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Safe....well... and SMART! bouldering
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By paul behee
Apr 12, 2006

A few weeks ago a friend, my brother, and I took our first outdoor bouldering excursion. Long story short: we amateurs misplaced the pad, misjudged the fall, poorly assessed the overall situation, and my brother twisted the shit out of his ankle. The "Talus" plate on his ankle snapped in half. He'll need surgery, pins, a cast, and have one bummer summer! This will never happen to us again, but I hope to help anyone else avoid this shit! Just take an extra second to be safe, and smart!! -Paul


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By Lee Smith
Apr 12, 2006
You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE" your rope! <br />(Back by Popular Demand.  There you are Mom) <br /> <br />

John Sherman wrote a book years ago that had excellent tips on spotting and pad placement as well as other safety and ethics stuff. I can't remember the name of the book and it is probably out of print, but it sure was good! It might be worth trying to find a copy. Go Verm!


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jun 20, 2006
Bocan

I read Sherman's book, and I recommend picking it up...It really just wraps up the whole game. I'm about to jump back in for the second read, but it should be an addition on everyone's shelf.


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By RSBrass
Jan 10, 2007

I just bought a second hand copy. "Better Bouldering" by John Sherman.
A Falcon Guide. Nice book.


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By Helldorado
From Boulder, CO
Jun 29, 2010

Learn how to give a good spot. I tell people this all the time, especially those who continuously drag their pads beneath lowballs. Your pads worth nothing if you don't fall onto it.


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By Squish
From Lakewood
Jun 29, 2010
Me

Spotting and all other safety related climbing techniques should be practiced at all times. Unfortunately a lot of it is something where only the concept can be learned from a book and not everything is covered in a book so experience plays a big part too. I suggest you go out with someone well experienced many a times to learn as much as possible before you go venturing on your own. Even in that case climbing is an inherently dangerous sport so in layman's terms shit happens. I've seen bad pad placement and a snapped ankle when I was climbing with 2 people who combined had over 20+ years bouldering experience. Also look at the latest Eldo Accident. Two very experienced careful climbers... shit happens...


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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Jun 29, 2010
Me and Spearhead

After nearly 15 yrs of climbing I would have to say that bouldering is by far the most dangerous aspect of climbing that I've participated in.

The ground is very unforgiving and in bouldering EVERY fall is a ground fall.
I hope that your brother makes a quick recovery and that this post maybe makes a few people a little more conscientious as the alpine bouldering season is in full swing out here in Rado.


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By Said
From Boulder, Co
Jun 29, 2010
Top of the 3rd pitch of Touchstone at Zion NP.

slacklining is excellent practice to learn the ins and outs of falling correctly. I always imagine those boulderers before pad technology came in to play knew how to fall lightly and correctly.


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