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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.

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Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


I'm going to be in Boulder, CO Monday and Tuesday for a job interview and will have a little bit of free time Monday night to do whatever. I'm probably going to go to a climbing gym and boulder -- The Spot has been recommended to me, but I was wondering if there were any other gyms with nice bouldering walls I should check out?
I'm staying at the St Julien and will have a rental car to use.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Discomancer posted:

Movement is good for roped climbing, but their bouldering section seems like it was added in as an afterthought. The Spot is by far the best bouldering in the state, and Twisted Pine brewery is right around the corner.

Excellent! I'll have to climb at the Spot then and then grab a drink the night before my interview. I'm excited!

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


gamera009 posted:

My only complaint right now is that a Spot day pass is more expensive, and the floor is kinda terrible. Don't be surprised if you hit a seam and it punches through. Be pretty aware of the are you're in.

Bouldering there is awesome, however.

The floor at Movement is much better, incredible roped climbing, but the bouldering isn't as expansive. Also, the grades are a bit soft on the bouldering problems. Parking is notoriously bad at Movement, though they opened a new parking lot for customers across the street.

There are plenty of goons (read: 1 or 2) that boulder at the Spot regularly. I might swing by on Tuesday to see how the problems are, but I'm usually at Movement (until April) now.

I'll just have to downclimb everything, ugh. My biggest fear is loving up my ankles on a fall. I live in Baltimore and current climb at Earth Treks Timonium-- I'm willing to bet my gym rates problems much softer so I'll probably be a little sad with myself. I'm just going to have time to climb Monday night so maybe a goon will see me then I'm an asian chick - will be climbing in red shoes and probably wearing a lot of black.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Baldbeard posted:

Man, I've hit a pretty serious plateau and I'm feeling pretty discouraged. I've been climbing for 9 months now, and I can do most of the V5s and some of the V6s in my gym, but I've been at this level for a while now. I can't seem to get the V6 grade on lockdown, especially cave routes. After progressing so quickly and then stopping, feels like I'm at a dead-end and I have to lose weight or magically grow 3 inches or something.

I need some sort of mindset change. Starting to think 'progressing' is more important to me than 'climbing' which can't be good.

I'm plateaued around V4 (and have been for probably a year, at least). Without losing maybe 10-15 lbs, it's going to be very hard for me to get up to V5 level. However, when I look at it, my technique has gotten so much better that I don't struggle the same way I used to. I celebrate those little victories, like the day I can not fall on my rear end on the first move of a V4/V5, or when my form has improved to a point where I can stick holds that were impossible for me to reach before (I'm 5'4).

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


canvasbagfight posted:

I use an emory board to file down the skin before it starts ripping and flapping. I aslo use a lot of lotion/climb on bar and basically try to keep my hands as 'normal' as posible. I have also tried a vinegar/salt hot water soak and found that to be effective especially with a pumice stone or something. Tape is always good if you keep ripping at a certain bit of hand and it's only a matter of time until it flaps away.

Getting sloppy on big positive plastic holds is usually what rips my hands up the most

Good advice. When I make sure to moisturize regularly (not like, right before climbing, but afterwards) and file down my calluses, I hardly ever get flappers. Using climbing chalk might also help since it'll be easier to stick to the rock without gripping excessively.

Definitely try to climb with more gentle/static motions and you'll be less likely to gently caress up your hands.

Know your limits, you may just need to call it a day once your skin starts getting thin. As you climb more, your skin toughens up and your technique improves to a point where you can go a lot longer before you're in danger of peeling open your skin on the rock.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Just took a bad fall during a lunch time climb bouldering, I think i hyper extended my left arm as I landed on it. Was falling forward and put my arm out on instinct.

What's the best way for healing asap? RICE? Epsom salt bath?

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


armorer posted:

Where / how / how badly does it hurt?

left elbow, inner? Hard for me to extend but I can bend it with a little pain. Can close and open my fist. Hurts a bit, probably like a 6.5/10 if 10 is max, but pain is a little better an hour later

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Arm's still tweaked (think I've got two weeks to go before I can do some easy climbs) - now that the weather's warming up in Boulder, I'm thinking I want to go climb outside more whenever I'm healed enough.

