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What piece didn't catch your fall (and why)...?
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healyje


Dec 28, 2004, 12:15 AM
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What piece didn't catch your fall (and why)...?
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The counter question...

Had a #2 (yellow) Metolius FCU pull on an FA out at Beacon this fall. It should have been a #3, but I placed it semi-blind at waist height in kind of a peculiar stance. It was fortunately backed up by a Red/Yellow Offset Alien - only took about a 20 footer. The best part was I landed against a three inch mat of moss - sweet...


hex


Dec 28, 2004, 3:25 AM
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What piece didn't catch your fall (and why)...?


the smallest dmm micro didn't... well at least the second time :)

This was on a pretty thin E3, placed the micro knowing it was crap, only just more than half in... first fall i was beside it so only fell like 1/2metre and it held... i was like wow that should have come out... anyway kept climbing, micro now below feet. Slowly started to slide off a damp sloper and away i went felt a small jerk as the micro came out but was caught by a decent nut about another metre and a half below it :D


toddtar


Dec 28, 2004, 4:47 AM
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A number 2 TCU and decked from about 20 feet. Hurt my pride more than anything else, but I was very lucky!! It failed because it was a bad placement, all my fault. Nothing like planning a day on the rock and after 5 minutes start limping back down the trail.


Partner j_ung


Dec 28, 2004, 6:22 AM
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I've never had a piece fail in a fall, but I've seen a few stoppers lift out from rope drag and a few cams walk into microcaverns and open wide. :shock: But every piece I've ever fallen onto has held.


glyrocks


Dec 28, 2004, 7:56 AM
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smaller alien, don't recall size. it was a shallow placement, my fault of course.


loren


Dec 28, 2004, 8:00 AM
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#0 Metolius FCU - bad placement.

Micro nut - bad Rock.


kyhangdog


Dec 28, 2004, 8:11 AM
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slung chockstone... my fault.


edge


Dec 28, 2004, 8:45 AM
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I was doing a climb called Jack the Ripper, a 5.11b trad route on Cathedral Ledge in NH. It was July 4th (1984, I think?), so it was horribly humid in the NorthEast.

The second pitch of the route started out as a thin, overhanging crack that involved liebacking and tips for 12 feet before kicking back to vertical as the crack started widening. About 4 feet above the belay anchors was a fixed pin, and after that most people would hang out on crummy holds and fiddle with a small wired stopper. The beta I received was to forego the stopper and run it out, thus saving my strength to complete the moves. Once I got to the vertical section with hand jams, there was supposed to be no way for me to fall out. Notice that I said "supposed."

I started up, clipped the pin, then fired through the crux. The moves were very hard, and with the humidity I started to sweat like a pig. I finally got to the lip of the slight overhang, and made a few moves so that my feet were above it and the crack had widened to thin hands. I was now 10 feet above the pin, and my hands were greasing big time. Three or four more moves would get me to bomber fist jams, but would put me that much further above my last gear; I decided that I needed to get something in.

As my right hand started to slowly slip from the crack, I grabbed a #2 Friend from my rack and went to place it. Damn, I needed a 1 1/2, as only two cams were able to fit in. In desperation I clipped the rope to the cam and thought, "I hope this holds..." Seconds later I found out the truth.

As I plummeted past the cam, I saw it ping out right in front of my eyes. I went on a 25 foot whipper, ending up below the belay and catching my left foot on a small slab. Since I outweighed my belayer by a good 50 pounds, I had also lifted him 5 feet to where the anchors caught him. My foot hurt, so I was lowered to the ground and my belayer cleaned the gear and rapped off of the belay.

After driving home, and about 8 hours later, I was taken to the Emergency Room and treated for a shattered heel and hyperextended tendon. I was told that I would be on crutches for 6 weeks, and unable to climb for 4 months, but I had plans to go to Yosemite in 2 months.

I ditched the crutches after a week, as I could walk on the ball of my foot as long as the heel didn't hit the ground. I climbed again in 2 weeks, beginning with a 5.11 slab route. I went to Yosemite on schedule, and stayed for 6 weeks, climbing El Cap and several long free routes. It only hurt on the approaches and descents.

That is the only piece that has ever blown on me, other than a few lower down in the system that had been set to hold falls as they were placed, and were eventually subjected to different directions of force once they became unnessesary.


bill413


Dec 28, 2004, 9:43 AM
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Well, I'm not sure if this counts, because the piece held the fall.....

I was at Skytop, had placed a 3cam unit in a vertical crack. I fell a few feet onto it. Tried the move again, with the same result. So, I was being lowered down from the climb when the piece pulled out, dropping me onto the talus below.

In retrospect, I figured that the fall had caused the cam to move out near the edge of the crack. I should have checked it after falling onto it.

Ouch.

(Obviously, this was a while back)


dingus


Dec 28, 2004, 9:49 AM
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#4 hb brass offset. It didn't catch me because I didn't place it. Seemed unnecessary.

Shortly thereafter I got off route and fell. The additional runnout was sufficient for me to hit a ledge.

Score one badly broken ankle for the piece I didn't place.

That's about 1 year of lost climbing time, a big impact at work and lots of $ out of pocket for deductibles, etc... vs. a 7 $ nut.

The gear is paid for, ya know?

DMT


dirtineye


Dec 28, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Nut, Bad placement, failed after the first piece, tricam, also a poor placement failed under body weight.

The tricam point was too close to the edge of the rock, and popped off a little flake and came out. THe nut was just in a stupid spot that looked good but wasn't. What was once a constriction is now a flair haha. There was another piece between the two that I was trying to make better when the first one failed, but since I had the gear in my hand and was pawing through a disorganized rack with the other hand, after messing with different pieces for a while, wiht both hands off the rock and hanging on the rope in a fit if exasperation, I was rather unprepared for the fall. To make matters worse, I KNEW The tricam was bad, but it held long enough that I was ignoring it trying to rummage up a better piece right below it. I even said out loud to my belayer, "You wouldn't believe how bad this thing is, I can't believe it is holding."

This left me sitting on the ground feeling very lucky.

I made about 5 mistakes and and had a little bad luck as well to create this incident, it was pretty shameful, and I've tried not to be so stupid ever since.

had a yellow zero pull out under a roof, body weight only, once but I saw it coming and got away clean. It was just not a good spot for that piece. Kinda gritty, hard to reach, irregular, don't know what would go there and stay.

Had a number 1 or 2 BD nut pull out of a wet sandy marginal placement, under body weight, knew it was coming, only went about two feet on to a big magic tricam palcement. Was just about to step up off it to get a better placement when it popped. we were projecting this stupid 5.12 overhanging dihedral with weird pro, and I was trying to make it thruogh the poorest section pro wise to get a good pice and go for a pink point haha. Never got the pink point, well not yet, anyway.

