TNB: The Top 5 Weekend Whippers of 2014 (Plus the Comments)
What makes a “good” Weekend Whipper? This, of course, boils down to personal taste. Some like a big, clean fall. Others like to see the climber wearing a helmet. Here is our pick of the best Weekend Whippers of 2014.
Finding a good Weekend Whipper is not easy. After posting one every Friday morning for roughly three years, the well is
running dry. Then there is the tough audience, who will ruthlessly show their displeasure if the Whipper is unsatisfactory.
You call that a Whipper????
As the end of the week draws near, the pressure mounts.
But giving up is never an option. Rock and Ice is dedicated to bringing you a Weekend Whipper every Friday, so if I have to go 48 pages deep into
the dark-hole of a “climbing falls” search on Youtube, then so be it. And fortunately, the Go-Pro revolution and the iPhone directors keep the good
Weekend Whippers trickling in.
But what makes a “good” Weekend Whipper?
This, of course, boils down to personal taste. Some like a big, clean fall. Others like to see the climber wearing a helmet. For me, the most important
factor for what makes a Weekend Whipper entertaining is you. That’s right. You see, I’m a fan of many types of falls—be ‘em big air, ill-considered
escapades, or high-ball bouldering falls—but what’s most amusing to me is the interaction and often hilarious discussion that follows in the
comments below the vids.
So, without further adieu, here are the top five Weekend Whippers of 2014, and my favorite comments that followed.
1. How to Survive a Free Solo Fall
This climber had already lapped Grab Your Balls, which is a 5.9 at a small cliff called Breakneck, in Southwest Pennsylvania. He had even hung
a top-rope on the route for others to take a burn. At the end of the day, however, he decided to take one more run on the 40-foot pitch, but this time
without tying in. Reaching the technical crux at about 35 feet, the climber grabbed an edge at full extension and began to pull up … but slipped,
and suddenly found himself taking the fall of his life. After the fall, he’s unknowingly filmed while he talks about free soloing to a group of inexperienced
“3 words: socks in shoes.”
2. Watch the Rope
Jenga is popular 5.10a at the Birdsboro Quarry in Pennsylvania. The route is steep and featured with dinner-plate jugs protruding from a corner
like the wooden blocks of the climb’s namesake game. However, when leading through this type of steep terrain, it’s important to watch your rope, as
this Weekend Whipper demonstrates. While this climber employs several backsteps in order to correctly position her hips closer to the steep wall, she
forgets to manage her rope, which continually runs along the back of one leg. Eventually, the climber loses her feet and takes a fall, and the rope
catches her leg and flips her upside-down. Luckily, she was wearing a helmet!
“The front of the helmet should be just over the eyebrows. She was wearing it like a yarmulke leaving the frontal lobe completely exposed. Who needs a
3. Did Your Harness Break?
A little backyard sport climbing sounded like a good idea … especially after a few (too many) drinks. But despite the meager height of this home-made
climbing wall, this climber finds trouble. Near the top, as he backs down from a perplexing move, he whips … and lands firmly on the ground. Although
the belayer’s first guess is that the climber’s harness may have broken, this is not the case. Can you spot the ground-fall causing error? Comment
below and let us know what really happened.
“Just SAY NO to plumbers climbing!!! Was that Ron Jeremy???”
4. Bad Clipping Technique Causes Big Fall
This beginner climber learns a tough lesson. While several feet out from his last bolt, he starts to pump out with the next quickdraw right in front of
his face. The seemingly attainable safety is too enticing for the climber and he tries to clip his rope through the taunting biner. But his poor technique
and deep pump lead to a chicken-winged, draw-grabbing attempt with lots of slack in his hand … and he ultimately pays the price.
“He’s spaiding. Sport aiding. It’s the future.”
5. Homemade Gear Gone Wrong
Armed with wooden blocks wrapped in tape for a homemade rack, this climber sets off to climb Matilda Bridge Crack in Dallas, Texas. Employing an inefficient
double-gaston, crack-climbing technique, he climbs above his last piece but realizes he’s not going to make it to his next pre-placed block …
“Everything seemed fine except he was using [Five Ten] Dragons to crack climb.”