I boulder almost exclusively-- does anyone have recommendations for crashpads that are somewhat transportable (and still effective at softening falls)? I'll probably end up hiking to spots with the crashpad on my back.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Fontoyn posted:

Okay, more beginner climber advice posts.

I'm about 200lbs with a lot of muscle/fat that is useless for climbing but I like climbing anyway. I am just now completing v2/3s on the bouldering wall and want to know:

What are some drills I can use to improve my technique? I can't attend any classes on climbing but I'm just now focusing on carefully finding footholds instead of grinding down the wall towards them.

What are common mistakes I should avoid?

My forearms are getting stupid-rear end strong but I know skinnier guy will always beat me. I just want to get to the point where I can boulder v5s at least and people keep telling me grip strength is less important than technique to getting there.

Hey! I was around 175-180 at my heaviest, and a 5'4 female powerlifter-turned-climber. Was not definitely easy, but here's some tips as a strong-but-heavy (and short) climber:

1.) seconding Baldbeard - straight arms, lock off. Rely on your skeletal structure to keep you on the wall rather than pulling yourself in with the strength of your biceps/forearms. Keep your hips kinda close to the wall and you'll naturally form this straightened-arm approach. Sink down into your legs for stability and strength, and remember to stand up with your legs first (and your arms secondarily).
2.) core exercises are very helpful - hanging from the hangboard and tapping the wall with my feet was really challenging but very useful - look up hangboard drills
3.) Downclimb when you can. Slowly and methodically.
4.) Practice climbing statically; you probably have the strength for dynamic movement already but static technique will give you the biggest payoff as a beginner: Be meticulous and thrifty with your movements as you start out. Think about how to position your body in the most energy efficient way possible. Sometimes this does mean skipping holds so you're not wasting energy on baby steps. Good climbers know where their feet are going, and are precise about where the best place to stick their foot is on the hold - you don't want to be fumbling with your feet after you plant on a foothold. Similarly, you don't really want to fumble much with your hands either; I have a bad habit of tugging and repositioning my hands, when I should ideally just grab a hold the right way from the start.
5.) This is general advice to all climbers, but I think it's important for beginners: know your limits, rest when it's necessary, take time off, and don't get injured. Injuries as a beginner suck in particular because you lose way more momentum. You'll have plenty of time as an intermediate/advanced climber to gently caress up your ankles, wrists, and finger tendons, so take it easy as a beginner.

e: Now I'm running closer to 165, and the difference is huge between that and bouldering at 180. Weight loss and technique improvements have really helped me become a better climber; people wrongfully assume that I'm stronger. That might be the case a little bit, only because my strength-to-weight ratio has probably improved; but I think it's mostly technique.

Frown Town fucked around with this message at 21:00 on Apr 30, 2013

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


pokchu posted:

Being as efficient and technically correct as possible is great up to a point, but there comes a level where it won't make you any physically stronger (or at least not with any speed.) once you send whatever you're working on, and are confident in your ability to do so, start climbing in ways to maximize your gains.

There are all sorts of styles of climbing and it never hurts to work on every aspect. Finger strength, core, and technique are all important, use the gym to train them all, don't ignore some facets for others.

Well, sure.
But you're going to hose yourself as a beginner if you try to muscle through everything + lock off all the time. Especially if you weigh 200 lbs; brute forcing 200 lbs isn't fun or easy if you don't have technique to back it up. Specifically, Fontoyn's already strong, and while I'm sure climbing-specific strength is important, so is mastering basic technique (and I'd argue start static before you start doing tons of dynamic movements). You'll have time to blast through problems once you're confident with moving as efficiently as possible through them first.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Let me know when you guys are bouldering outside.

I'm too scared of ropes and harnesses.
And hopefully I won't have injured myself that Friday as has been the trend.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Ranma posted:

Those are spandex shorts from SA's very own Queen Elizatits and her Etsy shop, Sexism Is Over. The boulder is "The Fun Boulder", and it is!

Oh sweet, I was wondering what that pair ended up looking like! (love her stuff and am trying to figure out what print I want for my own climbing shorts)

guppy posted:

I started climbing a few months ago -- a little bit of experience in high school but nothing for a long time since -- and I've been enjoying it. I'm not a big guy and I'm still working on my technique so 5.7 is my "challenge myself" level right now but it's coming along.

