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_fiend_


Mar 6, 2006, 2:49 AM
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Falling practise.
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Oh what fun, it's like bungee jumping except you don't have to be an xtreeeeeem no fear oakley dood to do it :roll: .

Seriously though, this is one very valuable thing I'm gaining from RWW. Something I'd often considered but reading RWW made me realise how important it could be - after all, my inhibitions are mostly related to not being able to risk a fall.

So a year ago I gave it a try, and subsequently got better at being in situations where I could fall, feeling the fall potential, and feeling comfortable with it.

A year on, and I've been doing the practise again, down the climbing wall for convenience. I'm getting pretty confident with going past a bolt, letting go, and dropping off. I had a particularly good jump-off recently where I had been faced with a final tricky move on a route, unable to clip the last bolt, I'd been scared to try to move so grabbed another hold instead - halfway through pulling up slack to clip, I thought "fuck it, I'll take a fall", let go and with the slack my belayer had out, fell 3/4 of the way down the wall....I didn't feel that much scared.

However in that example, there is revealed my next thing to work on: I can fall deliberately okay, BUT I still struggle to push myself on a move where I could fall - even when, like in the above example, the fall would be LESS than the deliberate fall. There is a gap to be bridged there - I'm comfortable falling deliberately, and comfortable pushing myself on moves, but I need to combine the two so I can risk the fall going for moves.

Anyone else have that issue?

How to other people view falling practise?

What have been your experiences?

And how the smegging hell do you stop the rope burning when you jump off? (the sheath on mine keeps going plasticy - it's had to go from a 50m to 36m in the last few months!).


arnoilgner


Mar 9, 2006, 9:21 AM
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Hi _fiend_

I've found it helpful to practice more frequently, like just about every time I go climbing. Falling isn't something natural for human beings so by practicing frequently we maintain some familiarity with it. Also, it is important to practice in small increments. Don't take that 30 footer before you are comfortable on shorter falls. Taking long falls first will either cause injury or scare you so you won't want to practice anymore.

Make sure you training your belayer how to catch a fall. He/she will need to "give in" to the pull and allow him/her to be pulled up to give you a cushioned fall.

That gap to bridge is common. This can help: Have your belayer tell you when to fall. Then you take the fall immediately from whatever position you are in. Make sure to keep the rope from getting behind your leg so you don't get flipped upside-down. Also, wear a helmet, even if it is in a gym.
arno


_fiend_


Mar 10, 2006, 5:47 AM
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Thanks Arno, some useful reminders there.

I think I should start "warming up" to falling each session. Because I've got to the stage where I can jump off, I've got a bit complacent about keeping up with the practise. Maybe one little fall and one longer one, and then just see how the session goes and hopefully any other falls will be trying moves (or not, if I make them ;)).

One issue though, and part of the reason I've stopped practising regularly, is the rope-frying I mentioned early. I know the more dynamic belaying will help with that, I will try to make my partners more aware in that way. Is there anything else I can do, apart from resigning myself to buying new ropes?!


microbarn


Mar 10, 2006, 5:54 AM
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Have your belayer tell you when to fall. Then you take the fall immediately from whatever position you are in.
This sounds like a very cool excersize! I am going to try to do this next time I go into the gym.


acacongua


Mar 10, 2006, 6:37 AM
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After watching a newbie leader flip and bonk his noggin, I strongly recommend that you find an experienced, attentive belayer to belay you as you get comfortable with leading. That way, he/she can instruct you as you're climbing or alert you to any mistakes you're making (e.g. rope behind the leg).


arnoilgner


Mar 11, 2006, 9:04 PM
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Fiend,
Your comment: "Is there anything else I can do, apart from resigning myself to buying new ropes?!"

Not that I know of.

