My worst fall, which also happened to be my first, was a factor 2 fall. We paid very close attention to all three pieces on the stance. Made sure that they were all share loaded correctly. It was a the kind of stance you would see in a text book on climbing…except for one thing…
I had placed two pieces of gear just above the stance (I knew they weren’t the greatest
) got passed them and fell. Along with me came my first 2 pieces kit, sending me flying past my belayer. This is where our mistake came into affect. We had left some slack in the stance and as I was plummeting downwards and I yanked my belayer of his feet and slightly over the edge. And both of bodies (mine being 91kg’s and his between 75 and 80) came to a very sudden halt directly onto our stance. Good thing the stance held just fine. I still feel that the ropes did squat in terms of absorbing the energy of that fall. I’m not saying that ropes don’t stretch, just that there wasn’t enough rope to absorb the energy of my fall. My body however did stretch, especially my back, it ached for weeks after. Needles to say I chopped the first five meters of both the ropes. It isn’t worth the risk.
Also remember this:
When taking big falls, even if there is 20m of rope between you and your belay. In effect only the closest couple of meters to you will be able to absorb the fall. The biggest determining factor of this will be rope drag. This is explained very well in the Beal catalog on the last few pages. Do yourselves a favor and try to get hold of one, Petzl also has loads of good info in the back of there’s.
The scariest thing about sport…you only got one rope to catch you…what if it’s dodgy…