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Fear of Clipping
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gav


Feb 7, 2006, 9:31 PM
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If you fall with the rope in your mouth then open it on the way down. A guy at my (old) local crag lost quite a few teeth with the breath hold/jaw clench technique. Happy clipping... :wink:


Partner brent_e


Feb 7, 2006, 9:36 PM
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snip

The fall that gave me my name was a clipping fall and I went through a 6 inch tree branch on the way down, but i finished the climb.


6 inches??? :wtf:

jesus wept. that's fucking huge. :?

Brent


jt512


Feb 8, 2006, 9:46 AM
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Given a scenario where you need to take out a few feet of slack and you are not complete confident in your stance (and cannot find a better one), how might one work through this fear and make the clip?

~Henry

You need to visualize where you will land if you fall while clipping. Note that, in contrast to what many climbers believe, the length of the fall will be the same whether you clip at your waist or clip overhead (if you don't believe this, then please do not attempt to refute it until you have drawn a diagram and thouroughly thought it through. Doing so should convince you that I am correct). What does differ is how close to the ground your fall will end. No matter where you clip from, the length of your fall will be two times the distance between the bolts; however, if you clip from a lower stance, since your position at the beginning of your fall is lower, your position at the end of your fall will be lower. So, once you are well off the ground (and away from other obstacles), from a safety standpoint, it doesn't much matter where you clip from, and so the best place to clip from will be the place that affords the least strenuous clip. Sometimes this will be the higher stance, sometimes the lower.

Jay


reg


Feb 8, 2006, 10:21 AM
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here's one i did: slabby 10b, 8-10 ft between bolts, i'm at the last bolt about 50 some feet out on edges i could barley grip. i could not traverse close enough to the bolt to feel comfortable and i new i was coming off if i stretched (directly left/shoulder height) to clip the draw! it was a one time shot! so i pre-clipped the rope to the draw and opened the gate of the other biner and did the slo-mo stretch/clip :shock: then fall :oops: routine that i new was going to happen. so i fell - 4'arc - no big deal. :roll: better then the 20+ i was lookin at. 8^)


kydd76


Feb 8, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Will not tear your finger off....but just your skin. you don't want that.
:?





:D

Brent
I was going to add that so thank you.
I have seen this happen in the red river gorge.


krusher4


Feb 8, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Come on WTF???? Just stop climbing!


blueeyedclimber


Feb 8, 2006, 4:36 PM
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(if you don't believe this, then please do not attempt to refute it until you have drawn a diagram and thouroughly thought it through. Doing so should convince you that I am correct).
Jay

This is good stuff...Can I use this? How about in my signature? :lol:


westy55373


Feb 8, 2006, 5:59 PM
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Clipping falls are just the same as any. THis weekend I took a digger of about 20 ft. My last anchor was at my ankles, I lost it and it let go as well, my next anchor was about 8ft down from that, plus the stretch in the rope. I definately made peace with the climbing gods that day. You need to get over the fact that you might fall. Becuase you will eventually. I heard a good saying once, it went like this. "fear knocks at the door, faith answers, ,,,,,,noone is there. Have faith in what you are doing and whom you are with, or you might as well get off the rocks.


vector


Feb 8, 2006, 6:19 PM
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A few of you read closely enough to realize that I was speaking about a particular fall situation (slack out while clipping) and not just falling in general. Thanks.

I will take away the prevailing opinion (which is what forums are for, I suppose) that there is no additional danger to a clipping fall other than the additional length of the fall. The length of the fall is not a big issue for me as long as I am sure decking is not a possibility (it's not the fall, but the sudden stop at the end, as they say). I have even skipped bolts to practice longer falls (in the gym).

So, on to the practice of clipping falls....

Oh yes, thanks Jay for your insight on high clips and fall lengths. I had to do the math before I believed you, but I am better now.


Partner brent_e


Feb 8, 2006, 9:42 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Will not tear your finger off....but just your skin. you don't want that.
:?

:D

Brent
I was going to add that so thank you.
I have seen this happen in the red river gorge.


you're welcome
and gross.

Brent


verticon


Feb 9, 2006, 3:16 AM
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Most of the clipping stances are good enough to rest in.
So, rest first and clip after !
If you reach the stance pretty pumped, it's no use to make another difficult move in a raw.
Rest, clip, rest again if needed, chalk and go !

