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Weekend Whippers

Weekend Whipper: Grasping at Grass – 40 Foot Ground Fall

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“You’re fine,” Tyler’s brother says, as Tyler desperately grabs for grass on the topout of a 40-foot gritstone
route.

Tyler, the unlucky climber in this week’s Weekend Whipper, and Christopher, his brother and belayer, were out for a casual day of climbing at Shining Cliff
in the U.K. “We didn’t know what route he was climbing, or the grade,” Christopher tells Rock and Ice, “but it looked okay.

“This proved to have been a worthwhile day to bring my camera.”

Tyler reached the top of the route and found himself without any holds, so he went for the grass. But unfortunately, it had been a short growing season.
“It’s only June here, so [the grass] hadn’t had time to mature and get those deep roots that I would need to have a good grass hold,” Tyler says in
the video. He went for rock first, “obviously,” he says, but there was another rock outcropping above, so he couldn’t mantel and worm his way up.

“So I tested the grass … and knew that that wouldn’t work,” Tyler says, “looked around for a bit more, and then went for the grass.”

Christopher remembers looking up, and sending his brother words of encouragement, such as “You got it” and “You’re fine.”

“In that moment, when you heard ‘You’re fine’, did you feel better?” Christopher asks in the video.

“No.” Tyler replies.

Tyler slowly lost his grip and fell. The wire of his top piece burst, and he hit the deck from 40 feet. His groin was bruised from having caught the rope
mid fall, and his arm was bruised while shielding his head on impact, but Tyler suffered no major injuries in the accident.

“Tyler is a bit of a beast and didn’t seem too fazed by it,” Christopher says. “But we know we were fortunate.”

Happy Friday and wear a helmet this weekend!

Watch last week’s Weekend Whipper: Adam Ondra Whips Off Neanderthal (5.15b)