John Long, who was seriously injured in a fall in a climbing gym two weeks ago, reports that he is on the mend, and has given details about the accident. (Read original report here.) Long says that he will go in for a third surgery on Saturday to have plates installed in his leg, then will have a final operation to graft the wound that resulted from the break.
“The docs tell me I’ll have a 100 percent recovery,” he says. “I expect my ankle to be stiff, but considering what could have happened, I am really lucky.”
Long was climbing at the Rockreation gym in Los Angeles on November 29, when he started lowering from an anchor about 30 feet up the wall. “I went airball, right to the deck,” he says. “People who saw the fall said I did some juke cat move midair to orient myself feet first. If I hadn’t done that,” he says, “I would have gotten a lot worse than a broken leg.”
Long says that he ties in with a double bowline, but this time, distracted and tired after a long day of work, he didn’t finish the knot. “I made the two bowline loops,” he says, “and threaded the rope through my harness, but I didn’t bring the rabbit out of the hole and around the tree.”
Adds Long: “A lot of people are down on the bowline, but the same thing would have happened with a trace-8. I just wasn’t paying attention.”