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Weekend Whipper: Lack of Communication (Nearly) Leads to Ground Fall

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This week’s whipper proves that communication—or a lack thereof—can take your fall from a fun little lob to a nearly full-pitch deck.

Brenden Biancalana was competing in Texas’s Granite Gripper competition and hoped to score points from George of the Jungle (5.12b), a route he had tried only once a year prior. At the fourth bolt, with his left hand yarding on a sidepull, left foot smearing, and the other torqued in a diagonal crack, Biancalana felt solid enough to clip. He clipped the draw, pulled up slack, and PING! his torqued foot blew, taking him for a ride.

“A lesson I learned on this climb was to have better communication with my belay,” Biancalana wrote to Climbing in an email. “I was out of sight from her, and she even told me I was. Something as simple as saying “watch me here I may slip” could have been the difference from falling the length that I did versus maybe a little less distance.”

He added: “Also I would wear my helmet. This was the only climb of this day I didn’t put it on for whatever reason.”

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.

Readers, please send your whipper videos, information, and any lessons learned to Anthony Walsh, awalsh@outsideinc.com.

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