• The Training Effect: Methods by Steve House
  • Building a Better Climber: Part Four
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • Catch of the Day
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Too Hard for a Caveman
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Cheap Tricks
  • How to Mentally Train
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Training While Hungry
  • HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dialing in Crampon Technique
  • Ultimate Strength
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Beat the Ice-Climbing Pump
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Training With an Injury
  • Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Gasherbrum I - Winter 2011
    Gasherbrum I - Winter 2011

    Regaining Confidence After a Fall

    29-Jan-2010
    By

    Last year I took a groundfall while trad climbing, which resulted in a compression fracture in one of my vertebrae. I hope to use this experience to become a safer climber with a stronger mind. I've just started climbing again, but am nowhere near my level before the fall. Fear is now by far my biggest inhibitor. How can I regain confidence and eventually become a stronger climber?
     

     —Carolyn Waters | Marblemount, WA

    The toughest period in my entire climbing career was coming back after taking a groundfall on Meshuga (E9 or 5.13a X) in the U.K. and unrepeated at the time. I had hit my head and knocked myself out. A year later the climb was still unrepeated and my fall had only added to the route's notorious reputation. Having completed the process described below, I later stood below Meshuga and asked myself if I felt ready. I sent it and since then haven't looked back. I went on to climb an E10 the following year.

    Drop your grade and build back up. The secret is to enjoy every minute of this process and not see it as a chore. Go to new areas and climb all of the easy classics. Build a pyramid of redpoints starting with a wide base of easier grades before you move up a level. Climb with different partners and remind yourself how good it feels to cruise routes of a variety of styles on different types of rock. Build trust in your ability not to fall. Place gear at the base of the crag and weight it. No need to jump into the deep end and take whippers. Only push on to harder routes when it feels right. Listen to that inner voice and don't let anyone else dictate the pace. Success comes from mileage. Eventually, your confidence will return.

    When you are ready you could set up some test falls on an appropriate route (steep, with no ledges and bomber gear). Make sure your partner knows how to belay dynamically. Of course you should only do this if your doctor or physical therapist has given you the OK. If this still feels too daunting, do the same thing on an indoor route first.

    Carolyn, you have every chance of making the comeback and reaching beyond your previous level, and I'm sure you will.

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