Rock Climbing

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savanik
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby savanik » Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:52 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:Just be careful if you're going for strength that you don't push yourself too hard too fast. Your muscles will build up far faster than your tendons will, and tendon injuries take loads of time to heal.


This.

I injured a tendon in my elbow in high school and it still twinges now and again to remind me of it when I'm lifting with my triceps. I haven't found any good information on strengthening tendons - everyone contradicts everyone else.

'Lift at 40-50% above 1RM but only for a fraction of the movement you'd do normally.'
'Lift at 25% of 1RM for 30+ reps.'
'Tendons strengthen naturally with muscles so don't worry about it.'

For now, I'm going with what my real-world trainer said and going for the 25% of 1RM for 30+ reps, but it's quite frustrating that I haven't been able to find much in the way of proper research material on tendons, either. Anyone have any good links to studies?
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Nath
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Nath » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:14 am UTC

savanik wrote:For now, I'm going with what my real-world trainer said and going for the 25% of 1RM for 30+ reps, but it's quite frustrating that I haven't been able to find much in the way of proper research material on tendons, either. Anyone have any good links to studies?

I've never seen reliable information on strengthening tendons, but most tendon injuries I've experienced or heard of happened when a joint was moved outside its normal range of motion with great force -- especially when it's sudden, e.g. during box jumps. The odds of this happening can be reduced to some extent through strength training (to keep you in good positions) and mobility work (to widen the range of good positions). My guess is that this would get you more bang for the buck than trying to target the tendons specifically, given the lack of reliable information about how best to do that.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:56 pm UTC

Nath wrote:I've never seen reliable information on strengthening tendons, but most tendon injuries I've experienced or heard of happened when a joint was moved outside its normal range of motion with great force -- especially when it's sudden, e.g. during box jumps. The odds of this happening can be reduced to some extent through strength training (to keep you in good positions) and mobility work (to widen the range of good positions). My guess is that this would get you more bang for the buck than trying to target the tendons specifically, given the lack of reliable information about how best to do that.

Sudden movements is something you need to watch out for when climbing... if a foot slips off unexpectedly or something like that, your weight can come onto your hands in such a way as to easily cause at least a "ow" result.

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Sytri
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:46 pm UTC

So this week they changed all the routes at the climbing centre and I tried them out last night. Realised how easy I'd been taking it as I now ache all over. I think I fell into a groove of attempting a harder climb, not managing it then having a 10 minute rest and trying it again. Whereas last night I went through all the easier climbs to see how they were then tried the harder ones.

I think I need to keep doing stuff like that as I was exhausted last night and I ache today but it feels goooood.

Also, the callouses on my hands are taking longer to go away, which is good. Less painfull to climb and no need for all that icky skin peeling.

I was like a kid in a sweetshop yesterday and even now I'm excited about the fact I'm going back on Saturday to climb some more. Can you get addicted to climbing? :)
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby acablue » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:06 am UTC

Sytri wrote:So this week they changed all the routes at the climbing centre and I tried them out last night. Realised how easy I'd been taking it as I now ache all over. I think I fell into a groove of attempting a harder climb, not managing it then having a 10 minute rest and trying it again. Whereas last night I went through all the easier climbs to see how they were then tried the harder ones.

I think I need to keep doing stuff like that as I was exhausted last night and I ache today but it feels goooood.

Also, the callouses on my hands are taking longer to go away, which is good. Less painfull to climb and no need for all that icky skin peeling.

I was like a kid in a sweetshop yesterday and even now I'm excited about the fact I'm going back on Saturday to climb some more. Can you get addicted to climbing? :)

I wish my local rock gym would do this. I've been there thrice, and already I'm bored of the same old routes. There's nothing more satisfying than busting your ass getting to the top of a really difficult wall, and then looking down in horror at the 25-foot pit below.

Back on-topic: are rock climbing shoes made to be as uncomfortable as possible? Or do I just need to go out and buy a pair of my own?

