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ensonik


Mar 6, 2012, 2:32 PM
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Rope twisted around ankle on fall
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I'm curious. In the gym this week, I saw a leader fall where the leaders ankle was twisted around the rope. It was quite a while before he figured he needed to pull just over the ankle to get out of it.

It's obvious his leg was not placed properly in relation to the rope and fall direction (although there were 4 of us watching and nothing struck us as odd with the rope and his legs -- disclaimer; all 4 of us are beginners (about 2 years leading)), but I'm curious if any of you have seen this before.

edit: spelling


(This post was edited by ensonik on Mar 6, 2012, 2:33 PM)


shimanilami


Mar 6, 2012, 3:25 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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It happens. Figuring out when it could happen and avoiding those circumstances is part of learning how to lead climb.

(I'm reminded of the words of my father, who said, "Pain is a great teacher .... See? I bet you won't ever do that again. ")


(This post was edited by shimanilami on Mar 6, 2012, 3:25 PM)


ensonik


Mar 6, 2012, 3:27 PM
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Re: [shimanilami] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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shimanilami wrote:
It happens

This is what I almost put in the original question; Could it just be one of those 'Shit happens' moments and let it be ... I prefer things to be a bit more thought out and analysed, but maybe this was one of those moments.


shimanilami


Mar 6, 2012, 3:35 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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I could clariy by saying, "It happens if you let it happen."

[Hint - the "it" is the rope getting behind your leg.]


GeckoBat


Mar 6, 2012, 5:33 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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As the belayer, I would have called up to my climber to advise him of the situation. I think that the belayer also shares some responsibility -- at least that's the understanding in my groups.


jt512


Mar 6, 2012, 6:08 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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ensonik wrote:
shimanilami wrote:
It happens

This is what I almost put in the original question; Could it just be one of those 'Shit happens' moments and let it be ...

Only if you treat it as such.

In reply to:
I prefer things to be a bit more thought out and analysed, but maybe this was one of those moments.

Me too. I suspect that shit happens a lot more often to people who think that shit happens than to people who don't.

Jay


ensonik


Mar 6, 2012, 6:46 PM
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Re: [jt512] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
I suspect that shit happens a lot more often to people who think that shit happens than to people who don't.

This phrase was confusing to me, but once it was sorted out in my head, I found it made sense. For what it's worth, I agree.

Rope&Leg foul play there was. Doesn't sound like it happens often though ... (which was the original curiosity/question)

edit: quote


(This post was edited by ensonik on Mar 7, 2012, 6:16 AM)


shotwell


Mar 6, 2012, 8:39 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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ensonik wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I suspect that shit happens a lot more often to people who think that shit happens than to people who don't.

This phrase was confusing to me, but once it was sorted out in my head, I found it made sense. For what it's worth, I agree.

Rope&Leg foul play there was. Doesn't sound like it happens often though ... (which was the original curiosity/question)

What Jay really said is that if you consider this event unlikely to happen, it will happen often. You have to be conscious of where the rope is at all times and not get your leg between it and the wall. If you can't be bothered to pay attention to it, this event will happen very often.


(This post was edited by shotwell on Mar 6, 2012, 9:02 PM)


bearbreeder


Mar 6, 2012, 8:49 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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experienced leaders are often very aware of where their legs are, where the rope is, and where the last piece of pro is ... and the consequences of a fall ...

youll notice they make moves to avoid getting the rope in bad positions


jae8908


Mar 6, 2012, 10:23 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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ensonik wrote:
It's obvious his leg was not placed properly in relation to the rope and fall direction (although there were 4 of us watching and nothing struck us as odd with the rope and his legs -- disclaimer; all 4 of us are beginners (about 2 years leading)), but I'm curious if any of you have seen this before.

edit: spelling
I'm a bit confused that after 2 years of leading experience, how is it that you don't know how to place your feet to keep the rope from getting wrapped around your leg when you fall? This is one of the first things I learned when I was learning to lead and I have only been leading just over a year. If you took a class, that should have been taught. If you have ever lead with anyone who has any experience then they should have recognized and corrected the foot placement.


irukandji


Mar 7, 2012, 3:14 AM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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Scheis happens.

I remember seeing a video of Lynn Hill getting her leg caught in the rope and doing the splits to avoid hitting her head over the wall. And few can beat Lynn when it comes to experience. Just be careful next time.


