1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Fall: Definition of a Climbing Word

What "Fall" and "Falling" Means in Climbing


Fall: Definition of a Climbing Word

Falling! Deb lets go from a Cactus Cliff route at Shelf Road.

Stewart M. Green Fall: Definition of a Climbing Word

If you're going to take climbing fall then do it over water. Splashdown is a much safer landing!

Photograph copyright China Photos/Getty Images Fall: Definition of a Climbing Word

A climber wears a helmet to protect his head from an injury if he falls at Shelf Road.

Photograph copyright Stewart M. Green

What is a FALL?

Fall or falling is exactly what that word means—when a climber plunges off a route and is caught by the safety climbing rope. Some falls, like ground falls when the climber hits the ground, can result in serious injury or death, but most climbing falls are short and uneventful. You let go, slip off, or lose your grip and fall. The rope catches you and usually keeps you from getting hurt.

Belayer and Rope Hold a Fall

The belayer on the ground or on a belay ledge is the climber who controls the rope and holds your fall. Falls taken while toprope climbing are the safest since the climber falls only a short distance before the rope and the belayer catch the fall.

Injuries from Falls

Most injuries from climbing falls are either head injuries (always wear a climbing helmet!) or broken legs and sprained ankles.

Sport Climbing Falls

Sport climbers, who rely solid permanent bolt anchors for protection, put a lot of air time in when they work on very difficult routes to figure out the moves.

Learn How to Fall Safely

There is an art to falling off sport climbing routes so that you do not get hurt. Read The Art of Falling: How to Take a Safe Climbing Fall to learn more about learning to fall while leading.

Slang Words for Falling

Crater, Whipper, and screamer are all climber slang words for falls.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.