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big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


The Supreme Court posted:

Scotland is bloody great for climbing, even with the dire weather. Anyone go bouldering at TCA?
Yeah, I go a couple of times most weeks. So much nicer to climb at than the GCC, although it seems to tear my skin worse than basically anywhere else I've climbed (and I cut my teeth on Dartmoor Granite and Yorkshire Grit). I'm currently recovering from not climbing for about 3 years and then on getting back into it immediately tearing a couple of pulleys trying to climb too hard when I was still weak. Seems like my strength is coming back though, now I just need to drop the extra few kg I seem to have picked up in the time spent sitting on my arse.

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big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


It varies by brand and model. I've gone down three sizes before but normally one or two is fine. For a beginner I think snug but fairly comfortable is the way to go, your footwork isn't going to be that great anyway and the holds you're using probably won't be super tiny so the closest possible fit isn't essential. Better to take a while to get used to wearing climbing shoes, work on your foot placements and go smaller with your next pair if necessary. Be aware that the shoes will stretch somewhat over their lifetime too, you'll find that after a month or two of regular use they won't be so tight and will have adjusted to the shape of your foot. Again the extent to which this happens varies depending on the shoe's last, stitching and materials. You can speed the process by wearing them at home while sitting down. Don't soak them in warm water or put them on a radiator or walk about in them, just wear them.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Wish a climber would say to him that's not how you belay.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Sharks Eat Bear posted:

this is the far superior stupid meme* video.

http://vimeo.com/m/35036855





*i think it's hilarious but that's probably not cool huh :ohdear:
That one is definitely better. Alex Honnold is so amazing. :swoon:

e: While we're posting videos here is a nice one of some super irresponsible soloing. This one appeals to me doubly because like Jack Geldard I spent some of my formative climbing years soloing at this crag (though a couple of decades later and a few grades lower). Also Almscliff is arguably the birthplace of bouldering as a separate discipline, and was in general super important to the development of early British climbing standards and ethics.

http://vimeo.com/44194136

big scary monsters fucked around with this message at 20:36 on Jul 26, 2014

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


lime rind posted:

One other thing I'm curious about. Is there a recommended way of getting into ice climbing? Are there prerequisites of sorts before taking classes for that?
Ice climbing is cool but IMO you ought to get a solid grounding in ropework and multipitch climbing before you get into it. It's kinda cold and if you aren't super smooth building belays and switching leads things can get pretty miserable. Also be aware that the old "the leader never falls" thing is still good advice on ice and mixed. The gear is often bad and even a well protected fall sucks when you've got spikes attached to your feet and hands. So it makes sense to start a little slower than you would on rock.

Apart from that train those calves and go swing some axes.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Sharks Eat Bear posted:

One trick to make cleaning sport anchors a little less stressful is to push a bight of rope through the chains and tie a figure 8 on a bight with it that you can clip into your belay loop with a locker. This way you never have to come off belay. May not be possible depending on the gear at the anchor, but it's worth considering.
Yeah, this is really the only way to do it if the anchors allow. If you untie completely you risk dropping the rope, and hanging by a cow's tail at the top of a sport route while your second sits at the bottom with the rope seems like a really embarrassing spot to be rescued from (I have rescued someone from this position before).

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


IMO Dave MacLeod's 9 out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes is the single best book to read if you want to improve as a climber. You'd probably get more out of it once you've been climbing for at least a few months though, and while it covers both it's less about physical training and more about the mental game. Eric J. Hörst's Training for Climbing is also a classic and has a lot more on the basics of strength training, I think it's better for a beginner than The Self-Coached Climber.

If your ambitions go beyond the gym and into the mountains Mark Twight's Extreme Alpinism is the bible for "making yourself as indestructible as possible", covering both mental and physical training in a lot of depth but it gets fairly technical in places and is definitely not the right book if you're starting out or just looking to improve your redpoint grade. It has a lot of more general stuff that transfers well to endurance sports like cycling and running too. Finally Arno Ilgner's The Rock Warrior's Way is a book mainly about dealing with fear in climbing and I found it helpful, although at times it reads like a new agey self-help book and it took me some effort to get past that.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


It's going to be a long weekend here and I'm going out to do some multipitch trad for the first time in probably three years (I spent a while away from climbing and I mainly boulder these days). We're planning to have fun climbing some classics on big granite slabs rather than pushing the grades, but I am still a little nervous that I won't have a head for leading any more.

