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Alimali


Oct 31, 2012, 8:57 PM
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Fear of Lead Falls
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Hey, so I've been climbing for about 8 or 9 months. Lately I've been getting on the roof at my local climbing gym more regularly, which has been really fun, but I feel like my fear of lead falls (not just on the roof) is holding me back from making moves I know that I can do. On the other hand, it feels like a sensible thing to be cautious of.

Do other people still have this fear, no matter how long they've been climbing? Is it something that you should fear, and not something you should make efforts to overcome?

Or is it like on top-rope, where you need to stop freaking out about the heights aspect in order to get on with the climbing?


jt512


Oct 31, 2012, 9:13 PM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Alimali wrote:
Hey, so I've been climbing for about 8 or 9 months. Lately I've been getting on the roof at my local climbing gym more regularly, which has been really fun, but I feel like my fear of lead falls (not just on the roof) is holding me back from making moves I know that I can do. On the other hand, it feels like a sensible thing to be cautious of.

Do other people still have this fear, no matter how long they've been climbing? Is it something that you should fear, and not something you should make efforts to overcome?

Or is it like on top-rope, where you need to stop freaking out about the heights aspect in order to get on with the climbing?

Although no fall is absolutely safe, some falls, when objectively analyzed, are reasonably safe, and if you are excessively afraid of reasonably safe falls, then your progress as a climber will be hindered. So climbers need to hone their skills at distinguishing reasonably safe falls from dangerous ones and learning to commit to climbing when the fall is reasonably safe. Much has been written on this subject, the best, IMO, by Arno Ilgner. I suggest, as a place to start, that you get hold of his book The Rock Warrior's Way.

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Oct 31, 2012, 10:15 PM)


jomagam


Oct 31, 2012, 10:13 PM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Keep climbing, take a few falls, and your fear will be less and less. Roofs just need some getting used to; it is a strange feeling to climb with your back to the ground.


bearbreeder


Oct 31, 2012, 11:43 PM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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if the fall is safe and your judgement good ... and yr belayer solid ... just take the effing fall ...

do it over and over again ...

and lead everything that has a "safe" fall and good gear/bolting ...

its that simple ... Wink


billl7


Nov 1, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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(Answers above are more comprehensive.)

Sounds like your fear is enhanced when you are out on the roof in the gym? Seems like a natural uptick. While there is still the fear about hitting the floor or hitting someone on the floor, there is the added fear about a pendulum into a wall.

... well ... there's the above plus the fear that one won't be able to as easily "hang dog" the route into submission as on a vertical route. Wink

Bill L


jomagam


Nov 1, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Re: [billl7] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
While there is still the fear about hitting the floor or hitting someone on the floor, there is the added fear about a pendulum into a wall.

That's not an issue in any of the gyms I've climbed at. The roof usually doesn't come after a vertical face, like on many climbs outside, but a progressively more overhanging wall that you have very little chance of penduluming into especially considering how close the bolts are in a gym.


billl7


Nov 1, 2012, 1:00 PM
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Re: [jomagam] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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jomagam wrote:
billl7 wrote:
While there is still the fear about hitting the floor or hitting someone on the floor, there is the added fear about a pendulum into a wall.

That's not an issue in any of the gyms I've climbed at. The roof usually doesn't come after a vertical face, like on many climbs outside, but a progressively more overhanging wall that you have very little chance of penduluming into especially considering how close the bolts are in a gym.

I've been in gyms (and on climbs) where pendulum back into the wall is an issue.

In any case, our sense of how close we'll come to the ground often has more opportunity for tuning by experience at the point when just starting to climb out on roofs as is the OP.


theextremist04


Nov 1, 2012, 7:02 PM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Also, falls on true roofs will be about the safest that there are- you'll fall more or less straight down and not hit anything.


Alimali


Nov 1, 2012, 7:04 PM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Thanks for everyone's advice. I suppose, when I think about it, I'm scared of just lead falls in general. If anything, I'm less scared on the roof than on a slab or face, because I know I'm not going to hit the wall, and I'm so high up I know I'm not going to hit the ground.


madkiki


Nov 7, 2012, 9:53 AM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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I have a fear of falls myself at age 50.

One thing I noticed about climbing "Fear" is that you can overcome it, but at the same time the fear factor can easily return if you don't continue these challenges.

At the local climbing gym me and a friend do something we call the "Torpedo Drop." We are toproping and self-belaying with a Gri-Gri. Climb about half way up, take up the slack, tie a safety knot near the Gri-Gri, climb up with some slack, and then just drop. Do it again and again until you can drop with a lot more slack. Not good for the rope but it sure gets you used to dropping with less fear.

