/ How many people have never fallen?

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Stevie989 - on 14 Aug 2014

I'm talking leader falls onto gear (not bolts I suppose but maybe old pegs at the crux).?

Do folk go through their whole career with enough in reserve so they don't push that risk of falling?

How much rock climbing gear has been bought and placed but never truly weighted?

(Many FS threads have gear for sale 'used no falls' I've bought and sold gear like this).

Is it a UK thing with our purist trad ethic?

I have only taken 1 leader fall (slump) onto gear at waist hight on an E1 (6c allegedly) - it got me thinking. (WC micro wires - shifted but held)
Post edited at 22:39
Timmd on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've never fallen, I'm not keen on the idea.
john arran - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I have no idea of the answer but it's the best question I've seen on here for a long time. Never falling is so 1960s!
Michael Gordon - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Quite a lot! No doubt the number decreases markedly as you go up the grades - personally I'd expect there to be very few Extreme leaders (who've been there for a few years) nowadays who've never fallen off anything.

It's got nothing to do with a purist trad ethic and everything to do with climbing so within one's comfort zone that one's potential is never/rarely realised.
Stevie989 - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Michael Gordon:

That is probably the case but by 'trad ethic' I think I meant the way we don't bolt most of our rock and this does not encourage the same 'air-time' as say french bolted limestone. (not that I want another bolt/or not to bolt argument Zzzz).

How many people fall regularly in the gym but never on their trad routes?
greylag - on 14 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've fallen and plan never to do it again.

At first, I knew it was a part of climbing and was ready/prepared/accepting of the inevitable occurrence.

I realised after the fall why I climb and what I want out of it.

Bumbly, long and enjoyable climbs for me nowadays.

Not quite what you asked but a twist on it.
jcw on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to john arran:
Nonsense. The fact that it was more dangerous to fall in the 1960s doesn't mean we didn't.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

The first time I went trad climbing I was shocked to discover my experienced friend had never fallen on his gear.

Ironically he took a decent fall later that day.
nbonnett - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

If you ain't flying you ain't trying
Mark Collins - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've taken a few falls over the years, one massive whipper, one deck out, and even deliberately taken falls on good gear in an attempt to improve leading confidence. However, I can only remember one fall in the last ten years, while clean aid soloing. I think that I'm falling less now because I'm no longer pushing myself to improve my trad climbing standard, which is probably due to a change in circumstance and getting older.
Trangia - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to john arran:
> (In reply to Stevie989)
>
> I have no idea of the answer but it's the best question I've seen on here for a long time. Never falling is so 1960s!

Yes, that's how I was taught in the 1960s. "The leader never falls!" :)

I don't climb high grades having never led anything harder than E1. Falling on low grade climbs isn't recommended because they tend not to be very steep or overhanging so there is lots to hit on the way down. I've only fallen once on trad - a Diff in pouring rain. It was rather more a slither than a free fall and I got a lot of scratches and bruises.
neil9216 - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I came off the first I tried to lead E1

To be fair I had only been climbing for just over a year at the time and had the hardest id previously lead was Severe.
Had seconded a couple of E1s and was leading 7a indoors I went for it and fell.
Luckily it was an slight over hang and fell a couple if meteres and just dangled,

It really helped tho.

It gave me confidence in my gear.
I haven't fell since.
BicycleBradley - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

fallen on a couple of E1's, kinda fun
jon_gill1 - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I didn't fall till about 5 years ago after climbing for 7 years at the time,since realising its not to bad I have fallen off a few things trying to improve. 12 years of climbing now and the biggest fall I've taken was at tremadog and I fell around 10 meters into space onto a gold no.4 wire!I screamed like a girl,but I would say in the right circumstances it can definitely help you improve.

Cheers
GrahamD - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Fallen a fair few times but never on purpose (as in pushing til you fall sport climbing mentality). I think if I'm going well the possibility of a fall doesn't enter my mind and if I'm not then its restricting for sure. I never really convince myself I'm happy to try a move and happy to take a fall if I fail - even though I know the gear is good I hate falling.
Big Lee - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've fallen quite a bit over the years. If I wasn't falling off things occassionally then I would probably consider myself not be trying hard enough. Trad gear these days should hardly be something to be scared about. I've had a couple of bad falls with bruises, etc but nothing serious (and generally when out of shape and lacking mileage). Last fall was about six weeks ago right at the top of the route. It was quite hard for me and I wasn't certain that I would clean it but I was proud of my effort nonetheless. Probably try the route again when next at that crag. Now I know the moves and won't be faffing with gear for so long getting pumped. I think the main thing is to be able to objectively assess how good the gear is. If it's 50% then maybe falling is not a good idea. If it's close to 100% (eg a couple of good runners below the difficulties) and there's no ledges, spikes, etc to hit then what's the harm in going for it and fully testing yourself?