Here's an interesting video from DMM on breaking slings:
https://vimeo.com/27293337

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Sharks Eat Bear posted:

i don't think i'd call ondra a lead climber categorically. much like sharma, he has pretty much dominated both fields, though seems to be more interested in hard sport.
If you listen to top tier sport climbers talking about their routes they'll often say things along the lines of "it's a V10 boulder start to an 8b+ section followed by a V12 crux and then 8a to the top. 8c overall." (for example, I don't know if those grades really add up). At that level I think the moves are often so powerful and difficult that if you can climb them you're going to have to be a pretty strong boulderer anyway. I don't know how much that holds true for top trad climbers - the routes aren't necessarily a lot easier but I think the volume of climbing they do at their physical limit is probably less.

Endjinneer posted:

There's nothing more satisfying than getting your lead head back on, when you can look between your feet and smile at gravity.
Yeah, we had a great weekend (apart from the midges). I wasn't actually nearly as bad as I expected, got a little jittery once or twice but I took a few deep breaths and thought about how easy the moves would seem if I were a metre above my pad rather than 150 above the ground and pushed on through. My climbing partner knew I hadn't tied on in ages so obviously she let me lead all the hard pitches. :D

That video is a little scary but I'm not about to throw out all my dyneema slings just yet. Not allowing slack in the belay is like the number one rule of belay building and you should be equalising your anchors with your rope where possible anyway. Unless you've done something incredibly dumb you're never going to reach the forces they see in the drop tests.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


It really takes very little strength, I've regularly seen children belaying their parents. You aren't holding your partner's weight on your arm, the belay plate does all the work. The only exception is on some trad routes where you're belaying from above and there's a lot of rope drag so you're really having to haul to take it in.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


I mean I wouldn't recommend it for 7 year olds or anything but I think teenagers can handle it pretty safely. As long as you don't let go of the brake rope being lifted into the air is no big deal really, happens all the time with petite girls belaying their 16 stone boyfriends for example.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


benwards posted:

And, equally obviously, you shouldn't have a 7-year-old belaying. Kids that young aren't always the best at staying attentive.
Yeah, absolutely. You can have groups of little kids belaying one another safely, getting them to do "bell-ringing" with a Gri-gri, but obviously you have to supervise them continuously to make sure that they haven't got bored and stopped taking in slack or just let go of the rope completely. e: And you have to lower them off yourself.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


I've had a Myo RXP for a few years and it's great.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Make sure you try both types on if possible, velcro and laceups don't always have the same fit in my experience with Sportiva shoes. The Miura laceups fit me great for instance, but I didn't like the velcros. For Katanas it was the other way around.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Speleothing posted:

That's because the Miura and the Katana lace/velcro's are misnamed. The Katana Velcro is more similar in some aspects of its shape to the Miura lace and vice-versa. They really all four ought to have totally different names, because they're so strangely crossbred and share some aspects but not others. Crazy Italians :eng101:


Edit: to my knowledge this problem is not present in the other models

Haha, well that makes sense then! By far my favourite shoes, especially for bouldering, but yeah the differences in fit are weird.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Speleothing posted:

BTW, if you like the fit on the Katana Lace, you might as well just strait upgrade to the TC Pro for only $30 more.

I prefer the velcros, but thanks. Always keen to try new shoes, although I've just bought a pair of Miuras and had my knackered old Boreal Stingmas resoled, they're really nice as all day shoes. Was a bit shocked how much prices have gone up since I last bought shoes though, my last Miuras were about £80 I think and I paid £115 this time. :(

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


tynam posted:

Get really familiar with flagging, backstepping, heel hooks and knee drops, and try to apply them as much as possible. Unless you're hanging off jugs, you want to keep your body as close against the wall as possible to keep as much weight on your feet as possible.

Combine the technique with simply building more grip endurance. Your grip is holding you close to the wall as your feet is doing most of the work, and if your grip fails then nothing else will save you. Either climbing more or light hangboard exercises should help.

