the whole point of this blog is to help others with all the questions they have about setting up a similar home climbing gym, and ramble about a variety of climbing related subjects.
There is a variety of subjects... most involving rock climbing, written about on this blog. MAKING VOLUMES OR CLIMBING HOLDS, is probably one of the more popular subjects. just check the labels links or search bar to find your fancy.
of course if you want to go back and start from the beggining, please do! to that end, if there are any question let me know ... i encourage you to add comments for others to read or if you want to get me directly you can email me at treadwallproject@hotmail.com
IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME, READ THE MUST READ LIST.... oh!, ...and you have to fight!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Factor FOUR!"

i love the things new climbers say! it makes me feel smug like a parent looking at a child, laughing as the toddler expounds the merits of quantum theory, when they have no idea what their actually talking about. yet, for some reason they seem so thoroughly convinced of their attention to detail. yeah, i have absolutely no idea if there even is such a thing as "quantum theory". but, ...i do know there is no such thing as "factor four" in rock climbing. theres a "fall factor".. and a "figure four". i guess theres even a "fantastic four" but the only time they encountered climbing was when they had a marvel team-up with that friendly neighborhood spiderman.

so, while i make fun of the silly things said, i will admit im not too far past such foolishness. if youve been in climbing for long enough, youve heard very foolish things uttered with total sincerity. i think it's because climbers are intimidating and we speak in code. so, when a newbie is trying to break into this mob they do their best to mimic those who are already made. i did it... maybe i still do? or am i testing you? spitting inaccuracies to see if your willing to call me out? yeah! that's what i do! i never make mistakes.... what was i typing about? nothing? right! got it!

sooo, fall factors has been something that i constantly hear expounded upon by the ignorant. therefore today... we will define!

fall factor: the force of a fall generated (F) is equal to(=), the distance (D) of the fall divided by (/) the length (L) of rope in the system. {alejandro new dictionary}

F=D/L ... you do the math!

quick word problem: there are two teams of climbers on the grand wall one day. a climber from the first team falls from 10 feet above the anchor falling past the belayer and coming to a stop 10 ft below the belay. over with the other team the lead climber is half way up a pitch, his last piece of gear is 40ft above his belayer unfortunately the climber is also 2oft run out when he decides his knocking knees and elvis leg wont let him keep smearing on that pimple sized foot scum and pitches off for a ride. which climber do you want to be?

so... what all it means to us is factor: 2 is bad! factor: 1 or less is acceptable. because, ...i say so.

in truth the fall factor determines the "hardness" of a fall the higher it is, the "harder" the fall. ie, your chances of "hurting" goes up! The hardness of a fall is not a function of its length but of this ratio, because the longer the rope, the more it can stretch to cushion the fall. This is only a theoretical fall factor because it assumes that there is no friction between the belayer and the highest runner to allow all the rope in play to absorb energy equally... that never happens...EVER! trust me. but it still helps us teach the new climber why certain thing are bad, and others are ....suuupper bad!

ill spell it out. ever heard of a "zipper"? thats when you pull out a piece or three because either the rock sucks or you suck at leading. with a high enough factor fall you could potentially zipper the anchor! the moral is, get a piece in as quick as you can. oh and you want to be the belayer of team 2 in that math question... he's still a climber in that equation.

but the full break down is: climber 1: fell 20ft on 10ft of rope. f=20/10, factor=2. climber 2: fell 40ft on 60ft of rope. f=40/60, f=0.6. therefore, climber 1 potentially kills the whole team when the anchor fails or he breaks his back... or he has organ hemorrhage. climber 2 kicks his own ass taking a whipper if the wall is anything less than vertical. Belayer 2, breaths a sigh of relief while trying to slow his own pulse. then trys to remember how to escape the belay and effect a descent with a wounded climber. belayer 2... WINS!!

check out this little page on the beal website: (they actual show that a gri-gri hurts more than the ATC, go figure?!) http://www.beal-planet.com/2010/anglais/facteurdechute.php

this page also explains better than me: http://www.southeastclimbing.com/faq/faq_fall_factor.htm

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