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bigfatrock


Jan 31, 2008, 6:37 AM
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Running back to catch a fall?
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I have only recently started getting into trad, so far I have only followed on a hand full of routes/pitches. I was wondering if it's safe to run backwards to catch a big fall like I do in sport climbing or would that risk pulling out the gear?

I am assuming if it's really well placed it won't be an issue, but I was thinking if there was a stopper placed that could take downward force but not outward from the rope being pulled back.

What are you guys' thoughts on that?


lofstromc


Jan 31, 2008, 6:45 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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In some NC guidebook that is recommended, and having a directional piece in like you mentioned is always a good idea.


billl7


Jan 31, 2008, 7:52 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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If you know they will otherwise deck (and if you're not tied into an anchor) then you don't have much choice but to run away. If you are not sure whether she will deck and the first piece is not a zipper stopper then you're in a pickle as a team. The ideal is for belayer and leader to be talking about these things (i.e., "you're about to lead into decking territory") and making the hard decisions before the fall occurs. In less than ideal circumstances, it is the leader who is making the choice to continue and accepting that the belayer will react to a fall the best he can.

Thinking it over like you are now is a very good start.

Bill L


fitzontherocks


Jan 31, 2008, 8:16 AM
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Re: [billl7] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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billl7 wrote:
Thinking it over like you are now is a very good start.

Bill L
You're way out of line, fella. You're supposed to ridicule and belittle him.

Seriously, you're right to think about it now. The leader should make sure that first piece is bomber multi-directionally. Of course, at a hanging belay on a multi-pitch, your ability to run back is severely limited. Another little detail for both leader and belayer to keep in mind.


jt512


Jan 31, 2008, 8:34 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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bigfatrock wrote:
I was wondering if it's safe to run backwards to catch a big fall like I do in sport climbing or would that risk pulling out the gear?

Running back to catch a fall is usually a mistake in sport climbing, as you slam your partner into the wall. You should run back only when your partner will hit the ground or an obstacle. Otherwise, you should usually let the rope pull you forward or up, or even jump a little as the rope start to become taut, in order to soften the catch. Have you broken any partner's ankles yet?

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Jan 31, 2008, 8:37 AM)


MtnLdr


Jan 31, 2008, 8:34 AM
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Re: [fitzontherocks] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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Lets say that the bottom-most pro is a non-issue. If you run backwards from the belay platform (ground), wouldn't it be the same as the leader taking a big fall simultaneously with the belayer taking a small fall, thus increasing the fall forces on the uppermost piece of pro, thereby increasing the chances of that piece failing, and the leader decking out (possibly, or at least taking a bigger fall than is necessary.) If the leader takes a big fall, and enough rope has been run out, it would make more sense to stay in place, and use a dynamic belay (let some rope out while catching the fall, thus decreasing the fall forces on both the uppermost pro, as well as the leader.)

My .02 cents


bigfatrock


Jan 31, 2008, 8:40 AM
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Re: [jt512] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
bigfatrock wrote:
I was wondering if it's safe to run backwards to catch a big fall like I do in sport climbing or would that risk pulling out the gear?

Running back to catch a fall is usually a mistake in sport climbing, as you slam your partner into the wall. You should run back only when your partner will hit the ground or an obstacle. Otherwise, you should usually let the rope pull you forward or up, or even jump a little as the rope start to become taut, in order to soften the catch. Have you broken any partner's ankles yet?

Jay

How is that a mistake? If there is potential for decking and you have room behind you to go back then why not? I have never forcefully pulled anybody into the wall. Haven't had to do it much either though.

I am also assuming this is from the ground with room to run and not from a small belay ledge.


chilli


Jan 31, 2008, 8:42 AM
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Re: [jt512] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
Running back to catch a fall is usually a mistake in sport climbing...

the OP did ref sport climbing, but i think that you two may not be talking about the same type of "sport" climbing. stone mountain for example, i don't really consider sport climbing editinsert:(as we commonly know it to be) because it's not the aggresive style (and frequently overhanging) type of bolted routes that you would worry about slamming your partner into the wall on. it DOES have bolts however (though sparse), which technically makes it sport climbing on some of the routes. and may of us NC locals lovingly refer to this dynamic belay as the "stone mountain running belay" becuase you're more worried about the nasty runout slab than slamming ankles on some overhanging typical sport climb (which stone doesn't have).

edit: (addition of insert) take a look at stone mountain pics and you'll see why we run.


(This post was edited by chilli on Jan 31, 2008, 8:45 AM)


drfelatio


Jan 31, 2008, 9:14 AM
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Re: [MtnLdr] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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MtnLdr wrote:
Lets say that the bottom-most pro is a non-issue. If you run backwards from the belay platform (ground), wouldn't it be the same as the leader taking a big fall simultaneously with the belayer taking a small fall, thus increasing the fall forces on the uppermost piece of pro, thereby increasing the chances of that piece failing, and the leader decking out (possibly, or at least taking a bigger fall than is necessary.)

