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

Brands

Weekend Whippers

Weekend Whipper: Impetus

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and unwrap savings this holiday season.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

Now 30% Off.
$4.99/month $3.49/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

Paul Thomson is back for a lap on his new route, Impetus (5.12c), at Medlow Bath in Australia’s Blue Mountains. He clears the
crux, but a tricky dynamic move guards the jug above. Thomson sets up for the toss, but doesn’t quite make it…Airmail!

Why such a massive whipper? Belayer Jason Nguyen says the system needs extra slack in order for the climber to clear the ledge below—a good example
of a smart belay and a clean fall.

As a belayer, it is your job to assess the risks of a given situation. If a ledge or protrusion looms below your climber, more slack can allow him or her
to clear the hazard safely. In other cases, if the whip could be dangerous, a short, static fall may be preferable to prevent the climber from slamming
the ledge and breaking his or her ankles.

Both have dangers and merits. While a soft catch is better than a hard one, the more slack you feed into the system, the more difficult it becomes to gauge
the distance of a fall. A short, static catch risks slamming the climber into the wall, but can be necessary to avoid obstacles lurking in the soft-catch
sweet spot. The choice often lies between the lesser of two evils.

Have fun and stay safe!

More Belay Tips
Catch of the Day
Eight Ways to Avoid Braking Bad: The Art of the Soft Catch

Watch last week’s Weekend Whipper: Aid Fall on Lost Arrow Spire

Video submitted by Jason Nguyen