If you fall during the rest :lol: it will be like any other fall (which doesn't cause you trouble), but there are less chances to fall while clipping after the rest, because you're not feeling that pumped anymore.


landgolier


Feb 9, 2006, 8:41 AM
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Henry my man! Finally succumbed to the temptation here at RC.com I see. It's your old part-time partner from last season who moved out to the midwestern flatlands.

So the topic du jour is lead head and fear of blown clips. It's been my issue as well from time to time. Jay is right that you fall just as far no matter where you clip from, but the fear here isn't that, it's that you fall farther and harder when you yard up 5 feet of slack to clip from an already shaky stance than you do if you just hang out there untill you peel. The earlier poster had a good comment with regard to resting, clipping, going. I know we'd all rather rest with the rope pointing up rather than down, but making clipping part of getting moving again can really change your attitude about the whole thing.

Another thing to think about is that fear of falling is self-compounding. Wingers come in lots of flavors, from wheee...that was fun, to ouch...rope burn...tonight's shower is going to suck, to various blood and gore not worth talking about except when trying to convince people to wear helmets (ahem...Claire....ahem...). But at least on reasonably well-bolted sport, the fear of falling from a blown clip is pretty much always the same. I think there's a sense in which repeatedly getting up above that bolt and getting scared conditions us to get scared every time we get up above that bolt, even if only in certain circumstances we don't like (overhangs on blocky rock, in my case). I don't have a real good cure to propose, other than that maybe climbing at your limit a lot isn't always the best way to get better, at least mentally. However, nobody wants to spend the rest of their lives climbing Castaways and First Aid, so who knows what this volley of BS is supposed to mean in practical terms.

The only other thing I would add is a mantra you probably know, but bears repeating: clip from the best stance, not the first stance.

I hope you guys are out there hitting it, it's been a warm, dry winter. Don't let the weather whiners keep you inside, the same people will be grumbling about the heat before too long. I don't quite know when I'll be back that way, but I'll get in touch before I do. I might try for the red in late march if you guys are up for a mega-roadtrip; if they'd booked GS a week earlier I would have been there for sure.


seric


Feb 9, 2006, 9:30 AM
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Henry,

My 2 cts. You can decompose your fear in three elements:
- no confidence in the belayer (being dropped)
- no confidence in the hardware (breaking the spit)
- airborne feel: your guts pound againsts your heart, you are going to die.

Lets assume 1 and 2 are dealt with. The answers you got so far consisted in : fall once and then increase your falls, and you'll get eventually used to falling etc. Doesn't work. Because you are not ready to take the fall in the first place.

What I would recommend is the "parachute technique": the first time you do a parachute jump, you've spent money, time and effort to get in that plane, and even though you freak out at the idea of jumping, you do it, becasue of the pressure you've put on yourself, but also becaus eyou do not fully realize yet how wicked it is to jump from 3 miles high with a wrapped piece of cloth in a backpack. By the time you do your second jump, you fully realize jumping is insane, but are used to it and know the risks.

I do the same when I climb: I try to take the first climb of the day, when my eyelids are still closed and my brain does not wake up at the evocation of a fall. I also commit before starting the climb: it is a contract with yourself, and I usually stick to it. Look at the climb, tell yourself you'll do your best at finishing it whatever the consequenses.

Usually the result is that I climb better leading than top roping: I am more focused, more efficient, and yes...I fall.


ninja_climber


Feb 9, 2006, 9:57 AM
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I'm actually scared until I clip... I feel safe clipped...not clipping makes me feel like I'm soloing...with a rope...and that scares me...a lot.


vector


Feb 9, 2006, 10:08 AM
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*Insert futile post attempting to explain that I am not afraid of falling in general here*


jcr


Feb 9, 2006, 10:29 AM
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I think everybody now and then gets a little scared while clipping, specially if they have had a close call.... all I can tell you is this... you will NEVER loose your fear, you can just CONTROL it... how do you do this: by doing everything the way it should be done and never risking your life on something you do not know how to do or feel secure doing. If you are clipping and the fear starts to flow, take deep breaths and remember that you have done everything right, that if you fall nothing will happen because you are safely in control of your protections below.

