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Have you ever decked?
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Poll: Have you ever decked?
Yes 61 / 40%
No 53 / 35%
Came close 26 / 17%
Pancakes 12 / 8%
152 total votes
 

milesenoell


Apr 8, 2011, 5:23 PM
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Have you ever decked?
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So, I recently decked and spent a while thinking "oh my god I could have just died" which is certainly true, but now I'm hoping to get some perspective. How many of you folks out there have decked for one reason or another, and what was that reason? How bad was it?


gblauer
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Apr 8, 2011, 5:30 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Sorry to hear...care to explain your circumstances?

I decked when my climbing partner failed to gain control of the rope shen she was lowering me at the top of a climb. I went zipping through her ATC and I broke my back.

It screwed with my head for an entire climbing season.


milesenoell


Apr 8, 2011, 5:42 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I'll probably post up the details of the incident soon, but suffice it to say I screwed up, hit the ground, and I'm still kind of processing the whole thing. I like to think of myself as a safe climber, but now I'm re-examining all those questions about how well I've done at calculating the risks involved.

That's what led me to questioning how many of us get second chances. How many of us have had the system break down and gotten a chance to learn from it?


gblauer
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Apr 8, 2011, 5:45 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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There are plenty of RC.com members who have had terrible accidents and recovered and are climbing harder than ever.

I hope they speak up and help you through this difficult time.


milesenoell


Apr 8, 2011, 5:56 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
There are plenty of RC.com members who have had terrible accidents and recovered and are climbing harder than ever.

I hope they speak up and help you through this difficult time.

While I appreciate the support, I don't mean to make it sound like I'm in a bad place. I got damn lucky and will heal up and be back climbing in the not too distant future. Frankly, after the distance I fell I am a very happy man be in as good of shape as I am. Mostly I was just hoping to get a reality check about how many people have had similar experiences.

For what it's worth, I fell about 25 feet and broke a bone or two in one of my feet. The big thing for me was having a complete failure of my safety system.


sonso45


Apr 8, 2011, 6:04 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I was doing some popular route in Thailand, an 11 something. My belayer had way too much confidence in my abilities and was chatting. I had moved up and down and when I fell he thought I was pulling slack to clip. I had time to yell a few choice words and my other good friend jumped up and grabbed the rope. I twisted face out as I fell on the sloping muddy deck and landed on my feet into some shrubs. Lucky day for me. No injuries but I was steamed at my belayer. Got a new one and got back on the horse.

Not so lucky a later time. I didn't actually deck but bounced backward and upside down along a dihedral. My belayer's failure was similar although that time I had fallen at the crux a couple times and even hung. She gave me slack and I fell @ 50' coming to a slow stop a few feet off the deck. I ended up with whiplash and a swollen neck.


rock_fencer


Apr 8, 2011, 6:13 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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i have had only one very significant close call. Climb looked like a finger crack, and was described as such in the guide book i had, from the base, and i only took finger sized cams. I usually rack up doubles through gold but this was a short climb and i took a minimal rack accordingly. This particular climb started with a campus up to a slightly overhanging horizontal traverse. Get past crux and am totally worked, crack is gone only to be replaced by very large think #3 C4 slopey horizontals. Try to downclimb and made it one step before i just pumped off completely despite my best efforts. Took about a 10 foot fall about 12 feet off the ground. Chalk bag grazed the ground on a swinging fall. Big shout-out goes to currupt4130 who kept my ass off the ground. Re racked with appropriately sized gear and finished the route.

Best of luck with the healing process! Learning when, how, and if to push the limits of gear, your climbing, and your head game is tricky.


spikeddem


Apr 8, 2011, 6:31 PM
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I assume "pancakes" is a vote for "yes"
Tongue


milesenoell


Apr 8, 2011, 7:24 PM
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rock_fencer wrote:
Learning when, how, and if to push the limits of gear, your climbing, and your head game is tricky.

The thing was, I wasn't pushing any limits. I just fucked up on a basic and routine task.


Partner climboard


Apr 9, 2011, 3:50 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I was climbing at a little known/used crag back in the day. I got 15 feet off the deck and placed a cam in the only available placement- a crappy flared horizontal. I climbed one move higher, a hold broke, and I ripped the cam as I fell.

I landed on my belayer's shoulders and took him down like something out of a pro wrestling match. I came up laughing, he wasn't so lucky.


Paul_W


Apr 9, 2011, 8:10 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I decked many many years ago from the bastille crack in eldo. then leading at my ability i climbed up and slapped a #7 hex in the flared crack. about 5 ft above my pro i pealed, and waved at the hex on the way by. the piece came out and i tumbled off the rocks at the base and ended up lying flat on my back on the road. i estimate 30 feet. was able to limp to the car and went to the emergency room where they said i had a bruised kidney. i pissed blood for three days and had a few bumps and bruises but otherwise ok. i was climbing again w/in 5 days - with a healthy respect for the bastille crack.


JAB


Apr 9, 2011, 8:43 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I decked one of the first times I was leading trad. I climbed a crack that I had toproped easily before, but when leading it became clear that placing pro was tricky, especially for a noob like me. I messed around, trying to find a good placement, and finally managed to get a nut in. I could see that the placement was really sketchy and didn't dare to continue. I was also too pumped to downclimb, so I asked my belayer to carefully lower me. About 5 feet off the ground the nut suddenly popped. I took a pretty controlled landing, but almost rolled my head into a rock (no helmet).

I think what saved me from injury (in addition to the small distance fallen) was the fact that I knew the piece was bad, and I was at least a bit prepared to take a fall. Years later a friend of mine rapped through the rope ends, fell about the same distance, and broke her back. It took months for her to regain motion in her legs, and her ankles are probably permanently paralyzed.


(This post was edited by JAB on Apr 9, 2011, 8:45 AM)


desertdude420


Apr 9, 2011, 9:24 AM
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Re: [JAB] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I decked once while belaying!! No joke. My partner was leading single pitch route. After placing one good piece, he was running it out to reach a "rest" which turned out to NOT be a rest at all. I realized that if he peeled at that point that he would surely hit the deck. Just then he started sketching... I was standing on a large boulder belaying and had formed a split second plan if he popped.
Just then, he popped! I quickly yarded in an armload of slack, locked him off and jumped (backwards) off of the boulder that I was standing on. Just as I hit the ground he hit the end of the rope. I had kept him from decking (by inches!) but I had taken quite a fall in the process!
If I had just locked him off, I would have watched him crater right in front of me!


notapplicable


Apr 9, 2011, 9:44 AM
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Re: [desertdude420] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Sure have. The first time I decked I pulled gear and tweeked my back. I spent the next 3 days laying on the living room floor and wore a brace for a few weeks until things felt right again.

The second time I made a stupid mistake and broke my arm as a result.


potreroed


Apr 9, 2011, 10:18 AM
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I once fell about 30 feet, the gear below me held, but what with the rope stretch I landed standing on the ground almost completely unscathed. The problem was I wasn't wearing a harness and the rope tied around my waist came up and bruised some ribs.


moose_droppings


Apr 9, 2011, 11:03 AM
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I decked from 50ft up, but I was 4th classing down from a day of climbing, not really climbing at the time.

Spent 3 days in our local ICU with a left thumb that almost got ripped off (still have pins in it from that), 2 broken ribs, broke my right shoulder blade, had a concussion and a bruised lung.

The only long term problem is with the pins in my thumb. Where they are placed they can get bumped sending terrible waves of pain up my left arm. There are some hand jams I can't do. Also, with no insurance, the hospital bill hurt as much as my injuries but went away after almost 10 years.


socalclimber


Apr 9, 2011, 11:46 AM
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I fell off a deck once! Did a full 360 and landed face first in the grass.


A-Bowl


Apr 9, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Fell while onsight free soloing what turned out to be a kitty litter crack that was too hard to down climb. Luckily I landed on a ledge rather than falling the full 200 ft. I thought I was fine because I landed on my feet but when I clenched my jaw I felt the bone in my face move. My knee broke my occipital lobe in two places and my heals were badly bruised. Total fall was only about 20 ft and now i have titanium in my face and I don't onsight solo. Luckily doctors around lake tahoe were experienced at fixing my injuries since it is a very common skiing injury. Don't free solo kitter litter decomposed granite people, you cant fully trust your feet.


milesenoell


Apr 9, 2011, 8:14 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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OK, so here's how I decked.

I got to the crag at the same time as a couple of guys I know, but had intended to climb solo. They offered me a belay to lead up rather than taking the walk up so I gladly accepted and lead the route, Right ski-track 5.10a, smoothly enough to elicit a comment from my friend about it looking like a start to a nice low-gravity day. It's a climb I have done plenty of times and while it's tricky enough to stay interesting, it was hardly pushing any limits.

After I topped out I rigged it for TR solo and ran another lap. Then I ran a third lap, placing gear in a mock-lead. I had placed five pieces of pro and was moving well but for some reason I decided to lean back and take an uncharacteristic rest with a little over a body length of rock between me and the top.

As I leaned back and started to fall away from the rock I realized that my ascender wasn't catching and grabbed for the rope, but I was already moving much too fast to get a proper grip. As the rope was burning through my hands I had a shadow of a thought that you just aren't supposed to grab the rope like this, so I suppose I may not have committed properly, although I wouldn't really expect it to have changed the outcome.

My perception was very narrow, focused on trying to hold onto the rope in my hands, and a shocked disbelief that the system had failed and somehow thinking that it still might. The climb is low angle so the tension on the rope kept me in contact with the rock face, and fortunately the rocks I was sliding over were basically smooth so I didn't get scraped and banged much. When I hit the ground I came down with my left side to the rock but straight up and down with my feet under me. The ground was higher on the left than the right but basically flat for each foot, and so the landing was otherwise nice and square, but just as I reached the bottom a cam hanging off the left side of my harness wedged in a crack. I had been so focused on the rope in my hands I hadn't really prepared for impact but as I started to bend my legs the cam caught and brought my left side into the rock face hard. My good friend was just a few steps away and immediately came to my aid.

My TR solo setup consists of a Petzl Ascension clipped through the top hole of the device with an HMS style locker to my belay loop. I don't use a second device or back-up knots.

The reason I fell was because I did not engage the cam on my ascender.

I don't know why it happened. When I rig normally I put the ascender on the rope and engage the cam to hold it there with my right hand, before using the same hand to clip and lock the biner. I had expected this way of doing things to offer some protection against this kind of a lapse, but clearly I was not taking this as seriously as I should.

In retrospect I believe that I should implement an "on belay, belay on" when climbing solo. I am regrettably lax about this basic check with friends. Often I say "climbing" when I'm already starting up the rock, and all mention of belay has been lost.

I expect others will suggest a second device or back-up knots, but I still stubbornly believe in my system. As far as I know my rigging is not standard or approved, but when I heal up I'll be back doing it much the way I used to, with the noteworthy addition of an internal "on belay, belay on" while I re-check the system.

In the meantime I've got a fractured metacarpal and possible fractured cuboid in my left foot, a sprained left ankle, some nasty rope burns, and a bit of torquing throughout the spine.

I wasn't wearing my helmet, and could have very easily hit my head on rocks if I'd gone backwards even a little bit.


gblauer
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Apr 9, 2011, 8:19 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Hey, we are glad you are ok.


potreroed


Apr 9, 2011, 9:14 PM
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And that's exactly why those of us who rope-solo use back-up knots.


(This post was edited by potreroed on Apr 10, 2011, 8:04 AM)


milesenoell


Apr 9, 2011, 9:29 PM
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gblauer wrote:
Hey, we are glad you are ok.

And for that I am very appreciative.


notapplicable


Apr 9, 2011, 9:41 PM
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That is terrifying. Damn sure glad you are still here to do the write up on this.

As far as the solo TR rig goes, I use a Petzl Basic Ascender in the same fashion. Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference but I do not use a backup with the system and have never seen anything to make me think it needs one. At least not more so than many other climbing activities that are not routinely backedup.


milesenoell


Apr 9, 2011, 9:47 PM
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notapplicable wrote:
That is terrifying. Damn sure glad you are still here to do the write up on this.

As far as the solo TR rig goes, I use a Petzl Basic Ascender in the same fashion. Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference but I do not use a backup with the system and have never seen anything to make me think it needs one. At least not more so than many other climbing activities that are not routinely backedup.

While I may follow potreroed's advice and start using back-up knots my focus has been on the first line of protection rather than adding redundancy. It feels like a weak position to be coming from, but I still believe that my system is sound and that I simply made an unforgivable error. Any basic check before leaving the ground should catch my mistake, I had simply become so complacent that I had none in place.


MS1


Apr 9, 2011, 9:59 PM
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milesenoell wrote:
So, I recently decked and spent a while thinking "oh my god I could have just died" which is certainly true, but now I'm hoping to get some perspective. How many of you folks out there have decked for one reason or another, and what was that reason? How bad was it?

I decked last year. I fell about 30 feet off a sport route due to a belayer error. I knew the belayer was new and a bit nervous, but I had spent a full day training her and she seemed "good enough" to me. I have since reevaluated my standards for what is "good enough."

I came out of it with just bruises and rope burn. I count myself very lucky to have landed on soft earth between the boulders at the base of the route. It took me a long time to get my lead head back after that (in truth, I still sometimes sketch out on doable terrain even now), but I now enjoy leading again provided I'm with a belayer I feel I can trust fully.


notapplicable


Apr 9, 2011, 10:22 PM
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milesenoell wrote:
notapplicable wrote:
That is terrifying. Damn sure glad you are still here to do the write up on this.

As far as the solo TR rig goes, I use a Petzl Basic Ascender in the same fashion. Ultimately it is a matter of personal preference but I do not use a backup with the system and have never seen anything to make me think it needs one. At least not more so than many other climbing activities that are not routinely backedup.

While I may follow potreroed's advice and start using back-up knots my focus has been on the first line of protection rather than adding redundancy. It feels like a weak position to be coming from, but I still believe that my system is sound and that I simply made an unforgivable error. Any basic check before leaving the ground should catch my mistake, I had simply become so complacent that I had none in place.

While I'm inclined to agree, if your rope can easily be knotted then there is no reason not to throw a few in as you climb. The reason I don't is that the line I use is an old static rope that is way to stiff for knotting midroute. I personally don't like using my dynamic ropes with a toothed ascender so I've just accepted the trade off.


JAB


Apr 10, 2011, 1:06 AM
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milesenoell wrote:
My TR solo setup consists of a Petzl Ascension clipped through the top hole of the device with an HMS style locker to my belay loop. I don't use a second device or back-up knots.

The reason I fell was because I did not engage the cam on my ascender.

A guy I saw on my first climb of the year last year did the exact same mistake. We were both solo TR:ing, and he was climbing a 5.11d next to me. We both arrived at the anchors at about the same time, and just before he was going to lean back to prepare to rap, he noticed that the cam was not engaged. Like you, he didn't have any backups, so any falls or rests would have ended in disaster.

I strongly urge you to reconsider your system, and use some kind of backup.


healyje


Apr 10, 2011, 1:28 AM
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JAB wrote:
I strongly urge you to reconsider your system...

I would very much second this sentiment.


dswink


Apr 10, 2011, 2:04 AM
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Last August, I got somewhat off route (the whole face goes at moderate grades) and into poor quality rock. On the second pitch, twenty feet of easy slab led to a flaring crack of decomposing granite. An offset nut seemed to fit but worrying about the rock quality, I pulled progressively harder on it until it popped on the third pull, almost unbalancing me. When the nut came out, it cleaned away 1/4 inch to what looked like good rock. I carefully placed an offset cam and tested it.