Sometimes I get the comment that you shouldn't do falling practice because it ruins your rope. My reply to that is: Do you climb for the rope or do you buy ropes so you can climb. Yes, all of this stuff is hard on the equipment but that's what we buy equipment for: in order to climb and improve our climbing.
arno


sick_climba


Mar 11, 2006, 11:01 PM
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, BUT I still struggle to push myself on a move where I could fall -
Dude... yes there is a chance you will fall leading. And if you don't have as much control like its completely unexpected it could be potentially more dangerous. The advice I have for you is, don't think falling WILL happen to you and don't think you CAN'T simply hope it won't and don't worry about it. Chances are if you fall your going to see it coming and even knowing it a second before will change the way you fall. Example. One of my fav boulder routes has a long reach top out and the foot hold I have to get on to send it is.... ifie. Now I have always gotten it so I always thought hey this can't happen I can't fall.... WRONG! One day I took a fall because my foot slipped on that last hold and I ran my nose and finger tips down the rock. Needless to say I was done for the day. After that I was very weary and would always freak out on the last move because that fall really hurt! I could never top out, I would always get to pumped. Then I decided to just do it like normal. I had the mind frame I could fall but was gunna give it my all anyway . Ya know what happened... I fell, BUT I saw it coming when my foot slipped so I was able to push away from the rock and land safely. After that I haven't fallen on it since. Next time you lead on a climb you could fall on, find out where it is you think your gunna fall. Then with your mind draw a dotted line above the bolt before the spot, call it your decision line. Now you can come down at that point and wait for another day when you feel more ready. Or you could cross it. Throw all thoughts of falling out of your mind and think I'm past the decision point, I have to. BUT you CANNOT turn back after any decision point has been crossed you have to see the route through, fall or not or else it defeats the point. Works for me!


dirtineye


Mar 12, 2006, 6:56 AM
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Fiend, you said you have become complacent, because you can jump off with no problems.


Hmm, that's not good.


The suprise fall, especially a short one, is what's hard to deal with-- the ones you know are coming are easy in comparison.

Complacency is perhaps the greatest enemy a climber faces. This is how guys with 20 or 30 years experience wind up hurt or dead. It's how I took my one ground fall.

As for my view on falling practice, I'm all for it!! As soon as I am well again I will be doing a little falling every time I go climbing, because as Arno says, it aint natural!

Plus, you really need to develop the correct and quick reaction.

Here are a few tips just in case:

Harness must not be so low that you flip upside down. It's a SIT harness, not a hanging upside down harness. make sure that your harness allows you to hang sitting or slightly reclining, and that you don't invert.

When your hands come off first, GET YOUR FEET OFF IMMEDIATELY! leaving your feet on as you fall causes inversion. That's bad. You want to fall in the position arno describes and advocates--

head up, hands up to protect your head (not holding the rope) knees bent, body relaxed, eyes on your probable contact area, ready to meet the wall with feet first, absorbing impact with legs and then hands.

Guide your feet with your eyes. Hit with both feet simultaneously, and react as if you were a big shock absorber.

In your practice, ALWAYS BACK UP the gear you will be falling on. In your climbing, if you suspect a possible fall zone is coming, put in more gear. Your gear must not fail, and if it does, there should be more gear.

When you do take an unanticipated fall, you have less time to react, so train yourself not to wast time in a "Huh? what the--????" reaction, rather you want to spend the first split second getting into the right position.


That's the nutshell version.


_fiend_


Mar 13, 2006, 6:00 AM
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In reply to:
Fiend, you said you have become complacent, because you can jump off with no problems.


Hmm, that's not good.
Sorry, mis-understanding there - I meant complacent about keeping up with regular falling practise, NOT complacent about actually taking falls!!

Thanks for the tips though.


vector


Mar 20, 2006, 7:11 PM
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Great post fiend. I feel like I am at a similar point to the one you describe. Thanks for bringing it up.

Every climbing session I think I push a little further out of my realm of comfort--climbing on past bolts when pumped, trying moves when I feel like I am going to fall. But I still end up intentionally falling or hanging on a bolt when I get to a uncomfortable level of fatigue. The good news is the perceived level of fatigue is a little higher each time. Eventually I will hit my limit and fall off due to the fatigue, I suppose (or climb every climb I attempt without stopping or falling, but I doubt that). How have others out there reached this point? Was it a conscious effort or natural for you?

Arno, another great idea with the having the belayer call the fall. I will give that a try.


_fiend_


Mar 27, 2006, 3:52 AM
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I've been thinking about this a bit more, and I think the difficulty I have is as much to do with getting in a position where I might not be able to hold on and might not be able to clip as it is to do with falling doing a move.

