Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


whoa never knew there was a climbing thread on SA. cool to find. i just went back and read the past few pages, and didn't see anything about this mentioned, so i'll put in a plug for it here

a couple months ago a new book on climbing training was published by mark and mike anderson: http://rockclimberstrainingmanual.com/ These are the guys who wrote the famous 'making of a rock prodigy' post that has been on rockclimbing.com for almost a decade now

imo it's easily one of the best climbing training books, and possibly the most thorough and exhaustive in terms of offering not only very detailed advice on planning a training program and executing specific exercises, but also on the physiological hypotheses (because there isn't really enough scientific study of climbing to actually know much about optimal training) behind what they advocate

there are a few posts on their website that explain some of the ideas and structure of the book, but the general idea is a linear periodization approach to training, encompassing ~17-week 'macrocycles' that consist of distinct base fitness, strength, power, and power endurance phases culminating in a 'performance peak'. the bulk of the book is targeted to sport climbing, but the authors do a great job offering guidance on how to customize for different objectives, e.g., bouldering, big wall, etc.

if you're at all interested in somewhat serious/systematic training (regardless of climbing level -- no harm in starting training early so long as you're careful about it!), i'd highly recommend browsing their website and picking up the book.

fwiw i'm about to start my first real macrocycle shortly. over the past few years i've somewhat randomly incorporated a number of the exercises the andersons discuss into my recreational climbing time, but never in any sort of thoughtful way. if anyone's interested in this type of stuff i'll try to report back in periodically on how it's going

also i know i'm sort of fawning over this book -- i promise i'm not a shill or associated with it in any way. just thoroughly impressed at how rigorous and detailed it is. a bit of a rarity in the climbing training world tbh

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Maha posted:

I think The Self-Coached Climber touched on that kind of training, but they advised that for amateurs it's usually more satisfying to have strong performance year-round than plan for those performance peaks.

yes, that could be true, although i don't think it should scare off otherwise interested beginners. it's a case of 'know thyself' -- if you want to implement a systemic training program, this is a good place to start. if you just want to climb and have fun and think a regimented approach will drain your psyche -- stay away!

i also think the more compelling reason to adopt a periodized plan is that it appears to be one of the most efficient ways for weekend warriors (the majority of us whose climbing abilities will ultimately be limited by amount of free time) to realize continuous, long-term gains. i think the idea of fleeting performance peaks sounds kind of off putting, but i think that as a beginner the delta between performance during one of the training phases vs. during the peak phase would likely be fairly small. as the climber progresses, the delta would increase. so i don't think beginners really need to worry about a big performance disparity

i've been climbing for about 8 years, serious about climbing for about 5, and i wish i had started training more seriously at the beginning. i think there's a lot of truth to the idea that beginners need to be extra careful about training, but i think a common myth in climbing is that unless you're climbing 5.12 or higher, you shouldn't worry about training. i think this contains a valid idea -- at sub 5.12 levels you can make easier gains by training technique than strength/power -- but it's wrong to think that you shouldn't be training at all. to go back into shill mode -- the anderson's book makes a very good argument answering the 'why train?' question

anyway. sorry to blab on. i think i'm just a bit relieved to find a climbing forum that isn't as much of a shitshow as MP or the taco

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


CoasterMaster posted:

While we're on the subject of outdoors, I've got some noob questions. I've been climbing for about 6 months now, top rope only. In a couple weeks, I'm taking a lead class at my gym (loving finally got around to it, lead climbing looks so badass). Anyway, once I feel confident leading, is there anything else I need to know before going outside to a real rock? I was hoping that learning to lead and getting good at that would at least let me do some of the easier single-pitch sport routes, but I'm not 100% sure if that's all I need (I'm guessing there's more to it than 'whelp you're outside now'). I can confidently climb 5.10- routes and do 5.10/5.10+ routes on a good day (and yes, I realize the past few posts were about how gym grades don't matter :) and yes my gym does 5.10-/5.10/5.10+ instead of a/b/c/d).

first, read this and really absorb it even if it all sounds obvious at first: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0a/05/c5/0a05c5520c438a662ce5ad4182202a08.jpg i've never climbed in WA, but pretty much across the world you'll be amazed at people's (even fellow climbers') poor manners and habits at crags. don't be one of them!

second, as others have mentioned, i would strongly recommend going with someone who can mentor/guide you around. even if you 'know' how to lead, climbing outdoors is very different than in the gym.

i'd recommend starting with some TRs before leading, so you can get accustomed to the rock, and even TRing any routes you plan on eventually leading first. also, as others have said, definitely adjust your expectations. if you're maxing out at 5.10+ in the gym, you should be happy to get up some 5.7-5.8s and VERY happy to get up 5.9s (in general; can vary from crag to crag and gym to gym). in general, bolts are much more spaced out outdoors, and often times the consequences of a lead fall on easy terrain can actually be more severe, as easier climbs tend to have a lot of ledges that you could deck onto.

you need to know what to do when you get to the anchors, both as the first climber to set up the anchor, and as the last climber to clean it. it's also good to be aware of different types of fixed anchors, as you can encounter entirely different rigs from crag to crag, and even from climb to climb within a crag. you can read about this online or in various books, but there's a lot of dubious/lovely info out there (including in this very thread!) and it's best to have an experienced partner who can show you the rop -- the correct way to do things.

this is a good article, regardless of gender, as it illustrates how many considerations should go into any outdoor climbing trip, which just highlights the importance of having a mentor to learn from. it's a pretty good list, too http://www.chickswithpicks.net/considerations-in-making-the-transition-from-indoor-to-outdoor-climbing/

lastly, you'll probably hear plenty of people say "just go for it, that's how i learned!" or something to that effect. you probably could just go for it and wind up uninjured and learn that way, but i think it's a bad approach. it'll drag out the learning curve, as you don't know what you don't know, and given the importance of risk assessment in climbing (at all levels) i think starting off your outdoor climbing life with a capricious decision like "gently caress it i'm just gonna figure it out while i'm up there" sets a bad and potentially dangerous precedent for your future self!

Sharks Eat Bear fucked around with this message at 17:53 on Dec 2, 2015

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


alnilam posted:

Can anyone recommend a good squeezy grippy thing for building forearm/grip strength?

