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Stefan
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Stefan
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PostTue Nov 05, 2002 12:08 pm 
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On October 12th I had a rappelling accident off of Mount Temple in the Enchantments.  Here are some of the details.  I will not include approach or climbing details to keep this brief.  I have not wanted to write about this before, but here it goes.

My friend, Mike T., and I had just summitted Mount Temple and we had a 50 meter rope.  We completed the first rappel off of the summit to a subsidiary station about 25-30 feet above the col; however a 60 meter rope would reach the col from the summit rappel.

Since our rope did not reach the col, I set up another rappel around a previous anchor sling at the subsidiary station.  I threaded the rope through the sling and gave two strong pulls on the anchor to make sure it was secure.  The rope was threaded through only one sling and the sling appeared fairly new.  There were several other slings nearby but they were well worn and I avoided them.

My partner went down on the rope, using the rope as a handline while downclimbing low fifth class 5 slab/crack section and not putting full force on the rope to the col.  I thought my partner’s idea was a good idea and proceeded to copy.  I had my left hand in the crack and my left foot near the crack.  I had my right hand on the rope.  I did not have all the pressure on the rope, but I still had a fair amount of pressure.  All of a sudden the rope came loose.  I fell.

I slid down the 5th class slab sliding face toward the rock and feet down.  My partner thinks I fell 10 feet while I think I fell 20 feet.  I landed and broke my talis bone on my left foot and had multiple breaks in my right foot.  I was in a lot of pain.

Due to the time (3:30), I knew my partner had to get out for a helicopter for me.  He left me all his extra clothes and food.  He took off in an incredible speed and got out to the Snow Creek trailhead in about 3 hours.  I had a helicopter rescue come out of the Yakima Training Center and pick me up at 10:30pm with night vision goggles.  It was cool and scary the whole time being rescued.  I am not able to walk for 3 months due to my injuries.

My partner has since been back to investigate the rappel anchor but could not determine what has happened.  So what happened?  There are four possibilities and we will never know the true answer:
1) The rappel anchor broke
2) The rappel anchor came untied
3) The rappel anchor slipped off of the rock
4) The rock moved causing the rappel anchor to slip off

Did I do anything wrong?  I look back on the incident and I cannot come up with a single answer where I went wrong.  I have always hated rappels due to the lack of control I have and I will continue to hate rappels.  I have placed my own rappel anchors, and I have come off of others rappel anchors before.  If I continue to climb, I will continue with the same practice.

I would like to thank Chelan County Rescue and the Yakima Training Center crew that picked me up in the middle of the night--everyone did such an awesome job.

But most of all I really want to thank my partner for the efforts he put forth in my rescue—it is greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten.  Thank you.

Stefan Feller

I have included some photographs from that fateful day.  When you open the web page select “Cancel” when the window asks “Please enter your authentication information”
http://www.mtnmike.com/TT/stefan.htm
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Tom
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PostTue Nov 05, 2002 9:56 pm 
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Stefan, thanks for the update and I hope your recovery is going well.

Showing my ignorance here but... what exactly is a sling?  Is it a peice of metal?
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#19
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#19
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PostWed Nov 06, 2002 6:39 am 
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Slings are nylon webbing tied to make a circle/loop. Don't know specs, but ususally incredibly strong.  Throw it over a rock horn or wrap it around, put your rope through it an rappel down.

Hope things go well for you Stefan.  up.gif
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Mike Collins
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Mike Collins
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PostWed Nov 06, 2002 7:59 am 
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Hello Stefan...Would you consider having your accident reviewed for inclusion in "Accidents in North American Mountaineering" for 2002? The benefit of review and analysis is of course in providing education for other climbers. You yourself have undoubtedly gained input from their yearly publications.
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Stefan
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Stefan
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PostThu Nov 07, 2002 4:27 pm 
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thanks guys for the support!
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wildernessed
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 8:41 am 
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up.gif  up.gif For a speedy recovery.
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trailjunky
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 9:19 am 
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Wow, glad you ok, considering your injuries could have been worse.  Good luck with the recovery and take care of your self.  Looking forward to those future trip reports. up.gif
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Clarence
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Clarence
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 9:29 am 
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Wow! Glad you're ok.  Nice accident report.
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goats gone wild
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goats gone wild
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 9:34 am 
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So glad you are okay, Stefan.

Take good care and heal well!  We'll be thinking about you.

--------------
.....leaving me wanting to return over and over in what ever capacity that may be, even if one day my knees are too old and I can only see the mountains from my porch.

Jason Hummel
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JimK
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 9:37 am 
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Check the date folks. I think five years has been enough time for his recovery.

--------------
Hiking Northwest
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Stefan
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Stefan
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 9:40 am 
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JimK wrote:
Check the date folks. I think five years has been enough time for his recovery.

I will never recover fully until I can get Heidi Klum and Jennifer Aniston to attend to my injuries at the same time. wink.gif

--------------
Art is an adventure.
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wildernessed
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 10:15 am 
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Ive been played. I didn't even look at the date. Well, good luck with your emotional injuries. hockeygrin.gif
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Nisquaww
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Nisquaww
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 12:03 pm 
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Glad you didn't rack yer' ish too hardcore...that must of been something else feeling a rope give way. Regardless of being five years old...was there a metal ring on the sling or was it just a straight sling? What knot was used to tie it together?
What was it slung around? (Rock obviously, but a horn or a small boulder or what?)

Do you use two from now on?

--------------
"Why do you have a beard?" 
"I don't have a beard. It's just the light; it plays funny tricks." ~ Shel Silverstein
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Stefan
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Stefan
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 2:44 pm 
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StarHumper wrote:
Glad you didn't rack yer' ish too hardcore...that must of been something else feeling a rope give way. Regardless of being five years old...was there a metal ring on the sling or was it just a straight sling? What knot was used to tie it together?
What was it slung around? (Rock obviously, but a horn or a small boulder or what?)

Do you use two from now on?

just straight sling
just yer simple lovers knot was the tie
slung around a rock

don't know why it broke.

Funny you ask about the "two".  I try to use two most of the time.  Not always...but definitely most of the time.

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Art is an adventure.
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SlowWalker
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PostThu Nov 15, 2007 3:45 pm 
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Although it seams odd that this thread was revived 5 years later by a first time poster...

[EDIT:  I goofed!  I read some stuff about someone else, not about Stefan, and made a post related to what I read.  So that post is completely irrelevant and I'm deleting what I said.]
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