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dreday3000


Aug 16, 2007, 8:53 AM
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I decked
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So I decked in the gym yesterday.

I was 5 clips up a route (probably about 30 feet). I was going for a 6 foot dyno out of a horizontal roof onto a headwall. My last clip was dead center between the two holds. As far as the clips were concerned, there was no way I should have fallen. My belayer misjudged the amount of slack to give me and I decked.

Time didn't stand still or any thing like that but I had time to realize I was falling faster than I should have, that something in the system wasn't working. A scary feeling.

So I hit the ground and - I shit you not - literally bounced two feet in the air. I was lucky, I came down totally horizontal so impact of the fall was distributed across my entire body and not any one point. If I hand landed on my ankles, or put an arm behind me to stop the fall, it would have been ugly.

I don't think the belayer caught me at all, (maybe maybe 1/5 of the force of the fall), when I looked up at him the rope wasn't even taunt.

I immediately look up and the entire gym is dead quite. All eyes are on me. I scream something to the effect of "I'm okay" and wish they would stop staring at me. They don't. The next 5 minutes are very awkward.

Bottom line is I was ok, a little shaken up, but ok. But here's the thing. I have always expected "the system' to work. My style has always been aggressive- i push hard and am willing to take falls - but that has been predicated on the belief that the system is gonna work. If I'm on dodgey gear or in a precocious position I reel it in a bit but now that I've seen the system fail in the safest of circumstances, I gotta think twice. If I was outside and fell into a talus field, I'd be pretty busted.

So basically now I have some headgames to deal with. I've seen good climbers take nasty falls and have it stuck with them. I don't want that to be an issue for me. I'm foolhardy to a fault so I think I'll get through it, but its a strange position to be in. I made a point of climbing the rest of the night and doing a few dynos. Trying to get back in the saddle and all. I was tense but all things considered, I did ok I guess.

A little background. I have been climbing for about 7 years and am a damn good belayer/leader. My belayer has been climbing for 10 years and is also - normally - a good belayer. He knew I was going for a dyno so I had his full attention. He just misjudged the slack.

So for whatever that's worth.


reg


Aug 16, 2007, 9:04 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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dreday3000 wrote:
So I decked in the gym yesterday.

I was 5 clips up a route (probably about 30 feet). I was going for a 6 foot dyno out of a horizontal roof onto a headwall. My last clip was dead center between the two holds. .... My belayer misjudged the amount of slack to give me and I decked.

So I hit the ground..... I don't think the belayer caught me at all, when I looked up at him the rope wasn't even taunt ...He just misjudged the slack.

.

so u were 30' up - dyno was 6' - slack needed - way
<10' so ur belayer fed ~25 feet of slack? hummmm.....somum ain't right. he must have dropped u.
edit: ur arching fall back to the wall would have greatly lessened the rope stretch so ur fall may have been maybe half your height - right?


(This post was edited by reg on Aug 16, 2007, 9:08 AM)


dreday3000


Aug 16, 2007, 9:06 AM
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Re: [reg] I decked [In reply to]
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he was using a gri gri


jgloporto


Aug 16, 2007, 9:07 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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dreday3000 wrote:
So I decked in the gym yesterday.

I was 5 clips up a route (probably about 30 feet). I was going for a 6 foot dyno out of a horizontal roof onto a headwall. My last clip was dead center between the two holds. As far as the clips were concerned, there was no way I should have fallen. My belayer misjudged the amount of slack to give me and I decked.

Time didn't stand still or any thing like that but I had time to realize I was falling faster than I should have, that something in the system wasn't working. A scary feeling.

So I hit the ground and - I shit you not - literally bounced two feet in the air. I was lucky, I came down totally horizontal so impact of the fall was distributed across my entire body and not any one point. If I hand landed on my ankles, or put an arm behind me to stop the fall, it would have been ugly.

I don't think the belayer caught me at all, (maybe maybe 1/5 of the force of the fall), when I looked up at him the rope wasn't even taunt.

I immediately look up and the entire gym is dead quite. All eyes are on me. I scream something to the effect of "I'm okay" and wish they would stop staring at me. They don't. The next 5 minutes are very awkward.

Bottom line is I was ok, a little shaken up, but ok. But here's the thing. I have always expected "the system' to work. My style has always been aggressive- i push hard and am willing to take falls - but that has been predicated on the belief that the system is gonna work. If I'm on dodgey gear or in a precocious position I reel it in a bit but now that I've seen the system fail in the safest of circumstances, I gotta think twice. If I was outside and fell into a talus field, I'd be pretty busted.