I've had to be out of climbing for a while and still have to for a few months. Meanwhile I'd like to rebuild my grip and forearm strength a little.

squeezy grippy things are generally worthless for improving finger strength for climbing; the vast majority of climbing has very little to do with being able to squeeze. you can search around mountainproject and climbing training blogs for more details if you want, but basically, squeezing those things isn't going to make you stronger.

that said, there might be some benefit for injury prevention, or for using the grip trainers as a warm up, e.g., en route to a crag where you'll have little opportunity to warm up on the rock, but even these uses are kind of dubious and not necessarily the best way to achieve either objective

if you're trying to stay in climbing shape without being able to climb, the best tool is really a hangboard. there are a variety of DIY tutorials on how to mount a hangboard to a doorframe pull-up bar (and even a pre-assembled one you can buy called blankslate). conventional wisdom is that you shouldn't hangboard until you're an advanced climber, already sending 5.12, etc. because the risk of injury is too high and time can be better spent training technique. this is bad advice because 1) hangboarding is probably the best injury prevention exercise, as long as you are thoughtful and careful about your approach (i.e., don't start off hanging full body weight on crimps and 2-finger pockets), and 2) although technique is hugely important, finger strength is likely the ultimate limiting factor in development and it makes sense to start training it sooner than later. training finger strength is also not mutually exclusive with training technique. you can hangboard and also do technique exercises at the same time, and even in the same workout!

if you really don't have any way to mount a hangboard, then door frames can be a substitute. the same principle stands around not using your full body weight. if you can't rig a pulley system to remove weight, you can even try standing on a chair to take some of the weight off of your fingers. the main exercise you should be focused on are NOT pull-ups (again, mostly worthless for climbing training) but called "repeaters" (again, search around for more info)

this is probably more info than you were looking for, but it's important to have realistic expectations, and if you want to maintain climbing strength without climbing, a grip trainer is not going to do anything for you

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


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:

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


In general, it's fine to lower of the anchors at well-traveled sport crags. It wear the gear faster, but lowering is much safer than rappelling and more and more sport anchors are being equipped with beefy quick clips, whose express purpose is to make lowering easier. And yeah, on steep routes you pretty much have to lower, or have your 2nd clean on TR which isn't always feasible.

At less travelled crags, it's better to rap off -- preventing wear is more important if the gear is not regularly inspected/maintained by the crag's stewards (or if the crag doesn't have any stewards!).

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.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Speleothing posted:

Some people here are making cleaning a route seem way harder than it actually is. Do you really get scared about being off belay? I'm usually relieved when my life is in my own hands.

IMO it's just as easy if not easier to push a bight through, tie a figure 8 on a bight and clip that than to untie, thread, and re-tie in. and you never come off belay. not sure what makes it harder, other than just being something different than what you're already used to doing.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Speleothing posted:

You need to come off belay anyway.
Why lower when you should rap?

it's generally safer, and more convenient, which at many high traffic sport crags is an accepted tradeoff vs. the increased wear on the anchor gear. incidentally, those characteristics are two hallmarks of sport climbing, so it's not surprising that lowering off is becoming SOP at most sport crags

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Irving posted:

This is entirely location dependent. In Red Rocks, the gear is getting replaced all the frigging time regardless of whether people are lowering down because it's so humid and wet that the gear doesn't last anyway. In a lot of the desert in Southern California, the locals would murder you if they saw you top roping off the rap rings.

agreed that every crag has its own local "ethic"*. in general, though, i think it stands that lowering off of the anchors is an accepted and common practice at most well-traveled sport crags. i don't think TRing off the anchor is accepted anywhere, and i agree with that. also i don't know what red rocks you're going to that's humid and wet -- did you mean the RRG?



*i hate when climbers talk about ethics because 99% of the team, really what we're referring to is tradition, which often has little to do with morals or right vs. wrong

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


chami posted:

Thanks for all the advice!

Thanks for the advice and links, everyone! I'll be reading through them when I get home.


I read that the Mythos tends to stretch to your foot since it's leather, but what makes it different or inferior to "modern" shoes? Not as aggressive of a toebox or something? What shoe line would you recommend then for someone who will mostly be doing top rope and bouldering?

First question is how "big" your feet are, more in terms of total volume and wideness than length. For a smaller-volume/narrower foot, I tend to recommend trying out more EU-designed shoes: Sportiva, Scarpa, Tenaya. For a fatter foot, I tend to think of 5.10 or Evolv as the most prominent options. For me, the biggest difference between these two different "styles" is how the heel fits. When I put on most Sportivas, it's like a vacuum cup to my heel. With most 5.10s, it feels baggy and insecure.

Next, think about what kind of climbing you'll be doing. Sounds like mostly gym climbing, bouldering and TR. What kind of terrain? mostly overhanging? mostly vert? a little bit of everything? what these questions get at is how aggressively downturned you want the shoe, how stiff vs. sensititive, and even the fastening system. my guess is you're probably going to be climbing a little bit of everything, mostly in the gym. with that in mind, i'd go for a shoe that is slightly downturned with either velcro straps or even just a straight slipper -- easy to remove in between burns at the gym. there's really no reason to leave your shoes on the entire team you're at the gym, or even in between routes, other than convenience (hence opting for an easy-to-remove shoe). if you get a shoe that is comfortable for 30+ minutes, it's probably leaving some performance on the table. if you're aiming at doing a lot of slabby multipitch, that might be something that's actually desirable, so always bring it back to your own needs/ambitions. you don't want to downsize so radically that your feet are screaming after you've done two moves, but you want your shoes to be tight, with as little dead space as possible (hence the importance of finding a shoe that fits your foot's shape, first and foremost)

the shoe that immediately comes to my mind is the sportiva katana velcro. slightly downturned to help pull you into the wall when you're on overhangs, easy velcro straps for quick removal, and pretty moderate in terms of stiffness vs. sensitivity. like i said, the beefier 5.10/evolv "style" shoes don't fit me well, so I don't have a personal recommendation, but I know a lot of people that swear by the Anasazi (also available as velcro) as the best all arounder, fwiw

these are just tips and things to keep in mind. you really do have to just try on a bunch of pairs, and go with what feels best. if you try a pair on and have some lingering thought "this kind of pinches my ankle, but i guess it's all right...", don't buy that pair. among the myriad brands, models and variants of shoes that are available today, there is guaranteed to be a pair that will feet your feet like a glove and that's what you should hold out for

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


guppy posted:

I overdid it a little on Monday night, not in the sense of injuring myself but my grip still hasn't fully returned. I'm supposed to climb again tomorrow night. Hopefully I'll be fit again before then, but any suggestions on helping it along? I'm already stretching my wrists back, which feels great and all but I'm still not fit to climb.

try rubbing a lacrosse ball (or any sort of hard rubber ball) into your forearms. really dig it in, just all over. and tomorrow, make sure you do a nice, long warm up

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


FreakerByTheSpeaker posted:

I finished my class series and can't wait to start climbing regularly. I haven't been this excited about picking up a sport since I got back into cycling, and I'm thinking of getting a hangboard to train at home since my old door frames aren't shaped well for using a pullup bar.

How often do you guys climb vs lift weights vs other exercise? I definitely want to keep my lifting up and was wondering what kind of schedule to start with. I'm thinking one day a week climbing, 3/4 lifting. Does that sound reasonable? Are there any areas I should target more/less once I put climbing in the mix? Obviously I'll listen to what my body needs, but I was just wondering what everyone's routine looks like.

