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Ground fall on Left Ski Track in Joshua Tree
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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Oct 3, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.

Nelson..... glad to here your OK.... could have been far worse.

You broke #1 rule (my #1 rule anyway)

Don't fall, ever when your at JT. Learn how to downclimb- always to save your ass.

None of the placements on that climb will hold squat, the early on ones at least.

Go have a beer....


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Oct 3, 2012

Guy Keesee wrote:
Nelson..... glad to here your OK.... could have been far worse. You broke #1 rule (my #1 rule anyway) Don't fall, ever when your at JT. Learn how to downclimb- always to save your ass. None of the placements on that climb will hold squat, the early on ones at least. Go have a beer....


Correction: don't intentionally fall if you don't have two pieces you believe to be solid between you and the ground. Or put another way, your concept of when it is safe to fall was apparently too broad. Reflect on this and learn.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Oct 3, 2012

JLP wrote:
I freed this climb in my first few years, haven't been back to it. This and Lower Right are kind of POS routes that aren't worth the risk, IMO.

I got the gist of JLP's post. I don't think he's being derisive to others. If I can paraphrase what he intended is that the climbs aren't really safe (unless your solid at the grade), but are right there in the campground and get climbed probably far more than they deserve. Given that that's his opinion, I don't think it's an unreasonable statement.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Oct 3, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

Glad you are not hurt. There is a particular (but admittedly uncertain) amount of energy absorbed into any gear failure. Even those psychological placements that fail can mean the difference between landing hard or really hard, or landing upright and flat. It's great that you had in everything that you did and walked away.
I've torn a rib partially off of my sternum before - (frown) it was pretty miserable and it took a long time to heal. Weeks later I couldn't press my hands together in front of me or do anything else hat put a spread in my chest for a while. As funny as it sounds, I climbed the Yellow Wall on the diamond, but on the hike in, couldn't clip a tight waist belt on my pack -Joseffa had to do that for me!
Heal well, heal fully.


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By mountainlion
Oct 4, 2012

After seeing Nelson climb (never had the chance to climb with him) and trading stories around the campground. Nelson is solid at the grade. Left Ski Track is an awkward climb but I remember there being a bolt below the wide gear placement (am i mistaken)?


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By jeff lebowski
Oct 4, 2012

I think someone else already mentioned it...there's a bomber orange or red alien placement in a pod below that fin.


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By Chris Norwood
From San Diego, CA
Oct 4, 2012
High on the Beckey Route on the Bastille Buttress of Lone Pine Peak

mountainlion wrote:
After seeing Nelson climb (never had the chance to climb with him) and trading stories around the campground. Nelson is solid at the grade. Left Ski Track is an awkward climb but I remember there being a bolt below the wide gear placement (am i mistaken)?


The bolt is actually past the crux, and it is also past the wide placement. I was actually Nelson's partner that day and am still trying to fully analyze what happened. I'm so glad that Nelson suffered such little physical harm and has kept such a good attitude toward the completely bummer of a situation. He is definitely a strong and competent climber, and hopefully, at the very least, this post can help other people give more thought to the inherent dangers in the activity we all love and to guide their future judgement calls.


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By Zappatista
Oct 8, 2012
Book me, officer.

I hope my sincerity comes through here, and I don't come off like JLP's evil twin.

Taking intentional falls to correct a sequence error next go sounds pretty ludicrous if you've got two pieces in and one of them is for sure shit.

That whole "leader does not fall" has its failings but would've saved your ass had you hung in there.

I'll keep the #11 hex in mind if I try the thing. Thanks duh, cool story bout JB doing some "trail maintenance".


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