Yes, running back will put more force on the uppermost piece than if you were to give a dynamic belay and there's a possibility that that piece would fail. Maybe it'll slow the leader down enough to lessen the impact some.

In reply to:
If the leader takes a big fall, and enough rope has been run out, it would make more sense to stay in place, and use a dynamic belay (let some rope out while catching the fall, thus decreasing the fall forces on both the uppermost pro, as well as the leader.)

My .02 cents

Remember, we're talking about situations where a fall will put you on the deck. So your suggestion doesn't make sense. Lot of good your dynamic belay is going to be when your leader drops to the deck. I'd rather run back and risk potentially blowing that top piece than do nothing and just let the groundfall happen.


(This post was edited by drfelatio on Jan 31, 2008, 9:15 AM)


Partner j_ung


Jan 31, 2008, 9:17 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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bigfatrock wrote:
jt512 wrote:
bigfatrock wrote:
I was wondering if it's safe to run backwards to catch a big fall like I do in sport climbing or would that risk pulling out the gear?

Running back to catch a fall is usually a mistake in sport climbing, as you slam your partner into the wall. You should run back only when your partner will hit the ground or an obstacle. Otherwise, you should usually let the rope pull you forward or up, or even jump a little as the rope start to become taut, in order to soften the catch. Have you broken any partner's ankles yet?

Jay

How is that a mistake? If there is potential for decking and you have room behind you to go back then why not? I have never forcefully pulled anybody into the wall. Haven't had to do it much either though.

I am also assuming this is from the ground with room to run and not from a small belay ledge.

Reference the sentence in jt512's response that I bolded. He already addressed your question, which I underlined.

As to your other question -- how is running back a mistake? -- taking up rope during the fall will almost always result in your climber being pulled into the wall. With enough force (which is surprisingly easy to generate), your catch will become the mechanism of injury. Ankle and wrist injuries are common in this scenario, but as you both noted, ground fall kind of supersedes that.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jan 31, 2008, 9:20 AM)


drfelatio


Jan 31, 2008, 9:17 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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bigfatrock wrote:
jt512 wrote:
bigfatrock wrote:
I was wondering if it's safe to run backwards to catch a big fall like I do in sport climbing or would that risk pulling out the gear?

Running back to catch a fall is usually a mistake in sport climbing, as you slam your partner into the wall. You should run back only when your partner will hit the ground or an obstacle. Otherwise, you should usually let the rope pull you forward or up, or even jump a little as the rope start to become taut, in order to soften the catch. Have you broken any partner's ankles yet?

Jay

How is that a mistake? If there is potential for decking and you have room behind you to go back then why not? I have never forcefully pulled anybody into the wall. Haven't had to do it much either though.

I am also assuming this is from the ground with room to run and not from a small belay ledge.

No offense, dude, but read Jay's post again.

[edit]

Curse you j_ung! You beat me to it!


(This post was edited by drfelatio on Jan 31, 2008, 9:18 AM)


reg


Jan 31, 2008, 9:21 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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another issue is that first piece. in sport it's a bolt (assume solid) in trad it's a piece of gear normally oriented for downward pull so if you back away from the wall you may pulll that piece out and possibly others above. the solution is to place a bottom piece or two for upward/outward pull to protect against zipping pieces higher up. i usually try to place pieces in opposition for multi directional protection.

edit: i am refering to multi-directional protection at ground level and in-line with the climb - not the first piece.
surely solid MDP every so often can't hurt and in some cases - a must.


(This post was edited by reg on Feb 1, 2008, 5:07 AM)


unrooted


Jan 31, 2008, 9:25 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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bigfatrock wrote:
jt512 wrote:
bigfatrock wrote:
I was wondering if it's safe to run backwards to catch a big fall like I do in sport climbing or would that risk pulling out the gear?

Running back to catch a fall is usually a mistake in sport climbing, as you slam your partner into the wall. You should run back only when your partner will hit the ground or an obstacle. Otherwise, you should usually let the rope pull you forward or up, or even jump a little as the rope start to become taut, in order to soften the catch. Have you broken any partner's ankles yet?

Jay

How is that a mistake? If there is potential for decking and you have room behind you to go back then why not? I have never forcefully pulled anybody into the wall. Haven't had to do it much either though.

I am also assuming this is from the ground with room to run and not from a small belay ledge.

I think it is essential to remember that J52 feels compelled to belittle every OP, even if he doesn’t read or understand the question. He is an engineer so he knows all.


Partner j_ung


Jan 31, 2008, 9:26 AM
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Re: [lofstromc] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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lofstromc wrote:
In some NC guidebook that is recommended, and having a directional piece in like you mentioned is always a good idea.

More than just a good idea. It's actually an integral part of the running belay. Part of the set up includes redirecting the rope through an anchor point at the base of the route, such as a downed tree or talus chunk. I once saw a guy get caught at the first bolt by the running belay, but they didn't know to redirect the rope. As the climber slid past the bolt, the rope, which by then was diagonal to the cliff, caught him under the leg and flipped him upside down.