USnavy


Mar 7, 2012, 4:18 AM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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ensonik wrote:
I'm curious. In the gym this week, I saw a leader fall where the leaders ankle was twisted around the rope. It was quite a while before he figured he needed to pull just over the ankle to get out of it.

It's obvious his leg was not placed properly in relation to the rope and fall direction (although there were 4 of us watching and nothing struck us as odd with the rope and his legs -- disclaimer; all 4 of us are beginners (about 2 years leading)), but I'm curious if any of you have seen this before.

edit: spelling
I have not specifically seen someone fall with their leg twisted in the rope, however this issue is extremely common amongst new leaders. In fact, in my experience, climbing with the rope behind one's leg is the single most common major error new leaders make. Many gyms and instructors do not give this issue enough attention. Most focus more attention on backclipping, even though this issue is more important in many ways. The consequences of falling with the rope behind your leg can be severe, so make sure you are always paying attention.

This issue is also not restricted solely to new leaders. I have seen 5.13 climbers put the rope behind their leg during certain moves. I believe that the best way to prevent this problem is to give it a lot of attention when you first start leading. Specifically look down and watch how your feet interact with the rope. If you learn early on to keep your feet away from the rope, you are more likely to continue that behavior throughout your climbing career. If you do wrong at first, you are likely to continue doing wrong, and if you try to correct yourself, it will likely be harder to do because you will have to suppress an already ingrained behavior.

This reminds me of a partner I use to climb with. He would use a Trango Cinch to belay with. When he started using the device he learned that he could take his hands off the rope when his partner is resting on a bolt because the device is locked. Well this did not sit well with me, I learned to always keep my hand on the rope at all times. So I had to remind him over and over and over to keep his hand on the rope. I have reminded him hundreds of times, and although he has improved, I still see him switching to his old behavior of letting go of the rope at times. On the other hand, when my girlfriend bought a Cinch, I trained her to use it like an ATC, that is to never let go of the rope. Although she has less time on the clock belaying on a Cinch than my other partner, she is a superior belayer largely because she never lets go of the rope, because that's how she was trained from the beginning.

Do right early on and its easy to continue doing right.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Mar 7, 2012, 4:34 AM)


blueeyedclimber


Mar 7, 2012, 5:51 AM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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ensonik wrote:
I'm curious. In the gym this week, I saw a leader fall where the leaders ankle was twisted around the rope. It was quite a while before he figured he needed to pull just over the ankle to get out of it.

It's obvious his leg was not placed properly in relation to the rope and fall direction (although there were 4 of us watching and nothing struck us as odd with the rope and his legs -- disclaimer; all 4 of us are beginners (about 2 years leading)), but I'm curious if any of you have seen this before.

edit: spelling

I'm a little confused here. Are you saying that he just got flipped by the rope, or that he was left hanging there with the rope wrapped around his ankle. If the former, then it is common for newer leaders to get the rope behind their leg. I won't say it doesn't happen with more experienced climbers, but they at least know that it was their fault. If the latter, then, no, I haven't seen that before.

Josh


bill413


Mar 7, 2012, 5:51 AM
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jae8908 wrote:
ensonik wrote:
It's obvious his leg was not placed properly in relation to the rope and fall direction (although there were 4 of us watching and nothing struck us as odd with the rope and his legs -- disclaimer; all 4 of us are beginners (about 2 years leading)), but I'm curious if any of you have seen this before.

edit: spelling
I'm a bit confused that after 2 years of leading experience, how is it that you don't know how to place your feet to keep the rope from getting wrapped around your leg when you fall? This is one of the first things I learned when I was learning to lead and I have only been leading just over a year. If you took a class, that should have been taught. If you have ever lead with anyone who has any experience then they should have recognized and corrected the foot placement.

I think it's admirable that he's willing to classify himself based on his experience rather than simply time.

Different gyms, different classes, different instructors emphasize different things. People don't always retain everything they are shown in a class.

I have seen experienced leaders concentrating on body position place a foot first, then realize they need to move it outside the rope. I have seen people make moves where it is questionable whether the rope is in a position to catch the foot. Sometimes it is a judgment call.


ensonik


Mar 7, 2012, 6:21 AM
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Re: [blueeyedclimber] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
I'm a little confused here. Are you saying that he just got flipped by the rope, or that he was left hanging there with the rope wrapped around his ankle. If the former, then it is common for newer leaders to get the rope behind their leg. I won't say it doesn't happen with more experienced climbers, but they at least know that it was their fault. If the latter, then, no, I haven't seen that before.
Josh

He was hanging upside down with the rope literally wrapped around his ankle.


