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Weekend Whipper: Confident Ice Climber Commits Cardinal Sin

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In the spirit of the holidays, here is a festive winter whipper (and a Christmas miracle that the climber is still walking).

“The route is called Around the Corner (WI 4/5),” Evan Scott wrote to¬†Climbing in an email. “I was feeling confident and relatively stress free when the fall happened.”

Indeed, one of the joys of ice climbing is hooking up delicate pillars, relying on the features available to you, instead of brute force to bury your tool. But this efficiency comes at a price: while a sunken ice tool can be pulled on from multiple angles, a hooked tool behaves more like mixed climbing placement and is much easier to fail.

“After reviewing the video I see where my failure occurred. Grabbing way too high on the shaft of the ice tool making my center of gravity in line with the head of the tool and not giving any downward force caused it to pop out of the pocket,” Scott said.

A very valuable lesson learned. I feel insanely lucky that my last screw placement held and caught me just in time before I hit the ice below, leaving me only with bruised knuckles on my left hand and a bruised knee. I feel very fortunate on how it all worked out.”

Happy Friday, happy holidays, and be safe out there this weekend.

Readers, please send your whipper videos, information, and any lessons learned to Anthony Walsh,