Partner j_ung


Jan 31, 2008, 9:28 AM
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Re: [chilli] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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chilli wrote:
and may of us NC locals lovingly refer to this dynamic belay as the "stone mountain running belay" becuase you're more worried about the nasty runout slab than slamming ankles on some overhanging typical sport climb (which stone doesn't have).

Actually, chilli, it's called the running belay, because the belayer literally runs away from the wall to remove slack from the system.


Partner j_ung


Jan 31, 2008, 9:30 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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bigfatrock wrote:
I was wondering if it's safe to run backwards to catch a big fall like I do in sport climbing or would that risk pulling out the gear?

I'm not going to say it's always a bad idea, but you better be damn sure it's set up for a running belay or that the first piece IS going to take the upward pull. Otherwise (and unless you're certain ground fall is imminent), IMO, it's probably best to stand pat and let the chips fall where they may.


(This post was edited by j_ung on Jan 31, 2008, 9:34 AM)


Partner j_ung


Jan 31, 2008, 9:32 AM
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Re: [drfelatio] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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drfelatio wrote:
Curse you j_ung! You beat me to it!

Bwah-ha. Tongue


kyote321


Jan 31, 2008, 9:36 AM
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running backwards in a sport fall is a very bad idea. generally, you go WITH the climber to soften the fall. i have tweeked my ankles from being belayed by tradies. beware fo the trad belay whilst sportin'!


Partner j_ung


Jan 31, 2008, 9:40 AM
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Re: [kyote321] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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kyote321 wrote:
running backwards in a sport fall is a very bad idea. generally, you go WITH the climber to soften the fall. i have tweeked my ankles from being belayed by tradies. beware fo the trad belay whilst sportin'!

Trad belay? Personally, except as described above, I think it's a pretty terrible idea to do that while belaying the average trad climber, too.


yokese


Jan 31, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Re: [bigfatrock] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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Well, I think that the question has already been properly answered by others. I'll just provide a link to one of those situations in which a running belay is the way to go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phAQIvkTU0c between 6:00-7:00

Edited: wrong link Crazy


(This post was edited by yokese on Jan 31, 2008, 10:25 AM)


patmay81


Jan 31, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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i have seen several guys at smith catch the rope with a leg or arm on the way down, resulting not only in a flip but also some sweet looking rope burns/bruises.


chilli


Jan 31, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
chilli wrote:
and may of us NC locals lovingly refer to this dynamic belay as the "stone mountain running belay" becuase you're more worried about the nasty runout slab than slamming ankles on some overhanging typical sport climb (which stone doesn't have).

Actually, chilli, it's called the running belay, because the belayer literally runs away from the wall to remove slack from the system.

yeah i'm well aware of that. i'm quite familiar with it, and have used it. i looked at my post again and i can EASILY see how it could be misunderstood. sorry about the lack of clarity. i didn't mean running belay because of runout. i meant that it's a running belay because you're worried about your climber falling quite a ways on slab runout, so to counter, you run to take up slack.
my apologies for the screwy sentence structureCrazy. thanks for pointing it out


chilli


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Re: [kyote321] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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i don't know why, but i'm getting kind of frustrated by everyone continuing to say that it's a sin to run backwards when belaying to catch a fall on a sport route. there ARE SOME conditions under which (stone mountain example) you will want to run away to pull slack from the system fast. note that this is NOT in those overhanging or even vertical routes (which most sport climbing is) because those will cause a nasty swing into the wall if your belayer makes a dash for it (Laugh-mental image).
those are the kinds of routes everyone thinks of when they think sport, but there are other bolted routes (thus technically making them "sport") in which the conditions mandate running away (mind you not back-peddling, but a solid run) from the rock to keep your partner from tumbling too far (once again stone mountain PERFECT example).
ok i'm getting repetative and a little redundant at this point.

edit - addition: it's important to keep in mind that the previous mention (from another poster) of redirection with some kind of anchor capable of handling the outward pull is important if doing a running belay (ESP on a trad route). though not as dire on sport climbs of stone mountain slab.


(This post was edited by chilli on Jan 31, 2008, 1:08 PM)


csproul


Jan 31, 2008, 1:31 PM
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Re: [chilli] Running back to catch a fall? [In reply to]
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chilli wrote:
i don't know why, but i'm getting kind of frustrated by everyone continuing to say that it's a sin to run backwards when belaying to catch a fall on a sport route. there ARE SOME conditions under which (stone mountain example)
Many people don't really consider Stone Mtn to be sport climbing. Just because it is bolted doesn't make it sport.


(This post was edited by csproul on Jan 31, 2008, 1:36 PM)


caughtinside


Jan 31, 2008, 1:48 PM
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csproul wrote:
chilli wrote:
i don't know why, but i'm getting kind of frustrated by everyone continuing to say that it's a sin to run backwards when belaying to catch a fall on a sport route. there ARE SOME conditions under which (stone mountain example)
Many people don't really consider Stone Mtn to be sport climbing. Just because it is bolted doesn't make it sport.

Bingo. A 150' pitch with 4 or 5 bolts is not, and never has been, a sport climb.

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