Surely a general fear of falling develps if you've never fallen on trad gear? Also, how is it possible to objectively fully know how good the gear is if you have never tested gear? Eg I've seen people who have never fallen place gear that might hold when given a tug but would certainly blow with an additional 80kg loading it. Nuts in cracks that are too uniform or shallow to be addequate where a cam would be better suited... only they've never fallen on a cam and sounds a bit scary compared to a nut because it has moving parts. I think it's healthy to push it on well-protected routes. Lace the routes and if the first bit of gear blows but the second holds then you've learned a valuable lesson as to what will hold and what won't.
dr_botnik - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've fallen off a fair bit. You have to if you want to improve.
bill briggs1 - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Never had a leader fall in 46 years , 43 of those years in the E grades up to E5. Probably never tried a route I thought I couldn't get up. Backed of many , always thought falling was a failure . Just a personal thing.
Caralynh - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Also only led up to E1 so no expert, but I think I've actually fallen (as opposed to deliberately weighting gear then lowering) twice. One was expected, onto 3 bomber cams. Once was totally unexpected onto some old tat I'd clipped, and ended up hanging upside down rather thankful the tat held.
I am rather old school in attitude, if not in years, and will always have the attitude that the gear is there just in case, not to encourage falling. "The leader does not fall" is a fine adage for me, and if that means I stay enjoying myself on bumbly grades, so be it :-)
Doghouse - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Caralynh:
> (In reply to Stevie989)
>
>
> I am rather old school in attitude, if not in years, and will always have the attitude that the gear is there just in case, not to encourage falling. "The leader does not fall" is a fine adage for me, and if that means I stay enjoying myself on bumbly grades, so be it :-)

Couldn;t agree more although I have fallen a couple of times they have been of the unexpected variety.
Dave Garnett - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to bill briggs1:

> (In reply to Stevie989)
>
> Never had a leader fall in 46 years , 43 of those years in the E grades up to E5. Probably never tried a route I thought I couldn't get up. Backed of many , always thought falling was a failure . Just a personal thing.

I'm very much in your camp. One slip and one broken hold in 35 years but nothing you could call air time. I did once fall off properly, onto a bolt.

A lifetime of underachievement.
Post edited at 10:38
y2keable - on 15 Aug 2014
After having just the odd little "pop off", it took my about 7 years until I had my first decent fall. An overhanging E2 offwidth, luckily it was onto a bomber #4 friend in the back of the crack but that was well below my ankles and I wasn't far from the ground to begin with.

The cam got me and the rope stretched without a mm to spare as my back was on the deck as I came to a rest. My head hit a rock and if I wasn't wearing a lid, it wouldn't have been a fractured scull for sure.

Lord_ash2000 - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've climbed for 18 years or so now. Never fallen on trad gear yet. I think I've lowered off and rested on gear before but never taken a proper trad whipper.

Basically because I'm a huge wimp who's built up an irrational fear of falling on gear. Even when I go on sport climbing trips for the first few days I scared of falling off even when I know it's safe, although once I've taken a couple of whippers I'm not to bad then.

Trad wise I think it's just because I don't trust my gear, but that's because I haven't really tested it for real so never built up that trust.

I've on-sighted up to E3 and head pointed a few E6's and an E7 so I probably could have been a pretty accomplished trad climber on sighting E5'ish all over the place if I'd got over falling on gear. but never had the desire and I'm quite happy to drop a rope down something first.

I think I also don't like the unknown. I don't mind if it's hard, even if it's quite near my limit as long as I know what's coming and what the next hold is going to be like. Then it's simply a matter of my ability vs the difficulty of the moves and I can quite accurately judge both.
Webster - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Only fallen once and it was unnexpected, didnt really know it was happening till i was swinging by my belayers head. if i had been expecting it i would have backed off. nothing to do with a fear of falling, or even a fear of failure. to me falling is failing and i dont set out to fail. if i can down climb clean and save it for another day i will. i will hapily throw myself off of cliffs if the purpose is falling (ie.cliff jumping/bunjy jumping), but when i set out up a climb the purpose is climbing not falling, so i dont want to fall. nothing to do with fear.
GridNorth - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've had 4 leader falls in 50 years. Two when I was young, ambitious, reckless and not as good as I thought I was. The second of these resulted in a fractured skull and broken ribs. The other two were both as a result of seriously loose rock when I went off route many years later and should have known better. Only the one fall caused any serious injury. Like others I don't like to fall and see it as failure, even on bolts although the latter causes me far less concern.
seankenny - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to GridNorth:

> Like others I don't like to fall and see it as failure, even on bolts although the latter causes me far less concern.

