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About to fall...take a hop back?
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cosmokramer


Oct 15, 2004, 11:56 AM
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About to fall...take a hop back?
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I heard two guys debating recently that if you know you are about to fall on a sport route, you should take a hop backwards off of the rock and then bend at the knees when you smack back into the wall below. The other guy said absolutely not because it is bad for the quickdraws/bolts.

Both guys were definitely more experienced than I am and a decision was never reached...anyone else know? I seem to instinctively hop back from the wall when I know I am going to fall...


alpnclmbr1


Oct 15, 2004, 12:01 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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Jumping off the rock is almost always a bad idea.

The reason is that it can lead to swinging back into the wall harder then necessary. (bending your knees when you hit is a good idea)

None of this has anything to do with wear and tear on draws or bolts.


killclimbz


Oct 15, 2004, 12:01 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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? If hopping back could significantly harm the bolts and anchors, then I would just be a trad climber. It just depends sometimes you need to get a little out from the rock or you are going to bang into stuff, sometimes you don't need to do that. Hopping back can increase the force of your swing back into the rock. You don't want to over exaggerate when you jump back. You also don't want to just slide down the face of the rock either.


t-dog
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Oct 15, 2004, 12:18 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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dude, hopping back is for sissies!!!! Real men go for the back flip when they're about to peel (watch the rope) 8^)

But seriously, there's a good balance to be had, where you don't slide down the rock face, and don't propel yourself out into space, only to be slammed back into the wall on the way back either.


alvaromp


Oct 15, 2004, 12:19 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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the basics of falling, ilustrated, let me know if it is usefull

http://climbing.com/techtips/sport/ttsport227/


jcinco


Oct 15, 2004, 12:19 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Jumping off the rock is almost always a bad idea.

The reason is that it can lead to swinging back into the wall harder then necessary. (bending your knees when you hit is a good idea)

With an experienced, good sport belayer, swinging into the rock shouldn't be a problem. On vertical to overhanging sport climbs, the belayer should have a fairly substantial loop of slack in the system. With enough slack in the system, and a small jump from the belayer when the rope comes tight (instead of sitting down to catch a fall), you will not swing into the rock in a fall. Nearly all sport climbing ankle/leg injuries are caused by tight belays which cause the faller to pendulum back into the rock.

I think it is a good idea to slightly push off the wall if you are falling, but don't jump dramatically or anything like that. Sometimes all it takes is a small protrusion from the rock to cause injury in a fall, a slight push from the wall could help eliminate that risk. Most people will do this instictively.


melbatoast


Oct 15, 2004, 12:43 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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Nearly all sport climbing ankle/leg injuries are caused by tight belays which cause the faller to pendulum back into the rock.

Is this true? My friend took a fall while I was belaying and sprained her ankle, but she didn't pendulum, she sort of slid down the face. I've often wondered if the broken/sprained ankles I've seen and heard about were the result of improper belaying. I was told that it's not the belayer's fault and that I couldn't have prevented her injury. Is there a way that the belayer can influence whether or not the leader messes up her ankles in a fall?


alpnclmbr1


Oct 15, 2004, 12:50 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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It is true for most falls on vert to overhanging rock. Not so true for slab falls.


ps. if you don't mind, fix that quote to reflect who actually said what.


killclimbz


Oct 15, 2004, 12:50 PM
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[quote="melbatoast"]
In reply to:
In reply to:
Nearly all sport climbing ankle/leg injuries are caused by tight belays which cause the faller to pendulum back into the rock.

Is this true? My friend took a fall while I was belaying and sprained her ankle, but she didn't pendulum, she sort of slid down the face. I've often wondered if the broken/sprained ankles I've seen and heard about were the result of improper belaying. I was told that it's not the belayer's fault and that I couldn't have prevented her injury. Is there a way that the belayer can influence whether or not the leader messes up her ankles in a fall?

True for the most part. There are circumstances where you might pull the rope in tighter, to avoid a ledge, that sort of stuff. Slab falls take some judgement on how you want to play the belay. Sounds like in your case it may have been unavoidable.


alpnclmbr1


Oct 15, 2004, 12:54 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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Most people will do this instictively.

I don't think it is instict most of the time. I think it is inherent in the act of losing contact with the rock.

An instinctive fall might be when someone gives up and jumps off the route.

Falling while trying to climb has a sort of spring tension that pushes you off the rock. As far as I have been able to tell anyway.


fracture


Oct 15, 2004, 1:03 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
I heard two guys debating recently that if you know you are about to fall on a sport route, you should take a hop backwards off of the rock and then bend at the knees when you smack back into the wall below. The other guy said absolutely not because it is bad for the quickdraws/bolts.

Don't jump out. It's not bad for the bolts or draws, but it's potentially bad for your ankles.

And read this.

-Jordan


melbatoast


Oct 15, 2004, 1:10 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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Thanks for the info, guys. I'll talk it over with my partner and maybe try the "jumping" belay.

And sorry for the quote within a quote mis-edit alpnclmbr, I fixed mine but now killclimbz will have to fix his, too...


jcinco


Oct 15, 2004, 1:41 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Most people will do this instictively.

I don't think it is instict most of the time. I think it is inherent in the act of losing contact with the rock.

