Yowsa! That was a close one. Nataleigh “Nat” Bell and her friends went out for a day of climbing in Ulassai, Sardinia, Italy, at the Cave of Dreams crag.
Belayed by her friend Frances Collins, Nat got on a 7b+ (5.12b) called B&V. She skipped a clip up high—she was too pumped and figured she’d just keep going—and when she fell, her chalk bag brushed the wall behind her. Everyone was surprised, but after discussing it with her friends, Nat said, “I came to the ‘logical’ conclusion that I only nearly hit the rock behind because I dynoed (out of desperation), meaning I launched myself really far out!”
She decided that she’d simply make sure not to do that on her next burn.
Nat continued, “Feeling confident, I went with my decision to simply continue my plan (skipping the clip, but not dynoing). I planned to climb that section very static, up to that next crimp and then up to the good hold, where the next clip is.”
As so often happens with these Whippers, the plan was flawed. “Turns out I am very bad at physics and successfully hit the wall behind me!” Nat said. “I slammed my ass pretty hard on that other rock behind! Oops.”
Nat was lucky: she walked away with nothing but a deep bruise. “I still feel a dull ache on my right ass cheek, but I can’t complain,” she said. “I must admit it is disturbing to think what could have happened, especially as I wasn’t wearing a helmet.”
But Nat’s got nerves of steel evidently: she went back to the Cave—“with some muscle aches”—got back on it, and managed to send it in two more goes. And this time she didn’t skip the clip 😉
Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!