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Who takes longer falls? Tall people or short people?
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Mar 5, 2012
Mt. Whitney
So me and a friend were discussing this at Joshua Tree this weekend.

If a climber who is 6'2" takes a lead fall at the exact same place as a climber who is 5'10", who takes the longer fall?

Assuming you measure the fall from the waist, the taller climber could fall an extra 4" than the shorter climber. Or would it be an extra 8" due to the doubling of the rope? Or would the shorter climber take a longer fall because he's smaller and therefore as a percentage of body length, the fall is longer?

Obviously I'm in no way an expert on the matter, but what do the minds of MP think?
Graham S
From Riverside, CA
Joined Apr 26, 2010
16 points
Mar 5, 2012
If the climbers are falling from the same place and we're talking about measuring the length of fall from their waist, we assume their waists are at the same height above the last piece, therefore they will fall the same distance G McG
From Victoria, BC
Joined Dec 6, 2010
1 points
Mar 5, 2012
The one that actually gets out and climbs. mugsy
Joined Nov 22, 2011
0 points
Mar 5, 2012
Graham S wrote:
So me and a friend were discussing this at Joshua Tree this weekend. If a climber who is 6'2" takes a lead fall at the exact same place as a climber who is 5'10", who takes the longer fall? Assuming you measure the fall from the waist, the taller climber could fall an extra 4" than the shorter climber. Or would it be an extra 8" due to the doubling of the rope? Or would the shorter climber take a longer fall because he's smaller and therefore as a percentage of body length, the fall is longer? Obviously I'm in no way an expert on the matter, but what do the minds of MP think?


Are they both climbing on the same color rope?
MojoMonkey
Joined Jan 29, 2009
65 points
Mar 5, 2012
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
if they're both static, reliable climbers; they will fall the same distance.

however, if one of them is a dynamic, unreliable climber; s/he will fall much further regardless of height. that is, unless s/he can no longer climb because of all the tendon damage that has surely resulted from that style of climbing.

and, if they're both dynamic, unreliable climbers; they're gonna die.
Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Joined Jul 17, 2006
274 points
Mar 5, 2012
FLIGHT!
johnL wrote:
Tall people fall further because I drop them. Bunch of freaks.


Can't wait to climb with ya on weds John!! Hahahah, Greeaaaaaat!
TuRETZ
From Denver, co
Joined Sep 3, 2009
149 points
Mar 5, 2012
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of ...
tall people don't fall because the moves are easier for them Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Joined Dec 12, 2002
3,729 points
Mar 5, 2012
Nice, John.

The tall person will fall father, for the simple reason that they're freakishly huge and will yank their reasonably-sized belayer off the ground. Unless we're talking about a tall skinny guy with a short, fat partner. It's my experience that the tall climber will fall more frequently, too.
Dobson
From Butte, MT
Joined Oct 20, 2011
187 points
Mar 5, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
Some interesting answers here.

Simply put, height makes no difference, weight does.

If you are trying to make a comparison, you need to have fixed points to measure, such as the tie in point and distance above the last piece of gear.

A tall person falling down a flight of stairs is a whole different story. Their head will certainly fall further before hitting the ground. Ouch.


More important, is your belayer smoking a cig, drinking a pbr or checking out some babe.
Greg D
From Here
Joined Apr 5, 2006
960 points
Mar 5, 2012
NW Couloir of Mt.Helen in August 2012
A picture is worth a kiloword.

fall pic
fall pic


It is all relative to the reference point though, as well the body frame in question (i.e. some folks have short legs and long torsos...)
So in reality... it will change with most situations.
daniel arthur
From Auburn,Al
Joined Mar 28, 2007
37 points
Mar 5, 2012
muttonface wrote:
Note to self: Don't let johnL belay your freakishly tall ass. Ever.


Mface, do you have a job or ever go climbing? You comment on EVERY thread.
Bill Dugan
From San Bernardino, CA
Joined Nov 21, 2010
3 points
Mar 5, 2012
25' drop...wheeeeee!
Depends how you define "the exact same place."

If you're talking about falling from the exact same footholds then the taller climber will fall farther. If you're talking about falling from the exact same handholds then the tall climber will fall a shorter distance. If you're talking about the knot being at the same point on the route then they will fall the same distance (all other factors being equal).
JesseT
From Portland, OR
Joined May 5, 2011
114 points
Mar 5, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
So there is more than one way to interpret the op's question.

Graham. Are you asking if both climbers feet are at the same distance above last piece of gear or tie in point is at the same distance above last piece.

If they are both standing on the same foot holds, then obviously the tie in point is gonna be higher for the taller person, and yes, a longer fall.

Unless taller guy is a twig weighing in at 140 and 6'2" and shorter guy weighs in at 195 and 5'10".
Greg D
From Here
Joined Apr 5, 2006
960 points
Mar 5, 2012
Eiger summit
Fat people fall farther. Brian
From North Kingstown, RI
Joined Sep 27, 2001
656 points
Administrator
Mar 5, 2012
FA of The Great Potato (a.k.a. Mt. Ore Ida), Withi...
Darren Mabe wrote:
tall people don't fall because the moves are easier for them

Unless it's a roof!
Jason Halladay
From Los Alamos, NM
Joined Oct 19, 2005
9,533 points
Mar 5, 2012
does 4" matter at all...? Erboutitman
From farmingdale ny
Joined Jan 13, 2011
5 points
Mar 5, 2012
This post violated Rule #1. It has been removed by Mountain Project.
RyanO
From sunshine
Joined Jun 9, 2009
131 points
Mar 5, 2012
Erboutitman wrote:
does 4" matter at all...?


That depends on if you're talking about length or girth.
RyanO
From sunshine
Joined Jun 9, 2009
131 points
Mar 5, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
I'm thinking the tall guy is reaching further from the stance, long arms, therefore works, pulls a bit higher up than the stumpy guy and falls further. Stumpy is working through intermediate moves under the reach of giganto', from same stance so if he falls during the move, his waist should still be much less above the last piece. If he moves up to the same higher holds that 'giganto fell from, well then I suppose his waist is also higher thus a longer fall. This is interesting.

This thread is certainly seeing alot of logic and thinking....not as mindless as many of our usual discussions!
Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,091 points
Mar 7, 2012
Mt. Whitney
MojoMonkey wrote:
Are they both climbing on the same color rope?


Hahahaha! Yes they are.

Greg D wrote:
So there is more than one way to interpret the op's question. Graham. Are you asking if both climbers feet are at the same distance above last piece of gear or tie in point is at the same distance above last piece. If they are both standing on the same foot holds, then obviously the tie in point is gonna be higher for the taller person, and yes, a longer fall. Unless taller guy is a twig weighing in at 140 and 6'2" and shorter guy weighs in at 195 and 5'10".


The way we were thinking, we would measure the distance starting at it's lowest point, the feet. Otherwise, the taller climber would surely fall further since his knot is higher than his feet and so are his hands, immediately giving the edge to the taller climber. (if not climbing and ugly OW upside down...) But then at the same time what catches the climber?? the rope, so should we consider the tie-in point instead of the feet?

Crag Dweller wrote:
they're gonna die.


Well played.

Greg D wrote:
More important, is your belayer smoking a cig, drinking a pbr or checking out some babe.


Or a joint. I'm guilty of smoking a cig and probably checking out some hawtie on occasion. However, a joint is something you share IMO.
Graham S
From Riverside, CA
Joined Apr 26, 2010
16 points
Mar 7, 2012
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W.
In the end, its the guy with the bigger balls that takes longer falls. Greg D
From Here
Joined Apr 5, 2006
960 points


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