After climbing eight feet up the crack, I was shifting my stance when my foot slid on the peeling rock and I was airborne. My right arm scraped hard as I tried to keep my feet under me when I started sliding/falling onto the slab. The rope pulled hard on my harness for a second but then to my shock, my fall continued to the ledge at the bottom of the slab. It all happened so fast, that I was stunned for several minutes.

My belayer (my son) was hollering after me since he could not see me but could feel the rope was slack. Initial assessment showed that I had broken or badly sprained ankles and my right forearm looked like hamburger with very deep gouges from the rough rock. The offset cam was sitting next to me on the rope and a white scar on the rock above me showed that more of its surface had failed. My son lowered me twenty-five feet back to his belay ledge and then we rappelled to the ground very slowly and carefully.

After resting up and testing my ankles further at the base of the climb, I got off from a twenty-eight foot ledge fall with just sprained ankles and needing eight stitches in my forearm. The long, slow hike back to the car let me start some serious thinking about climbing boldly (and badly) above poor pro, and about the joys/hazards of leading in general.

I have led a few easy pitches since then but I have also turned back from several climbs that I was leading before the accident. I hope to gradually ease back onto the sharp end this season, while climbing smarter.

To the OP, the thought; "Oh my god I could have just died" has recurred to me many times since the fall. Thanks for the thread.


lofstromc


Apr 10, 2011, 5:45 AM
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A buddy of mine decked and has never climbed since. Another buddy of mine rapped of the end of her rope and broke something serious, she still climbs.


Gabel


Apr 10, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Glad to hear you're okay. Good luck on the recovery.

Sometimes it is bizarre to see how many people have really decked, but then it is the A&I forum.

I decked almost a year ago. 30 footer in a climbing gym onto a hard surface. Let go of the holds while my belayer didn't have proper control of the rope. Broke my back and bruised my heels (very painful). My fault.

One thing this accident will do is teach you a lot about yourself. The reactions and consequently actions taken in the future differ alot from person to person.
Gblauer for example has a very (portrayed/written) technical view of her accident, while mine was far more emotional.
This day I boulder harder than ever but have almost completely stopped roped climbing. There is simply noone I can/want to trust. Even free soloing is more appealing, and I solo the occasional route when it feels right.

I think I have learned humility in the past year and I tell my girl that I love the time with her far more often - you just can't know if you're around tomorrow.

One more thing (which is not only directed at you): If you kill yourself while climbing, you're an idiot. If you have an accident that could have killed you, you're also an idiot. The most important thing about climbing is simply not to die.
I don't care wether you free solo the East Buttress of Spray Mountain or toprope 5.2s. It's all fine by me and I will be happy for you. But the moment you fuck up, you're an idiot.

Take care,
Gabriel

PS: Wear the "ž$%"ž$ helmet!


Gabel


Apr 10, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Another thing about the safety thingy:
I also believed that I was very safety conscious before my accident. Ask any climbing buddy of mine and they will tell you that I was the safety freak of the whole bunch.
My accident is proof enough that I was not. It is also proof that I am an idiot.
Don't let your feelings fool you. You have to reevaluate everytime all the time. Have others look at you set up and comment. Learn, read, everyday!


milesenoell


Apr 10, 2011, 11:51 AM
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It seems to me that I was spared much suffering in my accident, not the least of which in respect to not having another person involved to blame or doubt. The outpouring of support I have received and the relatively minor nature of my injuries in light of the danger of the situation have encouraged a deep sense of gratitude.

I have a four year old son and I have spent a lot of time trying to reconcile my passion for high risk pursuits like climbing and cycling, both of which have shown a clear potential to take my life and mobility, with my obligations as a father. I spent quite a while going over my options as I settled into the TR solo system I used, and it was not for lack of knowing it was a possibility that I chose not to use a second device or back up knots. I only recently got a helmet and still haven't used it except for when I am aid climbing.

I knowingly passed up a number of options to increase my safety that could have saved me, and so your attitude about killing yourself climbing reflecting on your choices (as I interpret your comment about being an idiot if you kill yourself climbing) definitely resonates with me. If I had died it would have certainly reflected on those decisions in ways I am not comfortable with.

After some reflection I have decided that I will be adding redundancy to my system, whether as a second device or back-up knots I haven't decided yet.


shockabuku


Apr 10, 2011, 3:33 PM
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Gabel wrote:
I decked almost a year ago. ... Let go of the holds while my belayer didn't have proper control of the rope. ... My fault.

How's that your fault and not the belayer's?

Edit to add: In my understanding it's the belayer's job to always have control of the rope - the climber having control of the holds is not supposed to be necessary for safety.


(This post was edited by shockabuku on Apr 10, 2011, 3:35 PM)


kaizen


Apr 10, 2011, 4:01 PM
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Two summers ago I started climbing, and happened upon a small, super solid cliff band that was begging for development. Being a relative beginner, I used a really common set up to rap and clean these routes: single-strand rap with a GriGri. Well, I made the same mistake so many beginners do, and put all my trust in that device. I was no more than 10-12 feet above the ground, GriGri locked up, brushing dirt off a hold when "what the..." entered my mind. I don't really remember what the fall or impact felt like, but I do remember laying in a group of ferns flat on my back, afraid to move. I landed in a massive ostrich fern, on super soft PA soil. I was pissed that I would have to walk back around the little face to finish cleaning, when I started to realize how lucky I was. It could have happened 30 feet off the deck, or I could have landed on a number of odd angled sandstone boulders. I've never put 100% trust in anything since then.

I never figured out if I disengaged the cam by bumping it or unweighting it, but I have always tied a back up knot since. Moral of the story- there is no such thing as an auto-locking belay device.


JohnCook


Apr 10, 2011, 5:11 PM
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Many years ago I decked while soloing a route I regularly climbed, both solo, lead and second. Fell off the final easy holds at 85 ft. Fortunately the ground was there to catch me. Cause arrogance, tiredness and lack of focus because I could do the route easily.
Injuries, enough bruises to cover most of my body, loss of quarter inch off my height, problems walking sensibly for a couple of weeks, hole in my ego to drive a bus through, the butt of friends sense of humour until someone else did something stupid.
Moral, You may survive ground falls, but not very often. Weigh up the pros and cons, then go for it. Free soloing is the greatest feeling ever, and well worth the risks. I still do it and will continue as long as I don't screw up enough to die or be crippled. (Even as a cripple I would try every angle I could to climb and solo)


potreroed


Apr 10, 2011, 7:45 PM
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kaizen wrote:
Two summers ago I started climbing, and happened upon a small, super solid cliff band that was begging for development. Being a relative beginner, I used a really common set up to rap and clean these routes: single-strand rap with a GriGri. Well, I made the same mistake so many beginners do, and put all my trust in that device. I was no more than 10-12 feet above the ground, GriGri locked up, brushing dirt off a hold when "what the..." entered my mind. I don't really remember what the fall or impact felt like, but I do remember laying in a group of ferns flat on my back, afraid to move. I landed in a massive ostrich fern, on super soft PA soil. I was pissed that I would have to walk back around the little face to finish cleaning, when I started to realize how lucky I was. It could have happened 30 feet off the deck, or I could have landed on a number of odd angled sandstone boulders. I've never put 100% trust in anything since then.

I never figured out if I disengaged the cam by bumping it or unweighting it, but I have always tied a back up knot since. Moral of the story- there is no such thing as an auto-locking belay device.

This sounds pretty fishy to me. I've spent hundreds of hours hanging off a single rope with a gri-gri cleaning routes, sometimes hundreds of feet up, with no mishaps. I trust my gri gri 100% in this application.


blueeyedclimber


Apr 11, 2011, 6:09 AM
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I decked very early in my trad climbing days. Absolutely my fault. I shouldn't have been on anything that I would have fallen on yet. I fell at about 15-20 feet and two pieces popped. Nothing but a badly sprainged ankle, a bruised ego, and a whole lot of reflection.

That day probably taught me more than any other single day. Some of us need lessons smacked into us.

I am much stronger, wiser and have a better understanding of climbing because of that fall. I certainly don't wish for anyone to deck, but I took it as an important learning opportunity.

Josh


airscape


Apr 11, 2011, 6:45 AM
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shockabuku wrote:
Gabel wrote:
I decked almost a year ago. ... Let go of the holds while my belayer didn't have proper control of the rope. ... My fault.

How's that your fault and not the belayer's?

Edit to add: In my understanding it's the belayer's job to always have control of the rope - the climber having control of the holds is not supposed to be necessary for safety.

+1

I was reading "My fault" and thought wtf?


Partner xtrmecat


Apr 11, 2011, 7:58 AM
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healyje wrote:
JAB wrote:
I strongly urge you to reconsider your system...

I would very much second this sentiment.


+2

Twice decked. One was soloing an offwidth start, placed a second piece, and leaned out of the crack to get rope to clip about shoulder height, slipped and to the deck. Totally lucky on the landing.

About six weeks ago, while teaching a college climbing class, a girl, on her first day with a new device, ATC, was lowering me from the top of a second lap on a route, and got too much speed up and lost control. Burnt both hands trying to regain the belay, but could not. Augered in from around twenty feet. Thank God there is a gravel base at the bottom. Wrenched back, and shoulder muscle issues were the injuries. PT'd them myself and the shoulder is about 75% with the back in full on goodness.

Watch yourself out there.

Burly Bob

(This post was edited by xtrmecat on Apr 15, 2011, 7:16 AM)


ClimbSoHigh


Apr 11, 2011, 8:39 AM
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In reply to:
A guy I saw on my first climb of the year last year did the exact same mistake. We were both solo TR:ing, and he was climbing a 5.11d next to me. We both arrived at the anchors at about the same time, and just before he was going to lean back to prepare to rap, he noticed that the cam was not engaged. Like you, he didn't have any backups, so any falls or rests would have ended in disaster.

I strongly urge you to reconsider your system, and use some kind of backup.

This got me thinking of my solo TR rig. To start, my biggest fear when I was researching into this was mistakenly leaving the cam open on what ever ascending device I chose, due to many reports similar to the OP's and above situation. Talking to a local old timer that does a lot of solo TR, I decided on using a mini-traxion, but did some modifying to it per his unofficial advice, and ground down the bump that holds the cam open with a dremel tool. I was not keen on modifying a piece of gear with a dremel tool, but I feel this is an OK modification since now my mini-traxion can not be left open, no matter what. It makes it more dificult to attach to my rope, but once attached (correctly), I can't foget to engage the cam.

Then anytime I leave the gound or a ledge, I go up about 5-10 feet and tie a back up. I feel that tying back up knots are important but a pain to do consistantly durring the climb, so I just tie the knots that would stop me from a full on deck. (I would imagine hitting a back up knot from 50' would really suck) Now my major concerns are possible pendulums or attaching my mini-traxion upside down, both of which I double check before each climb.

I figure I would ask if people feel this is a reasonable TR solo rig since it is being discussed, and I am relatively new to rope soloing.


rock_fencer


Apr 11, 2011, 9:27 AM
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Glad you came out of that one in good shape all things considered. For TR solo its hard to beat the two mini-trax system. They are redundant and you file down one of the mini trax so the cam is always engaged. No knots to deal with.

T


kobaz


Apr 11, 2011, 9:54 AM
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I decked on Oops and Floops in Peterskill, in the Gunks.

I was feeling strong. I've TRd the route before. There's good gear placements all over. I decided to do my first 5.10 gear lead in the gunks.

The start is really really tricky. From the ground I put in a nut as high as I could reach. I figured if I blew the first move I would be okay. I started off and made the first move. I stuffed a yellow metolius blindly above my head. And traversed left into the flaring crack. I really really wanted to get in another piece at this point (I like to place a lot of gear anyway). I spent way way too long futzing with the flared crack to try and get a piece in.

I told my belayer I was downclimbing and to pull in the slack. I reversed two moves and I was totally and utterly pumped. I said I was coming off. I extended myself as low as I could before I greased off. I swung to the right towards my last piece. It pulled. I landed on the ground in between two ankle breaking rocks and fell backwards in between two head smashing boulders (I did have a helmet). The fall distance combined with the landing style, combined with immediately rolling back all contributed to the most beautifully executed ground fall I could have imagined.

I didn't hit the ground with full force. That first nut that I stood on a rock to place, held me back a little bit. It was the rope stretch that led me to the ground,

It was a small fall, maybe 5 feet, but anything can happen in a fall. My feet were a little sore, my back was fine and I was generally feeling okay.

I said... next time I lead this I'm bringing a crash pad.

Edited for some spelling and grammar.


(This post was edited by kobaz on Apr 11, 2011, 9:57 AM)


gblauer
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Apr 11, 2011, 9:58 AM
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xtrmecat wrote:


About six weeks ago, while teaching a college climbing class, a girl, on her first day with a new device, ATC, was lowering me from the top of a second lap on a route, and got too much speed up and lost control. Burnt both hands trying to regain the belay, but could not. Augered in from around twenty feet. Thank God there is a gravel base at the bottom. Wrenched back, and shoulder muscle issues were the injuries. PT'd them myself and the shoulder is about 75% with the back in full on goodness.


Burly Bob

I assume she got an "F".


ClimbSoHigh


Apr 11, 2011, 10:00 AM
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In reply to:
Glad you came out of that one in good shape all things considered. For TR solo its hard to beat the two mini-trax system. They are redundant and you file down one of the mini trax so the cam is always engaged. No knots to deal with.

T

Good to hear others have done this modification as well. If using 2 minitraxions as you suggested, do you do 1 off the belay loop and one off an improvised chest harness made with a 4' sling? Currently I am just using 1 off my belay loop which leaves me vulnerable to taking a small 6" fall onto a toothed ascender, which is not good for my sheath.


Partner xtrmecat


Apr 11, 2011, 10:10 AM
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gblauer wrote:
xtrmecat wrote:


About six weeks ago, while teaching a college climbing class, a girl, on her first day with a new device, ATC, was lowering me from the top of a second lap on a route, and got too much speed up and lost control. Burnt both hands trying to regain the belay, but could not. Augered in from around twenty feet. Thank God there is a gravel base at the bottom. Wrenched back, and shoulder muscle issues were the injuries. PT'd them myself and the shoulder is about 75% with the back in full on goodness.


Burly Bob

I assume she got an "F".


I haven't graded anyones skills yet, just observed. Kind of hard to fail someone for learning a valuable lesson when it comes to finding limitations. In her defense, she is a very small woman, with very small hands, and is just now earning a grip strength stronger than that required to hold a pencil. I am no little man either.

I knew the potential when I went up, and share in the responsibility of the accident. The first ride down was controlled well, but a tad fast, with slowing right as I was about to touch down. I had ample opportunity to correct the situation verbally before I went up again, but saw an opportunity to get a good pump as being more important.

An F, no, but not an A either.

Burly Bob


gblauer
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Apr 11, 2011, 10:13 AM
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THe woman that dropped me was very experienced.

She came to the gym for a while after the accident, but, I think she quit climbing. To her credit, she gave me several weeks worth of cranial sacral therapy which I think helped me heal very quickly. (She was a cranial sacral therapist.)


