WARNING: Don't grab the Quickdraw
Don't grab the 'draw - a cautionary tale
Pumped out of his mind and with the prospect of falling off at Britten Crag recently, James McLafferty erroneously lunged for a quickdraw. Unfortunately his hand slid down the draw,inadvertently opening the gate and allowing the hooked end of the carabiner to penetrate between his index and middle finger.
As he fell past the draw the carabiner slid deeper into his hand and underneath the extensor tendon of his first finger. You can imagine his horror as he jerked himself to a halt before watching the carabiner exit his hand - tearing something white along with it, only to fall further onto the next bolt down.
Once lowered to the ground a quick stocktake revealed no broken bones, but two partially de-gloved fingers, a hand ripped open and an extensor tendon torn completely off the bone.
James would like other climbers to be aware that the practice of grabbing draws is potentially dangerous! Perhaps this photo will help you resist that draw-grabbing urge and take the plunge instead.
Following reconstructive surgery it appears James' tendon has been sucessfully reattached and he is hopeful a rehabilitation programme with the hand therapy department at Christchurch hospital will get him back on the rock next summer.
Report : Greg Jack
Photo : James McLafferty
This was first published in The Climber (NZAC), Issue 59 Autumn 2007