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teamkonarider


Nov 9, 2005, 4:47 AM
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Falling on Pro for the first time
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I have yet to fall on a pice of pro and have always been told to go by the mantra that the leadred must not fall. Conversely I have heard that gaining confidence in your pro can be highly benificial to your climbing.
Has any one seen an improvement in thier climbing ability after they took thier first real fall on pro?


deltav


Nov 9, 2005, 5:06 AM
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At some point, YOU WILL FALL. So I think it not wise to get into the mind state that it will never happen. Not that I want to test if that little blue Alien is going to hold me, but it does make you feel better when it does. Good luck and be safe.


mischief8


Nov 9, 2005, 5:15 AM
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definitely more confidence.....


king_rat


Nov 9, 2005, 5:26 AM
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The idea that the leader "should never fall" originates in an age before modern pro, when gear was hard to place and would be spaced out, and a lead fall would have the potential to be far more serious then today. With modern pro the danger of falling has been greatly reduced. Though not completely removed.

having confidence in you gear is essential. I donít know if taking a fall will improve your confidence or ability, its probably very subjective. However IMO the important thing is to be able to judge the situation, and decided if its a good time and place to push yourself to a point where you might take a fall, or whether its best to be more cautious.


blueeyedclimber


Nov 9, 2005, 5:31 AM
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At some point, YOU WILL FALL. So I think it not wise to get into the mind state that it will never happen. Not that I want to test if that little blue Alien is going to hold me, but it does make you feel better when it does. Good luck and be safe.

It's funny you should mention the blue alien. Two months ago I took my first leader fall on it. Held like a champ.

Now, a lot of people will tell you to NEVER fall, and some will tell you if you are not falling, then you are not pushing yourself. The reality is somewhere in between. You need to first be confident in your ability to place pieces as well as correctly analyze the situation your in. There are plenty of times when you are not allowed to fall, and plenty of times it's all right to go for it. You need to be able to tell the difference between the two.

Josh


fishbelly


Nov 9, 2005, 6:56 AM
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empowering, When you take the first whipper and realize . I'm alive I'm alive.

"The Leader must not fall" Some what dated but still good advice. With today's rope gear and sport routes feel you can fall impunity Every time you take a fall you take a risk of injury. Not the risk it once was. With experience comes judgment and there are routes and placements you do not want to fall on.

Warning..Sometimes you do not see it coming.


skateman


Nov 9, 2005, 7:12 AM
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I've taken a few falls on gear. It boosted the confidence that the gear would hold, which in turn lets you climb a little harder. Just don't have false confidence in your gear if you are a new leader. Your gear placements may turn out to be less than ideal.

s-man


vegastradguy


Nov 9, 2005, 7:43 AM
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i follow the mantra that the leader doesnt fall and it works pretty good for me. it basically keeps me from falling until the grade clocks in around .10d or so- at which point the falls are mostly clean and not much to worry about.

my first fall on pro definitely helped my mind set, but it was also at a grade that the fall was clean. if you're thinking about putting yourself in a situation where you will fall, make sure the fall is clean, otherwise you'll be bummed.

here in red rocks, clean falls dont start to be common until around .9+, .10a or so....


glyrocks


Nov 9, 2005, 7:44 AM
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If you fall, you will probably die. Keep that in mind.


trenchdigger


Nov 9, 2005, 8:02 AM
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In reply to:
I have yet to fall on a pice of pro and have always been told to go by the mantra that the leadred must not fall. Conversely I have heard that gaining confidence in your pro can be highly benificial to your climbing.
Has any one seen an improvement in thier climbing ability after they took thier first real fall on pro?

