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What would you call a fall??
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woodse


Oct 18, 2001, 10:59 AM
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What would you call a fall??
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Hey guys and gals

In relation to UIAA fall ratings I want to know what would constitute a fall in your books?? A lead fall of more than 10'? A slip top roping? Lets see some educated responses.


wigglestick


Oct 18, 2001, 11:24 AM
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I would have to classify a fall as anytime you place weight on the rope. If you classify it as anything else then how can you explain a redpoint or a flash? I could say "I climbed that 5.14 without falling" meaning I never fell more that 10'. It is a slippery slope trying to draw the line between falling and "leaning" on the rope


woodse


Oct 18, 2001, 11:26 AM
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So would you retire your rope after placing weight on the rope 8-12 times??? See what I mean!:)


paulc


Oct 18, 2001, 11:29 AM
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Hard question to answer. I would be interested to see if anyone has a answer that makes sense.

The problem lies in the fact that a UIAA fall is a fixed amount of weight (80Kg for a single) and is dropped 16.4' onto 9.2' of rope for a fall factor of 1.8. This is loaded across an edge roughly the same diameter as a biner.

When you fall on a climb, unless you fall directly above the anchor, and only if you are up at least a pitch or two, because if you are on the ground you will deck before getting above a fall factor of 1. You will not usually get a fall factor above 1 either. And you probably weigh less than 80kg, even with a full rack (don't flame me if I'm wrong)

A 10' fall when you have 50' of rope out is only a fall factor 0.2 fall, which is nowhere and I mean nowhere as harsh as a fall factor 1.8.

I have heard that the damage from falls is kinda cumulative, but don't really know a good way to add up the damage.

I would go with the if the rope doesn't feel soft, flat and the sheath isn't damaged it is probably ok.

Let see what other people think.

Paul

Ps here are couple of links, regarding rope testing. The first details some tests that some people did, pretty usefull info. The second says to retire your rope after a long hard fall, but doesn't really define what that is, either in distance fallen or fall factor.

http://www.dtek.chalmers.se/Climbing/Hardware/fall_test.html

http://www.gearreview.com/ropeintro.asp

[ This Message was edited by: paulc on 2001-10-18 11:31 ]


killclimbz


Oct 18, 2001, 11:43 AM
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Anytime you hang on the rope while climbing is a fall. If you are looking for what sort of abuse your rope can take that is a different question. You could probably take top rop falls on a rope for years and not wear it out. Paulc is correct in saying that any fall does some damage is correct. The things I look for when deciding on if my rope is safe to use are pretty simple. How old is the rope and how much do I use it? Is the core pulling signigicantly away from the sheath? Are there any softspots that you can feel in the rope? Does the rope look/feel old? How many big falls have you taken on the rope. All of these are judgement calls. I mostly sport climb and usually take a couple of dozen falls in the 20ft or less zone. I usually retire my cord a little after one season. One thing I can say for sure, if you have a cut in the sheath or feel a softspot in the rope retire it. Ropes may be expensive but your life is worth a whole lot more.


wigglestick


Oct 18, 2001, 12:19 PM
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You are right woodse. I answered the wrong question earlier. My rule of thumb is that I buy a new rope at least once a year. But the true answer depends on the amount and type of climbing you do. For sport climbers, who fall alot more but shorter distances, the time to buy a new rope would be different than a trad climber who maybe falls 5 times a year or an aid climber who rarely falls but their ropes take alot of abuse from hauling, jugging etc.


hardcoredana


Oct 18, 2001, 12:54 PM
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Here's a simple piece of advice. Maybe it's been said before on some other topic (I'd be surprised if it hasn't), but it's one of those things that could stand to be repeated. You should make it a habit to check your rope each time you slack it out. I work in a gym, where it is impossible to keep an accurate count of the lead falls that our customers take on our ropes. We check the ropes daily for exposed core and soft spots, like killclimbz advises. Why not do the same for your rope?


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