On the Wall

Climbing - - CLINICS IN SESSION -

to op­pose it? Look also at chalk pat­terns. Of­ten, thumb prints will tell you which hand peo­ple take a hold with.

Prep work done, it’s now time to ex­e­cute. Get on the rock and give it a go! USE YOUR LEGS

Weight your feet and legs. This might mean find­ing a frog po­si­tion, heel hook, heel-toe cam, knee­bar, or stem. Ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent body po­si­tions at rests. Onsighting re­quires en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, so use tech­niques that de­crease the load borne by your arms to cre­ate a cu­mu­la­tive ben­e­fit.

CLIMB IN­TU­ITIVELY

If you feel like you need a high right foot to reach that next hold, look for one where you would want it to be. Of­ten, the rock is grip­pier than you think, and you might be able to use that tiny smear in­stead of that lower, more ob­vi­ous foot.

REST AND IN­SPECT

Camp out on good holds or stances to re- cover. Al­low your mus­cles and grip to re­lax, and let your skele­ton do the work. Sag pro­gres­sively in stages un­til your en­tire weight is on your frame. As you shake out, chalk up, breathe, and fo­cus your gaze on one point; you might even close your eyes to elim­i­nate wasted men­tal en­ergy—it’s tir­ing scan­ning the rock and en­vi­ron­ment. Ma­nip­u­late your breath by slowly in­hal­ing and ex­hal­ing un­til it be­comes in­audi­ble and your heart rate slows.

Take ad­van­tage of this new per­spec­tive to eval­u­ate the next sec­tion. Reach up to touch the holds, and then re­turn to the rest. This pro­vides a bet­ter idea of the holds’ qual­ity and how you’ll grab them. At a cer­tain point, it will be time to launch. As I’ve learned, it’s a fine line be­tween rest­ing just long enough ver­sus too long. For me, “just right” is when my res­pi­ra­tory and heart rates have de­creased sig­nif­i­cantly or even nor­mal­ized, and the fore­arm pump has dis­si­pated.

If stay­ing at a rest re­quires ex­ces­sive ef­fort, I’ll climb through the fa­tigue, hop­ing to re­cover else­where. To rest on the go, climb with mini-shakes be­tween holds. Watch videos of Michaela Kier­sch: She locks off with her hips close to the wall and shakes her free arm, pro­vid­ing a quick re­cov­ery. The one caveat is to be ei­ther fully straight-armed or fully locked off—any­thing in be­tween will be too stren­u­ous. Also, af­ter mak­ing clips, re­lax a lit­tle, ex­hale, and cop a quick shake.

Once you’re ready to leave a rest, in­crease your res­pi­ra­tory rate and al­low your fo­cus to shift with a soft gaze—to quickly scan hand­holds, feet, clips, and rope as needed. By be­ing aware, you’ll de­crease the chances of an un­safe fall and mit­i­gate fear so you can go for it.

BE ADAPT­ABLE

Your plan from the ground might not feel right on the go, so know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. That “jug” might ac­tu­ally be a sucker sloper, so try a crimp next to it—to find the best holds, walk your fingers over the rock as if read­ing Braille. Also, when pos­si­ble, be will­ing to change se­quences. I like to plan so that I have down­climb­ing and/or re­se­quenc­ing op­tions. For in­stance, I rarely huck for a jug when there’s a crimp in­ter­me­di­ate that lets me climb stat­i­cally.

Fi­nally, be pre­cise and grab the holds with con­fi­dence. An­tic­i­pate the grip. You’ve held pinches, sidepulls, slop­ers, and crimps be­fore, so imag­ine these com­mon grips su­per­im­posed on the rock’s fea­tures. Try not to read­just your grip too much or gin­gerly grab holds— this wastes en­ergy. Watch videos of Adam On­dra and Lynn Hill onsighting. They grab holds con­fi­dently, as if they’ve touched them hun­dreds of times be­fore.

COM­MIT TO MOVE­MENT

Par­tic­u­larly in the meat of a crux, never hes­i­tate. Some­times the en­ergy you ex­pend dither­ing or down­climb­ing will sap you so much you can’t re­cover. It’s of­ten best to keep mov­ing for­ward, even though the moves seem un­com­fort­able or too pow­er­ful. Big moves, es­pe­cially dynos to less-than-op­ti­mal holds, can be dif­fi­cult to re­verse. Ditto for moves with low feet or long reaches. Once you’ve com­mit­ted, elim­i­nate that voice in your head that says, “This is too hard,” and go for it. Af­ter all, you only get one chance.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.