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WheresTheFire


Feb 2, 2009, 10:49 AM
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New to leading and afraid to fall
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I recently started leading sport, and I'm afraid to take a fall; and in turn this means I can't climb at my ability level. I haven't taken a lead fall yet, but I've been told it's the best way to get over the fear of leading. Any thoughts or advice?


uni_jim


Feb 2, 2009, 10:51 AM
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Re: [WheresTheFire] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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you are afraid of what you don't know. just go take a few good whippers and you'll get over it.


static_endurance


Feb 2, 2009, 11:04 AM
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Re: [uni_jim] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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I'll agree with uni_jim. The best way to get over it is to take a good solid fall or two. The first fall I ever took was when I was getting taught lead, and it was a good 20 footer on an overhanging wall, so I didn't have to worry about hitting anything on the way down. After that, I was golden. You won't know until you fall, so just giv'er!


granite_grrl


Feb 2, 2009, 11:08 AM
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Re: [WheresTheFire] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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Hey, falling can be scary! And there are certain falls that you just don't want to take....but there are also many times that falling is okay.

It does depend on what part of falling you're scared of. You might need more experience assessing the situation and the fall consequences. In a safe situation its not a bad idea to take practice falls. You can start right at the bolt and just fall as far as rope stretch will take you if that's what need. But without the experience I would take things slowly.


Gmburns2000


Feb 2, 2009, 11:09 AM
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Re: [WheresTheFire] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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Try this:

1) Practice taking falls on top rope with the rope relatively tight

2) Practice taking falls on top rope with a little more slack

3) Practice taking falls on top rope with more slack, etc

4) Practice taking falls on lead below the highest draw (same as TR, right?)

5) Practice taking falls with your knot right at the draw (same as TR but your head is above your last piece, so it's a bit more mentally challenging)

6) Practice taking falls with your knot above the last draw, etc

Remeber that taking falls requires a couple of elements beyond just the falling. Firstly, regardless of TR or lead, you need a belayor who understands what a soft catch is. Having a soft catch, even on TR for this practice, will make a big difference in how you react after the fall. A hard catch could make you a little more hesitant when on lead, let alone the possibility for injury.

Also, learning how to fall is important as well. Don't just fall with your body all tense and dangling all over the place. Relax (breath out) while you fall so that your body can handle the impact. Also, get your arms and legs out (bent at the elbow and knees with your palms and balls of your feet out), ready to hit the wall softly. This will help minimize potential injury.

Or, just read this.


cush


Feb 2, 2009, 11:25 AM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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i'll share the way that i learned but i wouldn't say it's the best. it worked for me but it was scary as all freaking hell. i was talking with one of my climbing partners and mentioned that i had never taken a lead fall. when i said this i was consistently onsighting 5.10s on lead. somehow i had always managed to either get up the route or i would only fall right after clipping so i was below the bolt and would only take a small 1-2 foot bouncer. the next time he belayed for me when i reached the top bolt he locked off the rope before i could pull up enough rope to clip. we then argued back and forth for a good ten minutes until eventually my hands gave out and i fell 12 feet or so.

i screamed at him for quite a while but ever since then i've never had a fear of falling.


coastal_climber


Feb 2, 2009, 11:28 AM
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Re: [cush] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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It's bolts dude, go for it. Wait until you start climbing over questionable gear...


dingus


Feb 2, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Re: [WheresTheFire] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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WheresTheFire wrote:
I recently started leading sport, and I'm afraid to take a fall; and in turn this means I can't climb at my ability level. I haven't taken a lead fall yet, but I've been told it's the best way to get over the fear of leading. Any thoughts or advice?

Yes - you ARE climbing at your ability level.

Cheers
DMT


dingus


Feb 2, 2009, 11:40 AM
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Re: [cush] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
i'll share the way that i learned but i wouldn't say it's the best. it worked for me but it was scary as all freaking hell. i was talking with one of my climbing partners and mentioned that i had never taken a lead fall. when i said this i was consistently onsighting 5.10s on lead. somehow i had always managed to either get up the route or i would only fall right after clipping so i was below the bolt and would only take a small 1-2 foot bouncer. the next time he belayed for me when i reached the top bolt he locked off the rope before i could pull up enough rope to clip. we then argued back and forth for a good ten minutes until eventually my hands gave out and i fell 12 feet or so.

i screamed at him for quite a while but ever since then i've never had a fear of falling.

