Getting over the Fear after a Highball Fall

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Messages 61 - 80 of total 98 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 11:38pm PT
@gonzochemist that is my plan for the spring: to sport climb as much as possible, i am psyched!

@hobodan thanks I will check that out

@tom woods, yeah it's in the back of my mind always but it doesn't really affect me anymore.

Thanks everyone for commenting and/or sharing stories of their accidents
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Feb 9, 2013 - 10:40am PT
Oh damn. Ya I see it in the more recent videos of Suspended, the rock scar where the steering wheel jug used to be. It was creeking and moaning pretty hard when I was reefing on it in March. Guess I be jumping now.

OP- get in it. Its super classic. You will love it.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:46am PT
Damn relic, looks like ur gonna have to do SIS the dude way now instead of the crimpy little girl(Schwarzenegger accent) way! Have fun down there!
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:51am PT
lol...callin' ya out...
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:52am PT
I'm still getting over the fear of the ground-level traverse.
WBraun

climber
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:55am PT
If one has fear of highball just use rope.

So simple ......
bjj

climber
beyond the sun
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:58am PT
I was thinking about making my own thread about fear and keeping your cool, but I might as well tag along on this one.

I just started climbing again 4 months ago after a 10 year layoff. It had been going well until last week. I've been upping the ante out at Red Rocks, and now I am paying for it.

On tuesday I took a 35 foot fall on the 4th pitch 5.10d. Strenuous right facing dihedral. The small tcu I put in 10 feet above a bolt, just before the crux liebacking blew out when my right foot suddenly popped just before easier ground. Somewhere on the way down, I smacked my left elbow on a small ledge or something. It didn't break anything, but swelled up with fluid like crazy. Iced it for a couple of days and all was well.

On thursday, climbing another 5.10d dihedral, this time left facing. Plugged a bomber 3/4" cam just before the bulge and gunned it (strenuous liebicking again). Just as I was lifting my foot to exit the crux onto easier ground, my hands blew out. This time was worse. I flew off and back, and as the rope came tight (much shorter fall, only 12 feet), the momentum swung me back into the wall. I was out of position and barely got oriented the right way with my hands and feet in front of me before impact. It wasn't enough time. I smacked my forehead and nose right into the rock.

I saw stars, but did not go unconscious. I did bleed all over the place and may have a broken beak. Decent abrasions on my face, but no major damage.

I now see that in addition to needing to remember to actually bring and wear my helmet when I'm pushing it, that I have been climbing in the past. I have pretty much started all over from scratch, but in my head I am telling myself that because I used to laugh my way up hard 5.10 trad routes, I still can. Wrong. In both cases, I was at my limit and would have barely squeaked through. It wouldn't even have felt fun if I did make it. 20 years ago, I wasn't trying to lead 5.10+ on gear after 4 months of climbing!

This was a wake up call and I probably need to slow down before I really pay for it.

I was very scared right after hitting my head, thinking I was 15 to 20 minutes away from succumbing to a serious skull fracture / brain bleed.

Now I am having trouble imagining doing anything besides sport climbing or the easiest of gear leads.

Help?
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:59am PT
wonderful pic!
wonderful pic!
Credit: pyro
this is how to spot a person on a highball boulder problem.
if u come out to stoney point the boy's can show u how it's done.

p.s. ur video is kool love the scene just wished the spotter left the other pad alone. he was doing things right till then. i'm sure he had good intention :)
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Feb 9, 2013 - 12:12pm PT
boshaaa,

Yes you could rehearse these things on toprope, but that is sort of cheating to a highball purist.

I did a lot of bouldering before pads were available, and most of the highballs I did back then were accomplished by climbing up and then climbing back down, climbing up a little bit higher, then climbing down again. I always avoided jumping off problems if at all possible.

The thing I'm emphasizing here is the skill of down-climbing. Most of those hard highballs were wired one move at a time, ground up, over many sessions. You would have the thing completely dialed even before you sent it.

There is also a lot to be said for knowing your body, and having a good feel of how solid you are on a given move. Often you have to avoid easier dynamic moves for more difficult, but more secure static technique.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Feb 9, 2013 - 12:16pm PT
You don't always get to lead the dance...
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Feb 9, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
There's a classic boulders' progression that starts with low classic B1 problems and progresses to V9 and up highballs. When you are young and immortal, you start with easy stuff and work up until you're going for it high off the ground. Then, a big fall followed by a recovery cycle that ends in another big fall and a second big injury and rehab. At this point, a lot of people switch to low hard problems and start to TR everything they do that's high off the ground. Or else they quit bouldering altogether and stick to lead climbs with ropes. Anything they do into the self-destruct zone they now do on TR. Depends on how bad the first injury was and how old you were when you got it. I sure know a lot of people over 50 who won't boulder anything that gets the bottom of their feet more than 6 feet off the deck.

So do your way hard high-balls before osteoarthritis and spinal degeneration limit your ability to take hard ground falls.
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 9, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
@pyro that's high quality spotting! Nice photo!
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 9, 2013 - 05:32pm PT
@bjj sounds like you've had a rough history with trad. If that was me i would just do more overhanging routes so you could fall straight down and not into the wall. I dont do trad but i sport climb and find that overhanging routes are less scary.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 10, 2013 - 12:20pm PT
Wes on  the Kamp's mantle!
Wes on the Kamp's mantle!
Credit: pyro
no problem bro!

i've been lucky to have local's from stoney point show me how it's done. we never take our eye's of the climber. we even spot when it's 2ft off the deck!
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2013 - 06:38pm PT
Pyro, goes to show that you must have trust in your spotters and know them well
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 10, 2013 - 06:56pm PT
So do your way hard high-balls before osteoarthritis and spinal degeneration limit your ability to take hard ground falls

And please keep in mind that those long drops and impacts - even with mats - create those anatomical problems.

It's going to make no difference, for instance, in the NFL, if the players have high-tech helmets. The impact of receiver and defender will continue to scramble their brains.

A question: at what point does stacking mats begin to invalidate the risk component of HBB?

;>)
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 10, 2013 - 07:22pm PT
Depends on the risk....


bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2013 - 10:23pm PT
@jogill couldn't be more right on about impact. Had a friend take a high fall and compressed 2 vertebrae in his lower back and he landed on pads. Also good question about pad stacking, i don't know what the answer would be but would be nice to hear others' opinions
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 10, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
ll stack pads if I can get a solid two layers with no steps...thats the best way to not twist ankles...Any time you use a pad you are taking a degree of risk out of the equation. For sure.

I have one ruptured disc and several more compressed. Old injuries from construction, snowboarding and skateboarding. I still love me some bouldering and I'm not afraid to go for it. If there is a good stack of pads.....

Pretty sore today after yesterdays session though...I probably will have to slow down one day....but not yet.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 10, 2013 - 11:00pm PT
Depends on the risk....

Good heavens, what is the probability that fellow would land on the mats from that height? They must look like postage stamps. That looks like some serious free soloing.
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