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Weekend Whipper: This Guy Stopped His Fall With His Head

Even if he were wearing a helmet, this would've hurt.

In this Whipper, Andy Menard is on Stucco Nu, a 5.11+ at the Gallery in the Red River Gorge, Kentucky. Billy Simek, who submitted the video to Climbing, prefaced his description of what happened by writing, “First off, Andy is fine. Walked away with only a scrape on the forehead and one less chunk of hair. He claims it was his graceful flailing that prevented it from being worse.”

Stucco Nu follows a dihedral to a stance below the top where, Simek said, “the crux awaits.”

“After clipping a fixed nut, you stem your way up the last thin section until the holds disappear and the only viable option we found was to dyno to the jug ledge above—certainly one of the coolest moves I’ve ever done on a trad climb,” Simek said. “Andy had already taken that fall multiple times on his first go, but didn’t quite latch the ledge on his second burn. ‘Big try hard’ turned to a big sideways whipper and the end of Andy’s climbing day.

“To make up for Andy not wearing a helmet, we all forced him to wear one during his entire next shift at Rockhouse, which conveniently ended up being the busiest day in the Rockhouse’s 10-year history. Since then he’s been racking up the safety points and is psyched to head back and give it another go (with a helmet, of course).”

Glad you were okay Andy. Let this be a lesson to everyone for the bajillionith time: wear a helmet!

Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!