Edit: I'm also open to suggestions, like I feel like swimming would be a good compliment to climbing because of the cardio and muscle groups used.

depends on what you're after... if your goal is just to improve at climbing, and all other exercise would be seen as complementary/supplemental, then you should probably not be doing any lifting, aside from potentially a few supplemental exercises at the end of climbing sessions. if your goal is to improve your all-around fitness, with climbing as a core, but not primary, component, then it will depend on how much emphasis you want to place on each element of your fitness. my sense is that 1 day a week of climbing is pretty light, unless you really want it to be more of a "sometimes" hobby and performance/improvement doesn't matter. especially as a beginner, your biggest/easiest gains early on will probably be from improving technique, which just comes with practice. i'd suggest at least 2 days a week if you see climbing as more than a "sometimes" hobby (which is sounds like you do based on your excitement, which is awesome, because climbing is the best)

re: swimming, in addition to the general considerations above about total workout volume, i've heard mixed feedback on swimming in general. some people say it's a great way to exercise the core and shoulders (rotator cuff), the latter of which is especially good for injury prevention. on the flip side, i've heard others say that it works too many of the same muscles as climbing and thus could contribute to overtraining and increase injury risk. my takeaway is: if you're passionate about swimming, keep swimming, but don't doing it expecting it to make you a better or more injury-resistant climber, necessarily

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


88h88 posted:

I've noticed that people who tend to use ropes struggle a bit bouldering and I've no idea why. There has to be a decent reason somewhere.

Bouldering requires a lot of power (think dynamic movement, force + speed), which is highly responsive to exercise/lack thereof. So you can build power relatively quickly by bouldering or campusing, but if you don't train power it will also decline relatively quickly. Lead climbing requires a lot more endurance, which takes longer to build but also sticks around longer. Especially at moderate grades, you'll probably get very little power benefit from lead climbing or top roping.

Poster above may be right about different mentalities, but this is my understanding of the physiological reason.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


dex_sda posted:

Of course, Ondra won the bouldering championships and is actually a lead climber so ymmv

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. here is video proof that he is also a bad rear end boulder (one of my fav vids to stoke psyche before a training sesh!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dl0iKtIAbrM

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Discomancer posted:

SCC is good, it's just geared for people who try to peak once or twice a year instead of climbing year round.

i think the better way of framing it is that, linear periodized training (like in SCC or the Anderson Brothers' Rock Climber's Training Manual) recognizes that climbing performance comes in peaks regardless of how you train/climb, so you might as well try to control those peaks and make them predictable. i think most climbers that follow a periodized training program climb year round, but they use the program to train for specific objectives (a goal route, a roadtrip or vacation, etc.).

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


horse_ebookmarklet posted:

Had not heard of a stick clip before, interesting. I'll buy an A-Clamp and telescoping rod for next outing. I'm definitely still establishing confidence and ability for lead, I think a stick clip outdoors and more lead gym time is a neat idea for now.

The gym I climb at the clips are so frequent I've actually almost missed clips because I don't expect one so immediately. While I have been concerned about hitting my belayer (if they come to the first clip), I've never looked at a gym route and thought "my ankles are going to explode". It was a huge adjustment in expectations going outside. Seems that the gym is being very conservative in bolt placement. The outdoor route I was able lead was fun, but that nagging feeling of danger is stronger than in the gym.

My belayer did a great job when I fell; kept my head up and away from the pointy rocks on the ground. I became very aware I need to learn to fall better & have a game plan for a fall after that first outdoors trip. I've never been much for bouldering, but I can now see the utility in spending some time bouldering in the gym and learning to fall. I did get some nasty scrapes & bruises (pointy rocks had to go somewhere), but no broken bones or injured joints.

glad you didn't get seriously injured! stick clipping is indeed the answer to your problem, but it's also worth just assessing what type of climbs you're getting on. is the crux typically before the 2nd bolt, or even before the 1st? i think this is a characteristic that is often common to entire climbing areas. in areas like this, stick clipping is typically standard practice. even if the crux isn't low, some areas just have extraordinarily high first bolts, where a fall could be pretty serious and stick clipping is not just standard practice, but assumed by the route's equippers.

all that said, there are many areas/climbs (probably the majority) where the first bolt is not that high and the initial climbing is not that hard, that a stick clip is more trouble than it's worth. i think it's good practice to avoid stick clipping in these situations, just to build your lead head. it also forces (or should force) you to be extremely mindful of your technique and footwork -- i'm way less likely to climb carelessly/sloppily if a fall means i might deck -- which is good practice. as with anything in climbing, you're the ultimate decider of your personal risk tolerance, so do whatever you enjoy most and don't let extremists* tell you otherwise

*those that think stick clipping is an offense equal to retrobolting splitter cracks in yosemite, as well as those that think that the best way to stick clip is to have a pole that can telescope all the way to the anchors :)

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


also fwiw i'm sitting in the lexington airport drinking a kentucky brewery bourbon barrel ale waiting for my ride to show up for a week trip to the RRG :c00l:

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


coldfire07 posted:

Thanks for all of the responses everyone! I definitely agree that the time would be better spent climbing more (and strength isn't what's holding me back, it's definitely technique). I was just hoping to supplementally increase strength when I'm not at the gym, just by doing some hangs for a few seconds on the way to the bathroom or something like that, not as a replacement for climbing, kind of in the same way that I just squeeze putty when I'm watching TV. I'll just make sure to pay attention that I'm not overworking anything, but it's good to know it's not a hard and fast rule.

I'm going to echo some posts I've made in this thread in the past, which run contrary to some of the "conventional wisdom" that gets spouted in this climbing thread (and just about every climbing-relatd forum out there).

1) There's no physical/physiological reason to delay training until 2 years (which for whatever reason is the arbitrary number that gets touted as the milestone after which training is totally fine). Depending on the individual climber, there may very well be a psychological or motivational reason not to train -- some people find training to be incredibly tedious, and jumping into a training program too early might make them hate climbing. IMO, this is the most important consideration in training. I would have hated training when I first started climbing, because when I first started climbing I had a much more consistent social group that I climbed with and I had a lot more free time. Now, I don't have a steady set of climbing partners and my time is much more limited, so if I'm going to put in time in the gym, I want to get the most bang for my buck rather than just loving around trying to send my plastic project. The point is, don't let yourself be talked out of training as a beginner, so long as you're being honest with yourself that it's something you'd enjoy.

