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How much do you want to fall?
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klopik


Jul 19, 2011, 10:27 AM
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How much do you want to fall?
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So, sport climbing outside - how safe is it really to be falling on the bolts? Should you try to scale down a bit to try and avoid falls and only fall occasionally or should you try as hard as you would on TR in the gym?
I'm just curious, I am very cautious when I climb outside, so I basically try not to take any lead falls if I can help it, but my climbing partner is constantly trying to push me to climb harder because in his opinion it is so totally safe.
What do y'all think?


JoeHamilton


Jul 19, 2011, 10:41 AM
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I dont like to fall .Falling sucks ,. I can top rope 5.10 outside so I can lead 5.10 outside . If I am trying to push a 5.11 or 12, I take a rest on the bolt . Or lower down to the next and find a good resting stance ,so as not to weight the bolt .RISK is part of what gives us the rush that we enjoy .Yet safety keeps us alive so we can feed our family's. I wouldnt let someone else push me further then my own comfort .


csproul


Jul 19, 2011, 11:00 AM
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klopik wrote:
So, sport climbing outside - how safe is it really to be falling on the bolts? Should you try to scale down a bit to try and avoid falls and only fall occasionally or should you try as hard as you would on TR in the gym?
I'm just curious, I am very cautious when I climb outside, so I basically try not to take any lead falls if I can help it, but my climbing partner is constantly trying to push me to climb harder because in his opinion it is so totally safe.
What do y'all think?
Part of climbing experience is being able to judge how safe falls are in different situations, and then being able to act accordingly. If you can't tell whether a fall is safe, then you should probably err on the side of caution. If you learn when falls are safe, then you can climb on the edge more. That said, it is sport climbing, and you should be able to easily tell when it ok to fall and if you are really pushing yourself, you will take falls. The idea that you should never take lead falls is ridiculous and you should definitely get over that soon, or it will become habit.


csproul


Jul 19, 2011, 11:03 AM
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JoeHamilton wrote:
I dont like to fall .Falling sucks ,. I can top rope 5.10 outside so I can lead 5.10 outside . If I am trying to push a 5.11 or 12, I take a rest on the bolt . Or lower down to the next and find a good resting stance ,so as not to weight the bolt .RISK is part of what gives us the rush that we enjoy .Yet safety keeps us alive so we can feed our family's. I wouldnt let someone else push me further then my own comfort .
Especially if you're climbing on wire gates...or gasp...your belayer is using an ATC that was dropped! For God's sake, don't fall!!!


lena_chita
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Jul 19, 2011, 11:14 AM
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klopik wrote:
So, sport climbing outside - how safe is it really to be falling on the bolts?


How safe depends on how good the bolts are, the bolt position and spacing, what terrain you are faling on, the gear, and how good your belayer is... I am sure I missed a few things on that list, but you get the idea.


klopik wrote:
Should you try to scale down a bit to try and avoid falls and only fall occasionally or should you try as hard as you would on TR in the gym?


There is no SHOULD. There are people who don't like falling and they climb accordingly. There are people who lack fear even when a healthy dose of fear is indicated. If you want to put it in terms of SHOULD, then I'd say that you SHOULD know your limits and know when it is O.K. to fall, and when it isn't. Nobody can know this with 100% certainty in every situation, but experience gives you a rough idea.


klopik wrote:
I'm just curious, I am very cautious when I climb outside, so I basically try not to take any lead falls if I can help it, but my climbing partner is constantly trying to push me to climb harder because in his opinion it is so totally safe.
What do y'all think?

Totally safe -- no, reasonably safe -- yes.

How many accidents do you know of, where someone died in a sprt climbing fall? There have been a couple due to bolt failure. And a couple due to belayer's error. And that's only the ones I know of, and I cannot claim to know of every accident out there.