To you, and the others who say this: what's wrong with a bit of failure now and then?
Robin Woodward - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to seankenny:
I'd agree, although it's obviously just a different outlook on climbing. I'd much rather push myself to my limit (as long as I feel safe), rather than backing off, knowing that I could have tried a bit harder. This is probably because I climb partly to challenge myself (although by no means always, but this would usually be the situation where falls might come into it).

Having said this I am a whimp (scared of heights and not great with exposure), and don't run-out without feeling secure, and generally place more gear than most. I've had maybe 2-3 actual falls (in 2.5 years), although not big, but many slumps/controlled-rapid-descents where I've pumped myself out. However, only climb up to E1, and doubt my outlook would work on higher E grades, but, partly due to this, I have no ambition to climb them really.
Post edited at 12:00
Stevie989 - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:


I think I fall in between opinions here.

I've went from leading S to HVS/E1ish in a couple of months with no real falls and never felt like I was about to fall but looking at an E3 or even benchmark E2's I can't really touch them.

I want to fall - I want to push my grades and progress. But then again I don't - falling is failure. I backed out an E2 lead and to the easier E1 finish and was gutted so I'd imagine i'd be more annoyed if I'd fell (would probably have decked).

That being said I have no problem longer easy M/p routes that are a good day out.

I suppose you can want more than one thing from your climbing.
dave657 on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've taken a few falls, but nbot many as I'm a bit of a wimp.

But ss has been asked, what's wrong with failure? Some of most memorable expereinces are when I've only just got up a climb, and that wouldn't happen if you don't risk failure. And besides, if you back off a route because you don't think you can do it, that is still a failure in my book. And if it is close to your limit (and safe) and you still back off, well that's a bigger failure than trying and falling.
Stevie989 - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to dave657:

Its all a bit weird and redundant init.

I think its a mind-set that I'll need to challenge to get better.
andrewmcleod - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

If you ignore falling off a boulder and missing the pad in Font (and very mildly buggering up my ankle for about two months, but still OK to climb on - falling injury, not climbing injury!) then I have only taken a two-foot fall. I was stood on a ledge (good gear at the base of the ledge), trying to mantel over an overhand in damp conditions with the good hold full of mud. I slipped and ripped out the world's worst nut placement above the ledge (as expected) and landed on my feet (somewhat painfully) on the ledge without (thankfully) falling off. Not the most exciting story...

More generally I think I have only climbed two trad routes where I would have been happy to fall off - Leviathan would have been fine the whole way up (gently overhanging corner) and Outward Bound (traversing a lip) would probably have been fine (provided the slings didn't fall off!). Otherwise falling off on pretty much every route I have done would involve rather more face-scraping, ledge-landing and general rock contact than I am happy with. I suspect this is true of most routes below HVS.
conorcussell - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to seankenny:

I've taken whippers off 20% of the trad routes i've lead this year, but i've definately improved as well, so i'd suggest falling (and failing) is pretty healthy!



Stevie989 - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

This is a good point too - The wee quarries around glasgow tend to be low (10-20m) and just off vertical and by the time you get any gear your almost at the top on half of them!

I would imagine a lot of Grit crags might be similar?

The more mountain-esq routes I've climbed would maybe be a bit kinder to a fall in the lower grades.
Robert Durran - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to dr_botnik:

> I've fallen off a fair bit. You have to if you want to improve.

I don't think that's true at all. In 30 odd years climbing I've taken about 6 lead falls rock climbing and 2 in winter. Almost all were entirely unexpected and when not when pushing my grade. Indeed, if I'd fallen pushing my grade in early years, I'd probably have come off very badly. Yet I seem to have got to a reasonable standard and regularly regain it after lapses.

Sport climbing is another matter.
GridNorth - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

I agree you don't need to fall to improve but there is little doubt in my mind that by pushing it indoors to the point where you are likely to fall does help.

Encouraging falling on trad however is downright irresponsible IMO.
mh554 on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

One whipper. Onto a cam that popped, saved by the beautiful gold nuts!
Toby_W on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Let me think.

Avon Gorge: Massive spinning fall off layback on Fogs folly, Straight down fall off New Horizons 2 and dropped off something as I was a bit tired under the bridge that involved a most impressive swing.

