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thelockdude


Jun 5, 2007, 8:25 PM
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first lead fall
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Saturday i took my first fall while leading. it was only about a 6' fall. But it was also my belayer's first time catching a fall.

it was "middle earth" in the trapps, at the start of P3. there is a small roof, then a small bulge on the face (crux). the book says harder if short - i'm 5'3. i could see the move (chalk stains) but couldn't reach it. a few more inches would have made the difference.

anyway, it took me about 4 tries, so actually i took my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd lead falls all trying to make that one move.

It wasn't bad! the impact of coming to the end of the rope was gentler than i expected. and i was less "shook up" than i thought i'd be. in fact, after the first fall, knowing the cam would hold made me confident to keep trying (and falling) until i made the move.

Dan


evanwish


Jun 5, 2007, 9:02 PM
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Re: [thelockdude] first lead fall [In reply to]
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your first lead fall ever was on trad?

that's bold!
i practiced allot on sport and in gyms taking huge falls before i ever went on trad.

that's bold, good job!


knieveltech


Jun 5, 2007, 9:11 PM
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thelockdude wrote:
Saturday i took my first fall while leading. it was only about a 6' fall. But it was also my belayer's first time catching a fall.

it was "middle earth" in the trapps, at the start of P3. there is a small roof, then a small bulge on the face (crux). the book says harder if short - i'm 5'3. i could see the move (chalk stains) but couldn't reach it. a few more inches would have made the difference.

anyway, it took me about 4 tries, so actually i took my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd lead falls all trying to make that one move.

It wasn't bad! the impact of coming to the end of the rope was gentler than i expected. and i was less "shook up" than i thought i'd be. in fact, after the first fall, knowing the cam would hold made me confident to keep trying (and falling) until i made the move.

Dan

Congradulations on having a good time going for it! Sounds like you had fun.


deadhorse


Jun 5, 2007, 9:14 PM
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Re: [knieveltech] first lead fall [In reply to]
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it's also impressive your first lead fall was on a multipitch...

good going- the catch always is softer than expected, i love that it resolves some of the angst. it's the blocky ledges and choss that always scare me.


granite_grrl


Jun 6, 2007, 6:56 AM
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Re: [evanwish] first lead fall [In reply to]
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evanwish wrote:
your first lead fall ever was on trad?

that's bold!
i practiced allot on sport and in gyms taking huge falls before i ever went on trad.

that's bold, good job!

Not really. My first lead fall was on trad...but that's mostly because there wasn't a lot of option for sport where I start climbing and my gym was mostly a bouldering gym.

Good job man, I hate falling, and so fall often, not even on sport. But really, if the fall is clean and the gear is bomber there's no reason not to go for it.


mojomonkey


Jun 6, 2007, 7:02 AM
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I only started leading trad last year and have yet to fall on gear. A few times I have been in a tough spot and thoughts of falling pop into my head. Even though the idea scares me (I'd like more placement evaluations from different partners and maybe to fall backed up on toprope first) my mind always says "just let go - get that first gear fall out of the way!". I disagree and down climb :)

Did you fall going for a move or pop off looking around for a way to reach those out of the way holds?

Anybody else have any first fall stories to share?


Partner j_ung


Jun 6, 2007, 7:13 AM
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thelockdude wrote:
in fact, after the first fall, knowing the cam would hold made me confident to keep trying (and falling) until i made the move.

Dan

Did you remember to re-check the cam after each fall?


ja1484


Jun 6, 2007, 7:19 AM
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evanwish wrote:
your first lead fall ever was on trad?

that's bold!
i practiced allot on sport and in gyms taking huge falls before i ever went on trad.

that's bold, good job!


Not to take anything away from the OP, but just because his first fall was on trad doesn't make it bold.

That's how it should be. I'm with John Long - too many people these days know how to climb a line of bolts and lower off the shuts, but have very little knowledge of rigging and general safety methods for climbing in general.

People should be required to climb trad for two years competently under the supervision of a properly skilled mentor before being turned loose on their style of choice, just for the good of the community in general.