So basically now I have some headgames to deal with. I've seen good climbers take nasty falls and have it stuck with them. I don't want that to be an issue for me. I'm foolhardy to a fault so I think I'll get through it, but its a strange position to be in. I made a point of climbing the rest of the night and doing a few dynos. Trying to get back in the saddle and all. I was tense but all things considered, I did ok I guess.

A little background. I have been climbing for about 7 years and am a damn good belayer/leader. My belayer has been climbing for 10 years and is also - normally - a good belayer. He knew I was going for a dyno so I had his full attention. He just misjudged the slack.

So for whatever that's worth.

I had basically the same experience. It sucks. I got a nasty rope burn on the way down.

Three beers and a vicodin later and I was all fixed. Just be happy it was in a nice cushy gym with (hopefully) a nice padded floor.


wanderlustmd


Aug 16, 2007, 9:09 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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Not completely sure from your post, but how far were you above the last clip? It sounds like you had a clip at your waist or something (the two holds yo mention are the ones you dynoed from, correct? This was a bit unclear). If this the case, your belay was out to lunch...

If you were level with your last clip, your belayer would have had to have paid out 30' of slack for you to deck if you were 30' up!

If you were six feet above your last clip, thats 12 feet plus stretch plus slack for the dyno...you could see how it might happen. But if I'm interpreting you correctly, you were dynoing from two holds with your last bolt at shoulder level or something, which would necessitate a ton of ton of slack to make decking from 30' a possibility.


Something is wrong here....

Not that it matters, but what gym were you at? ET? Just curious....


caughtinside


Aug 16, 2007, 9:09 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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dreday3000 wrote:
I was going for a 6 foot dyno out of a horizontal roof onto a headwall.

i don't even know what this means but it sounds totally rad!

Too bad you decked!


wanderlustmd


Aug 16, 2007, 9:11 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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dreday3000 wrote:
he was using a gri gri

WTF happened to his brake hand?


reg


Aug 16, 2007, 9:13 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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dreday3000 wrote:
he was using a gri gri

so? ur point is? maybe u & he only thought he was using it (correctly, i mean). either that or he fed u 30' of slack for a 6" dyno


nepaclimber


Aug 16, 2007, 9:15 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] I decked [In reply to]
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wanderlustmd wrote:
Not completely sure from your post, but how far were you above the last clip? It sounds like you had a clip at your waist or something (the two holds yo mention are the ones you dynoed from, correct? This was a bit unclear). If this the case, your belay was out to lunch...

If you were level with your last clip, your belayer would have had to have paid out 30' of slack for you to deck if you were 30' up!

Something is wrong here....

the thing that gets me is that you said when you hit the ground the rope wasnt even tight which says your belayer was put out at least 35 feet of slack for you to deck and have the rope be loose. sounds like you need a new partner because he is preoccupied while he belays you


wonderwoman


Aug 16, 2007, 9:21 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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How horrible! Glad you're okay, but you're either very brave or very foolish to continue climbing all night with that same belayer.


wanderlustmd


Aug 16, 2007, 9:24 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] I decked [In reply to]
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wanderlustmd wrote:
Not completely sure from your post, but how far were you above the last clip? It sounds like you had a clip at your waist or something (the two holds yo mention are the ones you dynoed from, correct? This was a bit unclear). If this the case, your belay was out to lunch...

If you were level with your last clip, your belayer would have had to have paid out 30' of slack for you to deck if you were 30' up!

If you were six feet above your last clip, thats 12 feet plus stretch plus slack for the dyno...you could see how it might happen. But if I'm interpreting you correctly, you were dynoing from two holds with your last bolt at shoulder level or something, which would necessitate a ton of ton of slack to make decking from 30' a possibility.


Something is wrong here....

Not that it matters, but what gym were you at? ET? Just curious....

To correct myself, I was thinking 12 feet above the bolt = 24' plus stretch + slack. Then you could have a problem. 6' above the bolt = no way. Apologies for the confusion.

Accidents can really happen to anyone...but this one sounds like it shouldn't have...


deschamps1000


Aug 16, 2007, 9:27 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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dreday3000 wrote:
he was using a gri gri

You can still get dropped with a gri gri. It happened in our climbing community recently.


dreday3000


Aug 16, 2007, 9:28 AM
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Re: [nepaclimber] I decked [In reply to]
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Things are confusing because the 1st hold was on a severe overhang and the second was on a vertical headwall 2 feet up and 4 feet to the right of the first hold. The clip was between the two holds on the vertical headwall between each hold - three feet above my head.

