Monday, October 27, 2008

Falling


I am against it! It hurts, slows down the hike, and scares others. Now let me get serious. Luckily I have only seen three hikers fall during the past 13 years. Here is what I have learned from those falls and the two falls I have taken: it had nothing to do with the hiker's climbing ability. That's good news and bad news. I'll touch on that in a moment. Of the three falls I have witnessed one person was running down class three rock - stupidity was the cause of that fall. Another hiker passed out due to a medical condition. And the third fall was due to old shoes that should had been thrown out months ago. With my two falls both times a rock broke. Both rocks looked rock solid :)
So if you take a fall it will most likely not be due to your climbing ability. It might be bad judgment (old shoes, in a hurry etc.) or a hand or foot hold breaks. Another possibility, though I have not seen it, is rock fall.

The good news is your climbing ability is most likely sufficient for the level of scrambling you do. If you make wise choices, you should prevent a fall. The bad news is the reason you might fall might be out of your control: rock breaking, rock fall, medical problem.
I guess this is just a way of writing: be careful.
BTW: No one got seriously injured in those falls; however, two of the hikers got real lucky.

I figured sometime this year I just did my 1,000th hike. I estimate well over 90% of those hikes involved scrambling. The point here is falling is rare. That is my position and I hope you will vote for me.