Fell of some ice lump messing around, hit the ground, broke my leg. Doh.

Mmm so a fair bit in answer to the question. My ambition often exceeds my ability.

Cheers

Toby

Toby_W on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Oh yes and I fell off that E2 next to Limbo under the Clifton Bridge as well. You may notice a pattern that suggests my grade ceiling :-(

Cheers

Toby
Gordon Stainforth - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I know many climbers like myself, climbing trad in the range of VS to E2, who pushed themselves a bit when they started, who've had 2 or 3 quite serious falls but that's about it. Of course, I know a few people who have fallen off much more often even on serious trad.
CurlyStevo - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
I think I've had 4 trad leader falls in about 15 years of leading pretty frequently. 2 of those have been with gear below my feet and one of them I hit the ground on rope stretch and knackered my ankle for about 6 months (and it will always be an old injury if you know what I mean). So far all of my falls have been on sandstone or grit (mostly grit) and mostly at HS! All completely unexpected and nothing to do with loose rock!

Sport climbing I've fallen off much more frequently.
Post edited at 14:01
mbh - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
In the two or three years that I climbed most weekends, I fell off two VSs on the lead. The first time, at Zennor (Royal Forrester?) , where I pulled off a hold that hit the belayer (!), I was held by a #4 nut. It remained a favourite piece of gear ever after. Also fell off Africa Route at Sennen, while trying to back off it.
Post edited at 13:42
Lukeva - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (In reply to Stevie989)
>
> I know many climbers like myself, climbing trad in the range of VS to E2, who pushed themselves a bit when they started, who've had 2 or 3 quite serious falls but that's about it. Of course, I know a few people who have fallen off much more often even on serious trad.

I took a few falls, was confident climbing above gear I understood to be well placed and was willing to fall... then I decked because the rock behind which my gear was seated failed and I hurt my back and scared myself. That was in May, I have not been on the sharp end since and only seconded 3 or 4 routes. I really want to re-find the drive I have lost but seem to be struggling with motivation, somewhat.
GridNorth - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

One of my most dramatic falls was while seconding a route called Stoners Highway on Middle Cathedral in Yosemite. We did the direct start which involves unprotected climbing up to a bolt at which point it gets hard and traverses right to join the main route. My foot slipped the very nano second that the krab left the bolt and I took a huge pendulum but there was no tension in the rope so I almost ended up back on the ground as I descended quite a ways before the rope came tight.
Jimbo C - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I'd say about 10% of my gear has held a fall. Mostly really little ones. I've not fallen many times but went to Almscliff this year and pretty much doubled my career number of falls in one day :-)
Lord of Starkness - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've fallen on to gear twice - both times I ended up 'off route' on routes below VS and found that the decent hold I assumed was going to be there turned out to be a poor and greasy sloper (wonder what happened to him btw).
The flight was OK, the gear held, but the sudden stop at the end was not so good - one time I decked due to rope stretch - though got up and found out where I'd gone wrong and finished the route.

I vowed not to do it again - and didn't. I learned how and when to back off!

I never wanted to be the best -- just the oldest.
SteveD - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've never taken a leader fall, at my peak I was putting up routes to HVS and leading E1/2 never higher (Mind you this was 30 years ago when any E grade was considered hard core). Currently leading S/VS and happy at that grade, will push up to HVS when I am ready.

It depends why you climb at the end of the day, I just like being on rock with my mates, I don't have to scare myself shitless to have a good day.

Also I am of the opinion that falling at the lower grades is potentially more serious than at the higher grades. It's not the fall that hurts its hitting all the crap on the way down.

SteveD
Michael Gordon - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Robert Durran:

I can't understand how folk manage to get to E5 without taking a good number of falls. Assuming you go for steep, well protected routes, do you just never get pumped?!
Michael Gordon - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to dave657:

Agreed. Not committing to hard moves above bomber gear is to me definitely more of a failure than committing and falling off.
Bob on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I remember when discussing one of my first leader falls with Johnny Adams sometime during the early 1980s that he replied "I've never taken a fall". Whether that's still the case I don't know. The last time I saw him was a couple of years ago at Robin Proctor's Scar so he'd obviously gone the old and safe route!

And if you think he wasn't doing anything hard - he got to the move before this http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=243704 on Shere Khan sometime during the 1960s -it was one of the original last great problems of the Lakes.
Timmd on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to john arran:
> I have no idea of the answer but it's the best question I've seen on here for a long time. Never falling is so 1960s!