2) If you do decide to train while you're a relatively new climber, your main objective should be injury prevention. Getting stronger is easy and doesn't really require any training; getting stronger without getting injured is what training is so good for. For example, if you get a hangboard, I would strongly recommend that you set up a pulley system so that you can train difficult grips with less than body weight. There's a lot that goes into injury prevention, but if your objective is long-term improvement, staying injury free will probably be the most important step in achieving that objective. Training is helpful because it allows you to control the resistance and forces you put on your muscles and tendons much more than 'just climbing' does. However, the most important thing to keep in mind when you're starting out is not to overtrain. You recover and get stronger when you're not climbing/training, so it's important to give your body adequate time in between workouts. If you overtrain, you're not only at higher risk for injury, but probably also limiting potential strength gains. 3-4 climbing/training sessions per week is pretty common, but you probably shouldn't do much more climbing-related exercise in addition. So if you're deciding to hangboard, it shouldn't be in addition to your climbing gym sessions; it should be a substitute.

3) "You shouldn't start training early because you'll gain more by working on technique" is a totally misleading statement. Training can and should incorporate technique/skill development exercises, so the idea that you have to choose between technique and training is false. As a beginner, it's true that you're less likely to fail because of finger strength than because of poor technique, and therefore you'll probably see more gains by improving your technique rather than improving finger strength. However, one reason to consider training even as a beginner is that, the learning curve for a lot of technique can be pretty fast if you're climbing a few times a week, and at one point or another, finger strength will become the limiting factor. Starting training earlier will probably reduce your long-term risk of injury because by the time you do start climbing fingery/tweaky climbs, you'll already have been strengthening your fingers/tendons for some time.

4) Hand training devices like putty, squeeze tools, etc. are probably worthless, and definitely not helping you climb stronger. They might be helpful for injury prevention, but I think it's pretty unclear what/if any benefit they have.

This just kind of scratches the surface -- if you're really interested in training, I'd highly recommend picking up a book called "The Rock Climber's Training Manual" or checking out rockclimberstrainingmanual.com . It's IMO the best/most comprehensive resource on training for climbing, and does a great job explaining the principles of injury prevention and long-term improvement as it relates to climbing training.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Still B.A.E posted:

It just sounds like a lot of really bad and confusing advice to me, and a way to maybe get strongish on plastic but be totally poo poo outside, and be a bit of a laughing stock.

Sorry -- do you mean the pro-training argument is bad/confusing advice? If so, I don't understand why you think it would make you differentially stronger on plastic than real rock and/or a laughingstock.

Edit: also I encourage you to finish off that effort-post. Debating the merits of climbing training is (maybe sadly) one of my favorite things :)

Sharks Eat Bear fucked around with this message at 02:11 on Dec 11, 2014

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Let the climbing training arguing commence! :effort:

Still B.A.E posted:

I have to confess that I've never read your mate's book, and maybe it does a good job of compiling existing training info, but so do a lot of other resources, and I bet its message conflicts with some of them, or at least would seem to, to someone new to the ideas.

I think your concerns are totally understandable, and tbh I felt pretty similar until I read the RCTM book. I know I sound like a shill, but I don't know the authors or have any special interest in the book -- it's just the only climbing training source I've seen that offers a comprehensive view of why to train, the physiological/scientific background, and how to train. The last part is important because "how to train" isn't just a list of exercises, it's a 16/17-week plan with a day-by-day breakdown of workouts. And there isn't just a single plan -- there's a number of plans depending on your objective (beginner, intermediate, advanced, bouldering, big wall, etc.) and there are recommendations for how to further tailor/individualize the plan to suit specific needs.

IMO, just because there's conflicting info about training, that doesn't mean you should write it off. I think it gets back to my first point -- be honest if training is something you really want to do or not, whether you're a beginner or a veteran. If it's something you really want to do, you should seek out the "best" info and be wary of a lot of the conventional wisdom.

Still B.A.E posted:

This is the main thing I took issue with tbh. Advocating strength work on a fingerboard as a substitute to a climbing session on one hand, but saying training exercises should incorporate skill development on the other? You may say one session could be a strength session, and one could be a technique development session, but I really think for a beginner, it's much more beneficial to combine the two into two hard climbing sessions before separating them.

I guess my main point is that training =/= only doing isolated exercises in a gym instead of climbing. To me, training is more about having a systematic approach to improving your climbing strengths and abilities, which should include some mix of climbing on real rock, climbing on plastic, and doing isolated exercises (e.g., hangboarding). To be fair, that mix probably should be much more concentrated on climbing than on isolated exercises for a beginner, though I don't think beginner's should necessarily feel obligated to avoid isolated exercises altogether. IMO "training" is in contrast to "just climbing", which is what I think most people do, and is when you show up to the gym, warm up on a couple V0s, then see that there's new problems in the cave and jump on the cool V4 dyno everyone's trying, then rest 20 mins and read the latest DPM, then crank out some pull ups on a hangboard, etc.

Again, I'm not saying that "just climbing" is A Bad Thing or that no one should ever take that approach -- just that if your primary objective is injury prevention and/or improvement, "just climbing" is not the best way to achieve that. Maybe your primary objective is just to have fun with your crew, and that's fine -- I know plenty of people that climb harder than me that still take that approach because to them, training is tedious and sucks the fun out. For me, now that my time in the gym and on real rock is limited, I want that time to be as efficient and effective as possible, and I find having a firm agenda and measurable progress is a lot more rewarding than just screwing around on projects.

Lastly, even if you are doing dedicated hangboarding, getting really warmed up is critical, as others have mentioned. Spending 30-45 minutes working on technique and skill development is a great way to warm up before a hangboarding session, so again, I really don't think it's an either/or situation at all.

armorer posted:

Lets take a typical beginner as an example. I have encountered "this guy" a dozen or more times climbing at the gym. He can push though a few V3s, but has trouble on others. V2 doesn't provide any real challenge any more. "This guy" says that his primary weaknesses are slopers and crimps. In truth, he is more than capable of making the moves involving slopers and crimps, but he falls off of them because his body position is poo poo. Should he get a hangboard and practice hanging on slopers and crimps? No, he should climb more and learn better footwork and body position. He has no idea what his problem is, because he hasn't climbed enough yet to really understand what his weaknesses are.

Hopefully some of my above :words: explain why I don't think saying that "this guy" could benefit from training necessarily means he should just start hangboarding. The other thing I think is worth emphasizing is that, "this guy" will probably learn better technique/footwork/body positioning relatively quickly if he's climbing a few times a week. Not to say he'll rapidly develop perfect technique -- everyone at every level can always improve technique -- but I'd guess that within a matter of months, not years, he'll have made significant improvements in his technique. If you're even moderately athletic and climb consistently, it's pretty easy to get to the point where finger strength is the main limiting factor in progression. Starting to work on finger strength earlier will put "this guy" in a better position to both improve and remain injury free when he inevitably does get to the point where it's the main limiting factor.

armorer posted:

Obviously training for climbing can help anyone climb better, without them first passing some magical 2 year mark or whatever. Without actual specific advice from someone who has watched the individual climb though, it is irresponsible to recommend something that can cause injury and may be completely unnecessary.

