs. His climbing skills, chainsaw skills and ropes skills were off the charts good. He was not fast. He was methodical in every movement, he was damn strong, was highly experienced and practiced safe climbing techniques.

something I’ve thought a lot about as a result of Danes tragic death is the tendency the internet has to promote chasing the silver bullet. We all fall prey to looking for the next new thing that’s gonna fix all our problems. I’m reminded of how important it is to me to rely on gear, methods and tactics that are second nature and have proven themselves. And when something is a new addition it needs to be worked over and over in a controlled setting.
 

sdoyle1

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So… I have been following this out of curiosity for a bit.

I have a bit of a concern.

When all this first came out I searched his name on the JRB group where this was first posted. He posted lots of technical questions and had many back and forth conversations on the topics.

Now I just searched his name again. Nothing… everything gone/deleted.

Things that make you go hmmmmmm…….
I just searched his name on the JRB group and all of his posts and comments show up for me. No idea why they aren’t for you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

gwhalin

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I tried srt climbing in just the drey harness last year when it first came out. It was downright painful even with no extended hang. The straps felt like they were cutting into my legs and back. I gave up quickly. Don’t think I even made it 6’ off the ground before decided it was too painful. I have also worn a RCH when trying indoor climbing and while not comfortable I don’t recall them being painful. The Drey harness seemed very minimalistic, which I guess makes sense give it is a hammock and they don’t plan on you hanging from the harness without the hammock deployed?
 

kyler1945

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Back when I worked in arborculture I had a coworker that was approximately 6’ tall and had to weigh close to 300 lbs. His climbing skills, chainsaw skills and ropes skills were off the charts good. He was not fast. He was methodical in every movement, he was damn strong, was highly experienced and practiced safe climbing techniques.

something I’ve thought a lot about as a result of Danes tragic death is the tendency the internet has to promote chasing the silver bullet. We all fall prey to looking for the next new thing that’s gonna fix all our problems. I’m reminded of how important it is to me to rely on gear, methods and tactics that are second nature and have proven themselves. And when something is a new addition it needs to be worked over and over in a controlled setting.
You remember him for a reason. And it probably isn’t because he wore nice shoes. My guess is because he was an outlier in terms of size and shape for the profession.

Also, how often did he climb alone with no one around in case of an accident?

How much training did he complete prior to starting the job, and on the job?

How many tricks did he learn in that training to get himself out of very specific, known, studied, jams?

What was his IQ?

How would he test for spatial awareness?


I sort of understand your point, that being a big feller does not preclude one from being a competent climber. Even a professional one. But pointing out an exception to a rule only does more harm than good in these situations.


More women than men are nurses. Not because men don’t possess the requisite skill. And not because some men don’t possess the appropriate bed side manner and interest in people over things. It’s that on average, way more women possess all 3. When studying these types of issues, we need to look at group outcomes, not just individual outcomes, to frame the issue properly.

Being large may have had nothing to do with him getting in the jam he was in. But it almost certainly was largely responsible for him not getting out of it.

I feel weird saying things like this out loud. But we need to.
 

Cbigbear

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Leaving the ground is extremely dangerous for humans, compared with NOT leaving the ground. People who say one way to hang in a tree is safer than another are missing the big picture. Once you leave the ground, you’re upping the ante significantly.
This is as accurate as it gets. The gear & methods do not solely define risk, risk is determined by distance from the ground. I’m still not understanding exactly what happened to Dane & it may never be understood what got him in the distress situation. How did he get 6’ off the ground - stick(s), 2tc system, or rope climb but then somehow dropped the rope? Why could he not brace himself off the tree with his legs to prevent prolonged hanging? Did he not have a self rescue method attached to himself or a method to retrieve his dropped gear?

I’ve had a decent amount of experience climbing in an RCH & recovering from falls or dropped gear. It can be done in a safe manner, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

It’s a little late in the game (ie hunting season is upon us) but better late than never, please everyone get familiar with your gear & not just in ideal conditions. Also do a hard self assessment of your skills & condition. Climbers, ladders, hang-ons, climbing sticks, one sticks, ropes, 2tc systems, spurs, bolts, etc are all dangerous.
 

Jammintree

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You remember him for a reason. And it probably isn’t because he wore nice shoes. My guess is because he was an outlier in terms of size and shape for the profession.

Also, how often did he climb alone with no one around in case of an accident?

How much training did he complete prior to starting the job, and on the job?

How many tricks did he learn in that training to get himself out of very specific, known, studied, jams?

What was his IQ?

How would he test for spatial awareness?


I sort of understand your point, that being a big feller does not preclude one from being a competent climber. Even a professional one. But pointing out an exception to a rule only does more harm than good in these situations.


More women than men are nurses. Not because men don’t possess the requisite skill. And not because some men don’t possess the appropriate bed side manner and interest in people over things. It’s that on average, way more women possess all 3. When studying these types of issues, we need to look at group outcomes, not just individual outcomes, to frame the issue properly.

Being large may have had nothing to do with him getting in the jam he was in. But it almost certainly was largely responsible for him not getting out of it.

I feel weird saying things like this out loud. But we need to.
I agree with you 100%. This was exactly my reason for sharing this memory. We all have handicaps, when we are aware of them we can address them. Skill and training are Our most powerful tools.
 

