Date of Incident
I was working a very steep 8a sport route on lead. My belayer was wearing a helmet in case of loose rock. I was not because the route was so steep. We are both highly experienced. I had a bolt clipped a little above and to the side of me and was trying to move one metre left. I fell off a move and was instantly spinning rapidly. I had to pull my head in and put a hand out to stop my head from slamming into the rock.
With more rope out I would have spun in clear air. With a helmet on my head would have been better protected. I went back up wearing a helmet. When I fell off the move next time I was careful to position myself so that I would not spin as much and my belayer gave me more rope - all was fine. The lessons: you can end up needing a helmet even when you think you don't, and when belaying you need to be sure to give the leader enough slack so that they fall into clear air even when spinning.
Sport rock climbing
Slip, trip or fall, Belaying failure or error
Rescue Services Involved?
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All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.