Have fun


bearbreeder


Nov 7, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Re: [madkiki] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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just take the lead fall ... its a gym for christ sakes ... just make sure you watch yr feet and have a good belayer ....

most gyms i know of you need to take a lead fall anyways for your lead certification

the "secret" is to lead everything in the gym you can ... and once you get up more than half way dont ask for a take, take the first fall ... after that you can work out the moves ...

or just take a whipper from the top ...


blueeyedclimber


Dec 3, 2012, 8:24 AM
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Re: [jt512] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Alimali wrote:
Hey, so I've been climbing for about 8 or 9 months. Lately I've been getting on the roof at my local climbing gym more regularly, which has been really fun, but I feel like my fear of lead falls (not just on the roof) is holding me back from making moves I know that I can do. On the other hand, it feels like a sensible thing to be cautious of.

Do other people still have this fear, no matter how long they've been climbing? Is it something that you should fear, and not something you should make efforts to overcome?

Or is it like on top-rope, where you need to stop freaking out about the heights aspect in order to get on with the climbing?

Although no fall is absolutely safe, some falls, when objectively analyzed, are reasonably safe, and if you are excessively afraid of reasonably safe falls, then your progress as a climber will be hindered. So climbers need to hone their skills at distinguishing reasonably safe falls from dangerous ones and learning to commit to climbing when the fall is reasonably safe. Much has been written on this subject, the best, IMO, by Arno Ilgner. I suggest, as a place to start, that you get hold of his book The Rock Warrior's Way.

Jay

^ THIS.

The key to being a safe climber and ALSO progressing is being able to analyze each situation as independent. Being able to quickly judge whether a fall is safe will allow you to commit. This comes with experience, observation, practice and common sense. Fear can hold you back but it can also save your life.

Josh


DemolitionRed


Dec 6, 2012, 2:25 PM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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I love slabs but its the one place I really don't want to take a fall, especially if there are jutting out bits underneath me. I've taken the skin off my elbows and knees from falling on slabs

There will be times when a fall is not a safe option. One is before your first quick-draw and second quick-draw when there is a good chance of hitting the ground and the other is when you have a wide ledge not far beneath you.
Vertical walls, above your second quick-draw, especially in gyms, are good places to fall. If you really start fearing the fall then you will find it hard to progress.
Deal with this now and don't let it fester.


Libbster


Dec 7, 2012, 6:53 AM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Ah I remember my first lead fall. I fell and my belayer botched catching me and I tried to grab back on to the wall. I ended up slamming the wall hanging upside down and my leg was tangled up in the rope. After I came down my heart was racing even though I was sitting for like 30 minutes.

Falling is apart of lead climbing, especially sport lead climbing.

Very rarley do I redpoint a route without falling once.

After awhile you get used to it and it can even be fun, JUST dont be the people who fall on purpose because that is stupid.

Part of rockclimbing is problem solving. If you are thinking about taking a risky move but the chances of you taking a big whipper or hitting the wall is increased you do what rock climbers do; problem solve and find a away to get through it.


kikitastrophe


Dec 7, 2012, 7:16 AM
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Re: [jt512] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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I find I can reduce my fear by sticking to a regular dose of "whipper wednesday" mandatory gym whippers if I haven't been sport climbing much. Pick a lead wall with a nice big over hang, climb to the top, let go. Try not to squeeeeeek


csproul


Dec 7, 2012, 7:21 AM
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Re: [Libbster] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Libbster wrote:
Ah I remember my first lead fall. I fell and my belayer botched catching me and I tried to grab back on to the wall. I ended up slamming the wall hanging upside down and my leg was tangled up in the rope. After I came down my heart was racing even though I was sitting for like 30 minutes.

Falling is apart of lead climbing, especially sport lead climbing.

Very rarley do I redpoint a route without falling once.

After awhile you get used to it and it can even be fun, JUST dont be the people who fall on purpose because that is stupid.

Part of rockclimbing is problem solving. If you are thinking about taking a risky move but the chances of you taking a big whipper or hitting the wall is increased you do what rock climbers do; problem solve and find a away to get through it.
What does this mean? If you fell while climbing a route, then it's not a redpoint. If you had not fallen on the route, then it still wouldn't be a redpoint (assuming you had not TRed or followed the pitch before), it'd be a flash or onsite.

And here's someone who knows a little something about climbing and disagrees with your advice about not falling on purpose:
http://www.davemacleod.com/...outof10climbers.html


(This post was edited by csproul on Dec 7, 2012, 7:24 AM)


Libbster


Dec 7, 2012, 9:34 AM
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Re: [csproul] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Just poor sentence structure. I was just saying that out off all the routes I attempt to redpoint I fall and fail.


