Runout classics - ever take the ride?


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Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 22, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
Sidewinder ... surely - SOMEBODY has to have biffed it.

In 1988 or so, a guy from the SF Bay Area took a leader fall from up there.
I didn't witness it, but he was at a campfire in Hidden Valley that night, in a fair amount of pain.
I don't remember his name.
He fractured his heel, I guess when he swung into the rock at the end of his fall.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2013 - 05:01pm PT
If I hadn't of had my legs tucked, I'd probably be hurting right now

And if I had wheels I'd be a wagon :)

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
May 22, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
In 1988 or so, a guy from the SF Bay Area took a leader fall from up there.

I might have seen that one, that's about the right time-frame. The guy I saw was all the way across at the end of the traverse. All he had to do was the easy exit move with good holds, but there is a little flake/crack there and he was hopelessly gripped and was trying to fiddle in some gear when he biffed. He took a huge swinging fall and cratered into the wall near the base.

A few daze later we watched some euro solo the thing. I'll bet that is pretty rare.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2013 - 05:17pm PT

Lucas Dunn on Diamondback, cool and confident (I broke a hold off following and took a lil plunge :3)

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
May 22, 2013 - 05:22pm PT

"And if I had wheels I'd be a wagon :) "

If I hadn't had my Legs tucked,
I'd most likely be on wheels right now! :)



Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
May 22, 2013 - 06:26pm PT
I took a 6"er off of that first bolt on Black Tide. That's about it. I don't like falling.

After swinging leads on Prime Interest at Christmas Tree Pass with my buddy Don P. somebody asked if we had taken a look down while on the 30' runouts between bolts. Don's reply was classic: "No, there's nothing down there for us but death and dismemberment."

Boulder climber
Nov 29, 2013 - 10:57pm PT


Oakland, CA
Nov 30, 2013 - 01:47am PT
Great bump.

Pappy, holy shit!

Social climber
Nov 30, 2013 - 02:34am PT
Kodye Taking Flight
Kodye Taking Flight
Credit: Duke

Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 30, 2013 - 04:45pm PT
I took a big whipper on Shakey Flakes. The road rash was so bad that I had to take off my pants 'cause I couldn't tolerate anything touching my leg. I even got onto one of the shuttle buses sans pantaloons.

Trad climber
Dec 1, 2013 - 08:52am PT
A few places in Eastern Europe are notorious for having "just enough" bolts. In Slovakia there is a place called Kalamarka that has been rebolted and rerebolted, but some routes are still quite bold. For full value, you can forgo the new bolts and do it in the original style. Here I fell off a sloping mantle top out trying to clean it from all the autumn leaves. Kicked my belayer in the head. Not long, maybe 30-35 feet. Went back for the send after changing my pants.


Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 1, 2013 - 09:29am PT
I am famous for screwing up:

THE BIG BITE by Duane Raleigh

I smelled Mark's shoes as he fell past the belay. Hot E.B. rubber smells like burning car tires. An acrid lingering in the nostrils that settles onto your tongue. It was the longest fall, somewhere around 100 feet, I had ever held. And still is.

I really thought Mark had made it up The Big Bite, a glassy stretch of granite immediately left of Quartz Mountain's popular S-Wall. He hiked the crux, a run-out stretch of dish smearing and single-digit crimping that had stopped power meister Jon Frank (he took a sweet 50-foot slider) that same season. But that section was nothing to Mark, and, I was a bit disappointed that he so easily dispatched what had given me the shakes the year before. "Can't he snivel, even a little bit?" I thought at the belay. Nope.

The last time I looked up to check, Mark's shoes were disappearing over the crest of the wall 60 feet above. "He's got the good edges on top," I told myself, then settled onto the belay bolts anticipating a cruiser top-rope run.

There was a scraping sound, then the shoes got big. And there was Herndie, skidding down the face, slow at first, then full bore. I've always admired the way he fell. Upright and in control. No scream. No whimper. Like a stone. He later told me he just popped off, started sliding, tried to catch himself on an edge but grazed it, and went on falling.

Forty feet into the fall and 10 feet above the belay Mark caught air where the wall steepens. There wasn't anything for me to do but to reel in arm loads of slack and try to keep him off of the lower knobs that would break James Dixon's ankle some five years later.

Mark hit the wall below the belay and resumed his grinding slide. There was surprisingly little jerk when the rope came taut -- skin and rubber make effective brake pads. By the time Mark stopped, his shoes needed a resole and wet strips of skin flapped off the palms of both hands. It looked like someone had taken a cheese grater to his butt.

I lowered Mark to the ground, then rapped off and drove us around in my old beat-up VW bug to Brent Choate's tailer, tucked in the cottonwoods at the other end of Quartz. I figured Brent had just what was needed for some quick pain relief. Mark wrapped his hands around a cool Bud, then off we went to my parent's house in Weatherford, 60 miles to the north.

That evening I had the pleasure of watching my mother pick lichen and grit out of Mark's butt and thigh. That probably smarted, but all I could think about was the smell of those stinking shoes.

Duane Raleigh was the leading force in pioneering many of Oklahoma's most difficult rock climbs in the Wichita and Quartz mountains during the late 70's and early 80's. Here, he recounts the now famous tale of Mark Herndon's 1981 attempt to repeat the still desperate "Big Bite" at Quartz Mountain. Duane is now editor for Climbing Magazine and resides in Redstone, Colorado.

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Dec 1, 2013 - 09:34am PT
Did you ever get on it again, Base?

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 1, 2013 - 09:50am PT
HELL no. I followed it a few times.

F'ing thing scarred me for life.

Social climber
Dalian, Liaoning
Dec 1, 2013 - 09:51am PT
Do you remember what was going on in your mind at the time?

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 1, 2013 - 10:36am PT

Oh Sh#t,...

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Dec 1, 2013 - 11:00am PT
Man mark, I looked over from s-wall, Jesus.

Not much to dwell on except to keep moving.

Such a proud showing in the middle of america.

Quartz would ruffle the feathers of many Cali slabmasters.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 1, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
Leversee, 200', Jolly Roger.
Larry Nelson

Social climber
Dec 3, 2013 - 06:39am PT
This is a great thread, reminds me why I was never much of a bold climber, and a bump is worthy.
Speaking of bumps, I always thought Snake Dike would be a bumpy ride, but never heard of anyone taking one on those long runouts.

Was on Dangling Woo li Master at Josh years ago and witnessed a guy on Caught Inside on a Big Set. He was runout pretty good over his last cam when he slipped, fell about 50' and ended up 5' above his belayer at ground level. The belayer enthusiastically said, "Let me know when your ready to go up again". The guy just said "lower me". Nothing but air, but he was done for the day, knowing that his cam was the best investment of his life.

Was belaying on Solid Gold once and heard a guy take the pendulum fall on "Figures on a Landscape". Don't remember it being real serious, but it can be.

One of my best friend's died on a pendulum fall in Alaska (not a long runout)when his rope was cut on an unseen flake he climbed past and over on a FA.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Dec 3, 2013 - 07:19am PT
Here is a funny one for ya,
last night while sleeping I took a 3 footer falling out of bed. fell on my ass, elbow hit the nightstand on the way down, gunna live but it scared the sh!t outta me. Can I get a spot?, sleepin is highball at my age.
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