(This post was edited by ensonik on Mar 7, 2012, 6:22 AM)


ensonik


Mar 7, 2012, 6:27 AM
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jae8908 wrote:
I'm a bit confused that after 2 years of leading experience, how is it that you don't know how to place your feet to keep the rope from getting wrapped around your leg when you fall? This is one of the first things I learned when I was learning to lead and I have only been leading just over a year. If you took a class, that should have been taught. If you have ever lead with anyone who has any experience then they should have recognized and corrected the foot placement.

It's something we all learned and that they put emphasis on at the gym where I go. But as mentioned by others in this thread, it happens to the best of them. I only have 2 years experience, so shit may happen once in a while. In this case, it's obvious there was foul play, but I think for the inexperienced like us, it wasn't obvious since we all missed it.

I'm glad your superior intellect avoids you this type of problems; our group is not as gifted.


blueeyedclimber


Mar 7, 2012, 6:27 AM
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ensonik wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
I'm a little confused here. Are you saying that he just got flipped by the rope, or that he was left hanging there with the rope wrapped around his ankle. If the former, then it is common for newer leaders to get the rope behind their leg. I won't say it doesn't happen with more experienced climbers, but they at least know that it was their fault. If the latter, then, no, I haven't seen that before.
Josh

He was hanging upside down with the rope literally wrapped around his ankle.

Hmm...Well, I think it's safe to say that he indeed fell with the rope behind his leg. That is his fault and does not fall under the umbrella of "shit happens." The rope getting wrapped around his ankle is kind of flukey, but once again, it wouldn't have happened if he didn't position his feet with the rope behind his leg.

Josh


johnwesely


Mar 7, 2012, 6:29 AM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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That happened to me once, except the rope was wrapped around my thigh. The route was a weird overhanging arete, and somehow I got discombobulated while doing a weird move. It really hurt.


ensonik


Mar 7, 2012, 6:32 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
Hmm...Well, I think it's safe to say that he indeed fell with the rope behind his leg. That is his fault and does not fall under the umbrella of "shit happens." The rope getting wrapped around his ankle is kind of flukey, but once again, it wouldn't have happened if he didn't position his feet with the rope behind his leg.

Fair enough. I guess we really all did miss the obvious ...

just a thought: I wasn't belaying, just watching from afar with my kid. The belayer was wearing those weird belay glasses (can't remember the name). I wonder if the angle the glasses give you on the action would prevent the belayer from seeing leg&rope foul play ...

(I know it's up to the climber to be careful, but as a belayer I'm always hyper aware of telling the climber when the rope is misplaced)


jae8908


Mar 7, 2012, 6:42 AM
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I'm not perfect. I did indeed place my foot behind the rope one time. However I proceeded to move it out around the rope and to never do it again.

Yes, as others and you have said "Shit happens". But like as Jay said only if you let it. Like I said I've only been climbing a short about of time but I nor anyone in my group climbing with me at the time have yet to have a major accident. Worst thing was probably having the skin scraped off of my knuckles while belaying a fall from sitting on top of a boulder. You have to pay attention to everything happening 100% of the time and think about anything that could possibly go wrong. Notify the people you are with and see if they have the same concerns. If needed, correct the issue. That's it, bottom line.
I am glad that you are trying to learn from the situation.


edge


Mar 7, 2012, 7:52 AM
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ensonik wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Hmm...Well, I think it's safe to say that he indeed fell with the rope behind his leg. That is his fault and does not fall under the umbrella of "shit happens." The rope getting wrapped around his ankle is kind of flukey, but once again, it wouldn't have happened if he didn't position his feet with the rope behind his leg.


Fair enough. I guess we really all did miss the obvious ...

just a thought: I wasn't belaying, just watching from afar with my kid. The belayer was wearing those weird belay glasses (can't remember the name). I wonder if the angle the glasses give you on the action would prevent the belayer from seeing leg&rope foul play ...

