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Fear of Clipping
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vector


Feb 7, 2006, 3:38 PM
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Fear of Clipping
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Hello,

This topic is mentioned here and there in various threads, but I am hoping to get some focused discussion.

There are many different fall scenarios which evoke different levels for fear me--bad fall potential, long falls, pendulum falls. I am stuck, mentally, on the concept of clipping falls, that is, falls when you are at a stance, have slack out to clip, and fall. I have never taken a fall while clipping and I am, so far, unwilling to risk it. The habit I am forming is climbing to the sketchy stance (sketchy primarily due to me being pumped), become afraid to try clipping and take the fall instead.

A couple of things that can help with this that I do know:
- Climb until the bolt is at your waist, you do not have to take slack out so your fall won't be any further if you do blow the clip. Realistically, I find that there are no shortage of routes where the only viable clipping stance is the bolt at head level and waist level bolting is not a great idea.
- Most of the time, I end up finding a better body position to clip from. Adopting a questioning mind-set is really good to find these better stances (i.e. "What other stances are available?").

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


krusher4


Feb 7, 2006, 3:40 PM
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Where are you climbing? How far are the falls you would take?


angusmacginny


Feb 7, 2006, 3:46 PM
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If your really scared of clipping then dont clip. Just keep going. Eventually you will learn that clipping is ok.


Partner brent_e


Feb 7, 2006, 3:51 PM
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Hey Henry,
to be honest, if the fall is clean, and your belayer is solid, and your leg isn't behind the rope, and you won't hit the ground, don't worry about it. You're just going to take a longer fall.... it's no big deal and all in your head.

If all of these things are true, stop whining, start falling. Yes, it might hurt your rope and wear it out faster, but it is likely that you won't get hurt.

assess the risk of the above, and if you are safe, go for it. If you don't make the clip enjoy the ride!!! if something is not right, back off, correct, fall safely or try again.



Man up!!! :D

Brent


Partner brent_e


Feb 7, 2006, 3:52 PM
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Hey Henry,
to be honest, if the fall is clean, and your belayer is solid, and your leg isn't behind the rope, and you won't hit the ground, don't worry about it. You're just going to take a longer fall.... it's no big deal and all in your head.

If all of these things are true, stop whining, start falling. Yes, it might hurt your rope and wear it out faster, but it is likely that you won't get hurt.

assess the risk of the above, and if you are safe, go for it. If you don't make the clip enjoy the ride!!!

man up! :D


Brent


angusmacginny


Feb 7, 2006, 3:56 PM
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Yes, it might hurt your rope and wear it out faster, but it is likely that you won't get hurt.

Brent

Actually it will not hurt your rope either. Ropes Dont break!


waterman


Feb 7, 2006, 4:02 PM
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99% of climbing comes from the top 8", you just have to realize that if your already in the shit being scared's not going to help anything, it fact it's going to be your biggest obsticle to over come. ITs one thing to have a healthy fear of what your doing but if you can't get over the freekout, you need to back off and work your way up... or just stop being such a girl.


Partner brent_e


Feb 7, 2006, 4:04 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:

Yes, it might hurt your rope and wear it out faster, but it is likely that you won't get hurt.

Brent

Actually it will not hurt your rope either. Ropes Dont break!

no, they do not! :D

but lobbing continuously will, over time, reduce the ropes ability to absorb impact. Letting it rest after big falls will help, of course.

cheers :D



bumbling fool


climbingaggie03


Feb 7, 2006, 4:19 PM
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I have the same problem, I get really sketched when I'm clipping on sport routes, but not trad for some reason. Anyways, my advice is to try and realize that you aren't going to fall, and you can clip.

A few things that may help are trying to remind yourself that the person who bolted the route picked the best clipping stances they could, so make sure you are using the holds they intended for you to use. And as long as your belayer doesn't yank on the rope while you are holding on to it, you're not going to get suddenly pulled out of your stance, so find a secure stance, and clip it. As a last resort, I have grabbed the draw and then clipped it, I don't recomend this, cause there is a chance of getting your hand caught in the biner if you were to fall while holding the draw, but it has helped me through a few sketch fests.


vector


Feb 7, 2006, 4:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies (esp. the ones calling me a girl :) )

Here are a couple of follow up questions:

- Are there any additional issues/dangers to falling while clipping (besides the longer distance). Can the rope get caught around your arm, for example?
- Does anyone practice clipping falls? Good/bad idea?

~Henry


estwing


Feb 7, 2006, 4:35 PM
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It seems that you are okay with some falls, because you choose to fall instead of clipping. To me the next step would be to get on a route that is steep and clean, climb a ways up and start pulling up some slack and jumping. That is what would happen if you blew the clip. Eventually you get used to falling and develop a sense of what situations are safe to fall in.

Get used to blowing clips, it is part of pushing your limits, it will happen and usually it will be totally fine.

Good luck, don't let your mind stop your body,


Partner brent_e


Feb 7, 2006, 4:43 PM
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In reply to:
Thanks for the replies (esp. the ones calling me a girl :) )


lol
sorry, Henry. couldn't help it!

It would be very difficult, IMO, to get the rope caught behind your arm. You would have to employ some odd clipping habits to do this.

to climbingaggie03,
I agree that clipping gear is easier but only because the clip is almost always at my waist. Gear + 2' runner makes this happen!!!