Obviously... something you should do is to be comfortable on your stance and grip (hands and feet) while clipping..... as the saying says: "When in doubt, run it out" this means that when you are unable to clip becauseyou are uncomfortable and you are better off if you keep going (and you know that if you keep going to the next bolt you will not deck), you should keep going to the next clip, and not risk the fall if you know that the next clip is comfortable.

My 2 cents.

JC


Partner csgambill


Feb 9, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Maybe you should just quit cimbing.

-Just a suggestion I doubt has been mentioned. It would solve your fear of clipping.


seric


Feb 9, 2006, 10:48 AM
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Maybe you should just quit cimbing.

-Just a suggestion I doubt has been mentioned. It would solve your fear of clipping.

You are right csgambill quitting "cimbing" has not been mentionned yet. But quitting climbing has. Thanks for your educated contribution to the forum.


lou_dale


Feb 22, 2006, 10:11 AM
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we all have fears - i think that is a connection that brings us to this
forum as well as taking us to arno's courses. but i would say that
what has helped me the most (and my husband/partner) - practice falling.

yup - works - we generally go and get on something we know to be very safe, bolted very well - and if you have concerns from that standpoint, then get on a top rope and allow some slack out and take some falls.

in arno's books, todd skinner and his partner took some really long falls while doing a route to get it out of the way.

i have taken classes from arno - and i freely admit to having a very good boo hoo while taking the falls but it taught me valuable lessons - that after you do this - it does get that somewhat out of the way.

stances for clipping - ok, i have watched people take so much slack out that when they are getting ready to clip, if they WERE going to fall, it would not be pretty. given the fact that i'm short (and as i age, i seem to get shorter - hmmm) - i do try to be at a comfortable position. it may not always be at my waist - but if i can place it from my waist to my face, i find that to be good without having too much rope out. another thing i have managed to do is get my strength to a point where i bring the rope up for clipping with my hand instead of putting it in my mouth then clipping. not easy in the early stages, but you do get proficient if you practice.

another thing is how we clip - originally i was fumbly fingers for sure. now, i place a finger on the bottom biner and hold it while i slide the rope inside and clip. somehow, this helps me to focus on exactly what i am doing at that moment without thinking about what might happen. that would be a whole lotta wasted energy in my mind - if i'm worrying about what might happen - i'm taking my mind away from what i AM doing at that moment.

practice falls helped me a lot - they also helped my husband. start with inches and work up to a few feet until you are on a sport route (or trad) and then take some safe falls that way. it just seems to help get the jitters out of the way - a lot of people do that and swear by it.

i don't know of anybody who really enjoys falling - but look at what could happen if you were to fall - deck? hit a ledge? remove any and all possible obstacles out of the way. there are some routes i refuse to get on because i can't see how to do them that if i were to fall, i could get hurt.

that isn't what climbing is for me - it's about having fun and learning about myself, my partner, and enjoying the process. if i get to the anchors - fine. if i don't - fine.

but my bones is gettin' older and i don't have a reason to break any - made it all these years without breaking one - plan on keeping it that way.

so i pick and choose the routes according to the safety factor - then practice some falls. and if you belong to a gym, and get on a top rope - take some falls that way if the owner is ok with it. and if you belong to a gym and lead - again, ask if it's ok to take some practice falls.

sometimes we are afraid or fearful and we have had no experience within that realm - if you have never actually fallen while trying to clip, you haven't experienced it yet. i got on a route at foster's and was just hell bent on doing it. however, it was very reachy and i took eight, yes, EIGHT, falls trying to make the clip. at first i screamed like a cat with its tail caught - that eventually faded into just a oomph noise.

it gets that out of the way for you - climbing is about having fun - so be safe, and by all means - have fun.

lou


markc


Feb 22, 2006, 10:43 AM
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With routes that aren't overhanging, the most dangerous time to fall may very well be when you're just shy of a bolt. Depending on the route, blowing the second clip can put you awfully close to the deck. Practice falls have become something of a panacea in climbing, and the cure can sometimes get you hurt. As Jay said, clear evaluation of the consequences of a fall are essential. You'll learn when you're in the clear and when you're right to be concerned.

People have touched on some good suggestions:

Always clip from the best spot.

