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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
 

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 2


cfnubbler


Apr 15, 2011, 9:28 AM
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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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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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Re: [guangzhou] Have you ever decked? [In reply to]
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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