Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Trad Climbing:
Falling on Trad?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Trad Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All


sheehan_kat


Oct 23, 2003, 1:05 PM
Post #26 of 73 (20526 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 17, 2003
Posts: 10

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

a little less related to your question; A good way to practice placing gear and trusting it is to set up a mock-lead, this was a breakthrough for me. Set up a TR but keep a little slack while you lead something at your limit, and just pitch off a few times on purpose to get your head used to gear that holds. If it doesnt hold, youve got the TR backing you up. it takes a couple people but is great for your head, esp. if youve pulled gear.


badphish


Oct 23, 2003, 10:14 PM
Post #27 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 2, 2003
Posts: 207

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

bro, if you take a big enough whipper on a stopper and its
placed good, chances are its gonna get fused into the rock
and your not going to get it anyway. as far as cams go,
if its new, it should be so long as the action is still good in
the trigger. and hexes, well if you're a beginner, then you're
probably not that compfortable taking falls on them anyway,
i know they still scare the shit out of me, i'm afraid they're going
to walk all the time, but maybe i'm just being a bitch about it


okinawatricam


Oct 24, 2003, 12:19 AM
Post #28 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 22, 2003
Posts: 420

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Sounds like a bunch of rookies are giving you advice. I started climbing 15 years ago when the old idea "the leader doesn't fall," attitude was still around with some. Unfortunately, if you never you will never truly know whether or not your gear holds, so yeah practice falls are good.

During an early free attempt of the Salathe, the exposure was so bad, that the climber would practice falling to get use to the idea. This help boost their cofidence.

If you want to practice falling on gear, you can go to a local sport route and place gear (you'll be supprised) near a bolt. Sounds like you trust those. If the gear is slightly higher then the bolt and pulls, then the bolt will back up the placement.

You will never get better if you don't fall. A fear of falling will limit your performance on harder routes.


rockczar


Oct 24, 2003, 12:37 AM
Post #29 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 14, 2003
Posts: 21

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

[quote="blueeyedclimber"] It's mainly my cam placements that I am refering to.When I put a hex, nut or tricam in, I usually know if it is solid or not.

I find it interesting that you are more worried about your cam placements. Was this the piece that you ripped when you decked? I am sure some will disagree with me here, but it seems like cams are more idiot-proof (not implying anything here) than passive pro. I did the same thing you did when I started climbing...was climbing well above my limit and fell, ripping my first piece and hitting the deck. The first piece was a decent sized stopper. I made the mistake of thinking that just because the piece fit nicely in the crack and resisted my hardest yanks that it would hold a fall. I quickly learned that you need a very obvious constriction in order to place a piece of passive pro that will hold a fall of any kind.

Conversely, it seems that you have larger margin of error with cams (food for thought - just a conversation starter, really). Agree? Disagree?


blueeyedclimber


Oct 24, 2003, 5:51 AM
Post #30 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 19, 2002
Posts: 4602

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

[quote="rockczar"]
In reply to:
It's mainly my cam placements that I am refering to.When I put a hex, nut or tricam in, I usually know if it is solid or not.

I find it interesting that you are more worried about your cam placements. Was this the piece that you ripped when you decked? I am sure some will disagree with me here, but it seems like cams are more idiot-proof (not implying anything here) than passive pro.Conversely, it seems that you have larger margin of error with cams (food for thought - just a conversation starter, really). Agree? Disagree?

I have a lot more experience placing passive pro. Just got our cams last year and began trad last spring. So with that experience, I just feel more comfortable in those placements as opposed to cams. When I fell, I actually climbed above the cams (first 2 pieces), knowing that they were not great. I think it was more of a risky rookie mistake than it was me thinking they were good placements.


Josh


rockczar


Oct 24, 2003, 6:30 AM
Post #31 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 14, 2003
Posts: 21

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

at least you recognized they were crap..that is the important part...then you can fault your judgement & not your ability to assess the solidity of your placements for your mishap

in any case...i think it makes a HUGE difference to be comfortable enough with your gear to be able to push yourself..you aren't really pushing your limits unless you are falling!


okinawatricam


Jan 13, 2004, 2:45 AM
Post #32 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 22, 2003
Posts: 420

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I prefer pasive gear, seems like a lot less could happen causing it to fail.


Partner rgold


Jan 13, 2004, 7:08 AM
Post #33 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 3, 2002
Posts: 1801

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (10 ratings)  
Can't Post

The most important principle for using trad protection, especiallly but not exclusively if you are just learning, is redundancy. The idea is to develop a system you trust while maintaining a healthy scepticism about the reliability of any one piece. Try not to put yourself in the position of having a single piece, no matter how "bombproof," between you and disaster.

Placing more than gear than seems to be essential requires discipline and endurance, marks of a good trad climber. Failing safely is a better longevity option than betting the farm on a single piece.

