Rock Climbing How To Fall Guide

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Most people never achieve their full potential as a climber because they’re afraid to fail. They play it safe, avoiding anything that might lead to failure. And as a result, they never reach their goals and dreams.

In this Rock Climbing How To Fall Guide, I am going to talk about rock climbing how to fall basics and how to use failure as an opportunity for growth to help make you a much better climber.

Rock Climbing How To Fall Guide: 5 Steps To A Great Fall

It’s essential to remember that any climbing fall, no matter how big, is a learning opportunity. It’s also beneficial to have an open mindset, and never be afraid of a failed attempt.

Falling teaches you humility and helps you understand the gravity of climbing better while reinforcing the importance of safety protocols.

With that being said, let’s discuss how you should be properly setting yourself up so you can practice falls, allowing you to get much more experience and further develop your technique in a safe manner.

Keep an Eye On Your Rope

Pay attention to your rope at all times, especially when taking a fall. It’s important to keep the rope tight and ensure that it doesn’t get tangled, as this could cause you to take an unexpected plunge.

Beware of potential hazards such as loose rocks and carabiners that may snag on the rope while falling. Also, watch out for obstructions (trees, ledges, etc.).

Your belayer should be mindful of these risks as well and be prepared to stop the rope if necessary.

Always Communicate With Your Belayer

Your belayer should be aware of your plan and where you are going to fall in the event that something happens.

Communicate with your belayer beforehand, so they can be prepared for any scenario. If you have prepared falls, give them clear instructions as to where on the route you anticipate taking a fall, and how big it will be.

To ensure a safe and successful climb, always communicate with your belayer in both directions as to what is happening on the route. This will help them prepare for any potential falls and keep you climbing safely.

Have A Clean Falling Path

how to fall guide

Falling too close to the wall or into an edge can cause unnecessary force, which can lead to serious injuries.

Make sure that the area below you is clear and free from any obstructions before attempting a fall. Have your belayer check with their hands and feet that it’s all clear before taking a lead climb fall.

Have A Spotter Or Two

Lastly, practice falling with a spotter or two.

This is especially important when learning to lead climb and falling on a top rope can be intimidating. Having someone close by to help absorb the shock of the fall will help you get more familiar with taking them.

Of course, this is only recommended if you’re practicing falling not too far off the ground; helping you to ease into the idea of falling.

Remember, falls should never be taken lightly; always take necessary precautions to ensure your safety.

Be In the Right Head Space, Prepare Mentally

Falling is part of the game, and it should always be taken seriously. Be sure that you are mentally prepared for a fall and have rehearsed the steps necessary to ensure your safety.

Trust in yourself and your belayer, practice good communication, don’t take any unnecessary risks, and always remember to make safety a priority.

If you don’t feel up to it, DO NOT DO IT.

And I’m not talking about fearing the fall. Fear is normal, you’re only human.

But if you can’t bring yourself to fully concentrate on the fall because of trouble at work or with a loved one, then don’t bother.

Honestly, this goes for climbing in general, if you’re 100% not in it, don’t bother, you’ll only risk injuring yourself or someone else around you.

Time To Get Your Falling Practice In

rock climbing how to fall - falling practice

When you are ready, practice taking falls in a controlled environment. Start at a lower height and build up your confidence from there.

Remember to keep an eye on the rope, communicate with your belayer, have a clean falling path, and add spotters if necessary. With time and experience, you’ll take more secure lead climbing falls.

Here is a quick list of how to practice falling:

  • Pick a climb on an upright or gently overhanging face, whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Find a seasoned belayer to trust and who can handle any type of falls that might occur. You want someone reliable and trustworthy, with plenty of experience in catching falls efficiently.
  • To ensure your safety, select a spot at least 35 to 40 feet in the air so that there’s plenty of slack for shock absorption and no risk of slipping onto the ground.
  • To begin, the practice falls on toprope—you are climbing lead with a bolt above your waist. As you progress, move the tie-in knot six inches up from the bolt, then one foot and finally two feet. During this time be sure to remember and adhere to proper falling technique for optimal safety.
  • Make sure to do this exercise regularly in order to burn the motion into muscle and mental memory.

What To Keep In Mind When You Have An Unexpected Fall

If you do take an unexpected fall, the most important thing is to stay calm and focus on how to best protect yourself from any potential hazards.

Ensure that you position your body correctly and don’t tense up too much or put your arms or legs in an awkward angle that could cause further injury.

Remember, it’s better to have a softer impact than one that can cause serious damage.

