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What piece didn't catch your fall (and why)...?
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healyje


Dec 28, 2004, 12:15 AM
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What piece didn't catch your fall (and why)...?
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The counter question...

Had a #2 (yellow) Metolius FCU pull on an FA out at Beacon this fall. It should have been a #3, but I placed it semi-blind at waist height in kind of a peculiar stance. It was fortunately backed up by a Red/Yellow Offset Alien - only took about a 20 footer. The best part was I landed against a three inch mat of moss - sweet...


hex


Dec 28, 2004, 3:25 AM
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What piece didn't catch your fall (and why)...?


the smallest dmm micro didn't... well at least the second time :)

This was on a pretty thin E3, placed the micro knowing it was crap, only just more than half in... first fall i was beside it so only fell like 1/2metre and it held... i was like wow that should have come out... anyway kept climbing, micro now below feet. Slowly started to slide off a damp sloper and away i went felt a small jerk as the micro came out but was caught by a decent nut about another metre and a half below it :D


toddtar


Dec 28, 2004, 4:47 AM
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A number 2 TCU and decked from about 20 feet. Hurt my pride more than anything else, but I was very lucky!! It failed because it was a bad placement, all my fault. Nothing like planning a day on the rock and after 5 minutes start limping back down the trail.


Partner j_ung


Dec 28, 2004, 6:22 AM
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I've never had a piece fail in a fall, but I've seen a few stoppers lift out from rope drag and a few cams walk into microcaverns and open wide. :shock: But every piece I've ever fallen onto has held.


glyrocks


Dec 28, 2004, 7:56 AM
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smaller alien, don't recall size. it was a shallow placement, my fault of course.


loren


Dec 28, 2004, 8:00 AM
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#0 Metolius FCU - bad placement.

Micro nut - bad Rock.


kyhangdog


Dec 28, 2004, 8:11 AM
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slung chockstone... my fault.


edge


Dec 28, 2004, 8:45 AM
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I was doing a climb called Jack the Ripper, a 5.11b trad route on Cathedral Ledge in NH. It was July 4th (1984, I think?), so it was horribly humid in the NorthEast.

The second pitch of the route started out as a thin, overhanging crack that involved liebacking and tips for 12 feet before kicking back to vertical as the crack started widening. About 4 feet above the belay anchors was a fixed pin, and after that most people would hang out on crummy holds and fiddle with a small wired stopper. The beta I received was to forego the stopper and run it out, thus saving my strength to complete the moves. Once I got to the vertical section with hand jams, there was supposed to be no way for me to fall out. Notice that I said "supposed."

I started up, clipped the pin, then fired through the crux. The moves were very hard, and with the humidity I started to sweat like a pig. I finally got to the lip of the slight overhang, and made a few moves so that my feet were above it and the crack had widened to thin hands. I was now 10 feet above the pin, and my hands were greasing big time. Three or four more moves would get me to bomber fist jams, but would put me that much further above my last gear; I decided that I needed to get something in.

As my right hand started to slowly slip from the crack, I grabbed a #2 Friend from my rack and went to place it. Damn, I needed a 1 1/2, as only two cams were able to fit in. In desperation I clipped the rope to the cam and thought, "I hope this holds..." Seconds later I found out the truth.

As I plummeted past the cam, I saw it ping out right in front of my eyes. I went on a 25 foot whipper, ending up below the belay and catching my left foot on a small slab. Since I outweighed my belayer by a good 50 pounds, I had also lifted him 5 feet to where the anchors caught him. My foot hurt, so I was lowered to the ground and my belayer cleaned the gear and rapped off of the belay.

After driving home, and about 8 hours later, I was taken to the Emergency Room and treated for a shattered heel and hyperextended tendon. I was told that I would be on crutches for 6 weeks, and unable to climb for 4 months, but I had plans to go to Yosemite in 2 months.

I ditched the crutches after a week, as I could walk on the ball of my foot as long as the heel didn't hit the ground. I climbed again in 2 weeks, beginning with a 5.11 slab route. I went to Yosemite on schedule, and stayed for 6 weeks, climbing El Cap and several long free routes. It only hurt on the approaches and descents.

That is the only piece that has ever blown on me, other than a few lower down in the system that had been set to hold falls as they were placed, and were eventually subjected to different directions of force once they became unnessesary.


bill413


Dec 28, 2004, 9:43 AM
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Well, I'm not sure if this counts, because the piece held the fall.....

I was at Skytop, had placed a 3cam unit in a vertical crack. I fell a few feet onto it. Tried the move again, with the same result. So, I was being lowered down from the climb when the piece pulled out, dropping me onto the talus below.

In retrospect, I figured that the fall had caused the cam to move out near the edge of the crack. I should have checked it after falling onto it.

Ouch.

(Obviously, this was a while back)


dingus


Dec 28, 2004, 9:49 AM
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#4 hb brass offset. It didn't catch me because I didn't place it. Seemed unnecessary.

Shortly thereafter I got off route and fell. The additional runnout was sufficient for me to hit a ledge.

Score one badly broken ankle for the piece I didn't place.

That's about 1 year of lost climbing time, a big impact at work and lots of $ out of pocket for deductibles, etc... vs. a 7 $ nut.

The gear is paid for, ya know?

DMT


dirtineye


Dec 28, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Nut, Bad placement, failed after the first piece, tricam, also a poor placement failed under body weight.

The tricam point was too close to the edge of the rock, and popped off a little flake and came out. THe nut was just in a stupid spot that looked good but wasn't. What was once a constriction is now a flair haha. There was another piece between the two that I was trying to make better when the first one failed, but since I had the gear in my hand and was pawing through a disorganized rack with the other hand, after messing with different pieces for a while, wiht both hands off the rock and hanging on the rope in a fit if exasperation, I was rather unprepared for the fall. To make matters worse, I KNEW The tricam was bad, but it held long enough that I was ignoring it trying to rummage up a better piece right below it. I even said out loud to my belayer, "You wouldn't believe how bad this thing is, I can't believe it is holding."

This left me sitting on the ground feeling very lucky.

I made about 5 mistakes and and had a little bad luck as well to create this incident, it was pretty shameful, and I've tried not to be so stupid ever since.

had a yellow zero pull out under a roof, body weight only, once but I saw it coming and got away clean. It was just not a good spot for that piece. Kinda gritty, hard to reach, irregular, don't know what would go there and stay.

Had a number 1 or 2 BD nut pull out of a wet sandy marginal placement, under body weight, knew it was coming, only went about two feet on to a big magic tricam palcement. Was just about to step up off it to get a better placement when it popped. we were projecting this stupid 5.12 overhanging dihedral with weird pro, and I was trying to make it thruogh the poorest section pro wise to get a good pice and go for a pink point haha. Never got the pink point, well not yet, anyway.

None of these failed in a lead climbing falling off situation, all that gear has been good. I learned a long time ago not to pull hard (or any) moves with bad fall potential over shyte gear, but still you gotta watch out for those shyte time bomb placmenets, yes you do.


jt512


Dec 28, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Red Alien in an apparently perfect placement in a parallel sandstone crack. The fall was maybe 20 feet. I had contemplated backcleaning behind it. Good thing I didn't. The cams were a bit sticky on that piece; I've always wondered if that contributed to its tracking out.

-Jay


irockclimbtoo


Dec 28, 2004, 7:32 PM
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ab


braaaaaaaadley


Dec 28, 2004, 7:55 PM
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Im seeing some trends here:
a) Many pieces fail b/c people suck at placing them
b) Many pieces fail b/c people failed to place them in the first place
c) Some pieces failed due to poor rock
d) No gear has actually broken due to stress... well at least no one useing defective gear is alive to tell the tale

Therefore, it seems that climbers can become safer by forgetting about the debate b/t the 10/12kn strength ratings on cams, by learning to place pro well, and by placeing as much quality pro as possible. Of course the safest way to protect yourself is fall abstanence (if you dont fall, you dont get hurt :D )

Just my observations...continue with the stories boys (and girls :) )


jt512


Dec 28, 2004, 8:15 PM
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In reply to:
Of course the safest way to protect yourself is fall abstanence (if you dont fall, you dont get hurt :D )

Yeah, the leader must never fall. *yawn*

-Jay


dirtineye


Dec 28, 2004, 8:35 PM
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In reply to:
Im seeing some trends here:
a) Many pieces fail b/c people suck at placing them
b) Many pieces fail b/c people failed to place them in the first place
c) Some pieces failed due to poor rock
d) No gear has actually broken due to stress... well at least no one useing defective gear is alive to tell the tale

Therefore, it seems that climbers can become safer by forgetting about the debate b/t the 10/12kn strength ratings on cams, by learning to place pro well, and by placeing as much quality pro as possible. Of course the safest way to protect yourself is fall abstanence (if you dont fall, you dont get hurt :D )

Just my observations...continue with the stories boys (and girls :) )

well sure if you ask people to tell about falls where gear didn't hold what do you think you are going to hear?

You can't really say someone sucks at placing gear when they have only had a placement fail a few times in all their climbing and falling.

IF someone had a large percentage of their placements fail, THEN you could say they suck at placing gear.

Here's another hint: When the gear gets thin to non-exixtent, you'll take what you can get and like it. Sometimes you have a choice of a) trying the crap placement, b) back down, c) run it out to a good placement, and nothing else. If you have the stance or the juice to make the placement you make it as best you can. But you are not perfect. Sooner or later you will place something that will fail WHEN you fall on it, unless you climb like nervous nellie and never really risk anything at all.


chuckd278


Dec 28, 2004, 8:38 PM
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3.5 and 4 camalot. Why bad rock. I was onsighting a new route and ran into about 20 feet of bad rock. My 3.5 was in at the start and my 4 was in at the middle of the bad rock section. The crack was also flared. At the top my foot blew and I went flying. Ididn't go back but sideways off the route which pulled the cams sideways. I thought that I just placed them weak, but after a friend onsighted the route he said that where my cams blew there was missing rock. This also explains why my belayer said I kicked rocks on him when I fell. O well lesson learned.

