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Cybor Tap
Jul 13, 2001



Climbing goons, this is a place to talk about climbing, post your climbing pictures, talk about climbing news, climbing areas, exchange beta, whatever!

New to climbing? We're here to help! First read through this post, then feel free to ask any questions you like! The climbing community here on SA is friendly and knowledgeable. We love to help and share our vast, vast wisdom.

Climbing 101:

What is rock climbing?: “Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls.” Ok so that's a pretty lame definition, but technically its true. What Wikipedia doesn't get across in the first sentence is that rock climbing is an athletic, puzzling, social, and unbelievably fun sport.

Why should I go climbing?: Rock climbing is a sport for the individual. Climbing is for everyone. It is what you make of it. If you want to have fun recreationally, climb to the top of a roped wall and overcome your fear of heights. If you're competitive, get strong and enter a bouldering competition. If you like to explore, rack up and go trad climbing on a classic 3 pitch crack climb. Also climbing is way cool!

How do I get in to rock climbing? Rock climbing can definitely be intimidating. Everyone seems to know what they are doing and you don't have a clue. If you don't already know someone who climbs, a lot of folk here would recommend finding your local gym and signing up for a belay (rope holding) class. Not just for the skill set you will gain , but for the chance to meet other people who also want to climb. Its as easy as that!

If you do know people who climb, ask if you can tag along, and have them give you some tips. The best way to get better at climbing is to go climbing.

Not sure if there's a gym in your area? Check out this link!
http://www.indoorclimbing.com/

Need a climbing partner? Try this! http://www.climbfind.com/


Want some more reading on just about everything outdoor climbing related? Climbing destinations? Pictures? Mountain Project is a great place to start! http://www.mountainproject.com

Your first day of climbing: Ok you've decided to put on your spandex, harness up, and hit the walls. Here's what you should expect.

1) Don't wear spandex. If you are a man, that is... Show up in something comfortable that you can move around in. You'll see most climbers wearing a t-shirt and shorts/pants. Skinny jeans are a bad idea, remember, the idea is to move your legs UP, so nothing constrictive. Dress for the weather. If its cold, wear loose pants and a hoodie.

2) Use the rental shoes! If the gym asks whether or not you want to pay the extra 3 dollars for climbing shoes, fork over the dough. Climbing shoes, even beat up gym rentals, are far more effective than your street shoe/combat boot/Berkenstocks. Not using climbing shoes is like playing baseball without a mitt. Sure you can do it, but you're not going to be all that successful and people are going to look at you funny. Shoes should be tight! This is so your foot doesn't slide around inside the shoe, and ultimately slip off of a small foothold. A good rule of thumb when trying on climbing shoes is that they should be uncomfortable, but they shouldn't be painful. For the love of god, don't wear those Vibram 5-finger shoes. They're not climbing shoes. Who put out the memo that those are acceptable for climbing?

3) Everyone is going to be better than you... for a while. From the 8 year olds to the senior citizens, you are not going to be nearly as successful as almost everyone else for the first... Month. Don't get frustrated! Don't compare yourself to others around you. Enjoy it for the fun of the sport. The good news is that after a few weeks you'll be significantly better than when you started.

4) Don't pay a whole lot of attention to the difficulty ratings of walls or routes. If it looks fun, give it a shot! More than anything, use gradings help gauge your progress. Don't live by the subjective grade of a route.

5) Have fun. Really, if you're not having fun, then you're doing it wrong. Set reasonable goals. If you're afraid of heights, getting tied in and off the ground is a great start. If you're athletic, try following a few routes to learn some technique.

6) You will be sore! If you've never climbed before, your forearms will ache for the next 2-5 days after you climb. Its normal. That'll go away after a few weeks.

7) The Lingo. One of the most confusing things for a beginner can be listening to two experienced climbers discussing a route. If you are confused about a term here is a good resource for the vocabulary, if you are too shy to ask (which you shouldn't be, nobody expects you to know this stuff when you start :P).
Climbing Glossary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climbing_glossary




Injuries:

So your fingers hurt: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climber%27s_finger
Do you know what your A2 pulley is? Because it's probably your A2 pulley. See: http://onlineclimbingcoach.blogspot.../label/Injuries


Injury TL;DR: ALWAYS WARM UP FOR >10 MINUTES BEFORE YOU CLIMB SOMETHING MODERATELY HARD. Do rotator cuff exercises, reverse wrist curls, and stop bouldering / climbing overhangs while you're injured. Seriously.


