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-   -   Death on Jangunbong (http://www.koreaontherocks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2694)

Brad 08-02-2010 03:31 PM

Death on Jangunbong
I was climbing yesterday and witnessed a pretty horrifying accident. After hearing screams and shouts above our belay station we witnessed not a falling rock, but a falling person who was killed instantly on impact. We immediatly decended the mountain and I do not know any other information. Today heavy rains have prevented further climbing but I don't know if this accident will cause closures and I don't know how the climber fell. There was no sign of cut rope and no indication of how such a terrible event did occur. Still the importance of checking gear and always putting saftey first and climbing second are things that have been really solified by witnessing this event. If anyone knows any further information on how it happened it would be good to hear. Condoloences go out to the deceased climbers family.

shanja 08-03-2010 11:40 PM

That is truly horrifying Brad, and thanks for having the resolution and tact to put it up for us all to learn of and learn from. Do you mean Jang-gun Bang in Seoraksan? I hope you are also OK and not too sheken....as you said deepest sympathies and thoughts out to the family and friends of the victim. I'll see if their is anything on the Korean websites. Take care mate.

TLayne 08-06-2010 10:11 AM

Did you see the climber hit the ground? How high were you at the time? Were they on the same route as you, just a pitch higher? Maybe the person rapped of the end of the rope. I witnessed an accident too just recently.

Just this week (august 3rd) I was in Jeju and was the first person on the scene of a head on collision between a bus and car. The accident happen 3 vehicles in front of my bus. The engine block from the car shot 50 meters down the road. I saw a little leg sticking out of the wreckage of the car as my bus passed. My stomach sank and I couldn't look.

About 10 seconds later I yelled to the driver to stop and open the door and I ran about 200 meters back towards the crash. The bus and car were facing each other. The bus spun 180 degrees on impact and was facing the wrong way down the road. The driver was just looking at me in terror. His body from the waist down was smashed completely in by the dash of the bus.

In the car, there were two kids in the back seat, neither in seat belts. They both looked like rag dolls. The older boy, around 12, was folded completely in half but alive. There was fuel leaking under the bus. The driver of the bus, the driver of the car, and the passenger in the car were all trapped. The driver in the car was dead. She turned out to be the boys mother:( . There was one woman laying outside who was hidden behind the bus. She had a massive head injury.

Because of the leaking fuel and the position the boys in the car were in, we moved them. I stayed with the older boy for about 15 minutes till the ambulance came. He was hanging on for his life. I just held his hand and talked to him. I wet my t-shirt and just basically tried to keep him company. After the firefighters arrived they started cutting out the people with the jaws of life.

In all 3 people died, the woman behind the bus who was thrown through the bus's windshield, the driver in the car and the passenger in the car. The passenger turned out to be the boys cousin. The next day I was able to go to the hospital and see the boys. Their dad, who wasnt in the accident was also in the hospital from shock of his wife's death.

All I got to say is car accidents are terrible. I'm glad I went over to help. I was scared to do it because of what I would see. I've had no nightmares or anything as of yet and slept fine. I feel like next time I will be able to help more.

I hope you're ok Brad. Just having to see something like that can mess with your mind. I'm glad you were able to get down ok. I would have probably forgot how to climb.

skinsk 08-07-2010 04:48 PM

Layne, Brad, I hope both of you are OK. I had to keep pausing reading about the accident. . . I always felt safest driving (even riding on a motorcycle) in Jeju. . . I probably never will again after that vivid account. I worry about you getting PTSD symptoms.

Brad. . . did you get any further information? Do you know what route the party was on? My heart just sinks when I read things like that, but if you stick with climbing/mountaineering long enough, inevitably people you know will get injured and die.

I LOVE Janggun-bong. I've done several routes there, and on Yuseondae and Jeok Byeok and I always bring quicklinks/leavers and extra webbing or cord. Used them occasionally. The routes are aging and popular. Needless to say, a helmet is a necessity, and the "alpine" nature of the rock and weather means rocks break off and gravity brings them down. Of course, I have no idea, in this case, what caused the accident, but I would definitely like to know and will post anything I find out.

shanja 08-07-2010 05:32 PM

I can tell you the climber who fell was a 50 something year old experienced female climber from Incheon, and a "Nepa" Rep. A few climbers I talked to are pretty shocked as well, but as to the cause of the accident, it would be mere speculation. It may have been that she somehow become unclipped from an anchor, maybe rapped off the end....but I don't know.
Again, for Brad and anyone else involved my deepest sympathies and thoughts. I've seen a few people killed/ die in front of me (suicide, traffic accident, cancer) but, thank God never when rock-climbing. Death isn't pretty and guys, I feel for you having to see that. Huge thumbs up though for the way you guys took a pro-active stance in trying to help out and do what you could. Thanks.

Hypoxic 08-10-2010 02:00 PM

I'm sorry you guys had to experience such horrible accidents. I trust you'll continue to do well in the aftermath.

I had the deep displeasure of seeing a man fall from the small semi-climbing route on Bibong in Bukhansan National Park. It was my first trip there, about ten years ago, and as I came over the crest on the Bibong ridge I noticed the man starting to stumble backward. He was wearing a large pack, I figure about 50 litres, too big for a day hike and too heavy to try to bring up that small route. I believe he was top heavy, lost his grip, and just fell backward and tumbled over, hitting his head a few times before he finally came to a stop. There were shouts and screams and within a couple minutes the search-and-rescue crew was on the scene. I was with my girlfriend at the time and she asked some of the witnesses who were closer what had happened. Apparently, the man had died.

That route now is closed in winter and a park ranger stands below it in the other seasons, warning people, checking their footwear and the sort. (There are no bolts in the rock; it's basically just a slick boulder that actually isn't too challenging but I really think the man's heavy bag was the main contributor to his accident).

Be safe everyone.

"Mountains are not fair or unfair, they're just dangerous." - Reinhold Messner

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