Know Before You Go
“It’s too hot to climb.” “I can’t feel my fingers because it’s so cold out.” Part of project selection is finding favourable conditions, such as wall orientation, which can be either shady or warm depending on what you work best in. If it’s in the sun by 11 a.m. and you can’t take the heat, wake up early. Get up at 5 a.m., make your team breakfast. Trust me, this will help take their early-morning-whileon-a-vacation-edge off and promote receiving a safe belay. Walk in and warm up in the dark. Two quality tries after warm-ups will usually give you all the homework you need.
Controlling the temperature has a second larger consideration you must keep in mind. The season you pick to attempt your project has a direct effect on success. Unfortunately, you can’t control for rain, but you can strategize and prepare yourself mentally for the time of year you decide to project. In the fall, the conditions will only get cooler and friction will improve until progress literally freezes up. In the spring, every month, the temperature increases until you sweat so much that the crux holds become impossible. Where they once offered you a difficult path upwards they now offer a curious visual dilemma. “I can see them, but I can no longer pull down on them. They were holds just last week.”