I climb in a similar way. Not that the leader must "never" fall, but to avoid falls (or weighting gear for that matter) whenever possible. After almost 2 years of leading, I took my first lead fall - about a 10-15 footer - on gear a few weeks ago. It happened to be on a blue alien which held beautifully. I was a little more sketched for the rest of the day, but more because I had greased off unexpectedly (Indian Cove on a hot day...) than because of the fall itself. I have seen no change in my climbing since that fall other than avoiding greasy JTree sandbags when it's hot. :roll:

As for confidence in pro... I have it when the pro is good. But good pro isn't always there. Misplaced trust is dangerous.


kasper


Nov 9, 2005, 8:23 AM
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Notice that the only people able to post replies are the ones who *survived* that first trad whipper...

just a thought :wink:


jt512


Nov 9, 2005, 8:59 AM
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i follow the mantra that the leader doesnt fall and it works pretty good for me. it basically keeps me from falling until the grade clocks in around .10d or so...

I'm curious as to how a "mantra" that instructs the climber not to do something -- ie, not to fall -- can be effective. When you find yourself getting sketched, telling yourself not to fall is worthless because it doesn't tell you what to do to avoid falling. In contrast, "mantras" like "what do I need to do to get in balance here," "where is the next handhold," etc. are positive instruction that provide actual direction to successfully climb thru a crux. I can, however, envision two ways in which a "don't fall" rule will reduce the number of falls, but both mechanisms retard learning: First, the climber may intentionally pick routes that he believes in advanced he is unlikely to fall on. This slows his progression into the higher grades. Second, the leader may back off hard moves rather than risk a fall, thus missing an opportunity to learn a hard move.

In reply to:
if you're thinking about putting yourself in a situation where you will fall, make sure the fall is clean

True enough.

Jay


renohandjams


Nov 9, 2005, 9:16 AM
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Has any one seen an improvement in thier climbing ability after they took thier first real fall on pro?
I am still new to the trad sceen (less than a year), but I have taken a couple big falls on some cams and I feel like the more I fall the more comfortable I feel with my pro.

Most of the time I feel like climbing is a mind game and if you are all skittish about your pro below you won't be thinking about the moves you are doing and you'll loose confidence. If you aren't falling on your pro I think you should at least get used to resting on it at the crux and realize, yeah this holds me just fine. I also don't think you can improve that much unless you are climbing at your limit where the leader probably could fall.


dr_feelgood


Nov 9, 2005, 10:14 AM
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Just make sure that after you fall, if you are sketched out, lead an easier route the same day, otherwise your confidence will be shot.


billcoe_


Nov 9, 2005, 11:14 AM
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In reply to:
I have yet to fall on a pice of pro and have always been told to go by the mantra that the leadred must not fall. Conversely I have heard that gaining confidence in your pro can be highly benificial to your climbing.
Has any one seen an improvement in thier climbing ability after they took thier first real fall on pro?

I feel that climbing more will help your climbing best. My first 2 falls were bigger than you would believe and led to pain and some injury.

In that case- it did not help my lead head at all.

Climbing more will help you the most. You start to get a feel: for the rock, the holds and your friction vs strength - etc etc.


fishbelly


Nov 9, 2005, 11:14 AM
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In reply to:
Notice that the only people able to post replies are the ones who *survived* that first trad whipper...

just a thought :wink:

Posts from thoose who did not survive thier first leader fall?
May be found in the TAPS Forum


tradrenn


Nov 11, 2005, 5:11 PM
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My first fall was on BD Nut #10.
I love my nuts.
Second fall was on BD Hex # 11
I love my hexes.
Third fall was on a sling wrapped around a piece of rock
I love my slings.

I used to have issues with cams and one day while on a road trip I found this crack and placed one cam and then I fall on it. To my satisfaction it held. Then I repeated the above experiment 5 times and I'm still alive to write about it ( like other user noted ) I used DMM 4CU ( if that helps )

I love my cams

8^)


emilykristina


Nov 18, 2005, 6:54 PM
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In reply to:
Notice that the only people able to post replies are the ones who *survived* that first trad whipper...


