Two months after 12-year-old Italian climbing prodigy Tito Traversa died in Orpierre, France, after taking a 20-meter fall due to improperly used quickdraws, the public prosecutor of Torino, Raffaele Guariniello, has filed manslaughter charges against five individuals or entities — the manufacturer of rubber devices used in the quickdraws, the owner of the shop that sold them, the owner of the guide service that took Traversa that day, and two guides, La Repubblica Torino is reporting. A sixth person is being considered for charges.
Traversa was warming up on a 5.10d on July 3 when he topped out and leaned back to be lowered off the route. Eight of the 12 quickdraws he’d placed failed. They had been assembled incorrectly — rather than clipping the draw into the carabiner, the rubber piece known as a keeper or string was used to connect the two. When used correctly, the keeper protects the quickdraw and helps keep it properly oriented. Tragically, the eight were at the top of the route and the four correctly assembled were at the bottom.
The photo above displays the incorrect method of using the strings and was provided by investigators to Traversa’s father to explain what happened. The correct installation is shown below.