Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Falling on gear success stories! (Where the rock didn't completely blow out)
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 6 of 8.  <<First   <Prev   4  5  6  7  8   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Moof
From Portland, OR
Jul 24, 2013

So far so good for me.

Fall on Geronimo in Red Rocks got held by a #13 stopper from about 6' above the piece.

East Crack in Lover's Leap it was a baby fall onto a Red Alien after getting my feet all crossed up on easy'ish terrain.

Bunches of aid falls onto stoppers, small cams, etc.

Good times...


FLAG
By Patrick Mulligan
Jul 24, 2013
The top of the tufa on Magma

My largest fall happened years ago in Colorado. I fell 60'+ onto a well placed #4 stopper on Waiting for Columbus in the flatirons in '95 while trying to clip the bolt just before the roof I believe. I was about 15' out from the #4 and while pulling up on what I thought was a solid rail to clip the bolt (creating more slack) I pulled a huge plate of rock the size of a coffee table off the wall. My belayer had to run into the wall to avoid being crushed creating even more slack. I came to a stop about 15' from the ground. It all happened very quickly and I was hanging from the end of the rope before I stopped yelling "falling" and "ROCK!".

The #4 was completely welded and could not be removed and the rope end biner was rendered useless as the nose had scraped the rock as I fell and ended up about 10 or 15 degrees bent. It could not be opened and was only removed after untying the rope. I was so gripped when I went back up to finish it, but found that move almost a number grade easier because where there was once a blankish wall with a 2" rail to pull up on and clip from there was a very solid foothold (bottom of the plate) and solid side pull.


FLAG
By Healyje
Jul 24, 2013
girl40

Pretty odd premise for a thread. Telling in some ways. There shouldn't be anything exceptional about falling on gear or gear holding. Bottom line is if you aren't falling on gear or your gear isn't holding then there is some other issue afoot which probably is worthy of a thread.


FLAG
By Vaughne
Jul 24, 2013

Healyje wrote:
Pretty odd premise for a thread. Telling in some ways. There shouldn't be anything exceptional about falling on gear or gear holding. Bottom line is if you aren't falling on gear or your gear isn't holding then there is some other issue afoot and which probably is worthy of a thread.

Telling in some ways? What does it tell you oh grand master of trad climbing?
Personally I find the thread interesting.


FLAG
By Matt.Zia
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 24, 2013

This summer I was climbing Moby Grape on Cannon Cliff and we went for the Kurt's Corner variation finish, only to find it was a running waterfall..my parter led the pitch first, got a bomber #2 C4 in, then ran it out over three marginal nuts. Standing in the waterfall he whipped off, took about a 40 footer, ripped the three nuts out, and got held by the #2. If it had pulled he would have decked on the huge ledge I was belaying from. Five pitches up, the brown stuff would have hit the whirly thing hard if the #2 hadn't caught him.


FLAG
By Healyje
Jul 24, 2013
girl40

Vaughne wrote:
Telling in some ways? What does it tell you oh grand master of trad climbing? Personally I find the thread interesting.


Well, the title itself - "Falling on gear success stories!" - with an exclamation point no less. That gives the distinct impression there is somehow something remarkable about gear holding a fall. That in turn would appear to imply either an unwillingness to fall on gear, surprise that gear would hold if one does fall on it, or that falling on gear is somehow novel. Again, somewhat odd at best.


FLAG
By Yep
Jul 24, 2013

Dozens of falls - over twelve years of climbing - on nuts and cams. The trick for gear, as far as I can tell: don't fall when the gear is crappy.

Problem #1: it is hard to tell when not to fall.

To add to the mind games...

Problem #2: sometimes when the gear holds, you still get hurt.

I have direct experience with the second point.

Welcome to climbing. Please enjoy at your own risk.