A few times recently I've gone for a move where I might fall, sometimes I've done it, a couple of times I've fallen. So far so good.

However, equally I've had a couple of times where I've been reluctant to go for a move, not because I might fall but because of the situation I might get into. Being scared of not being able to clip is part of that.

Looking at the situation afterwards, I can see that even if I had got into that situation, the potential fall would not be any worse than those I voluntarily take. But at the time I'm still scared to push on - so there is still a gap to bridge there.

Witnessing my thoughts, I'm sure they would be something as simple as "I don't know if I can clip from up there! I might not be able to hang on!".

I think as well as more general falling practise, I will go back to RWW basics and start witnessing / delaying / breaking habits in those situations mentioned.


lindajft


Jun 3, 2006, 8:41 PM
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A rope is only suppose to be fallen on so many times. Doesn't this make for an expensive new venture, the falling that is?


el_guapo


Jun 3, 2006, 10:14 PM
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A rope is only suppose to be fallen on so many times. Doesn't this make for an expensive new venture, the falling that is?

Yes.....but anyway you slice it, education is expensive :wink:


microbarn


Jun 4, 2006, 6:36 AM
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It has been discussed many times in other threads. If you really want to hear all the sides, do a search or start a different thread to get the opinions from everyone.

To give the short summary:
    The ratings on ropes are for factor 2 falls. This is an extremely rare occurance in the real world. The manufacturer's recommendations are extremely conservative.

    Overall experience of climbers suggest that ropes are not the part of the climbing system that fails. The only ways ropes fail in the real world is to scrape an edge in a cutting fashion or chemical exposure.

    Check your rope on a daily basis for lumps and irregularities in the core. Check for glazing on the sheath. Cut out the bad parts or buy a new rope if the bad parts aren't close to an end.

    If in doubt, retire the rope.


There are several people that talk about using a rope for extremely long periods of time. I think I remember seeing someone posting about using a rope for more then 10 years of hard use.


tarsier


Jun 25, 2006, 8:43 PM
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Yeah but remember that it takes a while for the rope to regain its elasticity and without that stretch everything takes more shock. Totally agree about the big factors of safety, but there is no backup system so better get it right. Fall on.


dirtineye


Jun 26, 2006, 5:13 PM
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IT's worth saying that at least for trad, double ropes are superior for falling and impact force transmitted to the climber.

Finding the best position to clip or place gear from is one of the most interesting parts of climbing, I suggest you allow yourself to be fascinated by the puzzle or challenge you must solve or meet to get yoru pro in as efficiently as possible.

Unlocking the secret non-obvious moves is so cool, it gets addictive. THe concentration on staying on the rock and viable is very absorbing.


_fiend_


Jun 28, 2006, 2:05 PM
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Finding the best position to clip or place gear from is one of the most interesting parts of climbing, I suggest you allow yourself to be fascinated by the puzzle or challenge you must solve or meet to get yoru pro in as efficiently as possible.

Good call, I like what you've suggested. I enjoy the puzzle of getting the best pro in in non-stressful situations, the next thing is to regard that stress or discomfort as part of the overall puzzle - with the challenge being to maintain one's focus to, as you say, get it in as efficiently as possible. I noticed recently getting distracted by stress and not doing so well on a particular bit of a climb due to that - but only in retrospect. I'll try to keep that awareness with me more.


_fiend_


Jul 12, 2006, 11:11 AM
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Funny thing I've found recently - I feel a lot more confident with the prospect of falling with runners off the the side and large pendulum potential than I do with a straight downwards fall. I've been on a few routes with side-gear say 4m away, and felt more confident with that than with runners 2m below me - this is despite not practising pendulum falling!

Maybe it's that the fall won't be as abrupt? Maybe that the rope is well out of my way so I know I won't get tangled in anything? Maybe it doesn't look as scary because my perspective is actually equally close to the gear (position of eyes and all that)?

Maybe I need more vertical practise....have been neglecting that since I've been out of the indoor wall stuff recently...


dirtineye


Jul 12, 2006, 11:59 AM
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Pendulums may seem better, but there are a lot of ways a pendulum fall can go wrong.

