Superstar Preteen Climber Dies After Fall

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7/5/13 - Tito Traversa, an Italian climber who just turned 12 years old in April and had already climbed several 5.14 sport routes, has died from injuries suffered in a ground fall at the French crag Orpierre. According to the website of the French magazine Grimper, Traversa was lowering off a 5.10+ route he had climbed as a warm-up when eight of the 12 quickdraws on the route failed, sending him on a ground fall of some 25 meters (82 feet). After three days in a coma in a nearby hospital, Traversa died from his injuries.

According to Grimper, the young climber was using quickdraws that another member of his group had recently purchased. The report indicates that the person assembled the quickdraws incorrectly, passing the clipping carabiner solely through the rubber-band "keeper" attached to the draw, instead of through the full-strength loop of the quickdraw. Unfortunately, the eight bad quickdraws were placed in the upper half of the route that Traversa climbed, and no one noticed the error in time.

Traversa did his first 5.14a at age 10 and had completed many more extremely difficult routes, including his fourth 14a just two days before his accident.

Date: July 5, 2013

Sources: Grimper, 8a.nu