AAAAAAH! Ha! I am still in the early stages of trad and I love it so much but I am yet to take that first lead fall. I havent even taken a sport lead fall. I kind of wish it would just happen so I will know what it is like. Maybe I have to start leading harder stuff that I am sure to fall on. I think I want to get it over with so I will know what to expect.


jt512


Nov 18, 2005, 7:16 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Notice that the only people able to post replies are the ones who *survived* that first trad whipper...


AAAAAAH! Ha! I am still in the early stages of trad and I love it so much but I am yet to take that first lead fall. I havent even taken a sport lead fall. I kind of wish it would just happen so I will know what it is like. Maybe I have to start leading harder stuff that I am sure to fall on. I think I want to get it over with so I will know what to expect.

Take an intentional fall.

Jay


stymingersfink


Nov 19, 2005, 4:23 PM
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I am still new to the trad sceen (less than a year), but I have taken a couple big falls on some cams and I feel like the more I fall the more comfortable I feel with my pro.

IMHO, this ^^ mindset is one to be avoided. THIS climber felt comfortable with his pro, an obvious mistake. (url thanks to TOMTOM)

There is a line between feeling comfortable with your pro and feeling confident in your ability to place GOOD pro. Sure, I'm confident the pro will remain intact, which is to say I inspect it prior to each placement and it shows no obvious sign of falling apart.

The quality of the placement will have more doubt attached to it, due to the variables of placement which can not be known rather only theorized about on the fly.

ON THE OTHER HAND, I too feel it is important to develope confidence in your ability to discern the difference between THE SH!T! and [brown]OH, SH!T![/brown] One good way to do this is make a lot of placements while testing each one in a relatively controlled manner.

When you dedicate yourself to such a task, you will find that you have become an aid climber. Fuck it, might as well give up climbing now, and find something more productive to do with your time... :D

In the mean time strive for safety above all else, even if it means backing off to climb another day.


gnomki


Nov 19, 2005, 5:02 PM
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ehh yer fell twice in 12 years of trad climbing to e3 but don't know about the gear as once landed on my backsideand :lol: second time was running like the wind! however if you "chandelier" it is gooooood!


vegastradguy


Nov 19, 2005, 5:18 PM
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I'm curious as to how a "mantra" that instructs the climber not to do something -- ie, not to fall -- can be effective. When you find yourself getting sketched, telling yourself not to fall is worthless because it doesn't tell you what to do to avoid falling. In contrast, "mantras" like "what do I need to do to get in balance here," "where is the next handhold," etc. are positive instruction that provide actual direction to successfully climb thru a crux. I can, however, envision two ways in which a "don't fall" rule will reduce the number of falls, but both mechanisms retard learning: First, the climber may intentionally pick routes that he believes in advanced he is unlikely to fall on. This slows his progression into the higher grades. Second, the leader may back off hard moves rather than risk a fall, thus missing an opportunity to learn a hard move.

well, i suppose i dont tell myself 'don't fall' so much as i will spend quite a bit of time analyzing what i need to do to heighten my chances of staying on the rock. i'll pause at each rest and figure out the next set of moves and then plug pro and go. (of course, sometimes this doesnt work and i just climb the best i can).

initially as a trad climber, i did pick routes i was unlikely to fall on- but this was because i wasnt out to progress into higher grades- i was focused on getting mileage, which is more important imho for trad climbing. although my progression into higher grades was slower than some, i feel that it paid off in other areas that are just as important in trad climbing: route finding, run-outs, bad pro, bad rock, etc....

now, i've never really backed off a set of hard moves unless the fall would be catastrophic. in fact, there was only one time i did it, and the resulting fall would have likely been a death fall. however, i went back within a months time and redpointed the line. so, i suppose i cant comment here.

as i've progressed in my trad climbing, my mantra of not falling has changed some- now that i've gained the mileage i need to feel comfortable as a climber and leader, i can now evaluate climbs on a case by case basis. some climbs i push my limits on to learn new things and take falls on (never intentionally, of course, i always climb for the onsight), and i consider them excellent learning experiences. other climbs, i stay within my limits with a high level of awareness that a fall is not an option.