The grading of some of this stuff seems really arbitrary. What my gym calls V Intro seems to be what you guys call VB, and they don't have anything marked V0 so I guess they've just categorized problems of that difficulty as either V Intro or V1. The first couple V Intros I climbed were easy, then I climbed a V1 that was fine and V2 that wasn't too bad, and then I started finding V Intros I couldn't climb and a V2 that people with prior experience struggled with. Maybe we were just getting tired but it seemed like there were several marked Intro that were harder than the V2 I climbed. Different setters maybe.

I was told that once you move yourself up a grade in top-roped clmbing you should expect to be there for a couple months climbing 1-2x a week. What should I be expecting from bouldering?

And yeah, I destroyed my hands, much more than roped.

The difficulty curve is exponential in bouldering (I don't do any roped climbing so I can't comment there); in that the jump from V2-V3 seems fairly sizeable, and the gap between V3 and V4 seems even more substantial. V4 to V5 is something I've been working on for years. After about a month of bouldering 2-3x/week, I could do most V0s/V1s and maybe a handful of V2s. It took me probably two months to get my first V3, and then what seemed like six+ months to get my first V4 (which was more softly graded). I've never sent anything marked harder than a V4 but came close to finishing a soft V5 after being at it for 1.5 yrs; it seems like stuff just gets exponentially tougher as you go up because there are certain techniques like crimps and heel hooks that don't show up very frequently at a V3 level -- at least when you're climbing indoors.

I can't climb anything outside, though I suspect I'm climbing somewhere between a V3 and V4 level at the moment. I don't have a good way to benchmark anymore since I moved to Boulder and the gyms are graded on arbitrary scales (novice, intermediate, expert, and some dot system that goes up to 5 max). When I was climbing at Earthtreks in Timonium, MD I was finishing a handful of V4s and seemed to do ok on the start of 5.10b (maybe c) climbs that I'd mess with when the bouldering cave was too busy. I'm actually pretty curious to go back to that gym when I visit Baltimore and see what I'm climbing there these days. There's the additional complication that different gyms have different grading tendencies; softness/toughness seems region and gym specific, as my feeling is my gym in Baltimore would call stuff a V4 that would probably be called a V3 in Boulder.

I also have a build that doesn't do me much service, so your own progression might be a lot faster. 5'4 (former) heavyweight female with unfortunately short arms. At my heaviest I was climbing at 185 lbs, and that was terrible; climbing around 158 now is so much easier; while it doesn't solve the issue of the tragically short wingspan, I'm using a lot less energy to stay on the wall. I guess it was like training with a 30 lb weight vest that had a slow leak.

e:

spwrozek posted:

Don't worry about gym grades. They are all arbitrary. Although I don't like rock n jam I do like that they grade bouldering easy (V0 - V2), medium (V2 - V5), hard (V5 - V8), expert (V8 - V??). Because really who cares, problems change once a month in the gym.

Just go try them and have fun.

Missed this, but I agree 100%. Grades are kind of an ok benchmark to start on, but I'm kind of glad the rating system within the bouldering gyms I go to don't have very direct translations into the V scale. That means I can just focus on the individual problems and with having fun, rather than worrying about if I'm making progress on paper. Even if I'm climbing a similar grade at the three year mark as I was at the 1.5 year mark, I can tell you that I'm climbing better and getting significantly better at moves that previously destroyed me (lock outs, rocking over on a toe, etc). People who haven't seen me climb in a while will tell me how much stronger I've gotten as a climber, and that's good enough.

Frown Town fucked around with this message at 20:01 on Jul 30, 2013

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


guppy posted:

I'm in the Baltimore area climbing at EarthTreks right now.

I know this was my idea, but I wonder if we should find an out-of-thread way to do it.

Timonium Earth Treks? That place was my stomping grounds before I moved to Boulder. It's a great gym! Will be visiting Baltimore next week and probably will climb Fri afternoon.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Kefit posted:

Every time you jump or fall off the wall there's a chance of injury. This is especially true if you're tired and not able to concentrate as much as you should on the landing, like after sending a hard problem at your limit. All it takes is misplacing a foot and/or landing in an awkward part of the pad to roll your ankle badly enough to need to stay off the wall for a couple of weeks (or longer). It's best to down climb as much as you can to minimize this risk.

