Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Finding the perfect Weekend Whipper is as elusive as finding the first 5.16. It may be out there, maybe not. Or it could be years in the future.
No matter the whip—clean and massive or brutally painful, preventable or accidental, helmet cam or hand cam, horizontal footage or vertical footage—ruthless commentary (as well as some good) spews in faster than a rookie flies off a first lead. From that was lame to that was a crater, not a whipper! to all the armchair critics tossing in their expert advice. And of course, “WHERE’S THE HELMET!”
Nevertheless, we dredge the bowels of the Internet every week in search of the Perfect Whipper. So what would make the perfect whipper? Based on comments, it would be something like a 90-foot, gear ripping, climber flipping, fall that comes an inch above the deck, belayed perfectly, filmed in HD with your all-time favorite song. And the climber is wearing a helmet. In other words, like 5.16, it doesn’t exist (yet). Moral of the story…well, I’m not sure where I was going with this. At the end of the day, when the last nut is placed, it all comes down to personal taste anyways.
Weekend Whippers are equal parts learning from others’ mistakes and simple entertainment (no serious injuries please.) So whether you love them or hate them, have even read this far, without further ado:
6. Weekend Whipper: Skyhook to the Face!
Robbie Phillips was filming his friend Adam Lincoln attempting a wicked slab climb in Northumberland, England, called On The Rocks (E7 6c) when Lincoln slipped above a marginal skyhook that pings off and nails him in the face. Phillips comments: “Adam is completely fine although there was a bit of bloodshed that at the time looked a lot worse than it actually was.”
5. Weekend Whipper: Back Slapper Off Bold (and Slabby!) Route
Robbie Phillips took a nasty fall off the bold slab, Peak Technique (E6 6b), in Northumberland, England. In case you thought the route looked a little easy from that angle, here’s another perspective and a different climber once again tempting fate on the slab. After Pete places what he says are two bomber tri-cams and another cam in a shallow flake, he sets off for a no-holds dance up the dangerous face. But just like Phillips, Pete has a little slip that costs him …
In his words: “After I had stopped crying I wanted to get back on, but my mates talked me out of it by saying we were going to the pub lol.”
4. Weekend Whipper: Grampians Grounder!
Neil Monteith falls during a first ascent attempt in Grampians National Park, Australia. His “two bomber bits of gear” popped, sending him to the deck. Luckily, he was alright. Monteith commented that he handed off the project to a friend, who climbed it at Australian grade 26 (5.12c). Be safe out there!
3. Weekend Whipper: 40-Foot Cam Popper onto the Anchor
Two climbers were enjoying the classic five-pitch Nutcracker (5.8) in Yosemite Valley. On the third pitch, the leader placed a cam roughly 10 feet out and started lie-backing his way up the granite splitter … until he slipped. When the rope came taut on his single piece of pro, however, the cam blew out of the crack, sending him for a 40-foot plunge onto the anchor.
2. Weekend Whipper: Terrifying Scottish Mixed-Climbing Fall
Scotland is known for its bold winter climbing, but no matter how many photos you see, they will never portray the fearsome climbing as well as this Weekend Whipper. This GoPro footage is from a climber attempting Head Hunter, a 60 meter Scottish VI, 6 covered in a thin dusting of ice and snow. Without any pro beneath him, this climber slips, and goes for one gnarly fall!
1. Weekend Whipper: As Close As It Gets
“I don’t think I realized how close my head was to hitting the ground until I watched the video,” Steve says. He’s lucky to be alive. Another few inches and …