Skip to comments.Irmo man dies in N.C. rock climbing accident: Victim was chairman of S.C. Club for Growth
Posted on 01/03/2012 7:07:55 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
An Irmo financial advisor and political activist has died after a rock climbing accident in North Carolina. William Bill McAfee, 40, died Monday afternoon after falling about 30 feet off a rock face, said Detective Ricky McKinney of the Rutherford County (N.C.) Sheriffs Department. McAfee was in an area popular with rock climbers near Rumbling Bald, which is north of Lake Lure, McKinney said.
McAfee had climbed too high past his last anchor in the rock face and had too much slack in his rope when he lost his footing, McKinney said.
He fell right next to the person belaying him, McKinney said, using a climbing term for the partner who helps secure the rope.
McAfee was climbing with a man who was a close friend and co-worker, McKinney said. He did not release the climbing partners name.
McAfee had at least two years climbing experience and had attended an intensive two-week course to learn the sport, McKinney said.
McAfee was president and chief financial advisor at WHM Capital Advisors in Irmo. He and his wife, Teresa, have three children, according to the companys web site. In October, he was named board chairman for the S.C. Club for Growth, a hard-line low-tax, small-government group allied with the GOP.
Phillip Cease, executive director of the S.C. Club for Growth, said He was a very genuine guy. He loved the Lord and his family.
I’m rather curious about this “close friend and coworker” who was supposed to secure the rope. I wonder why we’re not supposed to know who it is.
The person belaying him isn't at fault.
That’s nice. Any idea who you’re talking about?
He was supposed to be a short way above the anchor so that if he fell he would swing from it with the partner acting as a counterweight. He went too high and/or had too much slack so that the line never went taut and he hit the ground in free fall.
I have always wondered about this whole arrangement. I’m sure it can work, but there are many circumstances where it doesn’t. I believe there have been cases where a fall has pulled a whole string of climbers off a face.
It's called zippering.
Rock climbing is not a nanny-approved sport. It operates under the laws of gravity - not the suggestion of gravity. When you climb, you better know how to place correct belay points, and do it often enough to give it a chance to work in an emergency. There's just no alternative to screwing up. It's the price of the thrill.
I “hike” moutains & SCUBA dive....
But I do NOT:
Scuba is plenty dangerous.
he he he
Especially the way I do it!
Since I do underwater photography, I frequently am abandon by dive “partners” wanting to move on.
This has made for 3 especially interesting night dives.
(Great Barrier Reef, Grand Cayman, Roatan)
But with diving, it usually takes 3 mistakes to die, as opposed to one little slip, with the sports I listed.
Once you’ve heard the sound of a body hitting the ground at high velocity you tend to rethink some activities.
Almost fell victim to this when I was a teen. Made a major mistake as the person above me on the rope outweighed me by about 40 lbs. He slipped and I was the first person below the anchor, I tried to pull tight and when his weight yanked the rope it slammed me into the wall and shattered my left wrist against an outcrop.
I lost the rope but we had three lucky breaks. (1) I had a good foothold at the time and was ablt to grab a handhold with my right hand, (2) the anchor was placed properly and held, (3) by the time the rope went slack he had already grabbed a handhold himself.
Had just 1 of those 3 not happened I have no doubt he would have gone down and I would have been pulled off with him.
It works well--when the climber uses enough anchors. In this case, apparently Mr. McAfee got too confident....and didn't use enough...getting more than 15 feet above his last anchor. That is not the balay-man's fault.
Only 30 feet too. What a shame.