Partner cracklover


Jun 6, 2007, 7:25 AM
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Re: [j_ung] first lead fall [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
thelockdude wrote:
in fact, after the first fall, knowing the cam would hold made me confident to keep trying (and falling) until i made the move.

Dan

Did you remember to re-check the cam after each fall?

At the least. I've found falling repeatedly on a piece to be a good motivation to look for a backup placement before going for it again. It's tempting to just get up and go for it, but as for a piece holding a fall, like they say in the financial industry: Past successes do not guarantee future performance.

GO


thelockdude


Jun 6, 2007, 7:31 AM
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mojomonkey wrote:
...Did you fall going for a move or pop off looking around for a way to reach those out of the way holds?...

Going for the move. To reach the hold (which was too high) I had to move my feet off their nice little edges, and smear on the face, AND take one hand off the tiny crimps I was hanging on to. I fell because I was tentative to move all 3 limbs at the same time like that, but eventually that's exactly what I had to do.

The placement that caught my fall was a bomber cam under the little roof (the roof was only about 18-24") and I felt pretty sure it would hold me. Thankfully it did.

The fall was not unexpected. I mean I was hoping I wouldn't fall, but I also saw that below me there was nothing to hit, and I really felt the cam was as solid as I knew how to place, so I wasn't as scared to try the move as I have been in the past.

In previous situations, I've looked down and there's a ledge or something to smash my elbow or knee on. I knew I wouldn't "die" from a fall like that, but I don't want a broken bone either. This time, though, I wasn't too afraid of a fall. I warned my belayer that it might happen, and she was ready, and everything worked out fine!

Thanks for all the positive feedback, everyone. I still feel pretty good about myself that I've passed a sort of milestone.

Regards.
Dan


thelockdude


Jun 6, 2007, 7:36 AM
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Re: [cracklover] first lead fall [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
j_ung wrote:
thelockdude wrote:
in fact, after the first fall, knowing the cam would hold made me confident to keep trying (and falling) until i made the move.

Dan

Did you remember to re-check the cam after each fall?

At the least. I've found falling repeatedly on a piece to be a good motivation to look for a backup placement before going for it again. It's tempting to just get up and go for it, but as for a piece holding a fall, like they say in the financial industry: Past successes do not guarantee future performance.

GO

No, I didn't re-check the cam! Oh man, that sounds like such a common sense thing now, but at the time, I didn't even think of it! Well, that's why I read and sometimes post here - I have learned a lot of good practices from these forums, for example, I always tie backup [i.e. stopper] knots in my rappel rope now, which I learned from these forums.

In the future, after a fall, I will ALWAYS re-check the piece(s) that I fell on before trying the move again. Thanks for the advice.


(This post was edited by thelockdude on Jun 6, 2007, 7:37 AM)


Partner the_shoe


Jun 6, 2007, 7:56 AM
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Re: [thelockdude] first lead fall [In reply to]
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I'd have to say that there probaly is no better place to take your first fall from then a small little roof section.

I took my first gear fall on a sand bagged 5.5 at Joshua Tree. The start of the 5.5 was also shared with the start of a 5.7 and I believe they shared one of the same cruxes. Which would be this 3 foot roof that was about 15 feet off the ground right above the block that detached from it. I had learned form my mentor and from the Long books to always protect well what you perceive to be the crux move of a route. The moves on this crux were kind of like the Great Roof on the nose. You traverse under the roof on fingers and reach over the roof to a fist jam and pull over. I was able to protect the traverse with two small cam placements that I equalized with a 48" sling and a sliding X, so that if I fell from any part of the traverse it would function as a belay anchor and equalize the gear on the fall. I made it through the traverse and was able to nail the first jam and place a #3 C4. It was trying to lie back the crack to gain the roof when my foot popped and I came off. First lead fall out of the way!

As I said there is no better place to fall then on a roof move, as I was hanging I got to really see how my gear and slings held and evaluate what I had done and what I would do in the future.

Props to going for it. You should find a wave of confidence will follow this fall. Just turn the confidence in to knowing when presented with a difficult move you will have the knowledge to protect it well giving you the ability to push your limit. And not the other way around.