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Sytri
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:23 am UTC

Buy a pair of your own. They'll mould to the shape of your feet and they'll be the perfect fit. I bought a pair for myself about a month ago and I'm not regretting it at all. They fit wonderfully and they are a joy to climb in. Just make sure you go to a reputable dealer. Luckily mine was adjoined to the climbing centre, I have a friend who bought theirs from somewhere else, went through 3 pairs because they weren't well made and ended up buying a new pair from the shop that I bought mine.

Slightly off topic; had a deep tissue/sports massage yesterday to help get all the knots out of my muscles. Dear lord were there knots! I think I'll need to go more regularly because yesterday was like being tortured by a pretty lady whilst covered in oil. (I was covered in oil, not her) But I'm feeling so much looser for it and I slept like a baby last night. :D
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:09 pm UTC

You definitely should buy your own if you go climbing a lot (at the very least, if you assume a $90 pair and $3 rentals, even going once a week only takes a few months before it makes economic sense).

That said, they aren't exactly comfortable. They shouldn't be painful to use, but they should be quite snug and probably a bit uncomfortable -- at least to the extent that you wouldn't want to wear them casually. This does a couple things. First, it makes sure your feet don't slide around inside the shoe. Second, it will allow more of the feeling of the rock to be transferred to your feet. Third, it will allow your toes to reinforce each others' strength, so you're not, e.g., standing on essentially just your big toe.

That said, if you're a beginner (and considering you don't have your own shoes...) you should probably err on the side of comfort. If your shoes make you want to not climb, that's no good at all. You also shouldn't go out and spend a fortune on shoes unless you've got money burning a hole in your pocket*. Three reasons: 1) Beginner (read: bad) footwork will wear them faster, 2) you won't have as good of an idea of the style you want to climb (and thus what style shoe is best), and 3) you'll be doing easier routes where it doesn't make as much of a difference. As you improve you'll go "I should get a new pair of shoes" and then you'll probably get a much tighter pair. (I've heard someone say that your second pair of shoes is probably as good of a benchmark as any of an intermediate climber. :-))

* On second thought, if you have money burning a hole in your pocket you should still get cheap shoes and send me the difference. :-)

Also: non-synthetic shoes (most shoes, other than those by the brand Evolve) will stretch a bit, maybe a half size. My first pair are absolutely enormous now. (Also, don't overcompensate on the second pair: I did, and I stopped using them and got a 3rd pair because they were too small.)

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:15 pm UTC

Yeah, seconding the 'buy your own shoes'. There's nothing wrong with using borrowed pairs if you aren't going to get into the sport, but if you plan on going with more frequency than, say, once a month, I'd strongly suggest investing the 70-130 bucks to get a pair of decent shoes. It'll vastly improve the quality of your time spent at the gym, which will probably result in you becoming a better climber.
That said, climbing shoes are by definition uncomfortable; they're supposed to be tight, and supposed to pinch. Obviously don't break anything pulling them on, but you shouldn't be able to treat them as a second pair of casual ware shoes.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:56 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'd strongly suggest investing the 70-130 bucks to get a pair of decent shoes.

I'd definitely expect the lower end of that range, probably $70-90; I don't recommend spending more unless there's a pair that you really like better right now. Even I'm not at $130 shoes. (The price will depend where you get it, of course.)

Someone I've climbed with a lot (and gone on a couple longish climbing trips with) has three pairs that he thinks tend to make really good first pairs of shoes; I've sent him an email asking what they are; I'll post back when he replies.

Edit:
Evolve Defy
Mad Rock Phoenix
5.10 Coyote

(Note: I'm not suggesting buying these online; I really think you should try them out first.)

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Sytri
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:41 am UTC

Hey all! OK, so I've been climbing for a few months now and I'm finally showing tangible improvement. I've gone from only being able to complete VB climbs to V2.

(Minor rant: I have a friend who has just started coming bouldering with our group and after two visits can already complete the climbs that has taken me ages to complete. Admitedley, he's taller and weighs less than me so his muscle:wieght ratio is a lot better then mine but it's still annoying)

Recently though, as in the last two times I've been, my feet have been slipping. Now I dont think I'm doing anything wrong and I'm reasonably sure nothing has happened to my shoes, so what can be going on? Anyone have any ideas? These are my shoes just incase someone has them and their known for losing grip after a number of climbs

Is there a way to get your shoes to be more....grippy?