The disciplines of rock climbing, broken down by category:

Bouldering
Bouldering is a style of rock climbing undertaken without a rope and normally limited to very short climbs so that a fall will not result in serious injury. It is typically practiced on large boulders or artificial man-made boulders. A large pad (crashpad) is typically used to cushion the fall of the climber. However, it may also be practiced at the base of larger rock faces, or even on buildings or public architecture (known as buildering). Bouldering is a style of climbing emphasizing power, strength, and dynamics. Its focus is on individual moves or short sequences of moves.

Traditional climbing
Traditional climbing, or Trad climbing, is a style of rock climbing in which there is minimal or no fixed protection on the rockface. Protection (Equipment or anchors used for catching a climber when he or she falls. Commonly known as Pro.) is placed in crevices and cracks in the rock for the climber to fasten his rope to as he or she climbs a route. Trad climbing usually involves the leader ascending a section of rock while placing their own protective devices as he/she climbs. These routes consist mostly of cracks which are scaled with a variety of jamming and chimneying techniques.

Sport climbing
Sport climbing is a style of rock climbing that relies on permanent anchors fixed to the rock, especially bolts, for protection. Sport climbing places an emphasis on gymnastic ability, strength and endurance, while virtually eliminating the need to place protection while climbing. A route suitable for sport climbing has pre-placed bolts following a line up a rock face. Sport climbs are typically between 20 and 120 feet in length.

Top-roping
Top-roping is a technique in climbing in which the rope runs from the belayer at the foot of the route through one or more carabiners connected to an anchor at the top of the route and back down to the climber. Assuming the belayer pays attention, the climber cannot fall more than a short distance and can safely attempt the most difficult routes. Many top rope anchors can be reached through non-technical routes. When the route is particularly overhung top-roping must be done by following up the back end of a previously climbed sport route and unclipping the rope from each quickdraw.

Free Soloing
Free Soloing is a style of climbing where the climber foregoes ropes, harnesses and other protective gear while climbing and relies only on his or her physical strength, climbing ability, and psychological fortitude to avoid a fatal fall. This style of climbing is extremely dangerous. The practice is mostly confined to routes familiar to the climber and whose difficulty lies well within the climber's abilities. However, inherent risks such as loose rocks or sudden change in weather are always present, and some high-profile climbers have been killed this way.

Deep Water Soloing
Deep Water Soloing is a form of solo rock climbing (no protection or ropes) that relies solely upon the presence of water at the base of a climb to protect against injury. Participants generally seek high difficulty routes usually above high tide.

Ice climbing
Usually, ice climbing refers to roped and protected climbing of features such as icefalls, frozen waterfalls, and cliffs and rock slabs covered with ice refrozen from flows of water. Ice climbing is broadly divided into two spheres, alpine ice and water ice. Alpine ice is found in a mountain environment, usually requires an approach to reach, and is often climbed in an attempt to summit a mountain. Water ice is usually found on a cliff or other outcropping beneath water flows. Alpine ice is frozen precipitation whereas water ice is a frozen liquid flow of water. Both types of ice vary greatly in consistency according to weather conditions. Ice can be soft, hard, brittle or tough

Aid climbing
Aid climbing is a style of climbing in which fixed or placed protection is used to make upward progress. Here, he climber ascends by hanging on, and climbing on, his or her equipment. In a typical ascent with aid the climber places pieces of equipment (protection) in cracks or other natural features of the rock, then clips an aider (a ladder-like device, also called stirrup or étrier) to the protection, stands up on the aider, and repeats the process. This type of climbing is much less popular since the introduction of Free climbing, and is a different thing all together than today's "regular" rock climbing.


Climb on!

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Still B.A.E
Mar 24, 2012



There weren't many videos and such posted in the last thread, so here are a couple of clips for your viewing pleasure. I can highly recommend Life On Hold by the way, great film about bouldering in the UK:

http://vimeo.com/46230928

http://vimeo.com/54315330

spandexcajun
Feb 28, 2005

Suck the head for a little extra cajun flavor

Podcasts about climbing? Sure, why not.