This is just nonsense. If it's irresponsible to recommend something that can cause injury, then recommending training and hangboarding is probably the only responsible thing you can do! In general, I think training reduces the risk of injury substantially vs. "just climbing", because it means the climber is taking a thoughtful approach to what they're doing, which entails sufficient time to warm up, and just as importantly, time to recover/rest. As I described above, I think "just climbing" typically involves a lot more half-hearted warm ups, random jumping between styles/grades (often associated with when new climbs are put up in a gym), and inadequate rest ("dude, I'm 3 days on, but so close to sending my proj!"). Totally anecdotally here, and small sample size, but every finger injury (and even ankle injury, for that matter) I can think of has happened while "just climbing", and in particular, bouldering in a gym.

Hangboarding is such a great way to strengthen your fingers and prevent injury because you can precisely control the amount of resistance you use and therefore the forces/loads on your fingers at any time. Sure, if you use a hangboard to just randomly crank out pullups on the two-finger pocket while wearing a weight vest, then you might be increasing your chance of injury. But there's no reason to use a hangboard to do pullups at all, really, and if you use it correctly (i.e., conservatively, and for someone new to hangboarding that means using a pulley system to remove weight from just about every single grip) then I don't understand how you could argue that it's irresponsible or more likely to cause injury than "just climbing". Actually, I understand how you could argue it, you'd just be wrong. :)

If anyone's interested, here's some good reading on the subject from the authors of the book I recommend:
http://rockclimberstrainingmanual.com/2012/09/10/qa-3-when-should-i-start-training-for-climbing/
http://rockclimberstrainingmanual.com/why-train-for-rock-climbing/
http://rockclimberstrainingmanual.com/training-for-rock-climbing/rock-climbing-training-plan/

edit: whoops, a few more posts were made while I was writing this tome. Anyway, think a lot of what I wrote still addresses them, indirectly. Cheers!

Sharks Eat Bear fucked around with this message at 19:29 on Dec 11, 2014

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


armorer posted:

We agree that "training for climbing" (generic term, in this case lets say responsibly using a hangboard) can most likely help a climber at any level. I am not arguing about climbing training. I have not read the book you suggest, but I have read Training for Climbing. The first thing that it has you do it go through a detailed questionnaire to identify which types of training you are most likely to benefit from. From there, you go off and focus on specific things for a while and then eventually circle back around and go through the questionnaire again.

This whole discussion arose because a new climber asked the question "should I get a hangboard". You are repeatedly attempting to turn the discussion into one of "Is training for climbing worthwhile?" The specific question was "should I get a hangboard", but the undertone of the question was "I feel like I should be able to climb harder stuff, but my fingers keep giving out." Every new climber I have ever seen reaches a point where they think this, and the problem is always bad body position. When you start pushing into V3, holds get smaller and optimal body positions get weirder. When you start to push into V5 you start seeing stuff where core strength matters more than ever, and after that from my experience problems are too individualized to point to anything specific. That is the range of bouldering problems where I think it starts to make sense to identify your weak points and specifically work on them outside of your ordinary climbing routine. (And yes, obviously there are problems below V5 that have other specific quirks. These are general observations about a variety of bouldering problems.)

I personally think it is irresponsible to tell someone at that point in their climbing "career" (for lack of a better word) who wants to climb better to go get and use a hangboard. Sure, if used properly it might help. I guarantee you though that the person's time would be better spent working boulder problems with people and getting advice from more experience climbers. At all of the gyms I've ever climbed in (which admittedly is only 6 or 8) the bouldering crew has been super friendly and willing to help new climbers with technique.

Not to nitpick, but actually the new climber asked "[2 years] seems like a really long time to wait [before hangboarding] - is there some other benchmark I can use to know whether or not I'm going to gently caress up my fingers by using a hangboard?" which sparked my comments about conventional wisdom related to climbing being, for the most part, a bunch of hooey. As long as you're careful about controlling the resistance (using a pulley system for counterweight) hangboarding will not gently caress up your fingers; in fact, having precise control over the loads you put on your fingers is the best way to protect against finger injuries long term.

I understand your points about finger strength not being a limiting factor/weakness for most beginning climbers -- exactly where on the V-scale it typically becomes the limiting factor is debatable, but I stick by my main point, which is that for a reasonably athletic person who climbs frequently, getting to V3/V4 or 5.11+ really isn't that challenging. Not trying to sound snobby or anything; just saying that I think it's well within most people's reach to climb that hard within a matter of months, not years. Finger strength, on the other hand, is much longer term pursuit, and once you get to the point where finger strength is a limiting factor, making gains can be very difficult and slow. Since training, and even training that incorporates hangboarding, doesn't preclude spending plenty of time climbing and working on technique, and proper hangboarding is the best way to condition your fingers for the inevitably increasingly-tweaky holds you'll find yourself using in the future, I just can't see a good reason why a beginner should delay hangboarding, if it's something they're interested in.

It all comes down to what time horizon you really want to see improvement in. In the short term, sure, just go bouldering a bunch and figure out how to backstep and drop-knee and you'll probably see a lot of progress really quickly. But sooner or later, your finger strength will be lacking, and it will be increasingly hard to break out of a plateau by 'just climbing'. If you're interested in long-term improvement, it makes sense to start addressing finger strength sooner than later. And it comes with the added benefit of being the best way to protect against injury!

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


magicalmako posted:

Trip Report: Red Rocks is amazing, 30 ish foot lead falls (Yaak Crack is amazingly fun) are scary as gently caress, highballing (Perfect Poser in cold weather = you can't feel the holds!) is scary as gently caress.

you might want to have a chat with your belayer if you're taking 30 ft whippers off any point of yaak crack

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Speleothing posted:

[Anytime you pull on a draw or step on a bolt, you are aid climbing. You lazy sonuvabitch.

nah thats just me projectin my rig bruh :c00lbert:

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


one of the things that makes me cringe is seeing folks at the gym bear down on every single edge, even if it's positive and a full pad, with a fully closed crimp. in general, trying to stay open handed as much as possible is probably the right way to go for most climbers.

eventually, though, you're going to need to crimp. and the problem with only using open hand and not using a crimp grip at all is that, when that time comes, you won't be prepared. the higher risk of injury with crimping doesn't mean you should avoid it altogether, it just means you should be really careful about when and how you use it. IMO the best way bar none to improve at a crimp is to use a hangboard with a pulley setup for repeaters, and remove a poo poo ton of weight; same thing for pockets. i wouldn't even view it as a strengthening exercise so much as a conditioning exercise.

and if you know that you're going to need to crimp a certain hold on the project you're working (or use a pocket, or any tweaky grip/position), make sure you warm up that grip/position thoroughly beforehand. in that case, it might mean crimping on big holds with good feet or only using your MR fingers when you could fit all 4. including specific grips/positions in a warm up can make all the difference in the world when it comes time to actually 'perform'

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


gamera009 posted:

Training stuff

So I know the answer you're looking for isn't "go read a book" but I would strongly recommend picking up the Anderson brothers' Rock Climber's Training Manual (RCTM). It gives you a ready-made training plan with a variety of specific exercises and workouts, which makes it really easy to apply without too much extra work on your part. But maybe even more importantly, it provides the context and rationale for the exercises, which if you actually read and think about, makes it pretty clear how to modify their generic training plan to fit your individual goals/limitations/weaknesses. It gives you the ingredient list and the recipe, but also suggestions on how to tweak the recipe to suit your own tastes.