Also, to be fair, paying out slack for a horizontal overhanging dyno move, isn't that straightforward - its hard to tell how much to pay out without restricting the climber. I am not saying that he should have dropped me, but i AM saying that he was paying attention and made an error.

Truth be told, I still would let this guy belay me. He made a mistake, but I don't think its one he would make again. And he is a better belayer than a lot of people I've seen out there. It just goes to show you that you'd be surprised what can happen even in the hands of a capable belayer.


majid_sabet


Aug 16, 2007, 9:32 AM
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Re: [wanderlustmd] I decked [In reply to]
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wanderlustmd wrote:
dreday3000 wrote:
he was using a gri gri

WTF happened to his brake hand?

With that kind of KONG FU DYNO move ,I will put my hands down and watch the show.


Banks


Aug 16, 2007, 9:39 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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I understand your desire to defend your climbing buddy, but him dropping you in this situation removes him from the "capable belayer" category.


wonderwoman


Aug 16, 2007, 9:41 AM
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Re: [nepaclimber] I decked [In reply to]
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nepaclimber wrote:
the thing that gets me is that you said when you hit the ground the rope wasnt even tight which says your belayer was put out at least 35 feet of slack for you to deck and have the rope be loose. sounds like you need a new partner because he is preoccupied while he belays you

Could it be that the belayer continued to squeeze the gri gri as the leader was falling, letting the rope simply slip through the device? Could this have something to do with the diameter of the rope?

But I think part of giving a dynamic belay is knowing that you have to sometimes prepare yourself to give a tighter catch in some cases (will the climber hit the deck if he falls?), softer in others (will the climber clear this roof if he falls?). Once he realized the leader was falling, he could have used his body to take in some of the slack. I will jump up to give a soft catch, and pull back as hard as I can to give a tighter catch.

Just some thoughts. Sounds like things happened really fast and it may betoo soon to digest what really happened. But hope somebody learns something so this doesn't happen again!


jakedatc


Aug 16, 2007, 9:41 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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So you had the draw above you clipped? if so then you would need even less slack because you're be bringing some with you from below the clip.


Basta916


Aug 16, 2007, 9:45 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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from what you posted..

you got dropped....sounds like another human errorUnimpressed.....oh yea , grigri or not, its not a gear that failed in your story


climbordie7


Aug 16, 2007, 9:54 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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i know exactly how you feel, last summer i sprained my ankle really bad while i was bouldering. but the thing is i was only 2 feet off the ground in a gym with padded floor. i took a bad barn door and landed straight on the side of my ankle. i was out for a month with a retarted boot thing, when i got back on the wall i was nervous about climbing high at all, and then 5 months later i was working on roof in the cave with my climbing coach and took a really bad fall. i sprained the same ankle again, this time i was out for only 2 1/2 weeks though. ever since that i have been so afraid of respraining it. if i do i may need to get reconstructive surgery.

but it took me like 8 months to get up the courage to start training on roof again. i was afraid of slipping off and taking that fall.
i started again with a spotter a couple of tries a day. then i would work more and more. now i am very comfortable with roof stuff and i don't ask for a spotter, i have just accepted that there are certain things that i can't let get in my way. if i want to be good i can't be afraid.

although in your case it is a matter of serious injury or death. next time i would make sure the belayer was someone who knew exactly what they were doing. you didn't specify if they did or not though.

sorry about your scare, but don't let fear stop you. i can be a powerful influence in your climbing abilitys.


cadaverchris


Aug 16, 2007, 9:55 AM
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Re: [jakedatc] I decked [In reply to]
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i was in the gym. I was bouldering when i heard you thud. I turned around and saw you on your back, and i looked immediately to the belayer. i was astounded to see him on the ground with a slack rope!!!! I was expecting to see him sucked up to the first bolt or something!

all the questions people have asked already are valid. was there an error using the grigri? if not why was there 30+ feet of slack out for a 6 foot dyno (even considering a soft catch/clearing the roof)?

these are questions you should consider and talk with your belayer about.

I was so relieved to see you jump up and shout, "I"m ok!" and i'm sorry for staring =)

-chris


notch


Aug 16, 2007, 10:00 AM
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Re: [wonderwoman] I decked [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
But I think part of giving a dynamic belay is knowing that you have to sometimes prepare yourself to give a tighter catch in some cases (will the climber hit the deck if he falls?), softer in others (will the climber clear this roof if he falls?).