Partner xtrmecat


Apr 11, 2011, 10:28 AM
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  That was very nice of her. Always be a good feeling knowing she took responsibility for her misdeed. Too bad she is not climbing anymore though.

Burly Bob


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Apr 11, 2011, 10:52 AM
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ClimbSoHigh wrote:
In reply to:
Then anytime I leave the gound or a ledge, I go up about 5-10 feet and tie a back up. I feel that tying back up knots are important but a pain to do consistantly durring the climb, so I just tie the knots that would stop me from a full on deck. (I would imagine hitting a back up knot from 50' would really suck) Now my major concerns are possible pendulums or attaching my mini-traxion upside down, both of which I double check before each climb.

I figure I would ask if people feel this is a reasonable TR solo rig since it is being discussed, and I am relatively new to rope soloing.


I have an opinion, and experience on your ponderings.

I also find it easier to move on and only tie a backup when danger is present, but have gone to the knot several times. Let me tell you about some of the rides.

On the approach to Liberty cap, I was pulled off a sandy ledge by a very heavy pig at the end of the approach, the fall was long, but really a soft stop due to slung manzanita (sp) was my pro, and almost a whole rope out. I was backing up with a clove on a locker, and besides being a headfirst plummet and terrifying to me, the clove was as close to welded as I have ever seen.

This January on ElCap, I took four back to back rides to the knott, due to the overhanging nature of the place I was having issues getting through. The first ride, with stripped gear and the backup being very casual, ended up over fourty feet onto and alpine butterfly. The knott came right out. I was more diligent with the backup slack the next three, and the stretch was coming out of the cord, so went only to the knott and the distance of the stripped pieces, also easily untied. Shook me up enough to let common sense prevail over the ego and wanting to make the belay, about ten more feet out. Bagged the day due to fear. Also bagged the wall after an evening of contemplaction, probably in over my head for solo. All these falls were overhanging and clean.

As for your other issue. I am a proponent of soloing on devices engineered and tested for soloing. I also believe toothed devices can and have parted loaded or fallen on cords enough to label it as a dangerous practice. I use the soloist, and even though it will not part the rope, it also has limitations. A backup knott will serve no purpose should the rope part, or the device attachment fail.

TR in on them is widely accepted as safe practice, I am a little more reserved in my thinking here. As for leading on a toothed device, or a non engineered piece of belay equipment, I believe the risks far outweigh the cost of a specialty piece of gear.

Again, just my two cents worth. I am still here to give an opinion, and a few others are not.

Burly Bob


rock_fencer


Apr 11, 2011, 11:00 AM
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I actually rarely solo TR and dont own any mini-trax. I solo aid using clove hitches

The few times i have used a friends mini-trax to TR solo we just set them up one on the belay loop and one below with a quickdraw. A chest harness is definitely better. If you make sure that the rope is well tensioned below, it doesn't seam likely that the 1'st mini trax wont engage. And really your fall is going to be you sitting in your harness not so much a fall.

For lead solo i'd go with a soloist or SP w/ chest harness.

T


ensonik


Apr 11, 2011, 6:47 PM
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Gabel wrote:
I decked almost a year ago. 30 footer in a climbing gym onto a hard surface. Let go of the holds while my belayer didn't have proper control of the rope. Broke my back and bruised my heels (very painful). My fault.

Not your fault.
Not. Your. Fault.
I repeat: Not your fault.


healyje


Apr 11, 2011, 7:17 PM
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TR Soloing with MiniTraxs - read the whole thing...

http://www.supertopo.com/..._id=1038522&tn=0


kaizen


Apr 12, 2011, 7:36 AM
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potreroed wrote:
kaizen wrote:
Two summers ago I started climbing, and happened upon a small, super solid cliff band that was begging for development. Being a relative beginner, I used a really common set up to rap and clean these routes: single-strand rap with a GriGri. Well, I made the same mistake so many beginners do, and put all my trust in that device. I was no more than 10-12 feet above the ground, GriGri locked up, brushing dirt off a hold when "what the..." entered my mind. I don't really remember what the fall or impact felt like, but I do remember laying in a group of ferns flat on my back, afraid to move. I landed in a massive ostrich fern, on super soft PA soil. I was pissed that I would have to walk back around the little face to finish cleaning, when I started to realize how lucky I was. It could have happened 30 feet off the deck, or I could have landed on a number of odd angled sandstone boulders. I've never put 100% trust in anything since then.

I never figured out if I disengaged the cam by bumping it or unweighting it, but I have always tied a back up knot since. Moral of the story- there is no such thing as an auto-locking belay device.

This sounds pretty fishy to me. I've spent hundreds of hours hanging off a single rope with a gri-gri cleaning routes, sometimes hundreds of feet up, with no mishaps. I trust my gri gri 100% in this application.

You've been climbing longer than I've been alive, so what you choose to believe and do is obviously built on much more knowledge than I have.

However, I would like to say that in my small group of climbing friends, I'm not even the only person this has happened to. Same scenario, except that it happened to a woman who weighs about 95 pounds and was using an old 10.2 that was slick and worn into 9.2 shape.

There are numerous other examples of this happening that are posted all over the web. Failure of the device to engage, when there is no "shock load" on the system.


Partner cracklover


Apr 12, 2011, 8:49 AM
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I would just like to raise the point, obvious though it may be, that there are those who are not on rc.com because they decked and died, or were so injured, either physically or emotionally, that they can no longer climb.

Those people deserve a voice. Though they cannot answer your question - it would be wise of you to take heed of them, too.

GO


ClimbSoHigh


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In reply to:
TR in on them is widely accepted as safe practice, I am a little more reserved in my thinking here. As for leading on a toothed device, or a non engineered piece of belay equipment, I believe the risks far outweigh the cost of a specialty piece of gear.

Very good point, I for one am a pansy on lead when using a belayer, so I have no ambition to ever lead on a toothed ascender (terrible idea), or any device for that matter. Maybee I'll solo aid one day, but thats unlikely. I remember reading an A&I report about a caver who was leading on a stich-plate/toothed ascender rig when a RB pulled and the ascender cut the rope killing the caver. Good enough reason for me to never risk any sort of a fall onto a toothed ascender.

And thanks for the link Healyje. Good reading on the topic. I think I will use my petzl basic next time off a chest sling above my modified mini trax. I like redundancy, which is why I have only rope solo'ed very easy climbs to build endurance, but have never come close to falling. With the second ascender, held up by the sling, I feel better about soloing some harder climbs that I might actually fall on.

Also I like the note to make sure you are not wearing any loose clothing. When climbing with just 1 minitrax, I usually checked it after almost every move to make sure nothing is interfeering with the cam action. Having nothing loose is a great extra step to avoid something similar to what happened to the OP in the link.


granite_grrl


Apr 12, 2011, 9:54 AM
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cracklover wrote:
I would just like to raise the point, obvious though it may be, that there are those who are not on rc.com because they decked and died, or were so injured, either physically or emotionally, that they can no longer climb.

Those people deserve a voice. Though they cannot answer your question - it would be wise of you to take heed of them, too.

GO

I think the OP understands that, you don't have a serious accident without it affecting you. But I think info from people that have gone through the experiance and how/why they came back from it is likely more helpful to the OP (who obviously wants to keep climbing) than stories of those who have quit.

And as I wrote that last paragraph I cringe at how loaded the word "quit" is. Going through a climbing accident can open your eyes to the seriousness of the activity. Considering how high the stakes can be, I don't look down on those who have "quit" and respect and understand their decision.


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Apr 12, 2011, 10:27 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
I think info from people that have gone through the experiance and how/why they came back from it is likely more helpful to the OP (who obviously wants to keep climbing) than stories of those who have quit.

I'm sorry to belabor the point, but here's what he actually asked in his OP:

In reply to:
now I'm hoping to get some perspective. How many of you folks out there have decked for one reason or another, and what was that reason? How bad was it?

The responses are going to be rather one-sided, due to the obvious. So don't worry, he'll get plenty of "how I overcame adversity". And yet what he asked for was perspective. Not a word one usually associates with white-washing.

But perhaps you're right, and all the OP wants to hear is happy stories of recovery and redemption. In fact, feel free to encourage him to go back to carefree rope soloing with no backup systems, which seems to be his first instinct.

But something tells me that if those who cannot speak here could be heard... you'd sure get some perspective then. The OP got a second chance. Not everyone does. Food for thought.

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on Apr 12, 2011, 10:29 AM)


caughtinside


Apr 12, 2011, 12:13 PM
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Re: [kaizen] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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kaizen wrote:
Same scenario, except that it happened to a woman who weighs about 95 pounds and was using an old 10.2 that was slick and worn into 9.2 shape.

I think this is the first time I have heard of a rope wearing skinnier and slicker. The only thing I can think of is that the rope had perhaps become glazed from a hot rap.

Also, I wouldn't describe your deck as a failure of the device or a failure to autolock. A grigri will unlock every time if you interfere with the cam. It is rather easy to do this if you are futzing around with other things on the rope, or a bunch of jingus hanging off you. A backup is a good idea.


milesenoell


Apr 12, 2011, 12:30 PM
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cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
I think info from people that have gone through the experiance and how/why they came back from it is likely more helpful to the OP (who obviously wants to keep climbing) than stories of those who have quit.

I'm sorry to belabor the point, but here's what he actually asked in his OP:

In reply to:
now I'm hoping to get some perspective. How many of you folks out there have decked for one reason or another, and what was that reason? How bad was it?

The responses are going to be rather one-sided, due to the obvious. So don't worry, he'll get plenty of "how I overcame adversity". And yet what he asked for was perspective. Not a word one usually associates with white-washing.

But perhaps you're right, and all the OP wants to hear is happy stories of recovery and redemption. In fact, feel free to encourage him to go back to carefree rope soloing with no backup systems, which seems to be his first instinct.

But something tells me that if those who cannot speak here could be heard... you'd sure get some perspective then. The OP got a second chance. Not everyone does. Food for thought.

GO

I find the posts by you and GG to really be more complimentary than anything. The reasons people keep climbing appear to be more nuanced than those who quit, if only because there are so many choices about how to climb and which risks to take on or avoid. For that reason I think the climbers who are still active are likely to dominate the discussion, but the attrition factor is also significant.

Already though this informal survey has painted a clear picture that decking effects more than a small minority of accident-prone climbers.

If my tone has come across as arrogant because I still intend to continue climbing in a similar way or because I believe that the first line of protection is enough for some cases, then I would invite you to re-evaluate your own approach to climbing. All of us who climb make a calculated set of choices to take on levels of risk that the majority of the world shies away from, and we all depend on parts of a safety system that have no back up. If you think I am foolhardy for focusing my attention on the first line of defense while making choices that lead me closer to harms way and can't see the parallel in yourself then I would suggest you suffer from severe myopia.

I am indeed keenly interested in the stories of those who are no longer here to tell them, you can't exactly ask all the folks who paid the ultimate price to chime in and tell me what they've learned from it, so I have asked for those who may have come close.


granite_grrl


Apr 12, 2011, 12:43 PM
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cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
I think info from people that have gone through the experiance and how/why they came back from it is likely more helpful to the OP (who obviously wants to keep climbing) than stories of those who have quit.

I'm sorry to belabor the point, but here's what he actually asked in his OP:

In reply to:
now I'm hoping to get some perspective. How many of you folks out there have decked for one reason or another, and what was that reason? How bad was it?

The responses are going to be rather one-sided, due to the obvious. So don't worry, he'll get plenty of "how I overcame adversity". And yet what he asked for was perspective. Not a word one usually associates with white-washing.

But perhaps you're right, and all the OP wants to hear is happy stories of recovery and redemption. In fact, feel free to encourage him to go back to carefree rope soloing with no backup systems, which seems to be his first instinct.

But something tells me that if those who cannot speak here could be heard... you'd sure get some perspective then. The OP got a second chance. Not everyone does. Food for thought.

GO
Do you really think he's into carefree rope soloing? You talk like this whole experience was nothing for him.

Maybe I have a little more faith in people, and I'm pretty sure I have quite a bit more perspective on this subject, but I'm assuming he has a lot of questions about himself and his climbing right now and just trying to sort through some things. Maybe I'm just optimistic.




As for my perspective and what I want to bring to this thread: climbing is dangerous. Doesn't matter how careful you are, if you lead, TR solo etc there's a chance you can get hurt. It's the nature of the game. Frankly, I had to go through a lot of issues (still going through some head issues and a few minor physical ones) after I got hurt, but I decided that climbing was important enough to me that I didn't want to do anything else.

It can be a scary thing when you realize how vulnerable you are with this passion, but it's also scary if you choose to step back into it with eyes a lot more open.


csproul


Apr 12, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Do you really believe the results of your poll? I don't believe that anywhere near 49% of all climbers have decked. Of the dozens of climbers I know, I'll bet that no more than 1 or 2 have hit the ground.


milesenoell


Apr 12, 2011, 1:05 PM
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csproul wrote:
Do you really believe the results of your poll? I don't believe that anywhere near 49% of all climbers have decked. Of the dozens of climbers I know, I'll bet that no more than 1 or 2 have hit the ground.

Drawing strong conclusions about the proportion of climbers who have decked from such a small sample size is ridiculous, but noting that dozens of climbers, including seasoned veterans, have reported personally decking I do see as significant. Just from the numbers here I'd be suspicious of the veracity of your assertion that only 1 or 2 out of "dozens" of climbers have ever decked, but I am coming from a position of curiosity rather than one of authority on the subject. That's why I decided to ask.


(This post was edited by milesenoell on Apr 12, 2011, 1:09 PM)


csproul


Apr 12, 2011, 1:14 PM
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milesenoell wrote:
csproul wrote:
Do you really believe the results of your poll? I don't believe that anywhere near 49% of all climbers have decked. Of the dozens of climbers I know, I'll bet that no more than 1 or 2 have hit the ground.

Drawing strong conclusions about the proportion of climbers who have decked from such a small sample size is ridiculous, but noting that dozens of climbers, including seasoned veterans, have reported personally decking I do see as significant. Just from the numbers here I'd be suspicious of the veracity of your assertion that only 1 or 2 out of "dozens" of climbers have ever decked, but I am coming from a position of curiosity rather than one of authority on the subject. That's why I decided to ask. If the climbers you speak of are gym climbers with a year or so of climbing under their belts, then that may be accurate, but I'm more interested in climbers whose experience more closely relates to mine.
I can't speak for all the climbers that I know and have climbed with, but I have been climbing for over 15 years and I am often one of the least experienced people that I climb with. Of all of those people, I can only think of one that I know for sure has decked, and she is relatively new, and was dropped by someone else who was described as "relatively new". There may be people I climb with that have never told me about hitting the ground, I guess it's something the average person might not broadcast. I have seen two people hit the ground. They were not people I knew, and they were both very clearly dropped by gumby belayers. I would still be shocked if even 5% of the climbers that I know well and have climbed with have hit the ground.


healyje


Apr 12, 2011, 1:56 PM
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csproul wrote:
Do you really believe the results of your poll? I don't believe that anywhere near 49% of all climbers have decked. Of the dozens of climbers I know, I'll bet that no more than 1 or 2 have hit the ground.

That in itself is a frightening statistic.


notapplicable


Apr 12, 2011, 2:12 PM
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csproul wrote:
There may be people I climb with that have never told me about hitting the ground, I guess it's something the average person might not broadcast.