Of course, a controlled fall is generally better than an uncontrolled tumble off a botched downclimb. This is particularly true on some overhangs, where you can just extend your body vertically from the finish hold and drop straight down to the floor relatively safely.

Seconding this. Just had a coworker dislocate a shoulder because he jumped off a problem he didn't feel like finishing rather than downclimbing (and he stuck an arm out to catch himself).

Beyond reducing injuries, down climbing the same route backwards is great practice. I like to use a slow and methodical down climb to help stretch, warm up, and practice some of the movements I suck at in slow motion.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


kraken! posted:

I'm pretty new to Seattle and looking for someone to climb with. Actually I've been here since about April and I'm tired of hanging out in SBP missing out on the summer. I've got a car and next week I'll have sport climbing junk. About me: I've been climbing about a year and a half around 5.8 and I'm really hoping the last four months have improved that a little. Ive led exactly one trad climb and would dig learning some more.

I'm going to visiting Seattle Aug 19-24 with the BF (who is somewhat new to climbing, but making good newbie gains)-- I'm unlikely to do much outdoor climbing stuff during that trip (unless there are some easier things to boulder that don't involve loving up my ankles), but we are most definitely stopping by Seattle Bouldering Project. Let me know if you want some people to climb with during that week!

I'm bouldering around a v3-v4ish level indoors, and.. like.. probably v0 outdoors.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


My left middle finger joint has been feeling a bit painful, especially after climbing anything particularly slopey/round. Extending super far to reach a sloper seems to exacerbate this pain (which is a thing that happens often due to being pretty short). Crimps seem to bother me less, unless I'm doing harsh diagonal stuff. Then they bug me in a similar way.

I don't want to pull a tendon, but it seems like no matter how much rest I give it, or how much I tape up, the pain's pretty quick to come back (as in, as soon as I touch a sloper). It's been going on for months, usually more of a dull pain afterwards, but today I grabbed a little nubby round hold and tugged my finger in a really lovely way. It's fine now, but I'd like to avoid getting a permanent injury.

I'm not sure if this is a technique thing on slopers and/or crimps or an overuse thing. Can anyone advise me or point me to a good resource on open hand/crimping techniques/preventative care that'll lessen the likelihood of loving up my middle finger for good?

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Papercut posted:

I haven't read McLeod's book so I don't know what he says, but I see no reason to trust him over medical professionals. High level athletes are more often than not the worst people to trust when it comes to how ordinary people deal with and recover from injury.

This is a very thorough summary of the anatomy of the hand, types of injuries, and has plenty of links to summaries of therapy approaches:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3377907/

One of the cited articles summarizes treatment as such:


No one is saying to immobilize for 6 months, but there are MUCH safer approaches to maintaining range of motion and rebuilding strength (finger stretching, rice bowl exercises, putty, etc) than climbing. If you absolutely must get back to climbing as quickly as possible, it can still take multiple months and you should not just jump right back into your previous project when pain is mostly gone.

Tarnien posted:

We have this discussion every couple of months in here, and I want to put my perspective out there so that you (Frown Town) can have multiple opinions and decide for yourself.

I disagree *STRONGLY* with the "rest more" mentality. I've explained my reasoning many times before, so I'll refrain from doing it again here, but to summarize: use the finger, but do it intelligently. If you (or anyone) want more specifics than that, feel free to PM/email me.

You might consider reading the new book by Dave MacLeod (5.14/V14/E11 climber): http://davemacleod.com/shop/makeorbreak.html
In it, he talks about why "rest more" is an outdated, unsubstantiated approach, why resting is not always (read: almost never) the best answer, and gives you some guidelines on how to gauge when rest is a good idea and when it isn't. I'm NOT advocating you go to the gym and climb every v10 crimp line you can find, but I honestly believe that resting for 6+ months is just as bad.

You might also consider picking up some of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G2G22IO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The limiting factor in connective-tissue healing is bloodflow. Grab one of these guys, and go crazy with it on your finger over the injury and it will turn bright red as it flushes with blood. I know it sounds very voodoo-magic, but I've noticed a drastic decrease in healing time due to finger tweaks since I've started using them.

