Getting over the Fear after a Highball Fall

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bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 8, 2013 - 10:30am PT
Mid year of 2012 I took a fall from a highball boulder and missed the pad and injured my ankle. The injury healed fast but my fear from the fall did not, I learned a lot of valuable lessons from the fall, which caused me to adjust my technique, training exercises, and fear control. Here is a video of the fall and blog link to the story:



http://bowshaaa.blogspot.com/2013/01/getting-over-fear-after-fall.html

I wanted to share this because I would like to hear others' stories or accounts of any fears or injuries (falls or tendon injuries, etc) due to climbing and what they did to overcome them. Thanks in advance for any responses!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:34am PT
its the MUZAK that causes you grief..
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:36am PT

Check out the book, The Rock Warrior's Way.

A great read for developing mental coolness.




Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:39am PT
listen to the LEDZEP, and youll fall no mo....
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:40am PT
Yeah, definitely use better music and you'll fire that bitch!

weezy

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:43am PT
i love hiphop. if for no other reason than it pisses off old white people.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:45am PT
Really, it's as simple as mind over matter. I understand that it's cliche, but oh well.

I've bailed from 15-20 feet up and broken an ankle, a coule of times. The key is to just go back as soon as you're healthy and send it. Put it to bed.

Just breathe, focus, and ignore the pain potential. You'll be fine.
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 10:45am PT
Yeah yeah i know, no one likes the music haha, i was limited with editing and music choice experience when I made this video, that was another lesson I have learned.

@roxy thanks for the suggestion!

bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 10:46am PT
@weezy agree hah!
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 10:48am PT
@Brandon, yeah that's what I did but sometimes people have a harder time getting over falls when rock climbing. Do you still have fear when you climb, worry about breaking it again? Do you still climb high problems?
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:50am PT
I took about an eight-foot fall onto a padded landing in the gym about a year ago and severed my Achilles tendon as a result. I finally got permission to boulder again a couple of months ago, and it took me quite a while to be willing to fall two feet, so I understand the fear all too well. I'd taken a very scary head-first leader fall in spring of 1971, and it took me five or six months to get my leading confidence back.

All this means I appreciate this thread and your photo and link, because I've been there. Ultimately, though, I come back to something Chouinard wrote almost 50 years ago. Falls tend to build confidence [provided you're unhurt]. At my age, I need to be judicious about where and how far I fall (for example, I can't do highball boulder problems any more without risking serious injury), but I found taking a few shorter fall off of boulder problems helped me regain my bouldering confidence, and a few safe and well-protected leads got my leading confidence back.

Thanks again for the thread and your post.

John
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:51am PT
Was that hip hop? Or was it soul train trance electronica?

Sorry about your ankle bro. Heal up strong.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:54am PT
I don't let falls or injuries color my mind when I find myself in similar situations. That would be detrimental.

An acceptance of pain as normal helps.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:57am PT
Heres an idea,,get a rope and a rack and go CLIMBING instead of high balling over talus...;-)


I on the very first trip to the rocks managed to nearly kill ma-sef in a 100'+ fall during a single biner rap... Couldnt wait to get back at it! Did it make hate rapping-- surely, but it didnt stop me. If WANTED it will be.
ruppell

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 10:59am PT
John pretty much nails it. Lots of pads and lots of falls. Eventually you'll learn again that falling is usually safe. I broke my heel two years ago now and after it healed I went right back after it. It took a few weeks to trust my body, my spotters, and the pads. After those few weeks that trust was there again. Now highballs are like they used to be. Also learn to downclimb if your not feeling it. There's no shame in backing off.
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:00am PT
In 2000 I fell off a highball at airport rocks here in Apple Valley
and got 2 very bad compression fractures of my T7 and T8.
My back has never been the same and I still hurt all the time
from it.

I still climb, with rope, but I won't do any more bouldering
because of the chance of reinjuring my back and not being able to climb anymore. The Doc said, if I did take a fall bouldering and landed the wrong way with the way my back is, I could end up paralyzed.

I'm NOT going to take that chance!
Rudder

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:00am PT
The spotter was sure helpful. ;)
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:01am PT
My advice:
Quit being such a pussy.




