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over confident and careless

jim hougen

jim hougen

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
6
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62
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KINGMAN
over confident and careless. I did tree work for 18 years got careless for a minuet and fell 27 feet. Hit the ground a very fit 48 year old man. left the hospital 3 1/2 moths later a broken down old man. I was not paying attention when I hooked up to rappelling device. heard my caribbener on d ring heard it click and did not visually verify my attachment point. rappelled out with one hand on the rope left my figure 8 in the tree
 
LoveStihlQuality

LoveStihlQuality

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A second can change a life or end it. You are alive to tell after horrendous fall. God bless.
over confident and careless. I did tree work for 18 years got careless for a minuet and fell 27 feet. Hit the ground a very fit 48 year old man. left the hospital 3 1/2 moths later a broken down old man. I was not paying attention when I hooked up to rappelling device. heard my caribbener on d ring heard it click and did not visually verify my attachment point. rappelled out with one hand on the rope left my figure 8 in the tree
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derwoodii

derwoodii

Tree Freak
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did not visually verify my attachment point.
i came so close to joining you many years back,, always look confirm one time i did not i'd snapped into my shirt & not harness ring.. A reason i prefer to have snug clothing on aloft no loose shirts over harness rings and snaps.

your grief & story sir will focus some others minds and may save lives...
 

tidy

ArboristSite Operative
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Sep 4, 2013
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40
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sydney
^ I think many could share a close call like that i know that its happened to me as well whilst being too relaxed/complacent in the tree. Sorry to hear you suffered the consequences Jim, best wishes.
 
ropensaddle

ropensaddle

Feel Lucky
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Feb 11, 2007
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Hot Springs Arkansas
Some, likely most of us have made similar mistakes and the tree Gods gave us a break so we caught it. No ones perfect. I had several close calls in my day but i'm now too old to remember them vividly. Like several have posted at least you lived and 48 is young brother.
 
rarefish383

rarefish383

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Jim, glad to see you made it back. My Dad was 60 years old, he was leaving on vacation that afternoon. So, he was running a few estimates in his Cadillac. Our climber was a no show, years before cell phones. Since he was in the car, not his truck, he didn't have his climbing gear. So, he broke one of his own Cardinal Rules, he used the other guys climbing gear. He was just finishing up elevating around the gutter of a two story house. As the rope was going through his taughtline hitch it broke. He fell about 20-25 feet. Landed on his Super EZ and broke his hip and sheared off the bumps on a couple vertebra, broke his left ankle, hip and shoulder. He was actually in good spirits and wanted out of the hospital in a couple days. But, he couldn't pass any food. They said the impact on his internal organs was severe enough that they were all swollen so nothing could go through. That was exactly 30 days before my wedding. He got a 2 hour pass to come to the wedding in a wheel chair. He did recover and continued to climb into his 70's. After he got back on his feet he inspected the other guys climbing rope. We had just started to use braided rope back then. As he slid the rope through his fingers, every now and then, he'd hit a spot where the inner core had been pinched off. The climber had a bad habit of chunking big pieces down, and if the ground crew hadn't moved his rope, he would just drop the chunks on it. Evidently he had dropped chunks and pinched the rope between big roots. Dad may have saved that climbers life though. If he had of showed up we had a big take down to do, he may have been 80-90 feet up when the rope broke. Dad was just filling in to make a day for the ground crew. Moral of story is NEVER use someone else's gear!
 
jim hougen

jim hougen

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Sep 19, 2015
Messages
6
Age
62
Location
KINGMAN
Jim, glad to see you made it back. My Dad was 60 years old, he was leaving on vacation that afternoon. So, he was running a few estimates in his Cadillac. Our climber was a no show, years before cell phones. Since he was in the car, not his truck, he didn't have his climbing gear. So, he broke one of his own Cardinal Rules, he used the other guys climbing gear. He was just finishing up elevating around the gutter of a two story house. As the rope was going through his taughtline hitch it broke. He fell about 20-25 feet. Landed on his Super EZ and broke his hip and sheared off the bumps on a couple vertebra, broke his left ankle, hip and shoulder. He was actually in good spirits and wanted out of the hospital in a couple days. But, he couldn't pass any food. They said the impact on his internal organs was severe enough that they were all swollen so nothing could go through. That was exactly 30 days before my wedding. He got a 2 hour pass to come to the wedding in a wheel chair. He did recover and continued to climb into his 70's. After he got back on his feet he inspected the other guys climbing rope. We had just started to use braided rope back then. As he slid the rope through his fingers, every now and then, he'd hit a spot where the inner core had been pinched off. The climber had a bad habit of chunking big pieces down, and if the ground crew hadn't moved his rope, he would just drop the chunks on it. Evidently he had dropped chunks and pinched the rope between big roots. Dad may have saved that climbers life though. If he had of showed up we had a big take down to do, he may have been 80-90 feet up when the rope broke. Dad was just filling in to make a day for the ground crew. Moral of story is NEVER use someone else's gear!
 
