Mountain Project Logo

Longest fall without serious injury


Original Post
cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 175

Just talked to someone who fell 20 feet and walked away with a bruised butt.
Got me wondering- what is the longest fall any of you have taken without injury (good stories-extra credit) or know of other climbers taking without getting hurt?

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,535

I have a friend who took 140' zinger El Cap and never even touched the wall. That one is the biggest fall that someone I know took and didn't get injured at all.

I have loads of friends who have whipped in the 40-50' range regularly 

Personally, my biggest falls have been in the 30' range.

cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 175
John Wilder wrote: I have a friend who took 140' zinger El Cap and never even touched the wall. That one is the biggest fall that someone I know took and didn't get injured at all.

I have loads of friends who have whipped in the 40-50' range regularly

Personally, my biggest falls have been in the 30' range.

Guess I meant groundfalls but a140' whipper is mighty impressive

Andrew Gram · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 3,580

I grounded out from about 35 feet once.  Hold broke unexpectedly on an obscure runout route in the Black Hills Needles before the first gear placement.  The landing was terrible too - a rocky gully.  I was and still am shocked that I walked away with nothing but bruises.  It probably helped that I was young and had been doing lots of highball bouldering so I was fairly relaxed and bounced better than I would now.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95

I know someone who took a 180 ft digger while ice climbing, and walked away with a minor wrist fracture. Landed in a big fluffy snow pile.

Ryan SD · · Rapid City, SD / Reno, NV · Joined May 2015 · Points: 0
Caught buddies on 40 foot whips....never taken one much higher than 25 myself. 
Goulet Goulet · · Saint-FĂ©licien, QC · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0

I took a 40ft ground fall, landed flat on my butt and was ok, only minor bruises and a sprained ankle! I was hangover when it happened. Took a rest on a shitty piece of gear and it blew up, I don't lead when I'm hangover anymore!

Nick B · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 61

I watch a guy tobbogan down a 150ft ice climb unroped once.   He somehow walked away with a tailbone fracture and hairline humerus fracture apparently.

My personal biggest outdoor fall was a 15' fall on slab.   I literally skiied backwards on my climbing shoes.  

Ryan Swanson · · Pepedidnothingwrong, freejg · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 50
John Wilder wrote: 

Personally, my biggest falls have been in the 30' range.

And they are never any less frightening

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 502

35 feet on a low angle face and not even a scratch. I fell a significant distance outward and swung back in about 3 feet above a ledge and no problem. Actually, I think my belayer was more injured with a scratch or 2 and some pinched skin from getting pulled into the first piece. 

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

Multi people have fallen out of planes 1000s of ft up in the air and lived without major injury so yea... 33,333ft is guinness book of world record but there are others who have fallen I think higher but not as well documented so they didn't get in.

csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 325

I’ve personally seen about half a dozen people hit the ground from 30-50 ft and walk away mostly ok. Admittedly most of those were slowed or cushioned by incompetent belayers. In the longest of those they were save by their own anchor building incompetence. They had so much friction in the system from the rope weaving around trees that it slowed them during the fall.

M Jarmland · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 0
csproul wrote:..cushioned by incompetent belayers..

Made me think of kind of a funny story.


I was belaying my friend at a popular crag. While looking down to rest my neck for a second I felt a couple of small rocks hit my helmet. As I looked up to curse my friend I saw him, mid air, coming towards me. He hit me hard, ass first, in the chest. Impact had me sitting down with him on top of me.. Climbers from a neighboring route came running to see what happened but turned around shaking their heads when they found us laughing on the ground, my friend still sitting on my lap. We estimated the hold that broke under his foot was around 12 meters or 40 feet up. The single piece he had placed half way barely stretched the rope, if at all. We both walked away okay but my chest was partly purple for a couple of days..
Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 311
cragmantoo wrote:

Guess I meant groundfalls but a140" whipper is mighty impressive

Big difference... I have never hit the ground with a rope tied on. 

I did have a friend who took a 4,500 flyer to the deck.... didn’t make it. RIP
Happy 4th ya all
walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 125

Just took a 40' footer on third pillar when a piece blew tumbled around a little bit and  bounced off a few features  before the next piece and rope caught me.  A few staples in my head and a bruised hip and foot.  I was able to finish the climb and hike out.  

Harumpfster Boondoggle · · Between yesterday and today. · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 65

100'.

Couple scratches.

Don Ferris III · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

I took a 40 or so foot fall in Mexico after attempting to climb left around wet rock skipping a couple bolts. Ended up greasing off a muddy ledge. Sprained ankle on the slab below but still climbed another 10-12 pitches.

I briefly worked for a stand up guy named John Mars who told me he took a 100 foot whipper on an A5 pitch on El Cap after he zippered a bunch of gear. Completely unharmed. 

cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 175
M Jarmland wrote:

Made me think of kind of a funny story.


I was belaying my friend at a popular crag. While looking down to rest my neck for a second I felt a couple of small rocks hit my helmet. As I looked up to curse my friend I saw him, mid air, coming towards me. He hit me hard, ass first, in the chest. Impact had me sitting down with him on top of me.. Climbers from a neighboring route came running to see what happened but turned around shaking their heads when they found us laughing on the ground, my friend still sitting on my lap. We estimated the hold that broke under his foot was around 12 meters or 40 feet up. The single piece he had placed half way barely stretched the rope, if at all. We both walked away okay but my chest was partly purple for a couple of days..

great story

David Kerkeslager · · New Paltz, NY · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 128

This guy has got to be on the list: youtube.com/watch?v=_WzYni4…

F loyd · · Kennewick, WA · Joined Mar 2018 · Points: 356

30" from a tree, landed on my back on a root and thought I was paralyzed and dying since my legs were completely numb. Nothing beats getting the feeling back in your legs and feet. No big ground falls from rock, but some embarrassing short ones.

cragmantoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 175
David Kerkeslager wrote: This guy has got to be on the list: youtube.com/watch?v=_WzYni4…

Whoa. I love how gets up and brushes himself off casually...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
Post a Reply to "Longest fall without serious injury"

Log In to Reply