For no-fall zones, you weigh how much strength you have left compared to how much strength and skill it will take to climb and not fall. You usually climb more slowly, stay on routes below your technical limit, and you do listen to your mind if it tells you to stop. For yes-fall zones, you weight the fall consequences against your experience taking such falls. You climb more quickly, get on routes at or above your technical limit, and you don’t listen to your mind if it tells you to stop (figure 3-3).
When you’re at a mini decision point (a stance with protection), determine whether the next section is a no- or yes-fall risk. What is the DAO of the fall? How much actual experience do you have taking such falls? If you determine it to be a yes-fall zone, then when you commit, you don’t listen to the doubts in your mind. You’ll commit with the intention to “make the next move” regardless of what your mind tells you. Conversely, if you determine it to be a no-fall zone, then you’ll commit with a different intention. You do listen to the doubts in your mind and retreat if necessary.
You may be at a mini decision point where you have protection and see the next possibility for pro 20 feet higher. Your mind, noting the runout and your pump, may label the situation no-fall, convincing you to retreat. A no-fall label may be accurate, but recognize your mind’s tendency to think in all-or-nothing ways. Recall in The Awareness Process (TAP) we discussed “finding little ways to engage.” One such way is to probe into situations that initially seem to be no-fall. You may identify a micro decision point 10 feet into the runout. Climbing to that point could still keep you within a yes-fall zone. By probing you allow the engagement of your body to clarify your mind’s conception. You may engage with the option to down-climb again. Doing this allows you to learn initial sequences and how strenuous it is to do them. For no-fall zones, you’ll engage with the intention to “probe, stay in control, and be ready to down-climb if necessary.”