How many do you know of people getting non-fatally but seriously hurt in a sport climbing fall? (serious bruises, broken ankles, ankle/wrist sprains, non-fatal decking, etc)--Plenty that I have seen or heard of, usually due to belayer error, sometimes in combination with terrain.

But how many is that, relative to the total number of sport climbing falls taken in any given year -- still miniscule.


On specific routes, with specific belayers, and specific bolts/gear I feel quite comfortable taking a fall. On others, not so much.
I do believe that if you never push until you fall, then you will not climb at your limit and will not push your limit farther.

But do you have to climb at your limit? Only if you want to... and only if you are willing to take the slightly increased risk. So don't let your BF push you into taking the risk you don't want to take. He climbs for his reasons, and with his risk tolerance. You climb with yours. Nobody says they have to be the same for everyone.


superchuffer


Jul 19, 2011, 11:15 AM
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for god's sake dont fall! to be in proper trad form, you must lower to the ground, spin around 3 times, pull your rope and gear, and start again.


granite_grrl


Jul 19, 2011, 12:53 PM
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There are climbs that you shouldn't fall on due to the terrain or the way the route is bolted, and there are ones that are perfectly safe to fall on. In general as you progress in the grades the routes will often be safer to fall on (there just aren't that many steep 5.8s out there with clean fall potential).

As stated, you need to learn to identify when it's safe to fall and when it's not. Also as a newer climber you're going to need to take some time learning how to take safe falls (ex- where to position yourself in respect to the rope so it doesn't go behind your leg, etc).

If I'm trying really had on a route that is at my limit then I'm going to be doing a lot of falling. Honestly, it's hard to push your self as hard as you need to on a sport route at your limit without falling. It definitely takes some time to get used to the idea of falling, it's not something that a lot of people are conditioned to do.

If you're looking to ease yourself into falling start with some long TR falls (have your partner keep you loose and give you a soft catch), then progress to falling with your waste at the bolt (again with the soft catch), and then go progressively higher at your own pace.


olderic


Jul 19, 2011, 1:11 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
then progress to falling with your waste at the bolt

I know falling might scare it out of you - but please try to keep your waste off the bolts. Otherwise the dog haters will find a way to blame it on the mutts.


jeepnphreak


Jul 19, 2011, 1:12 PM
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klopik wrote:
So, sport climbing outside - how safe is it really to be falling on the bolts?

Depends, to you trust the bolt to hold your fall, that was installed by who noes who? Depending on the rock quality, bolt length and proper bolt useage thoe bolts should be able to hold about 5000 lbs each. So your body weight shoul be no problem. As stated it coms down to what you are hitting durning the fall.

klopik wrote:
Should you try to scale down a bit to try and avoid falls and only fall occasionally or should you try as hard as you would on TR in the gym?


hahahahaha TR in the gym hahahahah My gym has lead routes.


klopik wrote:
I'm just curious, I am very cautious when I climb outside, so I basically try not to take any lead falls if I can help it, but my climbing partner is constantly trying to push me to climb harder because in his opinion it is so totally safe.
What do y'all think?

I think your partner has the right idea. It will make you a stronger and better climber. I never try or intend to fall but it happens. Yes, you are putting a lot of faith in those bolts but climbing is a risky sport. You have to decide if you are a climber or not and to what level you want to achieve to.


Colinhoglund


Jul 19, 2011, 10:11 PM
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I'll tell you what one of my mentors told me back when I was a gumby. "If the gear(in this case bolts) are good and the fall is clean, go for it and take a fall." Falling is a part of sport climbing. What is important is it is up to you to decide when the gear is good and the fall is clean, thats up to your intuition and experience. For some people, there is never enough safety, others are more bold; you have to decide where you fit on the continuum and stay true to your own limits.


MarcelS


Jul 26, 2011, 4:25 AM
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In general the places I climbed had good bolts (quite recently placed too). That is why I consider it perfectly safe to fall on them. Plus, there is always the next bolt of course. The only thing I consider when pulling a difficult move is the terrain: is there a ledge I could hit, where about would I end up when falling.

