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walterallred


Aug 13, 2009, 1:21 AM
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Fall Training (literally falling)
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I've been wanting to go with my partner to practice falling. I figure we would start small and keep extending the falls more and more as we become more confident. I feel like this would help my mental game a lot when lead climbing.

Is this a common practice? What are your thoughts?


(This post was edited by walterallred on Aug 13, 2009, 1:22 AM)


rat-baby


Aug 13, 2009, 4:12 AM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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yep, it helps. I do it all the time.


boymeetsrock


Aug 13, 2009, 6:25 AM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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There are a number of threads on this topic. Including one that was just going on last week.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25;

http://www.rockclimbing.com/..._reply;so=ASC;mh=25;


Searcharoosky my friend.


olderic


Aug 13, 2009, 7:12 AM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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Yup its pretty common. All the "warriors" love that sort of thing. Kind of silly - like car race driver practicing crashing to boost their confidence - like "dude I walked away after flipping 3 times - think I'll go for 4". The idea is to climb up and not fall down. I know I'll get blasted by all those that say they can't reach their full potential because fear of fallng is holding them back so they NEED top practice. phtttt.


Neel


Aug 13, 2009, 7:23 AM
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Re: [olderic] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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olderic wrote:
Kind of silly - like car race driver practicing crashing to boost their confidence.

i can't even begin to describe how poor your analogy is!


gmggg


Aug 13, 2009, 7:44 AM
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Re: [Neel] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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Neel wrote:
olderic wrote:
Kind of silly - like car race driver practicing crashing to boost their confidence.

i can't even begin to describe how poor your analogy is!

Especially since most cars are crash tested.


Neel


Aug 13, 2009, 8:03 AM
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Re: [gmggg] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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gmggg wrote:
Neel wrote:
olderic wrote:
Kind of silly - like car race driver practicing crashing to boost their confidence.

i can't even begin to describe how poor your analogy is!

Especially since most cars are crash tested.

back on topic, i did some fall training to help get over the fear of falling, and build up trust with my belayer. it was a fantastic exercise. Basically "clip and drop", but each time you clip, build up a greater distance before you fall... by the end i was intentionally missing dynos and taking some pretty big falls (and having fun doing it). It's much more effective if your belayer doesn't expect each fall. mix things up.


gblauer
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Aug 13, 2009, 8:13 AM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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I beleive in fall training and have been doing it for a long time. That said, you have to do it in an informed manner and assess the consequences of the fall before you do it. For example, taking practice falls above a ledge is a bad idea. (With rope stretch, you are going to fall a LOT further than you think.) Further, your belayer needs to know what they are doing (I speak from experience, 1 broken back later...)

So, pick up Arno Ilgner's book, read it and start falling!


ckirkwood9


Aug 13, 2009, 8:23 AM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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WHile it may not work for ALL, i'd venture to say that 'fall training' will help to desensitize MOST climber's (somewhat rational) fear of falling. It takes a lot for some to overcome this feeling of self-preservation.

This is the same idea as teaching a new climber to trust the rope while on TR, I usually have them ascend about 10 feet on a very easy climb, have them sit back, see what it feels like, get used to it, then try jumping off with a tight TR, then try jumping off with some slack. It helps the climber get used to the idea that they're pretty safe and nothing bad will happen.

ALSO while sport (or trad) climbing, there's other factors to consider as well... knowing that you have to prepare your body for possible impact with the wall, trusting bolts, trusting gear, etc. Ultimately practicing this will help a climber get used to the idea of falling, prepare them to act accordingly, and try it in a controlled setting (like a gym or an easy tr outdoors).

There's a youtube video on 'clip dropping' (essentially, while climbing a sport route, jump off a few feet above EVERY draw you clip)

give it a shot.... you'll likely find it'll help.


markc


Aug 13, 2009, 8:38 AM
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Re: [Neel] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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Neel wrote:
It's much more effective if your belayer doesn't expect each fall.

I've heard of more than one injury from unanticipated practice falls. In one case, a guy fell relatively low on a gym route and hit his belayer. In the case of Gail (gblauer), I think she took a practice whip from the top of a climb at the gym, and her belayer didn't catch her. Granted, the job of the belayer is to catch the fall. There's little excuse to be in the wrong position under a route, and no excuse to drop someone. That said, I'm stacking the deck in my favor. If you want to do some unannounced falls during a session, I'd at least give my belayer notice before we started climbing. YMMV.


