Can Climbing Be Used to Treat Depression?

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Rock Climbing Depression treatment

Photo: Andrew Burr

The lichen-stained granite fingers of the Needles, in the southern Sierra Nevada of California, rise menacingly out of the tall conifers that flank the spiny ridge. But for pro climber Ethan Pringle, it’s on the hard, sustained trad routes that run up these rocks that he feels most at peace.

“You’re just 100 percent focused and present and attentive for 20, 30, 40 minutes at a time,” he says, “It’s just so hard to get that in day-to-day life.”

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