Best

Brent


kricir


Feb 7, 2006, 4:51 PM
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pratice clipping on the ground allot so when you are on the climb you can just do it quickly, before you get scared.


josephgdawson


Feb 7, 2006, 4:58 PM
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Grab the bolt and then clip it if you are feeling freaky.


nola_angie


Feb 7, 2006, 4:59 PM
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maybe you should start climbing like a girl- we have a lower center of gravity, and it's easier to balance! :lol:

Practice clipping. Hell, drill holes in your car, but in some bolts and practice at red lights. I don't understand exactly what you are afraid of, but it seems like you are running some amazing situations in your head, ones that wind up with you broken and bleeding from screwing up while clipping. STOP IT. Most of the time, even in sketchy positions, you'll be fine. Rarely, the shit will hit the fan, and you'll get hurt. Face it, accept it. Then go climb. Or, if you can't get past it, go play shuffle borard, croquet or some other thing that you can't get hurt doing. :wink:

have some faith in your ability. If you have no ability, practice until you do.


alpinismo_flujo


Feb 7, 2006, 5:06 PM
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Just close your eyes and if you fall....scream like a girl.

-sorry couldn't resist!

If you're not up to taking a few practice falls with slack to get over your fear, then just climb and it'll happen eventually (you falling and the fear going away).


schnoz


Feb 7, 2006, 5:17 PM
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Hi Henry,

Are there climbs in the gym that cause you to feel like this too? Regardless, identify a climb that gives you this fear. Look at it logically from the ground. Identify if the fall while clipping is going to be safe or not if you blow it.

Now, get on that sucker and climb to the bolt before you feel this fear and clip it. Climb as close to the bolt that you fear blowing while clipping and take a deliberate fall.

Work your way up to the bolt closer and closer taking progressively longer and longer falls. Eventually you'll work your way to the bolt. Pull out some slack like you're going to clip and fall. Deliberately. You've worked your way up to it, right? The falls were okay? Safe?

Or, put it into perspective like this. What would happen if the bolt was a few feet higher and you fell just as you were coming up on it. Would you still feel fear of falling? Falling while clipping a bolt a bit above you is no different than falling from a few feet higher.

It took me a long time to conquer my fear of falling on sport lead. I can definately sympathize. The best advice I can give to you is keep plugging away at it. Face your fear and approach it logically and rationally. Eventually you'll conquer it.


highlife87


Feb 7, 2006, 5:46 PM
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Hey Henry,

When I started sport climbing, I was just as freaked out as you are. After starting to practice meditation, I could completly block the fear from falling, as well as the pump in my arms out of my mind. Since I started meditating a couple times a week, and while I'm climbing, I can focus on my technique instead of not freaking out by the fear of falling or the fear of my grip giving out.

Meditating has plenty of other benefits and has been well worth the time for me, and will help you out if you are willing to give it a shot. If you don't like the idea, which most people don't for some reason because at first it just feels like you're wasting your time, then just find a good spot to take a big ol whipper, and do it several times until it's not a big deal. By having your belayer give you a soft catch, your rope won't take much a toll.

pm me if you want some more advice on meditating. Good luck and climb hard bro

~braden


wonderwoman


Feb 7, 2006, 6:22 PM
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or just stop being such a girl.

Watch it pal... I'm sure there are many of us gals that can climb more gracefully than you. And maybe even worry less about falling!

To the OP: I would say remember to breathe. I used to feel myself tense up when I came to a clip. The clips would always seem to be an akward stance or reachy. Then I realized that I was not breathing! Since then, things seem a lot easier and climbing is more about fun and less about anxiety.

I once slipped at the second bolt after taking all the slack out to clip. Came eye to eye with my belayer! It really spooked me, but I didn't hit the ground!

If you do fall while attempting to clip, and the fall is clean and you high enough not to hit the deck, you just go for a ride. Just be aware of your breath and the reality of the fall. And think less about the fall and more about the climb! :D


highlife87


Feb 7, 2006, 6:41 PM
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"stop being such a girl" haha i knew that was comin
~B


inthewoods78


Feb 7, 2006, 6:42 PM
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I just went thru the same thing you are going thru and what helped me is speeding up my clipping. I realized that I could clip in like 5 sec or less and then realized that I could stop on most any stance for 5 sec. Just remember to be as efficient with your clips. Also I take a deep breath after every move cause when you hold your breath you also tense up and cant clip as efficently


chrisparedes


Feb 7, 2006, 7:54 PM
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Read "The Rock Warrior's Way: Mental Training for Climbers" by Arno Ilgner. It will teach you how to focus when on challenging climbs and addresses the exact issues of fear you are talking about. Read it.


daithi


Feb 7, 2006, 8:12 PM
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Grab the bolt and then clip it if you are feeling freaky.

:!: Do you mean quickdraw?


Partner brent_e


Feb 7, 2006, 8:22 PM
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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


20ftwhipper


Feb 7, 2006, 9:22 PM
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its kind of part of the hoot of leading or trad climbing, the risk, the decision of whether you can make the next clip or placement, or its time to pass the torch.
Just concentrate on your hand and foot placements, get solid holds, clip that draw in there and then take a pause, and clip the rope in. that and practice your clipping in technique from different angles. 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. Falling is part of the game sometimes.
Another idea, if your pumped and just need to rest at the next bolt but dont want to take slack, fix a sling with a autolocker on the far side to your climbing loops on the harness, when you get close to the next clip, put in a draw and then just clip your sling and autolocker to the draw, you will chill safely on the sling and can rest before unclipping the autolocker and popping your rope in there. This also works if your getting pumped and just want to take a rest but dont want to rest on your balayer.
I also suggest chucking yourself off highdives at your local pool or pond, get that fear of falling outta ya. javascript:emoticon(':lol:')

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