Partner cracklover


Aug 13, 2009, 9:54 AM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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I think fall training can have its place, especially in sport climbing.

My head comes and goes, but I typically have a very good head sport climbing. I don't get wigged out easily. But, recently, I found that I was getting spooked above good bolts, and was having a hard time committing to hard sequences above bolts, was overgripping, etc.

So a few months ago I did this for one session in the gym: Clip drop technique, and that got my head back in the right place. It's been fine since.

Falling on gear, on purpose, is a whole other ball of wax. For me, personally, I think there's no place for it.

Cheers,

GO


walterallred


Aug 13, 2009, 11:47 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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I've heard a lot of good advice so far!

Overall, it sounds like a good idea (for me) to give this "fall training" a shot. It is definitely holding me back from climbing higher grade climbs.

I was most interested in the "clip dropping" technique. Sounds perfect for my case.

About falling intentionally without warning the belayer, I think it depends on your gear as well. I am using a grigri right now and the belayer doesn't really have a choice but to catch me. The only thing I can see bad with this scenario is the belayer getting lifted into the wall.

Anyway, I'm definitely gonna do a bit more research on how to properly "clip drop" and get my butt out on the rock.

I'll let you guys know how it goes.

In the meantime, if you have anymore advice on this subject, please keep posting.

You guys "rock!"... Pun completely intended!


jt512


Aug 13, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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walterallred wrote:
About falling intentionally without warning the belayer, I think it depends on your gear as well. I am using a grigri right now and the belayer doesn't really have a choice but to catch me. The only thing I can see bad with this scenario is the belayer getting lifted into the wall.

The above statements suggest that you don't understand the limitations of the grigri and how to dynamically belay. I would suggest that if you're going to take intentional falls that you do so, at first, under the supervision of a more experienced climber.

Jay


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Aug 13, 2009, 12:51 PM
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Re: [jt512] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
walterallred wrote:
About falling intentionally without warning the belayer, I think it depends on your gear as well. I am using a grigri right now and the belayer doesn't really have a choice but to catch me. The only thing I can see bad with this scenario is the belayer getting lifted into the wall.

The above statements suggest that you don't understand the limitations of the grigri and how to dynamically belay. I would suggest that if you're going to take intentional falls that you do so, at first, under the supervision of a more experienced climber.

Jay

I completely agree. I did my day of clip-drop with my primary climbing partner. The person who has caught the most of my falls, and who I absolutely trust. But even so...

The process was as hard on her as it was me. At one point, the moment when I was consistently falling was right at a point in her belaying sequence that she was almost getting her hand sucked into the device with every fall I took.

My point is that you should expect the process to be a real stretch for both climber and belayer.

GO


jt512


Aug 13, 2009, 1:36 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
walterallred wrote:
About falling intentionally without warning the belayer, I think it depends on your gear as well. I am using a grigri right now and the belayer doesn't really have a choice but to catch me. The only thing I can see bad with this scenario is the belayer getting lifted into the wall.

The above statements suggest that you don't understand the limitations of the grigri and how to dynamically belay. I would suggest that if you're going to take intentional falls that you do so, at first, under the supervision of a more experienced climber.

Jay

I completely agree. I did my day of clip-drop with my primary climbing partner.

I watched the video, and I'm a little unclear what you're supposed to do. Is the idea to take longer falls at each clip?

Jay


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Aug 13, 2009, 1:55 PM
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Re: [jt512] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
walterallred wrote:
About falling intentionally without warning the belayer, I think it depends on your gear as well. I am using a grigri right now and the belayer doesn't really have a choice but to catch me. The only thing I can see bad with this scenario is the belayer getting lifted into the wall.

The above statements suggest that you don't understand the limitations of the grigri and how to dynamically belay. I would suggest that if you're going to take intentional falls that you do so, at first, under the supervision of a more experienced climber.

Jay

I completely agree. I did my day of clip-drop with my primary climbing partner.

I watched the video, and I'm a little unclear what you're supposed to do. Is the idea to take longer falls at each clip?

