Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Weekend Whippers

Weekend Whipper: Three-Man Shoulder Stand and an Enormous Fall in Ardspach

What do you do when the crack doesn't start until 12 feet up, the wall is blank, and the local ethic forbids bolts? Get a little help from your friends! Always good to have a shoulder to lean - er, stand - on.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 25% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

25% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $3.75/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.

  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

On the hundreds of sandstone towers in Adršpach, Czech Republic, protection is limited to knotted slings or ropes, and widely-spaced ringbolts.

In this video, local climber Danny Mensik starts the route Orel nebo pana (“Head or tail”) by standing on the shoulders of a friend who is already standing on the shoulders of another friend.

When he established the route in 1978, a local legend named Cikán relied on a five-person (!) shoulder stand to bypass the 12-foot blank section at the base of the wall to reach the crack. Mensik says, “As we were only three, it was a bit more challenging.”

Grades in Adršpach, just like the ethics and protection, are also old-school. “This route has only had 6 repetitions and is graded VIIc,” says Mensik. “If you look at the comparison table it should be 5.9 in USA, but this comparison doesn’t really works since VIIc in Adršpach can be anything between 5.10-5.12, not counting the mental difference.”

Once established in the crack after the shoulder stand, Mensik got a couple of good knots and made his way up the finger crack, which eventually widens to an easy handcrack and the first ringbolt at 12 meters. The crack is then unprotectable for the next 6 meters, and just before the next ringbolt it gets shallow and thin again.

“Suddenly the crack was very dirty and full of moss,” Mensik says, “which caused my fall as I was trying to make another move to reach the second ringbolt. The whipper was completely fine…as smooth as can be. But my belayer hit his elbow while catching me which caused a terrifying look in his eyes and scared me more than the fall itself!”

Both Mensik and belayer were ok. Ten minutes a quick breather later, he got back on and sent.

Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!

Watch Last Week’s Whipper

Weekend Whipper: “Tired!” Yells the Rope-Soloist


Got a whipper of your own? Email it to