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Falling on gear success stories! (Where the rock didn't completely blow out)
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By J.J
Apr 22, 2011

I noticed I can get psyched out if I read a bunch of stories about placements/anchors failing before I go climb on gear. So, I figure I should start a thread about gear holding. Lets hear your success stories! Maybe you fell onto an RP at a crux after a huge runout, or whipped onto a 00 TCU?


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By Dave Alie
From Golden, CO
Apr 22, 2011
Photo Credit: The talented Pete Garceau

This thread is a good idea, I feel the same way. I Recently surprise-tested at blue TCU after blowing the run-out finish of skeletonic on Potash road. Amazingly, it held. That said, I was 12 feet above it when I aired it out and was still glad that I had it backed up.


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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Apr 22, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan

Whipped onto a horizontal #2 in grainy flatirons rock last weekend on south crack on the maiden. I was probably 8 feet or so above and to the left of it.


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By Jay Eggleston
From Littleton
Apr 22, 2011
Berlin

I have fallen twice on a 0 C3 without incident.


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By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 22, 2011
JJ Schlick on first ropeless ascent of Cranium Crack .12 Watson Lake, Prescott, AZ.  1999

A buddy of mine took a 30 footer onto a #0 TCU in Sedona of all places, and that little sucker held the force!


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By Mark Roth
From Boulder
Apr 22, 2011
not climbing

Jay Eggleston wrote:
I have fallen twice on a 0 C3 without incident.


Actually J I think that was the 00
And you have also fallen on the black alien (probably a recalled one)


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By John Farrell
From Phoenix, AZ
Apr 22, 2011
Chilling on Moby Dick, Cochise Stronghold.

JJ Brunner wrote:
I noticed I can get psyched out if I read a bunch of stories about placements/anchors failing before I go climb on gear. So, I figure I should start a thread about gear holding. Lets hear your success stories! Maybe you fell onto an RP at a crux after a huge runout, or whipped onto a 00 TCU?


I took a falling clinic where we went out and took falls on our gear. We were backed up by a top rope just in case a piece ripped. It was the best thing I have done for my trad climbing, bumped me up instantly by two grades.

Only real fall I have done was a 20' fall onto a #3. I have taken several small ones with my waist right at the piece.


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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Apr 22, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan

I've fallen at least 4 or 5 times on the purple c3 (00, I believe). Once it was a good fifteen footer.


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By eric harvey
Apr 22, 2011

Do hook count as pro?

Trying to put up a new aid line in St Vrain, I took a 15 foot fall from 15 feet up onto a talon hook that was taped to a quarter width edge on an overhanging wall. Good fun! I was sure glad that it held.


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By Aaron Martinuzzi
Apr 22, 2011
end of the day in the black canyon.

Last year in Indian Creek I took three or four successive wingers onto a grey TCU in some no-varnish, grainy, rubbing-sand-off-the-rock in Donnelly Canyon. I was pretty surprised that held. When we took the cam out it had some kind of pulverized sandstone on the lobes and had definitely blown the crack a little bit, but it held.

Later that spring I took a good 30 footer onto a red alien placed in some flaky pegmatite. climbed back up to the piece and noticed that one of the lobes had blown out a chunk of the crack and the remaining three lobes were a bit deformed, but, again, it held.

I think “sketchy” gear is often quite a bit better than we imagine it is.


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By Mike Pharris
From Longmont, CO
Apr 22, 2011
Belay at top of P3, "Three Tiers" Ten Mile Canyon. 11/30/12

Great thread!

My only trad fall on lead so far was about a 6 footer on an orange Mastercam. Had bad feet and a poorly set handjam and popped free just as i was starting to touch the jug. Cam held and i was caught just about as quick as I realized i was falling. Regrouped and finished the route!

I love my orange mastercam - it's now my favorite piece!


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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 22, 2011
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.

I fell on two nuts I placed at the low crux on Chockstone on West Ridge in Eldo multiple times once leading it. Dang, that move is hard. To my amazement they both held.


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By Phil Lauffen
From The Bubble
Apr 22, 2011
RMNP skiing. Photo by Nodin de Saillan

Stich wrote:
Dang, that move is hard.


Love doing one finger jams on a 10a. Ah, eldo...


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By Steven Lucarelli
From Moab, UT
Apr 22, 2011
Showing off Johns almighty poop tube on the top of El Cap, after climbing the Nose.

I'd estimate that I have fallen on gear 300 times or more, on everything from RMNP alpine granite to Indian Creek & Eldo sandstone. I've never had a piece pull (except aid climbing) and have fallen on everything from RP's to large cams.

My point is, the few stories you hear about gear pulling is only a very, very small percentage compared to all the gear that doesn't pull that you never hear about. (Kind of like the number of planes that crash compared to the number of planes that fly each year).

Just be sure you know how to place it properly. For some reason some people just never seem to figure it out?


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By Ralph Kolva
From Evergreen, CO
Apr 22, 2011

Taken a couple of 20' and 30' falls on a #3 Quickie Nut (Slider nut). I recall one of those falls in particular on Broken Neck at Seneca Rocks. I placed the piece just below where the crack peters out, climbed over it onto blank face and spent 15 minutes looking for good holds not realizing the climb split right. I was so focused on not falling that I completely blocked out that Tony Barnes was yelling at me to go right (he was guiding clients on Marshall's).

Taken a few falls on SLCDs but nothing that I can recall the specifics of.


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By Goat
From Boulder
Apr 22, 2011
Unknown climb in The Needles

I re bought a yellow nut that I had lost. The first day out I (apparently) really wanted to place it, because it went in when a red nut really should have gone in. I fell and it blew right in my face! I think it was a red friend that ended up catching me a few feet later.


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By Ice4life
From SLC, UT
Apr 22, 2011
GYM

Took a whip on 2 black aliens equalized with an X. I was super sketched 1 wouldn't hold, so I decided to get pumped putting in 2 and then equalizing them... They held, I pooped my pants...


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By Aaron Martinuzzi
Apr 22, 2011
end of the day in the black canyon.

Steven Lucarelli wrote:
My point is, the few stories you hear about gear pulling is only a very, very small percentage compared to all the gear that doesn't pull that you never hear about.


Ditto.

just remembered a couple fun fixed pieces -- my second lead fall was on a fixed bong on Kor's Door my first summer leading trad, the second 5.9 I took a lead fall on on that summer. After that I think it took me another year to get to the point where I was down to push it again. About two years later I went for a ride on a pretty junky pin on Kings X in Eldo. That was kind of a janky climb, fun, but I remember it was little loose and strangely protected.


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By sunder
From Alsip, Il
Apr 22, 2011
ICE PIT 2011

Fell on a BD #4 nut barely in there.. It Held.



So what about gear failures?


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By Kilroywashere!
From Harrisonburg, Virginia
Apr 22, 2011
Kilroy

sunder wrote:
So what about gear failures?


i looked at an alien wrong one time, it caught on fire and there was a small explosion.

i kid.

fell on a .75 then climbed up a little more and placed a #5 and whipped on that multiple times, nothin big


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By colin tuck
From Fairbanks
Apr 22, 2011

Fell ~25 feet on a big hex on Mitchell in the Wind Rivers. It surprised me by holding in the wet and weirdly shaped crack.


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By John Maguire
From Boulder, CO
Apr 22, 2011
Bastille Crack Final Pitch

Try a pitch of aid climbing. You will be amazed how good most gear is. That being said, I quote Tony B with some advice I always try to climb by:

"Keep two good pieces between you and the hospital, that way even if you are wrong 50% of the time...".


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By Ed Wright
Apr 22, 2011
Magic Ed

My longest lead fall ever was a 20 footer onto a #2 RP. If that hadn't held I'd of gone another 25 feet to the ground.


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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Apr 22, 2011

JJ Brunner wrote:
I noticed I can get psyched out if I read a bunch of stories about placements/anchors failing before I go climb on gear. So, I figure I should start a thread about gear holding. Lets hear your success stories! Maybe you fell onto an RP at a crux after a huge runout, or whipped onto a 00 TCU?



I have two stories,

Mine which is not too inpressive.
I was leading some 5.9 got a few pieces up and the crack started to thin out, I dropped in a #1 master cam and ran it about 7 feet (ohh ahhh)to a better looking section that looked more protctable and the hold I was standing on broke, took a small whipper and the piece held like a dream.


Now the better story.
We were climbing up a easy 5.9 one move wonder. My friend was leading pitch 3 the crux pitch. The pitch is a chimney ish that leads to a over hanging block (crux) the protection is un believable it takes 00- to c4s every 6 inches if you wished, up to the crux. There is one crack in the bottom of the roof, drop in a BD #5 stopper and pull the roof. The roof is slick and there is no pro until you pop over the edge 6 feet up on to a 10 foot ledge. Now... :) my buddy pulls the roof and is very happy. He stands up and give a WHOOOO HOOOOOO! and throws his arms up about his accomplishment, over balance and falls backward off the roof. The #5 held like a dream, and I laughing my ass off as he dangles up side down 15 or so feet below the roof in thin air.


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By Brian Adzima
From the Paris of Appalachia
Apr 22, 2011
somewhere in WV

sunder wrote:
Fell on a BD #4 nut barely in there.. It Held. So what about gear failures?


On "Pretty Girls with Longs Knives" I weighted a yellow alien and it pulled. So then I fell onto a red alien, and it pulled. Finally I fell on small nut, and it held as my feet bounced off the ground and my belayer woke up.


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By Mike
From Phoenix
Apr 22, 2011
Doing the jump-across off The Mace.  I never get tired of this climb.  Photo by Wednesday Hugus.

I have fallen on gear countless times (maybe 1000?) and am still around to talk about it. Big gear, small gear, good rock, bad rock, competent belayers, newbie belayers, it all seems to hold OK. That well-placed piece below you is solid, and the marginal one below it is probably good as well.

A few success stories:

-I took several hard whips on a blue Alien in Sedona on The Watchtower and it held every one.

-Once I even took a high FF whipper onto a tiny black Alien in a shallow seam with a blind woman belaying me, and all was well.

-I have taken 2 good falls on a tiny nut: A green WC UL rock with a single stem. I still use that nut to this day.

-Just a couple months ago I whipped onto a grey WC Zero cam (slightly smaller than the smallest Metolius or Alien) and it held fine.

I have only ever had 1 piece pull, and it was a shitty placement of the tiniest new Tricam (the white .0125 size) in a shallow, flaring horizontal on questionable rock. I knew it was shit, but it was the only piece I could fiddle in and I rolled with it. Of course the next piece held.

The gear works. Whip away!
-Mike


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