Jay

Nope. Sadly, there's essentially no detail about the process in the actual video. But happily, it's all there on the front page.

There's much details on the page, but here's the heart of it:
In reply to:
First Stage
Tope rope falls. Climb up any route on a top rope. Take top rope, rope stretch falls at each bolt as you progress up the wall. Belay style: from snug belaying to a dynamic belay. This is good training for a belayer who isn't familiar with dynamic belays.


Second Stage
Clip-Drop. Clip at shoulder height and drop. Belayer does very close snug belaying. Essentially rope stretch falls.


Third Stage
Clip-Drop. Clip at shoulder height and drop. Belayer gives normal close belay. Falls are a little longer than at the Second Stage. Falls are rope stretch plus system slack. Climber doesn't slam in as still below bolt when falling. Use this stage for the belayer to practise and progress to a dynamic belay.


Fourth Stage
Clip-Fall. Clip at shoulder height and make a move past the clipped bolt or clip at waist or in an 'awkward position' (e.g., choose route with lots of sidepulls and flagging moves) and then let go of the hold(s). Dynamic belay essential. Think about position of feet relative to rope and learn how to avoid being flipped or burning legs before next stage.


Fifth Stage
Clip-Climb-Fall. Clip at waist height and climb until next bolt and then let go of the hold(s). Dynamic belay.


Sixth Stage
Clip-Climb-Jump-Fall? Clip at waist height and climb up to next bolt, slap for next hold and fall trying to move up. Dynamic belay. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS BELOW 6th BOLT!

The full set of info is here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/...les/page.php?id=1838

GO


jt512


Aug 13, 2009, 2:45 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
jt512 wrote:
walterallred wrote:
About falling intentionally without warning the belayer, I think it depends on your gear as well. I am using a grigri right now and the belayer doesn't really have a choice but to catch me. The only thing I can see bad with this scenario is the belayer getting lifted into the wall.

The above statements suggest that you don't understand the limitations of the grigri and how to dynamically belay. I would suggest that if you're going to take intentional falls that you do so, at first, under the supervision of a more experienced climber.

Jay

I completely agree. I did my day of clip-drop with my primary climbing partner.

I watched the video, and I'm a little unclear what you're supposed to do. Is the idea to take longer falls at each clip?

Jay

Nope. Sadly, there's essentially no detail about the process in the actual video. But happily, it's all there on the front page.

There's much details on the page, but here's the heart of it:
In reply to:
First Stage
Tope rope falls. Climb up any route on a top rope. Take top rope, rope stretch falls at each bolt as you progress up the wall. Belay style: from snug belaying to a dynamic belay. This is good training for a belayer who isn't familiar with dynamic belays.


Second Stage
Clip-Drop. Clip at shoulder height and drop. Belayer does very close snug belaying. Essentially rope stretch falls.


Third Stage
Clip-Drop. Clip at shoulder height and drop. Belayer gives normal close belay. Falls are a little longer than at the Second Stage. Falls are rope stretch plus system slack. Climber doesn't slam in as still below bolt when falling. Use this stage for the belayer to practise and progress to a dynamic belay.


Fourth Stage
Clip-Fall. Clip at shoulder height and make a move past the clipped bolt or clip at waist or in an 'awkward position' (e.g., choose route with lots of sidepulls and flagging moves) and then let go of the hold(s). Dynamic belay essential. Think about position of feet relative to rope and learn how to avoid being flipped or burning legs before next stage.


Fifth Stage
Clip-Climb-Fall. Clip at waist height and climb until next bolt and then let go of the hold(s). Dynamic belay.


Sixth Stage
Clip-Climb-Jump-Fall? Clip at waist height and climb up to next bolt, slap for next hold and fall trying to move up. Dynamic belay. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS BELOW 6th BOLT!

The full set of info is here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/...les/page.php?id=1838

GO

Thanks.

If I ever do this, I think I'll skip stages 13.

Jay


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Aug 13, 2009, 3:19 PM
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Re: [jt512] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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Yep, I skipped stages one and two. I figure you should start at the highest stage where you're still comfortable. Do that until you and your belayer are working perfectly as a team. And then go up slowly from there.

