Weekend Whipper: Gear Ripping Trad Climbing Fall

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At the first sentence With the COVID lockdowns ending in the UK in 2020, many climbers were anxious to reach out. At the time (and when this video was taken) Sam was a budding trad climber with a lot of post-lockdown Stoke. He made his way to Hobson Moor Quarry, a crag near Manchester, and hopped the Crews Route (VS/5.7) for his first-ever trad lead.

“I had nothing but a pair of shoes, a harness, a chalk bag and a rope, so I called my brother and borrowed his trad rack [was] just a set of old DMM nuts long retired in his garden shed,” Sam wrote.

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Sam made it up most of Crew’s route, just under a large ledge, when he jumped off. Much to his surprise, three of his four nut placements broke and his top piece halted the fall. As you will see in the clip, the belayer’s position away from the wall puts an outward and upward load on the nut placements, causing them to “slip” off pitch. To learn more about nut placement and avoid a zip tie like Sam’s, read this in-depth article on nut placement.

Despite being thoroughly shaken up from that fall, Sam got back in and sent the route on the second attempt. And in the two years since that near miss, Sam is happy to report that he now has a helmet, a trad rack and some vital knowledge of gear placement.

Happy Friday and be safe out there this weekend. To view the full library of Weekend Whippers, click here.