I don't know if it's so much an issue of "broadcasting" it or not. Of the 6 people I climb with most often, I'm pretty sure I've only told 3 of them about when I pulled gear and hit the ground. Not because I don't want them to know but because it was 6 years ago. It just doesn't come up.


Partner cracklover


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milesenoell wrote:
The reasons people keep climbing appear to be more nuanced than those who quit, if only because there are so many choices about how to climb and which risks to take on or avoid. For that reason I think the climbers who are still active are likely to dominate the discussion, but the attrition factor is also significant.

So it's not that the people who decked and were disabled, killed, or scarred for life, had the very choice of whether to continue climbing or not ripped away from them forever. No, it's just that their stories are too boring. That's why they're not logging on and creating accounts on a website about a sport they once could participate in. That's why they're not flocking to respond to your thread.

In reply to:
If you think I am foolhardy for focusing my attention on the first line of defense while making choices that lead me closer to harms way and can't see the parallel in yourself then I would suggest you suffer from severe myopia.

Then I guess I must be myopic indeed. In my climbing career, I've had one time where I seriously fucked up, and had to watch the consequences unfold. I was, I think, suitably hard on myself for my choices. At no point did I think "well, everything I did was fine, I just should have done it better." Instead, from the instant I became aware that things might go south, through the event as it unfolded, and still as years passed, my thoughts were centered around fixing, changing, improving, and how to avoid even finding myself in that situation again.

But that's not my point. It's totally up to you to draw what lessons you see fit from your accident. We each have a different process we go through.

My point is simply that as you gather the input from folks who've come close here, remember to take into consideration the people who aren't here to answer, and the stories they might tell.

GO


sspssp


Apr 12, 2011, 2:20 PM
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Gabel wrote:
This day I boulder harder than ever but have almost completely stopped roped climbing. There is simply noone I can/want to trust. Even free soloing is more appealing, and I solo the occasional route when it feels right.

...If you kill yourself while climbing, you're an idiot. If you have an accident that could have killed you, you're also an idiot. The most important thing about climbing is simply not to die.

If someone considers the risks involved in some given type of climbing and decides it is not for them, to each their own. I would encourage all climbers to give more thought to the dangers involved.

My comment would be that regardless of how safety conscious you all, people are not perfect and accidents will happen. Is someone an idiot because they went out to diner and some other driver killed them? Going out to diner is recreational in a way that commutting to work is not.

I decked from about thirty feet up, error-in-the-belay-chain, and got a nice heli ride out and a year+ recovery (when I could get from the bed to the wheelchair on my own was a major step). I didn't see climbing as being any more dangerous after my accident as I did before and I still enjoyed it and after a few years was climbing better than ever.

peace


(This post was edited by sspssp on Apr 12, 2011, 2:21 PM)


Partner cracklover


Apr 12, 2011, 2:37 PM
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milesenoell wrote:
csproul wrote:
Do you really believe the results of your poll? I don't believe that anywhere near 49% of all climbers have decked. Of the dozens of climbers I know, I'll bet that no more than 1 or 2 have hit the ground.

Drawing strong conclusions about the proportion of climbers who have decked from such a small sample size is ridiculous, but noting that dozens of climbers, including seasoned veterans, have reported personally decking I do see as significant. Just from the numbers here I'd be suspicious of the veracity of your assertion that only 1 or 2 out of "dozens" of climbers have ever decked, but I am coming from a position of curiosity rather than one of authority on the subject. That's why I decided to ask.

Wait, so you really are looking for validation? You want to hear that "Everyone does it. It's just something that happens. Don't worry, it sucks, but you'll get through it, just like we did." Is that it?

I bet I've climbed with 100 people closely enough to know their history. Of them, exactly one (BEC) has decked. Gail, too, but while we've met, I've never actually climbed with her. So I can't join in the chorus of folks saying "It's normal, it happens."

And if it seems I'm being negative, I'm sorry. I'm taking a rather unpopular position, I know, since this is such a fresh accident.

Let me just be clear that on a personal level, I'm very glad you're ok, and I trust that you'll make whatever changes/choices are right for you.

GO


notapplicable


Apr 12, 2011, 3:48 PM
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"cracklover wrote:
In reply to:
If you think I am foolhardy for focusing my attention on the first line of defense while making choices that lead me closer to harms way and can't see the parallel in yourself then I would suggest you suffer from severe myopia.

Then I guess I must be myopic indeed. In my climbing career, I've had one time where I seriously fucked up, and had to watch the consequences unfold. I was, I think, suitably hard on myself for my choices. At no point did I think "well, everything I did was fine, I just should have done it better." Instead, from the instant I became aware that things might go south, through the event as it unfolded, and still as years passed, my thoughts were centered around fixing, changing, improving, and how to avoid even finding myself in that situation again.

But that's not my point. It's totally up to you to draw what lessons you see fit from your accident. We each have a different process we go through.

My point is simply that as you gather the input from folks who've come close here, remember to take into consideration the people who aren't here to answer, and the stories they might tell.

GO

I don't think milesenoell's response (as he phrased it, "to focus on the first line of defense") is any different from what we see when a belayer drops a climber. The fault in both cases is user error and no ones first response to a climber getting dropped is that we should all starting having our belays backedup. "Experienced" climbers drop people, or are themselves dropped much more often than TR solo rigs fail but you don't see two-man belay teams becoming the norm.

Instead, we focus on training, understanding proper gear function and checking and then re-checking the rig for proper setup. Which closely mirrors milesenoell's response to his accident.

Oh and relax a bit. You seem to be pretty agitated by what has been, IMO, a rather thoughtful and measured response to his accident.


(This post was edited by notapplicable on Apr 12, 2011, 3:49 PM)


csproul


Apr 12, 2011, 4:31 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
"cracklover wrote:
In reply to:
If you think I am foolhardy for focusing my attention on the first line of defense while making choices that lead me closer to harms way and can't see the parallel in yourself then I would suggest you suffer from severe myopia.

Then I guess I must be myopic indeed. In my climbing career, I've had one time where I seriously fucked up, and had to watch the consequences unfold. I was, I think, suitably hard on myself for my choices. At no point did I think "well, everything I did was fine, I just should have done it better." Instead, from the instant I became aware that things might go south, through the event as it unfolded, and still as years passed, my thoughts were centered around fixing, changing, improving, and how to avoid even finding myself in that situation again.

But that's not my point. It's totally up to you to draw what lessons you see fit from your accident. We each have a different process we go through.

My point is simply that as you gather the input from folks who've come close here, remember to take into consideration the people who aren't here to answer, and the stories they might tell.

GO

I don't think milesenoell's response (as he phrased it, "to focus on the first line of defense") is any different from what we see when a belayer drops a climber. The fault in both cases is user error and no ones first response to a climber getting dropped is that we should all starting having our belays backedup. "Experienced" climbers drop people, or are themselves dropped much more often than TR solo rigs fail but you don't see two-man belay teams becoming the norm.

Instead, we focus on training, understanding proper gear function and checking and then re-checking the rig for proper setup. Which closely mirrors milesenoell's response to his accident.

Oh and relax a bit. You seem to be pretty agitated by what has been, IMO, a rather thoughtful and measured response to his accident.
I still think these two situations are completely different. With a belayer, you at least have two people to "focus on the first line of defense". Both belayer and climber ensure that everything is rigged correctly. The climber should have assessed the belayer's skill and deemed them acceptable to climb with. And the belayer only has to focus on one thing...belaying. When soloing, only one person to check the system...this obviously failed. The person climbing a solo-rig is also focusing on climbing, their self belay doesn't get their full attention as it would (should) from a live belayer.

I guess I feel like rope solo-rigs are about the same as climbing with a belayer I don't fully trust. In either case, I back it/them up, or find a belayer that I do fully trust, or treat the climb as if I am truly soloing (no rope).

And I'm kind on board with what Gabe is saying. It's unpopular, but what he's trying to say is that decking isn't common, and if it has happened then you and/or your belayer really did screw up. If the lesson you learn from decking is that "you'll just pay better attention to your system next time" and not change anything about it, then I don't think you've really learned any lesson at all.

edit: after reading the OP's post below, I'd say my above statement might be a bit over the top. He sounds like he is open to evaluating his system and I'm sure will be in a better position to re-evaluate his solo rig.


(This post was edited by csproul on Apr 12, 2011, 4:44 PM)


milesenoell


Apr 12, 2011, 4:36 PM
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cracklover wrote:
milesenoell wrote:
csproul wrote:
Do you really believe the results of your poll? I don't believe that anywhere near 49% of all climbers have decked. Of the dozens of climbers I know, I'll bet that no more than 1 or 2 have hit the ground.

Drawing strong conclusions about the proportion of climbers who have decked from such a small sample size is ridiculous, but noting that dozens of climbers, including seasoned veterans, have reported personally decking I do see as significant. Just from the numbers here I'd be suspicious of the veracity of your assertion that only 1 or 2 out of "dozens" of climbers have ever decked, but I am coming from a position of curiosity rather than one of authority on the subject. That's why I decided to ask.

Wait, so you really are looking for validation? You want to hear that "Everyone does it. It's just something that happens. Don't worry, it sucks, but you'll get through it, just like we did." Is that it?

I bet I've climbed with 100 people closely enough to know their history. Of them, exactly one (BEC) has decked. Gail, too, but while we've met, I've never actually climbed with her. So I can't join in the chorus of folks saying "It's normal, it happens."

And if it seems I'm being negative, I'm sorry. I'm taking a rather unpopular position, I know, since this is such a fresh accident.

Let me just be clear that on a personal level, I'm very glad you're ok, and I trust that you'll make whatever changes/choices are right for you.

GO

No, I am not looking for validation. I am looking at system failures.

When my system failed it lead me to ask a lot of questions of myself about what contributed to the failure. It seems a natural next step to ask others.

I didn't post here because I believe a poll is a useful tool. I am far more interested in the posts and simply stuck the poll on for entertainment. Judging by the popularity of "pancakes" as an option in many polls on here you would have to be a fool to believe that these polls are accurate. I do however believe that the posts on here are genuine.

and in regard to this:
In reply to:
Then I guess I must be myopic indeed. In my climbing career, I've had one time where I seriously fucked up, and had to watch the consequences unfold. I was, I think, suitably hard on myself for my choices. At no point did I think "well, everything I did was fine, I just should have done it better." Instead, from the instant I became aware that things might go south, through the event as it unfolded, and still as years passed, my thoughts were centered around fixing, changing, improving, and how to avoid even finding myself in that situation again.

Yes, this is exactly the myopia I was referring to. If you fuck up again I'd hope that the thought would occur to you that despite your efforts to ensure safety you knowingly engaged in a completely unnecessary risk who's costs are paid in no small part by those around you.

In posting my story I made it clear that I was interested in making my rig more secure. My choice of wording in saying that my rig doesn't include back up knots or a second device seems to have given the mistaken impression that those weren't measures I was seriously considering, but that was partially conscious as my intent is to focus on the first line of protection.

Overall I think it's kind of telling that people seem to be expecting this to be about me trying to garner sympathy and support. As I mentioned earlier, my head was largely spared the trauma that so many other climbers go through. My accident was not very severe and support has come at every turn, so I am really not seeking support here. I am seeking the perspective borne of experience as I re-evaluate my approach to climbing.

PS--Normally I resonate quite a bit with your posts Gabe, but your recent tone is surprising to me. I am a bit suspicious that you are reading something into my posts that relates to your own experiences rather than mine.


(This post was edited by milesenoell on Apr 12, 2011, 5:07 PM)


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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I had a rap/tr solo anchor fail early in my career. I feel 40 feet to the deck. I broke my pelvis, wrist, and 3 bones in my foot. I was flown out, spent 10 days in the hospital, and 3 months without walking. It was 6 months before I could climb again, but I did get back at it and have been climbing hard for almost 10 years since that.

I also had a slip low on a route in yos, I had one piece in but I was too high above it and landed on the ledge hard. I got a good scrape and shook my confidence but other than that I was fine.

I definitely learned alot from my big accident. I always give my pieces a good tug now and I place in multiple places, and I don't cut corners, ever. (I placed a 2 piece anchor under a loose block)


healyje


Apr 12, 2011, 7:39 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I think for the old folks around here that this thread, while not entirely unexpected, is still fairly horrifying.

In 37 years of climbing I've known one person who's decked actually climbing and that was both someone I've known for that entire time and an incident that happened quite recently. It was also a situation where he wouldn't have fallen if he'd simply free-soloed it instead of dicking around rope-soloing a hard line with a low crux (always a bad idea for roped-soloing). Fortunately he recovered fine. Over that same period I've known two other climbers who died descending fourth class terrain on foot.

By and large, that this many of you have decked says a lot about the training and indoctrination - or the lack thereof - associated with climbing today. In general I would basically lay all this on the rapid introduction to climbing associated with gyms and sport climbing. You get up to speed on the movement faster then you develop the requisite experience and wherewithal that used to come from an extended mentoring period seconding experience [trad] leaders. I'm also guessing distractions associated with today's highly socialized climbing scene plays into this as well (as in the STFUAB factor).

That's not to say all of us old folk haven't had close calls, but actually decking? That was an extremely rare event and rarely one a person lived through from what I've seen and experienced over the years.

Times they are a'changing. Be careful out there...!


(This post was edited by healyje on Apr 12, 2011, 7:42 PM)


Rudmin


Apr 12, 2011, 8:10 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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ensonik wrote:
Not your fault.
Not. Your. Fault.
I repeat: Not your fault.
http://www.youtube.com/...&feature=related


socalclimber


Apr 12, 2011, 9:23 PM
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Re: [healyje] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
I think for the old folks around here that this thread, while not entirely unexpected, is still fairly horrifying.

In 37 years of climbing I've known one person who's decked actually climbing and that was both someone I've known for that entire time and an incident that happened quite recently. It was also a situation where he wouldn't have fallen if he'd simply free-soloed it instead of dicking around rope-soloing a hard line with a low crux (always a bad idea for roped-soloing). Fortunately he recovered fine. Over that same period I've known two other climbers who died descending fourth class terrain on foot.

By and large, that this many of you have decked says a lot about the training and indoctrination - or the lack thereof - associated with climbing today. In general I would basically lay all this on the rapid introduction to climbing associated with gyms and sport climbing. You get up to speed on the movement faster then you develop the requisite experience and wherewithal that used to come from an extended mentoring period seconding experience [trad] leaders. I'm also guessing distractions associated with today's highly socialized climbing scene plays into this as well (as in the STFUAB factor).

That's not to say all of us old folk haven't had close calls, but actually decking? That was an extremely rare event and rarely one a person lived through from what I've seen and experienced over the years.

Times they are a'changing. Be careful out there...!

Thank you. I've been holding off on responding to this thread simply because it's turning my stomach. You have an additional 17 years on me. I've never decked. The people I routinely climb with haven't decked, and trust me, these guys are legends. This massive rush that is going on these days so people can call themselves "climbers" is scary. It's takes YEARS to build the intuition and experience required to keep things like this from happening.

Somebody earlier in the thread divulged that they were "teaching" a class and let the student lower them. They decked as a result. Then somebody chimes in how it was not their fault. BULLSHIT. The poster was right, he was completely at fault. YOU NEVER LET A STUDENT/CLIENT LOWER YOU, EVER.