None of these failed in a lead climbing falling off situation, all that gear has been good. I learned a long time ago not to pull hard (or any) moves with bad fall potential over shyte gear, but still you gotta watch out for those shyte time bomb placmenets, yes you do.


jt512


Dec 28, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Red Alien in an apparently perfect placement in a parallel sandstone crack. The fall was maybe 20 feet. I had contemplated backcleaning behind it. Good thing I didn't. The cams were a bit sticky on that piece; I've always wondered if that contributed to its tracking out.

-Jay


irockclimbtoo


Dec 28, 2004, 7:32 PM
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ab


braaaaaaaadley


Dec 28, 2004, 7:55 PM
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Im seeing some trends here:
a) Many pieces fail b/c people suck at placing them
b) Many pieces fail b/c people failed to place them in the first place
c) Some pieces failed due to poor rock
d) No gear has actually broken due to stress... well at least no one useing defective gear is alive to tell the tale

Therefore, it seems that climbers can become safer by forgetting about the debate b/t the 10/12kn strength ratings on cams, by learning to place pro well, and by placeing as much quality pro as possible. Of course the safest way to protect yourself is fall abstanence (if you dont fall, you dont get hurt :D )

Just my observations...continue with the stories boys (and girls :) )


jt512


Dec 28, 2004, 8:15 PM
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In reply to:
Of course the safest way to protect yourself is fall abstanence (if you dont fall, you dont get hurt :D )

Yeah, the leader must never fall. *yawn*

-Jay


dirtineye


Dec 28, 2004, 8:35 PM
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In reply to:
Im seeing some trends here:
a) Many pieces fail b/c people suck at placing them
b) Many pieces fail b/c people failed to place them in the first place
c) Some pieces failed due to poor rock
d) No gear has actually broken due to stress... well at least no one useing defective gear is alive to tell the tale

Therefore, it seems that climbers can become safer by forgetting about the debate b/t the 10/12kn strength ratings on cams, by learning to place pro well, and by placeing as much quality pro as possible. Of course the safest way to protect yourself is fall abstanence (if you dont fall, you dont get hurt :D )

Just my observations...continue with the stories boys (and girls :) )

well sure if you ask people to tell about falls where gear didn't hold what do you think you are going to hear?

You can't really say someone sucks at placing gear when they have only had a placement fail a few times in all their climbing and falling.

IF someone had a large percentage of their placements fail, THEN you could say they suck at placing gear.

Here's another hint: When the gear gets thin to non-exixtent, you'll take what you can get and like it. Sometimes you have a choice of a) trying the crap placement, b) back down, c) run it out to a good placement, and nothing else. If you have the stance or the juice to make the placement you make it as best you can. But you are not perfect. Sooner or later you will place something that will fail WHEN you fall on it, unless you climb like nervous nellie and never really risk anything at all.


chuckd278


Dec 28, 2004, 8:38 PM
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3.5 and 4 camalot. Why bad rock. I was onsighting a new route and ran into about 20 feet of bad rock. My 3.5 was in at the start and my 4 was in at the middle of the bad rock section. The crack was also flared. At the top my foot blew and I went flying. Ididn't go back but sideways off the route which pulled the cams sideways. I thought that I just placed them weak, but after a friend onsighted the route he said that where my cams blew there was missing rock. This also explains why my belayer said I kicked rocks on him when I fell. O well lesson learned.

Chuck


iamthewallress


Dec 28, 2004, 8:40 PM
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Aliens in pin scars, two in a row. Reason for placement: wishful thinking. Reason for failure: cam opens in same direction as the flare of the scars. Offset HB's were bomber on the same route.


cjstudent


Dec 28, 2004, 8:58 PM
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Eeek. Puprle camalot behind a flake...it was all i had. took a dive, busted out and a red tri-cam caught me after a 30ish foot fall.

that was my only long fall, all other trad falls, the gear has held.


healyje


Dec 28, 2004, 10:21 PM
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In reply to:
Im seeing some trends here:
a) Many pieces fail b/c people suck at placing them.

Bradley,

This is definitely NOT a conclusion anyone should arrive at from the examples in this thread. I started the thread because I thought it would as useful or possibly even more useful to hear placements that blew than about placements that held. I also have read numerous threads about fear of falling, and people learning to trad lead, hanging vs. falling, and about a lot of folks who apparently trad lead but never fall on their gear.

Falling and the rare blown piece are a normal part of the gig, folks. If you're not actually falling on your gear and have never had a piece blow then either you probably aren't pushing yourself enough or you still have a lot of learning to do (not that every new route doesn't have something to teach us all). So, again, keep in mind (hopefully without a lot of judgement) that falling, falling on your gear, and the odd occasional blown piece are all normal experiences in a [trad] climber's life and to be expected if you are really climbing anywhere near your limits.

In my case, I'm actually very good at pro, but over the course of thirty years I've had dozens of pieces blow for a variety of reasons, albiet most were knowingly marginal to begin with or in known marginal rock. But every now and then [even] I :wink: blow a call and either: a) place an inappropriate size/shape/type piece (rarely); b) incompletely place a piece (very rarely); c) just slam it in without looking/thinking about/studying the placement (almost never); or d) place a piece more or less blindly (highly undesireable) due to extenuating circumstances [I probably shouldn't have been in or couldn't otherwise avoid and do the route] (occasionally).

[Note, however, that a line of pro zippering (more than a couple of pieces) is another gig all together; it should never happen - ever - unless you've ventured into A3+/C3+ Aid climbing and screwed up or farted at the wrong time.]


Partner holdplease2


Dec 29, 2004, 12:43 AM
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"...unless you've ventured into A3+/C3+ Aid climbing and screwed up or farted at the wrong time."

Amazingly, I doubt a hard line has ever been sent without at least one can of Stag Chili in the pig...

-Kate.


healyje


Dec 29, 2004, 12:58 AM
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In reply to:
"...unless you've ventured into A3+/C3+ Aid climbing and screwed up or farted at the wrong time."

Amazingly, I doubt a hard line has ever been sent without at least one can of Stag Chili in the pig...

-Kate.

Kate,

How indelicate! But you perform a valuable community service here pointing out a very dangerous piece of gear to be avoided on hard aid lines. Zipping a line is bad enough, but cleaning that stuff out of your drawers (or panties [and so much for that thong discussion...]) afterwards is really starting to impose on your partner if you aren't soloing the route. If you buy the Stag, be sure to get a container of baby wipes while you're at it...


swede


Dec 29, 2004, 2:31 AM
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Yellow Alien in my first year. Shallow, a little bit flared, only three of the cams in contact with the rock, pointing in the wrong direction (that is 45 degrees up instead of down). A schoolbook example of that is not supposed to hold. Knowing a bomber green Camalot being below I decided to continue climb up above the yellow Alien and see if I could find another placement further up. Realizing there was nothing above the Alien, I decided to downclimb and fell. Ended up so close to the ground that I could just put my toes down. I did learn that route names sometimes tell you important stuff – the route name was Desperado.