(Minor awesome: My grip is so much better than when I started! Now i can hold on with the tips of my fingers and pull myself up! woo!)
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:25 pm UTC

The first thought I had is to make sure you're cleaning the bottom of your shoes every once in a while. An old stiff toothbrush works well for me.

Oh, and just a warning to everyone, don't be stupid like me. If you're climbing outside, even if it looks easy, wear a helmet. My foot caught wrong when I was swinging off the top of a cliff to rappel down and I hit my head, causing me to black out for a second, get a concussion, have to take a very expensive ambulance ride to the hospital two hours away that has a neurologist, and stay overnight in the hospital. Just don't do it! (I'm fine, there wasn't actually anything wrong but they saw something in the scan and decided to send me to the other hospital for observation)

On a related note, I just ordered this for when I can start climbing again:
Spoiler:
Image


It's the Petzl elia and I'm kind of excited about it!

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:34 pm UTC

Echoing what Kestrel said - cleaning shoes is a good thing. A quick swipe with a wet rag along the rubber usually works well for me. If you are desperate you can rub them together rubber to rubber, it will remove some of the oxidation that naturally occurs on the rubber. At the same time, you will be wearing the shoes out when you do that.

Core strength is important to keeping your feet planted, forcing the correct resultant forces to be channeled into the hold (wee physics). A few pieces of advice on footwork.
- It should be silent. If you are kicking and tromping around, no good. Imagine you have jingle bells tied to your shoes (or, if you have them, tie jingle bells to your shoes)
- Place your foot slowly, deliberately, and with confidence. You shouldn't have to step down and re-adjust over and over on the same hold
- As you climb progressively harder, more and more of the time you will be on the toe of your shoe, make it a habit now
- Look at your feet! There are so many people that spot a foot hold, go to step on it, and then look away at the last second, figuring they have it in control. Make a deliberate effort to watch your foot land and only look away after its on. This prevents a lot of the missing
- For small and glassy jibs or barely there holds, I tend to channel a bit more of my force into the wall as opposed to down on the hold, more of a smear move.

As far as your friend goes, don't feel bad. I first competed as a Novice in 2004. I worked at a gym for a year in 2005 and worked my way up to the intermediate category, transitioning into the Advanced category 2 years ago. Between work and grad school I felt on, usually making the podium but rarely 1st. In those same two years, two younger fellows I know started climbing and more or less lived in the gym. By the end of the first season they were out of the top of the intermediate bracket, and into the second season they were making finals for the open category in local comps. I've also found some people just take to climbing a bit more naturally than others. I wouldn't worry on it too much.

Anyone here catch the UBC comp this weekend? I was in a lab and completely forgot it was streaming.

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:51 pm UTC

Actually, instead of using a toothbrush, I've seen people take steel wool to their shoes to rough them up a bit.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:35 am UTC

juststrange wrote:- Look at your feet! There are so many people that spot a foot hold, go to step on it, and then look away at the last second, figuring they have it in control. Make a deliberate effort to watch your foot land and only look away after its on. This prevents a lot of the missing

You started talking about footwork and I was going to add this and then you said it.

I've got a pretty good photo that illustrates this pretty well.
Image
(Flickr page.) Note that he's still looking at his feet even though they're almost on the wall.

(This guy is a pretty insanely good climber. That route is the Caesarian West Face (5.12c) at Devil's Lake, Wisconsin, and I'm pretty sure he was pretty much cruising it. Lake ratings are very stiff by the standards of many locations; I'm pretty sure he climbs well into the 13s at least at, say, the Red River Gorge.)

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Sytri
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:38 am UTC

To reinforce the 'look where your feet are going' mantra, last Monday I went climbing, all was going well. My last problem was a low level climb, but it was tricky and had kept me at bay. So I decided that seeing as I'd done much more tricky climbs that day, this would be a walkover.

How wrong could I be. I was focussing too much on locking in my arms that I put my foot on a hold and didn't even look at it for more than a second. Next thing I knew, I'd slipped and now my foot was in a lot of pain.

