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Aug 2, 2010
Once you have Black, you will fear to go back...
Ryan Kelly wrote:
I don't even know how to respond to this.


There is also more rope out when clipping low, which will give you more rope stretch. This will increase the length of the fall.

I wasn't looking for a response.
Guy H.
From Fort Collins CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
7,390 points
Aug 2, 2010
My kinda simian
Guy H. wrote:
There is also more rope out when clipping low, which will give you more rope stretch. This will increase the length of the fall. I wasn't looking for a response.


Your posts are illuminating.
Ryan Kelly
From work.
Joined Oct 10, 2006
3,262 points
Aug 2, 2010
this is begging for a caption
Guy H. wrote:
You have a better chance of decking by clipping low, when you are near the ground.


be careful when clipping the first bolt. if you blow it you can hit the ground!

but seriously, it is true you have a better chance of hitting the ground if you clip low, but if you climb higher you also run the risk of hitting the ground from higher up. clip when it's safe, or back off. there's no shame in it. anyone who tells you otherwise is a dangerous person to be climbing with.
Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
Joined May 31, 2007
768 points
Aug 2, 2010
I was climbing Creatures of Waste (10c) on the North Side of Looking Glass. It's a long layback to a finger crack, into another long layback. I was getting pretty pumped at the finger crack and couldn't find a rest stance. I grabbed my stoppers and put the first one that fell into my hand in the crack and slid it down till it stuck and clipped it. I then proceeded to climb and get more pumped. The next time I stopped to place gear I grabbed the wrong size and fell about 40 feet and swung about 10 to the left and came within 2 inches of leaving my face stuck on a rock.

The other scary fall I had was a 35 foot deck fall at Big Green. I was way off the ground with a #0 C3 as pro and fell when I was about 6 ft from the first bolt. It was a climb I had no business being on and I'm lucky I didn't get killed. My belayer/spotter kept me from landing on a rock and breaking my ankle, or worse.
Andrew Blease
From Damascus, VA
Joined Apr 25, 2010
348 points
Aug 2, 2010
Bunny pancake
Joel Andersen wrote:
Common misconception. Fall distance is the same, you only fall closer to the ground (in this case it apparently mattered).


yes we clip low so we don't have all that rope to pull up and it saves energy.
Mike McKinnon
From Golden, CO
Joined Aug 27, 2003
122 points
Aug 2, 2010
Michael McKinnon wrote:
yes we clip low so we don't have all that rope to pull up and it saves energy.


I totally have no idea what you quoted me. Your post seems to have no relation to mine at all.
Joel Andersen
Joined Nov 18, 2008
20 points
Aug 2, 2010
Joel Andersen wrote:
You'd be wrong.

And so I am.

However, since I hate being wrong, I would just add that when people pull rope to clip way above them, they generally pull about 2 feet more than they need.

I humbly walk away with tail between legs.
Price
From SLC, UT
Joined Apr 29, 2007
324 points
Aug 2, 2010
The take away should be that if you have clipped the draw and feel you are going to peel clipping the rope just grab the draw! Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Joined Oct 20, 2002
646 points
Aug 2, 2010
My kinda simian
spencerparkin wrote:
Thanks all for the replies. I want to try to correct myself...and hopefully not get this wrong, because there appears to be a lot of confusion and I may well be confused too. I stated earlier that I increased my fall factor, but I believe now that isn't true. If at any stationary point, (you are stopped, (not moving up or down)), you then pull rope up, you are then adding X meters of rope to the system _and_ X meters of rope to your potential fall distance. So what you're really doing is bringing your fall factor closer to 1. If you're fall factor was above 1, it is decreased. If it was below 1, then it was increased. In my case, I think it was decreased. This added more stretch so that I got a softer catch, but it also increased my fall distance, which was scary since I barely tapped the ground with my left heal. To make it scarier, you also have to think about how much rope might slip through the belayer's device.


If your fall factor was above 1 on a single pitch climb, you're doing it wrong.