0.1 Camalot in a mossy parallel crack as the first piece. Should have been a piece I did not have - 0.2 Camalot or blue Alien. It didnīt like me testing violently if it would hold, so I ended up six feet lower on the ground. I should have thought more about rocks below before I tested the piece thoroughly and asked for my wife to spot me, but I managed to land my feet on the rocks below (not in between).


michaeld16


Dec 29, 2004, 2:47 AM
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ive only fallen once, and that was on the first crack i ever did...it was wet...the yellow #2 camalot was bombproof and it held like glue when i fell...so uhh, sorry i cant contribute hehe, im a newb


areyoumydude


Dec 29, 2004, 11:32 AM
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While soloing the Finger of Fate on the Titan I pulled a red\yellow alien on the second pitch. The #7 HB nut below it ripped right through the crack. A 2" tied off bong below the nut ripped out of a shallow hole. The big grey alien in another shallow hole ripped out. I was caught by an original star-drive bolt on a homemade hanger that was clove-hitched with the hanger turned up for an upward pull. This left me 20' below the anchor. I guess those star-drives aren't that bad.

Reason the pieces pulled? They sucked!


Partner angry


Dec 29, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Green alien, it failed because I got lazy and should have used a nut. Tradklime's head broke my fall.

I have also taken big whippers on the black alien in bad rock and it held. It all depends on the placement.


braaaaaaaadley


Dec 29, 2004, 11:54 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Im seeing some trends here:
a) Many pieces fail b/c people suck at placing them.

Bradley,

This is definitely NOT a conclusion anyone should arrive at from the examples in this thread. I started the thread because I thought it would as useful or possibly even more useful to hear placements that blew than about placements that held. I also have read numerous threads about fear of falling, and people learning to trad lead, hanging vs. falling, and about a lot of folks who apparently trad lead but never fall on their gear.

Falling and the rare blown piece are a normal part of the gig, folks. If you're not actually falling on your gear and have never had a piece blow then either you probably aren't pushing yourself enough or you still have a lot of learning to do (not that every new route doesn't have something to teach us all). So, again, keep in mind (hopefully without a lot of judgement) that falling, falling on your gear, and the odd occasional blown piece are all normal experiences in a [trad] climber's life and to be expected if you are really climbing anywhere near your limits.

In my case, I'm actually very good at pro, but over the course of thirty years I've had dozens of pieces blow for a variety of reasons, albiet most were knowingly marginal to begin with or in known marginal rock. But every now and then [even] I :wink: blow a call and either: a) place an inappropriate size/shape/type piece (rarely); b) incompletely place a piece (very rarely); c) just slam it in without looking/thinking about/studying the placement (almost never); or d) place a piece more or less blindly (highly undesireable) due to extenuating circumstances [I probably shouldn't have been in or couldn't otherwise avoid and do the route] (occasionally).

[Note, however, that a line of pro zippering (more than a couple of pieces) is another gig all together; it should never happen - ever - unless you've ventured into A3+/C3+ Aid climbing and screwed up or farted at the wrong time.]

*Warning this might be all over the place...*

First off, I would like to say that perhaps I should not have said that people suck at placing gear, but rather something along the lines of that their choice of placement sucked and could have been better, or that they should have opted to climb themself out of trouble-- at least to a better placement instead of their decision to rely on a prayer to save them in the event of a fall. The point(s) I am trying to get across is that you don't want to rely on those questionable placements unless it is your last option(duh) and that beginner leaders sometimes dont know what good placements are especially if they are not falling on them... its like taking 100 tests and then not being graded on them... but then one test at one point is graded; do you see what I am getting at? I must admit that I myself am rather new to trad. This will be my second year tradding. I have lead about 20 climbs so far and have not fallen once. All of my leads have been onsights and have been from the 5.4-5.9 range(most are mp routes around 5.6-7). Even so, I feel that 90+% pieces I have placed were good placements. I must also admit that I do not push myself while tradding. I feel that's the reason sport was invented (i fall on sport quite often). When I step up to a trad climb I treat it as I am free soloing; not as if im on some project sport route where falls are likeley to occur and are obviously a part of the game. I believe my reason for this train of thought is that I do most of my trad leading in NC where its common to be ranout 20+ feet... or worse have your first placement be 20 feet off the deck. Perhaps someday once I gain more confidence in my climbing I can adapt your tradding style, but untill then im sticking to easier terrain... I mean why risk it right :D ?


Partner gunksgoer


Dec 30, 2004, 12:09 AM
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has anyone ever had a piece fail because it broke? im just curious because many people are cautious about the strength ratings on their gear, but i havnt heard of many pieces failing structuraly.


healyje


Dec 30, 2004, 12:26 AM
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Bradley,

No, you're not all over the place; that was actually well said.

You might think of it this way - all the routes put up in the SE prior to gyms and sport climbing were put up trad and it was as normal to everyone then as sport climbing is to most folks today.

The "never fall on trad" and the "lead trad four levels below what I climb sport" syndromes are, I think, a very highly evolved form of a very specific [group] lack of self confidence/responsibility resulting from two decades of gym and sport routes.

I believe that most folks now are simply not used to trusting protection and anchors not "installed" for them by some ["acknowledged"] "professional/expert". Taking the responsibility for "installing" protection and anchors yourself [and falling on them] was/is the normal everyday business of climbing. But again, two decades of gym/sport routes have kind of whittled away at that part of [the] climbing.

Hey, you and yours are just as capable of taking responsibility for "installing" your own [trad] protection and anchors as anyone else at any other time in climbing history and there is nothing particularly special about the [few] folks who you are all relying on to do it for you now for sport bolts and anchors. They all were and are just people like you.

I'd really encourage you and everyone else to not be so intimidated by this very normal aspect of climbing - it's all about self responsibility - trust our history, trust your skills, trust the gear that is ten times better than used to be used, but most of all - trust yourselves more and give yourselves a bit more credit than you all are currently.

The bottom line here is you'll never trust your pro if you never trust your pro. And you'll start trusting your pro after spending some time learning by seconding with an experienced climber. By short-cutting the process and trying to teach yourself to lead it really will take you much, much longer because of the "100 ungraded test" effect. Anyone wanting to trad lead really should seek out an experience trad leader and second for them (pester them to death if that's what it takes...).


healyje


Dec 30, 2004, 12:45 AM
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has anyone ever had a piece fail because it broke? im just curious because many people are cautious about the strength ratings on their gear, but i havnt heard of many pieces failing structuraly.

I've never had a piece of gear break outside of very, very small wired stoppers and I've never heard of anyone breaking a piece of gear that wasn't horribly misapplied somehow in the process of [mis]using it. And believe me and a few other old guys here: the gear we used was a lot better than what came before us and the stuff we're using today borders on unimaginably good compared to not that many years ago. It is all safe to take flying leaps on to when applied well.