;)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4485760747086&comment_id=56294820¬if_t=video_comment
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:10am PT
ive taken longer lead falls-- like on "set the controls for the heart of the sun"... 45 feet to the first bolt with 10+ moves, then another fifty + feet to the second bolt with multiple 11+ moves. One can gt major fly time on such..The same mental set really...
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:14am PT
True, Ron, but the Ground isn't as Dynamic as a rope.
The Ground is more static.
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:16am PT
Breath, and focus. Thats what I do. Also don't imagine falling. And don't let go...
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:18am PT
Very TRUE Cozmic!
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 11:19am PT
Great stories, glad to hear that people have adapted or found ways over it.

@Chinchen, I did get over the fear and still climb highball problems, but thanks for sharing that vid, looks like an awesome problem, would love to try it!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:25am PT
To the OP:

I never climbed at the v9 level, high-ball, low-ball, no balls at all. Just to establish my (lack of) pedigree.

I've been hurt numerous times in bouldering falls, pre-pad mostly. I have never 'mastered' fear nor have I ever climbed 'fearlessly.' At my best I have managed to co-exist peacefully with it. Its there, its in me, and I compartmentalized it and did fine. Other times not as well.

A number of years ago I shattered my left ankle in a lead fall. It did not heal well and it was several years before I could physically risk another serious fall, as in 5 years or so. Five f*#king years. I risked it anyway but only on the easiest of leads.

But healing did come and the ankle did get stronger and I did start risking falls again, roped falls. Incurred them, survived them :-) and confidence built.

Got into better shape. Began to bear down again on routes, to pull harder, and risk longer falls. This past year I started (easy) bouldering again, and then (easy) highballs.

I think ole Clint Eastwood sums it up best for me, in The Unforgiven (perfect title, too)... when asked, 'then what?'

"Well, you live with it."

DMT
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:31am PT
After three twisted ankles from falling off boulder problems (once while landing square on a pad) I load my pad and quit bouldering.
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Chinchen, that is THE BEST V5 I've been on ever. Nice vid of it. I suck at the dyno though so I come in from the left, techy crimp way.

probably too many pads but they help the scary factor
probably too many pads but they help the scary factor
Credit: Relic
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 8, 2013 - 11:55am PT
"i love hiphop. if for no other reason than it pisses off old white people."

I remember feeling that way about music choices.

In high school.


Edit: Is the 'spotter' in the above pic using some kind of anti-Magneto-repellent force? Isn't that considered aid?
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 11:58am PT
@dingus milktoast, great story of your falls, sorry about your ankle but glad to hear you're back at it. I've known people to get hurt sport climbing and I know it can be just as dangerous. I always have the fear of decking until the 3rd bolt, then the fear subsides. Co-existence with fear I think everyone has to have in order to climb harder more difficult routes. Thanks for sharing!
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:03pm PT
trade yur pads in on a rope and rack!;-)
ruppell

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
No way Ron.

Besides I already own all those as well. lol
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
Relic, do you own any color other than grey?? Or is every pic I have of you wearing the same shirt?? ;)
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 8, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
yea relic...that left hold is gone now. Looks like you have no choice but to dyno...
chill

climber
between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:07pm PT
Let's see, you climbed up high, fell off, and hurt yourself. Now you are afraid that if you climb up high and fall you will hurt yourself.
What a ridiculous fear. What the hell is wrong with you?
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 01:16pm PT
@Chill, cant tell if you're being sarcastic but if not I think you should ask that question to yourself. Fears after accidents (not just in climbing, but in other sports, cars, walking, etc.)are very common. I am over my fear of falling again (which was stated in the blog post). My initial post was just to initiate a dialogue with other climbers about accidents and if they had fears afterward, how/if they got over it, etc.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Reno, Nuh VAAAA duh
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Ron's taken a longer "highball" fall too, Cosmic. I believe he calls the climb Deadman's Rappel. I've taken a non dynamic digger myself with some back trauma like yours. How does that go? Tuffen tha fuk up? I'm soon to start my own climbing again and I'm looking forward to it. I guess I'll eat crow if I come back snivelling to y'all.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
It's pretty much all about getting back on the horse as soon as you can. If you need more pads or spotters to do it, so be it.

