55 expert climber dies at the crag: what happened

Nicola Tondini explains the Mauro Magagna fatal incident.

Mauro Magagna, a fifty-five year old well-known climber, photographer, graphic designer and close collaborator of the Wildclimb company, died today at Ceredo crag, falling from a height of about 20 meters during the descent from the pitch just climbed tope rope. The dynamics: it was a series of unfortunate concomitances of very difficult realization. The root of the problem is the type of belay station on the route in question: two pieces of chain connected to a single carabiner, a kind of belay now in disuse but still possible to find on italian crags equipped more than 10 years ago. After having climbed up the top rope on a backup carabiner, Mauro, having removed the backup carabiner, started the descent on the belay carabiner. This must have somehow turned 90 degrees with the opening bar oriented upwards and the rope at this point above the bar. It seems impossible, but it can happen. Then the rope must have unscrewed the carabiner while sliding, until it went out free. This is the only way to explain a fall that started about 10 metres after the start of the descent. The remaining 20 metres of free flight, unfortunately, left no room for hope and Mauro died on impact. Nicola Tondini, alpine guide, has prepared a useful video so that something like this cannot happen again. If things were to turn out this way it is probably a rare, if not completely unheard of way in the world of sport climbing.


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