An instinctive fall might be when someone gives up and jumps off the route.

Falling while trying to climb has a sort of spring tension that pushes you off the rock. As far as I have been able to tell anyway.

True, but it seems with most sport climbing falls, for me at least, while doing a hard move there is a moment of realization just before I pitch, that I'm not going to stick the move. In that instant, I'll instinctively push off the rock it seems. Its rare that a fall occurs completely by surprise (foot slipping, hand popping off, etc...).


socalbolter


Oct 15, 2004, 2:29 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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i wouldn't offer the following if you hadn't specified sport routes, but here you go (assuming the fall is safe):

if you feel you are about to fall - dig a little deeper and give it that one last effort. by jumping off, you're giving up.

i don't know how many times i've been on poor holds or in an uncomfortable stance and have felt the clock ticking down. usually one of two things happened. #1 - i took, only to find that the next hold was better than i thought it would be and the following sequences easy enough to climb while pumped. #2 - i went for it and was able to squeak through to the next rest.

don't short change yourself. often the difference between success on easier and harder sport routes (regardless of the grades being discussed) is being confronted with crap holds or a funky body position and being able to push through it, instead of giving up.

most of the safety in sport falling has to do with what the belayer does, not what the climber does.


socalbolter


Oct 15, 2004, 2:36 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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QUOTE:
Its rare that a fall occurs completely by surprise (foot slipping, hand popping off, etc...)



i disagree, this happens all the time. if you're truly pushing your limits and giving it your all - the falls should usually come as a surprise.

you should expect to stick the move, not realize part way through that you aren't going to succeed. that realization should always come while hanging at the end of your rope.


jcr


Oct 15, 2004, 3:24 PM
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Its not the HOPING back its the LAYING back and separating your feet from the wall, this gives you control of the, how can I say it, "verticallity" of your body, so you dont flip over. If you leave your feet on the wall for too long you WILL flip over, so take them off, making your body vertical as if you were sitting down, by pushing a little bit off the wall, but not Jumping off it.


JC


md3


Oct 15, 2004, 4:01 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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Just a reminder on the slack in the system for sport route belaying issue: Yes, having a little extra slack in the system often helps to reduce the slam into the wall factor, but there are many situations, even on vertical and overhanging routes where its dangerous. Clipping the second bolt or in situations where that little extra slack can bring the leader down onto a ledge are two obvious examples. For some reason I often see people with enough extra slack out to ground their climber if they blow the clip at the second bolt. The belayer has to be constantly attentive and active. Many sport routes are not consistently overhanging and have sections above bulges where a tighter belay is mandatory. I don't think the assertion that most ankle injuries are caused by a too tight belay is based on any statistical information. Although I still have a knee cap injury from hitting the wall with what may have been a too tight belay myself, it seems like most of the serious lower leg injuries I have seen or heard about are from people grounding or hitting ledges. Dogmatic adherence to any rule interferes with the active assessment of the actual risks in a given situation.


sharpshootr987


Oct 22, 2004, 4:00 PM
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I have found it depends on the type of fall and the wall you are climbing. I agree with what md3 and jcr said.


muncher


Oct 25, 2004, 3:18 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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Jeeze guys, the best thing to when you feel you are about to fall is to hang on a bit tighter, baredown and go for the next move. If you fall off then so what, at least you know you gave yourself a chance. It is sport climbing for fu#$ sake, the bolts are there so you can concentrate on the climbing not the consequences of falling.

socalbolter got it completely right.


jcr


Oct 25, 2004, 3:31 PM
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In reply to:
Jeeze guys, the best thing to when you feel you are about to fall is to hang on a bit tighter, baredown and go for the next move. If you fall off then so what, at least you know you gave yourself a chance. It is sport climbing for fu#$ sake, the bolts are there so you can concentrate on the climbing not the consequences of falling.

Im sorry muncher, I think youre not understanding this thread. Plenty of people have flipped over and seriously hurt themselves because they dont know how to fall. Its not a trad or sport thing (we're not even talking about fear here), its the technique of falling, which should be down solid if you dont want to hurt yourself.

JC


muncher


Oct 25, 2004, 3:54 PM
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Re: About to fall...take a hop back? [In reply to]
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Maybe, but it seems that this thread is more about the technique of jumping off sport routes. As I have stated earlier, why would you, just try and crank out another move or two and if you fall you fall. There is not much point in jumping off. Except for a a few exceptional circumstances jumping and pushing out from the rock is more likely to end in you swinging in rather hard back into the rock possibly trahsing your ankles and/or knees, I have done it myself. It can mostly be negated by a good belayer giving you enough slack and a good dynamic catch but that doesn't always happen.

So ok, I say if you are going to give up and let go then just drop off, don't push out. It has nothing to do with the bolts and everything to do with your ankles and legs.

That said, if you keep climbing until you fall then there is no decision to make.


keith_b00ne


Nov 15, 2004, 8:42 AM
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Some of the energy you are using to pull into the wall is released when you fall. Often a falling climbing is sent backwards several feet, not from jumping back, but from the energy being released. This is often more than sufficient to clear the wall during a fall. Jumping off is a very bad idea.


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