I peeled backwards off the top of a problem in Hueco many years ago. Fell into jagged boulders. Sheer luck that I wasn't seriously injured or killed.

It still goes through my head sometimes, but less and less so, the more time and climbs since then.
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
Hah Mike, I don't bring a lot of clothes with me cuz I'm a dirtbag. The left starting hold broke? I was on it last March, that's when the pic is from.

This left hand starting hold broke?
This left hand starting hold broke?
Credit: Relic
chill

climber
between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:28pm PT
Bowshaa - Sorry I was too subtle. It was sarcasm. A fear like that seems very reasonable to me.
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
@chill, no problem, my fault in not picking it up, haha!

@relic, the more I see this boulder, the more I want to get out there and try it. Great shot btw
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 8, 2013 - 01:51pm PT
I'm not afraid, Jebus, I still climb.
But,With all the injuries I climb with, I'm not going to take the chance
of hurting myself bouldering, so I can't climb real rocks anymore.

As You can see in the video below, I don't let too much stop me from my love of climbing.




video taken by MisterE
Cosmiccragsman

Trad climber
AKA Dwain, from Apple Valley, Ca. and Vegas!
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:16pm PT


Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
I'd put a rope on and get some air underneath you.
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
Nothing wrong with being a pussy sometimes. Just don't fall again...problem solved ;-)
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 02:20pm PT
@stevep, I agree, I tried the problem the week after not fully healed, think it helped mentally but didn't pull it off until the week after. You definitely have to put the fear out of your mind and not dwell on it.

@cosmiccragsman, don't think I would do that with an injured arm, that's way too extreme even on TR! I have a friend who TR'ed with a broken ankle with a cast on. The love of climbing sometimes is worth the risk!
T H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Feb 8, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
The obvious answer would be more, and or bigger (well placed) pads. Essentially you jumped off, but a pretty wild jump. It may have been a better strategy to use a burn to get a close look/ feel of those upper holds, then back-down in control - better informed, for another run at it. Hindsight is 20/20. propz -nice routes and climbing. Edit: The route traverses out to the left? In the first clip you looked like 2 moves from the top, and you were not going left at all.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 8, 2013 - 03:12pm PT
Going on 76 I just shake my head in wonder when I see how popular highballing has become. Although I soloed extensively for over 50 years I rarely did what these days is called a "highball." For me, fifty years ago, the Thimble was a climb and I treated it as such, being very cautious and going slowly and steadily, over several visits - no dynamics. Nowadays, when a climber falls and breaks an ankle or worse on much more difficult terrain and then wants to go back up "protected" by these dinky mats I can only speculate why. ;>)

But then I belong to a generation that began climbing in basketball shoes or heavy mountain boots and cord knickers, coiling a natural fiber rope and wielding a piton hammer on soft Swiss iron and clipping on with steel karabiners!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine
Feb 8, 2013 - 03:14pm PT
Ah, Cosmic, my comments were more directed at the op. I know you climb. Cheers!
ruppell

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 03:24pm PT
jogill

Interesting point. Which led me to think of this. I wonder how many modern day "boulderers" even know what the Thimble is? I've never made it to the Needles yet but when I do it's on the list.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Feb 8, 2013 - 03:47pm PT
You will never get advice from a better source than JoGill on this subject. BTW, if you placed a bunch of pads at the base of the Thimble, they'd just get run-over or parked on by a tour bus or a bunch of Harleys.

I know there are a number of people on here that could send the Thimble, but I took a good hard look at it a couple of years ago when I was there and promptly walked across the road and high-balled some 5.5.
pat

Trad climber
estes park
Feb 8, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
I think its fairly well known, with only a couple repeats? Its definitely not on the modern day bouldering circuit (Park, Bishop, etc.).
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 03:57pm PT
@jogill and rupell, that's an understandable viewpoint. But some people get a thrill out of doing dangerous things knowing you can be hurt, different strokes i guess. Thanks for sharing your viewpoints though
pat

Trad climber
estes park
Feb 8, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
"I rarely did what these days is called a "highball."