It's weird, my Dad has fallen (being held by his runners) and he taught me to lead, and was of the opinion my placements are okay, and was particularly impressed by some of them, but I just don't like the idea.

A tiny bit less so after doing some dry stone walling and seeing grit stone stones split in random ways, I have a 'What are you plotting?' feeling when I now look at rock.

It is very 1960's from a climbing point of view though. (:-))
Post edited at 16:46
crisp - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
In the past thirty years of climbing I have 'slipped' and been held by gear on about five occasions (trad and winter). I have always wondered if I had taken big falls and the gear had held etc. if I would be more inclined to 'go for it'. However I enjoy my climbing and there are lots of routes in my grade range that I have yet to climb.
Jon Stewart - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
I tend to take about one proper decent fall per year, and fail by resting on gear or backing off a few times, maybe 1 in 10-20 routes. It's about enough for me, lets me know where my limits are but I spend most of my time enjoying myself on stuff I can actually do.
Post edited at 19:45
Orgsm on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I remember my first HVS 5b lead. It was a double overhang. At the second overhang I was placing gear blind, and didn't trust it. So I stayed below for too ling and got tired. In the end I went for it, and fell off. The gear held quite easily and the fall into free space wasn't as scary as I'd thought. So I got back on the route, and sailed past that overhang with ease, as I committed to the moves, with trust in my gear. It transformed my leading and thoughts on falls.
muppetfilter - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I took a fall off Wombat at the roaches in 1994, the rope looped under my leg flipped me and I fell 25ft before my rope came tight. My head was about a foot off the ground, I didn't lead for three years after that since then have fallen on gear once in 2011 on Time for Tea when I got off route, couldn't reverse and had to jump off.
I personally don't get on routes I don't feel good on the day about doing, nothing is scarier at the crag than watching some overconfident lad or lass Gibber and slap their way up a route inches from a fall.
GridNorth - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to muppetfilter:

How did you manage to "get off route" on Time for Tea? I assume you mean the one at Millstone?
muppetfilter - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to GridNorth:

I ended up too high and couldn't reverse , I can assure you it is possible ;0)
keith-ratcliffe on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

This is really interesting - I saw the thread title and followed it expecting to see huge numbers of posts along the lines of :- "If you aren't falling you aren't trying" but it seems that many of the respondents are less inclined to fall than I expected.
I admit that I am firmly in their camp having only fallen twice when leading trad but many times while climbing on the wall with a top rope.
The first time I fell it was a slither down Long Rock Slab? on Baggy point when a foothold crumbled. I went about 10 ft down a slab - the protection held so no damage and I just continued.
The second time I came off a climb I don't remember but the circumstances are very clear. I was climbing with a stronger leader for whom I had seconded lots of climbs and he persuaded me to push myself on the sharp end. I fell a few feet above good gear and made a meal of it. I suggested that he should take over and lead it, which he did. I followed it easily and when we got to the top he said to me "You only fell off because you didn't want to lead it" He was right! It was my head that was letting me down.
NigeR - on 15 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've fallen twice whilst leading (I'm presuming that's what you meant?). Leftover on the Grochan, and Snowdrop on Snowdon.

I've had one or two close shaves, but somehow the survival mechanism kicks in.

d conacher - on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989: not falling on trad is abit of an excuse for not wanting to fall period how many fall of on lead indoors,very few i bet.not that am any better at it,but it will hold you back at getting any better thats for sure.
MaranaF - on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

So, interesting topic and a lot of surprising responses.

Depending on your point of view I am either optimistic or crap, I have had many falls, some quite big, some on bolts, some on mixed trad and some on no gear at all.

The first big fall was off the side of a hotel somewhere in the Pyrenees, got pumped, fell as I was reaching too far for the chains and broke my belayers leg as I got to the end of the rope, BIG learning curve! Since then lots of minor falls, slips, f*ckups etc including a great 10m unplanned leap into space on a sports route in Fournell a couple of months ago.

My preferred climbing is on-sight with no beta and I believe I fall because I am trying to do stuff at or beyond my ability on that day/route/rock, or the leap in to the unknown leaves me dangling in fresh air. Its how I find my limits and discover what I need to work on.

