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Jul 12, 2006, 11:46 AM
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Registered: Nov 3, 2005
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Deep Water Soloing...
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This might be an interesting one, and perhaps something unusual for the Americans as I don't think this particular branch of climbing is so big over there??

After climbing well continually on trad for the last 3-4 months, on both hard and safe routes and bold and runout routes, I went deep water soloing this weekend, initially with a fair amount of confidence that I could use my trad confidence but climb even better since I wasn't faffing around with ropes and stuff - I've done a bit of DWS as a lower standard in the past and found it felt okay.

I was terrified :shock:

I was climbing stuff that's closish to the standard of trad climbing I've been doing (i.e. closish to my limit). Instead of feeling smooth and relaxed that I didn't have to stop and place gear, and relishing in the committment and moving continually, I felt quite out of my depth (hoho). I felt that everything was too committing, that I had no escape or possibility of respite, that the only possible sanctuary was at the top, and I felt more scared of the prospect of falling 10m into deep water than 6m onto a piece of gear.

I think the difference is that in trad, there is a system in place to protect you, and that gives you something to aim for (gear), something to escape onto (resting or jumping if needs be), and often as you progress the prospect of more gear makes you feel safer. But with DWS there is none of that....

I also think my trad confidence - my FAITH in the system described above, both what might lie ahead, and what might stop me in a fall - made DWS feel harder. Because with that system gone, I was lost.

The solution however is perhaps less interesting....I need to practise falling into water as I practised falling onto a rope. I need to learn that this particular safety system, as esoteric as it is, also works.

Anyone else on here had any experiences where RWW has met DWS??


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