I really have to call you out on this one:)
Never met you jogill, but I did have to pay the library a considerable sum of money for holding on to Master of Rock well past its due date when I was a young teen. I found some of the more obscure problems in the book around Estes including one on the edge of moraine park up above the bridge, a thin licheny seam, 30ft high or so, 5.11-5.12ish? Very impressive. Safe to say Jogill knows what highballing is about.
ruppell

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
bowshaaa

You might be missing my viewpoint and I might be missing yours. Just so where on the same page I boulder quite a bit. I also highball quite a bit. I also solo quite a bit. You get the idea. I just think that people that only enjoy one aspect of the sport miss out on the history of it. That's nothing against you. If it was the wrong place to bring it up I can understand that from your point. Tell the truth though before jogill mentioned the Thimble upthread had you ever heard of it?
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 04:41pm PT
@rupell I had not heard of the thimble but looked it up and it was quite an impressive piece of rock. I think I may have missed the point and I apologize, no disrespect to anyone. I know some history of bouldering, no such things as the modern day climbing shoe and using a piece of carpet to protect the ground (not the climber)! I do appreciate the people before me who did so much for the sport. I guess I was taking the comment as people should climb with ropes instead of doing the high climbs without them. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
ruppell

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 04:47pm PT
bowshaaa

No offense taken at all. Bouldering is an amazing pursuit in and of itself. I have friends that only boulder. I have friends who only rope climb. I just choose to do both. I can't really say I enjoy one more than the other or that one is better then the other. It's up to each person to choose what really drives them. I just climb.
all in jim

climber
Feb 8, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but it looks like the main problem with the fall is that you missed the pad. Really taking the time to put the pads in the best spot seems like a crucial step in limiting the fear factor. It's good to be afraid if you are in a dangerous situation!

bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
@rupell im a sport climber also but mostly boulder though. Id like to try trad but cant afford a rack.

@jogill thanks for your contribution here and to the sport of bouldering!
gonzo chemist

climber
Fort Collins, CO
Feb 8, 2013 - 05:21pm PT
Did a bit o' high-ballin' today out at Horsetooth Reservoir...jogill's old stomping ground.

Its all about staying relaxed, which is a bit of a contradiction. As far as getting back on the horse after getting bucked off...I'd rather get on steep stuff with a rope on.

Besides aren't you in MA? if so, you're not that far from Rumney and Cathedral Ledge. Apply those bouldering skills to tall objectives. Get on a rope, get a good belayer, and send some rediculous hard lines.

Otherwise, the only thing you can do is just steel you mettle, breathe, and execute the moves.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Feb 8, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
Check out Jeremy Bernsteins story about Chouinard after his 160 foot in the tetons--"it took me a year but I got it back"
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 8, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
It might not ever be the same. Don't expect it to.

You got hurt. You always knew you might get hurt. Now you know what it's like.

I've done it. My arch is flat and it always will be. It took a while to get back up there and I still won't push it when I'm way up there. It has to be good holds or I come down. It's not the same.

Go get on some high easy problems that you know. They might scare you, but you know them so you will keep going. Eventually, they will feel easy again.

As for pushing it up high, that may or may not come back. It's part of life. If the line is good, there is still a chance.

PS- Suspended is a classic. The first jug has broken. It used to be like a steering wheel for the big jump, about the size of that old Sprint arcade game. It still works, but it's different.

bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2013 - 08:38pm PT
@gonzochemist that is my plan for the spring: to sport climb as much as possible, i am psyched!

@hobodan thanks I will check that out

@tom woods, yeah it's in the back of my mind always but it doesn't really affect me anymore.

Thanks everyone for commenting and/or sharing stories of their accidents
Relic

Social climber
Vancouver, BC
Feb 9, 2013 - 07:40am PT
Oh damn. Ya I see it in the more recent videos of Suspended, the rock scar where the steering wheel jug used to be. It was creeking and moaning pretty hard when I was reefing on it in March. Guess I be jumping now.

OP- get in it. Its super classic. You will love it.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:46am PT
Damn relic, looks like ur gonna have to do SIS the dude way now instead of the crimpy little girl(Schwarzenegger accent) way! Have fun down there!
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:51am PT
lol...callin' ya out...
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:52am PT
I'm still getting over the fear of the ground-level traverse.
WBraun

climber
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:55am PT
If one has fear of highball just use rope.

So simple ......
bjj

climber
beyond the sun
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:58am PT
I was thinking about making my own thread about fear and keeping your cool, but I might as well tag along on this one.

I just started climbing again 4 months ago after a 10 year layoff. It had been going well until last week. I've been upping the ante out at Red Rocks, and now I am paying for it.

On tuesday I took a 35 foot fall on the 4th pitch 5.10d. Strenuous right facing dihedral. The small tcu I put in 10 feet above a bolt, just before the crux liebacking blew out when my right foot suddenly popped just before easier ground. Somewhere on the way down, I smacked my left elbow on a small ledge or something. It didn't break anything, but swelled up with fluid like crazy. Iced it for a couple of days and all was well.

On thursday, climbing another 5.10d dihedral, this time left facing. Plugged a bomber 3/4" cam just before the bulge and gunned it (strenuous liebicking again). Just as I was lifting my foot to exit the crux onto easier ground, my hands blew out. This time was worse. I flew off and back, and as the rope came tight (much shorter fall, only 12 feet), the momentum swung me back into the wall. I was out of position and barely got oriented the right way with my hands and feet in front of me before impact. It wasn't enough time. I smacked my forehead and nose right into the rock.

I saw stars, but did not go unconscious. I did bleed all over the place and may have a broken beak. Decent abrasions on my face, but no major damage.

I now see that in addition to needing to remember to actually bring and wear my helmet when I'm pushing it, that I have been climbing in the past. I have pretty much started all over from scratch, but in my head I am telling myself that because I used to laugh my way up hard 5.10 trad routes, I still can. Wrong. In both cases, I was at my limit and would have barely squeaked through. It wouldn't even have felt fun if I did make it. 20 years ago, I wasn't trying to lead 5.10+ on gear after 4 months of climbing!

This was a wake up call and I probably need to slow down before I really pay for it.

I was very scared right after hitting my head, thinking I was 15 to 20 minutes away from succumbing to a serious skull fracture / brain bleed.

Now I am having trouble imagining doing anything besides sport climbing or the easiest of gear leads.

Help?
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 9, 2013 - 08:59am PT
wonderful pic!
wonderful pic!
Credit: pyro
this is how to spot a person on a highball boulder problem.
if u come out to stoney point the boy's can show u how it's done.

p.s. ur video is kool love the scene just wished the spotter left the other pad alone. he was doing things right till then. i'm sure he had good intention :)
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Feb 9, 2013 - 09:12am PT
boshaaa,

Yes you could rehearse these things on toprope, but that is sort of cheating to a highball purist.

I did a lot of bouldering before pads were available, and most of the highballs I did back then were accomplished by climbing up and then climbing back down, climbing up a little bit higher, then climbing down again. I always avoided jumping off problems if at all possible.

The thing I'm emphasizing here is the skill of down-climbing. Most of those hard highballs were wired one move at a time, ground up, over many sessions. You would have the thing completely dialed even before you sent it.

There is also a lot to be said for knowing your body, and having a good feel of how solid you are on a given move. Often you have to avoid easier dynamic moves for more difficult, but more secure static technique.
Todd Eastman

climber
Bellingham, WA
Feb 9, 2013 - 09:16am PT
You don't always get to lead the dance...
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
Feb 9, 2013 - 11:10am PT
There's a classic boulders' progression that starts with low classic B1 problems and progresses to V9 and up highballs. When you are young and immortal, you start with easy stuff and work up until you're going for it high off the ground. Then, a big fall followed by a recovery cycle that ends in another big fall and a second big injury and rehab. At this point, a lot of people switch to low hard problems and start to TR everything they do that's high off the ground. Or else they quit bouldering altogether and stick to lead climbs with ropes. Anything they do into the self-destruct zone they now do on TR. Depends on how bad the first injury was and how old you were when you got it. I sure know a lot of people over 50 who won't boulder anything that gets the bottom of their feet more than 6 feet off the deck.