Good point, and it seems that the concept of dynamic belaying is rarely taught. I feel that most belayers believe that locking off ends their responsibility. However, in many cases it's just the beginning. Even as I type this I'm realizing it's a bit of a thread hijack, but I do wonder how many gym climbers who head outside (where the concept is even more relevent) are familiar with this. Thank God the OP was inside!


climbordie7


Aug 16, 2007, 10:01 AM
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[sorry about your scare, but don't let fear stop you. i can be a powerful influence in your climbing abilitys.
sorry i mean IT can be a powerful influence in your climbing ability.

and i had not read the rest of the post when i said to make sure your belayer knows what he is doing.

all things considered i am baffled that he has been climbing for that long and some how managed to drop you 30+ feet.


billl7


Aug 16, 2007, 10:06 AM
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Banks wrote:
I understand your desire to defend your climbing buddy, but him dropping you in this situation removes him from the "capable belayer" category.
This could be throwing out the baby with the bath water. OP and his belayer need time to think and talk things over.

If it is known before hand that the leader doesn't want to feel the rope then horizontal dynos are tricky to belay. The leader's waist swings past the target hold. So a six foot horizontal dyno may need around 10 feet of slack and that's just for horizontal movement. Now put in some additional slack so the leader doesn't slam back into the wall and/or swing much across other routes that are in use: 5 or more feet of slack? Now there is 15 feet of slack and 45 feet of rope out. Assume 20% dynamic rope stretch (rough) and there's another 9 feet for a total of 54 feet - getting in decking range now and we haven't accounted for how far the bottom biner of the clip was below the leaders waist at the launch point. Double that distance. Make a 5-foot-of-slack error and yikes!

I'm not saying the above actually represents what happened - just that horizontal dynos in relatively short gym settings can be hard to belay. The leader bears primary responsibility to recognize hard-to-belay situations. Yeah, the belayer has a role to identify the risk too but the leader chooses to take the risk (again, not saying this exactly represents the situation).

Bill L


reg


Aug 16, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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dreday3000 wrote:
Things are confusing because the 1st hold was on a severe overhang and the second was on a vertical headwall 2 feet up and 4 feet to the right of the first hold. The clip was between the two holds on the vertical headwall between each hold - three feet above my head.

Also, to be fair, paying out slack for a horizontal overhanging dyno move, isn't that straightforward - its hard to tell how much to pay out without restricting the climber. I am not saying that he should have dropped me, but i AM saying that he was paying attention and made an error.

Truth be told, I still would let this guy belay me. He made a mistake, but I don't think its one he would make again. And he is a better belayer than a lot of people I've seen out there. It just goes to show you that you'd be surprised what can happen even in the hands of a capable belayer.

your forgiving nature could get you hurt. his "mistake" seems to have been gross in nature - again 6-8' of slack needed - 30' given? - ur a bit at fault as well but i'm really glad u weren't hurt - maybe assume some of the responsibility next time and chk to see if he's doing something stuipd again


fng


Aug 16, 2007, 10:20 AM
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Re: [dreday3000] I decked [In reply to]
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You just happened to be climbing a route with the proverbial 'X' rating in the gym. Lucky the floor was padded.

Same kinda thing happened to me a year ago. I was climbing on my lunch hour at the gym and trying to stick this one route. I was solo and using an auto belay. I couldn't seem to get the last move at the top which was like a two finger lieback. I unclipped to mentally climb the route and shake out. I psyched my self up and took off up the route. Got to the crux on that last move, 25'-30' up, and couldn't pull it. I decided to come down again and shake out longer. I jump out from the wall expecting the auto belay to catch me but nothing. I had forgot to clip in during my intense focus on the moves.

I remember thinking three things. "I am fallling fast" , "Crap, I forgot to clip in" and "This is going to hurt". I some how was able to land feet first and tried to take up as much momentum as possible with my legs. My legs couldn't reacted that fast and I went strait down to my butt. The floor was padded and I bounced a foot or two.

There was only one other member and one staff member in the gym at the time. I heard one of them say OMG! and came running over. I just sat there waiting for the pain but it never came. I got up after about 5-10 minutes and stuck the route. I had to do it after falling for my own sanity. I was lucky enough to deck from 25'-30' and come out uninjured. Over the next couple of days, the side of my neck became sore as if a I had whiplash from a car accident. God was watching out for me on that day!

I thought about that fall every time I thought about climbing, which is all the time, and I had some serious head games with the whole thing. I am pretty much over it but I always double and triple check I am clipped in while climbing with an autobelay at the gym.


(This post was edited by fng on Aug 16, 2007, 10:24 AM)

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