Partner holdplease2


Dec 30, 2004, 12:49 AM
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Bradley: Nice parallel with the 100 tests, but none are graded. 'cept that one...

-Kate.


robreglinski


Dec 30, 2004, 3:34 AM
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i broke an old mirco a few years back coz the wires were running over a sharp edge. silly really

it was part of my dads hand me down kit that all went in the display cabinet when i got home. willans harness and stubi piton hammer anyone

id be rather suprised if a larger wire broke unless it wasnt cared for id also be suprised if after breaking said wire you walked away or indeed walked again, 14kn+ is a lot

what allways suprises me is that you see a lot of insitu mank around and about but not a lot of it is broken. could be because its insitu mank and no one in their right mind would clip it

Rob


billcoe_


Dec 30, 2004, 2:32 PM
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While soloing the Finger of Fate on the Titan I pulled a red\yellow alien on the second pitch. The #7 HB nut below it ripped right through the crack. A 2" tied off bong below the nut ripped out of a shallow hole. The big grey alien in another shallow hole ripped out. I was caught by an original star-drive bolt on a homemade hanger that was clove-hitched with the hanger turned up for an upward pull. This left me 20' below the anchor. I guess those star-drives aren't that bad.

Reason the pieces pulled? They sucked!

Larry: I'm still cleaning my underware from the Stagg Chili now and all I did was just read your blurb.

Joseph: I HATE to fall. So I don't push myself, generally, and a fall is rare unless I'm toproping. I'm a pussy. No disputing it.

FA of Flying Dutchman also at Beacon. I'm almost at the top of the first pitch, it's raining. Jim had fallen already and lowered off (Hence the name Flying Dutchman). Because of the rain, moss and choss I was tossing off, both Jimmy Opdycke and Bob McMahon are belaying well back from the route, with the rope gently curving loosely up from under the blue tarp we'd stretched out. I hammered a soft iron pin up under a loose sort of flake. Clipped and stood on it without much testing cause I was wet and almost to the little ledge just above. Pin and the flake pulled and it must have been a 25-30 foot fall with all the slack. I suspect Jim even dropped his smoke, his book he must have been reading and all the gear he must have been playing with in the flurry to lock off. I thought I'd zipped a bunch of placements, but nope, just the 1 pin.

Nother time, East Face of Monkee, when it was C4 aid. Straight nutting, 2nd pitch, well overhung, slotted a larger wired stopper in a perfect flaring pinscar: had it been a tcu it would have been A1. Barely held me. I get up and it rips on Bob as he follows. Previous nut held. He's swinging out and back so far that some friends on the NW Corner see him and say hi.

Other than that, my falls have been held. I did see a couple of Canadians at Smith once, leader had 5 pieces in, fell twice and the then top piece held: both times. Dude climbs up, he slots 2 more nuts, spaced 6 feet apart. Now he has 7 nuts in total, he's up 60-70 feet. He falls. The top 3 (which included the 1 nut with had held the falls before) all rip and he dies, right in front of his 4-5 friends waiting to follow. We rapped and took over the CPR for no reason.

2 months later the 2 Outward bound instructors die on Trezlar, same area @ 100 ' uphill. Ginny Hornbecker and I soloed up the descent route and lowered them off.

I have more horror stories, but bottom line, I'm a pussy and a chicken, no question, and it's something which is a learned skill I believe.

One time, I'm a young dude, doing a FA on the north side of Broughtons, Bob goes up and falls like 2 feet onto a piece a couple of times before pussing out. I tie in, climb above his, put in another piece, wired nut, climb up a hard assed pitch, pop off take a 24-28 foot fall that ends when my right Ass-Cheek smacks the only ledge in the area, approx 8 feet below my belayer. Much to my wife's amusement (this was back when she thought my ass was firm and cute, not old, wrinkles and disgusting, that's how long ago it was!) my right ass cheek later turns black, purple and yellow in a pattern exactly like a target which one would use for target practice. It stayed that way as I limped around for weeks. Piece held though, so I climbed back up, past where I fell (I am a pussy, but still a dumb one): however the top was all mossy, since I was in pain and in no position to F* with cleaning off moss - we backed off there and never did finished the route.


edited for speling:-)


dirtineye


Dec 30, 2004, 5:03 PM
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Bradley, did you bother to read those threads about learning to place trad gear?

Do it on the ground, and test the hell out of what you place where it is safe.

With only 20 leads in 2 years, nothing greater than 5.9, averaging 5.6-5.7, and no falls, that is not enough experience to be making the kind of inferences you are making.

You've already been advised to find a trad mentor and follow them, and that is exactly what you should do.

Furthermore, when you do lead something, get your trad mentor to critique every piece you place. they will probably do this anyway, especially if any are bad, but make sure they do. I've even made people rap back down to see what was wrong with what I thought was a really bad placement.

So, to recap, take you whole rack, place all of it while standing on the ground, and see how many pieces will hold anything. Repeat til they all hold. Get a trad mentor.


braaaaaaaadley


Dec 30, 2004, 6:22 PM
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Dirtineye- I had a trad mentor, a very expierenced one at that, but, currently he is spending a year in california. I have followed him a half dozen times and he has followed me twice on two seperate climbs. Since the majority of the climbing around where I am is sport, tradding sometimes gets put on the back burner. He said that all of my placements were bomber. In addition to him, I have followed several others and have been followed by another climber with less expierence, but still I had the same response from him about my placements. Before I led my first trad climb I had been sport climbing for two years and I spent a lot of time building anchors and practicing placements on the ground. In addition to this practice I have read several books on the subject. As I said before I feel very confident that the majority of my placements are bomber. I openley admit that I am not the most expierenced climber around... but I still feel that I am a very safe while I climb. I made the inferences that I made with a combination of common sense, advice from climbers I know, and what I have witnesed when I have been out climbing with climbers with less expierence than myself.


ikellen


Dec 31, 2004, 12:08 AM
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Never popped a piece on a fall, but ive had a few stoppers come out due to bad rope drag on a multi-pitch when I ran out of slings. But otherwise, everything has held..........so far :P


tahoe_rock_master


Dec 31, 2004, 4:57 PM
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This isn't really a fall, but I'll tell it anyway...
I was new to traddding and had toproped a sketchy 5.9 crack at Donner Summit, placing pro as I went up. As I lowered down from the top, I got to my first placement, I blue TCU (metolius) under a thick flake. It didn't look very good, so I wnted to test it. I put a sling on the piece (I am still onTR) and stood on it and bounced around a little bit. I swung to the side and gave it one last stomp when I heard what sounded like a gunshot :shock: . The piece had broken off a piece of the flake and ripped out from the rock. That taught me a good lesson about not placing pro behind even solid looking flakes. Again, not really a fall, but a pulled piece.


dirtineye


Dec 31, 2004, 5:29 PM
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Dirtineye- I had a trad mentor, a very expierenced one at that, but, currently he is spending a year in california. I have followed him a half dozen times and he has followed me twice on two seperate climbs. Since the majority of the climbing around where I am is sport, tradding sometimes gets put on the back burner. He said that all of my placements were bomber. In addition to him, I have followed several others and have been followed by another climber with less expierence, but still I had the same response from him about my placements. Before I led my first trad climb I had been sport climbing for two years and I spent a lot of time building anchors and practicing placements on the ground. In addition to this practice I have read several books on the subject. As I said before I feel very confident that the majority of my placements are bomber. I openley admit that I am not the most expierenced climber around... but I still feel that I am a very safe while I climb. I made the inferences that I made with a combination of common sense, advice from climbers I know, and what I have witnesed when I have been out climbing with climbers with less expierence than myself.