I like these two, if anyone has others please add to the thread:

http://enormocast.com/

http://www.dirtbagdiaries.com/

Also, I miss the pictures from the old thread, but I guess most were broken.

Random Google image serch for trad climbing:



My rack when it was mostly new:



Me @ Lincon falls Colorado a few years back:

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

I was hoping someone would spruce this up with some pictures. Thanks for that!

And thanks to Cybor Tap for putting up the new OP!


Now a question for folks:

How is the climate control in your local gym? In my gym it is ice cold in the winter, and extraordinarily hot once you get 10 feet off the floor in the summer. I am wondering if this is the norm given that there is a lot of open space to deal with, or if my gym is just lousy in that regard.

Walked
Apr 14, 2003
A DAMN fine gentleman dahling

:sips brotein:


DAMN fine



armorer posted:

I was hoping someone would spruce this up with some pictures. Thanks for that!

And thanks to Cybor Tap for putting up the new OP!


Now a question for folks:

How is the climate control in your local gym? In my gym it is ice cold in the winter, and extraordinarily hot once you get 10 feet off the floor in the summer. I am wondering if this is the norm given that there is a lot of open space to deal with, or if my gym is just lousy in that regard.

I get that at mine. It's much more pronounced in the summer with the heat than in the winter with the cold, though.

wordprince
May 27, 2004



Has anyone done a El Potrero Chico trip?

A small group of friends are talking about heading down there in mid March for a week and a half trip. I've read and heard that it's some of the best multi-pitch sport in North America. I'm wondering if anyone has any experiences to share.

Is it really that easy to hitchhike into town for supplies?
Is the falling rock really as normal and large (truck-sized) as I've heard?

e: I can't spell in Mexican.

wordprince fucked around with this message at Dec 14, 2012 around 16:43

ohwandernearer
Jul 14, 2009


ward posted:

Has anyone done a El Potrero Chico trip?

A small group of friends are talking about heading down there in mid March for a week and a half trip. I've read and heard that it's some of the best multi-pitch sport in North America. I'm wondering if anyone has any experiences to share.

Is it really that easy to hitchhike into town for supplies?
Is the falling rock really as normal and large (truck-sized) as I've heard?

e: I can't spell in Mexican.

I've been there, it's lovely.

Have you done sport multi-pitch extensively? Assuming you haven't, here's my beta.

DON'T go with an odd number of people, it blows. Somebody is going to miss out on some money climbing.

Falling rock is more common than any non-trad crag I've been to. I saw a bunch of bowling-ball sized stuff hit and heard a refrig-sized piece one day.

I went to town twice--got picked up once, walked the other time. It's not a bad thing to do on a rest day.

If you are not on-sighting 5.10 sport climbs outside, or do not have a partner willing to do this, don't go. Most of the awesome stuff requires you to be comfortable in the ten range.

My partner and I are debating going back this spring, or maybe spain, or kalymnos. Too many places to climb

El Potrero Chico is really about the big stuff. Maybe spend a day or two cragging around on some single-pitch, but most of it isn't all that good. Being able to climb 1k+ feet in a day using nothing but quickdraws is pretty special and well worth the trip.

Cybor Tap
Jul 13, 2001



armorer posted:

I was hoping someone would spruce this up with some pictures. Thanks for that!

And thanks to Cybor Tap for putting up the new OP!


Now a question for folks:

How is the climate control in your local gym? In my gym it is ice cold in the winter, and extraordinarily hot once you get 10 feet off the floor in the summer. I am wondering if this is the norm given that there is a lot of open space to deal with, or if my gym is just lousy in that regard.

I do like to climb it controlled XD

Papercut
Aug 24, 2005

What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.

Climbing gyms are massive air volumes with very few interstitial walls and ceiling spaces where you could place ducts or HVAC units. It would be enormously expensive to effectively climate control them.

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

Papercut posted:

Climbing gyms are massive air volumes with very few interstitial walls and ceiling spaces where you could place ducts or HVAC units. It would be enormously expensive to effectively climate control them.

Agreed, but a few of the gyms I have visited while traveling seem to have much better fans than mine. I like my gym a lot, but it is built in an old, poorly-insulated warehouse, and has extremely dinky ineffectual fans.

Sounds like it's kind of the norm though, so I won't get to frustrated with them about it.

