• Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 5
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 4
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Rock Climbing Training: Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • Rock Climbing Training: Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Rock Climbing Training: Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Rock Climbing Training: Never Get Pumped Again
  • Rock Climbing Training: Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Rock Climbing Training: Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Mentally Train
  • Rock Climbing Training: Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Rock Climbing Training: Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Rock Climbing Training: Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Is Protein Important?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Rock Climbing Training: Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training While Hungry
  • Rock Climbing Training: HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Rock Climbing Training: Improving Slab Technique
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Unlock a Crux
  • Rock Climbing Training: Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Rock Climbing Training: Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training During Pregnancy
  • Rock Climbing Training: Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Stay Psyched
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Prevent Bonking
  • Rock Climbing Training: Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Rock Climbing Training: Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Rock Climbing Training: Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Rock Climbing Training: Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Rock Climbing Training: Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Ultimate Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Rock Climbing Training: Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Rock Climbing Training: Resting the Perfect Amount
  • Rock Climbing Training: How To Recover On Route
  • Rock Climbing Training: Does Creatine Work?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Rock Climbing Training: Euro Training Secrets
  • Rock Climbing Training: Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Training With an Injury
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Beat Fear
  • Rock Climbing Training: How Often Should You Rest?
  • Rock Climbing Training: Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Rock Climbing Training: How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Rock Climbing Training: Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Rock Climbing Training: Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Climb Like Sharma: Part 2 - Limits and Fears
    Climb Like Sharma: Part 2 - Limits and Fears

    Rock Climbing Training: 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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