No, this isn’t a deleted scene from V For Vendetta. It’s the aftermath of a rappelling accident that could have been much more complicated if she hadn’t had a knife.
Rappelling down a waterfall after dark isn’t my cup of tea, thanks. But having a good knife on hand when things get messy is always a good plan. Luckily this resourceful climber had the same plan, because things got messy in a hurry.
Her husband tells the story on SOG’s Facebook Page:
I found the experience pretty existential – being suspended from a 50-foot rock precipice at night with only a slim lime green rope for support and a throaty waterfall for background noise. My wife was last down, but took her time in the middle – at least I thought she was taking her time until I realized she was stuck.
Full disclosure: I thought that if anything were to ever happen to my wife during a night rappel, I would have to personally climb the rope and find a way to bring her down – she’s a gutsy gal, but I didn’t see her as the relentless type. Until that night.
When I finally got close enough, I saw her with a leather glove clenched between her teeth and a feral look in her eyes. She had the rope double wrapped to keep her suspended in place, and her one free hand was slashing at her precious long brown hair with her SOG Flash 1. somewhere along the way down, her hair got caught in the figure eight rappelling device and then proceeded to feed into the gear making a pretty mean tangle. After a few tense moments she was on the ground a little shaken but entirely unharmed. I retrieved the matted hair after she cut herself free and below is a picture of my wife’s handy work. Our consensus was that the knife was a life saver.
I haven’t rappelled in ten years (and I’m follicly challenged anyway) so it’s nice to know this could never happen to me. But good on this climber for having the mindset, skillset and toolset to self-rescue.