Yeah, this is all good. Overhangs are obviously more strenuous than less steep stuff and just doing a lot of overhangs is the best training there is, but you can't just attack them, you need to think about it too. I regularly see very strong folk struggling on stuff that other people with less brute strength can cruise up. Technique is super important, I like to warm up most sessions by just climbing a bunch of easier stuff as slowly, carefully and in control as possible. I make an effort to be aware of my body position, feet and hands and if possible get every move right first time - every time you have to stop and adjust you're wasting strength so training yourself to know instinctively how you need to be positioned to reach the next hold with minimal effort can make a big difference when you're trying to send your project.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


I mean if you're a beginner climber who has great knowledge of how to train safely and optimally on a hangboard and also perfect form, then I'm sure there is no problem with it (I guess essentially if you have a good coach to train with). But I think it's a little dangerous to recommend hangboard training to beginners in general, especially when as others have mentioned most beginners would benefit far more from concentrating on improving their horrible technique than their strength.

Even if they don't get injured it's just not as good a use of their time as climbing would be.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


coldfire07 posted:

Man, I really didn't mean to spark such a lengthy debate with my question. I totally get that what I should focus on improving is technique and that I just need to climb more. My technique is horrid and I just power through problems way more frequently than I should. I'm not trying to use a hangboard to replace gym time, but it's also not realistic to be at the gym every day. I was mostly asking if supplemental usage of a hangboard would have negative effects more so than positive effects.

I know that developing finger strength is a more lengthy process than muscle. Hopefully, at some some point in the distant future, my technique will have improved and the bottleneck will become strength. I was hoping to get a head start on that and develop it in parallel, so that when I get to that point, I'm already prepared for it. All that said, after reading everyone's comments, I probably won't be getting one just yet. I know that if I do, I'll use it all the time, and rest days are probably more important than finger strength at this point.

Problem is it's really hard for us to know whether finger boarding is right for you because we know basically nothing about you, your ability or weaknesses. I wasn't being facetious when I mentioned a decent coach - if you don't have much time to climb and can afford it it might be worth looking around for one. They can continually assess areas for improvement and recommend a training plan. Often big names in the local scene will run private sessions that they advertise at climbing walls, and I've seen people who've benefited a lot and got a lot better really quite fast from that kind of attention once every week or two.

Of course being a strong climber doesn't necessarily mean you are also a good trainer so definitely look around for recommendations and see if you can get a trial session before committing to anything long term.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Man I suck at climbing and am super weak at the moment. Went bouldering indoors yesterday and I hurt so much today.

Does anyone live in SW England and know about decent bouldering near Bristol? I moved down here recently and as far as I can see other than trad in Avon Gorge there's not a lot about; Dartmoor seems like the closest proper venue.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Yeah, I've been to a couple of the bouldering venues, Bloc is pretty good and The Climbing Academy is alright although not as good as the one in Glasgow. I'm a big fan of Dartmoor, the granite there is where I first cut my teeth (and hands) climbing.

Just seems to be a dearth of local crags I can nip down to for an after work boulder - I used to live in West Yorks and being able to get to Caley or Almscliff in 20 minutes has sort of spoiled me I think.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


1) I wouldn't approach it as some sort of weight loss miracle, look at John Dunne. I suspect just running more or doing weights would be more effective, climbing is pretty fun though! And you don't see many fat 8a climbers...

2) This should definitely not happen, if you experience numbness after climbing you are doing something seriously wrong. You might feel some upper body muscle soreness after a hard session and indoor climbing especially can be tough on your skin.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


They poop in a tube and one of their porters will courier it down to the ground for proper disposal. On an unsupported big wall ascent you'd have to haul it all with you.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


That looks awesome. I really want to go ice climbing in Morocco but maybe it is worth packing some rock shoes too...

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Tsietisin posted:

I am an utter utter beginner to this.

Couple of years ago, completely afraid of heights. Took myself up a couple of those tree top traversal courses and eliminated most of that fear. Last weekend I took a beginners course at one of the local sites here in Bristol, UK.

I was happy to make my way to the top of the courses there and think I got rid of my fear of heights. I'll continue indoors for now however.

This is something I really want to carry on with. I've finally found a physical exercise that I can get along with and enjoy. I have yet to get any of my own equipment and rely on renting at the centre, but thats free for me for the next month so I am not too bothered.

There were a lot of things that surprised me about myself over the weekend, I am intrigued to see how far I can go.

Next stop: Avon Gorge.

