/ fear of falling while bouldering

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Dandelion - on 05 Oct 2013
I'm not too scared of falling when I'm roped up, including leading, but I'm so badly scared of it while bouldering that I just can't get into it at all. I feel scared of any move that involves momentum, and going higher than about two-thirds of the way up unless it's a VB ladder. I am utterly physically inept in general and just know I will fall like a hippo, crushing my ankles. I don't really have much faith in the idea of spotting, or any understanding of it - would it help? I am horribly weak at bouldering but I could work at that, readily, if I could just get more than a couple of moves up. I find it frustrating that I can look at the moves, know I could make them even somewhere quite exposed if roped up, but having sprained an ankle badly years ago, I just feel massive, disproportionate resistance to the risk. I do want to do it because I'm sure it would be really beneficial. Any ideas on how to address it? I manage fear pretty well otherwise but not with this for some reason - and it feels a pathetic thing to worry about.
Kevin Woods - on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to Dandelion: My usual climbing partner actually finds the same, and like yourself is cool with climbing on a rope. In fact he flings himself off everything and anything with a rope, but bouldering on the other hand is not so cool.

On the other hand, I find I'm really cool with pulling weird moves in bouldering, but my confidence in extreme moves, run out on a rope, needs work.

Fair enough, sometimes you just don't want to fall off boulders if they're that high, but I find I might actually practice falling down onto the pad, full force if I need to, get the spook out of my head. Falling on my back on overhanging ground is sometimes a bit unnatural feeling, so I might practice that.
craig1983 - on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to Kevin Woods:

Since when do you use a pad Kev? :)
Dandelion - on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to Kevin Woods:

The worst of it is, I strongly suspect that the main fear is of looking a prat by falling heavily, rather than of injury. So I guess I'd better just get it over with in a bit of practice. I haven't had the nerve to try it.
Kevin Woods - on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to Dandelion: Deffo sounds like you hit the nail on the head there - to invert that, you'll probably find people think "wish I could do that" when you fall off absolutely spectacularly.
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Madden - on 05 Oct 2013
In reply to Kevin Woods: Spectacular falls are the way to go - the bigger the better, and all the more fun, so long as nobody gets hurt! I've had times where I've taken the bouldering mat for some impromptu sledging down a grassy slope, or where I've done side rolls down the very same slope without the mat. Both were fun, and definitely funny.

If you don't reckon you are going to get hurt, don't worry... If you think you might get hurt, then practice falling off of every move of the problem until you feel safe.

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