Nonetheless, all climbing to some extent, but trad climbing intrinsically, involves risk. A lot of climbs have places you better not fall from, and this is part of the essence of trad climbing---performing in a cool and controlled manner when confronting a risky situation. Neutralizing danger, not just by protection skills, but also by climbing skills, is part of the game. (Unaulterated difficulty unencumbered by concerns of mortality is the province of sport climbing.)

Arguments about whether or not falling is a good idea always have these provisions: "if the gear is bomber, go for it," which is fair enough, but such pronouncements avoid the real problem by defining it out of existence. Many accidents happen when the bomber gear turns out not to be bomber. The climber (1) misjudged the pro (something that is quite possible for experts, let alone beginners), (2) failed to build sufficient redundancy into the system, and then (3) misjudged their ability and went for it in a situation when they were not well protected.

As for judging pro, I concur with the posters who recommend aid climbing. Redundancy is a state of mind combined with the will to carry it out. The most difficult issue is how to climb without falling when falling is a bad idea. (For example, if there is one piece between you and the ground and you can't back it up, then falling is a bad idea.) Here I think modern trends can inculcate bad habits. Gym climbing, sport climbing, and bouldering all emphasize moving up in the most marginal of situations. There is a risk of developing a tunnel-vision mentality that, first of all, accepts marginal moves even though the consequences of failure are catastrophic, perhaps not even noticing that the climber has gone from control to high risk status, and secondly, that blinds the climber to both the need and the opportunity to climb down to rest, regroup, and yes, in some cases, to retreat. Mental discipline is the primary tool for avoiding these situations, but this discipline is not something acquired in the gym or on sport climbs.

Here are some exercises that may be of some use:

(1) When climbing in the gym or on sport routes, try to be conscious of how marginal you are. (This does not mean reducing the difficulty level, just striving for heightened awareness.) From a trad perspective, falling may be ok, but an unexpected fall is not good. Know when you are on the edge.

(2) A lot of falls on steep ground happen when the leader runs out of gas. Try to develop a sense of your "half-way point," because this is one of the moments when you have to decide whether to move up or down. For example, a gym exercise is to select a challenging route and then see how high on it you can get and still climb all the way back down without falling.

(3) Develop the mental habit of filing away "retreat data." This can make the difference between stepping down and falling. (For example, when you step over a small roof, the holds underneath disappear. Did you make a mental note of features above the roof that will help you locate the holds underneath?)

(4) Don't neglect the building of a base of climbing below your limit, climbing in which you are relatively comfortable but are also frequently in the "must not fall" zone. A steady diet of well-protected hard climbing at or near your limit, while essential for raising your climbing level, may shortchange you on control and calmness when things get dicey, as they will, sooner or later...


holmeslovesguinness


Jan 13, 2004, 7:33 AM
Post #34 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 548

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Nice post rgold, lots of good ideas for newbie trad leaders there.


buzzard


Jan 13, 2004, 7:53 AM
Post #35 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2003
Posts: 62

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

You have to practice falling on just trad. You can do it sport and even top rope. With TR tell the belayer to leave a lot of slat then just fall. For sport just don't clip in on one of your bolts.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 13, 2004, 7:56 AM
Post #36 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 19, 2002
Posts: 4602

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

When I first entered this post, I didn't realize it was my own. I have learned a lot the last couple of months, from practice, reading and self-reflection. My most important lesson being, when to back off. My ego at the time of the fall was perhaps a little stubborn. I picked a climb that was well within my ability, ignoring the fact that it was wet and the protection was poor, not to mention I was a beginner. I was humbled, but it needed to happen. Fortunately, I was fairly close to the ground and survived with just a spraigned ankle. It didn't shake my confidence, but it did make me smarter. I am glad it happened.

And thanks for resurrecting my post.

Josh


scubasnyder


Jan 13, 2004, 8:01 AM
Post #37 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2003
Posts: 1639

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

when i fall i hope i had a good placement


dirtineye


Jan 13, 2004, 8:20 AM
Post #38 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 29, 2003
Posts: 5590

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

This post from Rgold is 100% USDA choice fat free, and well worded too.

The advice is perfect, and the editorializing on modern climbing trends is the best summation of that problem I ever saw.

It's worth a bump:


In reply to:
The most important principle for using trad protection, especiallly but not exclusively if you are just learning, is redundancy. The idea is to develop a system you trust while maintaining a healthy scepticism about the reliability of any one piece. Try not to put yourself in the position of having a single piece, no matter how "bombproof," between you and disaster.

Placing more than gear than seems to be essential requires discipline and endurance, marks of a good trad climber. Failing safely is a better longevity option than betting the farm on a single piece.

