RIP tinaballina

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RIP tinaballina

Postby drndr » Mon Mar 28, 2022 7:25 am

Just thought I'd post this here. She was a huge part of this board and most have bumped into her on the trail.
She passed away while rock climbing in JTree over the weekend

In the early days of her outdoor adventures I was taking her on small hikes and we finally did Baldy for her first time and it totally wiped her out. But a day later she said let do that again. I told her I dont think I can keep up with you and go every weekend so I introduced her to this board. Told her there were plenty of hiking fools on here that'd hike with her as much as she'd like. And the rest is history!! She tackled it all with passion.

She'll be missed by lots.

D
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time"
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Re: RIP tinaballina

Postby guest » Mon Mar 28, 2022 12:32 pm

Oh man, that's unfortunate, at her age especially. I didn't know her when she was first getting into hiking / climbing, but saw her set crazy goals and reach them in a very short time.
Will miss her spirit, (may be on the trail somewhere,,,), and the Christmas tree on Skyline in the trees. She had a great attitude, and seem to enjoy to comradery with fellow climbers as much as the climbs / adventures.
Joshua Tree is such a magical place, even if many have met their fate their.
Will think of her on the trail, RIP Tinaballina, scott
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Re: RIP tinaballina

Postby Perry » Mon Mar 28, 2022 12:55 pm

This has been hard for me to process. So many questions, and I've been busy lately. It's been years since I've talked with Tina in person. We occasionally corresponded online. I wish I could have met up with her again. Anybody who has met her would likely say the same.
Counting the days until October...
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Tina

Postby Ellen » Mon Mar 28, 2022 1:37 pm

Memories of my friend:

I first met Tina Fiori on Skyline in the fall of 2008 after my snowshoe misadventure. We hugged at Flatrock before she continued her blistering pace up to the tram. Not long after, I took Steve Irwin (Bluerail) on his first Skyline. Tina and Steve both rented snowshoes and joined me for my first post injury snowshoe in late 2008. Steve and Tina quickly became good friends as well as experienced mountaineers, ice/rock climbers and canyoneers.

In September 2009, I completed my first San Gorgonio 9 peak challenge with Tina and other friends. When we reached our last peak (west San Bernardino), Tina unexpectedly pulled two bottles of beer out of her daypack in honor of my birthday :o The next morning, she texted that she woke up at 4 AM with very sore quads and just LOVED the thrashing :lol:

Then, this force of nature came up with the crazy idea of hiking back-to-back Skylines (two to three in a 24 hour period) in early November 2009 :shock: My initial reaction to this challenge -- oh hell no :P However, with Tina's encouragement, I took the bait and was reeled in. (Refer to Hikin's Jim's puns and read the "fishy" thread). Only for Tina.

In 2010, we had epic snow conditions. Tina (with Steve and other friends) climbed San Jacinto via the Snow Creek mountaineering route. They also traversed the razor-edge Yucaipa ridge. By this time, her mountaineering skills and cardiovascular fitness were well beyond my orbit. Occasionally we'd cross paths snowshoeing or hiking. She was always upbeat and fun. The last time I saw her, she passed Marilyn and I on Skyline -- I knew it was Tina as soon as I heard her yelling my name 8)

Rest in Peace mountain sister -- we'll miss you :cry:

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Re: RIP tinaballina

Postby Ed » Tue Mar 29, 2022 8:48 am

Thanks for the background information on Tina, Ellen.

Very, very sad. I never met Tina, that I know of, but followed her posts when she was active on this board. I hope some details are provided. I have known people who died rock climbing, but despite that and its general reputation, I consider it a safer activity than mountaineering, at a place like Joshua Tree or Tahquitz. Was she climbing solo? Was it a rappel set up error? Even a leader fall in that environment, with a helmet, harness, good protection, and a good belay, should rarely be fatal.
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Re: RIP tinaballina

Postby OtherHand » Tue Mar 29, 2022 9:54 am

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Re: RIP tinaballina

Postby Ed » Tue Mar 29, 2022 10:18 am

OtherHand wrote:Details in this story.