Are you the brad I know from the WFR course?


esallen


Dec 31, 2004, 6:25 PM
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I suppose that the people with the best gear-popping stories are probably not around to tell their stories.


incogneato


Dec 31, 2004, 6:40 PM
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I have pulled quite a handful of pieces, some have resulted in bad falls and some have led to minor injuries - it's the game I choose to play.

Three different partners of mine have all broken the lobes of cams in the result of a fall. All Metolius, two 00s and a 0. Gear really does break - in this case, when you use aid gear while free climbing.


braaaaaaaadley


Dec 31, 2004, 9:07 PM
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Are you the brad I know from the WFR course?

I took one last April in Virginia why?


dirtineye


Dec 31, 2004, 9:28 PM
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In reply to:
Are you the brad I know from the WFR course?

I took one last April in Virginia why?

Cause I had a wrf course with a brad who was learning to trad.

Same sort of story as you, same age as you, pretty coincidental.

I have a new recommenddation for you in light of what you have written: hie thee to a 5.8 hand crack, pretty much dead vertical, plug a butt load of pro in it, and fall on your gear.

You can hunt around the falling on gear stuff I writoe to get an idea how to do this safely. In the most extreme case of paranoia, you could even set a top rope backup with a seperate belayer with just enough slack in the TR to let you find out if your gear holds safely.

This top rope backup is used in self and leader rescue courses so that the students don't kill themselves while learning the do's and don't's of various techniques.


healyje


Dec 31, 2004, 11:42 PM
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DirtInEye is right on the "get thee to a crack" and fall on some gearbut please, skip the top rope - never, ever place gear on a tope rope - back down a grade or two if you have to instead. The whole TR thing just takes you backwards mentally and emotionally.


dirtineye


Jan 1, 2005, 12:34 AM
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DirtInEye is right on the "get thee to a crack" and fall on some gearbut please, skip the top rope - never, ever place gear on a tope rope - back down a grade or two if you have to instead. The whole TR thing just takes you backwards mentally and emotionally.

Read it again pal. The top rope is a backup to his lead line and only comes into play if he pulls gear. This is not mock leading on TR.

Having a top rope backup will not set him back nearly as far as having some gear rip and hitting the ground, I promise you that.


healyje


Jan 1, 2005, 2:31 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
DirtInEye is right on the "get thee to a crack" and fall on some gearbut please, skip the top rope - never, ever place gear on a tope rope - back down a grade or two if you have to instead. The whole TR thing just takes you backwards mentally and emotionally.

Read it again pal. The top rope is a backup to his lead line and only comes into play if he pulls gear. This is not mock leading on TR.

Having a top rope backup will not set him back nearly as far as having some gear rip and hitting the ground, I promise you that.

DirtInEye and Bradley,

I read it fine the first time - and I repeat - do not use a TR for any lead related activities. Either lead or don't, period. If you don't feel reasonable and at least semi-confident in what you are leading then back off in difficulty - but don't TR, ever. It is the worst possible thing to do to your head and development as a lead climber. Again, back off in difficulty, go back to seconding experienced leaders, or just do the real thing (and in this case pacticing falling would come under the category of the real thing). If you are practicing falling do it high off the deck and with several bomber placements in a row; if you can't feel confident in those placements you shouldn't be doing such practice.


dirtineye


Jan 1, 2005, 6:59 AM
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OK healeyj,

Then we disagree.

But you are erring on the side of accident, and I am erring on the side of a known safety practice that has actually proven useful.

Your dogmatic fear of premanently damaging a 'lead head', is interfearing wiht your ability to recognize a sound tried and true , and TEMPORARY measure that would allow a new beginner to safely find out just how good his placements were.


Furthermore, I would love to see you use your logic in a self and leader rescue class, where the top rope backup while learning a technique has prevented injury, allowing the student to learn painlessly from their mistake in a way that they will never forget, and then go on to preform the tasks safely, with confidence and without error-- forgoing that grerat learning experience and confidence builder of a trip to the hospital.

At the risk of being too subtle, I don't think you know what you are talking about.


healyje


Jan 1, 2005, 2:28 PM
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OK healeyj, Then we disagree..

Yep, no doubt about that...

In reply to:
But you are erring on the side of accident, and I am erring on the side of a known safety practice that has actually proven useful..

No, actually I'm not and it isn't a known safety practice in this context - it is a very bad psychological crutch and it isn't useful at any time in training a person to lead (unless, possibly the person shouldn't be doing the training in the first place).

In reply to:
Your dogmatic fear of premanently damaging a 'lead head', is interfearing wiht your ability to recognize a sound tried and true , and TEMPORARY measure that would allow a new beginner to safely find out just how good his placements were.

No leader, beginner or otherwise, has or will ever have the luxury of a top rope when leading - that's why they call it leading. A true beginner can walk around the bottom of the rock with an aider to place and test pro and that's appropriate; they can second an experienced leader and see solid pro and that's appropriate; but once they start leading, leading or seconding is what they should be doing, period. If a person isn't confident with their placements they need to either: a) back down in difficulty so they can think clearer; b) go back down to the bottom and practice with an aider some more; or c) they need to go back to just seconding.

There are two issues at hand here: 1) being able to place good pro and 2) trusting it once you do. If you can't yet confidently place good pro you need to go back to do the recommendations in the preceding paragraph. But if #2 is more what we are talking about, and I believe it is, then you simply need to start falling on your pro in either simulated, real, or both. A person that can competently place good pro, but doesn't trust it, has boxed their mental/emotional growth in and handing them the psychological crutch of a TR defeats the whole point of the exercise and just digs that hole deeper. Either you trust the gear or you don't. Also, doing simulated falls on trad gear is an exercise only for someone that can competently place gear - it isn't a productive exercise, TR or not, for someone that cannot yet compentently place gear.

In reply to:
Furthermore, I would love to see you use your logic in a self and leader rescue class, where the top rope backup while learning a technique has prevented injury, allowing the student to learn painlessly from their mistake in a way that they will never forget, and then go on to preform the tasks safely, with confidence and without error-- forgoing that grerat learning experience and confidence builder of a trip to the hospital.

