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How often do you fall?
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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Apr 25, 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.
I aid climb a little, but not a lot. Mostly clean aid. Nothing harder than A3 in my past, and nothing at all lately.
That's why I'm not offering an opinion here, just a social example.
Feel free to take or leave it.

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By cms829
Apr 25, 2012
high e
pot...meet kettle.


edit: That was not meant for you tony

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By csproul
From Rancho Cordova, CA
Apr 25, 2012
Summit of Wolf's Head with Pingora in the background
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:
Nice little rant Mutt! Unlike several people in this forum posting advice I'm not new to aid climbing. I understand the grading system. Obviously you do not. According to your "logic" it would be not only be normal to fall on A5 but one could assume that A5 falls are common eh? Harder grade means more falls right? No. A5 means you fall you'll most likely die and you'll probably take your partner with you. Not sure what you were trying to prove with the quoted text but you failed miserably. Keep trying though, this is fun. I know this will come as a shock to you Mutt but A5 routes are getting done in the valley, AS I TYPE THIS. Not by me of course, I've never done anything harder than C3. You go ahead and check tomorrow and see how many teams fell off the wall. Do you hear about alot of aid climbers getting severely fucked up in aid falls? No. Why? Because as the grade's get harder falling becomes less of an option if you want to survive. You get better at placing gear and don't experience a 1 in a 100 failure rate as has been suggested as normal in this thread. That is ridiculous! Aid falls are far less common than free falls. Unless of course you don't know how to place gear. Then you will fall a lot. Get a little experience and then let me know if you still think your theory is sound. If you're falling on C1-C2 then you sure as hell don't want to get on C3 or up. Until then...enjoy your little circle jerk mental feel good exercise of acting like a trigger happy neighborhood watch volunteer for MP.

Leeroy, I think you might be right to a point, but my guess would be that falls in aid climbing difficulty follow more of a bell curve. Few falls in the A1-A2 and increasing falls as people move to A3 and maybe A4 and then a drop in the frequency of falls as aid gets real hard for the very reasons that you mentioned...ie that a fall would be catastrophic. My aid has been limited to C2 and easier, so I am in still in the "no reason to fall" part of the curve. Although I have taken a couple of good aid falls, you are right that I take free climbing falls much more often. I just got done reading Phychovertical and Andy Kirkpatrick talks about some monster falls on some damn hard aid solos (Reticent Wall A5). Upthread here, Mark Hudon says he has taken 4 falls in 4 routes, all on A3 or easier. You're certainly right in that this is much less frequent than 1:100 placements, but I'd not call it rare and I'd hardly characterize Mr. Hudon as an aid noob.

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By Jason Kaplan
From Glenwood ,Co
Jun 5, 2012
avitar pic <br />
This thread is a shit show, wonder why I stopped wasting copious amounts of time on the site... Anyhow I'm in the mood now and I have a perspective to add instead of trying to sit here and bash folks. I've aid climbed for over 5 years now, made my way up the crux pitches of routes up to c3 (maybe + but probly not according to new wave hardmen). I've taken 4 falls on aid, 1 on a local short crag rope soloing when I was starting (landing on a hook that I had mostly transferred off), the second on artist tears, the third I ripped a fixed head on knight with a shining stick (decking on a ledge 10-15' below), then another time on the first pitch of knight with a shining stick, landing on a micro cam with a sceamer and a circle head with my screamer daisy simultaneously. All these pitches minus the first fall were on a4 or c3 routes.

Some more insight, my hardest leads almost always involved tying together pieces that were grooving out on their own with body weight. Equalizing isn't BS IMO, I seemed to find it to be necessity on numerous occasions. But don't take my experience as end all advice as I've been talked down to plenty by "better men". The ratio of falling on aid routes for me is probly quite a bit lower then my sport climbing, but probly alot higher than my trad climbing ratio.

Also these people implying that you shouldn't be falling on c2 probly haven't climbed in the fisher towers, just read the comments on the Colorado ridge on the kingfisher.

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By "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok
From Oakville, Ontario
Jun 21, 2012
Left to right - me, Sam Adams, Thomas Huber, Alex Huber
I almost never fall. I am kind of a chickenshit, and I take my time and work it out. It is kind of dangerous to fall on hard pitches, so you had best know what you are doing to make it safe!

I've climbed a bunch of hard walls on El Cap, and my longest fall ever is only about thirty feet. I seldom fall, and if I fall more than once on any wall it is uncommon. I would say one short/safe/easy fall per wall on average.

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