in hindsight, it is pretty obvious that these few knurls would not grip an icy rope.
and, if those knurls didn’t grip, there is no reason to think that the auto-ascender safety would catch the rope with something pulling down on the loop.
the chimney pipe has been installed for several weeks now, but we didn’t have the chimney cap at the time i put the pipe up. it arrived in the mail a week or so ago, but we haven’t even seen 20F since then. it was a glorious 26F, snow was calving off the south end of the roof and i was due for a 10 minute break from work.
all i had to do was get the harness on, clip into the rope, get to the ridge line, slide over 2 feet, put the cap on, locking it in place with a small twist, and come back down.
i pulled my way up to the ridge with some effort. a steep metal roof is slippery when it is dry and warm and this was neither dry nor warm. i was just about to grab for the ring at the top, but thought i should grab the rope one more time. i fiddled with this plastic cover at the top (meant to protect the rope), missed it, and then missed grabbing the rope. this all happened just as my feet slipped.
knowing there is a 6′ lead out built into the harness line (see yellow webbing) i went limp, expecting this to catch me in a hurry.
a split second later, the back of my calves hit the deck railing, flipping me upside down.
i landed on my shoulder below the front door very nearly 9.8 meters below where i started.
luckily there was some snow on the ground, and i’ve got a good portion of neanderthal dna. i got myself into the truck and cait drove me to the hospital. i lost all vision for about 5 minutes. that would have been scary if i wasn’t in a daze.
got a full cat scan and no damage to anything. just bruised my shoulder pretty well.
i’m a little surprised to be alive and still able to walk. i guess we will have to wait on making a fire in the house for a little bit longer.