Weekend Whipper: The Least Likely Backslap We’ve Ever Seen

·1 min read

This article originally appeared on Climbing

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

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, right? Well close didn’t mean much to Ryan McNulty, who almost avoided taking one helluva back-slapper.

McNulty was working on his first outdoor 5.12a, a technical and aptly named pitch called Malice, in Safe North Harbor, Pennsylvania. “I was given a lot of shit about getting my foot caught behind the rope, but from the [first angle] you can see there wasn't much I could do about it,” McNulty wrote to Climbing in an email. “The climb required a pretty good layback to the right, then placing a foot on a tiny nub to shift your weight to the left [and] catch a high left hand.”

McNulty’s left foot blew off the nub while trying to center his weight on top of it and his foot swooped under the rope for a particularly jarring fall. Thankfully, McNulty was wearing a helmet—“Always while leading anything,” he assured—and returned the next day to send the pitch.

Aside from simply not falling, McNulty said that to avoid repeating this whipper, on redpoint, he clipped the next quickdraw before stepping left to ensure he wouldn’t be flipped upside down.

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


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