FLAG
By Mic Fairchild
From Boulder
Jul 24, 2013
personal photo

BITD... I was wearing Vasque Ascenders ( basically a lug soled high top you hiked into the crag then climbed in) for an ascent of JCrack. I got up to the head wall and traversed right with a big stopper for pro. Made it to the end of the traverse but cut loose. Took a big pendy that forced my belayer to duck as I swung by. I remember his eyes got REALLY big. Piece held though.


FLAG
 
By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Jul 24, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

Healyje wrote:
Pretty odd premise for a thread. Telling in some ways. There shouldn't be anything exceptional about falling on gear or gear holding. Bottom line is if you aren't falling on gear or your gear isn't holding then there is some other issue afoot which probably is worthy of a thread.


So you average about 3' between pieces, then?


FLAG
By Vaughne
Jul 25, 2013

Healyje wrote:
That in turn would appear to imply either an unwillingness to fall on gear, surprise that gear would hold if one does fall on it, or that falling on gear is somehow novel. Again, someone odd at best.

For a novice trad climber or even the average trad climber it is not easy to simply trust gear. This thread is cool because it encourages some faith in those little semi-circle springy things. My first time climbing I had a lot of trouble trusting the top rope. Didn't you?


FLAG
By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Jul 25, 2013
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

Healyje wrote:
Pretty odd premise for a thread. Telling in some ways. There shouldn't be anything exceptional about falling on gear or gear holding. Bottom line is if you aren't falling on gear or your gear isn't holding then there is some other issue afoot which probably is worthy of a thread.


My thoughts exactly. I'm sure I haven't taken nearly as many falls as you have, but I've certainly taken quite a few and I've NEVER had a piece pull. Having gear pull when fallen on should be the very rare exception, not the expectation.


FLAG
By Alex Quitiquit
From Salt Lake City
Jul 25, 2013
meow

I have taken the 15 foot lob onto #1's many a time, a few whippers on smaller size nuts, shorter falls on those little baby blue colored small cams...

Mahhh, you don't always need to justify a thread. but I suppose it can instill some confidence in the budding leader to move from the romp of a 5.7 to the 5.10. I found that after taking some unexpected falls on some moderate routes, having the confidence in my gear, it allowed me to venture into climbing hard gear lines.

My biggest whiptastic was a swinging 25 footer on an orange metolius placed in a horizontal, pulling some final 11+ runout crux moves to the anchor. Held like a charm, until I tried to swing back over to jug up the rope. Cam walked into a pod, popped, and sent me another 10 feet unto a #3 peenut. Good times.


FLAG
By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Jul 25, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

kennoyce wrote:
My thoughts exactly. I'm sure I haven't taken nearly as many falls as you have, but I've certainly taken quite a few and I've NEVER had a piece pull. Having gear pull when fallen on should be the very rare exception, not the expectation.


The only reason I've never had a piece pop is that I haven't fallen on a bad piece, but I've sure as shit placed em. Some of you guys are acting like the polished granite trade routes of your local crag are the only kind of climbing.


FLAG
By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Jul 25, 2013
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

Ben Beckerich wrote:
The only reason I've never had a piece pop is that I haven't fallen on a bad piece, but I've sure as shit placed em. Some of you guys are acting like the polished granite trade routes of your local crag are the only kind of climbing.


I've placed plenty of bad pieces in my day, but when I know the piece is bad, I try my hardest not to fall on it and so far I've succeded (in fact, I've fallen on pieces that I thought would pull but didn't). The problem with this thread is that it apears that the OP thinks that pieces pulling is the norm, when that shouldn't be the case.


FLAG
By wfscot
From Boulder, CO
Jul 25, 2013

Read the first post before you criticize the OP. As a relatively-novice trad climber, I think it's a great idea.


FLAG
By Ben Beckerich
From saint helens, oregon
Jul 25, 2013
About half way up the East Arete on Illumination Rock

kennoyce wrote:
I've placed plenty of bad pieces in my day, but when I know the piece is bad, I try my hardest not to fall on it and so far I've succeded (in fact, I've fallen on pieces that I thought would pull but didn't). The problem with this thread is that it apears that the OP thinks that pieces pulling is the norm, when that shouldn't be the case.


