/ best tips on taking a fall

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unknownclimber6 - on 15 May 2012
right so... i climb a fair bit with my girlfriend - to put this in perspective she is about 8 stone and im about 12.5/13 stone - this is obviously a biggg weight difference, i am really comfortable with her belaying me more than i would say my mates :O but a while back i started doing lead with her and started her off by doing falls so now she has no fear of it! me on ther other hand jus dont have the confidence to go for the clip in when she is belaying because i think me falling is going to be too much for her belaying skills, we have been trying to practice but have run out of ideas of effective practices.

any ideas will be tryed and greatly appreciated!!!!!
thanks
DR
mkean - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:
I'm nearly 17 stone and have taken lead falls with a 7.5 stone belayer, I'm not dead yet although I have gently touched down on a couple of occasions :-) There is normally a fair bit of friction when lead climbing so don't assume it'll be a 'perfect frictionless pulley system', you can cope with fairly large weight differences.
unknownclimber6 - on 15 May 2012
In reply to mkean: thanks, i have to say thats made me a little more confident because that is a big weight difference :O the only other little problem i have is when i am about to clip in and there is slack out, then taking a fall.
Neil Williams - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:

Use a weight bag or ground anchor?

Neil
Neil Williams - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:

With heavy people (like me) there is a danger point of when a fall might cause the belayer to hit the first clip (and possibly therefore involuntarily let go, or for some gear to be damaged).

If you feel it's getting a bit close, time for a weight bag.

Neil
Eagle River - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:

Falling practice is just as important for the belayer as she'll have to get used to getting pulled up in the air. I have a heavier climbing partner and cope fine but it takes some practice.

As long as she has the rope locked off in a device that is fairly high resitance (I use a WC variable controller/grigri but there are much jammier (sp?) ones than that) you'll be safe. If it makes you feel better you could get a friend to hold the dead end of the rope for insurance on the first few goes.

Your belayer needs to make sure her fall/jump zone is clear of shoes, bottles, rope bag etc and as you fall she locks off and just braces for being propelled up towards the wall ready to absorb the impact with her feet. For this she doesn't want to be too far from the wall but not right against the wall as she'll not be able to use her feet to arrest her movement comfortably. She'll most likely come to a halt at the first bolt if the fall is a big one.

Start with small falls progressing to big lobs.

hope that helps.
54ms - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:

Ground anchor (slack) and gri gri?
Ampthill - on 15 May 2012
Paying out rope to go for a clip will increase the fall factor.

Fall factor is length of fall/ length of rope

paying out rope will increase length of fall and length of rop. But as th elength of rope is greater the fall factor is greater but not by much.

So I don't think that a fall whilst going for a clip will be much harder to hold. Or are you worried about hitting the ground?

Obvioulsy not reaching to high for a clip and having a good hold will help

Are you in a situation where you vould use double rope and elliminate the problem
Eagle River - on 15 May 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

Yep, the weight bag is a good idea if option 1 (not using one) doesn't work.

They work fine for top roping but in most cases indoors/sport leading outdoors a dynamic belay is much more comfortable and safe but a weight bag prevents this.
Ampthill - on 15 May 2012
In reply to Ampthill:

I assume that your partner is tied down. When my son or wife belay me they are always tied down
Neil Williams - on 15 May 2012
In reply to Eagle River:

A ground anchor prevents it, a weight bag doesn't. I'm 17st and one of my regular climbing partners is about 11st. Even with a bag on, I get a *very* dynamic belay, whether he likes it or not. Without one, he'd just go flying into the first clip and get injured.

Neil
mariopulquerio - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:

I have the same problem, I am much heavier than my girlfriend. I can try to explain you all my tricks in my bad english, but see this link instead with very useful advices:

http://www.climbing.com/print/techtips/stop_the_flying_circus/
unknownclimber6 - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6: thanks to all your replys!!!! they have been really helpfull and hopefully i can deploy some of these techniques at the gym tonight and have more trust in the system!!

DR
Voltemands - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6: It sounds like myself and the little miss are exactly the same weight as you guys are. I recently took my first trad fall, must've been about 4 meter swith slack from being above my gear. It was all fine.

Like some have said, being anchored where possible can be wise.
jkarran - on 15 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:

Weight bag (snug attachment) or where that's no good a ground/upward-pull anchor (snug attachment). A powerful, ideally 'auto-locking' belay device. With a ground anchor you'll get a pretty rough catch which is worth a little consideration.

Build up your confidence as a team starting with very small drops, this can be done in total control going from a tight rope at the chains your belayer lets out the slack she (and you) are happy with then you drop. Start small, build up. When she's happy flying a bit and you're happy you'll actually stop you can start building confidence dropping from level with then above bolts, first with warning then without (still discuss it first). You may get a slap on the wrists at some walls but when I expect my belayer might really fly I sometimes skip (or un-clip once past) the first clip so they're less likely to slam into the wall/gear.

jk
antdav - on 15 May 2012
I've just got my other half a mammut smart which is almost 'auto locking' with no braking hand it drops me about a metre in 4-5 seconds so a good confidence booster for me.

As for anchors, I tend to get her to use it slightly offset, around 45 degrees, but still no slack in the rope/sling. In the event of a fall there's some dynamic effect as the belayer is pulled straight. Obviously goes against all advice from walls/BMC etc but can't see too much harm in it (i'm sure someone else can!) and it allows for some movement to help pay out rope at clips.
Legionreturns on 17 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:
You could try and get hold of a figure of 9 belay device...those things are just pure genius!
mmmhumous on 17 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:

The key thing is good communication, and building up trust and confidence (for both of you).

Try fitting some clip-drop practice into your indoor sessions, and for outside, discuss how/where she'll belay you.

For clip drop indoors, start small, and give each other feedback on how each fall/catch went, and try and ensure each fall is a positive experience. Also If she bends her knees/squats when she's expecting you to fall, then her being 'pulled to her feet' reducing the flying lession she'll recieve on larger falls (and prevents it on smaller ones).

For indoors leading, IMO this is a lot better than using a weight bag or her (constantly) bracing against the wall, as it give her the ability to move (to pay out/take in quickly). Another reason I'm not keen is that an anchor/bag/constant bracing (can) become a substitue for good belaying rather than a suppliment to it.

Outside (once you've clipped enough gear/bolts to not need spotting), she can even sit down on the ground: One foot flat on the floor (in line with the live rope), the other leg crowed behind it. This technique should take the sting out of all but the largest falls....

From experience: One of my climbing partners is ~7.5 stones lighter than me, and using this technique, a 5 metre fall only made her take 2 steps foward and lifted her onto her toes.
Scarab9 - on 17 May 2012
In reply to unknownclimber6:

as said above by people the weight difference doesn't make AS scary a difference as you might think due to the friction, and once she's used to getting lifted in the air it's not so bad. Indoors use a weight bag or ground achor, if the wall doesn't have them I'd be surprised.

If you start going outdoors, you can build a ground anchor in some cases, but if not you can try a heavy rucksack (as you're taking it anyway) as a weight bag, or it might be worth looking at a weight vest if easier to carry. Not sure if anyone uses them but should work pretty well.
jkarran - on 17 May 2012
In reply to Scarab9:

A weight vest will likely invert you in a sit harness.
jk
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