Nonetheless, all climbing to some extent, but trad climbing intrinsically, involves risk. A lot of climbs have places you better not fall from, and this is part of the essence of trad climbing---performing in a cool and controlled manner when confronting a risky situation. Neutralizing danger, not just by protection skills, but also by climbing skills, is part of the game. (Unaulterated difficulty unencumbered by concerns of mortality is the province of sport climbing.)

Arguments about whether or not falling is a good idea always have these provisions: "if the gear is bomber, go for it," which is fair enough, but such pronouncements avoid the real problem by defining it out of existence. Many accidents happen when the bomber gear turns out not to be bomber. The climber (1) misjudged the pro (something that is quite possible for experts, let alone beginners), (2) failed to build sufficient redundancy into the system, and then (3) misjudged their ability and went for it in a situation when they were not well protected.

As for judging pro, I concur with the posters who recommend aid climbing. Redundancy is a state of mind combined with the will to carry it out. The most difficult issue is how to climb without falling when falling is a bad idea. (For example, if there is one piece between you and the ground and you can't back it up, then falling is a bad idea.) Here I think modern trends can inculcate bad habits. Gym climbing, sport climbing, and bouldering all emphasize moving up in the most marginal of situations. There is a risk of developing a tunnel-vision mentality that, first of all, accepts marginal moves even though the consequences of failure are catastrophic, perhaps not even noticing that the climber has gone from control to high risk status, and secondly, that blinds the climber to both the need and the opportunity to climb down to rest, regroup, and yes, in some cases, to retreat. Mental discipline is the primary tool for avoiding these situations, but this discipline is not something acquired in the gym or on sport climbs.

Here are some exercises that may be of some use:

(1) When climbing in the gym or on sport routes, try to be conscious of how marginal you are. (This does not mean reducing the difficulty level, just striving for heightened awareness.) From a trad perspective, falling may be ok, but an unexpected fall is not good. Know when you are on the edge.

(2) A lot of falls on steep ground happen when the leader runs out of gas. Try to develop a sense of your "half-way point," because this is one of the moments when you have to decide whether to move up or down. For example, a gym exercise is to select a challenging route and then see how high on it you can get and still climb all the way back down without falling.

(3) Develop the mental habit of filing away "retreat data." This can make the difference between stepping down and falling. (For example, when you step over a small roof, the holds underneath disappear. Did you make a mental note of features above the roof that will help you locate the holds underneath?)

(4) Don't neglect the building of a base of climbing below your limit, climbing in which you are relatively comfortable but are also frequently in the "must not fall" zone. A steady diet of well-protected hard climbing at or near your limit, while essential for raising your climbing level, may shortchange you on control and calmness when things get dicey, as they will, sooner or later...


thegreytradster


Jan 13, 2004, 8:36 AM
Post #39 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 7, 2003
Posts: 2151

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Rgold has pretty much covered it.

His last point about building a base is particularly important. With the advent of gyms and sport climbing it's common for new trad leaders physical abillity to exceed their judgement levels. Gain mileage. Don't think that every route you do needs to be near your limit. Learn to recognize and rapidly make good placements on the easier ground also. This is also the time to learn proper use of slings and rope drag management, not when you're totally griped.


keinangst


Jan 13, 2004, 8:41 AM
Post #40 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 31, 2003
Posts: 1408

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Nice, rgold! That's an excellent summation. I'm a beginning trad leader, and I've thankfully not had to learn the hard way to keep my ego in check.

IMO, retreating and downclimbing should be a part of every lead climber's vocabulary. In sport and toprope, there is often little or no reason to back down from a challenge beyond one's perceived abilities. The mentality is a lot different in trad, and I think that being able to look up at the rest of the climb and say "Maybe some other day" should not be viewed as weak, shameful, or cowardly.


ambler


Jan 13, 2004, 12:38 PM
Post #41 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1690

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
The most important principle for using trad protection, especiallly but not exclusively if you are just learning, is redundancy....
Rich's intelligent, detailed post provides an excellent candidate for a FAQ, if we had climbing FAQs around here (filling the role that Tradgirl does/did for rec.climbing). It could be pointed to the next time a new climber starts a thread about falling on trad gear, as seems to happen fairly often. FAQs based on well-informed answers might be one way to counterbalance the beginners-advising-beginners flavor of so many threads (and how is a beginner to know?).


climbhigher


Jan 13, 2004, 5:58 PM
Post #42 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 5, 2002
Posts: 224

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hey blueeyedclimber, You should read some chapters out of the book "The Warriors Way" it has some really good stuff about falling. How to evaluate the whole idea in a logical manner physically and mentally. And with retiring gear after falling on it is a touchy issue. But, i can say one thing you don't see cams exploding off cam stems, exploding out of cracks because someone didn't retire there camming unit soon enough every day of the week. I will retire a piece of gear if it doesn't work the same way it worked when it was new. It doesn't matter if i fell on it or didn't fall on it. I hate climbing on ghetto gear (Sticky biner gates, worn biners after lowering off them 1 million times, fucked up spring action on cams, bent wires on metiolus cams, kinked wires on nuts, fuzzy shealth on ropes, rope burns on any webing, etc.... ) but some dirtbags think differently.