The thing that I personally love most about it, is that, like you, I don't have a lot of extra time to climb. I wish it was because I was getting outdoors as frequently as it sounds like you are, but for me it's mostly the other non-climbing life priorities that seem to get in the way. I like the RCTM plan because it's efficient, highly controllable (i.e., injury prophylactic) and measurable -- I never feel like I'm just wasting time doing random climbing with no real purpose, and I have a number of metrics I can track progress against other than just 'did I send a higher grade'. So save any money you were going to spend on a personal trainer and go buy yourself a hangboard (if you don't have one already), some weight plates, and a couple of pulleys.

I also think it's worth checking out the RCTM forums and even posing your question there if/once you familiarize yourself with the RCTM plan a bit more. Real good community of folks psyched on training, and everyone has their own secret sauce to add to the generic RCTM plan. And one of the Anderson bros actually posts there quite frequently. rockprodigytraining.proboards.com

Note: this is like 3rd or 4th post in this thread I've made on this book and training plan, and I feel like such a shill every time. FWIW I have no conflicts of interest to disclose. The book just struck me as the most comprehensive but also accessible climbing training resource I've ever seen, and I've seen pretty noticeable progress myself after 2 training cycles so far. I think part of it is probably that I relate with the Anderson bros. scientific/analytic approach to training, but also their acknowledgment that the best training plan is one that you experiment with and change over time as you learn what works/doesn't for you.

And like all my posts on training, I have reached the point where I ask myself why can't I get paid to write poo poo like this because I could talk about climbing training all day :)

Sharks Eat Bear fucked around with this message at 06:55 on Mar 30, 2015

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


RabidWeasel posted:

I'd be interested to know if anyone has good suggestions for useful exercises that you can do with a limited selection of routes / holds.

Is it a commercial gym or university/co-op? If it's the latter, find out if you can set your own problems! If it's the former, 'set' your own problems using the existing holds on the wall. Once you get a climb dialed, try it with your eyes closed.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


spwrozek posted:

I got my first bigger trip of the year in on Friday. I am down in Las Vegas and got to spend the day in Red Rock Canyon.

Looks awesome! I've probably had more fun climbing at Red Rocks than any other area. I don't think it necessarily has the best climbing, but I always wind up just having a blast.

Are you still there/climbing more? If so, and you're looking for recommendations for sport routes at a particular grade, let me know! (teaser: go climb the 10s at Stone Wall)

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


MMD3 posted:

Can anybody recommend me some decent models that are good for people with narrower feet? ideally something that's velcro so I can take them on and off while trading belays at the gym.

As others have mentioned, I think Sportiva and Tenaya shoes tend to be good for narrower, lower volume feet. If you're looking for something not too expensive and easy to put on and remove in the gym, I'd consider slippers as well as velcro. Sportiva Cobra, Oxygym, Katana, Jeckyl VS, and Tenaya Ra, Inti, Aqua+ all are viable options.

The most important advice with shoes is to try them on before you buy if at all possible. Ultimately you want a pair that fits your foot well and doesn't have a lot of dead space, and there are so many little variations from model to model that the only way to really know what's best is by trying a bunch of stuff on.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Dutymode posted:

The finals were Saturday, then Adam Ondra went and flashed Jade in RMNP yesterday.

in case you missed it, watch this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpfIEes3lnw

then this:
https://www.island.io/island/adam-ondra-flashes-in-rmnp

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Sigmund Fraud posted:

Keep it cool for five days and eat ibuprofen. No climbing at all for 30 days. Perhaps alternating hot and cold baths for it in the meantime. Got a therapeutic squeeze ball too somewhere... Then there's a climbing trip planned but the crags got plenty of trad cracks so I guess that's what I'll be focusing on.

Any more tips?

I'd recommend checking out the Anderson bros' RCTM for good info on injury rehab. Good thread on their message boards on the subject here: http://rockprodigytraining.proboards.com/thread/244/finger-injury-continue-start-again

Bottom line, consider giving less total rest (2 weeks instead of ~4 weeks) so you can start active rehabbing sooner. And when you do start re-habbing, consider using the hangboard with a counterweight system to remove a lot of weight so you can precisely control loads on your fingers, as opposed to just light climbing where you have much less control over loads on your fingers.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


The key to effective hangboarding is a counterweight pulley system. It allows to hang with less than bodyweight, giving you more control over the loads your fingers actually face. For a beginner, you'll want to train much less than bodyweight for most holds, and there's really no consistent way to do this without a pulley setup. It's the best way to balance gains with injury prevention.

Do some googling to read more about pulley set ups, it's pretty commonplace in most training regimens nowadays. Lots of good info on the Anderson bros site, the rock climbers training manual, which is named after their comprehensive training book.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Pedestrian Xing posted:

Apparently a guy at my gym took a ~40 ft groundfall last night. He was using his own rope and it apparently straight up snapped.

Read about this on MP. Will be interested to see if there's any analysis of the mode of failure. Sounds like the rope had been kept in a rope bag in a car trunk for years -- could be some sort of chemical corrosion from leaky exhaust or who-knows-what-else might have been in the trunk. Good reminder to be cautious not just of the obvious visible signs of wear to your hard goods, but also the more insidious, environmental factors! Best wishes to the climber in his recovery.

turevidar posted:

Fall is the best time of the year to be outside - why put it off for a year? The climbers at your gym can probably point you towards local cliffs and boulders with climbs in your difficulty range.

There is no reason to 'train up' in the gym to get ready for climbing outside, aside from belay competence.

I'm not going to say that new climbers should only climb outdoors after waiting [x amount of time], but I would like to offer a more conservative opinion here. Real rock is going to be waiting for you, whether you start climbing outdoors tomorrow, next month, next year, in 2020, etc. There's nothing wrong with honing your skills indoors, especially with regards to belaying. In general, the stakes are a lot higher for any outdoor climbing, and while it's easy to learn the fundamentals of belaying, it takes serious practice and commitment to become a competent belayer.

If you really want to get outside, I'd recommend trying to find a mentor (probably via your gym, assuming you don't already have someone you can trust as a mentor) that can take you under their wing, rather than joining a meetup/social group. It's a bit a matter of luck in terms of finding a mentor -- it's mostly just being outgoing and willing to chat it up with strangers, but also I think you need to be able to evaluate the competency of your mentor to a degree. Outdoor climbing experience is a big plus, but not sufficient in itself (there are plenty of incompetent climbers that have been at it for many years).

