Re-Gram: The Gear That Saved Me

Photo Gallery: The Gear That Saved Me

Alien cam rock climbing trad protection gear broken
Josh Mackenzie

“After two nuts ripped on soft Blue Mountains sandstone, this yellow Alien caught a 60-foot whipper, catching me at eye level with my belayer.”

piton carabiner rock climbing protection aid mountaineering
Mark Petnutch

“I took a big fall on RMNP’s Petit Grepon, and this lone pin and biner held me from what I was certain was my death.”

rock climbing helmet accident rockfall
Nikhilesh Sharma

“When a 30-pound rock hit Kimbo’s head, we thought the worst. A helicopter flight brought him to Liverpool Hospital where he recovered.”

Black Diamond Camalot C4 Cam Trad Climbing Rock Protection
Henry Verbeck

“In June 2016, on El Cap’s Lurking Fear, I slipped just shy of an anchor. My gear ripped and I went 140 feet. I just missed landing on my partner.”

Metolius offset Cam Trad Climbing Rock Protection
Nate Webster

“On a new 5.12 thin crack in the Red River Gorge, I took a massive ride onto this 0/1 Offset Master Cam in a horizontal.”

Petzl Grigri belay device broken handle rock climbing accident fall
Henri Rummo

“On El Cap’s Salathé Headwall, a micronut popped, zippering seven pieces. The GriGri blew its handle, but the core held my 70-foot plunge.”

Rock climbing Piton protection trad anchor
Jean Dupenloup

“While bailing from a Smith Rock choss face, an entire boulder exploded and with it my No. 1 cam—half of my anchor. This 1970s-era piton held me.”

Meg Kies

“One moment I was climbing Martha’s Couloir in RMNP, and the next I woke up in the hospital after breaking my head and my neck.”

Black Diamond Camalot C4 Cam Trad Climbing Rock Protection
Matt Pierce

“I was six feet above this gold Camalot in Indian Creek, and the piece had walked a bit. Still, it caught me when I fell.”

We climbers rely on our gear to save our lives. From catching massive falls to protecting our heads, these nine stories, submitted by our readers, reveal how that one piece saved our bacon, perhaps nobly “sacrificing” itself in the line of duty.