THere is a big thread about this somewhere, try searching for it. I wrote a LOT of stuff about pendulums in that thread. IF you can't find it, I can paste the original stuff in here, I think it is somewhere in a text file on my PC.

But one thing to note well that I don't think is in the big thread is that gear undergoes pull from many directions in a pendulum, so you really need to be careful placing good solind multi directional gear on a pendulum, and also, remember that for the second, a pendulum fall is about as bad as for the leader, so, DON'T run out a traverse needlessly, cause you need to protect he second as well as yourself, among other things.


_fiend_


Jul 12, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Oh yeah, I know that, don't worry, I've *very* careful with protection for myself and any partners.


tradmanclimbs


Jul 12, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Falling practice is great but you absolutly must have the skills to asses the danger factor of a fall. If you are straight up spurt climbing bounce away but don't let the complacency of all that fall practice get you killed on a real climb. As i have stated in previous threads there are three Possible outcomes of every fall. just like the pass play in football two of those outcomes are bad. #1 gear holds, nice clean fall, soft catch. real confidence booster and you head right back up there and send. #2 gear holds but you hit somthing solid and get messed up or you pull your belayer into a rock or tree and the belayer gets slammed and hurt and drops you and you both get messed up. #3 gear rips and you get FUBARed. I didn't just make this $hit up i have seen it happen many times over the years. the vast majority of falls are much softer and easier than the avrege climber expects them to be but ocasionaly the hardened expert jumps off for a little rest and the feces hits the fan in ways that were not expected and can be life altering or ending. Just be damn sure that you know how to judge the danger and have the ability to switch mental gears from falling is ok to the leader Must Not fall.


_fiend_


Jul 12, 2006, 3:02 PM
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Good call, there definitely has to be an assumption that one knows exactly what one is doing with gear and stuff.

I've had to rescue someone who took a ground fall after their gear ripped on a well protected crack.

I've belayed someone who was knocked unconcious after their gear ripped on a well protected crack - I thought they were dead at the time and thought that I was rescuing their corpse until I found they were still breathing. I can't describe the emotions in words but it really fucked my shit up.

So I agree it is crucial to protect oneself as best one can. As RWW stresses, you need to assess the risk, and that assumes you have the skills to know the potential risks.


tradmanclimbs


Jul 12, 2006, 4:03 PM
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I am not talking just assesing the risk. it is the mindset that you take to the climb and also your trained muscle memory. can you switch from kick boxing rules to to boxing rules to grappleing rules without making a mistake?? I can but most can not! under stress in a split second would you accidently throw a kick or throw your oponent in a boxing match because that is how you normaly train? Will you push too hard and take a fall in a no fall situation because that is how you train? will you just let go for a rest because that is how you normaly train? how you train is likly how you will react. Karate tournament point fighters for example often accidently pull punches when thrown in the ring with kick boxers. The result when kick boxers try to spar with no contact (gym climbers) is also not allways perfect. If you train to fall all the time and you get so comfortable with falling on gear or bolts etc that you no longer think about it sooner or later you are going to fck up. I know this. I once got so comfortable with gear that I jumped off on a #3 micro wire to take a little rest :roll: More recently I jumped off on a bolt for a rest a few years ago and a cam lower in the system ripped. the resulting slack created by the straightening of the line of gear when the cam ripped allong with the natural slack in the system caused ground fall. Seriously you better be verey good at switching gears if you put a lot of time and mindset into climbing without respect for falling.


_fiend_


Jul 13, 2006, 1:20 AM
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I presume that's meant to be general, useful, information, rather than addressed at me in particular??

(If it was addressed just at me, you are talking to the wrong person)


tradmanclimbs


Jul 13, 2006, 4:41 AM
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Just gereal information. No need to get your pantys in a bunch :roll: people are gonna do what they want to do, train the way they want to train. just putting out my OP that while fall training is important training to climb to failuer without concern for falling has a set of risks. Note i say concern for falling as I don't recomend fear. fear is counter productive and robbs you of strength. You do need to have concern though. somewhere in your subconcious you need a failsafe don't fall mechanisim for the more serious climbs. aboloshing the fear or concern for falling will let you climb a harder grade but will it eventually come back and bite you in the a$$?

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