When I first started on the reincarnation of JOSAR here in Josh in 2000, they had not had a death in the park in over 8 years. And that death was not climbing related. For the 7 years I ran the team we had at least one death a season, and many critical life threating climbing injuries requiring immediate heli evacs.

People getting in way over their heads long before they have a clue as to what they were doing.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Apr 12, 2011, 9:25 PM)


bearbreeder


Apr 12, 2011, 10:09 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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there are also many more climbers these days ...

is the %-tage of deckers of the general climbing population increasing?

that said ive never seen anyone decking after the 2nd bolt or piece of gear... i dont consider falling on the first bolt and touching the ground with rope stretch "decking" ... not the way some climbs are bolted


milesenoell


Apr 12, 2011, 11:11 PM
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Re: [healyje] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
I think for the old folks around here that this thread, while not entirely unexpected, is still fairly horrifying.

In 37 years of climbing I've known one person who's decked actually climbing and that was both someone I've known for that entire time and an incident that happened quite recently. It was also a situation where he wouldn't have fallen if he'd simply free-soloed it instead of dicking around rope-soloing a hard line with a low crux (always a bad idea for roped-soloing). Fortunately he recovered fine. Over that same period I've known two other climbers who died descending fourth class terrain on foot.

By and large, that this many of you have decked says a lot about the training and indoctrination - or the lack thereof - associated with climbing today. In general I would basically lay all this on the rapid introduction to climbing associated with gyms and sport climbing. You get up to speed on the movement faster then you develop the requisite experience and wherewithal that used to come from an extended mentoring period seconding experience [trad] leaders. I'm also guessing distractions associated with today's highly socialized climbing scene plays into this as well (as in the STFUAB factor).

That's not to say all of us old folk haven't had close calls, but actually decking? That was an extremely rare event and rarely one a person lived through from what I've seen and experienced over the years.

Times they are a'changing. Be careful out there...!

That could definitely be a factor. I've never taken anything beyond the introductory 15 minute belay lesson at a gym on my first day of climbing. I've never had a mentor, and don't even have any regular partners. The vast majority of my climbing has been done alone. The only significant addition to being self taught has been information gleaned from reading books or on climbing forums.


guangzhou


Apr 12, 2011, 11:37 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Well, 20 plus years of climbing, and I'm very happy to say I have not decked. Don't remember ever landing on a ledge either.

When I read these answers, two questions came to mind:

Who are the climbers in this RC community? relay, so many accident among such a small group. I was surprised that so many of the climbers here had decked.

With that question, I also asked myself, how do these climbers define decking? I really never defined it to myself, I just know I've never decked.

So, those who say yes, what is decking in your book?


Gabel


Apr 13, 2011, 1:41 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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milesenoell wrote:
It seems to me that I was spared much suffering in my accident, not the least of which in respect to not having another person involved to blame or doubt. The outpouring of support I have received and the relatively minor nature of my injuries in light of the danger of the situation have encouraged a deep sense of gratitude.

I have a four year old son and I have spent a lot of time trying to reconcile my passion for high risk pursuits like climbing and cycling, both of which have shown a clear potential to take my life and mobility, with my obligations as a father. I spent quite a while going over my options as I settled into the TR solo system I used, and it was not for lack of knowing it was a possibility that I chose not to use a second device or back up knots. I only recently got a helmet and still haven't used it except for when I am aid climbing.

I knowingly passed up a number of options to increase my safety that could have saved me, and so your attitude about killing yourself climbing reflecting on your choices (as I interpret your comment about being an idiot if you kill yourself climbing) definitely resonates with me. If I had died it would have certainly reflected on those decisions in ways I am not comfortable with.

After some reflection I have decided that I will be adding redundancy to my system, whether as a second device or back-up knots I haven't decided yet.

I don't get this. How were you spared suffering while you almost killed yourself ON YOUR OWN? I, personally, would be spared suffering if the accident wouldn't be my fault and I thus had someone to blame.
Yours and my accident were totally alike in a way that we both fucked up and could have died.

Just on a personal note:
The climber is responsible for the belayer chosen. I clearly chose the wrong belayer, and there were signs that should have made me realize that before the catastrophe. I am responsible for this accident, because I laid my life in the hands of the wrong man.
I KNOW that there is always an inherent risk that even the best belayer will fuck up. I could accept this if my belayer had climbed with me for 20+ years and caught countless of falls in spectacular fashion.
My belayer dropped me after 4 months of gym climbing in one of the few unannounced falls.

In a way, there is everything in this thread that you need to know about climbing these days.
People let themselves lower by climbing beginners and "accept responsibility" (how very generous), people don't get my point that you're responsible for yourself and responsible for choosing a competent belayer. A post going along the lines that it wasn't my fault gets rated 5 stars, while people don't even know the background of my accident.
Nobody listens to the old guys climbing 20+ years without dying although they have proven to know what climbing is about.


milesenoell


Apr 13, 2011, 8:36 AM
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Re: [Gabel] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Gabel wrote:
I don't get this. How were you spared suffering while you almost killed yourself ON YOUR OWN? I, personally, would be spared suffering if the accident wouldn't be my fault and I thus had someone to blame.

Since I haven't been dropped I may be speaking in ignorance, but it seems to me that when another person is involved there are a whole range of doubts and questions that cloud the situation and bring an emotional valence that I didn't have to deal with. For instance, I don't know how the cam ended up disengaged. Rather than having doubt in the back of my mind that my buddy may have almost killed me, eroding the trust and confidence of a friendship that is important to me, my mind is freer to break down the accident in a calculating way. In place of those doubts I feel only gratitude.

In contrast, I used to wake-board a lot and had a close call where a friend pulled me into a fast whip-turn that very nearly put me into the rocky dam that made up one side of the reservoir. It was enough to shake even a teenagers sense of invincibility and left me doubting both my friend and the activity I loved. Since I had to depend on another person who had shown themselves to be unreliable to do what I loved, I suffered the loss to both the trust in the friendship and the activity I loved.


Partner cracklover


Apr 13, 2011, 9:45 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
"cracklover wrote:
In reply to:
If you think I am foolhardy for focusing my attention on the first line of defense while making choices that lead me closer to harms way and can't see the parallel in yourself then I would suggest you suffer from severe myopia.

Then I guess I must be myopic indeed. In my climbing career, I've had one time where I seriously fucked up, and had to watch the consequences unfold. I was, I think, suitably hard on myself for my choices. At no point did I think "well, everything I did was fine, I just should have done it better." Instead, from the instant I became aware that things might go south, through the event as it unfolded, and still as years passed, my thoughts were centered around fixing, changing, improving, and how to avoid even finding myself in that situation again.

But that's not my point. It's totally up to you to draw what lessons you see fit from your accident. We each have a different process we go through.

My point is simply that as you gather the input from folks who've come close here, remember to take into consideration the people who aren't here to answer, and the stories they might tell.

GO

I don't think milesenoell's response (as he phrased it, "to focus on the first line of defense") is any different from what we see when a belayer drops a climber. The fault in both cases is user error and no ones first response to a climber getting dropped is that we should all starting having our belays backedup. "Experienced" climbers drop people, or are themselves dropped much more often than TR solo rigs fail but you don't see two-man belay teams becoming the norm.

Instead, we focus on training, understanding proper gear function and checking and then re-checking the rig for proper setup. Which closely mirrors milesenoell's response to his accident.

I agree with both you and miles that since carelessness was the primary cause of this accident, considering how to improve attention to details should be a primary aim. Where I disagree with you (although, interestingly, not with miles) is that I think that it's worth looking deeper to consider if anything else in the system should be changed.

Oh, and in most situations, if a belayer drops the climber to the deck, I absolutely think the belayer should have a backup until both the flaw has been identified and proper belaying is consistent. Dropping a climber to the deck due to negligence or inattention is (or should be) a truly exceptional circumstance, causing the team to seriously re-think their systems. In this case, the team is one person. So looking to institute a backup in the form of tying knots, when this is actually the standard practice in self belaying, should be among the first considerations.

GO


Paul_W


Apr 13, 2011, 9:59 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Cracklover, I think you are being a little harsh on the OP re "seeking validation." If anyone had a traumatic experience in any walk of life it is natural to ask peers whether they had such an experience and how they dealt with it.

I do take your point that in this case asking for responses necessarily gives a skewed sample, i.e. some who decked aren't here to comment. Here, the OP is still with us thankfully and he is seeking input from those in a similar situation. Full marks to him for seeking some input.

Note, the sample is also skewed because the surviving "deckers" most likely to post here are those that continued to climb, not those that gave it up. Most of the stories show that the "deckers" feel lucky to have survived, and some, but not all, show some soul searching on the point of what they could have done differently.

I wish the OP well and commend him on seeking input from others. If it is the right choice for him I hope he continues to be able to enjoy climbing (safely).


dlintz


Apr 13, 2011, 10:24 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
I would just like to raise the point, obvious though it may be, that there are those who are not on rc.com because they decked and died, or were so injured, either physically or emotionally, that they can no longer climb.

Those people deserve a voice. Though they cannot answer your question - it would be wise of you to take heed of them, too.

GO

So true.
Remember Angela? Does she still climb? Reading her trip report made me dizzy and sweaty.

d.


csproul


Apr 13, 2011, 10:28 AM
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Re: [Paul_W] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Paul_W wrote:
Cracklover, I think you are being a little harsh on the OP re "seeking validation." If anyone had a traumatic experience in any walk of life it is natural to ask peers whether they had such an experience and how they dealt with it.

I do take your point that in this case asking for responses necessarily gives a skewed sample, i.e. some who decked aren't here to comment. Here, the OP is still with us thankfully and he is seeking input from those in a similar situation. Full marks to him for seeking some input.

Note, the sample is also skewed because the surviving "deckers" most likely to post here are those that continued to climb, not those that gave it up. Most of the stories show that the "deckers" feel lucky to have survived, and some, but not all, show some soul searching on the point of what they could have done differently.

I wish the OP well and commend him on seeking input from others. If it is the right choice for him I hope he continues to be able to enjoy climbing (safely).
I think there is a larger "skewing" at work here besides those that have hit the ground and are not here to tell about it. I think that the many many people who have not decked are also less likely to contribute to the thread. After all, how interesting is it to post a non-story.


Partner cracklover


Apr 13, 2011, 10:37 AM
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Re: [Paul_W] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Paul_W wrote:
Cracklover, I think you are being a little harsh on the OP re "seeking validation." If anyone had a traumatic experience in any walk of life it is natural to ask peers whether they had such an experience and how they dealt with it.

Fair enough. If so, I'm sorry about that. My main issue really is not with the OP, but with those who feel the need to argue with me about giving voice to the voiceless.

GO


Partner cracklover


Apr 13, 2011, 11:06 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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milesenoell wrote:
No, I am not looking for validation. I am looking at system failures.

When my system failed it lead me to ask a lot of questions of myself about what contributed to the failure. It seems a natural next step to ask others.

That seems perfectly reasonable. The trouble is that the simple act of people here replying with their stories, because they're still climbing, creates the story that decking is just a part of climbing. A story that I vehemently disagree with.

Yes, the people here who've fallen have relevant stories to tell you. Maybe even the most relevant for you, personally. And further, those stories are worth hearing, and it's great to have this forum to discuss them.

But, in my opinion, only if those stories are balanced with the other side. The trouble is that those people who could make the strongest case for how decking is usually a one-time-and-your-dead-or-disabled kind of thing just aren't here to do so.

In reply to:
and in regard to this:
In reply to:
Then I guess I must be myopic indeed. In my climbing career, I've had one time where I seriously fucked up, and had to watch the consequences unfold. I was, I think, suitably hard on myself for my choices. At no point did I think "well, everything I did was fine, I just should have done it better." Instead, from the instant I became aware that things might go south, through the event as it unfolded, and still as years passed, my thoughts were centered around fixing, changing, improving, and how to avoid even finding myself in that situation again.

Yes, this is exactly the myopia I was referring to. If you fuck up again I'd hope that the thought would occur to you that despite your efforts to ensure safety you knowingly engaged in a completely unnecessary risk who's costs are paid in no small part by those around you.

What's your point? That climbing is a dangerous activity, and while it's fun, it's also deadly serious? I'm quite aware of that. I have zero delusions, and there are plenty of objectives I positively drool over, but I have put off year after year becaue I know I'm not ready, or don't have the right partner. Despite the fact that I'm a very conservative climber, I know that shit could still happen. All I can do is try to stack the dice as much as possible in my favor, be vigilant, and try to avoid unnecessary risks. And I have accepted those risks that remain. How is that myopic?

In reply to:
Overall I think it's kind of telling that people seem to be expecting this to be about me trying to garner sympathy and support. As I mentioned earlier, my head was largely spared the trauma that so many other climbers go through. My accident was not very severe and support has come at every turn, so I am really not seeking support here. I am seeking the perspective borne of experience as I re-evaluate my approach to climbing.

I can totally appreciate that.

In reply to:
PS--Normally I resonate quite a bit with your posts Gabe, but your recent tone is surprising to me. I am a bit suspicious that you are reading something into my posts that relates to your own experiences rather than mine.

Perhaps. I've known people who didn't get a second chance. One fuck up, and that was it. So my problem isn't with you, per se. It's with the potential that your thread has to tell an overly rosy story. I know that's not your intent, but look at the revulsion to this thread from some of the older climbers here.

Cheers,

GO


Partner cracklover


Apr 13, 2011, 11:13 AM
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healyje wrote:
I think for the old folks around here that this thread, while not entirely unexpected, is still fairly horrifying.

I've only been climbing a dozen years, and I feel the same way. I don't think it's an experience thing, it's a matter of attitude.

GO


Partner cracklover


Apr 13, 2011, 11:22 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
I think info from people that have gone through the experiance and how/why they came back from it is likely more helpful to the OP (who obviously wants to keep climbing) than stories of those who have quit.

I'm sorry to belabor the point, but here's what he actually asked in his OP:

In reply to:
now I'm hoping to get some perspective. How many of you folks out there have decked for one reason or another, and what was that reason? How bad was it?

The responses are going to be rather one-sided, due to the obvious. So don't worry, he'll get plenty of "how I overcame adversity". And yet what he asked for was perspective. Not a word one usually associates with white-washing.

But perhaps you're right, and all the OP wants to hear is happy stories of recovery and redemption. In fact, feel free to encourage him to go back to carefree rope soloing with no backup systems, which seems to be his first instinct.

But something tells me that if those who cannot speak here could be heard... you'd sure get some perspective then. The OP got a second chance. Not everyone does. Food for thought.

GO
Do you really think he's into carefree rope soloing? You talk like this whole experience was nothing for him.

No, I don't. I'm sure the whole experience was quite frightening! Read my post above, again - what I'm saying is that if he's looking to put his fall into context, there is a broader context than just those who will respond here. Why do you have such a problem with that?

GO


boymeetsrock


Apr 13, 2011, 11:48 AM
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healyje wrote:

By and large, that this many of you have decked says a lot about the training and indoctrination - or the lack thereof - associated with climbing today. In general I would basically lay all this on the rapid introduction to climbing associated with gyms and sport climbing. You get up to speed on the movement faster then you develop the requisite experience and wherewithal that used to come from an extended mentoring period seconding experience [trad] leaders. I'm also guessing distractions associated with today's highly socialized climbing scene plays into this as well (as in the STFUAB factor).