however, i feel that when you first start out trad climbing, not falling should be a very high priority simply because falling at lower grades like 5.6-5.8 can be extremely dangerous. instead, the climber should stay within their limits, build mileage and experience, thus allowing them to become a solid leader. then, when they reach a point where falling is an option, they can re-evaluate their approach to climbing.


golsen


Nov 19, 2005, 6:04 PM
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vegas,
I believe what Jay was referring to has to do more with the mental aspects than anything. For example, if sketched out above your gear, a positive statement such as "keep it cool", "keep breathing", smile ("you are in control") far exceed the effects of a negative statement such as "dont" do something. This is a sports psychology thing I learned as a climber and as a ski racing coach. To progress past fears and mental obstacles this is a very helpful way of thinking. Although, for the inexperienced trad leader it can be dangerous to do this without the proper experience.

For the OP, the mantra that the leader must not fall, can serve you very well in many situations. However, with experience, the desired goal is to know when it is safe to go for it. That is ultimately the key. Knowing when it is safe to fall on your gear.

Then there are those climbs where it is not safe to go for it but you do it anyway, maybe because it is well within your abilities. Maybe because you are pushing danger limits. Those times should be reserved for the experienced. You will know when you do this. You will remember it for many years afterwards because there are few things so clear in life.

Sty had a good point, aid climibing can really help you to learn your gear placements....


sausalito


Nov 19, 2005, 7:23 PM
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I honestly dont think I started climbing hard until I was able to push myself enough to fall on gear. My first fall was on a pretty easy 8.... a jug that was solid as hell and that I had used many times broke and was 10 ft above my last pro. I finished the route and walked over to a route that had freaked me for the better part of two years and smoked it.

Here are the lessons I learned and continue to learn from lead falling on pro:
1) dont waste time putting in crappy placements because it tires you out and probably wont hold
2) there is a reason companies can charge so much for cams and people still buy them
3) be critical of placements to the point of assuming you are going to take a fall on them and criticize all placments as a group--

the last may be the most important. My first fall was on something within my ability, i had led before, and the hold was not showing any signs of being loose. I find some of my friends that have never fallen dont criticize their placements as much because somewhere inside themselves they are thinking I wont fall... even though they wont admit it. On that note the only person I saw deck did so on a peice that popped on his first ever lead fall. The route was a 10b-cish..... I was shocked that this guy had been climbing long enough (and he had been climbing for several years) to climb 10b-c trad but had never fallen on gear. He had weighted peices before but never fallen. Looking back on the accident he had a crappy peice that he even said something to the effect of "thats for looks...."--I wonder if his attitude would have been different if he had engaged in a fall on gear before.


jax


Nov 21, 2005, 10:25 AM
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I believed very strongly in "a good leader never falls", the first time I fell, I was bricking it...seriously I was terrified.
I had clung on as long as I could, I'd just made an unreversible move over an overhang and was trying to find a good placement. There was nothing, and I grew more and more knackered just holding on trying to psyche up for the next move.
It took a while, but I fell.
The gear underneath was bomber, you could have hung a truck off it, at the time I was struggling to believe that I was gonna survive falling off a cliff, however when I was hanging 10 ft lower down I realised that it was good, the placement I had put in had stopped me, and my although my climbing skill (lack of) had meant I fell off the climb, my skill of putting gear in had saved my life.

That fall, and that recovery, meant that I actually believed in my gear, I now knew that what I put in would hold a fall. I've never looked back, the confidence boost was such that I finished the route and pushed my grade up to English HVS that same day!

the leader never falls is a good mantra for the olden days when gear wouldn't hold a fall, and the dangers of falling were far more severe, however nowadays, modern equipment and techniques mean that a leader fall can not only be "safe" but also a valuable experience.

I don't think you should jump off a route just to say you've fallen on your gear though, that isn't what climbing is about! Wait for it to happen naturally, it will...it happens to everyone!

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