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7/9/13 – The French magazine Grimper has published photos from the police of how the quickdraws that led to the death of 12-year-old Italian climber Tito Traversa were assembled. The young man was lowering off a 5.10b at the French crag Orpierre when, tragically, eight of the 12 quickdraws failed, sending him tumbling about 25 meters to the ground. Traversa spent three days in a coma in a hospital before succumbing to his injuries.
The quickdraws belonged to someone in Traversa’s group and had been set up incorrectly. The clipping carabiner passed only through the rubber-band “keeper” attached to the dogbone, instead of through the actual full-strength loop of the quickdraw. The eight draws assembled incorrectly were on the upper half of the route.
Grimper reports that the accident is under investigation. The photos were released as a reminder to always double-check that climbing gear is assembled correctly, knots are tied correctly, belay devices are loaded properly, and so forth.