Just back from Ingleton wall where Roy and myself ventured for the usual “Friday 8”. Proceedings where dramatically interrupted when a climber fell from lower off at 10mtrs landing on his feet before collapsing backwards. His wife had been belaying using a Grigri which we reasoned had been incorrectly loaded so that the rope pulled straight out as she went to lower him off. He’s on his way to a trauma unit somewhere query spinal injury.
Both climbers we’d seen there before and both were very experienced. We can only speculate as to the cause but incorrect use of belay device seems the only feasible explanation.
So here’s the thing. How many of us routinely check both our knot and our belayer’s device is correctly loaded. I suspect very few, especially on indoor walls, cause they are the safest climbing environments aren’t they?
Hmm! I shall in future be checking every time regardless of my own and others experience, cause shit happens.