Twould end both partnership and friendship if my belayer did that to me.

DMT


togden


Feb 2, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Re: [WheresTheFire] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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Find a nice overhanging climb, clip in on the roof, and let go. It's not so bad, and can even be fun swinging all around :P

It really helps to trust your belayer, and to know they know what they are doing.

Your only other option as far as I can see is to just continue climbing the way you are, and eventually you will fall, whether you want to or not :P


bigjonnyc


Feb 2, 2009, 11:45 AM
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Re: [cush] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
i'll share the way that i learned but i wouldn't say it's the best. it worked for me but it was scary as all freaking hell. i was talking with one of my climbing partners and mentioned that i had never taken a lead fall. when i said this i was consistently onsighting 5.10s on lead. somehow i had always managed to either get up the route or i would only fall right after clipping so i was below the bolt and would only take a small 1-2 foot bouncer. the next time he belayed for me when i reached the top bolt he locked off the rope before i could pull up enough rope to clip. we then argued back and forth for a good ten minutes until eventually my hands gave out and i fell 12 feet or so.

i screamed at him for quite a while but ever since then i've never had a fear of falling.

I don't think I'd be able to trust that dude to belay me again after that, regardless if he helped me get over a fear.


Gmburns2000


Feb 2, 2009, 11:54 AM
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Re: [dingus] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
cush wrote:
i'll share the way that i learned but i wouldn't say it's the best. it worked for me but it was scary as all freaking hell. i was talking with one of my climbing partners and mentioned that i had never taken a lead fall. when i said this i was consistently onsighting 5.10s on lead. somehow i had always managed to either get up the route or i would only fall right after clipping so i was below the bolt and would only take a small 1-2 foot bouncer. the next time he belayed for me when i reached the top bolt he locked off the rope before i could pull up enough rope to clip. we then argued back and forth for a good ten minutes until eventually my hands gave out and i fell 12 feet or so.

i screamed at him for quite a while but ever since then i've never had a fear of falling.

Twould end both partnership and friendship if my belayer did that to me.

DMT

agreed. that's not the belayor's call.


johnwesely


Feb 2, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Re: [WheresTheFire] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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I had a partner with this problem and we got over it in less than a half hour. Find an easy route with clean falls and climb to the third or fourth bolt. Then with the bolt at your waist fall. do this until comfortable, and then do it with the bolt at your knee. repeat this until you are comfortable with falling.


Valarc


Feb 2, 2009, 12:06 PM
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Re: [dingus] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
cush wrote:
i'll share the way that i learned but i wouldn't say it's the best. it worked for me but it was scary as all freaking hell. i was talking with one of my climbing partners and mentioned that i had never taken a lead fall. when i said this i was consistently onsighting 5.10s on lead. somehow i had always managed to either get up the route or i would only fall right after clipping so i was below the bolt and would only take a small 1-2 foot bouncer. the next time he belayed for me when i reached the top bolt he locked off the rope before i could pull up enough rope to clip. we then argued back and forth for a good ten minutes until eventually my hands gave out and i fell 12 feet or so.

i screamed at him for quite a while but ever since then i've never had a fear of falling.

Twould end both partnership and friendship if my belayer did that to me.

DMT

Amen! I once saw a belayer giving "penalty slack" to a guy who was afraid to commit to a move on a hard sport route.

If my belayer pulled that shit with me, he had better hope I break both legs when I take the whip, because if I'm still able to stand when I come down, my foot is going so far up his ass he can taste the shoe rubber.


cush


Feb 2, 2009, 12:10 PM
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Re: [Valarc] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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you guys would really flip that much of a shit about it? it was kinda scary at the time but afterward i was laughing my ass off.


