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Weekend Whipper: Botched Clip Leads to Face-out Free Fall

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The age-old climbing conundrum: Place your gear low and go for it, or clip it high and climb with confidence?

For Jarrett Jamison, who was attempting Go Sparky Go (5.11+) in Indian Creek, he chose the latter and came oh so close to success. “I had only just successfully led my first 5.10+ the day before,” he wrote to Climbing in an email. “Even being graded considerably harder than my hardest lead, I knew I could trust my gear and protect this well, so I felt like it would be good for my head, whip or send!”

Indeed, Jarrett was prepared to give it some beans. He opted to skip a .75 placement, conserve a bit of gear, and layback to a better jam. But “I overlooked the good finger lock that was just to the left of my .5 placement.  My position when I went for the clip was less than ideal, but I rushed the clip instead of finding a better position,” he said.

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“I ended up with some minor rope burn in my armpit, a ripped shirt, and a sweet video! Finished the route after the fall, placing a .75 before the final .5, and finding the good finger lock.”

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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