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.