Ah, a commercial climbing endeavor - an entirely different beast. As both an educator and a business person I'd say insurance and risk management concerns override all others - even at the expense of some of the learning objectives. And recscue classes where most folks are being exposed to complex rope and device handling for the first time are yet another special case, confusion typically rules the day, has added group dynamics, and the learning objectives (particularly mental/emotional) are entirely different.

In reply to:
At the risk of being too subtle, I don't think you know what you are talking about.

Actually, I have a degree in post-seconday (adult) education, have been teaching people to lead for the best part of thirty years, have done more than a few FA's and FFA's, and have way over a thousand roped solo leads under my belt. I feel quite confident in both my qualifications and experience to make all the above statements.


akclimber


Jan 1, 2005, 4:02 PM
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:deadhorse: :deadhorse: :deadhorse:


akclimber


Jan 1, 2005, 4:09 PM
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well, the WAS an interesting thread...


petsfed


Jan 1, 2005, 4:13 PM
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Going all the way back to the original subject...

It wasn't that the piece didn't hold my fall. Rather that its popping out caused my fall. Bearing in mind that this was my second lead ever, I'm up Breezy on Wind Tower in Eldo and waaaaay off route. There's these two fin things right next to each other, forming a brief, flaring, vertical crack. So me, being a n00b with not nearly a good enough eye for bad placements, slams a red metolius tcu in there. It should've been apparent to me right off the bat that the piece wouldn't hold when it took considerable difficulty to get it to stay in the crack to begin with. But I persisted. I had a good stance so I could use both hands. The stem of the tcu stuck out perpendicular to the rock and thus perpendicular to the direction of fall. I did notice that much so I set to work resetting the cam so it would (so I thought) hold a fall. A prudent leader, aside from not setting the piece in the first place, would remove the cam and reset it the way he wanted it. Not me. I jerked on the cam to reorient it in the direction of I wanted. Unfortunately, the cam popped at that point and me, not expecting such a thing, leaned slowly but inexorably backwards until I fell off of my no hands stance. I recall thinking, just before the cam popped, that I should just remove and replace the thing, but I was a little sketched, a little angry, and cursing incoherently at this point. I recall, as I fell, cursing softly before the rope caught me literally inches from the ground. My partner, however, claims that profanity echoed from the canyon walls. Despite Brook's skilled belaying, my heel still slammed into a rock, leaving me with quite a sprain and a lesson I didn't heed until I finished the pitch shortly thereafter.


johnclimbrok


Jan 1, 2005, 5:53 PM
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an old rusty piton about 8 pitches up the DNB (Yosemite)...because i fell on it. pulled out a chunk of rock too -


healyje


Jan 1, 2005, 6:36 PM
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petsfed,

From all your posts I think it's pretty clear that you need a bunch more yardage seconding some good leaders. A person should ideally second multiple good leaders long enough to see different placement styles in most of the common placements you'll run across in the areas near you and also see differing responses to unusal and sketchy placements.

The cirmcumstances and details of the fall as you describe them - overall risk position, off-route, unbalanced stance, bad placement, yanking on the pro, etc. - all sound basically like they were due to inexperience (it also sounds like maybe it may have been a better spot for a nut then cam or for an offset Alien). I'd yet again strongly encourage you to find an experienced leader to follow as you clearly have the drive, desire, and willingness to put it out there on the sharp end of a rope...


dirtineye


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Actually, I have a degree in post-seconday (adult) education, have been teaching people to lead for the best part of thirty years, have done more than a few FA's and FFA's, and have way over a thousand roped solo leads under my belt. I feel quite confident in both my qualifications and experience to make all the above statements.

Wow, all that training, all that experinece and you still can totally miss the point. I'm stunned. I'll be sure and refer the AMGA guides who use the top rope backup method to protect their students, not their own asses, to you so you can set them straight.

Pound your chest some more, it will make you feel better when someone in doubt of thier ability follows your stupid advice to ignore a simple and temporary safety precaution that could have prevented an accident.

BTW what you wrote above the short quote was so badly mistaken I didn't want to repeat it. IT is totally your opinion, not based in fact. You sahe the same misconceptions about praticing leading that many people share about falling practice. You are a dinosaur. There are new, better safer ways. Really.


petsfed


Jan 1, 2005, 7:46 PM
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petsfed,

From all your posts I think it's pretty clear that you need a bunch more yardage seconding some good leaders. A person should ideally second multiple good leaders long enough to see different placement styles in most of the common placements you'll run across in the areas near you and also see differing responses to unusal and sketchy placements.

Thanks dude. The fall was three years ago. I've learned a bit since then, not the least of which is that the place I wanted to place pro wouldn't have taken anything, offset or otherwise. In retrospect, the shear number of errors that led to that situation is, in a word, staggering. However, I am curious as to which of my other posts leads you to believe that I am so inexperienced. I have had three pieces fail under load in my climbing career. The other two were directionals for a top rope and were cams that walked out of position. The obvious solution, of course would be to sling them longer. However, their location in regards to the route meant that if I had slung either one longer, all application as a directional would be lost.

Likewise, I've had a few pieces fall out and I can describe each one with the same clarity that I had above. Do you know why? Because each one was a lesson learned and each one was a lesson learned easier that it might have been.


healyje


Jan 1, 2005, 11:58 PM
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petsfed,

From all your posts I think it's pretty clear that you need a bunch more yardage seconding some good leaders. A person should ideally second multiple good leaders long enough to see different placement styles in most of the common placements you'll run across in the areas near you and also see differing responses to unusal and sketchy placements.

However, I am curious as to which of my other posts leads you to believe that I am so inexperienced.

petsfed, sorry - momentarily got my posters confused (you and Bradley), thought your's was a current/recent fall.

In reply to:
Likewise, I've had a few pieces fall out and I can describe each one with the same clarity that I had above. Do you know why? Because each one was a lesson learned and each one was a lesson learned easier that it might have been.

Glad to hear it, anyone that isn't vividly learning from their mistakes should take up another activity entirely...

[P.S. When I hear stories like yours I'd give anything to see a picture of the actual placement (or non-placement from what you tell).]


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 12:20 AM
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Wow, all that training, all that experinece and you still can totally miss the point. I'm stunned. .

dirtineye, I completely "get the point", I just completely disagree with it...

In reply to:
I'll be sure and refer the AMGA guides who use the top rope backup method to protect their students, not their own asses, to you so you can set them straight.

Dude, I've been climbing and teaching leading longer than the AMGA has been in existence collecting cash and doling out paper. There is nothing particularly holier than thou about the AMGA (other than a lot cash changes hands and you have to know someone apparently to get on the fast track with them). And anytime money changes hands in a learning situation all bets are off and priorities shift - some implicitly, some explicitly. TRs on leads is a perfect example - the fact that they do it doesn't make it anything other than a smart business business decision.

In reply to:
Pound your chest some more, it will make you feel better when someone in doubt of thier ability follows your stupid advice to ignore a simple and temporary safety precaution that could have prevented an accident.