Cybor Tap
Jul 13, 2001



My gym is an early 1900's cow milking barn converted into a bouldering gym. In the summer time we open all the doors and its beautiful. In the winter snow sneaks in through the cracks and amasses on the floor. We have a few infrared heaters to keep warm under.

Chris!
Dec 1, 2004

E

I was hoping there would be a climbing thread here!

I have just started climbing with a friend, we have been to three 2-hour beginners classes, and been on our own once, and I'm really enjoying it.

The only problem is, I considered myself reasonably strong and fit before I went, but my grip endurance is really letting me down. I can climb absolutely fine for a few climbs, 30-45 minutes or so, then it feels like I lose all grip strength and can barely hold myself on the wall let alone make big reaches etc.

Is there any particular way to focus my progress on improving grip strength and endurance, beyond "climb more"? The climbing wall is around an hour away, which means I can only make it there once a week maximum, so I'd like to be doing relevant exercises during the week as well.

Of course the other thing I guess would be to improve my technique, I'm probably using my hands far too much! The course we went on was all about tying in and belaying safely, didn't really go into climbing technique.

I'm really loving climbing, and looking forward to trying some outdoor stuff when the weather is better!

Aceofblue
Feb 26, 2009

Fire head girl!


Climb more. Failing that, maybe get hand grippers? I know amazon sells ones at different strength levels. I have a boring set that works only your hand overall, but I know they make ones that work individual fingers.

Fish Shalami
Feb 6, 2005

What is shalami?

So like a month ago I was on the campus board practicing crimps and missed a hold. Now I have very limited strength in my pinkie and ring finger on my left hand when I climb and they feel like they are kind of numb almost constantly. If my hand gets cold I can't really close those two fingers. The numbness and strength thing comes and goes though.

Should I be really worried about this, looking around I think it might be the ulnar nerve is damaged or maybe a stained tendon? Anyone have something similar to this?

Please don't tell me I can't climb for six months.

Baldbeard
Mar 26, 2011



Chris! posted:

I was hoping there would be a climbing thread here!

I have just started climbing with a friend, we have been to three 2-hour beginners classes, and been on our own once, and I'm really enjoying it.

The only problem is, I considered myself reasonably strong and fit before I went, but my grip endurance is really letting me down. I can climb absolutely fine for a few climbs, 30-45 minutes or so, then it feels like I lose all grip strength and can barely hold myself on the wall let alone make big reaches etc.

Is there any particular way to focus my progress on improving grip strength and endurance, beyond "climb more"? The climbing wall is around an hour away, which means I can only make it there once a week maximum, so I'd like to be doing relevant exercises during the week as well.

Of course the other thing I guess would be to improve my technique, I'm probably using my hands far too much! The course we went on was all about tying in and belaying safely, didn't really go into climbing technique.

I'm really loving climbing, and looking forward to trying some outdoor stuff when the weather is better!

Almost everyone new to climbing experiences this. It's the fact that hanging off of the wall on big juggy holds that you find on the easier routes is mostly grip (forearm) strength. When your climbing, try not wrap your thumb around the hold unless you have to. Even though it's instinctual because it gives you a bit more power, it will wreck your grip strength pretty quickly. Either way though, as you climb more the weakness will come later and later into your sessions until it's not really an issue.

As for at-home stuff, there's nothing quite like being on the wall. So 'climbing more' really is the best bet. Closest thing I could think of would be doing deadhangs on a pullup bar, or maybe heavy farmer walks.

Chris!
Dec 1, 2004

E

Thanks for the reply! I’d love to climb more, but am limited to getting there only once a week due to work and my girlfriend etc.

I have one of those gyro-powerball things somewhere, though I’ve not used it for years, would it be worth digging that out for wrist and forearm endurance? I have a hand gripper thing as you describe, but it was cheap and is very easy to close so I’m not sure if it’s actually any good for this type of training. Maybe I could up the reps I guess, or look for a better quality / more challenging one (or just have a go with a tennis ball).

Anyone have any other recommendations for exercises I could do at home or in the gym to work on improving climbing endurance? I already lift weights a bit but have never focused on endurance. Would stuff like push-ups be more beneficial than dumbbell curls etc?