If you're pumped, rest and shake out before clipping. If the fall is inevitable in this instance, you won't have extra slack in the system. The rest can give your body a moment to recover and your head a moment to get focused.

If clips are taking a while (which will obviously contribute to your nerves in the moment), practice clipping. Practice while you're fatigued.


Partner jammer


Feb 22, 2006, 11:06 AM
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You have a lot of advice to sift through here ... good luck! All I wanted to add is an 'ol saying ...

If You're Not Flying, You're Not Trying

If you want to stay within your comfort zone, don't worry about it cause you won't be falling. If you decide to get better, this saying put a "stamp of approval" on falling for me.


aikibujin


Feb 22, 2006, 12:14 PM
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*Insert futile post attempting to explain that I am not afraid of falling in general here*

Henry,

If you are not afraid of falling in general, then you'll have to ask yourself why do you fear falling while clipping? Once you understand why you fear a clipping fall, it may help you work through this fear.

You already understand that falling while clipping is the same as falling with the bolt at waist level, with two exceptions:
1. you will end up closer to the ground.
2. the fall will be longer if you pulled up unnecessary amount of slack.

If the fall is clean (no ledges, protrusions, ground to hit), and you are careful not to pull up more slack than you need, then logically, you shouldn't fear a clipping fall if you do not fear falling in general.

Practice falling with slack in your hand may help you overcome this fear, if only to prove to yourself that falling while clipping is no different than falling in general.

The majority of the bolts I have clipped can generally be clipped overhead from a good clipping stance. The reason you can't find good clipping stance could be your fear is giving you tunnel vision. It helps to stop at a good stance (possibly the clipping stance for the previous bolt), look around the next bolt while you rest, and try to figure out the best clipping stance.

Of course, some bolts just have really weird clipping stances, and you'll just have to fight it. Sometimes you can use different strategies. If a bolt is just out of reach from a good stance, you can climb up a bit and clip the quickdraw in the bolt, then go back down to the good stance and clip the draw. You can also use a long sling instead of a short dogbone on a sketchy clipping stance, that will reduce the amount of slack you have to pull up. Sometimes, it's easier to clip a long sling into the rope first, then clip the other end of the sling in the bolt. I've used all these methods, it depends on the situation. Sometimes you can tell from the ground which bolt will be hard to clip. For example the first time I tried Super Amazing Sea Monkey at Franklin, I could tell that the roof bolt would be strenuous to clip, so I took one of my tripled trad draws with me. After I clipped the second bolt and while I was still in a pretty good position, I extended the sling, clipped the rope, the quickly climbed up to the 3rd bolt and clipped it. It saved me a lot of energy compare to clip the bolt the usual way while hanging on to the undercling under the roof.


roseraie


Feb 22, 2006, 12:37 PM
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Clipping falls are just the same as any. THis weekend I took a digger of about 20 ft. My last anchor was at my ankles, I lost it and it let go as well, my next anchor was about 8ft down from that, plus the stretch in the rope. I definately made peace with the climbing gods that day. You need to get over the fact that you might fall. Becuase you will eventually. I heard a good saying once, it went like this. "fear knocks at the door, faith answers, ,,,,,,noone is there. Have faith in what you are doing and whom you are with, or you might as well get off the rocks.

Huh? You lost your anchor? "Man, I thought I put three equalized pieces of gear here, but they're just not here anymore..."

So yeah... HUH??


spacemonkey07


May 4, 2006, 8:10 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
In reply to:
Grab the bolt and then clip it if you are feeling freaky.

:!: Do you mean quickdraw?

grabbing a bolt is bad times!! leads to "degloving". use your imagination there.

or don't.....it's will tear your finger off....but just your skin. you don't want that.
:?




grabbing a draw, as daithi states, is fine.
:D

Brent

At least don't put your finger through the hole. IMHO you could always pinch the bolt, if you REALLY think you need to.


giver


May 4, 2006, 8:25 PM
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I'm not sure if someone has mentioned this yet, but using twin/double/half ropes(i'm not sure of the differences there but using two ropes is what i'm getting at) can help is those situations because you can have one rope locked of and clip with the other. If it matters that much to you, you could look at learning to climb with two ropes? or man up? clip faster?
give'r

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