I've not been to any of the roped climbing walls in Bristol but if you get into bouldering I can recommend Bloc Climbing. Good range of problems, lots of different angles, the temperature is decent and the music isn't too offensively bad. The cakes are good too.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


There was finger injury chat last page so maybe this is of interest, can't remember where I got the link but it's some testing on the biomechanics of the finger including some nice explanations of how injuries can occur. Warning: some images of a dissected hand. http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/c...iomechanics.pdf

Their conclusions reinforce the idea that slipping off a hold and forcing the fingers open when crimping is a major injury risk (also how I got both my pulley injuries). I think it's by some of the same people behind One Move Too Many, which was until Dave MacLeod's new book as far as I know the only real scientific look at climbing injuries.

big scary monsters fucked around with this message at 03:32 on Feb 24, 2015

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


petrol blue posted:

What the gently caress do people wear for climbing?
These are good:

As shown, they work well for skiing too.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


I'm pretty sure now that I broke my thumb skiing the other month. It's clearly not a super bad break because it didn't swell up that much or go very purple, and there's no bone sticking through the skin or anything but it shouldn't still be hurting this much when I open a jar or pick something up funny if I'd just bruised or sprained it. Probably not even worth seeing a doctor for, I don't know what they'd do. That's three fingers on my left hand I've broken now, I wonder if I'll complete the set.

On the upside I've convinced some friends to come down and visit me and we're going sea cliff climbing for five days in a couple weeks.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Chris! posted:

Sweet, where are you going sea cliff climbing? I'm going to have my first go at trad in a couple of weeks, in Dartmoor.

Haha, funnily enough I'll be in Devon too. I learned the ropes on Dartmoor granite and haven't climbed over that way in years so it's a bit of a homecoming for me. We're hoping to go to Blackchurch in North Devon, then maybe down to Bosigran and Sennen in Cornwall. I'd like to stop in on Dartmoor too, maybe hit the Dewerstone or Sheepstor. We're going on the long bank holiday weekend, how about you?

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Cool, maybe we'll see you. We'll be a group of two girls and two guys talking a big game and climbing really badly. If you're solid at HS get on Central Groove, definitely the route of the crag at around that grade. Otherwise Colonel's Arete and the imaginatively named Route B are two really nice V. Diffs there.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Endjinneer posted:

This is a lovely crag. Pictures please.
Will do! Also hoping to go climb this ridiculous looking piece of rock:


henne posted:

And just fyi grigris aren't autolocking, there are circumstances that will cause them to uncam and let rope through even when weighted.
Yeah specifically if you squeeze the body on the dead rope side with your brake hand and release the cam in order to pay out slack quickly. Petzl don't recommend this technique any more, presumably because too many people hosed it up by releasing the cam from the other side and taking their hand off the brake rope.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSVchbjVKLE
When I worked at a climbing wall people improperly using Gri-gris caused more near misses than just about anything else, I honestly think most people would be safer using a standard ATC style device.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


henne posted:

Good video, imo lead belaying is harder with a grigri than with a plate device.

I used to hang stuff from a grigri1 on a fixed line and stopped when it dropped a bucket of holds after a bounce on the rope from a small fall. Something to do with the bounce unweighting the cam just enough to let it slip and for whatever reason the cam didn't have enough friction to re-engage. Lots of people treat grigris like they catch falls but they aren't that reliable without a hand on the brake strand. I use them as I would an ATC when TR belaying.

You'd ideally use a shunt for that sort of thing but I've used a GriGri to hold stuff or as an ascendeur often enough when route setting, just make sure you tie a knot below it when you take your hands off so that if it slips you/the bucket won't go far.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Endjinneer posted:

That looks like it's near Once Upon A Time In The Southwest from the rock formation. Have fun!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUUyI39FOf4

Good spot! The one I posted is at Blackchurch, just a couple of miles away from that crag. Once Upon A Time In The Southwest looks utterly terrifying.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-



Seconding this stuff, I've tried a lot of different hand stuff, from Climb On to simple moisturisers and this is by far the best, its one downside is it's pretty greasy. Only other product that's worth considering if you can get it is Antihydral. You have to be careful with it because if you use too much it will turn your skin glassy and leave it prone to cracking, but for trips where you're climbing many days in a row applying it sparingly can allow you to keep climbing when normally your skin would be a wreck.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Chris! posted:

Hey big scary monsters, how was your Devon trip?