That's not to say all of us old folk haven't had close calls, but actually decking? That was an extremely rare event and rarely one a person lived through from what I've seen and experienced over the years.

Times they are a'changing. Be careful out there...!

I think another part of the equation is the 'sanitation' of the sport. Climbing is considered by many to be a safe(er) sport these days due to the improvements in equipment. The disconnect between users and manufactures contributes to this as well, IMOP. In your day (I'm not trying to call you old Tongue) many climbers used homemade equipment or at least they were closer to the manufactures than we are today. Climbers inspected their own equipment more and knew how and why it functioned. Much of that is, again, lost on today's climbers.

I would wager that today's climbers are far less risk averse than the climbers of 20+ years ago. I would place the blame for this on increased security of equipment as well as the social aspect (improved medical care no doubt place a subliminal role also).

You are very right that in your day there was a mentor-ship and apprenticeship in the sport that, for the most part, no longer exists. In all too many cases today we see the blind leading the blind, or the blind leading themselves.


boymeetsrock


Apr 13, 2011, 11:57 AM
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Blind leading themselves: That is what lead me to crater.

I am largely self taught. As I built my climbing skills my technical skills lagged behind a bit. My confidence, however, was not diminished.

One morning I decided to get in a couple of climbs before work. I decided to lead a climb that was at my limit despite not feeling completely 'on' that day. Strenuous climbing caused me to not think clearly and the result was poor protection. When I pealed I ripped two poor cam placements and decked from @ 20'.

The result was a dislocated shoulder and a severely bruised ego. It took me a long time to get back on the rock, and I have been taking it very slow ever since. I am much more careful about the objectives I choose, the partners I choose, and the gear and strategies I employ. Decking was a terrible experience that I am still embarrassed about over five years later. I do, however, believe that it was a much needed kick in the pants. That experience rides in the back of mind mind every time I climb and often when I am not climbing. I strive every day not to make a similar mistake of arrogance and ignorance.


healyje


Apr 13, 2011, 12:15 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
The trouble is that the simple act of people here replying with their stories, because they're still climbing, creates the story that decking is just a part of climbing. A story that I vehemently disagree with.

I'd say, unfortunately, that the fact we'd get this many responses from people who have personally decked and are still climbing (as opposed to fatalities and folks who quit the sport) tells me that decking has somehow managed to become significant statistic in the sport and is indeed now "just a part of climbing".

It would be interesting to know (leaving freesoloers out of the equation) what percentage of people who put on a harness this year will end up decking - and what the indoor / outdoor split is.


(This post was edited by healyje on Apr 13, 2011, 12:16 PM)


gblauer
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Apr 13, 2011, 2:07 PM
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Re: [healyje] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
By and large, that this many of you have decked says a lot about the training and indoctrination - or the lack thereof - associated with climbing today. In general I would basically lay all this on the rapid introduction to climbing associated with gyms and sport climbing. You get up to speed on the movement faster then you develop the requisite experience and wherewithal that used to come from an extended mentoring period seconding experience [trad] leaders.

Well stated! I agree completely. We have so many weekend accidents at the Gunks and I suspect that it's largely due to what you have aptly stated above.


sspssp


Apr 13, 2011, 5:02 PM
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Re: [gblauer] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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To answer an earlier post, in my case decking was falling 30 feet from an overhanging route and hitting the ground without the rope slowing me at all.

These polls are obviously self-selecting. If you asked on rockclimbing.com how many of you had a serious accident on the interstate, that would be frightening also.

But if you include close calls, I think the number of "near misses" among experienced climbers is really high. My partner once realized, while he was being lowered, that his harness wasn't doubled back. He didn't deck. He sure could have.

I'm sure lots of climbers have been moments away from killing themselves on rappel (off the end of the rope, both ropes through the belay device, etc.), just like many drivers have "almost" had accidents that could have been fatal.

I'm sure that many people do rush from the gym to outside without proper training/appreciation for everything, especially if they get in trad.

But it doesn't matter how many years of experience you have or how careful you are, you can't eliminate human error and just because somebody makes an error doesn't automatically mean that they are any more or less likely than the next person.

If someone doesn't know the basics of belaying, that is a problem that can and should be fixed before they belay any more.

If someone overlooks something, misrigs an anchor or forgets to double back their harness, that is the crap that no system will ever eliminate. Yes, paying attention, good habbits, double checking your partner all help and all should be done, but I would suggest not kidding yourself.

Even a cautious, experienced driver can make a simple mistake like changing lanes into an oncoming car. That's life folks.

cheers

and wear a helmet and be safe out there, ya know.
Wink


socalclimber


Apr 14, 2011, 8:02 PM
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Re: [bearbreeder] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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bearbreeder wrote:
there are also many more climbers these days ...

is the %-tage of deckers of the general climbing population increasing?

that said ive never seen anyone decking after the 2nd bolt or piece of gear... i dont consider falling on the first bolt and touching the ground with rope stretch "decking" ... not the way some climbs are bolted

Well I won't disagree that there are far more climbers these days, and that the increase in accidents is going to increase as well. Unfortunately I have witnessed more than my fair share of what the "new" climbing community is about. We now have tons of people pushing numbers way beyond their abilities. When I wander around the park I see leader after leader protecting a route, but clearly do not know how to properly protect a route. There's a huge difference between placing gear, and knowing when and where to place it.

There are so many basic skills the vast majority of climbers lack these days. Down climbing is one of them. When I first learned how to lead, down climbing was just something you learned how to do. It's not easy, it can be down right scary.

Climbers these days are pushing the envelope of their skills and abilities long before they are ready. That's why people are decking right and left.


healyje


Apr 15, 2011, 12:56 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
There are so many basic skills the vast majority of climbers lack these days. Down climbing is one of them. When I first learned how to lead, down climbing was just something you learned how to do. It's not easy, it can be down right scary.

This is the #1 physical / movement skill that should be practiced as much as possible when in a gym by anyone contemplating leading trad. When I've taught basic climbing skills through a series of top ropes, any time someone couldn't make it up the next climb in the progression I'd have them go back and work on downclimbing the previous climb until they could downclimb it proficiently - they'd then invariably hike the one they previously failed on first try.


(This post was edited by healyje on Apr 15, 2011, 12:58 AM)


socalclimber


Apr 15, 2011, 3:29 AM
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Re: [healyje] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
There are so many basic skills the vast majority of climbers lack these days. Down climbing is one of them. When I first learned how to lead, down climbing was just something you learned how to do. It's not easy, it can be down right scary.

This is the #1 physical / movement skill that should be practiced as much as possible when in a gym by anyone contemplating leading trad. When I've taught basic climbing skills through a series of top ropes, any time someone couldn't make it up the next climb in the progression I'd have them go back and work on downclimbing the previous climb until they could downclimb it proficiently - they'd then invariably hike the one they previously failed on first try.

I've started incorporating in my classes as well.


redlude97


Apr 15, 2011, 3:44 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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if enigma can solo downclimb 5.15 with one arm, anyone can do it. You don't have to fight gravity!


socalclimber


Apr 15, 2011, 3:47 AM
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Re: [redlude97] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:
if enigma can solo downclimb 5.15 with one arm, anyone can do it. You don't have to fight gravity!

Laugh


sungam


Apr 15, 2011, 4:34 AM
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Re: [airscape] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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airscape wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
Gabel wrote:
I decked almost a year ago. ... Let go of the holds while my belayer didn't have proper control of the rope. ... My fault.

How's that your fault and not the belayer's?

Edit to add: In my understanding it's the belayer's job to always have control of the rope - the climber having control of the holds is not supposed to be necessary for safety.

+1

I was reading "My fault" and thought wtf?
3rded. Belayer not in control of the rope?
Unless he had called off belay or something, the belay f*cked up. No two ways about it.

I've never really decked but I tapped the ground once. Sparsely populated rack left me with only one size that fit the crack which I placed to early. The crack was all sandy so I fell out of it pretty quick (15? maybe 20 feet, certainly not higher) and ripped my top piece (too small) and tapped the ground. Actually probably a good thing I fell there, as I duidn't have any other real pro options. I cruised it like 4 years later.


MS1


Apr 15, 2011, 8:04 AM
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Re: [sspssp] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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When I decked, it was maybe a 25-foot fall. I think the friction of rope pulling through the system slowed me a bit and kept me upright. I was very fortunate in my landing, and immediately aware that I could easily have died that day.

And my experience is absolutely a data point in Healyje's favor: The fall occurred because I didn't spend enough time training a new belayer before trusting her to catch unannounced lead falls. The fault is on me, not her, in that scenario, but at least it was a mistake I was lucky enough to survive and learn from.


Colinhoglund


Apr 15, 2011, 9:01 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I'd like to contribute to this discussion with my own experience. Out of the 30-40 different people I have climbed with over my 4 year career (I know I'm a n00b compared to you 20+ year vets), there are only three that I know of who have decked; myself and two others.

(warning self disclosure) I decked my third Ice lead. Was on a really short grade 3 (10m) where the Ice started out great, placed a screw and everything went well. Then the Ice turned bad. No good screws for over a body length past the first one. First solid Ice I found, I tried to fire in another. But being unpracticed, I awkwardly pushed the wrong way and in doing so pulled the tool in my other hand out. The rope slowed me down, but I still decked. Badly sprained my ankle in front of a cadet group and two guides; really bad form. But really early in my career, and I've become much better now as far as safety goes.

Lesson learned.
Climbing is dangerous and one should not undertake any activity(sport, Trad, Ice, and dare I say bouldering???) without really understanding everything involved. It's simple I broke the 1st rule (never fall leading Ice) by not practicing placing screws on TR enough to be competent, resulting in a fall. I broke the second rule (always protect your fall) by not having enough experience to see that this route was in poor condition after the first few meters.

"Decking is part of Climbing" Well yes, and no.
No; one should do whatever possible to keep themselves from decking. Get a good belayer, don't jump into something that is too far above your experience level, seek proper instruction (guides or a good mentorship). Yes I have decked, but its made me the safe climber I am now. I can honestly say that since that experience I have never put myself at risk of decking. However I wish that I would had not done so; it would have been better to have gained this respect for climbing in a way that didn't end with hobbling for a month.

However, sh!t happens. One of the other guy I know who has decked is a solid climber. He ripped pro (fiddly thin crack), hit the ground and sprained an ankle. He was pushing his limits by attempting a local test piece and fell. Think of the boys from "Progression". In the Grit segment Matt decked trying one of the routes. (for those that haven't seen that film, he look and the camera and said "dude, I Just hit the ground" with a wtf look on his face). Apparently ground falls are part of Brit Grit climbing.

While one should do everything possible to prevent decking, those who push their limits will always have a possibility of injury. Analyze the risk, do everything to minimize those risks, then accept the risks you cannot fully eliminate and climb on.
My 2ó


cfnubbler


Apr 15, 2011, 9:28 AM
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Re: Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I guess I'm another one of the old guys that is frankly appalled by this thread. In 20+ years of climbing, across all disciplines from sport climbing to aid, ice and alpine, I've thankfully never decked. None of my partners has ever decked. Admittedly, I choose to only climb with a relative handful (5-6 folks) of similarly experienced partners, which probably skews my personal sample. I also know full well that it could happen to me, or anyone. But as far as I'm concerned, it is decidely not a routine part of the climbing experience. With all due respect to everyone in this thread, many of the responses strongly reinforce my decision to be extremely picky about who I climb with.


Partner cracklover


Apr 15, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Re: [Colinhoglund] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Colinhoglund wrote:
Out of the 30-40 different people I have climbed with over my 4 year career (I know I'm a n00b compared to you 20+ year vets), there are only three that I know of who have decked; myself and two others.

To me, that word, "only" is seriously misplaced. You've been climbing 4 years, and of 30-40 in your crew, 10% have decked. To me, that's insane.

GO


Paul_W


Apr 15, 2011, 12:14 PM
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Re: [cfnubbler] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I don't understand why you are "appalled" by this thread. Looking back through the posts I don't see a sentiment that decking is "routine." The rope and belay are there to hopefully prevent a ground fall.

In my personal experience I have roped up hundreds and hundreds of times and suffered one ground fall early in my climbing career. I lost a very good friend 13 years ago whose rope was cut and he fell to the ground (not while I was climbing w.him). I once witnessed a nasty ground fall (again not my party) at the gunks many years ago. I have met one other person who was severely injured in a ground fall after a rope was cut. So in my experience over 30 years is it is extremely rare, but it does happen.

Note, also you don't have to hit the deck to be severely injured in a fall. I have carried folks off the cliff several times (not in my party) who injured themselves hitting a ledge or the wall itself.

So I would view this a valid thread discussing the dangers of climbing which are all too real and have real consequences.

Climb safe!


cfnubbler


Apr 15, 2011, 12:31 PM
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Re: [Paul_W] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Paul_W wrote:
I don't understand why you are "appalled" by this thread. Looking back through the posts I don't see a sentiment that decking is "routine." The rope and belay are there to hopefully prevent a ground fall.

In my personal experience I have roped up hundreds and hundreds of times and suffered one ground fall early in my climbing career. I lost a very good friend 13 years ago whose rope was cut and he fell to the ground (not while I was climbing w.him). I once witnessed a nasty ground fall (again not my party) at the gunks many years ago. I have met one other person who was severely injured in a ground fall after a rope was cut. So in my experience over 30 years is it is extremely rare, but it does happen.

Note, also you don't have to hit the deck to be severely injured in a fall. I have carried folks off the cliff several times (not in my party) who injured themselves hitting a ledge or the wall itself.

So I would view this a valid thread discussing the dangers of climbing which are all too real and have real consequences.

Climb safe!

I didn't say it wasn't a "valid thread", whatever that means. What appalls me is the number of respondents who've decked. Even recognizing that one cannot draw any real conclusions from the "data" collected in this thread, I find it disturbing. As I've said, I've climbed for a fair number of years, though not your 30, all over the world and across climbing disciplines, and I've never decked, or had a partner deck. No judgement on those who have is intended. We've just had very different experiences around this issue. I certainly recognize anyone, myself absolutely included, could hit the ground.

Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!


notapplicable


Apr 15, 2011, 1:36 PM
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Re: [cfnubbler] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

I will only speak for myself but there is most certainly a "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to my decking stories. Not because I don't take it seriously or understand how lucky I am for not having been hurt much worse, but rather because I don't have any problem acknowledging the simple reality of the situation.

By all accounts, I went about learning to lead on gear all wrong. I taught myself, I never climbed with anyone more experienced during my first 2 years on the rock and I was motivated to climb a lot. Not surprisingly, both times I hit the deck occurred in my first 1.5 years of climbing and were purely a result of inexperience (1st time) and inattention (2nd time).

I think my experiences mirror those of many, if not most, new climbers these days. Under those conditions...hey, shits gonna happen. I would love it if it wouldn't, but it will. No amount of alarm or indignation on anyones part is going to change that simple fact.


enigma


Apr 15, 2011, 3:25 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
if enigma can solo downclimb 5.15 with one arm, anyone can do it. You don't have to fight gravity!

Laugh

Its good to practice downclimbing!!!!
Just in Case, you never know when it will save your life.
I always was told when you lead to should be 99 percent sure you could solo that climb easily.

For those who are belaying, might want to make sure you are protected,
( you could anchor in, so you don't topple over when catching a fall,
Otherwise the climber falls, and so does the belayer, not good)
If a belayer decks, because the climber falls its because they weren't secured properly, or they aren't doing their job properly).( Though it could be a technical error, or human error).