(I know it's up to the climber to be careful, but as a belayer I'm always hyper aware of telling the climber when the rope is misplaced)

Belay glasses? I've never heard of such a thing, nor can imagine a need for them. Unless of course you are referring to some tumblers of water, gatorade, or scotch.

From the sounds of it, the only scenario I can imagine for having a complete ankle wrap after a fall suggests that a) the rope was behind the climber's leg, b) that he must have done some weird cartwheeling or flailing of limbs while airborn, and c) that there was too much slack in the system, perhaps from climbing up from the last pro and then downclimbing a move or two. In the latter scenario, the belayer should have reeled in the appropriate amount of rope.

Although it happens rarely if you are conscientious, occasionally the leader will need to put his/her foot in such a position that it is in a poor relationship with the rope; sometimes it is dictated by the line of protection and the next move, or happens in the heat of the moment during a cruxy sequence. The smart leader will recognize this immediately, and will either correct it at the next available opportunity, or accept the potential risks involved.

This really shouldn't happen in a gym type setting.


overlord


Mar 7, 2012, 8:23 AM
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jt512 wrote:
ensonik wrote:
shimanilami wrote:
It happens

This is what I almost put in the original question; Could it just be one of those 'Shit happens' moments and let it be ...

Only if you treat it as such.

In reply to:
I prefer things to be a bit more thought out and analysed, but maybe this was one of those moments.

Me too. I suspect that shit happens a lot more often to people who think that shit happens than to people who don't.

Jay

ditto what jay said. the leader was probably 'inside rope', meaning that the rope ran behind one of hes/shes legs. when leading you must pay attention to where the rope is. it should be either inbetween your legs or in front of them. never ever behind.

i made this mistake only once. almost cracked my head and got a serious rope-burn. my mistake and i learned from it.


lena_chita
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Mar 7, 2012, 8:42 AM
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edge wrote:
ensonik wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
Hmm...Well, I think it's safe to say that he indeed fell with the rope behind his leg. That is his fault and does not fall under the umbrella of "shit happens." The rope getting wrapped around his ankle is kind of flukey, but once again, it wouldn't have happened if he didn't position his feet with the rope behind his leg.


Fair enough. I guess we really all did miss the obvious ...

just a thought: I wasn't belaying, just watching from afar with my kid. The belayer was wearing those weird belay glasses (can't remember the name). I wonder if the angle the glasses give you on the action would prevent the belayer from seeing leg&rope foul play ...

(I know it's up to the climber to be careful, but as a belayer I'm always hyper aware of telling the climber when the rope is misplaced)

Belay glasses? I've never heard of such a thing, nor can imagine a need for them. Unless of course you are referring to some tumblers of water, gatorade, or scotch.


Ha! I am guessing that you do not climb in places where you tilt your head higher until you can't do so anymore, as the climber goes up, and then eventually have to face away from the rock to keep an eye on your climber.

While I personally don't use those belay glasses, I have tried them, and liked them -- though not well enough to shell the serious $$ required. They take some getting used to, it is disconcerting at first, because they are essentially prisms.

But I see people using them fairly regularly, especially the folks with neck problems.


blueeyedclimber


Mar 7, 2012, 8:42 AM
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jae8908 wrote:
I'm not perfect. I did indeed place my foot behind the rope one time. However I proceeded to move it out around the rope and to never do it again.

Yes, as others and you have said "Shit happens". But like as Jay said only if you let it. Like I said I've only been climbing a short about of time but I nor anyone in my group climbing with me at the time have yet to have a major accident. Worst thing was probably having the skin scraped off of my knuckles while belaying a fall from sitting on top of a boulder. You have to pay attention to everything happening 100% of the time and think about anything that could possibly go wrong. Notify the people you are with and see if they have the same concerns. If needed, correct the issue. That's it, bottom line.
I am glad that you are trying to learn from the situation.

You mean 'in front of the rope' or 'the rope was behind my leg'. This happens to be a pet peeve of Jay's and I just wanted to get to you before he did. Wink

Josh


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Mar 7, 2012, 8:52 AM
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Re: [ensonik] Rope twisted around ankle on fall [In reply to]
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While I disagree with a few minor points upthread, I think the gist here is valid, i.e., this was the result of climber error and to a lessor extent, the belayer for failing to recognize it and point it out. Aside from the climbing itself, there's only one thing you need to do 100% of the time you're on the wall—manage the rope and your body parts in relation to it.

This is not a shit-happens situation.

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