We got rained off most days so went climbing indoors at The Quay, which is a great wall with some fun high lead problems. We tried bouldering on hay tor one day, but it was just too wet and slippery for our liking, then got one full day trad climbing at Chudleigh rocks, which was really great, and pretty sheltered from the rain thankfully!

You got rained off!? We had great weather and I have the sunburn to prove it, you must have been in a different Devon to me. Actually I barely did any climbing. I went with three friends, Friday night we wild camped at the Dewerstone and while the two girls got a load of classic HVS and below ticks done me and my other mate went for a breakfast fryup in Cornwood and then mountain biking on the moors.


Saturday night we stayed at a campsite near Ashburton, the girls went to Baggy Point for some sea cliff fun and we knocked off a few problems at Bonehill Rocks. After that we stayed in Croyde in North Devon and spent two days surfing, the other two went across to Hartland Point and did some slabs in the sunshine. Great trip but two of us started it off super hungover after a night drinking Polish vodka (left over from a disastrous ice climbing trip there) in Bristol and never quite recovered the psyche to actually tie on a rope. I'm hopefully moving into a house with some climbers soon though and anticipate recovering my motivation for both training and actually climbing rocks more than 3m high.

Oh yeah, because I packed barely able to see straight and with a splitting headache I forgot to bring my sleeping mat. This was my bed for four nights:


Bonus picture of not me climbing.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Pretty sure that pic is from Baggy Point. That's a shame, hope the weather was at least nice for the wedding.

We went to Poland a few years back, flying in to Krakow and getting a very shoogly minibus to Zakopane near the High Tatras. Unfortunately it was literally too cold for ice - the temperatures when we were there were between -15 and -30 and it hadn't been above 0 in a couple months so there was none of the freeze/thaw cycle you need for snow to melt and icefalls to form. We went across the border to Poprad in Slovakia and tried what we were told was a reliable area in the middle of a huge, flat plain near a strange town called Spišské Tomášovce, but to no avail. We had a strange and fun trip with lots of interesting stories to tell once we got back (getting a knife pulled on us "as a joke" in Costa Coffee, meeting a champion memory athlete, ending up in the Czech Republic not knowing which country we were in and with no money, walking over the top of a sea of fir trees, and others) but this was the only vertical ice we found the whole time we were there:



It was a leaky pipe at Poprad train station. I'd go back in a shot, except that there are still so many other places I want to visit. Next year's ice trip is in planning and is currently a tossup between the safety of Rjukan or seeing what things are like in Morocco's High Atlas mountains. Or I've got a friend who lives in Siberia and has invited me to come stay...

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Wear them at home to prestretch them, and take another pair of shoes when you go climbing so you can alternate when the pain is too much.

Or buy bigger shoes. I used to be firmly in the four sizes under street shoe size, can't get them on without using plastic bags camp for buying climbing shoes but these days I don't think it's worth it. Unless you're doing super precise and overhanging bouldering it's rare that your shoes are the limiting factor in your climbing and the disadvantages of having painful feet probably far outweigh the marginal added precision most of the time. Now I buy ones that are only slightly painful to begin with so that I don't have to spend 3 months breaking them in before they're wearable for more than ten minutes. And some of my old and baggy shoes are my favourites for day to day wear, just crack out the tight ones when I'm going for something at my limit.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


I think I've convinced my climbing partner that we're going here next winter...




That gives me about nine months to get strong and brave.

big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Endjinneer posted:

Nice! I've got a friend who goes ski touring and ice climbing in the Norwegian alps most years. His words - "Rjukan is too busy".

I've not been to Norway yet but this was basically my thinking too. Fly into Tromsř and go get some sea cliff ice done. I'm actually pretty bad at ice, my best mixed route is a Scottish IV solo and I've climbed V on second, but imo there's no reason I can't be climbing WI5+ by the start of next year.

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big scary monsters
Sep 2, 2011

-~Skullwave~-


Chris! posted:

I always just use the belay loop, that's how I was shown back when I first had my induction at a climbing gym.

This seems safer to me as well as simpler. If you clip a crab into both tie in loops you are potentially cross loading it. Unlikely to matter in this situation but I don't see why you'd do it.

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