Sehr interesting - I have wondered about roping up on steep terrain; to me (not even a novice) it seemed risky.
I love that the Germans have a word for such specific things as an “accident that occurred because a party was roped up and the whole rope party fell”
I really liked that too.
Good article David, and the more non-technical alpinism i’ve done (which is almost all relatively easy summer courses in the alps), the more I have come to agree with its conclusions. It’s not for nothing that moving together is sometimes blackly known as dieing-together.
I wonder what the literal English translation of Mitreißunfall is?
I believe it is “Gumby death plummet”
The literal breakdown would be something like:
mit = with/along
reissen = tear/pull
Unfall = accident
So a pull-along-accident.
Mitreißt is also used in the context of being carried away by something like a current.
There used to be a proper British name for this, “one off, all off” and some of the most famous accidents in UK mountain history have happened through this (e.g. the Matterhorn). Unfortunately it’s not as easy to make single word names in English as it is in German.
However there’s one comment - unbelayed moving together is not to be confused with simu-climbing / moving together with protection - running belays. That is a completely legitimate tactic but one that needs experience and plenty of strong protection.