Since you seem to have missed most of what was discussed:

  • "Clipping high" doesn't add any more distance to a fall than clipping at your waist. If someone on the internet tells you otherwise, flame them.
  • It does however, mean that you'll end up closer to the ground, since you weren't as high as you would have been if you clipped at your waist.
  • Clip from the "best stance", issues discussed heretofore withstanding.
  • Fall factor has no relevance in single pitch sport climbing. Really, it doesn't, stop worrying about it.
Ryan Kelly
From work.
Joined Oct 10, 2006
3,262 points
Aug 2, 2010
Stabby
The extra meter of rope you add to the system clipping a bolt isn't going to change the fall factor or give you a softer catch. My guess is that you got a little sketched and tried to get the clip in as soon as the bolt was within reach as opposed to finding a stance. The advantage to advancing closer to the next bolt is by pulling up less rope, you are spending less time with that awkward pulling movement.

My biggest whipper was facilitated by being a noob at Shelf during the early (pre R&I guide) days.
Looking for a .10, I was led mistakenly to a .12. When it got hard, I traversed over, then went up, skipping 2 bolts. When traversing back and almost within reach of the anchors, I Elvised off without warning. I know that feeling of quietly watching the ground rapidly approaching and how you feel like an observer rather than the participant. At the end, my feet were 4' above the deck and my belayer was 8' up. Since then, I haven't been shy about grabbing draws if I feel that the act of pulling up rope is going to exceed my limit.
Mike Lane
From Centennial, CO
Joined Jan 21, 2006
839 points
Aug 2, 2010
I took at least a 45' fall off the University Wall in Squamish. What made it scary is when I fell my rope was behind my leg and flipped me upside down. I thought that the sharp flake on the pitch cut my rope because I heard a distinctive "pop" so I thought I was plummeting 700' to my death. The "pop" turned out to be a blue alien's stem breaking and failing. When my next cam held and I stopped falling I was level with my belayer (Lee Dingemans) and still upside down. My pinky finger was bleeding but I was otherwise okay. I jugged the rope and finished the pitch and then we bailed. joel douglas
From Denver CO
Joined Sep 4, 2009
3 points
Aug 2, 2010
Dow Williams, 2011
140', below my belayer, 1.7 factor on the system, obviously some failure involved. I am alive today, and that is really all I care to discuss about it anymore. Time and space distortion when you are taking an unexpected fall like that is real. Dow Williams
From St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB
Joined Mar 13, 2006
186 points
Aug 2, 2010
I took a 40+ footer off of Lizard Marmalade Direct on Mt. Lemmon this past spring. Easily the longest I've ever taken. It was my first time on it and I was kind of going for it. There is a pod or flare that maybe marks the end of the crux, once you pull into it? Anyhow, I placed a cam in the flare, and as I was pulling in and beginning to lose my balance, I kicked the cam and immediately became aware that it was now tipped out, at the same time as I was going...going...gone! My next cam was a long way down below....

Didn't touch the wall once on the way down. That climb is steep!
Charles Vernon
From Tucson, AZ
Joined Jan 1, 2001
2,921 points
Aug 2, 2010
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
My most recent fall of any length was on Howling At the Wind in July 2008. Have a look in the comments field.

mountainproject.com/v/colorado...
Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
23,667 points
Aug 2, 2010
Crux Move
35 feet upside down while offroute on the yellow spur(Pretty hard to do). I had that same thought process of the rope breaking and thinking I was going to die in a graceful swan dive toward the ground 300 feet away. Came away with some scraped/bruised knuckles and a scratch on my chest.

falling is fun!
Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Joined Jun 20, 2008
2,193 points
Aug 2, 2010
Crux Move
Its best to clip with your feet for the following reasons:

1) less rope out, as proven by discussion above. and most importantly:
2) Don't have to let go with your hands!

Just practice a little at your local gym before taking it to the crags.
Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Joined Jun 20, 2008
2,193 points
Aug 2, 2010
Phil Lauffen wrote:
Its best to clip with your feet for the following reasons: 1) less rope out, as proven by discussion above. and most importantly: 2) Don't have to let go with your hands! Just practice a little at your local gym before taking it to the crags.


It is also helpful to tie in around an ankle!
Joel Andersen
Joined Nov 18, 2008
20 points
Aug 3, 2010
zen
In response to the "high clipping argument"

Seems for the most part everyone is on the same page. There is one more drawback to high clipping that people overlook: the amount of energy wasted. The energy to pull out rope + stall out on a hold + locking off high if you have to reach up >>> reaching to you waist and quickly snapping the rope into the draw... also if you miss the clip it's a lot easier to try again if you aren't high clipping.

