REI Community

'Injuries and Accidents' in the School of Rock

« Back to School
Basic First Aid Skills
Any time you have to utilize self-rescue techniques, you’ll more than likely have to deal with an injured partner. The most useful first aid skill is assessment of injuries, a critical skill for all medical personnel as well as anyone who recreates outside, including cli...
Bryan Simon at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Neck Muscle Strain
Belayer's Neck
Although “belayer’s neck” is not an official orthopedic diagnosis, it is an official pain in the ass—er, neck—for most climbers. We focus so much on avoiding injury while climbing that we ignore the possibility of chronic injury from belaying. It’s particularly bad ...
Dr. Carla Cupido at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Taping up... with a twist by Chris Philpot
Better Tape Gloves
A gnarly fissure will rip the skin off even the best crack climbers. Protect your hands with a layer of tape so you can keep trying hard until your strength gives out instead of failing from pain or blood loss. Here’s how I make thin, reusable tape gloves, using two neat...
Jean-Pierre Ouellet at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Finger Injuries
Finger Injuries and How to Treat Them
What climbers fear most isn’t heights, falls, or mangled toes—it’s finger injuries. And with good reason: While climbing is a full-body exercise, fingers make the most contact with the rock, thus taking more abuse than other limbs, especially from pockets.
Amanda Fox at Climbing Magazine
Recovering From Climbing Injuries
Vipers look a lot like sticks. That’s a thought you never want to cross your mind when climbing. But 20 feet off the ground, with a broken puzzle of loose rock below me and a deadly Armenian viper slithering out of a perfect finger jam above me, it was the first thing th...
Majka Burhardt at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Construct a rope litter by Chris Philpot
Carry an Injured Partner with a Rope Litter
It’s a picture-perfect October day of climbing with a cool breeze and just enough sun filtering through the changing leaves to keep you warm while belaying. Perfect, that is, until your climbing partner takes a looping whipper that ends with a grunt, a snap, and a wail. ...
Bryan Simon at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: by Jamie Givens
The What-if Plan for Big Climbs
I knew what I was signing up for when I married a climber. So when I crawled between the cold sheets on a September night alone – again – I wasn’t particularly concerned that my husband wasn’t home yet from the Diamond’s Full House. I had learned that “I’ll be hom...
Kate Nelson at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Anatomy of an Ankle Injury
Treat an Injured Ankle
The potential for injury while climbing outside is frighteningly infinite, and boulderers sometimes feel the pain more than anyone, with their repetitive high-impact landings on rocky and unfriendly terrain. The most common non-finger-related injury among boulderers is a ...
Bryan Simon at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Everest’s summit looms above Nuptse’s long r...
Health Effects of High-altitude Climbing
Italian researchers took MRI scans of nine world-class mountain climbers, who had been climbing for at least 10 years, before and after expeditions to Mount Everest (8,848 metres) and K2 (8,611 metres) without an oxygen supply. They compared their MRI brain scans with 19 ...
European Journal of Neurology at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Rope litter
Survival in the Backcountry
In the context of medical emergencies, the wilderness is defined as anywhere beyond an hour from definitive medical care. That includes nearly every climb featured in this issue. However, that doesn’t mean you need to pack an ambulance-worth of specialized equipment for ...
Shannon Davis at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Red: Frostbite within five minutes at this tempera...
Prevent and Treat Frostbite
Climbing often takes us to high, wild places with harsh conditions. And one consequence of prolonged exposure to cold temperatures and high winds can be frostbite: the freezing and subsequent death of body tissues. Frostbite generally occurs to extremities that are farthe...
Bryan Simon at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber's Toe
Prevent Chronic Climber's Toe Pain
Climbers are used to having sore little piggies, whether it’s from jamming them into cracks or cramming them into tight, high-performance shoes. But toe pain is more serious when it doesn’t disappear after a few hours, and it happens to a lot of climbers because of the ...
Dougald MacDonald at Climbing Magazine
Rescue Insurance for Climbers
One of the beautiful things about climbing is the ability to see the world on the cheap. But be warned: Rescues—especially internationally—are the opposite of cheap. A helicopter ride out of some hairy situation can cost $10,000, depending on your altitude and position....
Laura Snider at Climbing Magazine
Prevent Rockfall and Calmly Handle Emergencies
Yosemite’s El Capitan claimed two climbers’ lives in a two-week span in late May and early June. Both incidents involved falling rock, but causes and effects in each scenario were quite different. Even if you’re the safest and smartest climber in the world, climbing is...
Julie Ellison at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Knee parts and how they connect
Injury-proof Your Climber Knees
Editor’s Note: This issue, we present the second of three Training Tech Tips in conjunction with the nonprofit ProHealth Lab, in Park City, Utah. A Common Climber Injury is tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and/or meniscus. One of the knee’s four major li...
Thomas Rosenburt and Stacy McCooey at Climbing Magazine
Rock Climbing Photo: Fig 1. & Fig 2. eccentric wrist curls
Prevent Elbow and Shoulder Injuries
The repetitive motions of climbing and training are hard on the body, especially when done for years on end. Our sport involves lots of pulling down and in toward the body, and the required muscles become well developed at the expense of other muscle groups. Add common da...
Dave MacLeod at Climbing Magazine

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About