That said, it very much depends my state of mind on a specific day. I have climbed easy routes that somehow scared me with each step above the last bolt, and I have climbed routes at the top of my ability without even thinking about falling. One thing is sure: the more you have the idea of falling in your head, the less well you climb. If you want to push your limits, you have to calculate the risk that you fall once in a while.


tH1e-swiN1e


Aug 1, 2011, 9:17 AM
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I remember when I was afraid to fall. Years later now its fun. Nothing like getting to the top of your project, asking for slack, and taking a big fall on purpose.


robx


Aug 5, 2011, 7:40 PM
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tH1e-swiN1e wrote:
I remember when I was afraid to fall. Years later now its fun. Nothing like getting to the top of your project, asking for slack, and taking a big fall on purpose.

please practice falling inside.


jt512


Aug 5, 2011, 9:32 PM
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robx wrote:
tH1e-swiN1e wrote:
I remember when I was afraid to fall. Years later now its fun. Nothing like getting to the top of your project, asking for slack, and taking a big fall on purpose.

please practice falling inside.

Why?


sungam


Aug 6, 2011, 10:10 AM
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tH1e-swiN1e wrote:
I remember when I was afraid to fall. Years later now its fun. Nothing like getting to the top of your project, asking for slack, and taking a big fall on purpose.
*Bakaw!* Do the bird, baby!


tolman_paul


Aug 31, 2011, 3:24 PM
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Did you get into the sport to climb, or to fall?

Every time you fall there is the risk of hitting something other than the ground that could injure you, equipment failure or getting tangled up in the gear. If you don't fall, those risks are removed.

Honestly I've yet to find anything that made me climb better than frequent boldering sessions and long traverses. Buildup your grip strength, and learn to make as many different moves and combinations of moves on the boulders.

Yes, I've taken lead falls, and yes there are some routes that I simply had to work out the crux sequence on the sharp end.

That said, flailing around on ropes doesn't teach you to stay on the rock and make upward progress.


redlude97


Aug 31, 2011, 3:36 PM
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tolman_paul wrote:
Did you get into the sport to climb, or to fall?

Every time you fall there is the risk of hitting something other than the ground that could injure you, equipment failure or getting tangled up in the gear. If you don't fall, those risks are removed.

Honestly I've yet to find anything that made me climb better than frequent boldering sessions and long traverses. Buildup your grip strength, and learn to make as many different moves and combinations of moves on the boulders.

Yes, I've taken lead falls, and yes there are some routes that I simply had to work out the crux sequence on the sharp end.

That said, flailing around on ropes doesn't teach you to stay on the rock and make upward progress.
Neither does backing off or taking whenever you get pumped or scared, which is what many people do when they are afraid to fall. IME this fear decreases as you take more lead falls


tolman_paul


Aug 31, 2011, 5:20 PM
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I've climbed off and on for quite a few years. My lead head has gone from trembling a few feat above pro to rock solid free soloing, and everywhere in between, and it'll vary over time.

While I've taken a few lead falls I can recall, I never was one to fall all over the place.

My point is, I don't think you need to fall alot to improve your climbing, and there are climbs, even sport climbs, where falling isn't safe.

Work on climbing solid and smoothly, and you'll climb better.


redlude97


Aug 31, 2011, 5:27 PM
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tolman_paul wrote:
I've climbed off and on for quite a few years. My lead head has gone from trembling a few feat above pro to rock solid free soloing, and everywhere in between, and it'll vary over time.

While I've taken a few lead falls I can recall, I never was one to fall all over the place.

My point is, I don't think you need to fall alot to improve your climbing, and there are climbs, even sport climbs, where falling isn't safe.

Work on climbing solid and smoothly, and you'll climb better.
So what you are saying is you don't redpoint sport routes and you think that is the best strategy to become a stronger climber.


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