BTaylor

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Hate to speculate what may have happened in this tragedy but will relate something I ran into using a RCH built very similar to the Dryad being discussed paired with the JRB single rope system. I had climbed up 12-15 feet and was going to come back down. I tied a munter to come down. It was below the hitch my harness was connected too and I clipped both carabiners into the belay loop. I was talking to a buddy while doing this and not paying near as attention to what I was doing as I should have been or I would have realized this wasnt going to work. With just a small bit of descent, I was hung up when the rope was pinned between the carabiners at the belay loop. I did not have all of my normal set up on me as this was just a quick practice climb so I didnt have an extra tether to set a foot loop so I could unweight the system and fix the problem. Instead I pulled up the the other end and set it, then transitioned to the ascender hitch on that end with my foot loop and fixed the problem. I was more mad at myself for not paying attention to what I was doing and creating a problem than concerned about the predicament I had put myself in but I also had a buddy there with the means to get me cut loose if needed. Alone in the woods, it would be pretty easy to see how the same scenario could create panic and unclear thinking. Absolutely not saying that is what happened in this case but I could easily see how something similar may have been a contributing factor. Like has been mentioned a lot, anytime you leave the ground crap can go sideways. All we can do is try to be prepared for those circumstances and do our best to remain calm and work the problem. Sometimes that is way easier said than done.
 

BigB

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So based on handful of guys in this thread guess all fat/obese should stop doing activities they love… got it.

Everyone making assumptions based on no facts.
 

kyler1945

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So based on handful of guys in this thread guess all fat/obese should stop doing activities they love… got it.

Everyone making assumptions based on no facts.
No. Fat/obese people should be fully informed of the increased risk of injury, or failure to complete a task, due to their size/shape/flexibility/limitations.

If they decide to move forward with that information, that is their prerogative.

Currently, two things are happening: western culture is ignoring an obesity epidemic; the risks that large people face engaging in dynamic physical activity are being undersold to them.

The reasons for both of these things are wide ranging and hard to quantify. But they are happening, plain as day.

Saying this isn’t a judgment on a fat or skinny person. Or peoples choices. It’s a judgment on our inability to get good information, and process it in pursuit of happiness and contentment.

I am positive there are plenty of in shape, or not in shape but skinny people, who shouldn’t climb trees.

This is just a really good opportunity to open a discussion on how much risk is being ignored or denied or hidden.

A big person might be happier dying doing something risky(because they’re big) than living with not trying or having done it. I for one, don’t believe that making that choice uninformed of the risk is a good idea. I want nothing to do with their freedom to choose. I feel a compulsion as a decent human being to inform the choice.
 

Fl Canopy Stalker

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I’m not saying big guys shouldn’t saddle hunt. I think that everyone should do their very best to take their time setting up, climbing and have practiced plenty at ground level well before season. As Jammingtree pointed out, by using proper technique and planning for the worst, then you should be able to offset the physical disadvantage. Bears are big and they climb trees just fine. It’s in the technique. I will say this, people with serious medical conditions shouldn’t climb because if that condition was to flare up while you’re at height, there is no one there to help. I wholeheartedly think saddles when used properly are safer than traditional stands. The problem is the saddle trend has been to unsafe fad style climbing methods and you tube experts telling someone that something is safe because they do it and ain’t been hurt yet. That’s the wrong attitude to have
So based on handful of guys in this thread guess all fat/obese should stop doing activities they love… got it.

Everyone making assumptions based on no facts.
 

bloodsoakedberber

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So based on handful of guys in this thread guess all fat/obese should stop doing activities they love… got it.

Everyone making assumptions based on no facts.
That’s a real crappy way to paraphrase some good content provided by some well versed members just trying to politely point out some safety concerns. Some of this stuff is hard to say, as they know it can be misconstrued as offensive. But they took the time to put it together in the interest of others well being.
Everyone, regardless of size or physical ability can use this as a learning opportunity and time for assessing the safety of one’s systems.
 

kyler1945

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So based on handful of guys in this thread guess all fat/obese should stop doing activities they love… got it.

Everyone making assumptions based on no facts.
I don’t think 60 year old men should climb trees with saddle gear either. Not because they can’t. Because WHEN they get injured, the cost of that injury is on average, much higher than the cost to a 25 year old with the same injury. We have tons of older members climbing trees. I support their right to do it. I also know there’s some with higher bone density, flexibility, dexterity, spatial awareness, training, etc. than many 25 year olds.

Just because I don’t think the risk is worth it, and just because those older guys who climb this way do think it’s worth it, doesn’t change the facts. A 60 year old breaking a rib, or an ankle, or a hip, or a back, is at far greater risk of losing significant quality of life, than a 25 year old. Pretending that isn’t so, is dumb.

I’m not 25. It’s ok to say things out loud that don’t make us feel good.
 

Jammintree

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The exception proves the rule, often. Meaning, offering a single example as a counterpoint to a generalization proves the rarity of those counterpoints and that the generalization is, well, generally true.
In the case of my coworker he was highly skilled and was using a climbing system well matched to him personally. There are definitely certain techniques and systems that present greater risk for heavier people. For example, rappelling on a figure 8 in a hammock and rock climbing harness seems far more risky than using a traditional DRT method.
 

raisins

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So based on handful of guys in this thread guess all fat/obese should stop doing activities they love… got it.

Everyone making assumptions based on no facts.
Just because something doesn't have nice implications doesn't have any bearing on if it is true or not. And no one is saying that heavier people shouldn't climb.

 
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