Madaleine Sorkin's Fall and Then Rise to Elite Big Wall Free Climbing

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Madaleine sorkin big wall rock climbing wadi rum

Madaleine Sorkin climbs a big wall in Wadi Rum, Jordan, after overcoming the mental scars of a big fall 11 years prior. Photo: Henna Taylor/Outdoor Research

In 2006, professional climber Madaleine Sorkin fell 50 feet to the ground in Red Rock, Nevada, when a rappel anchor failed. Like any climber would, she carried physical as well as mental scars from the accident—it was a long, tough road back to feeling like herself again on the rock. But Sorkin persisted, going on to become one of the best big-wall free climbers in the world. Her amazing story is told in full at Breaking Through: Madeline Sorkin at Teton Gravity Research.

Feeling inspired to push through, like Sorkin, and step up your own game in the gym and on the rock? Then join Sorkin for AIM Adventure U’s 4 Weeks to Sending Fitness course, a must-do tune-up for anyone looking for a boost in their climbing or who is coming back to the sport after a long layoff. You’ll see gains in your climbing in no time with this precision plan for getting back in shape.