by Sarah Shaffer

Sarah and Mark Shaffer took a “selfie” while doing an all day bike adventure while Mark’s medial meniscus was healing.

This year has brought many fun adventures. I have been fortunate to get outdoors a lot with my family to all sorts of locales. We have been partaking in mountain biking, rock climbing, canoe-camping and Nordic skiing in between working and school.

Mark and his daughter rapping from a two pitch climb this summer while in Idaho.

This year has also been the year of injuries for our little family. My husband tore his bicep tendon while indoor rock climbing at Riverfront Rock Gym (R.R.G.) and about two months later tore his medial meniscus in his knee while climbing at R.R.G. when he was doing a drop-knee maneuver while climbing a route. Little did we know this is a somewhat common injury for rock climbers. His experience has made me think twice about doing a drop-knee while I am climbing. I still do drop knees when they are needed but I sure move slower and with more intention when doing a drop knee.

Mark lead climbing this summer in Idaho.

One of our larger family trips this summer involved a nine day climbing adventure. We climbed every day we were at the crags, which equated to seven days of climbing straight and when we returned home I noticed I had a swollen finger. Based on self diagnosis and Mr. Google, I suspect I have a partially torn tendon in my finger. For now I am having to back off climbing (cue the sad music).  For my husband and I being in our mid to late 30’s we sure have injured ourselves considerably this year.

This hindered our ability to do certain activities together as a family, more biking and less hiking to avoid my husband’s knee acting up. Less climbing and again more biking, to help my hand heal up. We realized that all the injuries we have accrued so far this year have been related to climbing. I wonder if we are both prone to injury or are we just getting older and still trying to push our bodies as hard as when we were young 20 year old whipper snappers? From what I read, climbing abilities do not peak until your early 40s so we still may have some climbing years left in us yet, even if we do tear some tendons here and there.

Below are some useful articles for climbers I came across-workouts to do, things to avoid while climbing, and climbing related injuries.


Things Not to Do While Climbing:

50 Common Climbing Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them) | Climbing

Climbing Injuries:

Common Climbing Injuries: How They Happen – Sportrock Climbing Centers

The Most Common Climbing Injuries and How to Prevent Them – Rock Climbing Central

Workouts to do for Climbers:

Two Simple Rules for Progressing at Anything | Outside Online

Antagonist Workouts for Climbers: Improve Performance and Prevent Injury (climbing.com)


About The Author

Executive Director

Sarah is fortunate to have her dream job as the Executive Director for Wenatchee Outdoors. Her interests include people, nature, wildlife and getting her sweat on outside. Alpine rock climbing, mountain biking and skate skiing are her outdoor passions. Sarah enjoys gardening, baking and home remodel projects. She is the mother of one, which keeps her busy and happy on a daily basis. Activities she would like to pursue that would be new to her are kayaking and backcountry skiing.

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