So do your way hard high-balls before osteoarthritis and spinal degeneration limit your ability to take hard ground falls.
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 9, 2013 - 02:27pm PT
@pyro that's high quality spotting! Nice photo!
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 9, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
@bjj sounds like you've had a rough history with trad. If that was me i would just do more overhanging routes so you could fall straight down and not into the wall. I dont do trad but i sport climb and find that overhanging routes are less scary.
pyro

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Feb 10, 2013 - 09:20am PT
Wes on  the Kamp's mantle!
Wes on the Kamp's mantle!
Credit: pyro
no problem bro!

i've been lucky to have local's from stoney point show me how it's done. we never take our eye's of the climber. we even spot when it's 2ft off the deck!
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
Pyro, goes to show that you must have trust in your spotters and know them well
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 10, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
So do your way hard high-balls before osteoarthritis and spinal degeneration limit your ability to take hard ground falls

And please keep in mind that those long drops and impacts - even with mats - create those anatomical problems.

It's going to make no difference, for instance, in the NFL, if the players have high-tech helmets. The impact of receiver and defender will continue to scramble their brains.

A question: at what point does stacking mats begin to invalidate the risk component of HBB?

;>)
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 10, 2013 - 04:22pm PT
Depends on the risk....


bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
@jogill couldn't be more right on about impact. Had a friend take a high fall and compressed 2 vertebrae in his lower back and he landed on pads. Also good question about pad stacking, i don't know what the answer would be but would be nice to hear others' opinions
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 10, 2013 - 07:38pm PT
ll stack pads if I can get a solid two layers with no steps...thats the best way to not twist ankles...Any time you use a pad you are taking a degree of risk out of the equation. For sure.

I have one ruptured disc and several more compressed. Old injuries from construction, snowboarding and skateboarding. I still love me some bouldering and I'm not afraid to go for it. If there is a good stack of pads.....

Pretty sore today after yesterdays session though...I probably will have to slow down one day....but not yet.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 10, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
Depends on the risk....

Good heavens, what is the probability that fellow would land on the mats from that height? They must look like postage stamps. That looks like some serious free soloing.
bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 11, 2013 - 06:49am PT
@chichen that needs a rope and bolts! There would definitely be physical injury even if he did land on the pads!
darkmagus

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 11, 2013 - 10:57am PT
I do enjoy the highballs, but I'm always ready to downclimb them or jump off if it's reasonable. I'm a highball purist, I don't like to rehearse on top rope, so these two things give me "an out".

Of course there's an art to falling, assuming that the circumstances are ideal (pads, spotters, etc.), but there's always some minute detail that can go wrong.

As a chiropractor I know a few tricks about keeping the joints from taking too much damage. Drinking loads of water, consuming significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin if you're so inclined, and getting those joints moving properly though specific chiropractic adjustments. One of the most basic adjustments for the knee AND for the hip is to perform "axial distraction" (pulling it away from the hip joint, or gapping the knee joints). They get compressed all day by standing, walking, and of course by the ever-so-common highball jump-down. The joint doesn't move as well as it should, and hence, synovial fluid is not regularly "refreshed". It's something that I utilize in order to avoid aches and pains. And avoid them I do, as I'm 33 years old and I climb (boulder) 4-5 days per week. And I take a lot of falls ;)
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Feb 11, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
Credit: drljefe
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Feb 11, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
What is that problem Jefe? Looks like something I wanna fall off of.

drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Feb 11, 2013 - 10:11pm PT
back in picnic valley, i think.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 11, 2013 - 10:38pm PT
i love hiphop. if for no other reason than it pisses off old white people.

Weezy.... sort of a dumb thing to say... IMHO.

I sort of like Rap/hiphop or what ever its called today....

But to the OP.... Its a good thing to have some fear, keeps you on your game.

I totaled myself racing Go Karts, if your going to be a good racer you can't be driving around thinking "What if I get hurt?" ... you just need to remind yourself this is fun - I want to win - and get down to the business.

If you love bouldering, and love to do it, fear will diminish with time.

Unless you get smart and realize that hi- ball bouldering, like free soloing, is ultimately a looser game.

I'm with Dwain, use a rope and push the envelope with some relative safety.

bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 12, 2013 - 04:58pm PT
@guyman yeah I've pretty much accepted that i could get hurt but love climbing tto much to let that affect me. Eventually ill move away from high boulders and stick to less risky ones......maybe
john hansen

climber
Feb 12, 2013 - 05:43pm PT
I believe the climber in chichens pic is Honhold
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Feb 12, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
Preface:
I popped off a highball in 1985, fell 10 ft, $20,000+ surgery to screw leg & ankle bones back together.