Falling on trad gear doesnt worry me, frankly there is no point stopping to clip or place any gear it if your afraid of falling on it.
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Andy Long - on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
>
>
> I have only taken 1 leader fall (slump) onto gear at waist hight on an E1 (6c allegedly)

Where is this amazing route? Didn't know there was such a thing as an E1 6c.
Rob Exile Ward on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989: In 45 years I've taken a trivial but potentially nasty ground fall (the initial crack on Valkyrie); a significant and memorable ground fall in a Nant Peris quarry (15+ metres, but I got away with it), and a couple of truly pathetic slithers onto gear. It's not a record I'm proud of; but whenever I've found myself in extremis I've either slumped on gear or found something extra in the tank. I regret it really, I used to be reasonably bold but obviously not bold enough.
LiamJC - on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Took my first trad fall earlier today, trying an E1 for the first time. I bit off a bit more than i could chew and slipped a hand jam and off i went, only a foot or so but first fall wasn't that bad.
Stevie989 - on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to Andy Long:

Typo - E1 6a (still unlikely)
JanBella - on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

took falls onto gear plenty times in 3 years of climbing outside ripped the gear out falling on it, decked out, injured ankles many times. all part of the game i guess.
muppetfilter - on 16 Aug 2014
In reply to JanBella:

I don't think it has to be part of the game, I could give the example of Friday night in town. Some people go their adult life without ever seeing trouble yet some people get themselves into fights every week.

I would say you don't have to fall off loads to be pushing and improving. If you are then something is maybe amiss in route selection or preparation be that mental or physical.

Sometimes it can be something as intangible as "Having one of those days" I put my boots on and everything flows like silk, other days I feel like a Donkey with Bells Palsy. Then for me its time to look elsewhere and do an easier route than the one I had planned.

I have also seen what happens when a human body hits the ground from a height and it has revealed to me that invariably the ground wins so I try to avoid this ... ;0)
Michael Gordon - on 17 Aug 2014
In reply to JanBella:

Falling off is part of the game, but I'd try and reduce the groundfall count if I were you...
JoshOvki on 17 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I have fallen off 4 trad routes. 2 times because I wasn't good enough for the route, 2 times because of loose hand holds coming out.

Decked out once due to not being good enough for the route, and broke myself. This has put the bejesus of falling into me.
Duncan Bourne - on 17 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989: not often but I have fell a few times fortunately only really injuring myself once
sea_lene - on 18 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Fallen once (rope burn) properly on lead. Don't like idea of falling but want to feel more confident to fall so that I can push myself harder feeling more relaxed and therefore less likely to fall...
Mark Bannan - on 20 Aug 2014
In reply to Michael Gordon:
agreed.

I have fallen about 10 times; works out at about 1 leader fall for every 40 pitches led. On rock, I have never fallen more than 8 feet and on only 1 occasion did my top piece of gear rip (I was very much out of my depth that day!).

I do prefer to rest on gear rather than fall, but I am willing to risk it on well-protected routes.
Post edited at 22:27
Stevie989 - on 20 Aug 2014
In reply to Mark Bannan:

Having now on-sighted up to E2 I'm still to take a proper leader fall but I know I'm getting close.

It's strange the way that a bomber piece becomes much more dubious the higher you get and the closer to the limit you get!

(wouldn't mind pushing the grade up a Clova if you have any free time in the next month or so Mark)
Mark Bannan - on 21 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Well done, Stevie!

Yeah, sure we must go there again!

I'll keep you posted,

M
Red Rover - on 21 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I took a lot of falls when I was a teenager, some huge ones (30 feet is the record) and three groundfalls, from up to 8 metres with no injury at all, I got away with it.

Now when I'm cragging I probably fall on one in 30 or 40 routes and only the safe ones where it doesnt matter. If I'm mountaineering or doing a UK route in a mountaineering style (moving together etc) then never.
Toerag - on 22 Aug 2014
In reply to muppetfilter:

> nothing is better at the crag than watching some overconfident lad or lass Gibber and slap their way up a route inches from a fall.

There, fixed that for you :-)
Sean Kelly - on 22 Aug 2014
In reply to keith-ratcliffe:
> This is really interesting - I saw the thread title and followed it expecting to see huge numbers of posts along the lines of :- "If you aren't falling you aren't trying" but it seems that many of the respondents are less inclined to fall than I expected.