Edit:

Baldbeard posted:

Almost everyone new to climbing experiences this. It's the fact that hanging off of the wall on big juggy holds that you find on the easier routes is mostly grip (forearm) strength. When your climbing, try not wrap your thumb around the hold unless you have to. Even though it's instinctual because it gives you a bit more power, it will wreck your grip strength pretty quickly. Either way though, as you climb more the weakness will come later and later into your sessions until it's not really an issue.

As for at-home stuff, there's nothing quite like being on the wall. So 'climbing more' really is the best bet. Closest thing I could think of would be doing deadhangs on a pullup bar, or maybe heavy farmer walks.

Thanks for the great reply, I'm climbing as often as possible unfortunately! I guess pulls ups would be a great option for this, as well as deadhangs as you said. Maybe wrapping a towel around the pullup bar to stress grip more, and I will give heavy farmer walks a try as well.

Chris! fucked around with this message at Dec 19, 2012 around 10:22

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

Unfortunately there really aren't a whole lot of exercises to do for climbing (besides climbing itself). As already mentioned pull ups are a good one. One tool a lot of people use is called a hangboard. You can think of it like a giant climbing hold that you mount above a door. In reality they have multiple "holds" on them, in that you can hang off of them in different areas and it simulates different climbing holds. Simply googling "hangboard" will turn up a whole lot of options.

That said, I do not think you need one of these. Most hangboards are not designed for beginners, and have a lot of holds that you will probably not be able to use. Worse, if you try to hang on some of them for any extended period it is possible that you can damage a tendon (see Fish Shalami's recent question about a possible campus board training injury.) You can probably get by just fine with pullups, I only bring up that hangboards exist because they might be a good option for you once you are climbing more difficult routes.

Pander
Oct 9, 2007

Fear is the glue that holds society together. It's what makes people suppress their worst impulses. Fear is power.

And at the end of fear, oblivion.


Another other Chicagoland climbers here, advice about Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville? Seems like a pretty big place, lots of options. $700 total for my g/f and me for a year right now. Figured if we go 2x a week it'd be about $3.50 each, which seems like a good deal. Just wondering if they change routes out, upkeep the place well, etc.

88h88
Feb 25, 2011


armorer posted:

That said, I do not think you need one of these. Most hangboards are not designed for beginners, and have a lot of holds that you will probably not be able to use. Worse, if you try to hang on some of them for any extended period it is possible that you can damage a tendon (see Fish Shalami's recent question about a possible campus board training injury.) You can probably get by just fine with pullups, I only bring up that hangboards exist because they might be a good option for you once you are climbing more difficult routes.

We have a hangboard in the bouldering room at university and I use it for pullups as there's great big solid hand holds on top. I was told to be really careful with any finger grips due to the tendon thing, is there any particular length of time where you can be sure your tendons can take it? I've been climbing over 6 months now and just want to make sure I'm not going to wreck myself using the campus boards.

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007
deadlift minimalist

If you've only been climbing six months, stay off a campus board. At that stage, climbing is the best training for climbing.

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

88h88 posted:

We have a hangboard in the bouldering room at university and I use it for pullups as there's great big solid hand holds on top. I was told to be really careful with any finger grips due to the tendon thing, is there any particular length of time where you can be sure your tendons can take it? I've been climbing over 6 months now and just want to make sure I'm not going to wreck myself using the campus boards.

Campus boards can injure anyone, even well trained strong climbers. Hangboards in general are a bit more reasonable I think. In general the things that are most likely to mess up your tendons are the crimpy holds. I would stay off the smaller crimps unless you are warmed up and not yet tired. Also don't make any dynamic moves onto or off of crimps. You can look up hangboard routines to get an idea what people do on them. Just keep in mind that a lot of those people climb 5.12c sport, and are training for some 5.12d route they have their eyes on.

There are lots of other things you can do on a hangboard that shouldn't really threaten your tendons. I like to do offset pullups, where I have one hand on the jug and the other on a smaller hold lower down. You can also train open hand strength if the hangboard has slopers. Try just hanging on them for a while, and if that is relatively easy try doing pullups on them. Some hangboards have pinch blocks near the outsides, and doing pinch pullups is great too. (Just make sure your hands don't "pop" off the pinch, that is a great way to mess up your tendons.)