I don't think he said it's normal.


FLAG
 
By kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Jul 25, 2013
Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks

Ben Beckerich wrote:
I don't think he said it's normal.


No, he didn't, he said, "I noticed I can get psyched out if I read a bunch of stories about placements/anchors failing before I go climb on gear", but the tone of the whole thread seems to be that it's amazing and somewhat unexpected when gear holds (implying that it's normal for it to fail). My point is simply that gear is designed to hold, you should expect it to do its job unless you place it poorly (which admitadly is sometimes necessary).


FLAG
By bearbreeder
Jul 25, 2013

if you fall enough, especially on small cams at your limits ... something WILL pull eventually...

its not exactly "common" ... but take 100+ falls on yr trad projects in a year or two and it will happen

its even more likely if you are trying to onsight anywhere near your limit since you dont know the gear .... how many here are willing to take the whipper on a trad onsight attempt at their limit ???

as to success stories ...

this is the crux piece on the "1st 5.12" in canada ... you can see how much "success" its had for me and my partners

green peanut
green peanut


my partner on the climb ... we all took whippers on micronuts on it that day ... note the thin crack crux ...

sentry box 12a
sentry box 12a


;)


FLAG
By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Jul 25, 2013
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background

kennoyce wrote:
No, he didn't, he said, "I noticed I can get psyched out if I read a bunch of stories about placements/anchors failing before I go climb on gear", but the tone of the whole thread seems to be that it's amazing and somewhat unexpected when gear holds (implying that it's normal for it to fail). My point is simply that gear is designed to hold, you should expect it to do its job unless you place it poorly (which admitadly is sometimes necessary).

Your reading your own biases into the OP. It's not that climbers think it is normal for gear to fail or that they even expect it. The reality is that many climbers (especially beginners) just don't regularly fall on their gear, so they have no basis for ANY expectation. If you don't know good gear from bad, it's definitely good to not test it, but there are a lot of climbers out there who are perfectly capable of placing good gear and rarely fall on it. These are the people that this thread is useful for. You, yourself, just said that you have had pieces hold when you expected them to fail. This is the type thing the OP was looking for...stories when gear held even when it was not expected to do so.


FLAG
By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Campton, NH
Jul 25, 2013
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.

Boots Ylectric wrote:
I just took my first fall on gear two weeks ago. It felt like an important milestone in my climbing. I just started leading 5-funs at the end of last summer, and started pushing my way up to the 5.6's 7's etc. this year. My problem was that I wouldn't push into the 5.8/5.9's I know I am capable of climbing because I still was scared of my placements. I'd place something and know it was bomber, but still be scared, so I was having a hard time leading grades that I couldn't just fly right through because I didn't have the confidence in my placements I needed. Birch Tree at Devil's Lake has long been my kryptonite as a follower. My partner leads it like it's nothing, and I either fly through the crux or thrash about on it until I get to the nice 5-easy that it tops out with. For whatever reason, even though I can climb grades above it, the 3-4 moves that make the crux of that little 5.8 can make or break me any given day. So I set it as a goal to lead that climb this summer. Two weeks ago I went for it. My first piece was a nut which I placed fairly directional to hold downward and outward pull. I climbed through the next good spot to make a placement, not realizing it. Rather than expend the energy to struggle with another placement I just made the key placement right before the crux which is a .75. At this point I took some deep breaths knowing that there was a 50/50 chance of me falling as I pulled the moves and that realistically I had one piece of gear that would prevent a ground fall. I inspected the heck out of the placement and went for it. Sure enough, one move, two moves, third move... and my hand doesn't quite make and I let out a big fat "shiiiiit". It wasn't a whipper by no means, a couple of feet, but there I was hanging by that lonely .75 smiling and looking up at my dad at the top of the climb asking if happened to get a picture of my first fall. I know, it's a long winded story of a pretty uneventful, boring fall off a low grade. But I wanted to share it, because I think falling on gear is an important thing to do early on in your career as a trad leader. I haven't gotten out since that day, and it was the last climb of the day, but never before have I wanted to be on the sharp end pushing harder than I do now. I'm not ready to go do a run-out 5.11 with crap gear, but I'm ready to climb at the grades that I'm capable of now, and have some confidence that it's going to be ok, if I have an off day of climbing, as long as I never have an off day of placing gear.