My thoughts of late. If you don't fall , you can't be really pushing yourself.
Much like Brian Clough said of why some footballer wasn't ruled 'offside'by the Ref as he was not effecting play, 'Well he shouldn't be on the pitch if he is not effecting play!'
Obviously years back BH (before harnesses) or falling wearing an old Whillan's Harness was guaranteed top tenor in the local choir. So falling off was a serious business. But I suppose that with modern gear as it is, falling off does not hold the terror and fear that it was once associated. And it's best to remember that short falls can be a lot more serious because of the greater forces created. Now the likely risk of falling with marginal gear....
Personally, I seem to have taken quite a lot of falls in recent years, usually pushing the grade quite hard, but nothing serious.
However I did fall off the house roof when the ladder slid down the roof with me attached , and as it passed the gutter I just stepped onto the gutter, which was a steel one!
Post edited at 20:30
Greenbanks - on 22 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've had a couple of slips, but nothing major. As a second I am credited with checking a couple of screamers...and even then the heart-rate was through the roof. No idea what it's like on the sharp end of the action though!
Greenbanks - on 22 Aug 2014
In reply to Sean Kelly:

My ladder-fall, whilst fixing the roof, was broken by a large (Halfords) plastic tool box - it shock-absorbed most of me, and I walked away with just a bruised elbow. The neighbour across the way pretended not to notice.
Blue Straggler - on 22 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

On my first lead fall, my gear ripped and I broke my ankle. This slowed me down massively. If it had held, I'd have thought "yeah, this is OK, it all works, let's have some more". Having said that, the next piece down did hold, hence only a broken ankle and not two smashed legs!
Ignoring controlled slumps, I think I've only had one more "unexpected" fall with gear below (well, AT) my feet, on some VS at Curbar. It was slabby but I did end up below the gear (as opposed to doing that "spreadeagle" thing for slabs, where T-shirt friction provides the protection!). Onto my smallest wire too ;-) It wasn't a big deal. I am usually a coward and back out of stuff, even if it is obvious that the gear is bomber.

I did jump off West's Wallaby at the Roaches, onto a Camalot 2 (at my feet) once. Ended up lower than I'd naively expected, as I was only on a half-rope :-)
Also jumped off something on Great Orme, onto a tri-cam (I seem to be dredging this one up a lot recently - sorry!) but it was backed up with a top rope (part of a trad coaching course). Good whipper and it held beautifully (and cleaned easily with no rock damage thank you)

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 22 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
fallen on a few occasions. most dramatically on blucher in ilkley quarry. clumsily kicked out my last bit of gear as i passed it, then had a nerve racking few seconds (felt like several minutes) trying to fumble it back in at my ankles while dangling from my fingers. peeled off as i clipped it, very lucky, i'd have gone a long way otherwise. afterwards i remember being more pissed that i'd blown the onsight one move from the top than frightened.

also fell a few of times on green gut at froggatt. i kept getting a good bit above my gear but was unable to get out of the layback when the horizontal breaks were reached, and was too timid to keep the layback going to the top. after the 3rd fall i jarred my ankle and had to admit defeat. however, i thought the gear was bomber, and didnt feel frightened on the falls.

also fell on rough crack at almscliff, more of a slump on gear that one, and it was a cam which i didnt really trust, was a bit more anxious about that one

i seem to have fallen quite a bit. confirms my suspicion that i'm pretty rubbish really...

cheers
gregor
Post edited at 23:55
Michael Gordon - on 23 Aug 2014
In reply to Sean Kelly:
> (In reply to keith-ratcliffe)
> [...]
>
> And it's best to remember that short falls can be a lot more serious because of the greater forces created

?

ablackett - on 23 Aug 2014
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> ?

"Short falls can be more serious because of the greater forces" This isn't strictly true, falls with a larger fall factor are more serious. Short falls or long falls can have a high fall factor, it depends how much rope is out.

It is true that short falls can have a high fall factor, for example if they are directly onto the belay, with no other gear above.
ablackett - on 23 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I have led up to E1, fallen off a couple of E2's but never got one done, so I guess that as I tried to push my limit I fell more. It was good to do lots of routes and learn about gear before I really needed it. I think you probably have to place 100's of nuts and fall a few times before you know if they are good enough to hold.

I have hit the deck a couple of times, both from low down when gear ripped, once backing off, once slipped.

Probably 5 or 6 leader falls, biggest was on Main Wall at Crag Lough, when the top hold came off and the top cam came out, went about 10m back down the wall, bounced off a ledge on the way.
Blue Straggler - on 23 Aug 2014
In reply to ablackett:



> I have hit the deck a couple of times, both from low down when gear ripped, once backing off, once slipped.

Ah yes that happened to me once, I was downclimbing the start of Maupassant (Curbar HVS) and got lazy with my feet about 4 inches off the deck and asked my belayer to take in. Leaned back, and the sole nut ripped. Not exactly a "fall" but I did land hard on my arse on a rock.
Posted later on FB "gear ripped on Maupassant. Decked out" thinking it was dead funny, but everyone got really worried :-)

Also, not falls but have twice lowered off from the same gear placement on HOllyash Crack at Burbage North (having easily onsighted it years earlier!) but worthy of mention because the gear in question is an unconvincing-looking DMM 3CU 0 or 0.5 in a very shallow rounded pocket, impossible to back up. Controlled weighting was OK but I wonder if it would hold a fall from above (mind you as soon as you are above it, you can just wedge yourself in the wide crack and await rescue :-) )

Michael Gordon - on 23 Aug 2014
In reply to ablackett:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
>
> "Short falls can be more serious because of the greater forces" This isn't strictly true, falls with a larger fall factor are more serious. Short falls or long falls can have a high fall factor, it depends how much rope is out.
>
> It is true that short falls can have a high fall factor, for example if they are directly onto the belay, with no other gear above.

Indeed. And for the same length of rope out from the belayer, a larger fall will exert more force on the gear than a short one.
In reply to Stevie989:

my first fall was on remain in light E4 6a did NOT like it (the fall)
Stevie989 - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Took my first proper fall today on gobi roof at cambusbarron.

Maybe 4ft but a fall and glad to get the dux broken.

mick.h on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I don't think I'd count a "slump" as a fall, its just weighting the gear. I've fallen maybe a dozen times on lead, several times I've lost my last piece and the one below has held, worst "fall" was a hi speed slide down Raeburn's Gully followed by a helicopter to Aberdeen Infirmary, I like to think that i am a little more sensible these days.
mark s - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

fallen loads of times from E1'S up to E7.
broken and fractured a few bones and dented the ego a few times.you need to be pushing your limits if you want to get better.
spearing05 - on 27 Aug 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

Until Saturday just gone I'd never fallen, even mentioned it to a friend of my regular partner who we were climbing with (the first time for me) that day.
Two routes later and it's my lead, near the top of my technical ability and nudging my confidence ceiling, above my latest bit of gear - a blindly placed nut - with my mate paying out as I moved and suddenly I was off. No warming, I just simply peeled mid move. With my mate mid way through paying out, the rope stated to run and he instinctively held tight with both hands and his left (on the live rope) recieved a nice set of blisters. By the time he'd caught this and come to rest after being pulled from his stance I was 10m or more lower, barely a meter off the deck with a large hole rubbed in my trouser leg. My mate had a hole in his nearly new wind shell, bleeding arm, bleeding leg and a rapidly bruising toe.
Lessons learned, belay position makes a big difference to length of flight and injuries sustained (by the belayer) but more importantly, if you're going to climb, choose a mate who'll hold on even with rope burns and a broken toe. Cheers buddy.
ads.ukclimbing.com
pedrosanpb - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Stevie989:

I've taken some fairly big falls including one that permanently wrecked my ankle. I'm not averse to falling again and have done, but I've gone off cams...
SGD - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Stevie989:
I haven’t taken a leader fall on gear for some time now. I’m not sure why but I expect fear is a major factor and the fact I haven’t pushed it for a couple of years. I have taken a fair few falls all of which I can remember vividly and like many people my 1st fall was on my 1st attempt at an E1; the photo is in my Gallery. I wanted to try an E1 and someone wanted some pictures for an article they were publishing so I was coerced into trying ‘Long Tall Sally’ which not unwillingly I agreed to. I fell from the start of the upper groove and was held by a number 1 nut which I believe many people do not place. The fall was quick and I really knew nothing about it until I was hanging on the rope as I must have been concentration on what I was doing. I’ve taken other falls when foot holds have snapped or a foot has popped so again there was not real time to think about the situation and get ‘the fear’. The only time I’ve had a fall where I had the fear was when I had to dyno for the top on a grit route with 2 cams in the break where my feet were. I knew I had to jump and was scared about kicking the cams out or worse my foot getting stuck in the break. As it happens I made the jump only to experience that horrifying feeling as your hand grips before it begins to fail. I’ve never had a ground fall but this was close enough for me. Despite that I had another couple of attempts but my mind wasn’t in it and I never hit the hold again.
Post edited at 12:38
GridNorth - on 02 Sep 2014
In reply to Stevie989: This was my very first leader fall in the early 60's, caught mid-flight. Luckily the rope caught over the edge and slowed me down.

https://www.dropbox.com/sc/08yclmj8vkuhwcf/AABWV_V7Dh1TaVDHuNrecqJea
EarlyBird - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to GridNorth:

That was lucky! Tody's Wall - had you come off the crux move? That must have felt very committing without cams.
GridNorth - on 03 Sep 2014
In reply to EarlyBird:

Cams ??? There weren't even proper nuts back then. :-) The leader was essentially soloing.

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