An accident at View of Chapel St Photis last week (involving a very large loose block) once again emphasizes the vital importance of proper route equipping. To a degree, all climbers know that rock can fall without warning. But at these two crags, especially, climbers report that dangerous big blocks near bolted routes are ready to come loose. Carl Dawson, who is familiar with last week’s accident, says: “There have been several reports of unstable rock at two new sectors at which bolted routes have been recently added.
“View Of Chapel St Photis (to the left of St Photis church) and Elephant Slide (to the left of the approach path to Prophitis Andreas) have both received attention from equippers but it would seem that, on some routes, dangerously loose rock is still in place on the cliff face. Regrettably, on one of these routes a large block came detached as a climber reached the last clip and this resulted in a broken knee and crush injuries plus a call-out for the Kalymnos Mountain Rescue team. Fortunately the route took a traversing line, otherwise the block which weighed around 80 kilos would easily have killed the belayer.”
A piece of the loose block that caused the injuries is pictured below.
The routes at both of these Kalymnos crags, View of Chapel St Photis and Elephant Slide, were equipped last year. This near-miss is a crucial reminder to all equippers on Kalymnos to avoid ‘drill-and-go’ equipping.
Equippers, be known for the quality, not quantity, of your routes. One of the best equippers we know always says “it takes one day to bolt a route and two days to clean it afterwards.” In our opinion, this is an important rule of thumb to follow.
Climbers, please DO NOT CLIMB at View of Chapel Saint Photis or Elephant Slide until these crags are cleaned of the loose blocks. There are plenty more crags to choose from.
To the injured climber, we send out our sincere wishes for a speedy and full recovery.