Forums: Climbing Disciplines: Big Wall and Aid Climbing:
Falling head over heels
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Big Wall and Aid Climbing

Premier Sponsor:

 


karlbaba


Sep 14, 2002, 9:54 PM
Post #1 of 7 (1582 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 10, 2002
Posts: 1159

Falling head over heels
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Falling Head Over Heels is not Safe in Dating or Aid Climbing!

Most climbers are aware that climbing with the rope between their legs will get them flipped upside-down if they fall with pro off to one side. There are plenty of aid climbers, however, that don't realize that they could be flipped over if they fall, even with the pro directly between their legs.

The culprit is the apex formed by your two aiders clipped at a piece. If the gear blows, and you've climbed into the higher steps of your aiders, the rope will lever you upside down when it comes tight against the junction of your etriers.

To avoid going head over heels:

1. Keep the rope running over your thigh or ankle as soon as you leave the third step of your aiders. If you are a forgetful type, just keep the rope from running between your legs at all times. If the climb angles at all, run the rope off to the side of the piece that will arrest any potential fall, (i.e., if it's a right-facing corner, run the rope over your left ankle.)

2. Big wall racks can make you top heavy. I make it a practice to clip my hauling device, ascenders, and any other heavy gear that I don't need handy while leading to my harness gear loop to lower my center of gravity.

3. Wearing a helmet is a good idea. A long aid falls still have a tendency to flip you upside down. The good news is: falling is totally safe, the bad news is?

4. A long upside-down fall can strip the rack right over your head and into the void. Clipping the rack to your harness with a keeper cord can prevent rack-into-abyss disaster. You can also use this cord to "belay" the rack when you take it off to hand to your partner or clip into the belay.

May your whippers be clean and your pro bomber!

Peace

Karl


krustyklimber


Sep 15, 2002, 11:39 AM
Post #2 of 7 (1582 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 25, 2002
Posts: 1650

Falling head over heels [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks Karl,

All good advise, and something I will think moe about when I am leading, but so far for me the aid falls I have taken have all been from lower in my aiders...

but it's only a matter of time, eh?

Food for thought is always nice, you serve a good meal, my friend!

Jeff


ergophobe


Sep 15, 2002, 2:24 PM
Post #3 of 7 (1582 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 1, 2002
Posts: 150

Falling head over heels [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Karl,

I usually think of myself as have a good intuitive grasp of rope systems, but that's something that escaped my notice until you told Theresa about it and she told me. It's so obvious once you know about it, and certainly makes everything a bit safer. Great tip.

Tom


climbingcowboy


Sep 16, 2002, 2:20 AM
Post #4 of 7 (1582 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1201

Falling head over heels [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

  Thanks for the info those little tips and tricks are why I joined this site, to save me from getting hurt learning the "hard way",
please keep um coming thanks again Geoff


hollyclimber


Sep 30, 2002, 11:57 AM
Post #5 of 7 (1582 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 26, 2002
Posts: 124

Falling head over heels [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Oh the dangers of falling upside down...

Last week I fell upside down in a dihedral when the HB offset I was testing popped. I can't remember if I was top stepping, but somehow I just lost hold of my good piece.

So, I fell backwards, upside down in the dihedral SMACKING my butt against the wall, with a fair amount of cams in between. The worst part was that I had needed to pee for about an hour, but I was waiting until after I finished the lead and hauled the bags.

Lets just say that its a good thing that peeing on yourself tends to be an integral part of big wall climbing, so it was really no big deal that my need to relieve myself was slightly less when I reached the anchors!!

ha ha

a little entertainment for the day and a chance to laugh at myself and relieve some big wall tension was well worth it.

Holly


passthepitonspete


Sep 30, 2002, 12:16 PM
Post #6 of 7 (1582 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 9, 2001
Posts: 2183

Falling head over heels [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

One week later there is still an oozing nylon burn on the back of my knee resulting from a short fall on Scorched Earth.

[Gads, I was even on the "easier" Aurora section when it happened!]

I am always careful to position the rope correctly as Karl suggests, however in this instance it was not the rope, but rather a sling, that got me!

I had just climbed through this very awkward and strenous roof [aid climbing should no longer be strenuous if you use adjustable daisies and an adjustable fifi, but owing to the peculiar topography of this particular roof, it was quite strenous] when I looked at this little #2 stopper I was standing on and thought, I think I'll stuff a blue Alien in that crack to back it up.

Next thing I know I'm falling when the stopper rips, but because I was a hundred feet out, there was so much rope stretch that even with the pro at my waist, I still fell, and my leg fell on the INSIDE of the sling that stemmed the awkward corner/roof I had just cranked.

I suppose the best thing would have been to have kept that sling over my toe, but I had neglected to check that.

This is the cost of Dr. Piton's vanity - he wears shorts to get a suntan, but pays the price of a nasty nylon burn thereafter.

Sheesh.

In conclusion:

Be aware at all times when aid climbing precisely what will happen if you fall at any given moment.

Aid climbing isn't like free climbing where you get some warning - usually it happens with no warning at all, and you find yourself airborne.

Good post, Karl! Thanks for the killer photos of me on Lunar Eclipse, and for a superb birthday meal.

Karl is an awesome cook!


apollodorus


Oct 1, 2002, 12:02 AM
Post #7 of 7 (1582 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 18, 2002
Posts: 2157

Falling head over heels [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

You don't need to have the rope between your legs, or even be leading to take the head-over-heels plunge. I was cleaning a traverse near the top of Scorched Earth (actually, a pitch on the Trip) when two or three stoppers pulled out of the roof crack. The weight of the rack and the sideways fall left me about 45 degrees head down, hanging onto the rope with one hand. It was right about then I remembered a tip from the Fish website: clip the rack to your harness if a big whipper can strip it from you.


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Big Wall and Aid Climbing

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook