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


Jan 1, 2005, 5:53 PM
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an old rusty piton about 8 pitches up the DNB (Yosemite)...because i fell on it. pulled out a chunk of rock too -


healyje


Jan 1, 2005, 6:36 PM
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petsfed,

From all your posts I think it's pretty clear that you need a bunch more yardage seconding some good leaders. A person should ideally second multiple good leaders long enough to see different placement styles in most of the common placements you'll run across in the areas near you and also see differing responses to unusal and sketchy placements.

The cirmcumstances and details of the fall as you describe them - overall risk position, off-route, unbalanced stance, bad placement, yanking on the pro, etc. - all sound basically like they were due to inexperience (it also sounds like maybe it may have been a better spot for a nut then cam or for an offset Alien). I'd yet again strongly encourage you to find an experienced leader to follow as you clearly have the drive, desire, and willingness to put it out there on the sharp end of a rope...


dirtineye


Jan 1, 2005, 7:41 PM
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In reply to:

Actually, I have a degree in post-seconday (adult) education, have been teaching people to lead for the best part of thirty years, have done more than a few FA's and FFA's, and have way over a thousand roped solo leads under my belt. I feel quite confident in both my qualifications and experience to make all the above statements.

Wow, all that training, all that experinece and you still can totally miss the point. I'm stunned. I'll be sure and refer the AMGA guides who use the top rope backup method to protect their students, not their own asses, to you so you can set them straight.

Pound your chest some more, it will make you feel better when someone in doubt of thier ability follows your stupid advice to ignore a simple and temporary safety precaution that could have prevented an accident.

BTW what you wrote above the short quote was so badly mistaken I didn't want to repeat it. IT is totally your opinion, not based in fact. You sahe the same misconceptions about praticing leading that many people share about falling practice. You are a dinosaur. There are new, better safer ways. Really.


petsfed


Jan 1, 2005, 7:46 PM
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petsfed,

From all your posts I think it's pretty clear that you need a bunch more yardage seconding some good leaders. A person should ideally second multiple good leaders long enough to see different placement styles in most of the common placements you'll run across in the areas near you and also see differing responses to unusal and sketchy placements.

Thanks dude. The fall was three years ago. I've learned a bit since then, not the least of which is that the place I wanted to place pro wouldn't have taken anything, offset or otherwise. In retrospect, the shear number of errors that led to that situation is, in a word, staggering. However, I am curious as to which of my other posts leads you to believe that I am so inexperienced. I have had three pieces fail under load in my climbing career. The other two were directionals for a top rope and were cams that walked out of position. The obvious solution, of course would be to sling them longer. However, their location in regards to the route meant that if I had slung either one longer, all application as a directional would be lost.

Likewise, I've had a few pieces fall out and I can describe each one with the same clarity that I had above. Do you know why? Because each one was a lesson learned and each one was a lesson learned easier that it might have been.


healyje


Jan 1, 2005, 11:58 PM
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petsfed,

From all your posts I think it's pretty clear that you need a bunch more yardage seconding some good leaders. A person should ideally second multiple good leaders long enough to see different placement styles in most of the common placements you'll run across in the areas near you and also see differing responses to unusal and sketchy placements.

However, I am curious as to which of my other posts leads you to believe that I am so inexperienced.

petsfed, sorry - momentarily got my posters confused (you and Bradley), thought your's was a current/recent fall.

In reply to:
Likewise, I've had a few pieces fall out and I can describe each one with the same clarity that I had above. Do you know why? Because each one was a lesson learned and each one was a lesson learned easier that it might have been.

Glad to hear it, anyone that isn't vividly learning from their mistakes should take up another activity entirely...

[P.S. When I hear stories like yours I'd give anything to see a picture of the actual placement (or non-placement from what you tell).]


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 12:20 AM
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Wow, all that training, all that experinece and you still can totally miss the point. I'm stunned. .

dirtineye, I completely "get the point", I just completely disagree with it...

In reply to:
I'll be sure and refer the AMGA guides who use the top rope backup method to protect their students, not their own asses, to you so you can set them straight.

Dude, I've been climbing and teaching leading longer than the AMGA has been in existence collecting cash and doling out paper. There is nothing particularly holier than thou about the AMGA (other than a lot cash changes hands and you have to know someone apparently to get on the fast track with them). And anytime money changes hands in a learning situation all bets are off and priorities shift - some implicitly, some explicitly. TRs on leads is a perfect example - the fact that they do it doesn't make it anything other than a smart business business decision.

In reply to:
Pound your chest some more, it will make you feel better when someone in doubt of thier ability follows your stupid advice to ignore a simple and temporary safety precaution that could have prevented an accident.

Actually, I'm not "pounding my chest", you question where I'm coming from (actually I believe it was more of an insult) and I simply laid out my background and experience as the basis for making the statements I have. Again, "temporary safety precaution" is an oxymoron for anyone faced with truly learning to come to terms with the reality of leading and trusting their pro.

In reply to:
BTW what you wrote above the short quote was so badly mistaken I didn't want to repeat it. IT is totally your opinion, not based in fact. You sahe the same misconceptions about praticing leading that many people share about falling practice. You are a dinosaur. There are new, better safer ways. Really.

There are newer ways, there are safer ways - they are also bred of commercialism, risk management, and are done for the teacher, not the taught; they are also utterly misguided beyond that context as it would seem you are as well.


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 3:07 AM
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Wow, all that training, all that experinece and you still can totally miss the point. I'm stunned. .

Actually dirtineye, I completely "get the point", I also just completely disagree with it...

In reply to:
I'll be sure and refer the AMGA guides who use the top rope backup method to protect their students, not their own asses, to you so you can set them straight.

Dude, I've been climbing and teaching leading longer than the AMGA has been in existence collecting cash and doling out paper. There is nothing particularly holier than thou about the AMGA (other than a lot cash changes hands and you apparently have to know someone to get on the fast track with them). And anytime money changes hands in a learning situation all bets are off and priorities shift - some implicitly, some explicitly. TRs on leads is a perfect example - the fact that they do it doesn't make it anything other than smart business decision.

In reply to:
Pound your chest some more, it will make you feel better when someone in doubt of thier ability follows your stupid advice to ignore a simple and temporary safety precaution that could have prevented an accident.

Actually, I'm not "pounding my chest", you question where I'm coming from (actually I believe it was more of an insult) and I simply laid out my background and experience as the basis for making the statements I have. Again, "temporary safety precaution" is an oxymoron for anyone learning to come to terms with the reality of leading and trusting their pro.

In reply to:
BTW what you wrote above the short quote was so badly mistaken I didn't want to repeat it. IT is totally your opinion, not based in fact. You sahe the same misconceptions about praticing leading that many people share about falling practice. You are a dinosaur. There are new, better safer ways. Really.

There are newer ways, there are safer ways - they are also bred of commercialism, risk management, and are done for the teacher, not the taught; beyond a sound business practice they are also utterly misguided as it would seem you are as well.


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 3:25 AM
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Wow, all that training, all that experinece and you still can totally miss the point. I'm stunned. .

dirtineye - oh, I completely "get the point", I just vehemently disagree with it...

In reply to:
I'll be sure and refer the AMGA guides who use the top rope backup method to protect their students, not their own asses, to you so you can set them straight.

Dude, I've been climbing and teaching leading longer than the AMGA has been in existence collecting cash and doling out paper. While generally competent, there is nothing particularly holier than thou about the AMGA (other than a lot cash changes hands and you apparently have to know someone to get on the fast track with them). And anytime money changes hands in a learning situation all bets are off and priorities shift - some implicitly, some explicitly. TRs on leads is a perfect example - the fact that they do it doesn't make it anything other than a smart business business decision.

In reply to:
Pound your chest some more, it will make you feel better when someone in doubt of thier ability follows your stupid advice to ignore a simple and temporary safety precaution that could have prevented an accident.

Actually, I'm not "pounding my chest", you question where I'm coming from (in fact, I believe it was more of an insult) and I simply laid out my background and experience as the basis for making the statements I have. Again, "temporary safety precaution" is an oxymoron for anyone faced with truly learning to come to terms with the reality of leading and trusting their pro.

In reply to:
BTW what you wrote above the short quote was so badly mistaken I didn't want to repeat it. IT is totally your opinion, not based in fact. You sahe the same misconceptions about praticing leading that many people share about falling practice. You are a dinosaur. There are new, better safer ways. Really.

There are newer ways, there are safer ways - they are also bred of commercialism, risk management, and are done for the teacher, not the taught; they are also utterly misguided beyond that context as it would seem you are as well. This isn't rocket science or particle physics and no "modern" or "safer" techniques exist beyond your risk averse imagination that will ever surplant simple common sense, stepping up to the plate of self responsibility, and a modicom of courage.


dredsovrn


Jan 2, 2005, 8:34 AM
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This may not count. I didn't fall on the piece, but it would not have held a piece of dust landing on it. It was my first limestone experience on really lousy rock. It was glassy and sharp, and the only place to put gear was in this fluted crack/tube. About 40' up (halfway) I placed another cam (#3 Camalot). When I pulled on it, it slid down about 18" and sort of caught on a shard. That's what the last two did. At that point I gave up and climbed to the top with the thought, "this is one of those times when falling is not an option." But if I had fallen, it would have been a #3 Camalot that would have failed, followed by a #2, and then a #7 FCU. No fault of the equipment of course.


Partner cracklover


Jan 2, 2005, 9:13 AM
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has anyone ever had a piece fail because it broke? im just curious because many people are cautious about the strength ratings on their gear, but i havnt heard of many pieces failing structuraly.

In reply to:
I suppose that the people with the best gear-popping stories are probably not around to tell their stories.

Yup, ask Goran Kropp about his cams that failed.

Fall hard enough and the lobes of any cam will squish, and then the cam will track out of a parallel crack. There's lots of pics of cams that have failed due to deformation of the lobes on the web. Search and ye shall find.

GO


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 1:26 PM
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This may not count. I didn't fall on the piece, but it would not have held a piece of dust landing on it. It was my first limestone experience on really lousy rock. It was glassy and sharp, and the only place to put gear was in this fluted crack/tube.

dredsovrn, where was this limestone? Was it pocketed as well? Limestone can be pretty tough to protect sometimes...


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 1:30 PM
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Fall hard enough and the lobes of any cam will squish, and then the cam will track out of a parallel crack. There's lots of pics of cams that have failed due to deformation of the lobes on the web. Search and ye shall find.

Has anyone here had a "properly" or well placed cam break? I've seen blown stop pins/blocks - but the pieces were a bit too small for the placement. I would assume that to blow a cam in a good placement would require a high KN fall and would love to hear any such detailed [technical] accounts of both the fall and the circumstance.


Partner cracklover


Jan 2, 2005, 3:14 PM
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As far as I can tell, the jury is still out on "mock leading" (which is *exactly* what you're talking about, even if dirt doesn't like to call it that).

I don't believe it helps, but I'm also not yet sure it hurts.

I could go into the subject further, but it's way off topic. Let's take it to another thread, (click here) and let this one get back on topic.

To the original question: fallen a few times in three seasons of leading trad, but never had a piece pull - sorry.

GO


kman


Jan 2, 2005, 5:26 PM
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Alright you two...stop arguing personal opinions and agree to disagree. Top rope "mock" leading certainly can't hurt. At the same time it won't help you develop your lead head. You can always develop your lead head after getting some gear placement skills though so...


petsfed


Jan 2, 2005, 5:52 PM
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Fall hard enough and the lobes of any cam will squish, and then the cam will track out of a parallel crack. There's lots of pics of cams that have failed due to deformation of the lobes on the web. Search and ye shall find.

Has anyone here had a "properly" or well placed cam break? I've seen blown stop pins/blocks - but the pieces were a bit too small for the placement. I would assume that to blow a cam in a good placement would require a high KN fall and would love to hear any such detailed [technical] accounts of both the fall and the circumstance.

I've seen the damage that occurs to a well placed alien in over polished rock. Does that count? Seriously, this was a textbook placement, in granite, very short fall on it and it blew out with some interesting scars on the lobes. Less deformed than scratched, but still. The placement was too polished so there wasn't enough friction to make it stick.


lonequail


Jan 2, 2005, 6:36 PM
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Ripped two blue Aliens in moderately soft sandstone when face hold blew out and I flew backwards. Both placements were good and as tight as possible. The rock failed by spalling. Held by bolt and was not injured thanks in part to n aattentive belayer, but not far enough off the deck for my comfort or feeling of security. Problem was that the rock was too soft for the small cams and there was too little travel to get enough purchase.

LQ


healyje


Jan 2, 2005, 8:14 PM
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The placement was too polished so there wasn't enough friction to make it stick.

I was just climbing with a friend who was out visiting from Devil's Lake, WI and he made the comment cams didn't necessarily work great there for exactly that reason - the rock is so polished that cams can just slide out at times. Anyone else from DL had that experience?


dirtineye


Jan 2, 2005, 9:35 PM
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Alright you two...stop arguing personal opinions and agree to disagree. Top rope "mock" leading certainly can't hurt. At the same time it won't help you develop your lead head. You can always develop your lead head after getting some gear placement skills though so...

You don't get it either.

it is not mock leading, it is falling on gear to see if you can place it worth a damn and doing so safely.

This will not scar you for life.

It will keep you in one piece if you suck at placing gear, and then you can go back to gear school adn get it right.


OOps, time for a rant....

[RANT]
LEAD HEAD? don't even talk to me about 'lead head'.

You want 'lead head', if y ucan find it, go climb a route in NC called "Bob Rotert ant the chossy mountain boys". Get up that and tell me about 'lead head'.

Gee, I've tested placements with a top rope backup, I must not have a "lead head'. Or worse, it destroyed my 'lead head'!!!!

MORONIC!!!

Go do onsight free soloing in remote areas and or on stuff that has never or has rarely ever been climbed, Sometimes in trail shoes and then talk about 'lead head'.

Lead wet climbs in the dark in trail shoes and talk to me about 'lead head'.

Oh, But testing a few pieces with a top rope backup will spoil everything! Yeah right.

My personal view on 'lead head' is that there is no such thing. I don't have one. It does not compute. I am far to busy thinking about all the little things that help me make progress up the rock and stay on the rock to worry about stupid stuff.

Kman, I'm not directing this at you, I'm just sick of hearing about lead head. Everyone worries about their 'lead head'. I've always tried to approach it like this: Work out how you will best protect your climb and how you will best get up the rock, do those things, and forget about developiing a lead head.

[/RANT]


kman


Jan 2, 2005, 10:36 PM
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it is falling on gear to see if you can place it worth a damn and doing so safely.

This will not scar you for life.

Seems like I missed that point......I agree with you then.


healyje


Jan 3, 2005, 1:55 AM
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it is falling on gear to see if you can place it worth a damn and doing so safely.

I think this is the heart of the disagreement. We're talking about two entirely different things here: 1) There is falling on gear to develop trust in good pro; and 2) falling on gear to test placements that may or may not be good.

You should be doing #1 if you can actually place pro competently but you simply haven't gotten to the point of trusting it - and as a result you don't push your limits (i.e. trad lead way below your sport leads). Only do this test if you can place pro compentently and then, by all means, fly away and get used to falling on your pro. Do this off the deck, on a slightly overhanginf section of a route and do it above a bunch of solid pieces - double up the last and next to last pieces if you feel the need. Again - this is practice for learning to trust pro that is placed competently. No top rope is necessary and is totally counter productive to the whole point of the excercise.

#2 is another beast all together - falling on pro that may or may not be good to test placements. First off, I think this is a bad idea, top rope or not, and unnecessary except possibly in the circumstance where you can't find an experienced lead climber to second, and to second you. If you absolutely can't find and experienced traddy to take you under their wing and you are dead set on teaching yourself (which is a way less than desirable situation); and, after reading everything you can lay your hands on and have practiced placing and testing gear on the ground with an aider - well then testing placements with a TR would be a viable option. BUT, if you are going to do this then really isolate exactly what pro you are having doubts about / trouble with and why. Is it the rock? Is it flared placements? Is it small wired stoppers? Know what specific answers you are after, get them, and move on. Don't make a habit of this.

Can you learn to lead on your own? Yes. Is it a good idea? No.

Again, using TR in commercial settings - classes of any type - is simply SOP for risk management and to be expected - it still isn't desirable. Also be aware, you can learn about leading in a class - but, in the larger scheme of things you won't learn to lead in one - that take time and yardage on the sharp end of a rope out on the rock seconding and leading routes (and don't in anyway underestimate the value of seconding).

[Note: For those of you that want to learn to trad lead, RC.com has plenty of old trad guys in every state with rock - if you don't know any traddies then post for a partner to teach trad or look up who's in your state and ask them.]


jumpingrock


Jan 3, 2005, 11:16 AM
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I was in squamish shortly after having learned to trad climb (I actually learnt on the trip so this was probably my 5th trad lead) it was a relitively short and simple 5.7 easily protectable at the start but had a runout at the end. The last placement was a shallow horizontal crack that barely held my smallest nut (#6 BD stopper) I tried to slot it into a small constriction. The placement was retarded. it wouldn't have held the smallest fall. I think that it probably would have been good with a blue alien but I didn't have any back then. Anyway I climbed above it and watched as it came out of the placement and slid down the rope. After debating with my balls for a bit I decided to punch through and didn't fall.


tonydevo


Jan 9, 2005, 2:07 PM
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The ones that failed...

#1 Bugaboo -- ripped in bad rock
#1 angle -- ripped in bad rock
#6? nut -- exploded from its placement
self drive bolt --- broke at the capscrew
#1 camalot -- skated and popped
#3 pecker -- not really supposed to hold...

The ones that held....

#1,#2,#3 Camalots
#2 Metolius TCU
#4 astro nut
Pink Tricam several times
13cm ice screw with a screamer


aztec6561


Jan 9, 2005, 5:11 PM
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The previous piece mentions the pink tricam. It has been my experience that this is one of the most solid pieces of pro I have ever used or fallen on. Fits where few other pieces will. Only problem is it can be hard to get out at times. Only piece that has ripped out on me is the blue alien due to a bad placement, led to about a 15 foot fall.

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