If I can give you one bit of advice to help your chances of not falling. When you are taking a trip to climb, don't post a bunch of links here for videos of other people falling. I did and this story is what happened that same weekend. I haven't fallen since. Karma is a bitch.


(This post was edited by the_shoe on Jun 6, 2007, 7:59 AM)


zeke_sf


Jun 6, 2007, 7:56 AM
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Re: [cracklover] first lead fall [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
j_ung wrote:
thelockdude wrote:
in fact, after the first fall, knowing the cam would hold made me confident to keep trying (and falling) until i made the move.

Dan

Did you remember to re-check the cam after each fall?

At the least. I've found falling repeatedly on a piece to be a good motivation to look for a backup placement before going for it again. It's tempting to just get up and go for it, but as for a piece holding a fall, like they say in the financial industry: Past successes do not guarantee future performance.

GO

Haha, I just took my first trad whipper (BTW, congratulations to OP. I've taken many sport falls before my first trad one last weekend. Way to go). I decided to break into the 10s by climbing a 10C. I ran it out on a .5 camalot trying to pull the crux, then fell 15-20 feet. Pulled back up to the piece, rested, and then fired in a cam above that one just after I started climbing again. Pulled the roof, discovered it was still too technical for my now thoroughly pumped arms, and plummeted again. The backup piece pulled and I was staring at Mr. Purple again. I saved the pulled piece for the top of the climb instead. It was a super clean fall, and it was exciting to get in a first fall and then first pulled piece at the same time (not that I'm proud of a pulled piece--I thought it was a better placement than that).


Partner j_ung


Jun 6, 2007, 8:04 AM
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Re: [thelockdude] first lead fall [In reply to]
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thelockdude wrote:
In the future, after a fall, I will ALWAYS re-check the piece(s) that I fell on before trying the move again. Thanks for the advice.

No problemo. Congrats on your milestone. My first lead fall was also onto trad gear. And also at the Gunks. Laugh


Partner cracklover


Jun 6, 2007, 8:27 AM
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thelockdude wrote:
In the future, after a fall, I will ALWAYS re-check the piece(s) that I fell on before trying the move again. Thanks for the advice.

Smart. Sounds like you've got your head in the right place, and your description of the fall sounds about as safe as it comes, so good job!

My first trad fall was onto a suspect pin. It was 25 degrees farenheit, the sun was setting, and my right arm had gone numb to the elbow from sticking my hand in a puddle of icewater. I'd take your fall over mine any day! Oh, and I had placed a screamer on the pin, and it engaged! Who knows whether the pin would have held otherwise?

Also, as it happens, at the Gunks!

Cheers!

GO


jsh


Jun 6, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Re: [thelockdude] first lead fall [In reply to]
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thelockdude wrote:
I always tie backup [i.e. stopper] knots in my rappel rope now, which I learned from these forums.

Not that I want to start the eternal debate - but I think probably the most important rule to learn about trad climbing is that there are no rules. There is no "always" to be applied to every situation - it's more about learning (and always adding) to a bag of tricks, and making the best, situation-dependent decision you can.

For instance, I rarely tie stopper knots; but I do rap with that in mind. I might tie a stopper knot, if the rap is close to full-length. But I *never* use stopper knots when rapping in Vegas, since the rock there is legendary for its ability to catch ropes.

Kudos for keeping at making the move, though. Even though I've led a handful of 5.9's, Middle Earth's roof is a thorn in my side!


Partner hosh


Jun 6, 2007, 11:32 AM
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mojomonkey wrote:
Anybody else have any first fall stories to share?

My first lead fall was a sport fall in a gym. Nothing special. My first fall onto gear was on pitch 4 of a multi-pitch FA attempt that we got shut down on. I was route finding and coming out of a small inside corner with a #1 camalot below me. There looked like a good ledge, but it was about 6 inches out of my reach. I figured I'd just go for it so I tried the dyno. The ledge was actually not a ledge, but a small change in direction in the rock. There was nothing to grab onto and I went for a little ride. The cam held no problem. I decided to head off to the right and found a 5.11 flake and tried my way up that feature. I got about 10 feet up the flake then slipped on some lichen onto a green alien. The cam held fine (this was before the AlienGate scandal) and I ended up having to French-free the section due to heavy lichen. It was a pretty good sized fall though, maybe 15 feet? For my first gear falls, having two in row like that did certainly give me the shakes for a while, but once I realized that the gear was good, I was fine.

hosh.


thelockdude


Jun 6, 2007, 2:18 PM
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jsh wrote:
Even though I've led a handful of 5.9's, Middle Earth's roof is a thorn in my side!

