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This story originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of our print edition.
Sometimes our brains want to climb more than our bodies are capable. It’s usually during those “just one more try” burns that things go wrong. Your skin gets the final say, forcing you to be done for the day/week/month by giving you a flapper, or a massive chunk of epidermis that hangs from your finger like a door on loose hinges. Here are the bloodiest, grossest, stomach-turningest flapper photos submitted by our readers.
Near the end of a bouldering session, I missed a move, my feet cut, and I tried in vain to hold on with one hand.
I got my first set of flappers when I sent my first V2. Then I taped ’em down and kept on moving.
I tore this during a dyno on a boulder problem in the gym. I stuck the move, but I felt it tear. I took a three-week hiatus to let it heal.
Mac Lewis after he took an unexpected whipper when a foot cut loose on a polished 6a+/5.10c finger crack in Arboli, Spain.
Paul Breitling received this flapper dynoing to a jug on Reflection of the Beaver at the Index River boulders in Washington.
I was working Recluse, a V11 roof. I kept blowing the last move, but I decided to give it one last go. I felt good, but the flat, damp jug did not.
I didn’t stay composed during my topout and look what happened.
I took five years off climbing. After my first training session back at a wall, this is my reward.
This was a painful moment for my friend Stefan, because he realized he wouldn’t be climbing for the next couple days.