UKC

/ Should I avoid falling whilst training indoors (lead)?

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rockface - on 04 Aug 2017
Recently heard an instructor say that whilst lead climbing indoors it's best to avoid falling. I'm aware everyone has their own style and their is an inherent risk in falling, but I thought a lot could be gained from trying hard routes which push you to failure (and falling) e.g. routes requiring dynamic movements.

So what's best in your opinion?
Neil Williams - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to phelimgh:
Falling indoors is pretty normal, can't see a significant safety issue as such.

You *can* land badly against the wall and get hurt. The more falls you do, the more you know what to do and so the less likely that is.
Post edited at 00:22
dr_botnik - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to phelimgh:

Good troll. 6/10
1
rockface - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to Neil Williams:

that's what I thought. seems an odd suggestion
tmawer - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to phelimgh:

Perhaps the meant "be careful falling"? Falling off the less steep routes, or with poor belaying, can hurt.
john arran - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to phelimgh:

It's entirely contextual. If the climber was on a slab with lots of projecting jugs to hit on the way down, then avoiding falling is very wise. In many/most other situations the benefits of risking and taking falls are likely to outweigh the risks.
petellis - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to phelimgh:

Its probably best not to fall off when you are learning to lead climb, it could go wrong in lots of ways.

Once you know what you are doing then its mostly considered to be fine. It still carries some risk but hopefully its a more informed one.

Are you aware that there might be more than one way of doing things, and a range of different advice might be correct for different people?
6
MischaHY - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:

On the contrary: falling off is key to finding your actual limit v.s. your perceived limit. You'd be amazed how much stronger you are when you've moved past the fear of falling.
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1poundSOCKS - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to MischaHY:

> On the contrary: falling off is key to finding your actual limit v.s. your perceived limit. You'd be amazed how much stronger you are when you've moved past the fear of falling.

Couldn't agree more. How many of us have been convinced we're too pumped to go one move higher, but can reverse several moves to the last bolt?
1
mike123 - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:
As others have hinted at , there have been several long threads on this . the key is to be absolutely sure that what you are doing is safe. Don't just watch others and assume that what they are doing is best practice , it maybe they are either very skilled or very incompetent. Ask the wall staff what is and isn't acceptable and what is best practice , get them to show you if are unsure
defaid - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:
Surely getting comfortable with and competent in falling off is something that needs a lot of practice. Where better to do that than in a controlled environment?

If the original post wasn't just a troll, I'd guess that the instructor was employed by the wall owner and simply didn't want to increase the chances of a hike in the centre's insurance premium.
Post edited at 15:18
Rick Graham on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:

I don't seem to get a choice at climbing walls.

Must have had more falls at indoor walls because of spinning holds than outdoors.

Most often footholds rotating when trying to " bounce" up steep sections.
RockSteady on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:

It's your choice/judgement whether you decide you want to take falls indoors. Suggest you ensure both you and your belayer are happy with what you'll do, and what will happen. Make sure you're both comfortable with the type of belay device being used.

Search 'dynamic belaying' on here and read the articles. Search 'clip drop' technique too for progressive method of learning how to fall. Be aware of what you will fall into, protruding holds, angle of walls etc.

That said, I think being comfortable climbing above a potential fall is the biggest performance enhancing technique there is.
Sean Kelly - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:

How good is the belayer? I once saw a couple of very giggly girls (teens) where the leader fell from over 40 ft and stopped about a foot from the deck. They packed up and went home!
Mark Bannan - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to defaid:

Agreed - my mates and I are often practising leader falls at the wall.
andrew ogilvie - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to Sean Kelly:
Equally it's not unknown to see focused, fit and muscular young men almost drop each other or, indeed,to see giggly ( happy ?) teenage girls cruising up some of the hardest things on the wall.
rockface - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to petellis:

I've climbed lead indoors for several years and I'm comfortable falling and dynamically belaying. I recently went on a lead course with someone so they could learn from a pro and maybe any bad habits I had could be picked up and it was during this course that the instructor recommended me this.
rockface - on 04 Aug 2017
In reply to defaid:

I totally agree. I save the more cautious attitudes for the outdoors.

P.S. no troll.
stp - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to Rick Graham:

> Must have had more falls at indoor walls because of spinning holds than outdoors.

Sounds like your wall has some poor routesetting. I rarely come across spinners indoors these days.

Hugh Mongous - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to andrew ogilvie:
> Equally it's not unknown to see focused, fit and muscular young men almost drop each other or, indeed,to see giggly ( happy ?) teenage girls cruising up some of the hardest things on the wall.

Oh indeed crusty dour middle aged men - as I once witnessed when one failed to make the clip on the belay of a route on the main overhang at the Foundry and seemed not best pleased when he only stopped falling at around head height.
Post edited at 07:47
petellis - on 05 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:

> I've climbed lead indoors for several years and I'm comfortable falling and dynamically belaying. I recently went on a lead course with someone so they could learn from a pro and maybe any bad habits I had could be picked up and it was during this course that the instructor recommended me this.

I wonder if the instructor was picking up on your prior experience but reading it as overconfidence?
stp - on 17 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:

> So what's best in your opinion?

As with many things in training it depends. It all depends on what you're trying to train. If you're training to get comfortable taking falls then obviously falling is an essential part of that. If you're training pushing yourself to your max limit for say onsight climbing then you want to be climbing until you fall too.

But for other kinds of training it's not always best to push yourself so hard. An extreme example would be ARC training to train your aerobic system where you don't go anywhere near your limit. Even for general endurance training it can be counter-productive to get to the point where you are so totally pumped you simply cannot hang on. The reason is that either you will then need a long rest, so you'll be doing less climbing volume in your session overall, or you'll need to do something easier instead so the intensity of the session will be lowered. Neither is desirable for general climbing training.

hms - on 17 Aug 2017
In reply to Scotch Bingington:

Whereas some time ago I was climbing with a lady who only ever had to hold falls extremely rarely as the bunch she normally climbed with wouldn't fall. When I slipped off she panicked and yanked all the slack out of the system, neatly tipping me upside down and slamming me into the wall. We both went on a dynamic belaying course after that!
john arran - on 17 Aug 2017
In reply to Scotch Bingington:

That reminds me of an early BICC (national leading comp) on the main Foundry wall, where they'd installed a big stalactite in the main roof. Deliberately missing a clip due to being pumped, I launched up the headwall to try to get a touch on a distant hold. Dynamic belaying wasn't well understood or well practised at the time, and I soon found myself on a tight rope, hurtling horizontally through the air with my head aimed in a beeline for the stalactite. It was only by majorly ducking at the last second that I managed to avoid what could have been one of the worst comp injuries of all time.

springfall2008 - on 19 Aug 2017
In reply to rockface:

Hmmm there is either a lack of context here or some bullshit from the instructor. Our local wall runs lead courses and you have to practice both taking and catching falls before they sign you off as safe.

If you don't fall off you aren't pushing your climbing, and gym climbing is mainly to train and push your grade!

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