/ Falling

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Charlotte Nelson - on 04 May 2012
Ive been climbing for about three years and can confidently climb a lead 6a/b but im finding i cant climb anything harder because i dont want to fall. If i jump off i.e. practice lead falling, it doesnt bother me, i just cant seem to climb to my limit, till i cant hold on anymore, i always chicken out.
Any suggestions?
Johnny_Grunwald on 04 May 2012
In reply to Charley17:

This has been discussed at length on here before and there is some sound advice in and amongst the replies:


You might practice resting on gear at a height where you won't risk injury and gain confidence in your placements. Some people actually practice lobbing themselves off as well.

My personal opinion though (and that's all it is) is just to get stronger and improve your technique without falling off. Good (trad) leaders don't fall, sports monkeys on the other hand......... ;-)
Ciro - on 04 May 2012

In reply to Charley17:

The good news is you've done (to my mind) the hardest bit - many poeple struggle with falling practice, once you've done that it's just a case of showing your subconscious that it's OK to lose control.

The easiest way to do this is to remove the other option. In a safe situation - ideally at an indoor wall - intruct your belayer that they should ignore the command 'Take' once you're a safe height off the ground (three bolts clipped perhaps) and tell you to keep climbing. Tell them to pay out slack if you start trying to downclimb, and give you dogs abuse if you grab a quickdraw or a hold from another route. Then get on routes that are well above your onsight limit. Pre-clip the first two bolts for safety if necessary, and go for it.

You'll likely get a few people on here telling you good leaders don't fall, Dave MacLeod will tell you it's absolutely neccessary to do a lot of falling if you want to become a good leader... You choose who to listen to... ;-)

rurp - on 04 May 2012
In reply to Charley17: was the same. been climbing for 20 years. bouldering can help as it always involves climbing to your limit and falling.
I can now push and fall at the wall. only climb trad outside and don't tend to risk it there kids/wife etc. but it is good to know your limit indoors/semisafe.
How much do you want to improve..... When it is more than your fear you will push on.
When I was three years into climbing (17 years ago, blimey) I did lots of training got very strong then ended up holding on for longer putting more gear in rather than climbing harder grades! I am sure if you are keen to improve it is important to accept semisafe falls in controlled environments.
jkarran - on 04 May 2012
In reply to Charley17:

Build trust in your belayer and build trust in your ability to control the fall (mostly meaning remain upright).

Start by discussing the plan with your belayer then try taking some small unannounced 'falls', not the single pre-announced jump from the chain, start level with the bolts, a couple per route building the size as your confidence grows. All the while you're learning to keep your feet free of the rope, release in as much control ass possible and look where you're going to avoid nasty collisions with the wall/holds. Once you're both comfortable with that switch to redpointing, you're both on high alert for falls and you'll have a good idea where they'll occur because it'll be where you struggled while learning the moves. Still, they're real falls/slips/slumps and missed slaps rather than jumps. As you get more engrossed in the climbing you'll give ever less thought to the falls that inevitably come with it. That's what worked for me anyway, when I'm really into the climbing the fall comes as a complete surprise, it's not preceded by any anxiety at all. I'm a total coward with an overactive imagination, I've just worked at it bit by bit building confidence in myself and belayers for a couple of years to get where I am.

iClimber on 04 May 2012
In reply to Charley17:
I suffer similarly, so, in the words of many of my climbing friends:

man the fck up

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