Basically - stay off small crimps, don't exercise on one cold, be careful if you want to do any dynamic moves, and don't exercise on one when you are already tired. (Other than pullups or something)

EDIT: Also - and this is a big one - listen to your hands. Don't pop NSAIDs if your finger or elbow hurts and you want to keep climbing. Don't just tape a pained finger to the neighbor and keep climbing on it anyway. If you have pain, lay off until it goes away. In most cases you can still climb, but you need to figure out what aggravates the pain and avoid it. Climb stemming problems, or climb juggy overhung climbs, etc. There are a lot of different routes that work different technique and muscles, so find something that doesn't hurt and do that for a week or two.

armorer fucked around with this message at Dec 19, 2012 around 17:24

attila
Jun 15, 2007
To dream the impossible dream...?

88h88 posted:

I've been climbing over 6 months now and just want to make sure I'm not going to wreck myself using the campus boards.

Wikipedia posted:

The campus board was invented by Wolfgang Güllich in 1988 while he was training for a new route, Action Directe…

At the time of Güillich's first ascent, Action Directe was the hardest route in the world. According to the Wikipedia page there have been 15 people with repeat ascents. So, to call it an advanced technique is an understatement.

Say no to the campus board and learn how to use your feet and hips. Your hands will be much happier (and stronger) and your climbing will improve steadily. That goes for pretty much everybody asking about grip strength. Pay more attention to your feet and hips since they control your center of gravity. Unless you're climbing severely overhung routes most of your weight is on your feet.

If you really want to push the physical aspects of climbing, read a book like Eric Horst's "How to Climb 5.12". Not the first or last word on climbing training, but a good place to start and educate yourself rather than making something up.

Covert Ops Wizard
Dec 27, 2006



Chris! posted:

questions about workouts for climbing

Pullups are in my opinion basically worthless for climbing, it's as armorer and baldbeard said, there's no replacement for actually climbing. Climbing uses your fingers, forearms and core primarily and simultaneously, and while building up one or some of those with an exercise might be helpful, only climbing more exercises all of those to a point that you'll see improvement fast.

Also, your technique probably sucks, being a beginner and all. Only way to work on that is to climb more.

Covert Ops Wizard fucked around with this message at Dec 20, 2012 around 06:31

88h88
Feb 25, 2011


I know my technique sucks pretty bad, I've been watching others climb and getting advice but still struggle on occasion. Fun as hell though.

Thanks for the advice.

Fontoyn
Aug 25, 2009

by Y Kant Ozma Post


What's the next step after I can handle most v2s and am starting to hit v3s? At my gym, it's basically a transition from every type of hold to nothing but crimps and for the life of me I can't grab those. It sucks to plateau.

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

If crimps are a weakness, work on crimps! You can stitch together your own route on the bouldering wall that works in a few crimps. You can climb some TR routes that include crimpy sections. Keep trying the crimpy V3s though. V3 doesn't really mean "all crimps" either, look around the gym and see if there are other V3s up that you can work on.

On the technique side, look up half crimp, full crimp, and open hand climbing grips. Also keep in mind that footwork and balance matter more when you are hanging onto tiny crimps than they do otherwise. Crimps often require that you make very precise and controlled static movements. You can work on all of those things on the V2s.

spwrozek
Sep 4, 2006
Sail when it's windy

I agree with the above comment. Most newer people are super flailing and dynamic in moving across/up the wall. I would go back to V0 and V1 and work on feet and hand placement. Work the core and put your foot exactly where you want and don't move it around. A good climber is very precise with foot placement. Same with your hands. Look at how you should grab the hold, don't adjust all over.

A route may look super dynamic (like an overhung juggy roof problem) but with good precise feet and a strong core you can make the moves very static.

The more precise and static you can get the better you will get.

Baldbeard
Mar 26, 2011



Fontoyn posted:

What's the next step after I can handle most v2s and am starting to hit v3s? At my gym, it's basically a transition from every type of hold to nothing but crimps and for the life of me I can't grab those. It sucks to plateau.

Moving from V2 to V3 was the first major barrier for me because I felt like the routes were harder only because of lovely holds and not because the movements were more complex. Really though, that's just when technique becomes significantly more important. At V2 and under, good form and technique helps but isn't a requirement -- you will almost always be able to just build or use your strength to power through the route. V3-V4 is when routes get a lot more specific on how they are completed and where you will start running into problems that are extremely difficult without a back-step, heel hook, toe hook, knee bar, drop knee, major flagging, major smearing, big hip movement(or whatever).

