I have been bouldering outdoors for 3+ years, many times alone and often with friends. This incident occurred on Portland where I've spent many weekends climbing, this precise wall was actually new to me but I focused on some of the moves closer to the ground and only attempted topping out on boulders where the moves were well within my grasp. I was using one large bouldering pad but a few steps in the rock on the ground meant it was difficult to sufficiently protect a large fall which formed part of my reason for only trying routes well within my capabilities. Whilst topping out the boulder I grabbed to holds on top of the crag (I couldn't see these), as I went to rock over both of the holds came off in my hands and I fell towards the floor from approx 4m. I landed mostly on my crash pad but my right heel came off the back and the force of it crashing into limestone slab below fracturing my heel (calcaneus) and a couple of the joints in the area.
My learning would be to properly check holds, on this climb I could've even analysed the holds from above but if not I should have given each of them a good pull before using them. I think an extra mat may have helped in this area so if I was to go out bouldering alone again I would try and carry a couple of mats to ensure it properly covered the area. Sticking to climbing close to the floor whilst alone is probably wiser.
Serious injury requiring medical treatment
Rescue Services Involved?
Local first responder came to meet me at the café and then an ambulance came to take me to hospital
10 June 2022, 08:22:22
For more advice and guidance on good practices visit BMC skills
All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.