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Weekend Whipper: Bleeding on Your Belayer… That’s Not Good

"I went for the wrong move that I knew I couldn't land anyways. That's when the rope flew behind my leg mid fall and flipped me upside down."

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

There are few worse feelings in sport climbing than being dripped on by your partner’s blood.

Sunny skies, good rock, lots of bolts—up until this whipper, Marta Samokhvalova’s climbing day in Sandrock, Alabama, was one of her best yet. She was on Misty (5.10b/c), one of the most popular routes in the area, and had all but finished the pitch.

“I danced past the crux and up to bolt five with confidence,” she told Climbing. “In my excited mind, I had already completed the climb and clipped the anchors. That’s when I lost my flow.”

Distracted by an awkward right-leaning sequence, Samokhvalova said her concentration broke, her strength began to fail, and her right elbow rose in a classic case of “the chicken wing.” “I went for the wrong move that I knew I couldn’t land anyways. That’s when the rope flew behind my leg mid fall and flipped me upside down,” Samokhvalova said. “In shock, I grabbed my head and looked down on my belayer, Brian, to find him covered in blood. Thankfully, the blood was coming from a flapper on my palm, rather than my unprotected head.”

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend. To watch the full library of Weekend Whippers, click here.

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