I'd say once you're getting more comfortable with belaying, the best way to identify a mentor is to look around at the gym regulars and take notice of who seems to be a really attentive, mindful (lead) belayer. They pay attention to their climber, anticipate when to feed/take slack, give soft catches, don't go hands-free on a gri-gri, etc. My bet is that, in general, the best belayer will make the best mentor.

Don't get me wrong -- climbing outdoors is the best, and if you're really interested in climbing, it's the way to go. But TRing and bouldering in a gym for a few months really isn't going to give you the appropriate level of training/competency to be a moderately self-sufficient outdoor climber.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


crazycello posted:

who lead belays me with one hand

that's probably a bad idea

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Still B.A.E posted:

E: in before that guy tells you to buy the Anderson brothers book
Hey! I resemble that statement! To be fair, just about everything you recommend is part of the bros' training plan -- it's just the programming/linear periodization that's "unique" to their training regimen. I mostly agree with what you said, for what it's worth.

OP if you're at all interested in structured/systematic training, check out the Rock Climber's Training Manual book, it's an amazing resource :)


From your description, it sounds like you're probably lacking most in power-endurance, which is basically the ability to hold on even when you're pumped out of your mind. Power-endurance is obviously a physical ability you can train, but I also think there's a HUGE mental component. It's not natural or easy to "ignore" your brain's desire to just let go when you're pumped, to really commit to trying that next move, and when you surprise yourself by sticking, trying the next move, etc.

As Still BAE suggested, 4x4s are a great way to start training PE. You will get more pumped than you could imagine, but you'll also be doing boulder problems that you KNOW you can do fairly easily when fresh, which IMO makes it easier to "commit" to doing that one extra move even when you're red-lining. Getting comfortable with that feeling will really help with the lead climbing issues, let alone with the physical gains you'll make in PE.

Some pure endurance training will also help, again both with the physical and mental components. As others have mentioned, you want to try to climb continuously for a LONG time (20+ mins), whether that's traversing, on a treadwall, or just up-and-down climbing routes. The idea is to never get INSANELY pumped, but to climb with a light-but-noticeable pump for as consistently as possible. In reality, you'll fluctuate between climbing on terrain that is just hard enough to get you too pumped and just too easy to let you recover a bit (but NEVER with a no-hands rest!), which is fine -- you just don't want to go too far in either direction. This will feel really hard at first, like probably impossible, but then you'll get more familiar with the moves/traverse/routes and you'll surprise yourself at how much easier it gets, quickly.

This is also a great time to practice resting or just hanging out on decent holds, especially with tricky stances. Try climbing til you feel maybe a little too pumped, find a hold that's good but not a jug, and then try to find a heel hook or some sort of stance that reduces the load on your arms and try just hanging out there for a bit, shaking arms, chalking up, back and forth, until you know you'll be too pumped to move on.

Especially since you're interested in leading, I think running back-to-backs or up-down-ups on lead is great practice. Pick a route you know well and can climb smoothly, but not one that is stupid easy. Lead up it, and reverse lead it, unclipping as you climb down. Then depending on how you're feeling, keep running laps like this. Obviously requires a patient partner :)

Overall, you're in a good place to be. Once you break through that plateau and realize just how much more you can push yourself when you're PAF (pumped as gently caress), doors really start opening! I totally disagree with the previous poster that said that training this stuff is no fun -- IMO most of the physical fun of climbing lies in fighting the POMP!!!

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Nifty posted:

Red Rock , NV is awesome.


:agreed:

That's Sonic Youth wall, yeah? Trying to remember from the picture, is the climber on Sonic Youth? Agent Orange just to the left? Those are such amazing climbs, great place to escape crowds in my experience too, which is weird given how short the approach is.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


I'd throw in another vote for Amarillo Sunset. Easily one of the coolest climbs I've ever done, it's really spectacular. Definitely not an easy 11, and requires some BIIIIIG reaches/dynos, but even if you don't send it's a just plain fun route to play around on.

I'll also throw in another vote for Drive-By, sounds PERFECT for what you're looking for. You've got:
- Fire & Brimstone 10d which requires all kinds of cool techniques
- Breakfast Burrito 10d which is classic RRG plate-pulling with an exciting, airy finish
- Whip Stocking 11a, Yadda Yadda Yadda 11b, Spirit Fingers 11c. All these climbs are also classic, sustained plate-pulling on slightly overhanging, immaculate rock

Man, I need to get back to the Red :sigh:

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


SeaborneClink posted:

So I'm moving to the Bay Area, whats the rock climbing scene like there? Looking for some tips both indoors and outdoors. I'll be working and probably living in the East Bay. I'm familiar with Planet Granite's offerings from their Portland location but was curious if anyone had any other suggestions or ideas.

What do you like to climb outdoors? SF isn't the same tier as SLC, Boulder, Bend, etc. for accessible, high-quality climbing, but if you're willing to drive 3-5 hours you can get to places like Yosemite, Bishop and Jailhouse, ticking the trad, bouldering and sport boxes.

There are a handful of crags that are closer, but not nearly as good. Still worth checking out, but more on the order of a couple day trips than any you'll really want to keep going back to over and over. That will also depend on what level you're climbing, too; I think the closer crags tend to have more moderate climbing. Berkeley also has a couple little bouldering spots in the city that won't knock your socks off, but they're still cool -- lot of history and basically right in your backyard if you want to boulder after work.

Jim Thornburg just put out a new Bay Area guidebook that I've heard is pretty good, probably worth picking up. A lot of the smaller crags aren't very well documented on MP.

The gym scene is pretty amazing in the Bay. In SF you've got nice gyms in PG and Mission Cliffs, and Dogpatch is an excellent bouldering gym. Biggest problem with any of these gyms is crowding, but that's just the demographics of SF right now. Most surrounding cities/burbs also have at least one gym and they all tend to be pretty good.

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


spwrozek posted:

What do you guys do to deal with burnout? I feel like I have climbed a lot over the last 18 months and I am not sure I can stomach another winter in the gym. It is crowded and honestly boring (movement Denver just really isn't that great of a gym other than 2 miles from work and only $58 a month). I climbed yesterday at the gym and just was so uninspired. One thing I did yesterday to try to spice it up is climbing only open handed. I only climbed up to 10a since open handing is harder then crimping your mind out. I am just not sure it is going to do it for me though. I am thinking of taking January off completely, maybe that will help. I feel like I am losing a little joy of climbing. Maybe my girlfriend being my normal partner is not helping? She doesn't climb real hard and is so afraid to fall it is frustrating because she has goals of being better but until she just let's go.... I want to encourage her but I am going to just shut my mouth mostly and let her do her. Also I really want her to stop short roping me and give me more slack and softer catches. I can't figure out a way to make that happen though. She just doesn't like to see me fall (but I usually push hard and fall a lot, especially on the gym), I appreciate the worry, I really do but I don't give two shits about falling. But I will pull a bit of rope to clip and feel it catch in her belay device. I just let the rope sit there until she gives the slack. Easy stuff this is fine but when I am on 12's...