Wasting all that energy means you're more like to pop off the rock and take that massive whipper. If you are high clipping it will be slightly longer due to rope stretch.
J tot
From Tempe, AZ
Joined Sep 6, 2009
471 points
Aug 3, 2010
end of the day in the black canyon.
I went for a pretty good winger on No Country for Old Men in the Black Canyon. It was on Pitch 9 - near the top of a pegmatite handcrack there's a little ledge out left that grants a decent rest, but the wall is vertical (maybe just a past) and there isn't much to hang on to with your hands. I'd been showering choss down on my belayer the entire pitch and it was definitely at my limit at the time (I'm in medical school and much weaker now...) so I was pretty on edge. A nice big hunk went flying down and nailed my partner's foot and he let out a yell which, embarassingly, distracted me and I went for a ride. I was probably 10 feet out from a red Alien and out left a few feet...with the rope behind my leg. I cruised a good 30 feet, headfirst, but didn't hurt myself at all, luckily. I batmanned back up the rope to my last piece, the Alien, to see that one of the lobes had blown out a chunk of the crack, and the remaining three that were engaged were sheared pretty good from the force of the fall. I was not happy that I had to climb past that thing, repeating some tough terrain without good protection. I'm also way more attentive about the rope-leg thing after that Superman fall. Incidentally, that was also one of my best days out climbing, lots of fun terrain, I caught a couple 10- R leads, which was a big deal for me, and we spent 10 hours on the route, only to hop in my car and drive back to Fort Collins to back to landscaping the next morning. Aaron Martinuzzi
Joined Apr 15, 2008
1,585 points
Aug 3, 2010
What was left of the rack when I topped out on the...


Falling off Hairlip at Suicide... or rather, kicking my own self off.
Jordan Ramey
From Calgary, Alberta
Joined Jun 15, 2006
4,395 points
Aug 4, 2010
My kinda simian
spencerparkin wrote:
I believe Ryan Kelly is correct on all counts.


END.
Ryan Kelly
From work.
Joined Oct 10, 2006
3,262 points
Aug 5, 2010
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "...
IF anyone is feeling bad about this whole high-low discussion, take some solace in the fact that it has confused people for a long long time, and it gets hashed out and rehashed out on forums like this pretty often. At least over the last 20 years for which I've been monitoring forums like this... (As in rec.climbing in 1990)
And yes, Ryan is correct.
Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Joined Jan 1, 2001
23,667 points
Aug 5, 2010
I was reaching as high as I could to fiddle a small tricam into a flake above my head.

"The rest is easy, don't bother" came the call from my belayer.

He was right, the end of this 10- route is around 5.7. The last bolt was a good 10 to 15 feet below, while the first bolt is just above half way up this 90 foot cliff.

Got the piece, clipped it, started liebacking the crack before the anchor, just pulling onto the good ledge and CRACK. The rock broke. First bolt flew by, looked down and saw the second one coming. Stopped right before it. Ended up being around 40 feet, but without the tricam it would of been more like 70.

"Good thing you placed that tricam" my belayer calmly stated.
Elijah Flenner
Joined Jan 1, 2001
919 points
Aug 5, 2010
spencerparkin wrote:
I believe Ryan Kelly is correct on all counts.


Ryan is only correct in the case of a purely vertical wall. As soon as the angle changes, it's no longer correct. Take the extreme case of a completely horizontal overhang, with more NASA diagrams:

Why you fall more reaching for a clip on an overha...
Why you fall more reaching for a clip on an overhang.


From this you can see that reaching for a clip makes you fall more. This is still true in less overhung routes, but the more overhung it is the more of a difference it makes.

It should be pointed out though that even though you may fall more if you reach for a clip on an overhang, you will swing less from the fall. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. If there's a wall close to you that you might swing into, it's probably better to risk the vertical drop and reach for the clip. On the other hand, if there are no walls around you and the extra reach may mean decking (like if you're doing a cave traverse), you probably want to climb to the next clip.
Ian Stewart
Joined May 17, 2010
166 points


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