This article describes a 13 m crash from a Douglas fir, immediately after the author had visited a Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis nest to check and band the chicks. An abseil rope was used to descend from the nesting tree, but during a short moment of distraction, the wrong rope was used, resulting in the crash. As the climber was accompanied by two other people, and emergency services responded within 25 minutes to the alarm, a hospital was reached soon. Multiple fractures in wrist, ribs and pelvis, badly bruised lungs and knee and a concussion were diagnosed. Apart from a permanently damaged left wrist, the accident had a profound psychological impact. It shows that – although climbing is still considered absolutely vital in raptor research – great care should be taken while climbing. Also, the quality of the outfit should be tested before the climbing season starts.