How tall are you? my friend who is a bit taller than me found it quite easy.


jsh


Jun 6, 2007, 2:37 PM
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I'm 5.7, with a -2 ape index Unsure.


shimanilami


Jun 7, 2007, 9:39 AM
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evanwish wrote:
your first lead fall ever was on trad?

that's bold!

My first lead fall was on an ice screw a couple of pitches off the ground.

Dig. I went from backpacking to peak bagging to alpine climbing to ice climbing to trad climbing and then to sport climbing. I'd been "climbing" for years before I ever laid eyes on a bolt. And when I first saw a bolt, I was like, "WTF is that thing? Is it safe?" I backed it up with a cam!

Bold? Ignorant is more like it.


zionvier


Jun 7, 2007, 1:51 PM
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Re: [ja1484] first lead fall [In reply to]
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ja1484 wrote:
People should be required to climb trad for two years competently under the supervision of a properly skilled mentor before being turned loose on their style of choice, just for the good of the community in general.

I'd be glad to stop climbing sport every time if there were a grab bag of trad mentors out there to show me proper placements. Unfortunately it's just not that easy... Anyone in the Denver area looking for a pupil?


drfelatio


Jun 7, 2007, 2:08 PM
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thelockdude wrote:
Well, that's why I read and sometimes post here - I have learned a lot of good practices from these forums,

Wha, wha, wha, what?!?!?ShockedShocked

Did I read that right?

<wipes eyes>

Are you sure you learned that stuff here? You mean you weren't constantly bombarded with "STFU NoOb!!" and "Do a f**kin' search next time, noobtard!!".

Suffice it to say, I am utterly and completely shocked, but then again jt512 hasn't chimed in yet...

In all seriousness though (and to get back on-topic) congrats on the fall. I wish I would grow a pair and do the same. Oh well, it'll happen when it happens.


(This post was edited by drfelatio on Jun 7, 2007, 2:09 PM)


mottaaa


Jun 7, 2007, 2:32 PM
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People should be required to climb trad for two years competently under the supervision of a properly skilled mentor before being turned loose on their style of choice, just for the good of the community in general.

what the F?

what came first, the climber or the climbing instructor? i have nothing against the person who seeks instruction. but who the hell is anyone tell others they HAVE TO HAVE any required amount of instruction before tying into the sharp end. i suppose i should have asked you, before going on this rant, if you climb trad, and if you had 2 years of instruction? if so, thats great, but because you didn't have it in you to figure it out on your own dosen't mean the rest of us have to take the path you chose.


ja1484


Jun 7, 2007, 3:09 PM
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mottaaa wrote:

what the F?

what came first, the climber or the climbing instructor? i have nothing against the person who seeks instruction. but who the hell is anyone tell others they HAVE TO HAVE any required amount of instruction before tying into the sharp end. i suppose i should have asked you, before going on this rant, if you climb trad, and if you had 2 years of instruction? if so, thats great, but because you didn't have it in you to figure it out on your own dosen't mean the rest of us have to take the path you chose.


This, ladies and gentleman, is an example of unintentional hook, line, and sinker. Whilst I thought my post was obviously tongue in cheek enough not to be taken seriously by most of you with intact perception, and therefore not a troll, I must remember to never underestimate the exceptions to the rule. mottaaa, you win, I will never post anything good-naturedly sarcastic ever again.


Anyway, for the record regarding the two questions: Yes and more, although I did plenty of ground schooling and other self-educating along with my mentoring.


boymeetsrock


Jun 7, 2007, 3:31 PM
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I think people who use on-line names with references to drugs or alcohol should be subject to 4 years mentoring before tying in on the sharp end. And even then all non-involved people and animals should be removed from the climbing area before said druggy takes the lead.Pirate

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