(This post was edited by enigma on Apr 15, 2011, 3:51 PM)


socalclimber


Apr 15, 2011, 3:46 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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"I never climbed with anyone more experienced during my first 2 years on the rock and I was motivated to climb a lot. "

I haven't met a long term climber who knows what they are doing that would disagree. Simply put, it's a miracle most of us survived the first two years.


cfnubbler


Apr 15, 2011, 4:33 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

I will only speak for myself but there is most certainly a "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to my decking stories. Not because I don't take it seriously or understand how lucky I am for not having been hurt much worse, but rather because I don't have any problem acknowledging the simple reality of the situation.

By all accounts, I went about learning to lead on gear all wrong. I taught myself, I never climbed with anyone more experienced during my first 2 years on the rock and I was motivated to climb a lot. Not surprisingly, both times I hit the deck occurred in my first 1.5 years of climbing and were purely a result of inexperience (1st time) and inattention (2nd time).

I think my experiences mirror those of many, if not most, new climbers these days. Under those conditions...hey, shits gonna happen. I would love it if it wouldn't, but it will. No amount of alarm or indignation on anyones part is going to change that simple fact.

I'm not indignant, and I'm pleased you survived relatively unscathed. I mean that with complete sincerity. I'm also not trying to change the situation, not because I don't care, but because I know doing so on the internetz is utterly futile.

I was merely conveying my thoughts about the "results" coming out in this thread. I think you're absolutely right that your experiences mirror those of many new climbers today, and that is truly unfortunate. If more folks took the time to learn and progress slowly under the guidance of an experienced and competent mentor, then a lot less "shit would happen", and that's a fact. But then that's not really the nature of our instant gratification culture or our increasingly marketing and media driven sport, and the climbing community is the poorer for it. Again, I'm not pointing fingers or judging anyone in particular, just calling it like I see it. I wish everybody a long and safe climbing career!


(This post was edited by cfnubbler on Apr 15, 2011, 4:40 PM)


guangzhou


Apr 17, 2011, 10:38 PM
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Re: [cfnubbler] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Again, I would like to know what these people eman when they say decking.

Over the weekend I was talking with a climber at a swim meet. He was excited to meet another climber, we chatted and he was telling stories. He was 16 and his stories reminded me of when I was 16 hitting the crags.

At one point, he said he was leading when he took a "BIG WHIPPER." The whipper was 10 feet. I sort of smiled ot myself, I've never consider any of my 10ft falls a whipper. I take ten footers most weekends.

To me, if you say you decked, you hit the ground or a ledge. I also think you have already placed you first piece of gear and for some reason still hit the ledge or ground.


healyje


Apr 17, 2011, 11:16 PM
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Pretty sure the mean the combination of falling to the ground or a ledge along with, and probably far more common, being dropped by a belayer.


guangzhou


Apr 18, 2011, 12:04 AM
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I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.


csproul


Apr 18, 2011, 8:43 AM
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guangzhou wrote:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.
Sounds like a decking to me! Any reason I might hit the ground doesn't sound appealing to me and I'd consider it a failure in my judgment or ability.


granite_grrl


Apr 18, 2011, 8:44 AM
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csproul wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.
Sounds like a decking to me! Any reason I might hit the ground doesn't sound appealing to me and I'd consider it a failure in my judgment or ability.
Is falling off a boulder problem considered decking then?

No wonder the numbers are so high!


csproul


Apr 18, 2011, 8:47 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.
Sounds like a decking to me! Any reason I might hit the ground doesn't sound appealing to me and I'd consider it a failure in my judgment or ability.
Is falling off a boulder problem considered decking then?

No wonder the numbers are so high!
Only if I miss the pad(s)!


granite_grrl


Apr 18, 2011, 8:51 AM
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csproul wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.
Sounds like a decking to me! Any reason I might hit the ground doesn't sound appealing to me and I'd consider it a failure in my judgment or ability.
Is falling off a boulder problem considered decking then?

No wonder the numbers are so high!
Only if I miss the pad(s)!
So a crash pad makes the difference?

Are you suggesting that sport climbers replace their stick clips with crash pads?


csproul


Apr 18, 2011, 9:01 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.
Sounds like a decking to me! Any reason I might hit the ground doesn't sound appealing to me and I'd consider it a failure in my judgment or ability.
Is falling off a boulder problem considered decking then?

No wonder the numbers are so high!
Only if I miss the pad(s)!
So a crash pad makes the difference?

Are you suggesting that sport climbers replace their stick clips with crash pads?
I'm suggesting that if you don't want to hit the ground (and I don't) that you use whatever means are necessary to keep that from happening. If that means a stick clip for sport climbing, I'll use it. If that means using a pad while bouldering or for a route where the first bolt is too high for a clip, I'll use it. If that means that I am confident that I'll not fall before the first protection, then I might just do that. But for me, if I have hit the ground, then I'd consider that I have had a lapse in judgment. If you're ok with decking then YMMV, so long as you know what you're getting in to and are ok with the consequences.


granite_grrl


Apr 18, 2011, 9:13 AM
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Re: [csproul] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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csproul wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.
Sounds like a decking to me! Any reason I might hit the ground doesn't sound appealing to me and I'd consider it a failure in my judgment or ability.
Is falling off a boulder problem considered decking then?

No wonder the numbers are so high!
Only if I miss the pad(s)!
So a crash pad makes the difference?

Are you suggesting that sport climbers replace their stick clips with crash pads?
I'm suggesting that if you don't want to hit the ground (and I don't) that you use whatever means are necessary to keep that from happening. If that means a stick clip for sport climbing, I'll use it. If that means using a pad while bouldering or for a route where the first bolt is too high for a clip, I'll use it. If that means that I am confident that I'll not fall before the first protection, then I might just do that. But for me, if I have hit the ground, then I'd consider that I have had a lapse in judgment. If you're ok with decking then YMMV, so long as you know what you're getting in to and are ok with the consequences.
I think you're missing the point. Sometimes the starts of routes are hard (sport or trad), and sometimes people head up prepared for the consequences of a fall. If they do fall and hit the ground it's not really no different than a boulder falling off a problem.

Sure, people will head up a climb not prepared for a fall at the start of a route, but the same thing can be said for someone heading up a tall boulder problem without thinking it through. Does the distinction of decking in these situations depend on whether or not you're prepared for it?


csproul


Apr 18, 2011, 9:30 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
csproul wrote:
guangzhou wrote:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.
Sounds like a decking to me! Any reason I might hit the ground doesn't sound appealing to me and I'd consider it a failure in my judgment or ability.
Is falling off a boulder problem considered decking then?

No wonder the numbers are so high!
Only if I miss the pad(s)!
So a crash pad makes the difference?

Are you suggesting that sport climbers replace their stick clips with crash pads?
I'm suggesting that if you don't want to hit the ground (and I don't) that you use whatever means are necessary to keep that from happening. If that means a stick clip for sport climbing, I'll use it. If that means using a pad while bouldering or for a route where the first bolt is too high for a clip, I'll use it. If that means that I am confident that I'll not fall before the first protection, then I might just do that. But for me, if I have hit the ground, then I'd consider that I have had a lapse in judgment. If you're ok with decking then YMMV, so long as you know what you're getting in to and are ok with the consequences.
...Sometimes the starts of routes are hard (sport or trad), and sometimes people head up prepared for the consequences of a fall...

...Sure, people will head up a climb not prepared for a fall at the start of a route, but the same thing can be said for someone heading up a tall boulder problem without thinking it through...
Sounds like a lapse in judgment to me. I already told you, if I hit the ground while climbing (not bouldering, see below), then that was a lapse in judgment. Period. I think we all realize that bouldering is a different game. I intend to come off while bouldering, it is part of the game. It is not part of my rope-climbing game. When bouldering, I plan for it and try to minimize the consequence by using pads and spotters. There is the odd situation where a route may require me to climb hard ground to the first piece of protection. If this is the (rare) case, then I do everything possible to minimize the chance of injury. If I don't think I can safely make the moves (part of that judgment thing) I'll use a pad, I'll sling a nearby tree branch, I'll stand on my belayer's shoulders to place gear, I'll get a crash pad...or I might even decide not to do the route.


ClimbSoHigh


Apr 18, 2011, 11:20 AM
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Re: [csproul] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.

The first bolt can be 5, 10, or even 30+ off the deck. I could see botching the top out to a 30 foot high ball as decking even though it is bouldering. Decking can be interpreted many different ways. I blew a 4th clip once and whipped so my feet bounced off the ground from rope stretch and yanking my belayer 10 feet off the ground, so I checked "no but came close".

To keep it simple, my interpretation of decking is anytime you fall and hit the ground or large ledge with enough force to cause injury or death.


Mastertater


Apr 18, 2011, 11:23 AM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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One of my first leads on a sport route. I was eye level with a bolt but could not clip it and tried to make waht appeared to be an easy, but big move. I kept falling and hit the ground flat on my back and popped right back to my feet like a cat. The fall was about 20-25 feet. Physically there was no real inury except a pretty good gash on my back. Mentally it made me much less bold.

My belayer was sitting down and not paying attention. This was in '98 or early '99 so he was using an ATC.

My belayer sold me his new rope, 10 quickdraws, an ATC, some shoes, a harness, and some runners/extra biners for $100 and he quit climbing. He was really freaked out and is still shaken when it is brought up.

None of my friends have decked unless you count hitting a tree or two.

These days with kids, it is good to remember the reality of even sport climbing and to be extra safe.


dagibbs


Apr 18, 2011, 1:18 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I ticked yes, but like a few others wonder at the definition of "decking".

I fell off the opening moves of a climb, before I had gear in. I didn't expect to fall -- had done those moves cleanly before. I could have placed a low piece of pro to protect the fall, but didn't. I should have, and next time I did the route, I did so. (I was a touch bruised, but not injured.)

I've also been dropped on top-rope in a gym. Probably about 25' up, fell, the rope hit my belayer in the face and my belayer let go of the belay, allowing the rope to run freely through the ATC. Luckily there was enough friction in the system (possibly designed in?) that I didn't land with enough force to hurt myself, but it was still quite a shock.


guangzhou


Apr 18, 2011, 5:49 PM
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Re: Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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So, if decking is anytime the climber hit the ground or ledge. Yikes.

If I walk up to a route, rack up, Quickdarws or gear, do the first two move and my foot slips off and I'm back on the ground, I just decked?

With that, I can see how the climber I mentioned earlier considered a 10ft fall a big whipper.


dagibbs


Apr 18, 2011, 10:24 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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As I said, I don't know.

I consider the being dropped in the gym more of a case of "decking" than the missing the opening moves on a climb. But, I did land flat on my back when I missed the opening moves.


guangzhou


Apr 18, 2011, 11:34 PM
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Re: [dagibbs] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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dagibbs wrote:
As I said, I don't know.

I consider the being dropped in the gym more of a case of "decking" than the missing the opening moves on a climb. But, I did land flat on my back when I missed the opening moves.

I would tend to agree with you.

A few years ago I was climbing a slab route at Stone MOuntain. Headed up to the first bolt, maybe 40 or 50 feet up. Got my runner on, but started skidding before I could clip the rope. Slid all the way to the ledge the routes started on.

My belayer was more panicked than me, I simply went back up and made the clip the second time around. Some would consider that decking, I didn't.


dswink


Apr 19, 2011, 12:04 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
A few years ago I was climbing a slab route at Stone MOuntain. Headed up to the first bolt, maybe 40 or 50 feet up. Got my runner on, but started skidding before I could clip the rope. Slid all the way to the ledge the routes started on.

My belayer was more panicked than me, I simply went back up and made the clip the second time around. Some would consider that decking, I didn't.

First, congratulations on coming down that far without getting hurt. You may been very lucky that day.

Can you describe your skid/fall it a bit more detail? Was it in successive stages? Sliding down just 20 feet of slab can build a lot of speed. I am trying to conjure an image of elegantly swooshing down 50 feet of slab without flipping on a rough spot or coming to a hard landing or getting some very serious abrasions. Tongue It wouldn't have worked for me. Dropping 50 feet represents some pretty serious energy that has to go somewhere?


How close do you think you came to a qualified decking (injuries that preclude climbing for a week at least)? I guess what I am trying to ask is what do you think kept your experience from being a "decking" with you hurt as a result?

The first bolt was 40 - 50 feet up? I am guessing the first 35 feet were was easy ground.


(This post was edited by dswink on Apr 19, 2011, 1:37 AM)


csproul


Apr 19, 2011, 5:31 AM
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Re: [guangzhou] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
As I said, I don't know.

I consider the being dropped in the gym more of a case of "decking" than the missing the opening moves on a climb. But, I did land flat on my back when I missed the opening moves.

I would tend to agree with you.

A few years ago I was climbing a slab route at Stone MOuntain. Headed up to the first bolt, maybe 40 or 50 feet up. Got my runner on, but started skidding before I could clip the rope. Slid all the way to the ledge the routes started on.

My belayer was more panicked than me, I simply went back up and made the clip the second time around. Some would consider that decking, I didn't.
First, how is that not decking!? You hit the ground from 40-50 ft. It's great that you are comfortable with it and weren't hurt, but most people aren't comfortable hitting the ground from that height.

Second, I'll assume you are talking about the tree ledge at Stone. What route were you doing off the tree ledge that had the 1st bolt 40-50 ft up? I've done every route there and I'm pretty sure there isn't one route with a 1st bolt that high. I'm not always great at judging distances, but I usually overestimate, not underestimate.


shockabuku


Apr 19, 2011, 6:36 AM
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Re: [dswink] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I'd have to think that decking doesn't have to include getting hurt. Getting hurt is a probability given the fact that you fall out of control - it might or might not happen based on factors that are entirely separate from the uncontrolled fall.

So this one time, at band camp the gym, I fell while clipping the second bolt. My belayer was out of position and I fell right on to her - she had shoe rubber just below her collar bone. I smashed her to the floor; I think I landed on the padded gym floor pretty comfortably or might have been just above the floor. I don't recall if she lost control of the belay or not.

Did I deck? I don't know, but I didn't get hurt and relatively speaking neither did she. Had it been a second pitch outdoor belay it could have been disastrous.


ClimbSoHigh


Apr 19, 2011, 6:47 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I'd have to think that decking doesn't have to include getting hurt. Getting hurt is a probability given the fact that you fall out of control - it might or might not happen based on factors that are entirely separate from the uncontrolled fall.

I don't think actually getting hurt means you decked, I just feel that a fall to the ground where injury is Likely and almost expected is decking. Falling 50 feet, slab or not, to the ground is decking in my book, since I would excpect serious injury. Falling 2 feet off the gound is not decking in my book if injury is not likely. Depending on how you define decking, hitting the ground for any reason is not good, since it means you failed at climbing or failed to find an adequate belayer.


sungam


Apr 19, 2011, 7:00 AM
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guangzhou wrote:
I agree with hitting the ground. I just wonder how many of the people who claim to have decked just fell while going tot he first bolts on a sport route.
Justified if it's at Stone Mountain.


sspssp


Apr 19, 2011, 4:31 PM
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Re: [sungam] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Given the nature of this particular thread, I would say that decking meant you hit the ground because something went wrong.

Falling before the first bolt would not be decking (in the context of this thread examing preventable accidents). Falling when bouldering/free soloing is not decking.

