22nd Mar 2011
I have just reviwed the latest publicaton from Rockfax, a great guidebook to sport climbing and deep water soloing in Mallorca.
On page 287 there are 3 DWS routes listed at Santanyi (no's 3, 4 and 5). They are all listed as S0 implying that it is safe to fall from the top into deep water. A few years ago one September, we climbed these routes and then jumped from the ledge which is only some 6m high. Whilst I was treading water below waiting for another jumper to pick his landing spot I kicked a submerged boulder. The sea at the time was cloudy so it had been impossible to see. I had put complete trust in the guidebook and figured that if it was S0 then it must be safe. I have never made the same mistake again. If the water is not clear, do not jump / fall. This is in no way a criticism of the author for giving the route S0 as I have no doubt that the landing zone beneath the route itself has been thoroughly checked out, but jumping from the top expands the landing zone considerably. Really it's more of a warning that one should never put implicit trust in a guidebook. Every guidebook I have ever seen has some sort of disclaimer at the front, and for good reason! We climb at our own risk.
Sounds obvious sitting at home here, but at the time, when your mates are egging you on to jump it's all to easy...