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Oct 10, 2008
In the early 80's I was filming a friend taking whippers off the first roof on the second pitch of Spare Rib for my sophomore film school project. My climbing buddy had placed a Friend in just below the roof and would climb a couple of body lengths above the cam then jump. I would film the resulting 15 or 20 footer. Then I would move or jug for a different angle on the fall and he would repeat the process.
The forth time he jumped his piece just below the roof popped as did his next one. He ended up stopping just as he landed on his belayer at the top of the first pitch. His belayer, a film school student and first time climber/belayer, managed to stop the fall, but promptly leaned over and puked he was so stunned and frightened. He, then, insisted upon immediately rapping to the ground.
As neither of the other two film students present would agree to take over the belay duties in spite of my insisting "it was safe", our filming was over for the day.
The climber... suffered only minor cuts and abrasions after his 75 foot plummet.
Did I get the big ride on film?... No I was jugging the line to get a higher angle and he had jumped, "just for the hell of it", when the gear failed. One of the roped stoppers on his harness did smack me in the head as he whistled by, however. The film camera was not damaged.