So hitting the deck and getting injured before getting to the first bolt is, perhaps, a dangerous sport climb but not that relevant for this thread.

Hitting the deck on a trad climb where you haven't yet placed a piece, but could have, maybe counts (40 foot fall, yes, 5 foot fall, no).

Injury is not required.

My $0.02 worth.


(This post was edited by sspssp on Apr 19, 2011, 4:33 PM)


sspssp


Apr 19, 2011, 4:36 PM
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Re: [cfnubbler] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

Yea, well put me squarely in the "shit happens" camp. Even very diligent people screw up and if you are in denial about that, may I respectfully suggest that sport may not be for you.

That is not the same thing as being lackadaisical about safety.


jt512


Apr 19, 2011, 5:16 PM
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Re: [sspssp] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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sspssp wrote:
cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

Yea, well put me squarely in the "shit happens" camp. Even very diligent people screw up and if you are in denial about that, may I respectfully suggest that sport may not be for you.

That is not the same thing as being lackadaisical about safety.

Iásuspect that shit happens a lot more often to climbers who believe that shit happens than to climbers who don't. Example: A cam pulls out in a fall for each of two climbers. Climber 1 reasons, "Shit happens." Climber 2 reasons, "Iámust not have placed that cam properly." Which climber will be more likely to have another cam pull out on him in a fall?

Jay


USnavy


Apr 20, 2011, 12:47 AM
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Re: [jt512] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
sspssp wrote:
cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

Yea, well put me squarely in the "shit happens" camp. Even very diligent people screw up and if you are in denial about that, may I respectfully suggest that sport may not be for you.

That is not the same thing as being lackadaisical about safety.

Iásuspect that shit happens a lot more often to climbers who believe that shit happens than to climbers who don't. Example: A cam pulls out in a fall for each of two climbers. Climber 1 reasons, "Shit happens." Climber 2 reasons, "Iámust not have placed that cam properly." Which climber will be more likely to have another cam pull out on him in a fall?

Jay
I would imagine that some of the most serious accidents have involved experienced climbers who have become lazy. I know of a number of climbers who exacted textbook belay technique when they started climbing many years ago, but now regularly let go of the rope while belaying with a GriGri saying, "dude it locks by itself, I have been doing this for xx years, it always locks". But being experienced and choosing to belay incorrectly is not much safer than being inexperienced and belaying incorrectly.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Apr 20, 2011, 12:49 AM)


Gabel


Apr 20, 2011, 4:10 AM
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Re: [sspssp] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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sspssp wrote:
Given the nature of this particular thread, I would say that decking meant you hit the ground because something went wrong.

Interesting thought.

The horrid thing for me with my decking was that it was totally unexpected. I wasn't getting pumped, I wasn't fiddling with a clip - I simply tried to drop three feet back into the safety of the rope but cratered. It felt like I didn't have time to think at all but hit the ground instantly. I have had thrice the time thinking in bouldering falls that were 10 feet, probably because falling in bouldering is so much more common.
Somehow in retrospect it feels like I wasn't even conscious during my fall. There was just something happening and I was playing the main role.
Someone told me it felt like a WOOSH and sounded like a heavy, wet plastic bag hitting concrete.


cfnubbler


Apr 20, 2011, 5:10 AM
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Re: [USnavy] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
jt512 wrote:
sspssp wrote:
cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

Yea, well put me squarely in the "shit happens" camp. Even very diligent people screw up and if you are in denial about that, may I respectfully suggest that sport may not be for you.

That is not the same thing as being lackadaisical about safety.

Iásuspect that shit happens a lot more often to climbers who believe that shit happens than to climbers who don't. Example: A cam pulls out in a fall for each of two climbers. Climber 1 reasons, "Shit happens." Climber 2 reasons, "Iámust not have placed that cam properly." Which climber will be more likely to have another cam pull out on him in a fall?

Jay
I know of a number of climbers who exacted textbook belay technique when they started climbing many years ago, but now regularly let go of the rope while belaying with a GriGri saying, "dude it locks by itself, I have been doing this for xx years, it always locks".


It seems you know a number of extraordinarily lucky morons.


csproul


Apr 20, 2011, 6:36 AM
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USnavy wrote:
jt512 wrote:
sspssp wrote:
cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

Yea, well put me squarely in the "shit happens" camp. Even very diligent people screw up and if you are in denial about that, may I respectfully suggest that sport may not be for you.

That is not the same thing as being lackadaisical about safety.

Iásuspect that shit happens a lot more often to climbers who believe that shit happens than to climbers who don't. Example: A cam pulls out in a fall for each of two climbers. Climber 1 reasons, "Shit happens." Climber 2 reasons, "Iámust not have placed that cam properly." Which climber will be more likely to have another cam pull out on him in a fall?

Jay
I would imagine that some of the most serious accidents have involved experienced climbers who have become lazy. I know of a number of climbers who exacted textbook belay technique when they started climbing many years ago, but now regularly let go of the rope while belaying with a GriGri saying, "dude it locks by itself, I have been doing this for xx years, it always locks". But being experienced and choosing to belay incorrectly is not much safer than being inexperienced and belaying incorrectly.
I can't say if there is a high incidence of accidents happening from this scenario or not, but this is something I have been seeing a lot of lately, and not just with a Grigri. There is no shortage of climbers who have been belaying for decades and have developed bad habits. Sitting or laying down while belaying a leader, eating/drinking/smoking while belaying a leader, chatting with everyone else around them, and yes...I have even seen facebook posting while belaying...all from "experienced" belayers.


Partner xtrmecat


Apr 20, 2011, 7:40 AM
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sspssp wrote:
Hitting the deck on a trad climb where you haven't yet placed a piece, but could have, maybe counts (40 foot fall, yes, 5 foot fall, no).

Injury is not required.

My $0.02 worth.


I guess my two posted falls to the dirt/deck do not qualify as decking according to the above criteria. Whew, I would hate to think I was a statistic.

All kidding aside, I tell these tales freely, so others may learn from my mistakes. Criticism of the other posters and trying to make a statistical analysis of a thread such as this is just crazy and serves no one. Listening to the tales, and passing on your little story can potentially give up info that could spare someone the same mistake.

Burly Bob


sspssp


Apr 20, 2011, 2:28 PM
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jt512 wrote:
sspssp wrote:
cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

Yea, well put me squarely in the "shit happens" camp. Even very diligent people screw up and if you are in denial about that, may I respectfully suggest that sport may not be for you.

That is not the same thing as being lackadaisical about safety.

Iásuspect that shit happens a lot more often to climbers who believe that shit happens than to climbers who don't. Example: A cam pulls out in a fall for each of two climbers. Climber 1 reasons, "Shit happens." Climber 2 reasons, "Iámust not have placed that cam properly." Which climber will be more likely to have another cam pull out on him in a fall?

Jay

Yea, I don't disagree with this point, but realizing things can go wrong is not the same as being indifferent/clueless.

My annoyance is with the attitude that by paying attention and being intelligent is 100% proof against anything going wrong and if something went wrong than somebody must have been a F***** idiot (general comment, not directed at anyone in particular).

If somebody causes a horrible wreck on the interstate, it may well have been because they were doing something idiotic (drunk/cell phone/weaving in traffic) it may have just been because they momentarily got lost in a day dream and changed lanes without looking. It would be nice if humans were capable of never making that type of mistake, but that's not reality. But again, thats not the same as being indifferent.

On a slightly different subject, I would encourage all climbers to regurlarly read Accidents in North American Mountaineering. You can learn a lot about all the way different things can go wrong without actually having to had experienced them. It made me start wearing a helmet.

cheers


JasonsDrivingForce


Apr 29, 2011, 1:57 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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milesenoell wrote:
I have a four year old son and I have spent a lot of time trying to reconcile my passion for high risk pursuits like climbing and cycling, both of which have shown a clear potential to take my life and mobility, with my obligations as a father.

After some reflection I have decided that I will be adding redundancy to my system, whether as a second device or back-up knots I haven't decided yet.

Try thinking about it this way. If your son was on the end of the rope instead of you I am sure you would do everything possible to keep him safe.

Sometimes we take risks with our own bodies that we would never accept for our children. You mean just as much to your son as he does to you. Please be safe and I hope he enjoys climbing as much as you do one day.


Croux


Apr 29, 2011, 2:18 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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I had a minor incident that could have been a lot worse. Luckily I was uninjured.

I hit the ground while simul-rappelling with a partner who was relatively new to outdoor climbing. He reached the ground first and was eager to get off belay because the thin rope we were using was burning his hand. He reflexively went about the process of coming off belay, distracted by his hand, his mind not registering that someone was on the other end of the rope. I was about a body length above the ground sitting in my harness and fell straight on my ass. "FUUUU---!!!"

I got away with a bruise and a hard lesson about climbing partners. Needless to say I was pissed at him. This definitely could have gone worse, especially if we were mid-descent on a multi pitch route or some scenario like that.

Now when I simul-rap, I always make sure I go first!


(This post was edited by Croux on Apr 29, 2011, 2:18 PM)


ensonik


Apr 29, 2011, 8:07 PM
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Re: [Croux] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Croux wrote:
Now when I simul-rap, I always make sure I go first!

What's this about "going first" ... I was under the impression that a simul-rap was done ... well simultaneously. i.e.: close to one another; very close.

As well, and I say this out of theoretical knowledge, not practical knowledge: you really shouldn't be simul-rapping with a beginner. The literature and forums are littered with pretty knowledgeable people saying as much.

I'll take their word for it and keep the technique in my quiver for when I really need it (going fast?)


Croux


Apr 29, 2011, 9:19 PM
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Re: [ensonik] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Yes, that's right its simultaneous. But its easier to descend in a staggered fashion, one person slightly lower than the other.

And thank you for that brilliant insight. I totally should not have done that!


jeffc


May 17, 2011, 8:44 AM
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I use the Petzl basic ascender in TR soloing pretty often myself. I always place a prussic knot just above my ascender then attach the prussic cord to the carabiner holding the ascender. The ascender pushes the prussic cord neatly up the rope all by itself without any intervention from me as I climb. I feel the 20 seconds extra setup time is worth the extra protection it gives me.


dynosore


May 17, 2011, 9:43 AM
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Re: [sspssp] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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sspssp wrote:
cfnubbler wrote:
Finally, I feel that to deny that there is a certain "hey, shit happens" undercurrent to some of the posts here is just silly.

Safe climbing!

Yea, well put me squarely in the "shit happens" camp. Even very diligent people screw up and if you are in denial about that, may I respectfully suggest that sport may not be for you.

That is not the same thing as being lackadaisical about safety.

I'm not in that camp. I've been climbing 8 years and the guy I normally climb with has 20+ years. Neither of us has ever decked or dropped someone. It could happen, but I do everything possible to prevent it. I don't accept it, I mitigate it. Jt is right about living up (down) to expectations. I ran into a group of youngin's at the gym that had a "it happens" attitude. I refuse to climb with them and lectured them more than once. The gym, which is part of a community center, may be closed now because one of them was dropped by another and seriously hurt (surprise!).

I used to fly to. Pilots always say "there's two types of pilots; those who have landed with the gear up, and those who will!" My mentor/instructor drilled it into me that this is NOT an option. You do a double check every time, and visual confirmation (if possible). Over 30 years at the yoke and she's never done it.

I DO NOT accept that being dropped or, to a lesser extent, decking, are just part of the sport.


satch


Jul 1, 2011, 7:28 AM
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Hit the deck from 60 feet. Aftern bouncing off a ledge, landed in a pile of leaves in a boulder field. Thought I was dead as I "floated" around for a while neither existing nor not existing. Great experience, but I wouldn't repeat that fall to have it again. Was wearing a Petzel Meteor II helmet, which saved my life. It broke into 12 pieces, but stayed togeter due to the mesh layer in the foam padding.

Total injuries: 2 broken ribs. The brain damage - no one could tell the difference! Guess that is why it didn't impact my climbing, except that I always wear a Petzel helmet now.


sspssp


Jul 1, 2011, 3:11 PM
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Re: [dynosore] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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dynosore wrote:
I DO NOT accept that being dropped or, to a lesser extent, decking, are just part of the sport.

And do you believe that everytime you get on the interstate there is some chance you may be hurt/killed in a car crash or do you NOT accept that also???


rockchick67


Jul 19, 2011, 10:17 AM
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Re: [cfnubbler] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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cfnubbler wrote:
I guess I'm another one of the old guys that is frankly appalled by this thread. In 20+ years of climbing, across all disciplines from sport climbing to aid, ice and alpine, I've thankfully never decked. None of my partners has ever decked. Admittedly, I choose to only climb with a relative handful (5-6 folks) of similarly experienced partners, which probably skews my personal sample..... With all due respect to everyone in this thread, many of the responses strongly reinforce my decision to be extremely picky about who I climb with.

Do you not mentor any newer climbers? How can n00bs (like myself) get mentoring if experienced climbers are not willing to climb with people with less experience?


caughtinside


Jul 19, 2011, 11:03 AM
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rockchick67 wrote:
cfnubbler wrote:
I guess I'm another one of the old guys that is frankly appalled by this thread. In 20+ years of climbing, across all disciplines from sport climbing to aid, ice and alpine, I've thankfully never decked. None of my partners has ever decked. Admittedly, I choose to only climb with a relative handful (5-6 folks) of similarly experienced partners, which probably skews my personal sample..... With all due respect to everyone in this thread, many of the responses strongly reinforce my decision to be extremely picky about who I climb with.

Do you not mentor any newer climbers? How can n00bs (like myself) get mentoring if experienced climbers are not willing to climb with people with less experience?

If you want mentoring, you have to find a more experienced climber who finds your company worthwhile.


bearbreeder


Jul 20, 2011, 12:09 AM
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Re: [rockchick67] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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rockchick67 wrote:
Do you not mentor any newer climbers? How can n00bs (like myself) get mentoring if experienced climbers are not willing to climb with people with less experience?

guides

bribes with beer. bodies and gas moola ...


milesenoell


Jul 28, 2011, 10:33 PM
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Re: [milesenoell] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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Follow-up: I'm not quite back to climbing yet, but I'm 11 weeks post surgery and back to doing most things pretty normally. Even though I need to wait a bit longer while I strengthen my foot to be ready for climbing, it's quite satisfying just to be fully mobile again. I may do some aiding at first just to be nice to my foot, but I'm expecting to be able to get back on the rocks in climbing shoes by the end of the summer.

Hooray for orthopedic care!


(This post was edited by milesenoell on Jul 28, 2011, 10:36 PM)


rockie


Aug 4, 2011, 2:19 PM
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No, thank goodness.


overlord


Aug 16, 2011, 11:23 PM
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decked, broke an ankle

reason: stupidity.


mbrd


Aug 17, 2011, 1:07 AM
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Re: [desertdude420] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I was standing on a large boulder belaying and had formed a split second plan if he popped.
Just then, he popped! I quickly yarded in an armload of slack, locked him off and jumped (backwards) off of the boulder that I was standing on. Just as I hit the ground he hit the end of the rope. I had kept him from decking (by inches!) but I had taken quite a fall in the process!
If I had just locked him off, I would have watched him crater right in front of me!

eeeesh- that's testing the pro!

good belaying dude!


mbrd


Aug 17, 2011, 1:38 AM
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Re: [kaizen] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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