Actually, I'm not "pounding my chest", you question where I'm coming from (actually I believe it was more of an insult) and I simply laid out my background and experience as the basis for making the statements I have. Again, "temporary safety precaution" is an oxymoron for anyone faced with truly learning to come to terms with the reality of leading and trusting their pro.

In reply to:
BTW what you wrote above the short quote was so badly mistaken I didn't want to repeat it. IT is totally your opinion, not based in fact. You sahe the same misconceptions about praticing leading that many people share about falling practice. You are a dinosaur. There are new, better safer ways. Really.

There are newer ways, there are safer ways - they are also bred of commercialism, risk management, and are done for the teacher, not the taught; they are also utterly misguided beyond that context as it would seem you are as well.


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 3:07 AM
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Wow, all that training, all that experinece and you still can totally miss the point. I'm stunned. .

Actually dirtineye, I completely "get the point", I also just completely disagree with it...

In reply to:
I'll be sure and refer the AMGA guides who use the top rope backup method to protect their students, not their own asses, to you so you can set them straight.

Dude, I've been climbing and teaching leading longer than the AMGA has been in existence collecting cash and doling out paper. There is nothing particularly holier than thou about the AMGA (other than a lot cash changes hands and you apparently have to know someone to get on the fast track with them). And anytime money changes hands in a learning situation all bets are off and priorities shift - some implicitly, some explicitly. TRs on leads is a perfect example - the fact that they do it doesn't make it anything other than smart business decision.

In reply to:
Pound your chest some more, it will make you feel better when someone in doubt of thier ability follows your stupid advice to ignore a simple and temporary safety precaution that could have prevented an accident.

Actually, I'm not "pounding my chest", you question where I'm coming from (actually I believe it was more of an insult) and I simply laid out my background and experience as the basis for making the statements I have. Again, "temporary safety precaution" is an oxymoron for anyone learning to come to terms with the reality of leading and trusting their pro.

In reply to:
BTW what you wrote above the short quote was so badly mistaken I didn't want to repeat it. IT is totally your opinion, not based in fact. You sahe the same misconceptions about praticing leading that many people share about falling practice. You are a dinosaur. There are new, better safer ways. Really.

There are newer ways, there are safer ways - they are also bred of commercialism, risk management, and are done for the teacher, not the taught; beyond a sound business practice they are also utterly misguided as it would seem you are as well.


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 3:25 AM
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Wow, all that training, all that experinece and you still can totally miss the point. I'm stunned. .

dirtineye - oh, I completely "get the point", I just vehemently disagree with it...

In reply to:
I'll be sure and refer the AMGA guides who use the top rope backup method to protect their students, not their own asses, to you so you can set them straight.

Dude, I've been climbing and teaching leading longer than the AMGA has been in existence collecting cash and doling out paper. While generally competent, there is nothing particularly holier than thou about the AMGA (other than a lot cash changes hands and you apparently have to know someone to get on the fast track with them). And anytime money changes hands in a learning situation all bets are off and priorities shift - some implicitly, some explicitly. TRs on leads is a perfect example - the fact that they do it doesn't make it anything other than a smart business business decision.

In reply to:
Pound your chest some more, it will make you feel better when someone in doubt of thier ability follows your stupid advice to ignore a simple and temporary safety precaution that could have prevented an accident.

Actually, I'm not "pounding my chest", you question where I'm coming from (in fact, I believe it was more of an insult) and I simply laid out my background and experience as the basis for making the statements I have. Again, "temporary safety precaution" is an oxymoron for anyone faced with truly learning to come to terms with the reality of leading and trusting their pro.

In reply to:
BTW what you wrote above the short quote was so badly mistaken I didn't want to repeat it. IT is totally your opinion, not based in fact. You sahe the same misconceptions about praticing leading that many people share about falling practice. You are a dinosaur. There are new, better safer ways. Really.

There are newer ways, there are safer ways - they are also bred of commercialism, risk management, and are done for the teacher, not the taught; they are also utterly misguided beyond that context as it would seem you are as well. This isn't rocket science or particle physics and no "modern" or "safer" techniques exist beyond your risk averse imagination that will ever surplant simple common sense, stepping up to the plate of self responsibility, and a modicom of courage.


dredsovrn


Jan 2, 2005, 8:34 AM
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This may not count. I didn't fall on the piece, but it would not have held a piece of dust landing on it. It was my first limestone experience on really lousy rock. It was glassy and sharp, and the only place to put gear was in this fluted crack/tube. About 40' up (halfway) I placed another cam (#3 Camalot). When I pulled on it, it slid down about 18" and sort of caught on a shard. That's what the last two did. At that point I gave up and climbed to the top with the thought, "this is one of those times when falling is not an option." But if I had fallen, it would have been a #3 Camalot that would have failed, followed by a #2, and then a #7 FCU. No fault of the equipment of course.


Partner cracklover


Jan 2, 2005, 9:13 AM
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has anyone ever had a piece fail because it broke? im just curious because many people are cautious about the strength ratings on their gear, but i havnt heard of many pieces failing structuraly.

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I suppose that the people with the best gear-popping stories are probably not around to tell their stories.

Yup, ask Goran Kropp about his cams that failed.

Fall hard enough and the lobes of any cam will squish, and then the cam will track out of a parallel crack. There's lots of pics of cams that have failed due to deformation of the lobes on the web. Search and ye shall find.

GO


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 1:26 PM
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This may not count. I didn't fall on the piece, but it would not have held a piece of dust landing on it. It was my first limestone experience on really lousy rock. It was glassy and sharp, and the only place to put gear was in this fluted crack/tube.

dredsovrn, where was this limestone? Was it pocketed as well? Limestone can be pretty tough to protect sometimes...


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 1:30 PM
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Fall hard enough and the lobes of any cam will squish, and then the cam will track out of a parallel crack. There's lots of pics of cams that have failed due to deformation of the lobes on the web. Search and ye shall find.

Has anyone here had a "properly" or well placed cam break? I've seen blown stop pins/blocks - but the pieces were a bit too small for the placement. I would assume that to blow a cam in a good placement would require a high KN fall and would love to hear any such detailed [technical] accounts of both the fall and the circumstance.


Partner cracklover


Jan 2, 2005, 3:14 PM
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As far as I can tell, the jury is still out on "mock leading" (which is *exactly* what you're talking about, even if dirt doesn't like to call it that).

I don't believe it helps, but I'm also not yet sure it hurts.

I could go into the subject further, but it's way off topic. Let's take it to another thread, (click here) and let this one get back on topic.

To the original question: fallen a few times in three seasons of leading trad, but never had a piece pull - sorry.

GO


kman


Jan 2, 2005, 5:26 PM
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Alright you two...stop arguing personal opinions and agree to disagree. Top rope "mock" leading certainly can't hurt. At the same time it won't help you develop your lead head. You can always develop your lead head after getting some gear placement skills though so...


petsfed


Jan 2, 2005, 5:52 PM
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Fall hard enough and the lobes of any cam will squish, and then the cam will track out of a parallel crack. There's lots of pics of cams that have failed due to deformation of the lobes on the web. Search and ye shall find.

