Archive for climbing accident


Posted in Kids, Mountains, Running with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2022 by xi'an

Not that it really matters, as for most anniversaries, but it has been 9 years since I had my climbing accident that left me with 9 digits. In retrospect, it had a very limited impact on my daily life, as I resumed climbing to the same (mediocre) level, did more cooking, remained hopeless at handywork (incl. changing punctured tubes). If anything, the experience made me more laid-back. With sometimes an irrational feeling that this is connected with the repeated blood transfusions I received. (The accident also presumably contributed to our daughter choosing medical studies!)

free solo

Posted in Mountains with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2021 by xi'an

geometric climbing

Posted in Mountains, pictures with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2021 by xi'an

On the qualifying round for the Tokyo Olympics, the French climber Mickaël Mawem ended up first, while his brother Bassa was the fastest on the speed climb (as a 2018 and 2019 World Champion) but ruptured a tendon while lead climbing and had to be flown back to Paris for a operation. The New York Times inappropriately and condescendingly qualified this first position as being “unexpected” when Mickaël is the 2019 European Champion in bouldering… The NYT is piling up in its belittling by stating that “Anouck Jaubert of France used a second-place finish in speed to squeak into the final¨… (The other French female climber did not make it, despite being one of the first women to reach the 9b level.)

I remain puzzled by the whole concept of mixing the three sports together. As well as by the scoring system, based on a geometric average of the three rankings, which means in particular that the eight finalists will suffer less than in the qualifying round from a poor performance in one of the three climbs (as Adam Ondra for the speed climb). In addition, there is an obscure advantage coming to Adam Ondra for Bassa Mawem cancelling his participation: according to the NYT, “Ondra will receive a bye and an automatic slot in the speed semifinals” meaning “that a likely eighth-place finish in speed — a ranking number that can be hard to overcome in the multiplication of the combined format — will now be no worse than fourth for Ondra”. (The sentence on the strong impact due to the geometric mean is incorrect in that it has less impact that the arithmetic!)

free fall [fake]

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2019 by xi'an

As I was looking for the location of a picture serving as a background image for Windows 10 log-in page, I came across several versions of the above, supposedly showing a climber failing to grab another climber’s hand and as a result falling. Or “falling” as the image is obviously doctored, most likely by removing the ropes securing both climbers. This is fairly ridiculous, from the top climber hanging by his hand to the bottom one carrying quickdraws on his harness, as in the worst climbing movies… Still, I wish the location of the shot was provided on the website. (As an insider joke, I had a fall when running that was definitely not fake during the Xmas vacations, scraping a fair amount of skin on the gritty sidewalk, but with no apparent lasting damage, although I am barred from running by a tendinitis which started in Warwick last month..!)

another tee-shirt issue

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2018 by xi'an

I bought this burgundy mountain equipment tee-shirt last time I was in Coventry as I found the play on the seam as a crack rather clever. (As if I needed new tee shirts!) I later reflected that the posture of the climber is quite wrong as this climber should not be holding the rope when falling: as I became rather painfully aware a few years, ropes can become dangerous when stretched in the vicinity of fingers… So I dropped a line to the company, which kindly replied to my email that they had digitised an actual picture of a falling climber, hoping no one would take this tee-shirt as a recommendation for lead falls! (Their site actually opens with a great picture of a climber on the iconic Totem Pole, Tasmania.)

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