Flouridated

Flouridated

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Feb 23, 2014
Messages
34
Age
42
Been rock climbing and tree climbing for 24 years now. I have had gov and private high angle rescue training, probably 160 to 200 hrs of assoc training. Participated in several roped rescues and work in my decade at RMNP. Been tree climbing exclusively for 8 or 9 years now.
I have spent two lives on a rope, once at 19, once at 42.

The first I had been climbing around a year, we went climbing at a sport crag in NM. We were all gearing up at the base and talking. I had the most experience at the time (scary) so the girl double checking everyone said " oh your fine, I don't have to check you". See where this is going? So, I lead the route, clip my bolts, clip the anchors and sit. As soon as I sit I feel my waist belt start to move, so I grab it and squeeze. I look down and discover to my horror that my waste isn't doubled back! I hold on tight and say " go ahead and lower". Didn't say **** to anyone about it.

The second was last summer. This was from complacency. I am newish to SRT, and luckily I have developed redundant checks out of habit in my older age. It saved me. Got my rope hung, stepped on it, hung on it, set my rope wrench, prusik , pulley, chest tender, foot ascender, But my process for clipping in is not always the same. I got all clipped then remembered my saw. Unclipped, got the saw, clipped back in, but didn't recheck my clips. Remember those redundant checks? I always stop 5 or 10ft up and sit for a second and just look at everything. Climbing up to there felt fine, then went to sit and found my biner not clipped to my bridge. Everything felt wacky when I went to sit, my foot pulled up, my tender puled on my neck, none of this is good. I still have good grip so I pull up with my hand and stand on my ascender and clip my prusik and wrench to my bridge then sit and contemplate life for a second. My habit of stopping just off the ground saved me there. If I had made it to the anchor and then tried to sit? Who knows.

As far as lifeline these were my two biggest mistakes... other than chainsaw cuts. But those don't count if they are the tail.

Oh, another time, at the climbing gym, climbing with a girl about 12 yrs back my knot unraveled. At the time I didn't climb trees and didn't know the bowline well. She was teaching me how to tie a bowline, I am right handed, she is left handed. Luckily we were top roping, so when I weighted the rope I had time to grab the knot and squeeze when I felt it slip.

Moral of my story, develop redundant habits... and don't climb with cute chicks!
 
AngrySquirrel

AngrySquirrel

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Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
5
Age
58
Location
Stinky London
Hi the same thing applies to many other modes.
Used to rope n sheet truck was always fussy one of the bosses loaded it while i was away for me to drive next day! poorly loaded luckily i'd got there really early so moved and retied load as steel makes a mess!
Another was at another Firm one of the Artic drivers was pretty anal they said always checked everything esp 5th wheel hook up.then one day they needed a loaded trailer delivered quick to a time slot Depot manager had hooked it all up he got back jumped in it broke his golden rule got down the road then trailer was there on it's knees! One saving grace was that piece was quieter single lane as less than 1/4 mile on would have been on A40 which is three lanes each way and Manic road dread to think of the carnage if had got loose.

As the old Saying goes measure twice cut once!
 
Huskybill

Huskybill

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May 21, 2018
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I had so many close calls. Being a feller not a climber in the forest it can get dangerous. I had a very tall maple tree marked to remove amongst a group of pines that surrounded it. I knotched the maple and she was hung straight up. Being well seasoned at this point. It was like a Popeyes cartoon. I punched out 4’ /5’ sections to my right and left. Not thinking about the top where it vees out. The vee was still large diameter wood. I just didn’t think. I couldn’t see the top through the thick pines. As the vee dropped down out of the pines it was an oh crap moment. I shut the saw off and stepped back as far as I could being surrounded by the sections of trunk I punched out. As the top vee fell towards me I just stood there with the saw hoping the vee fell level and didn’t twist when in finally was down. I was alone big mistake. But it missed me completely.

From then on I did all my felling when I wasn’t alone. Don’t take nothing for granted. Don’t take chances in life.

I noticed the saws cut so quickly the cut is done and the saw is out of the cut before gravity takes over. I did a half cut from the left side then meet that cut from the right side, them pull the saw out quickly.

I was given a unfinished job by the logger before me. My mistake was knotching a tree that was coming out of a rock surrounded by brush. I didn’t read the situation correctly. The logger hung the tree up and left it.
When I back cut it, I knew it was hung up. I danced around that one. It was on a rock ledge, when I back cut it the trunk swung out away from me as the mid section and top went by me.

I learned to block out everything in my mind and focus on the felling and bucking.

All I ever done was to break toes, sprain my back. I been lucky. Be safe guys n gals godbless
 
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