That was really rant-y, I don't even really know what exactly I am looking for but I just wanted to kind of get it out there.

Couple random thoughts:

- Agree with gamera009, climbing with SO can be good or not good, and it sounds like maybe not so good in your case. Nothing wrong with that, I'm in the same boat myself. Is there another climber couple at the gym you guys could pair off with?

- More slack does not equal a softer catch. I know you didn't say this explicitly, but it's a common misunderstanding so it's worth saying for the thread in general. If your SO is short-roping you, that's a separate issue, but it's important that she understands how to give a softer catch if that's a gap. It sounds like she's pretty concerned for your safety, so maybe explaining how softer catches are actually safer (at least in the context of gym climbing) would be helpful?

- Also agree with gamera009 about switching up styles. Can really help break mental and physical plateaus. If you're used to route climbing at the gym, switch your focus to bouldering and target your weaknesses. It'll feel fresher and it's also motivating to find areas where you can improve relatively rapidly

- Bouldering might actually help with your SO's fear of falling. YMMV but I actually find that getting really comfortable with bouldering at moderate heights (not super highball, but high enough that you're aware of the height) is more helpful with comfort falling on a rope than actual lead climbing

- I don't think I can post in this thread without mentioning: training. I'm not even going to get into whether that includes hangboarding, campusing, etc., or not -- more important, just have a systematic, specific plan for when you go to the gym. I enjoy gym climbing, but I really don't like showing up at the gym and "just climbing", which really entails sort of meandering from one route to the next, chatting a lot, and not really accomplishing anything. This might mean that your goal for a gym session is to climb every V4, or to run laps on the same 5.11 so you have the movement dialed and can focus on pump management, or it might mean you pick 3 really hard boulder problems and give 3-5 attempts with long rests in between each. Have a purpose, have goals that you can track against, and it becomes a lot easier to summon motivation

- Take a break. I try to not take more than 2 consecutive weeks off at once, but take some time to pursue other activities, totally unrelated to climbing. For me, I'm always ready to come back to climbing after a couple of weeks off, and it feels a bit like a reset

- Movement Denver isn't that great of a gym??? What are you smoking!!! Granted, Iv'e only been there once when I was in town for work, but I thought it was an excellent gym. Varied terrain, high quality setting, good training facility… what's missing?!?!

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


spwrozek posted:

I should clarify a couple things. I really like climbing with my gf. She is a great person and pretty up for whatever. It is climbing in the gym that is frustrating with her. She wants to push past 10a/b leading but will not just go for it and risk a fall. It is the gym, super safe, clean falls. I don't know how to push her past that our what to say. She is reading rock warriors way so maybe that will help. I don't mind at all climbing with people who don't have the same goals as me either. Add long as they are striving to there goals in the gym it pumps me up. But when my partners struggle to make any progress it is disheartening and I feel bad as I go on to lead harder and harder stuff.
Agreeing with gamera again here -- it's pretty hard to push a partner to get over mental blocks like that fear of falling, let alone when she's your SO. If she really wants to break the mental block, and it sounds like she does if she's reading RWW, then it'll wind up being her own self motivation that does it, and it's just your job to be supportive and facilitate it, rather than drive it. Sounds like you're doing everything right already, it's just a matter of patience and biting your tongue, which can certainly be frustrating.

At the risk of sounding harsh, I'll also say that it still sounds like your GF needs some coaching on how to belay properly. Sounds like even if she belays you better outside, it's just a coincidence because she can't see you but she doesn't actually know why she's giving a better belay. To be honest, sounds like her priority should be improving as a belayer before she focuses on improving as a climber. This could be a touchy subject, but probably best handled with honest, direct communication about what she needs to improve at.

spwrozek posted:

Oh movement Denver. Why it sucks... Crowded, oh god the crowds. The setting is very much the same on all the routes, it gets a repetitive feel. The easy stuff had contrived feet a lot of times. I think it is mostly the crowds though, ah the crowds!!
Fair enough, when I went it was around lunchtime on a weekday so the place was empty. Definitely not a massive gym, and for a city with the demographics and size of Denver, I could see how it would get insanely crowded. FWIW the gyms in SF also get insanely crowded, and I've resorted to trying to climb mostly at off-peak times, which really helps. Fortunately, my main gym (Mission Cliffs) opens at 6:30am on weekdays, and it's usually pretty empty then, so I can get in a nice session before work.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Sharks Eat Bear
Dec 25, 2004


Awkward Davies posted:

How much do gym routes correspond to outdoor routes? Are there actually big jugs out on real rock? Or does it depend wildly on the rock?

Depends on the rock and on the setting in the gym. There will be exceptions, but in general: holds are smaller and less positive on real rock than in the gym. There's usually a lot more use of foot smearing on real rock than in the gym, and I find that in general you make more foot movements between shittier feet on real rock than in the gym. It's also often much less clear where the holds are on real rock -- real rock does get chalked up, which gives you an inkling of where to go and which holds to use, but it's much less obvious to find the optimal beta or way to grip a hold on real rock vs. the gym -- after all, the real rock wasn't intentionally set by someone using the same plastic holds that you've climbed on in a different configuration before.

I think this is all exaggerated when you're at more moderate grades (5.10 or less, V2 or less): on real rock, those more moderate grades tend to be less than overhanging or maybe vertical, which is why they still get moderate grades despite having small holds. Gyms tend to have more vertical-to-overhanging terrain, so setters have to use big rear end jugs to achieve the same moderate grades on more difficult terrain.

I also find that gym climbs tend to be more sustained, on average, than outdoor climbs. I think this is a factor of wall height -- most gyms have maybe one or two walls that are up around 50 feet, but the majority of walls are probably more like 30-40 feet. Outdoor crags obviously vary in height, but I'd guess that most sport routes fall more in the 60-80 foot range. When you've got a longer climb, there's more a chance for varied difficulty within the climb, and you'll often have places that are so easy that you can actually stop and rest for a bit before continuing. A made-up example might be a 5.12 outdoor climb, where the first 30 feet are 5.10-, then there's a big jug that you can rest on for a few minutes, then there's a 15-foot V4 boulder problem, then the last 25 feet are 5.11-. Compare that to a 5.12 gym climb that's 35 feet tall total. There's not enough space for similarly varied difficulty as the outdoor climb, so you often wind up with a climb that's 25 feet of V4 plus 10 feet of V5.

Awkward Davies posted:

Is it worth it resoling shoes? I've worn a hole through the rubber on the inside edge of my first pair (tarantulas).

It's worth resoling them, but you want to try to time it just before you wear through the rand/rubber on the toe. If you've already worn through the rubber, then it's probably not worth it.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply