Rock Climbing Accident - Ankle Injury

Rock Climbing Accident - Ankle Injury

Before we were a week into 2023, I had an ankle injury from a rock climbing accident! 

We got a family rock climbing membership in the summer and it turned out to be an excellent family activity- both for exercise and for building camaraderie!  We decided to pause our membership & reactivate it in the new year to use rock climbing as an indoor activity during the part of the year when weather is not so nice for spending time outside.

So we reactivated the first week of January, and that week during one of our visits, the accident occurred. Here's what happened:

If you want the whole detailed story, watch the video above. For a summary, read on:

Here are a couple of things to understand about bouldering (what I was doing when I injured myself).

What is Bouldering?

Bouldering is rock climbing without a harness. When you finish a bouldering route, you either jump down onto a matt or you "back-climb", down the route a bit, and then jump down onto the matt.  I usually back-climb before jumping down, but this time was different.

what is bouldering?

How to Fall When Bouldering

When you land, you're supposed to tuck your arms in front of you, across your chest, and bend your knees when you land, to roll onto your back.

My Rock Climbing Accident

This particular route was new to me. The wall had an outcrop, so by the time I got to the top of the route, I could let my feet fall away from the wall holds and let my body dangle while hanging from my two hands.

my rock climbing accident

I had watched my girls (age 13 & 16) and husband drop from climbs like that plenty of times before, so I figured I could do it. As I let my feet leave the wall and was dangling from the hold, I had a few thoughts pass through my mind quickly- I didn't want to hang there too long and hurt my arms or shoulder, and I didn't want to risk my hands' skin ripping either, so I needed to land soon. 

So I let go, but my body must have swung backward more than I realized before I let go because I landed with my weight too far forward. (I explain it in a little more detail in the video above).

My Ankle Injury

The way that I landed caused my shin & knee to drive forward too far over my foot, causing a lot of pain in my ankle.

I spent the rest of the day "R.I.C.E"ing my ankle. (Resting, Icing, Compressing, & Elevating)

The next day I went to a clinic where they determined I most likely didn't have a break (but ordered an X-ray just in case), gave me some anti-inflammatory medication, and told me to keep resting it.


It's been over a week now and I'm able to limp around. Hoping for a full recovery in time!

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~Heather Lynne

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