Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Trad Climbing: Re: [rgold] Advice to the beginning trad leader around falling - don't: Edit Log


May 19, 2012, 12:29 PM

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Re: [rgold] Advice to the beginning trad leader around falling - don't
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I wouldn't ascribe much significance to the 1 in 20 number, although it is nice to have something to wave around when people speak about bombproof cam placements.

So.... if I've had less than 1/20 fail in many many more falls than 20, is my judgement better than average? Wink

Did that study make it in one of the magazines at some point? Those results seem familiar, and I seem to remember being skeptical of them then. I understand the point for new leaders: gear will pull sometimes when you least expect it. I've had it happen to me exactly once. But, if someone has sound judgement then "good" gear will not be pulling 5% of the time...

From my experience, and my friend's, that's a very inflated number. I've climbed/fallen a lot on all rock types, dry, wet, have whipped on 00 TCU's, taken 40' falls on less than optimal placements, and I've only had 3 pieces pull on me ever in a lead fall:

1. A piton on Romantic Warrior, it was somewhat expected that if i fell the thing would pull.
2. A #2 TCU under that same piton on Romantic Warrior (It was a good fall!). I placed it blind at my ankle quickly on the onsight attempt and inspecting the placement on the way back up I saw it was totally bunk. I in no way judged it to be "good," I was just trying to get anything at that point.
3. A "perfectly" placed #3 TCU in Arapiles. Wow was that a surprise. My one and only "factor 2" fall in my climbing career and it wasn't fun.

My friends who also fall on gear, although possibly less than I do, have had even fewer pieces fail on them and most of those were probably known to be marginal when they went in.

If you throw around statistics that aren't scientifically gathered (I know, essentially impossible to gather real experimental data in climbing) then it might hurt your argument as opposed to strengthen it.

I completely agree with your last paragraph, and think that's a much better argument when trying to convince a new trad climber to be careful than the number.


(This post was edited by bandycoot on May 19, 2012, 12:30 PM)

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Post edited by bandycoot () on May 19, 2012, 12:30 PM

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