Weekend Whipper: 40-Foot Gym Fall
Quite simply, Draper Ollis is lucky to be alive. Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!By Draper Ollis | February 2nd, 2018
Editor’s Note, 1:40 pm MST, February 2: Unfortunately, the person who shared this video with Rock and Ice has removed it from YouTube, so it’s no longer possible to watch it here or elsewhere. Sorry for any inconvenience—see you next Friday and climb safe this weekend.
The presentation is a bit unorthodox (a cell phone video of a security cam video—janky, we know), but the 40-footer here is too remarkable not to share.
Draper Ollis and his partner wanted to push themselves when they went climbing in the gym, and they decided practicing falls would be a good way to do that.
“I got nearly to the top and was pumped so I let go,” Ollis wrote to Rock and Ice. “I fell for a bit and assumed it was just a long catch but quickly realized there wasn’t going to be a catch and hit the deck. The route was slightly overhung and my belayer had been going off rope feel because she couldn’t see me very well.
“I guess she didn’t realize I was falling and caught me just a few feet above the ground, but rope stretch led to me hitting the deck. Thank goodness it was just in the gym with padding! I got up and walked away with some sore ribs and that’s about all. No hate for my belayer though. She felt terrible and unfortunately it was just a learning mistake and I was on the end of it.”
By most any metric, Ollis was lucky to walk away with just sore ribs. Knowing that your partner is solid with commands, systems and basic skills is critical when doing any sort of climbing—it’s always worth going over things you aren’t sure about, and doing quick refresher sessions.
Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!