Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners: Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall: Edit Log


Mar 7, 2012, 4:18 AM

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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall
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ensonik wrote:
I'm curious. In the gym this week, I saw a leader fall where the leaders ankle was twisted around the rope. It was quite a while before he figured he needed to pull just over the ankle to get out of it.

It's obvious his leg was not placed properly in relation to the rope and fall direction (although there were 4 of us watching and nothing struck us as odd with the rope and his legs -- disclaimer; all 4 of us are beginners (about 2 years leading)), but I'm curious if any of you have seen this before.

edit: spelling
I have not specifically seen someone fall with their leg twisted in the rope, however this issue is extremely common amongst new leaders. In fact, in my experience, climbing with the rope behind one's leg is the single most common major error new leaders make. Many gyms and instructors do not give this issue enough attention. Most focus more attention on backclipping, even though this issue is more important in many ways. The consequences of falling with the rope behind your leg can be severe, so make sure you are always paying attention.

This issue is also not restricted solely to new leaders. I have seen 5.13 climbers put the rope behind their leg during certain moves. I believe that the best way to prevent this problem is to give it a lot of attention when you first start leading. Specifically look down and watch how your feet interact with the rope. If you learn early on to keep your feet away from the rope, you are more likely to continue that behavior throughout your climbing career. If you do wrong at first, you are likely to continue doing wrong, and if you try to correct yourself, it will likely be harder to do because you will have to suppress an already ingrained behavior.

This reminds me of a partner I use to climb with. He would use a Trango Cinch to belay with. When he started using the device he learned that he could take his hands off the rope when his partner is resting on a bolt because the device is locked. Well this did not sit well with me, I learned to always keep my hand on the rope at all times. So I had to remind him over and over and over to keep his hand on the rope. I have reminded him hundreds of times, and although he has improved, I still see him switching to his old behavior of letting go of the rope at times. On the other hand, when my girlfriend bought a Cinch, I trained her to use it like an ATC, that is to never let go of the rope. Although she has less time on the clock belaying on a Cinch than my other partner, she is a superior belayer largely because she never lets go of the rope, because that's how she was trained from the beginning.

Do right early on and its easy to continue doing right.

(This post was edited by USnavy on Mar 7, 2012, 4:34 AM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by USnavy () on Mar 7, 2012, 4:18 AM
Post edited by USnavy () on Mar 7, 2012, 4:28 AM
Post edited by USnavy () on Mar 7, 2012, 4:32 AM
Post edited by USnavy () on Mar 7, 2012, 4:34 AM

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