Great story!


FLAG
By kevin neville
From Somerville, MA
Jul 25, 2013

I've taken dozens of falls on gear; never pulled my top piece (pulled a lower one a couple of times as the rope came taut outward or sideways). Only one fall that I think really wasn't safe: short but sharply swinging on a #1 Camalot in a horizontal crack. That kind of swinging fall is asking for the cam to walk forward or twist out, leading to an uncontrolled fall from ~15 feet up. It held, thankfully. Placed a second piece, equalized so that each only had to hold a small range of angles, and sent the pitch.


FLAG
By Boots Ylectric
From Roselle IL
Jul 25, 2013
Tebow Climbs.  Bet you didn't know that.

Jay Knower wrote:
Great story!



Thanks!

I brought it into the thread for the exact reason that's being discussed now in the thread. Yes, the expectation is that the gear holds, and that is and should be the norm. But that's only if you learned proper gear placement, and place the best gear you can. It's great to hear the stories of bad gear holding, and it's even a testament to how great some of the gear we use actually is. Especially when all you hear in the media is the story of "gear failures" i.e. Tito Traversa, that are more often improper use, NOT failures. Realistically, when done properly with solid best practices our sport is no more and probably even less dangerous than many other extreme sports. Heck, even done improperly there is still a relatively decent level of safety. We've all seen death traps that have held up just fine all day for some gumby who didn't learn how to rig stuff. Some of us have probably whipped, rappelled, and TR'd off death traps of our own.

That said, as a newer trad leader I like this thread. Maybe some of you are forgetting that first fall. Maybe that's what you need to think back to. Every leader I've talked to has said that their first fall was the game changer. They climbed better, harder, and broke a major plateau. I fancy myself as a good climber. Not world class, but decent. But I couldn't lead more than a 5.7 because I couldn't get over a mental block of falling on gear. I needed to fall, and now that I have I'll be climbing the 5.8's and up that I SHOULD be climbing, instead of the 5-easy's I keep leading. You can have a great and experienced climber follow your leads and tell you how bomber your gear is all day, but the real test comes that first time you fall. That first time you see the proof first hand that "Hey this stuff really works the way I'm using it". Hearing these stories is way better for our community than hearing the ones of improper use causing failure. Leave those stories for the normal people so they can continue thinking we're just a bunch of nutjobs, which in turn just makes us more desirable to the ladiiiiiies...cuz that's the reason we're all doing this isn't it? lol


FLAG
By ian watson
From Albuquerque, NM
Jul 26, 2013

Back to falling: Last weekend I was climbing a section that leads to a offwith roof to a layback I placed a # 5 c4 pulled the roof got pumped to the gill tried to downclimb did not make it took about a 2 foot fall thought I was a gonner……..


FLAG
By Tom Lausch
From Madison WI
Jul 31, 2013
Chips and Salsa

Took my first fall yesterday on a #4 BD cam. made sure it was 15 ft. Held like a dream. Guess it works when placed well.


FLAG
 
By cassondra
From las vegas, NV
Aug 1, 2013
in repose

If my gear didn't hold when I fell on it, I would be dead.
(That goes for wearing my helmet when I fall, too.)


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 6 of 8.  <<First   <Prev   4  5  6  7  8   Next>   Last>>