What is the difference between factor 1 and factor 2 falls?

What is the difference between factor 1 and factor 2 falls?

Laurelle Fridtjof's picture
By Laurelle Fridtjof | Jul 21st 2015 |
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and more importantly, how does it affect the lifespan of my rope?

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Dave Thexton's picture
Climbing Gear Geek
Jul 28th 2015
Hi Laurelle, A fall factor is a measure of the distance fallen divided by the amount of rope in the system. A factor 1 fall would constitute a climber falling above their first piece of gear and the rope catching them back at the belay. In this example the climber has clearly fallen the same length as their rope so it is factor 1. A factor 2 fall would constitute a climber not placing any gear at all and falling the same distance below the belay as they had been above it when they fell. In this example the climber has fallen twice the length of the rope so the fall is factor 2. For this reason, it is always advised to back up the belay with a runner so the anchor isn't loaded with a factor 2 fall. Hope that helps, Dave

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