This is the fear I have had ever since my first night in the HH at 9500 ft in Wyomings Wind River Mountains. Falling for what ever reason onto the rocky ground. I always feared my HH knot(lashing) giving way, but it never gave an inch. It never occured to me that the bottom might split! It all makes me want to pitch really low to the ground, especially if the ground is not my forgiving back yard! But pitching really low might be a problem with the bottom entry, more so than a top loader. But in either case being really close to the ground might be a problem with the tarp, since coverage seems better when my ridgline is very close to the tarp ridge.