Partner angry


Feb 2, 2009, 12:15 PM
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Re: [cush] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
you guys would really flip that much of a shit about it? it was kinda scary at the time but afterward i was laughing my ass off.

If you didn't exaggerate your story greatly (which I think you did), your belayer needs his ass kicked. Additionally, if you'd hurt yourself in that fall, I believe you'd have every right to legal action against him.


Valarc


Feb 2, 2009, 12:21 PM
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Re: [cush] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
you guys would really flip that much of a shit about it? it was kinda scary at the time but afterward i was laughing my ass off.

Yes I would. I might laugh at it later too, but I'd be laughing from the emergency room waiting to get a cast put on the hand I broke on his face.

If I can't trust my belayer to respect my decisions, if he tries to force me into a situation I'm not comfortable with against my will, then I can't trust him period, and he's useless. In this case, it sounds like your belayer was both useless and a giant dickhead.


dingus


Feb 2, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Re: [cush] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
you guys would really flip that much of a shit about it? it was kinda scary at the time but afterward i was laughing my ass off.

Um, probably not. But there would be appropriate payback at some point.

DMT


cush


Feb 2, 2009, 12:41 PM
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Re: [dingus] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
cush wrote:
you guys would really flip that much of a shit about it? it was kinda scary at the time but afterward i was laughing my ass off.

Um, probably not. But there would be appropriate payback at some point.

DMT

oh believe me, there was payback.

as far as not being able to trust him after that, i don't see how this would give me reason not to trust him. it was kind of a mean thing to do but it wasn't like he messed up and dropped me. he's a completely safe belayer. the fall was on an overhanging section so when i dropped i didn't even hit the wall and it was a learning experience. if i ever had a belayer that messed up and did something wrong i would be livid but this wasn't that just wasn't the case.


krusher4


Feb 2, 2009, 12:43 PM
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Re: [uni_jim] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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uni_jim wrote:
you are afraid of what you don't know. just go take a few good whippers and you'll get over it.

uni jim is right, that's the best way and make sure you have a clean fall zone and your not doing factor 1 or 2 falls.


shockabuku


Feb 2, 2009, 12:44 PM
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Re: [WheresTheFire] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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WheresTheFire wrote:
I recently started leading sport, and I'm afraid to take a fall; and in turn this means I can't climb at my ability level. I haven't taken a lead fall yet, but I've been told it's the best way to get over the fear of leading. Any thoughts or advice?

It's true. Do it.


viciado


Feb 2, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Re: [dingus] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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Have to agree with the three comments above (angry, dingus, valarc) the folks I climb with sometimes threaten penalty slack, by way of slagging you when you whine or pull on gear. BUT it is also understood that if it were to ever actually be done... the real penalty would be sumarily meeted out upon the belayer.

As to taking a lead fall... climb your best, ignore the beta, clip as best you can, and never say "I can't". When you fall, people will get the message. THEN, get over it and climb on.

edited to clarify which coments as other beat me to the post


(This post was edited by viciado on Feb 2, 2009, 12:48 PM)


shimanilami


Feb 2, 2009, 12:48 PM
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Re: [WheresTheFire] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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You should first try taking a few lead falls without a rope. After that, falling with a rope will seem a lot less stressful.


WheresTheFire


Feb 2, 2009, 1:07 PM
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Re: [cush] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
the next time he belayed for me when i reached the top bolt he locked off the rope before i could pull up enough rope to clip. we then argued back and forth for a good ten minutes until eventually my hands gave out and i fell 12 feet or so.

This is exactly why I don't want to take a lead fall. I only climb with people I trust and that would break my trust. The point is to try NOT to fall, and the rope is there just in case -- not BECAUSE of my belayer.

I will probably take a lead fall sooner than later, but it'll be because I couldn't pull a move.


Gmburns2000


Feb 2, 2009, 1:19 PM
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Re: [cush] New to leading and afraid to fall [In reply to]
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cush wrote:
you guys would really flip that much of a shit about it? it was kinda scary at the time but afterward i was laughing my ass off.

See my point above: it's not his call. He doesn't get to make that decision. Maybe you do, but not your belayor.

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