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Weekend Whippers

Weekend Whipper: Another One Bites the Deck

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When a hold breaks on Virtuous Pagans (5.11a) at Dante’s Wall, Red Rock, Nevada, this climber hits the deck.

If you watch closely, the belayer lets go of the brake-strand to feed out slack above the belay device. He returns to the brake-strand, loosely, but when
the climber falls, the belayer grabs the rope above the belay device—while his left hand holds a death-grip on the device’s release lever.

With rope whizzing out, the climber decks from around 15 feet. Fortunately, he wasn’t injured. The belayer, on the other hand, must have had some good
rope burn by the looks of it.

Even with an assisted braking belay device (read: NOT auto-locking), the brake hand should never leave the rope.

Happy Friday and stay safe out there!

Watch last week’s Weekend Whipper: Carabiner Breaking Fall