9. Lead Falling

Falling while on lead happens, and it’s okay! It means you’re pushing yourself.

Below are a few considerations when falling while on lead:

1. Be aware of your last draw. This will determine direction of swing, and how far your fall will take you.

2. Know where the rope is, in conjunction with your feet. Try to keep your feet from getting tangled in the belay rope.

3. Body position. This allows you to anticipate potential swings of the body, as it swings back into the wall.

4. When you’re about to fall (or actually falling), look in the direction of the fall and analyze where you will go.

5. Be sure to always keep your hands and feet out for protection, and be ready to gracefully come into contact with the wall. Try to use your hands/arms and feet/legs as spring-like shock absorbers. Climbers who fear falling and swing into the wall like a clenched wrecking ball are the ones who most often get hurt!

6. Practice falling. Find a belayer who owes you a favor, and then find a relatively vertical wall. Practice taking incrementally further falls. But start small! If your ego dictates you must take a huge whipper, then make sure you select an overhanging climb that allows you to cleanly fall into open air.


Here are considerations for the belayer:

1. Position of Climber relative to the last draw

2. Whether to move right or left, to prevent the climber from running their feet through the rope.

3. Minimize distance of fall by taking in slack and arresting the rope, should the climber provide verbal communication of the fall beforehand.

We hope you found this video helpful. Feel free to comment below with questions or thoughts!


Please remember, climbing is inherently dangerous. Climb at your own risk.