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pinbasher


Mar 1, 2006, 6:28 PM
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falling
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I have a question concerning falling.I have been climbing for a few years but I am still finding my self backing off quite a few climbs mostly trad or alpine/ice I think about it and it rules my thought for days after I bail.By reading other posts I often read that I should take some leader falls to get comfortable with falling.Well I have done that but there is a big difference between falling on a bolt or welded pin as opposed to a cam or nut and as I do most of my climbing in the mountains getting hurt up there can be way more serious than down low.The question is does it ever get any easier mentally and how do I break past the fear of falling/failing in the mountains


jeremy11


Mar 1, 2006, 6:34 PM
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are you climbing well below your limit in the mountains?


alleyehave


Mar 1, 2006, 6:41 PM
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Solo an alpine route.


pinbasher


Mar 1, 2006, 6:42 PM
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yes I am climbing well below my limit and I do alot of my climbing rope solo


billhilly


Mar 1, 2006, 6:52 PM
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Rule # 1 of ice climbing is don't fall.


rockguide


Mar 1, 2006, 6:57 PM
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In reply to:
Rule # 1 of ice climbing is don't fall.
I seem to recall that is also rules #2 and #4, with #3 being don't #%^&$ing fall.


healyje


Mar 1, 2006, 6:59 PM
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You don't give us many details to work with - where are we talking about? What type of rock? What kind of Routes (what kind of trad)?


dirtineye


Mar 2, 2006, 10:18 AM
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I'm sure Arno will get to this, but...

THE alpine club trashed his book, claiming that the RWW took a cavalier attitude toward falling.

Nothing could be further from the truth.


Arno would never advise you to do anything stupid. THE whole idea behind Arno's falling theory is KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES and act accordingly.

Arno never said you should fall on alpine routes, or that you should be comfortable with the idea of falling on alpine routes. That would be too broad a statement.

In a nutshell, you must evaluate what would happen if you were to fall. if the evaluation is, "not much", you proceed one way. If the evaluation is, "I'll die or be seriously injured", you proceed another way.

It also sounds like you might not be sure about your pro, or your ability to react correctly in a fall.

We practice falling not because we intend to fall in a light hearted fashion without regard for the dangers of falling, rather, we practice so that if we should fall, we will have the best chance of survival.


kricir


Mar 2, 2006, 10:45 AM
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I have found myself in the same situation, climbing alpine routes, wanting to get better, but really afraid of falling. It is best to push your climbing ability and get some quality air time on safe routes in the lowlands. Push yourself on well protected trad and sport lines with clean fall zones. Have fun, get better, take whippers, then go to the mountains with your new found confidence and donít fall. Falls in the mountains do happen though, and as long as the pro is good, and the ground is steep, these will probably be safe too. You have a brain, use it to assess if a pitch is safe or not for your ability. Oh, and I forgot, DONíT EVEN THINk ABOUT FALLING ON ICE!!!!!

ps. I have been climbing for a few years, but it was only last summer I started falling. I took 3 consecutive 20 whippers onto 2 micro nuts once, and to my amazement, they held! (though I did have to replace one of them dew to a severe bend in the cable.)


arnoilgner


Mar 2, 2006, 3:22 PM
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Hi pinbasher

There are two ways to assess a risk.
One-- is for well protected sport and trad routes, and
two-- is for runout trad, soloing, ice, and mountains.

In the former you know you'll be falling and you feel you can respond effectively to such falls. You've practiced. So, you assess the risk this way: what is the fall consequence against my experience responding to such consequences.

In the latter, where a fall will cause injury or death, you don't want to be falling. You assess the risk this way: how much energy will it take to climb that section against the amount of energy you have left. In this case you don't want to push past the point of no return and take a fall. Usually experienced climbers are pretty good at doing this and sometimes they mess up. There is a fine line between staying on the rock and falling off.

You can learn where that fine line is for you by climbing in both arenas. By pushing yourself on well protected routes and taking falls you will understand more clearly where that line is so you don't push over it when in a no-fall situation.