Once you are safely on the ground, stop and take some deep breaths. Check yourself for any potential injuries and if needed, seek medical attention.

In conclusion, it is essential for every climber to practice falling in an effort to become more confident on the wall, and to reduce the risk of injury.

How To Fall: Bouldering

To ensure a safe climb when you start climbing, every boulderer must take careful note of all the necessary preparations. Most critically, no attempt should be made without the addition of a crash pad to protect against potential falls.

Secondly, make sure you get someone to watch over your climb. Not only can they assist in pointing out the best places for handholds from their point of view, but more importantly – guide your body safely back down if you fall so that you land on both feet.

How Spot When Bouldering

To properly spot a climber, stand directly below them with your knees slightly bent and legs apart. Have your arms raised in an arc-like position with slight bends at the elbows and palms facing outward. As they begin to climb, raise you hands closer towards their hips or torso for support. If he/she falls, firmly hold onto their hips to safely guide them downwards.

How To Fall When Bouldering

During the split second of the fall, there are several things to note.

Before you hit the ground, make sure to fall with your feet first and have your knees bent slightly. To minimize the impact of falling, roll forwards or backwards after landing. And whatever you do, keep in mind that hands are more prone to fractures than feet – so use them only as a last resort!

Secondly, try to keep your distance from the wall when climbing in order to avoid any abrasion that can arise due to bumpy surfaces or protruding boulders.

How to Fall: Lead Climbing

how to fall lead climbing

Rope falls are a little different from bouldering falls, because you’ve got the rope ends to think about.

As you fall from the wall, ensure that your feet lead the way. Keep them in front of you and pointed downward to be sure they are first to hit the wall when the rope tension arrives at its peak. This way, you can avoid any potential injuries while ensuring a soft landing back onto solid ground.

Be mindful of the rope’s placement as you ascend, making sure that it is always in front of your legs. If you fail to do so, not only will this lead to a potentially nasty rope burn but also cause an unexpected flip upside down!

To prevent these undesirable outcomes from occurring, make sure to continuously check and adjust the position of the climbing rope if needed.

Additionally, the importance of a reliable belayer should not be overlooked. A capable belayer must have fast reflexes in order to react quickly and safely if you take a fall while climbing, as well as pay attention to your surroundings for optimal protection from potential danger.

He also has the expertise to adjust the belay device depending on the climber’s success. The rope should not be so tight that it hinders them from progressing, nor so loose that they take an enormous tumble and risk falling all the way down.

9 Tips To Help Get You Over The Fear Of Falling When Rock Climbing

  1. Practice Falling Properly – The best way to get over the fear of falling is to practice a proper fall. Make sure that you have a spotter or belayer in place when you are learning how to fall. Start by jumping from small heights, like two feet off the ground, and gradually work your way up as you become more comfortable with the sensation of falling.
  2. Start small – Start off with a lower wall or climbing route at the gym, and gradually work your way up as you feel more comfortable. This will help to build confidence in yourself and make it easier to tackle the bigger walls.
  3. Practice visualization – Visualization is an incredibly powerful technique that can help you get over a fear of falling. Spend time visualizing yourself successfully completing the route, and how it will feel when you do.
  4. Take your time – As tempting as it can be to rush up the wall, take your time and focus on each move. Rushing on a wall leads to bad outcomes. This will help reduce anxiety, as well as make sure that you’re not putting too much strain on your body.
  5. Practice mindful climbing – Mindfulness can help take the focus off of the fear and onto the present moment, as well as help to reduce stress levels. As you climb, stay aware of each movement that you’re making and how it feels.
  6. Focus on technique – As you progress, pay attention to your technique. This will help to build confidence while also improving your skills. With more practice, you’ll be able to tackle the more challenging routes in no time at all.
  7. Get a spotter – A spotter can help reduce the fear of falling by catching you if you do slip. It’s important to remember that a spotter is there for your safety, not to push you beyond your limits.
  8. Relax – Try to stay relaxed as you climb, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it right the first time. Remember that falling is part of learning, and you will get better with practice.
  9. Have fun – Above all else, remember to make sure that you’re having fun as you climb. Rock climbing is an exhilarating sport and should be enjoyed! Taking the fear out of it will help you make the most of every climb.


Falling is an important part of rock climbing and while it can be unnerving at first, with practice you will become more comfortable with taking them.

Taking the proper steps to plan and prepare for a fall can give you the confidence necessary to keep pushing yourself as a climber.

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