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: Makin’ Waves

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
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

After deciding against the top out, Marshall Strong attempted to down climb and took a spill off Makin’ Waves (V2) at Rocktown, LaFayette, Georgia.

“I missed the pads except for my head and a shoulder, but fortunately wasn’t hurt too badly,” he writes in the video description.

Strong is lucky he wasn’t hurt worse. As he fell, he rotated backwards and impacted head first, just catching the edge of the (poorly positioned) crash
pad. His spotter also stood idle. Had Strong’s spotter tried to catch him falling from that height, it’s likely that the spotter would have been hurt
as well. But the spotter could have re-positioned the pad with a swift kick to get it under the climber.

Falls happen fast—but this accident could have easily been prevented. Mountain Project suggests
“a few pads [and] a few spotters,” for this heady boulder problem. Even though Makin’ Waves is on the lower end of the V-spectrum, it has
a difficult, sloping top out and potential for a bad fall. When attempting highballs or boulder problems with shady landings, bring lots of friends
and bring lots of pads.

Here are a few more tips to prevent boulder accidents from Rock and Ice issue 228 (August 2015):

1. Scope the fall line. Figure out where the crux is and where the pad/s need to be placed to protect a fall.

2. Suss the landing. If pieces of talus or gear can be moved out of the landing zone, move them. Check for pits and tree roots, and pad them accordingly.

3. Check the topout. If you can access the top of the boulder, do so. Preview and chalk up the last holds.

4. Communicate. If you’re spotting, let the climber know if you’re distracted or not ready to spot. If you’re the climber, alert your spotter before you
climb, and let him know you want and expect his full attention.

5. When spotting, keep your hands raised, thumbs tucked in, and aim to grab a falling climber by the ribs under the arms. Don’t try to catch the climber,
but only to decelerate and position him onto the pad/s.

Happy Friday and stay safe out there!

Watch last week’s Weekend Whipper: Robbed by the Stone