I am stunned. I have rappelled off some questionable anchors in my time, when I had no choice. Such as old bolts, which were more like pins than bolts. There was a rule that you never trust your life to a bolt placed by strangers in the past, but sometimes you had to do it. But it would never have occurred to me to trust my life to someone else's nylon webbing. Why do it? Nylon webbing is cheap, and deterioration of nylon from sun, friction, etc. is well known. I suppose the sewn slings people carry today are more expensive than the knotted ones we made. But I still can't get a mental grip on this.
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Re: RIP tinaballina

Postby zippetydude » Tue Mar 29, 2022 1:44 pm

Like everyone who knew Tina, I am shocked and saddened.

Tina was a firecracker of the first order. I remember catching up to her and her friends on Skyline while hiking with Steve and Fern. First we would hear voices, then we'd hear bodacious cursing and wild laughter and we'd look at each other and say, "Tina's up ahead." :D

I remember her telling me about her Christmas Tree on the upper reaches of Skyline. When I asked her where exactly it was, she said very confidently, "It's next to those other trees beside that rock." :? That was Tina.

I remember heading down the Tram with her one day after a speedy Skyline ascent. I mentioned I had missed the previous week. "Yeah!" she said, "I missed too and I think I gained 10 pounds!"

Always relatable, just as frequently unpredictable, and undeniably an adventurous spirit that brought a ton of fun to those around her. So sorry to hear.

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Re: RIP tinaballina

Postby Ed » Wed Mar 30, 2022 10:03 am

What a tragedy. As I said, I did not know Tina, except through her posts, and thank people for posting their remembrances of her.

I have not been in the rock climbing world since 1978. For up to date information, I turn to a person who like me learned to climb in the early 19070's at Stony Point and Tahquitz. Unlike me, he was a rock climber rather than a mountaineer, and has been continuously rock climbing at a high level ever since. He is a well-known figure in the Las Vegas rock climbing community, where he is fondly known as 'Scary Larry', because of his preference for some gear and techniques considered to be wildly outdated and unsafe by new generations of climbers. Also the co-author of a book on rock climbing in the Las Vegas area:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33672792-red-rock-odyssey

I turned to him to find out whether rappelling from old slings is a common practice:

'Larry,

I follow a discussion board that reported the death last weekend of a 50 year old woman at Joshua Tree, a woman who was liked, respected, admired and had many achievements.

I was stunned when it was reported that the cause of death was rappelling off an old nylon sling. And that this was not unusual at rock climbing areas. Is this true?

Ed'

Here is his answer:

'That is terrible. It is pretty common for people to rap off existing in situ webbing. On heavily trafficked routes, tat anchors are often redundant, 6 or 8 or more pieces of rope or webbing with rap rings or carabiners. And generally several of those strands will look brand new. Normally when I encounter those situations, I will back it up with my own gear until the last person is going down and everything looks solid, but many people will just thread the rope and go. In addition to the lack of paranoia among many is the factor that most climbers these days carry only sewn webbing runners, so they are not prepared to easily augment an existing rap anchor. There is not much detail regarding this particular case, but it sounds like a more remote area without the traffic to keep the webbing current. Sad story any way you look at it.'

I still can't get my mind around it. There is so much emphasis on 'safe' equipment today: helmets, padded harnesses, ropes that take many UIAA test falls, factory-sewn slings and runners, etc. Reminds me of something Royal Robbins said in the 1970's. He was put off by discussions of 'safe' versus 'unsafe' equipment, and said the important thing was to understand your equipment and its limitations.
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Re: RIP tinaballina

Postby zippetydude » Wed Mar 30, 2022 7:53 pm

Thanks for the further understanding Ed. Sounds like Tina made a very reasonable and normally safe move. Tina was a wildcard and more fun than any one person might hope to possess, but at the same time she was a smart and well trained, thoroughly disciplined athlete.

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