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Weekend Whipper: Runout Bolts Means Cartwheeling, Ledge-smacking Fall

The climber walked away unscathed, much to our surprise.

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

Heads up, folks: it’s not often that the hard, runout pitches serve up the most gruesome falls. It’s the comparatively easy ones, blocky and featured (enough), that lull you into forgetting about the no-fall zone.

Crude Street Blues (5.9), at Red Rock’s Black Corridor, is one such route; its lower section is ledgey and has a couple quite spaced bolts. “Truthfully, when I first started to climb after I got to the ledge, I should have bailed,” the climber, Mark Mount, told Climbing. “That was my red flag that I ignored.”

Mount said he was aware of the seriousness of his position, but his attempt to downclimb didn’t quite pan out. “[I tried to] step back down to the ledge with my left foot. That was my attempt to bail,” he said. “Only problem was the ledge was a little farther down than I thought. Like stepping off a ladder thinking you’re on the bottom rung when you’re actually on the second rung.”

Mount had three main takeaways from this experience: wear a helmet; know when to bail while leading a route; and use more caution with ledges and spaced bolts.

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.

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