I'm very happy to talk at length about my experiences with injuries (there have been many) -- the mental struggle to recover from serious climbing injuries have been some of my lowest moments. Just PM or email me. Humblebrag to add some credibility to my post: v12ish/5.13c'ish climber, been hangboarding (3x/week) for several years, currently working at a Sports Rehab clinic, and have recovered from more injuries than I care to count.

Thanks to you both for the replies. Will dig into the articles and be smarter with the climbs I attempt (as in, limit how many crimpy/slopey things I'm doing til things heal up). Have seen those metal finger rings being used by some fellow climbers in the office, will have to pick some up! My own injuries aren't mega-severe, as far as I can tell, and probably are just starting out as minor-ish nuisances. After taking several months off climbing (after an unrelated elbow dislocation), I think I ramped back up too quickly/was compensating for my lack of arm strength, and ended up stressing a joint early on that maybe never fully healed. Just want to get those tendons properly taken care of so they don't turn into something more major.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


petrol blue posted:

Trimming nails is unnecessary, because you will have no nails.

Ouch. I prefer to pre-trim them rather than having the wall rip them off, personally!

-

My middle finger joint is feeling significantly better after a couple weeks of taking it easy on crimps, and resting more between climbing days. Will likely not climb crimpy/slopey stuff for a good while still, but I'm feeling hopeful that my joints will be awesome after the crimp hiatus. It's a little frustrating to feel so limited on my climbs, but.. I'd rather be climbing something easy than not climbing at all.

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


I got some pretty good laughs out of this:

How to be a rock climber
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpZIT_I2_Oo

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


Patrovsky posted:

As someone who is not a super good climber, but wants to do bouldering, I run into trouble where even the most basic of bouldering problems are super difficult for me. Am I better off improving my regular indoor climbing to improve at bouldering, or to just keep pushing at the bouldering?

Sharks Eat Bear made a great post. Beyond more bouldering, look at where you are strength or flexibility deficient. If you can tell your core isn't in great shape, for example, planking seriously helps. Forearm planks, straight arm planks, side planks, etc. You'll get a sense for how weak your core is by how long it takes you to bail.

I had been stuck in a bouldering plateau for a long time, but ended up taking barre-style classes with a strong focus on bodyweight training (pushups, planks, thigh work, glute work, and more core stuff) and am climbing at a higher level at my bouldering gym. The main difference is I can really keep my body stable transitioning between moves, and underhangs don't murder me the same way. This won't mean much to anyone outside of Boulder/The Spot, but I went from 3's being my bread and butter/projecting 3+'s at the Spot to normally flashing 3+'s, getting maybe 70% of 4-s in a few tries and projecting soft 4s, whatever that means for you Boulderites. Maybe the grading has gotten easier, but I've noticed a marked difference in my stability and explosive power.

e: I'm a casual boulderer these days- I'm doing maybe 2x a week during lunch for an hour so it's been surprising to me how big of a difference the barre workouts have made.

I can't climb with much more frequency because I get middle finger joint pain after too much volume... this is something I need to work on.

Frown Town fucked around with this message at 23:52 on Sep 28, 2016

Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


gamera009 posted:

You're over clutching I bet. Or relying too much on hard crimping rather than a focus on good open hand technique.

Remember that the Spot has some
of the most ridiculous grade ranges calibrated to their internal grading system.

4 => V5-ish
4+ => V6
5- => V7-9

What the Christ.

I am absolutely over clutching and I know it. I'm trying to get better at open hand crimping, but it's hard for me not to hang on tightly for dear life.. Do you have any resources you'd recommend, or babby steps for how I can stop being so terrible at it?

And yeah, I completely gave up trying to convert the dots to a proper V-scale. The grading feels particularly subjective at the Spot, so I only roughly use that as a benchmark for my progress. I just know that I'm improving on some types of moves I just really sucked at before.

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Frown Town
Sep 10, 2009

does not even lift
SWAG SWAG SWAG YOLO


gamera009 posted:

hang from the lowest rung on the campus board. 7 seconds on, 3 seconds off. 1.5 minutes of this, and then rest for 1.5 minutes. Repeat until you want to kill yourself. Generally, 4 sets is enough.

Start with generous space on the rail, then move to 1-pad edges.

Thank you! This is going to be a slow process for me - I can't even hang from the bottom rung holy poo poo

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