If crimps really are your weak spot, then you need to work on how to position yourself under them. 'Under' being the key. Keeping your arms straight and locked puts more of the burden on your skeletal system rather than your muscles,(that's why 7 year old kids who could never dream of doing a legit pullup can swing across monkey bars just fine.) which will make crimps possible until you are strong enough to just beast-mode through them. Sometimes that means you have to drop really, really low, where you are almost sitting on the back of your foot. If that's still not low enough, then you may have to lean passed the hold, just to be far enough away from it to grab it with straight arms.

When you see a really good climber do big acrobatic stretches and impressive looking twists, all they are doing is just positioning themselves through each move to use as little energy as possible. Sorry to sound sexist, but watching girls climb especially will show you a lot of movements to reduce strength and height disadvantages that will help you break through the plateau .

Baldbeard fucked around with this message at Dec 20, 2012 around 17:12

Teeter
Jul 21, 2005

Hey guys! I'm having a good time, what about you?

So now is where I'll throw in a mention of Self-Coached Climber, the best book that I've seen for climbing and training. It was recommended in the last version of this thread so I know a few others here stand by it, and I've bought it twice now actually because it was so helpful that I needed a new copy after losing my first.


The diagrams can be hard to follow at times, and some of the stuff really requires that you have a moderate baseline of skill established already so a lot can go over the head of beginners, but for me at least it really opened my eyes to seeing movement in a new way. It's a great tool for stressing how important balance and technique are and how they apply to our war on gravity. I think I can attest to that because I'm super scrawny but still manage to climb well. The first few chapters cover movement with a bunch of great exercises and drills that can really help you improve, then it goes on with topics like physiology and training to target specific areas of improvement. If climbing had a textbook, this would be it. If you're a nerd like me then you can take something from it and apply it to the rock with decent results.

There's no substitute for practice and I'd say that it's easiest if you have somebody demonstrating techniques in-person but this is a great addition to that. Things like the traversing drills can really help out and if you spend like 20 minutes doing them as a cooldown after every session then you'll definitely see improvement in footwork and technique.

Niyqor
Dec 1, 2003

Paid for by the meat council of America

Pander posted:

Another other Chicagoland climbers here, advice about Vertical Endeavors in Warrenville? Seems like a pretty big place, lots of options. $700 total for my g/f and me for a year right now. Figured if we go 2x a week it'd be about $3.50 each, which seems like a good deal. Just wondering if they change routes out, upkeep the place well, etc.

I used to go to VE more frequently and now go every once in a while (maybe once a month). It is always nice getting out there after climbing regularly in one (LVAC) of the Chicago gyms. Many of my climbing friends who are able to do all of their climbing out at VE. As I said, I don't go often, but when I do it seems like a fair amount of new routes are up.

If it wasn't such a pain to get out there (compared to a short walk to a smaller gym in Chicago) I would go to VE more often.

Baldbeard
Mar 26, 2011



Anyone else have a problem with hands being too dry when climbing during the winter months? Today I was climbing, and I went for a hold and somehow managed to form a cut under my fingernail. Like the skin was so dry it just.....separated. gently caress, it is the worst thing.

Cybor Tap
Jul 13, 2001



Yeah, climbing in the winter can suck. I use hand lotion. gently caress the naysayers. Only time I don't use hand lotion is when I'm on a multi-day outdoor climbing excursion. Can't have soft hands ripping it up outdoors a bunch of days in a row.

For gym climbing, I pamper the poo poo out of my hands as best I can!

brakeless
Apr 11, 2011

You're pretty sympathetic.
Smoke?



Supposedly it's made from so natural stuff that you could eat it, although I wouldn't trust anyone who did to belay me. It takes a bit of work to sink it into your hands as it isn't a liquid, but it has worked excellently for me. Haven't had a single flapper since I started using half a year ago.

