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Weekend Whipper: Climber “Forgets” to Clip Second Bolt, Sweeps Across the Deck

The climber, miraculously, walks away without a scratch.

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

Here’s a new one: a climber, so preoccupied with executing his beta, forgets to clip the second bolt and drops to the deck. 

Gavin was attempting Malvado (5.13a) at the Hell Area, American Fork, Utah, earlier this month. He’d tried the route several times and was experimenting with new beta during this video. “I was just engrossed in the climbing,” he said, “I was thinking about the different beta that was told to me. I realized I missed the clip after I had done two moves off the [clipping hold].”

Gavin hoped he could make just one more move and clip from a decent crimp, but his left foot popped and he dropped off in an awkward sideways fall. “[The fall] wasn’t the best but my sideways posture caused me to not hit the ground feet first,” he said.

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Gavin, miraculously, walked away without a scratch. The filmer, Aaron Shamy, told Climbing, “It looks like he hits the ground but thanks to the quick-thinking belayer and Gavin’s body position he does not touch the ground. Nate Tucker (the belayer) sits his hips down and quickly locks the break hand.” Shamy acknowledged that viewers might notice some of the rocks around Gavin shift across the ground, but insisted Gavin never hit the deck. “Best I can guess is his clothing pushed some of the rocks as he swung into the wall and he just never felt it,” Shamy said. We’re glad you’re OK, Gavin, but please (please) wear a helmet next time.

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.

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