Has anyone here had a "properly" or well placed cam break? I've seen blown stop pins/blocks - but the pieces were a bit too small for the placement. I would assume that to blow a cam in a good placement would require a high KN fall and would love to hear any such detailed [technical] accounts of both the fall and the circumstance.

I've seen the damage that occurs to a well placed alien in over polished rock. Does that count? Seriously, this was a textbook placement, in granite, very short fall on it and it blew out with some interesting scars on the lobes. Less deformed than scratched, but still. The placement was too polished so there wasn't enough friction to make it stick.


lonequail


Jan 2, 2005, 6:36 PM
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Ripped two blue Aliens in moderately soft sandstone when face hold blew out and I flew backwards. Both placements were good and as tight as possible. The rock failed by spalling. Held by bolt and was not injured thanks in part to n aattentive belayer, but not far enough off the deck for my comfort or feeling of security. Problem was that the rock was too soft for the small cams and there was too little travel to get enough purchase.

LQ


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 8:14 PM
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The placement was too polished so there wasn't enough friction to make it stick.

I was just climbing with a friend who was out visiting from Devil's Lake, WI and he made the comment cams didn't necessarily work great there for exactly that reason - the rock is so polished that cams can just slide out at times. Anyone else from DL had that experience?


dirtineye


Jan 2, 2005, 9:35 PM
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Alright you two...stop arguing personal opinions and agree to disagree. Top rope "mock" leading certainly can't hurt. At the same time it won't help you develop your lead head. You can always develop your lead head after getting some gear placement skills though so...

You don't get it either.

it is not mock leading, it is falling on gear to see if you can place it worth a damn and doing so safely.

This will not scar you for life.

It will keep you in one piece if you suck at placing gear, and then you can go back to gear school adn get it right.


OOps, time for a rant....

[RANT]
LEAD HEAD? don't even talk to me about 'lead head'.

You want 'lead head', if y ucan find it, go climb a route in NC called "Bob Rotert ant the chossy mountain boys". Get up that and tell me about 'lead head'.

Gee, I've tested placements with a top rope backup, I must not have a "lead head'. Or worse, it destroyed my 'lead head'!!!!

MORONIC!!!

Go do onsight free soloing in remote areas and or on stuff that has never or has rarely ever been climbed, Sometimes in trail shoes and then talk about 'lead head'.

Lead wet climbs in the dark in trail shoes and talk to me about 'lead head'.

Oh, But testing a few pieces with a top rope backup will spoil everything! Yeah right.

My personal view on 'lead head' is that there is no such thing. I don't have one. It does not compute. I am far to busy thinking about all the little things that help me make progress up the rock and stay on the rock to worry about stupid stuff.

Kman, I'm not directing this at you, I'm just sick of hearing about lead head. Everyone worries about their 'lead head'. I've always tried to approach it like this: Work out how you will best protect your climb and how you will best get up the rock, do those things, and forget about developiing a lead head.

[/RANT]


kman


Jan 2, 2005, 10:36 PM
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it is falling on gear to see if you can place it worth a damn and doing so safely.

This will not scar you for life.

Seems like I missed that point......I agree with you then.


healyje


Jan 3, 2005, 1:55 AM
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it is falling on gear to see if you can place it worth a damn and doing so safely.

I think this is the heart of the disagreement. We're talking about two entirely different things here: 1) There is falling on gear to develop trust in good pro; and 2) falling on gear to test placements that may or may not be good.

You should be doing #1 if you can actually place pro competently but you simply haven't gotten to the point of trusting it - and as a result you don't push your limits (i.e. trad lead way below your sport leads). Only do this test if you can place pro compentently and then, by all means, fly away and get used to falling on your pro. Do this off the deck, on a slightly overhanginf section of a route and do it above a bunch of solid pieces - double up the last and next to last pieces if you feel the need. Again - this is practice for learning to trust pro that is placed competently. No top rope is necessary and is totally counter productive to the whole point of the excercise.

#2 is another beast all together - falling on pro that may or may not be good to test placements. First off, I think this is a bad idea, top rope or not, and unnecessary except possibly in the circumstance where you can't find an experienced lead climber to second, and to second you. If you absolutely can't find and experienced traddy to take you under their wing and you are dead set on teaching yourself (which is a way less than desirable situation); and, after reading everything you can lay your hands on and have practiced placing and testing gear on the ground with an aider - well then testing placements with a TR would be a viable option. BUT, if you are going to do this then really isolate exactly what pro you are having doubts about / trouble with and why. Is it the rock? Is it flared placements? Is it small wired stoppers? Know what specific answers you are after, get them, and move on. Don't make a habit of this.

Can you learn to lead on your own? Yes. Is it a good idea? No.

Again, using TR in commercial settings - classes of any type - is simply SOP for risk management and to be expected - it still isn't desirable. Also be aware, you can learn about leading in a class - but, in the larger scheme of things you won't learn to lead in one - that take time and yardage on the sharp end of a rope out on the rock seconding and leading routes (and don't in anyway underestimate the value of seconding).

[Note: For those of you that want to learn to trad lead, RC.com has plenty of old trad guys in every state with rock - if you don't know any traddies then post for a partner to teach trad or look up who's in your state and ask them.]


jumpingrock


Jan 3, 2005, 11:16 AM
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I was in squamish shortly after having learned to trad climb (I actually learnt on the trip so this was probably my 5th trad lead) it was a relitively short and simple 5.7 easily protectable at the start but had a runout at the end. The last placement was a shallow horizontal crack that barely held my smallest nut (#6 BD stopper) I tried to slot it into a small constriction. The placement was retarded. it wouldn't have held the smallest fall. I think that it probably would have been good with a blue alien but I didn't have any back then. Anyway I climbed above it and watched as it came out of the placement and slid down the rope. After debating with my balls for a bit I decided to punch through and didn't fall.


tonydevo


Jan 9, 2005, 2:07 PM
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The ones that failed...

#1 Bugaboo -- ripped in bad rock
#1 angle -- ripped in bad rock
#6? nut -- exploded from its placement
self drive bolt --- broke at the capscrew
#1 camalot -- skated and popped
#3 pecker -- not really supposed to hold...

The ones that held....

#1,#2,#3 Camalots
#2 Metolius TCU
#4 astro nut
Pink Tricam several times
13cm ice screw with a screamer


aztec6561


Jan 9, 2005, 5:11 PM
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The previous piece mentions the pink tricam. It has been my experience that this is one of the most solid pieces of pro I have ever used or fallen on. Fits where few other pieces will. Only problem is it can be hard to get out at times. Only piece that has ripped out on me is the blue alien due to a bad placement, led to about a 15 foot fall.


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