GO


markc


Aug 14, 2009, 8:11 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
Yep, I skipped stages one and two. I figure you should start at the highest stage where you're still comfortable. Do that until you and your belayer are working perfectly as a team. And then go up slowly from there.

GO

Interesting. It seems like most people with some sport climbing experience could skip the first two or three stages. I don't know many that are gunshy before their waist clears the bolt.


gmggg


Aug 14, 2009, 8:18 AM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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walterallred wrote:
I've been wanting to go with my partner to practice falling. I figure we would start small and keep extending the falls more and more as we become more confident. I feel like this would help my mental game a lot when lead climbing.

Is this a common practice? What are your thoughts?

I wonder if instead of practicing falling, if it would be more useful for a new trad leader to do some super easy free soloing? Any local roadside crag has to have some nice low angle 5.2-5.7 climbs in the 30 foot range. It seems like the ability to run these things will get some one accustomed to having some air under his heels far more quickly than an artificially constructed fall. A quiet head and confidence in movement is more important than confidence in gear after all...

I do like the clip drop idea for sport just in terms of dialing in how to fall/belay perfectly with your partner.


wonderwoman


Aug 14, 2009, 9:05 AM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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You can simulate a lead fall on tope rope. Have your belayer lock off and then climb a little bit higher so there is some slack in the system. It will be like taking a lead fall, without the risk of your gear pulling or doing something stupid like getting the rope behind your leg, flipping and smacking your head (which I have unfortunately done).

Make sure you have an experienced belayer who understands what you're about to do and is ready to catch you. Make sure there's not so much slack that you'll hit the deck.

No matter how you want to do 'fall training' please, please be careful. I happen to think your best bet is to try it out on top rope.


saxfiend


Aug 14, 2009, 9:15 AM
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Re: [gmggg] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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gmggg wrote:
I wonder if instead of practicing falling, if it would be more useful for a new trad leader to do some super easy free soloing?
What a bizarre suggestion! Setting aside the obvious dire fall consequences, free soloing has about as much in common with trad leading as toproping does, since you're not having to stop to place gear, deal with rope management, etc.

JL


gmggg


Aug 14, 2009, 9:36 AM
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Re: [saxfiend] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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saxfiend wrote:
gmggg wrote:
I wonder if instead of practicing falling, if it would be more useful for a new trad leader to do some super easy free soloing?
What a bizarre suggestion! Setting aside the obvious dire fall consequences, free soloing has about as much in common with trad leading as toproping does, since you're not having to stop to place gear, deal with rope management, etc.

JL

That's certainly a valid point. But if the issue someone has is with keeping their head with some height above gear it might help to build some confidence in their own abilities.

Free soloing is maybe too strong a word for what I was talking about though. Maybe highball bouldering would be better suited for the short stuff I was suggesting.


(This post was edited by gmggg on Aug 14, 2009, 12:43 PM)


Neel


Aug 14, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Re: [wonderwoman] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
You can simulate a lead fall on tope rope. Have your belayer lock off and then climb a little bit higher so there is some slack in the system. It will be like taking a lead fall, without the risk of your gear pulling or doing something stupid like getting the rope behind your leg, flipping and smacking your head (which I have unfortunately done).

It's still not the same mental feeling, imo. Even with tonnes of slack in the system, it just doesn't seem the same. If you're going to try this in a gym, make sure they use good dynamic ropes. I could be mistaken, but I've heard that some gyms use top ropes with stretch characteristics that are approaching static lines.


oldcolombodog


Oct 26, 2009, 4:16 PM
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Re: [walterallred] Fall Training (literally falling) [In reply to]
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walterallred wrote:

About falling intentionally without warning the belayer, I think it depends on your gear as well. I am using a grigri right now and the belayer doesn't really have a choice but to catch me. The only thing I can see bad with this scenario is the belayer getting lifted into the wall.

I saw a grigri fail by operator error and the lead climber dropped to the deck from the last clip indoors. Make sure the belayer is using the grigri correctly. The failure occurred because the device was being held on it's side in one semi closed hand while the operator watched rope feed through. The semi closed hand blocked the brake from operating and dropped the leader to the floor. Luckily the leader was not injured and only the belayer was burned across four fingers trying to stop the rope with his brake hand. I think it would be good to let your belayer know you intend to fall while climbing.

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