Manslaughter charges have been filed against 5 people in the accidental death of 12-year-old Italian climbing phenom Tito Traversa according to La Rebulica Torina.
Tito Traversa passed away after a 130-foot climbing fall on July 5th, 2013 in Orpierre, France. He was on a trip with his local climbing gym along with 10 other kids and 3 adults when he fell climbing and his quick draws failed.
An investigation by French officials showed that 8 of the 10 quickdraws Tito’s had been usind were assembled incorrectly (see video above to understand how the quickdraws were incorrectly assembled). The carabiners in Tito’s quickdraws were only attached to the rubber stoppers and not the actually dogbone (webbing) itself.
“Tito was handed the incorrectly assembled quickdraws by someone (still unclear) in his group. He set off up the route clipping four “good” quicks to the first four bolts and unfortunately using the bad ones for the remainder of the route. It’s unclear if he fell during his ascent but seems likely that he reached the top of his 5.10 warmup, clipped the anchor with the faulty draws, and leaned back to be lowered at which point all of the quickdraws broke except for the first four which were too low on the route to do any good.” – dpmclimbing.com
Public prosecutor Raffaele Guariniello opened this case on August 21st, 2013. He is going for manslaughter against these 5 persons:
“Among those charged is the owner of the company that produced the rubber keepers without instructions, and the owner of the gear shop that sold the keepers. The manager of the club that organized the climbing trip, as well as two of the instructors who were on site, have also been charged for failing to monitor the assembly of the equipment.” – Outside Magazine
video of Tito climbing
12-year old Italian climber Tito Traversa was a child climber star and had climbed his first 8a by age 8, his first 8b by age 9, and his first 8b+ (~5.12b+) by the age of 10 when he sent Sarsifai in Tetto di Sarre, Italy. Only 2 days before his accident, he’d successfully ascended his fourth 8b+ at Pablo derettain in Gravere, France. Tito was one of the youngest climbers in the world to achieve such success and his climbing future brightly stretched before him.
Tito has been in the hospital for 3 days and succumbed to his traumatic brain injury on July 9th, 2013.
5 thoughts on “5 Charged with Manslaughter in 12-Year-Old Climbing Phenom Tito Traversa’s Death”
I’ve heard of these types of mistakes before from British climbers- but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a quick draw with a rubber stopper like that in the states. All of mine have webbing around both biners and no rubber at all.
Is this a euro thing?
Does the rubber stopper help to swap biners from draw to draw?
I don’t really get it…
I’m no expert at all on this. But here’s my 2 cents: I don’t remember ever seeing these rubber keepers either. I think they are there to hold the carabiner in place so that the webbing is always in the correct spot. It may be a euro thing, I’m not sure, tho.
I’ll add to this a bit.
To note I’ve never seen the stoppers sold individually. I have draws that I’ve bought that have them though.
Basically you always want to load a biner on its longest axis. Most have ratings of 20-30 Kn along that axis which equates to about 4000 pounds. However if it is cross-loaded (sideways) that number drops to 6-10 Kn. Significantly less strength.
The rubber stoppers everyone is speaking of holds the biner in place along its vertical axis. Out of the 2, only 1 will have the stopper. The second clips through the webbing and onto the bolt on the wall. The rubber stopper not only keeps the biner in the safest position, it makes clipping the rope into the draw much easier as it isnt flopping around.
Terrible that this happened and even more terrible that people are being charged.
If the instructors were on site in their professional capacity, I’d definitely charge them.