So, just remember the two different ways of assessing risk. If you are on well protected trad and still resisting falling then you probably need some practice to get the experience that trad pieces really do hold. Make sure to practice in small increments though.

Perhaps this helps?
arno


pinbasher


Mar 2, 2006, 4:14 PM
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Thank you for all the good positive info.I am going up on Sun to try a climb I bailed on last week. Will post results


sspssp


Mar 2, 2006, 4:45 PM
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In reply to:
Well I have done that but there is a big difference between falling on a bolt or welded pin as opposed to a cam or nut and as I do most of my climbing in the mountains getting hurt up there can be way more serious than down low.The question is does it ever get any easier mentally and how do I break past the fear of falling/failing in the mountains

1. I would be much more comfortable falling on a cam or nut I placed than falling on a pin (no matter how good it looks) that someone else placed.

2. Fear keeps you alive.


healyje


Mar 3, 2006, 2:07 AM
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The ability to assess the risks associated with falling at any given point on a climb is an essential skill lead climbers have to develop. This is a basic component of an overarching "situational awareness" you should also be developing over time. Learning to judge runouts, the quality of placements, and the potential for injury is a critical part of building that awareness and seeds every go/no-go decision along the way. But this constant process of evaluation shouldn't be an obsessive and all consuming foreground task that leads to fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Rather it should be an integrated and continuous background process which also includes [movement, breath,] route finding, looking for moves, and constantly scoping out your developing protection strategy.

The prospect for falls within that context of awareness should not limit your performance on a route regardless of whether it is under, at, or above your limits, sport or trad; be willing to take reasonable falls. Learning to know what constitutes a "reasonable" fall takes time, yardage over rock, and a willingness to risk. In trad climbing it is also dependent and predicated upon your level of "craft" with gear and an understanding of the limits of the individual and collective protection afforded by your placements. Also, good protection is good protection whether in the form of a bolt, cam, or nut; ditto for marginal protection - not all bolts are new, burly, and shiny. I would tend to moderate the bolt/gear distinction to a degree and focus more on objectively evaluating the soundness of placements without regard for type.

And Arno is offering you some real solid advice relative to it being all about judging your ability to respond to the consequences of any risk you accept. Likewise it is worth repeating his suggestion you develop these skills and learn to push boundaries on well protected terrain before venturing on to sketchier venues. And, hey, understand it takes time to integrate all those various skills into a calm, autonomous background process - keep at it, get things honed down to second nature, and above all - breathe.


healyje


Mar 3, 2006, 6:21 AM
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The ability to assess the risks associated with falling at any given point on a climb is an essential skill lead climbers have to develop. This is a basic component of an overarching "situational awareness" you should also be developing over time. Learning to judge runouts, the quality of placements, and the potential for injury is a critical part of building that awareness and seeds every go/no-go decision along the way. But this constant process of evaluation shouldn't be an obsessive and all consuming foreground task that leads to fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Rather it should be an integrated and continuous background process which also includes [movement, breath,] route finding, looking for moves, and constantly scoping out your developing protection strategy.

The prospect for falls within that context of awareness should not limit your performance on a route regardless of whether it is under, at, or above your limits, sport or trad; be willing to take reasonable falls. Learning to know what constitutes a "reasonable" fall takes time, yardage over rock, and a willingness to risk. In trad climbing it is also dependent and predicated upon your level of "craft" with gear and an understanding of the limits of the individual and collective protection afforded by your placements. Also, good protection is good protection whether in the form of a bolt, cam, or nut; ditto for marginal protection - not all bolts are new, burly, and shiny. I would tend to moderate the bolt/gear distinction to a degree and focus more on objectively evaluating the soundness of placements without regard for type.

And Arno is offering you some real solid advice relative to it being all about judging your ability to respond to the consequences of any risk you accept. Likewise it is worth repeating his suggestion you develop these skills and learn to push boundaries on well protected terrain before venturing on to sketchier venues. And, hey, understand it takes time to integrate all those various skills into a calm, autonomous background process - keep at it, get things honed down to second nature, and above all - breathe.


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