Chuck


iamthewallress


Dec 28, 2004, 8:40 PM
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Aliens in pin scars, two in a row. Reason for placement: wishful thinking. Reason for failure: cam opens in same direction as the flare of the scars. Offset HB's were bomber on the same route.


cjstudent


Dec 28, 2004, 8:58 PM
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Eeek. Puprle camalot behind a flake...it was all i had. took a dive, busted out and a red tri-cam caught me after a 30ish foot fall.

that was my only long fall, all other trad falls, the gear has held.


healyje


Dec 28, 2004, 10:21 PM
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In reply to:
Im seeing some trends here:
a) Many pieces fail b/c people suck at placing them.

Bradley,

This is definitely NOT a conclusion anyone should arrive at from the examples in this thread. I started the thread because I thought it would as useful or possibly even more useful to hear placements that blew than about placements that held. I also have read numerous threads about fear of falling, and people learning to trad lead, hanging vs. falling, and about a lot of folks who apparently trad lead but never fall on their gear.

Falling and the rare blown piece are a normal part of the gig, folks. If you're not actually falling on your gear and have never had a piece blow then either you probably aren't pushing yourself enough or you still have a lot of learning to do (not that every new route doesn't have something to teach us all). So, again, keep in mind (hopefully without a lot of judgement) that falling, falling on your gear, and the odd occasional blown piece are all normal experiences in a [trad] climber's life and to be expected if you are really climbing anywhere near your limits.

In my case, I'm actually very good at pro, but over the course of thirty years I've had dozens of pieces blow for a variety of reasons, albiet most were knowingly marginal to begin with or in known marginal rock. But every now and then [even] I :wink: blow a call and either: a) place an inappropriate size/shape/type piece (rarely); b) incompletely place a piece (very rarely); c) just slam it in without looking/thinking about/studying the placement (almost never); or d) place a piece more or less blindly (highly undesireable) due to extenuating circumstances [I probably shouldn't have been in or couldn't otherwise avoid and do the route] (occasionally).

[Note, however, that a line of pro zippering (more than a couple of pieces) is another gig all together; it should never happen - ever - unless you've ventured into A3+/C3+ Aid climbing and screwed up or farted at the wrong time.]


Partner holdplease2


Dec 29, 2004, 12:43 AM
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"...unless you've ventured into A3+/C3+ Aid climbing and screwed up or farted at the wrong time."

Amazingly, I doubt a hard line has ever been sent without at least one can of Stag Chili in the pig...

-Kate.


healyje


Dec 29, 2004, 12:58 AM
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In reply to:
"...unless you've ventured into A3+/C3+ Aid climbing and screwed up or farted at the wrong time."

Amazingly, I doubt a hard line has ever been sent without at least one can of Stag Chili in the pig...

-Kate.

Kate,

How indelicate! But you perform a valuable community service here pointing out a very dangerous piece of gear to be avoided on hard aid lines. Zipping a line is bad enough, but cleaning that stuff out of your drawers (or panties [and so much for that thong discussion...]) afterwards is really starting to impose on your partner if you aren't soloing the route. If you buy the Stag, be sure to get a container of baby wipes while you're at it...


swede


Dec 29, 2004, 2:31 AM
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Yellow Alien in my first year. Shallow, a little bit flared, only three of the cams in contact with the rock, pointing in the wrong direction (that is 45 degrees up instead of down). A schoolbook example of that is not supposed to hold. Knowing a bomber green Camalot being below I decided to continue climb up above the yellow Alien and see if I could find another placement further up. Realizing there was nothing above the Alien, I decided to downclimb and fell. Ended up so close to the ground that I could just put my toes down. I did learn that route names sometimes tell you important stuff – the route name was Desperado.

0.1 Camalot in a mossy parallel crack as the first piece. Should have been a piece I did not have - 0.2 Camalot or blue Alien. It didnīt like me testing violently if it would hold, so I ended up six feet lower on the ground. I should have thought more about rocks below before I tested the piece thoroughly and asked for my wife to spot me, but I managed to land my feet on the rocks below (not in between).


michaeld16


Dec 29, 2004, 2:47 AM
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ive only fallen once, and that was on the first crack i ever did...it was wet...the yellow #2 camalot was bombproof and it held like glue when i fell...so uhh, sorry i cant contribute hehe, im a newb


areyoumydude


Dec 29, 2004, 11:32 AM
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While soloing the Finger of Fate on the Titan I pulled a red\yellow alien on the second pitch. The #7 HB nut below it ripped right through the crack. A 2" tied off bong below the nut ripped out of a shallow hole. The big grey alien in another shallow hole ripped out. I was caught by an original star-drive bolt on a homemade hanger that was clove-hitched with the hanger turned up for an upward pull. This left me 20' below the anchor. I guess those star-drives aren't that bad.

Reason the pieces pulled? They sucked!

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