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_fiend_


Jul 12, 2006, 11:45 AM
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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??


ozoneclimber


Jul 12, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Re: Deep Water Soloing... [In reply to]
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For me DWS can be a little bit scarier, b/c I'm falling 10-20 meters, it doesn't matter that it's into deep water I'm still falling 10-20 meters. On the other hand I'm only hindered by that when I'm in a rough spot, pumped out and almost at the topout. through out the climb I feel... free. No rope, no gear, I don't worry about that rock face that I'm going to pendulum back into when I fall.

10-20 meters is a long way to fall and it will probably sting a little.

-Bobby


_fiend_


Jul 12, 2006, 3:17 PM
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You've got a good point there. When I was talking about a 6m trad fall I meant total fall...

So if I was facing a 6m total fall into water....or a 10m total trad fall....I would probably feel a lot different about the comparison.

10m into water is okay I think but it's still a bloody long way, fair enough!!


Partner j_ung


Aug 30, 2006, 1:42 PM
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Have you tried taking practice falls, _fiend_? I find the more airtime I log over water, the easier it gets to commit. I rarely hit 20m, though. I tend to stop and jump off around 15.


bobruef


Aug 30, 2006, 1:54 PM
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I had a similar experience my first time DWSing. I'd flung myself off lots of things, into the water, as a kid. I was suprised how aprehensive I was about falling unexpectedly into the water.

Fun stuff though.


_fiend_


Sep 6, 2006, 4:26 AM
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In reply to:
Have you tried taking practice falls, _fiend_? I find the more airtime I log over water, the easier it gets to commit. I rarely hit 20m, though. I tend to stop and jump off around 15.

Well since my original post I've had an interesting experience....

I've always been really inspired by jumping into water and similar such messing around - waterfalls, flume, whatever. But, I've also always been scared of the actual jumping. I was on holiday once, trying to do a 7m-ish jump into perfect clear calm water, and it took me 15 minutes psyching up! Just something I've learnt to accept.

Anyway, a month or two ago, I was on a rest day in Ceuse ( :) ), at the Gorges De Meuges swimming hole - great fun and the least restful rest day ever. There were various jumps around, probably 6-8m, maybe a bit more. I spent a while loafing around, and watching one of our group get nervous on a 6m jump, and eventually doing it. The 8m jump was next to it, and I thought "Fuck it, if I'm going to get scared, I might as well get scared going for the highest one". So I went up, looked down, waited for someone to do the lower to check out the landing zone, and just dropped off - it was fine, no faffing, just a bit of scoping and in I went. Did the same on a similar jump into a deep but narrow landing, and did both several times - each time without faffing.

This was quite a revelation to me as I felt quite different about it. AND, since then, I've been in places quite a way above water - 15-20m, and looked straight down into it, and thought "I could just let go and jump, as long as I'm quick enough". It has still felt different - something has changed, maybe just learning that I don't NEED to faff :wink: . So now I think I definitely could do a bit more practise, and feel more confident about DWS...


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