Tropomyosin
Nov 13, 2012


In terms of climbing training that isn't just more climbing, I enthusiastically recommend aerial gymnastics. Prior to taking trapeze and silks classes, I had hit a plateau at the V3/V4 level. After adding trapeze and silks, I saw improvements in my stamina, flexibility and smoothness through harder problems. The 4's I finish now feel less flaily, and I'm flashing 5's with a kind of shocking frequency. And maybe the confidence instilled by feeling like a fabric ninja gives me anti-gravity powers at the gym?


In conclusion: aerial gymnastics and rock climbing, two great tastes that taste great together.

To make it more rock climb-y and less aerial gymnastics-y, here is a picture from a 'medium water solo-ing' excursion (primarily an excuse to drink and fall in the water):


And for pure finger strengthening, I still swear by this stuff: http://www.powerputty.com

modig
Aug 20, 2002



So basically a pebbley wall next to a waterfall above a pool? Sounds pretty sweet.

edit: Could be fun to have a year end climbing thread photo roundup... 1 each. My rear end-shot contribution, me on the Edge of Time.

modig fucked around with this message at Dec 22, 2012 around 18:20

Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

I recently started climbing at the local gym regularly again after almost six years of rare visits. I've updated some of my gear (new harness, new ATC, etc), but I think I need some new shoes.

My other shoes are probably eight years old and, truth be told, have never had a grip I could trust and, more importantly, have never fit me well. I have atypical feet (very narrow heels, very wide soles, completely flat feet). I'd like to buy new shoes.

What's the best way to buy new shoes? My climbing buddy told me he just orders anything promising off Zappos and then returns the rest. Anyone else have other ideas, trusted brands, state of the art suggestions, etc?

88h88 posted:

I know my technique sucks pretty bad, I've been watching others climb and getting advice but still struggle on occasion. Fun as hell though.

I struggle with technique a lot. I have a much more powerful upper body than lower body, and I tend to instinctively enjoy big, dynamic, campusy power moves. My favorite climbs are big, jungle-gym boulder overhangs. The problem is that this makes me have terrible technique on most sport routes.

One way I've been dealing with this is by asking the local gym rats to direct me to routes that are the opposite of my instinct: that require a lot of footwork, that lack big jugs, that can only be solved through weird, stemmy movements upward where you are forced to move your feet up high to reach more handholds. I've found that it's really improved my spatial understanding of the wall by forcing me to think differently and further develop my weaknesses.

If your technique sucks, try finding routes that work on your weaknesses and take away your strengths!

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Tropomyosin posted:

In conclusion: aerial gymnastics and rock climbing, two great tastes that taste great together.

I didn't realize that aerial gymnastics was a thing that existed. Turns out there's a place that offers classes about 15 minutes from my house, so I'm going to check it out! I'm a 5'4 female, and I've been plateaued in the V3/V4 for bouldering range for what feels like a year and want to push through to the next level. Hoping this can get me there! If anything, it looks really cool.

armorer
Aug 6, 2012

I like metal.

Petey posted:

What's the best way to buy new shoes? My climbing buddy told me he just orders anything promising off Zappos and then returns the rest. Anyone else have other ideas, trusted brands, state of the art suggestions, etc?

If your feet are oddly shaped, this. My wife's feet are kind of long and skinny and a lot of shoes don't fit her right. She has (no exaggeration) ordered 12 or more pairs of climbing shoes from Zappos in one order (on several occasions), kept one pair and returned the rest. Free shipping both ways. If you take that approach though, make sure to do it right after your credit card closes for the month so you can get the refund credited before you owe anything.

Blog Free or Die
Apr 30, 2005

FOR THE MOTHERLAND

Petey posted:

What's the best way to buy new shoes? My climbing buddy told me he just orders anything promising off Zappos and then returns the rest. Anyone else have other ideas, trusted brands, state of the art suggestions, etc?

Does your gym not sell shoes? I got my first few pairs at mine; they were a little more expensive than online (even with 10% member discount), but it's great to be able to try different sizes/models on and then immediately attack some boulder problems with them.

You could even act like they don't fit and then order them online

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Petey
Nov 25, 2005

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but the Patriots secondary happeneth to them all.

- Ecclesiastes

Blog Free or Die posted:

Does your gym not sell shoes? I got my first few pairs at mine; they were a little more expensive than online (even with 10% member discount), but it's great to be able to try different sizes/models on and then immediately attack some boulder problems with them.

You could even act like they don't fit and then order them online

It does. Thought about this too.

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