badass


Jan 13, 2004, 6:36 PM
Post #43 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 7, 2004
Posts: 228

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hey man you hit the nail on the head. Trad climbing was created in an era where falling was concidered taboo. The only falls taken a hundred years ago were eather death falls or lifelong tales if the climber actually survived. People now trad with the illusion of safety but if you trad at some point or another you are likely to injure an ankle from a friction fall. If you want to trad just plan on not falling. I'd suggest sport climbing. Most of the falls taken are either vertical or leaning back so injuries are rare. :o


hawgdrver


Jan 13, 2004, 6:51 PM
Post #44 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 16, 2003
Posts: 214

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Deleted


climbhigher


Jan 14, 2004, 12:20 PM
Post #45 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 5, 2002
Posts: 224

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In the days of Goldline ropes, Hemp ropes, hip belays, and maginal gear falling was not a good idea. The mentalality was "The Leader Must not Fall". But now with technology it's compeletly safe to fall on your gear if it's a safe fall clean fall. Alot of injuries can be advoided by learning how to fall, belay, and protect correctly. It's actually fun to fall on Trad if the fall is safe and clean.


Partner climboard


Jan 15, 2004, 2:23 PM
Post #46 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 10, 2001
Posts: 503

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

That is one of the most concise, well written posts I have read on this site.

Bravo rgold!


sspssp


Jan 15, 2004, 2:46 PM
Post #47 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Posts: 1731

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
.

Placing more than gear than seems to be essential requires discipline and endurance, marks of a good trad climber. Failing safely is a better longevity option than betting the farm on a single piece.

Sure, if you are doing a 80 feet pitch off the ground. However, if you are climbing a multi-pitch, with a multi-pitch rack, and the pitch is a 120 feet long, and there are a couple of ledges (or other "bad falls") along the way, and you don't know what pieces you will need for the natural anchor at the top of the pitch (so you want to save a range of sizes):

suddenly placing redundant gear doesn't sound like such a good idea. Particularly when you are halfway up the pitch and already out of cams.

That said, there was a lot of good info in the original post.


mandrake


Jan 15, 2004, 3:43 PM
Post #48 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 7, 2004
Posts: 188

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

sspssp brings up a good point that I think re-emphasizes rgold's last point about climbing below your limit: rationing your gear properly is rather crucial to staying healthy trad climbing.

So, when you're left with a rack of blue tcu's and nuts, and you're staring up at 50 feet of handcrack to the belay, it's nice if it's a 5.7 handcrack rather than 5.10 slippery fists!


deafears


Jan 15, 2004, 10:13 PM
Post #49 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 10, 2003
Posts: 103

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Rgold's much ballyhooed post offers some nice words of caution, but is off the mark in several respects.

It's silly to say that bouldering and sport climbing make for unsafe trad climbing. In my experience, these "modern" styles have made me a much better and safer trad leader. They teach movement skills, lend power and endurance (allowing better opportunities to place gear on hard leads) and give experience with falling -- something I had an irrational amount of fear about when I followed the "leader shalt not lob" maxim.

Redundancy is obviously a good thing, but you can't build a belay station at every placement. Most of the falls I take come after I get flammed trying to make needless placements. I'm tired, I'm scared and I just keep shoving in gear until I let go. On the other hand, when I place solid pieces and climb confidently above them, I usually don't come off, and when I do the gear always holds (so far,thank you unknowable higher powers).


Partner coylec


Jan 19, 2004, 5:56 PM
Post #50 of 73 (20532 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 12, 2003
Posts: 2024

Re: Falling on Trad? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Echoing everyone else: rgold is on the money.

Concidentially, I'm reading this thread after getting back from climbing, where I took my first lead fall. I had placed a .75 Robot cam in a horizontal crack and continued to move right when I fell. I watched the cam shoot sideways across my vision as I realized (1) that placement sucked, (2) the ground is going to be really close and (3) the four hikers who are watching me are really going to be suprised.

Yeah, so the previous placement caught me (#7 BD nut), and my belayer caught me about 3 feet from the deck. Yeah, needed a breather after that one.

So, I want to echo the thoughts of others when they said passive pro is easier to assess whether its good or not. I did all that aid stuff with my nuts (that sounds bad), but never with the cams. Guess I should have.

Working to get my confidence back, I sewed up a fun crack climb. Did it two days ago, placing 8 pieces. Did it today with 14. Yeah, the more pro the better.

coylec

First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Trad Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$165.37 (10% off)
$11.66 (10% off)
$10.76 (10% off)
$16.16 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook