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Tips for falling on off-vertical face?

Original Post
Acmesalute76 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 66

I'm not talking about slab falls where you just slide on your toes or maybe run backwards a little. Nor am I talking about easy, low angle climbs where falling is just a bad idea, period. I'm talking about that realm where it's not quite vertical but too steep to really be slab climbing. So maybe 70 degrees and up? Something like that. 

These types of falls freak me out. In my mind I look down and the fall is not clean and I know I will probably fall outwards a little but it still scares me. I know that I will be able to relax if I understand them better and know what to expect. Anything vertical or steeper I have no problem with. Does anyone have any tips for spotting the fall, initiating the fall, actually falling, or whatever? Everything I've read mentions slab falls or steep falls but nothing in between. 

gspup · · Sweet Ridge, CO · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 5

The best tip for this situation is don't fall. 

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41

IME, running down the wall screaming works well.

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

Sounds like slab, you should try jumping on a 5.12+ slab climb. 70 degree is far from steep... sounds like a 5.10 slab climb that only has crystals for holds.

Eli . · · GMC3500 · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 3,199

I seem to remember a video of someone taking a 60+ foot cheese grater at stone mountain in NC. Good stuff.

BrokenChairs ~ · · Sultan, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 235

I've taken the type of fall you/re describing 30'+ with a broken foot as a reminder it's best to just not fall. When you do expect to feel it. 

Mark Says · · Aspen, CO · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 395
ViperScale wrote:

Sounds like slab, you should try jumping on a 5.12+ slab climb. 70 degree is far from steep... sounds like a 5.10 slab climb that only has crystals for holds.

Well that clears that up! If you're unsure of how to take the fall, just jump on something "real".

I feel like this is going to help me send all my projects.

Benjamin Mitchell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 0

I've taken about a dozen falls on slightly less than vertical crack climbs without it ever being too jarring, definitely hurts your toes though if you're wearing downsized shoes.

Evan Crumpecker · · Colorado Springs · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 180

I dunno man, 70 degrees sounds pretty slabby...

llanSan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 130


Acmesalute76 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 66

70 degrees was just a guess, I'm just talking about climbs that are steep enough to not be slab friction climbs but slabby enough that you can't just jump off and fall straight down. 

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,631

In the category of injuries resulting in professional medical attention, I've been injured twice in about 14 years of regular outside multi - virtually all of that less than vertical terrain. And in both injuries, I contacted terrain that was less than vertical.

Both times I did not push off as I started to fall. Both times I did not look down during the fall (one time wouldn't have mattered).  I feel the lack of those actions was a  major contributor to the injuries.

I believe the other two generic helpful actions are to breath and to relax.

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

Let your partner to lead that fun and easy far-from-steep pitch. Say it looks so awesome so you just ought to grant all that awesomeness to the best climbing partner ever.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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