Libbster


Dec 7, 2012, 9:39 AM
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Re: [csproul] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Also I advocate taking practice falls. I don't have a problem with those. I did them all the time when I was practicing. What I meant was I've seen people skipping 2 or 3 bolts just so when the jump its a intense fall. I feel that is reckless


DaveE


Dec 7, 2012, 9:46 AM
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Re: [Alimali] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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As long as you are a couple bolts into the climb and your belayer is remotely competent, there is no way that you will hit the ground. Especially sport climbing in a gym, there is no way you will blow your last clip.

Get this in your head and the long, stretchy falls suddenly get fun :)

Dave

EDIT: As in remotely competent I mean someone with basic knowledge of how to belay. Gives slack when needed, Takes slack when it's not, Holds the break side always. Doesn't have to be flawless, but safe.

Maybe I should of said a belayer you trust.

Also, this advice is for climbing in a safe, controlled gym environment. Don't flame me about how this is terrible because having this mindset will kill someone climbing outside or something like that. There are only a select few I will let belay me when climbing trad or leading outside.


(This post was edited by DaveE on Dec 8, 2012, 11:10 AM)


shotwell


Dec 7, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Re: [DaveE] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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DaveE wrote:
As long as you are a couple bolts into the climb and your belayer is remotely competent, there is no way that you will hit the ground. Especially sport climbing in a gym, there is no way you will blow your last clip.

Get this in your head and the long, stretchy falls suddenly get fun :)

Dave

There are several people who have taken the whip with a belayer considered 'remotely competent.' Some of them are unfortunately no longer with us.

Belaying is a task that requires perfection, every time. Remotely competent is just not fucking good enough.

That being said, I have a very good belayer and fall frequently.


bearbreeder


Dec 7, 2012, 11:05 AM
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Re: [Libbster] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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Libbster wrote:
Also I advocate taking practice falls. I don't have a problem with those. I did them all the time when I was practicing. What I meant was I've seen people skipping 2 or 3 bolts just so when the jump its a intense fall. I feel that is reckless

if you are up high enough and theres nothing to hit on the way down ... its doesnt matter one bit

just because you dont get it doesnt mean its "reckless"


saint_john


Dec 7, 2012, 11:51 AM
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DaveE wrote:
As long as you are a couple bolts into the climb and your belayer is remotely competent, there is no way that you will hit the ground. Especially sport climbing in a gym, there is no way you will blow your last clip.
Dave


A climber can easily deck from the second, or even third, bolt if there's enough slack in the rope. Technically speaking too much slack can cause a climber to deck at any point on a climb. There was an article about this in R&I magazine last month.

My advice to the OP is this: Learn to recognize a safe potential fall from an unsafe potential fall.


DaveE


Dec 8, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Re: [shotwell] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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saint_john wrote:
DaveE wrote:
As long as you are a couple bolts into the climb and your belayer is remotely competent, there is no way that you will hit the ground. Especially sport climbing in a gym, there is no way you will blow your last clip.
Dave


A climber can easily deck from the second, or even third, bolt if there's enough slack in the rope. Technically speaking too much slack can cause a climber to deck at any point on a climb. There was an article about this in R&I magazine last month.

My advice to the OP is this: Learn to recognize a safe potential fall from an unsafe potential fall.


I wouldn't call someone who leaves enough slack in the rope to let you hit the ground off the second or third bolt competent...

Recognizing an unsafe potential fall is extremely important though. Very well put. I hate clipping the second bolt when climbing outside. Often times the slack needed in the line to clip combined with the distance from the previous bolt is enough to hit the ground. That scares me.


(This post was edited by DaveE on Dec 8, 2012, 11:09 AM)


curt


Dec 9, 2012, 5:26 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
Libbster wrote:
Also I advocate taking practice falls. I don't have a problem with those. I did them all the time when I was practicing. What I meant was I've seen people skipping 2 or 3 bolts just so when the jump its a intense fall. I feel that is reckless

if you are up high enough and theres nothing to hit on the way down ... its doesnt matter one bit

just because you dont get it doesnt mean its "reckless"

Perhaps not reckless--certainly stupid though.

Curt


bearbreeder


Dec 9, 2012, 5:33 PM
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Re: [curt] Fear of Lead Falls [In reply to]
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i think not climbing as hard as you can is stupid ...

as is TRing climbs that are well within your ability with clean falls and good gear

or being so scared on a lead with good gear and clean falls that you arent willing to take one ...

but thats other people's choice .... if they arent harming other people or the rock ...

of course RC is all about telling people how to climb Tongue


(This post was edited by bearbreeder on Dec 9, 2012, 5:34 PM)

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