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ctclimber


Oct 26, 2001, 9:54 PM
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falling
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I am relatively new to climbing. I have done alot in gyms, but when it comes to real rock I have little experience. I recently lead climbed for the first time, and the fear i had of actually falling greatly effected my climbing. Does anyone have any tips on how to overcome this? I know the fall isn't bad. It happens to all climbers, but i just can't get over it. Someone please give me some advice.


learnintoclimb


Oct 26, 2001, 10:04 PM
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I would think most people at least start out nervous when leading, and a lot even over time are still nervous. It gets easier to lead over time, but it will most likely help just focusing on the cimb itself and not so much the falling. You just kinda have to trust the rope that if you come off it'll catch you. Hey, a just remember, a 15 foot lead fall is better than a 70 foot ground fall.


metoliusmunchkin


Oct 26, 2001, 10:10 PM
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I would think that the only way to overcome a fear of falling is to actually fall, or have experienced falling many times. No matter how often you do a lead climb, you will always have that fear of falling in the back of your mind.

What I did when I was just starting to lead, was I would go up to the first bolt, and then just fall on purpose (letting my belayer know of course) and then climb back up to that spot (and this time a bit higher, increasing the hight of your fall everytime) and fall again.

It's a sort of pyramid effect, and it really helped me a lot. Hope it will help you in your days to come!

Pat.


Partner rrrADAM


Oct 26, 2001, 10:53 PM
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This is a really good topic, as I deal with this concerning my fiance all the time. The overwhelming fear of falling will make you less able to climb to your ability, if at all. You are less apt to 'go' or throw for a hold not fully trusting the gear, if you know that if you don't get the hold, you'll fall.

You need to overcome this fear. Air time is a big partof climbing if you push your abilities. If you're afraid to fall, you'll hold back, or worse, not even try the move.

This is easiest to overcome in a gym. On TR or lead, climb something that ends in an overhang, this will allow you to fall cleanly. After reaching the top, allow your belayer to give you 4 feet of slack, then let go. After you get used to this increase the distance you fall each time. The goal here is to allow you to lead a climb and after the last clips are made to let go instantly before allowing the belayer to take the slack or even prepare.(You need a skilled belay for this, not some jackass.)

I've been in situations where it was safer for me to push off to clear my gear, than to attempt to downclimb and risk getting tangled in an uncontrolled fall. I even took a 40 footer in Mt Lemmon on a #9 BD Stopper this way. It held, but I had time to think about it before I pushed off.(shudder)


Hope this helps,
rrrADAM


daisuke


Oct 27, 2001, 12:27 PM
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I'm pretty much a newbie to climbing as well, I find that my climbing technique and skill has improved quickly compared to my first climbs, but I still hesitate to take a fall while leading, I don't mind it if it's on an overhang but I really do fear falling on routes that are just a bit less than vertical because of the potential tumbling and injuries that come from it. However I must agree with the previous posts, if you're leading you can't think about the fall or else you won't reach the top or the next bolt

D


jds100


Oct 27, 2001, 1:53 PM
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The biggest part of the fear of falling is a fear of the unknown or uncertain consequenses. That's why falling a few times as a routine part of getting better and stronger will go a long way toward allaying the fear.

For now, and as a good habit to develop, take the time to look at the route from the ground, and evaluate the possible trouble spots, and likely consequences, so that they are a bit less of an unknown when you encounter them on the climb. Try to develop the habit of subjecting your irrational reactions -fear- to rational evaluation skills. KNOW that you're strong, KNOW that you have the technique to get through a tough section, KNOW that you are well protected or that a fall is short and painless, KNOW that your belayer is attentive to your climbing, etc. etc.

You (and me!) might always have the fear, but you (and me!) don't have to let it dictate what we do. Be proactive with your rational self, instead of reactive with your irrational self. (Fear of falling can actually be rational, but the intensity of fear that keeps us from working on hard-but-protected climbs is what is irrational.)


skupdogg


Oct 27, 2001, 10:21 PM
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i started climbing over 3 years ago and have always been afraid to fall, even after taking dozens of whippers in a gym. however, when i started leading trad this summer, i've noticed that my fear of falling on a bolted route has been reduced, although not eliminated. even though i lead mainly easy stuff on trad, it is much more scary thinking about falling on removable gear, and the thought of falling on a bomber bolt starts to become easier to think about.
-chad


climberchk


Oct 28, 2001, 2:51 PM
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When I'm climbing the fear of faling is not in the back of my mind, but in the front. I find my self constantly thinking, "what if I don't make this clip?" or "What if my rope snags and I fall?" Most people say that you have to fall to get over this fear. I have had a few painful falls but the fear still lingers with me. You just have to ask yourself this: How bad do I want this? When you feel yourself getting freaked out, don't let it control you. I mean is coming down something you're going to regret?


camhead


Oct 28, 2001, 5:44 PM
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When I took my first real whipper, I felt that a great obstacle had been overcome. If you haven't fallen yet, you need to. It really gets a lot of the fear out of your system (not to mention that it shows your true limits).


ecchastang


Nov 3, 2001, 6:01 AM
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When my brother staarted climbing, his first time out, he took about a 25 foot fall until the rope caught him.It shocked him, but immediately illiminated all fear. Three months later he's setting rope to jump 4o ft. And haveing been climbing for only 4 months he can do 5.11+ because he's not scared to risk it. Fall, it will help you climb better.

Eric


nessy


Jan 30, 2002, 4:01 PM
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climbing outside is as much mental as physical. there was a good article in climbing magazine that talked about how a 5.10c climber can be an eleven climber in a day if they better their mental game. it had some good quotes to remember but i cant remember them off hand. when i am working on a project that has spit me off before i think about it on the drive there. imagine you are at that spot you are sketched on then imagine yourself falling there. then think of something that makes you happy and calm then imagine the fall then the happy thought. so when you get to that spot you will already have rehearsed the fall ahead of time and you will not panik as much. it works for me most of the time.


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