Lesson:
1. A 150 lb weight falling 10 ft generates 2000 lbs of force.
2. Sometimes, in rock climbing, falling is NOT an option.

I think many people are too cavalier about falling. Really give it a good think; How far do you want to fall? What about the landing? For me, that's three feet.

There is rational fear and there is irrational fear. I don't think many successful climbers carry irrational fear. There is also an irrational lack of fear. Also, there is luck.


Top Roping hard problems is a great way to enjoy climbing.

Bouldering requires less gear, less set-up, but in my opinion top roping is way more fun and a better way to enhance your skills and find your edge where you can and can't make it.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Feb 13, 2013 - 09:47am PT
When you believe you are strong, you are strong.

I believe that Todd Skinner said that (Heueco Tanks days).

Self-delusion aside? I understood the utter truth of his statement the very second I heard it.

At the core of the ability to manage fear?

A belief that I can do it. That belief is centered on the ability to hang on and pull down, all the moves, all the way. Its a confidence game built on fitness.

They go hand in hand imo. I've climbed fat and know in my bones the insecurity of poor fitness.

From fitness stems the confidence of technique and the belief that "I can."

DMT
darkmagus

Mountain climber
San Diego, CA
Feb 13, 2013 - 10:22am PT
Definitely true, DMT.

If there's any doubt on either end, regarding the mental and the physical components of the climb, it will be shaky at best.

The clue (for me) that I've done due diligence with a particular climb is if I can, on the final go, just feel like I'm "walking up it" in a seemingly effortless manner. And I'll have the same psychological state of calmness and confidence from the bottom to the top. For me it's a really light and free feeling of having FUN and being able to do what I want.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Feb 13, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
Pay attention to Spider. Look at Largo and the pain, expenses, etc. he's going through after falling in a padded gym. Ask yourself if it's worth the price. And keep in mind all those bone-racking jolts from jumping off up high, even on mats, will pay negative dividends both anatomically and neurologically as you age.

But if you must, you must . . . good luck!

;>|

bowshaaa

Boulder climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2013 - 10:07am PT
Jogill

You're right, it is always important to be forward thinking of the possible outcomes of something like this. The risks to the body long term have to always be taken into consideration even if you don't get hurt in the initial falls that are taken.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Feb 15, 2013 - 10:12am PT
Highball bouldering is flat out STUPID and gaurenf*#kinteed to get you hurt. Either rope up or solo but don't think it's ok to fall just becuse there is a pad down there somewhere and that is how they do it in the magazines....
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Feb 15, 2013 - 10:39am PT
I think the knowing-in-your-bones "I can" is a product of putting in time doing the activity so there is a deep level of experience-based intuition to inform it, and the fitness associated with it. Time away from it dulls the fitness edge, and the mental edge, and the coordination/skills of operating at a high level of proficiency.

Having an injury fall is a big input factor for future fear calculations, understanding more precisely and deeply where our limits are and what are the consequences of failure. But when we digest that, our judgement of "is it worth it" will be more accurate than before.

Maybe the most important thing is to listen to our own assessment of "is it worth it" and be willing to walk away. If we're not ok with walking away from a challenge, we're not ready for it. There is too much emotional need clouding the rational calculations of risk.

Werner managed to say the same thing with one line.
PSP also PP

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 15, 2013 - 03:43pm PT
I come from a gymnastics background and if you missed your mat while learning a trick it would be considered a major f**k up and your peers would think twice about your mental capacity. When learning hard tricks there is a long progression and you don't move on to the next progression until your totally ready , the big mistakes usually happen when you skip progressions. Glad you didn't get too hurt.
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Feb 15, 2013 - 03:45pm PT
Take up sport climbing. Get comfortable falling on bolts.
Then do easier run out terrain on bolts.

Works for me.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Feb 15, 2013 - 03:54pm PT
I just soloed 250 ft of ice today including a 60ft WI4 pillar but there is no way in hell i would boulder with the modern mindsect that falling/ jumping is acceptable and encoureged...
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