(Spoilered for description of what I've done. SFW as there aren't any pictures.)

Spoiler:
I've torn the muscles and sprained the tendons that connect to my big toe. My foot is a marbled purple colour and I've been limping for a week. I'm guessing at least two more weeks till I can get back on the wall :(


Tl;dr.

I've sprained my foot because I wasn't paying enough attention and now I'm out of action for a few weeks.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Kain » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:52 am UTC

Sytri wrote:Tl;dr.

I've sprained my foot because I wasn't paying enough attention and now I'm out of action for a few weeks.


Hope your foot is getting better! Does it look like you are on schedule with your recovery?


Anyways, I haven't posted in this topic before, so just a quick summary: I currently only boulder, due to a fear of heights, though some of my classmates have been trying to get me over that. I would prefer outdoor climbing, but given that the Space Coast has pretty much nothing worth climbing other than trees, that isn't really an option. I can currently do some (most?) V2s, and recently completed my first V3.
Oh, and I found that I am more of a danger to myself when not climbing than when climbing...
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:56 am UTC

Kain,
Depending on how far down the Space Coast (I assume FL?) you live, you might still be in luck. I know its kind of a haul, but I've made the drive from MD before. Horsepens 40 outside of Steele AL, and Rocktown GA offer some of the best bouldering in the south east. If you can drive another 2 hours, Little Rock City in Chatanooga, TN is fantastic as well. It's likely I will end up in that area in the March time-frame, maybe December as well, but that is less likely.

Not really a consistent solution, but if you wanted to Roadtrip a little, those are great places to start. As to the fear of heights, I feel ya. I get a knot in my stomach on top rope sometimes, mostly because I can never judge how far I am going to fall. Overhanding sport lead (indoors) and bouldering (anywhere) I have much less of a problem, even into the quasi-highball territory (15 feet plus), I guess because I know where/how I am going to land.

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Sytri
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:59 pm UTC

Still out of action :(

My foot has gone down and I'm able to put shoes on and walk but as for putting all my weight on my toes or shifting my weight onto my foot: out of the question.

Really annoying that now I'm able to get about just not actually climb.

Phoned my climbing centre as I'd that day bought a 4 week pass for unlimited use and told them what happened.Before I finished my sentence the person on the other end said, "Give me your details, we'll suspend the time until you're well enough to come back."

Love that place. :D
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby VPeric » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:28 am UTC

Hi all,

I'd like to get into rock climbing. I think it's a cool sport and it's just something I want to try out. Unfortunately, none of my friends are into it so I figure I need some sort of course (and I persuaded one relatively-interested friend to take a course with me). Now, my question is: how am I supposed to find out what's a good course? I don't know anyone in the community to ask, I couldn't even recognize what's a good gym. I've been looking at this one, i'ts about 70 euro for 5x2hours and I'm supposed to be able to finish a climb of difficulty "4" alone at the end of it. Is this good, bad, expensive, whatever? I'd appreciate it if someone could take a look at the pictures of that gym and tell me their thoughts.

Alternatively, if there's anyone from the Czech Republic / Prague who could help me, I'd be much obliged! :)

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:23 pm UTC

VPeric - sorry, I can't seem to get the photos to open on that page. Do you know what grading scale they are using for the "4"? I imagine its the French Fontainbleau scale, but I can't be sure. The most important things a class can do is get you comfortable putting on a harness, tying in, and belaying in a safe manner. After that there are some skills/habits to be learned. If you clambered up and down trees as a child etc, much of that may come naturally, to others it doesn't. i'd be suspicious of anyone that promises your ability to climb one grade or another, but looking at where Font-"4a" lies on the scale, that level I think is attainable for the large majority of the population with some simple instruction. On a side note, I've seen big muscley manly men flounder on '4c' climbs, and folks who can't so much a do a pull-up successfully climb 6a+ level routes.

Anyone here compete? I'm 2 comps into the indoor bouldering season so far, with what is usually my least successful comp coming up tomorrow. After that I might slow down a little to heal up for some actual rock climbing.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby VPeric » Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:18 pm UTC

Thanks juststrange, according to this page, they're using something called the UIAA standard. There are a few pictures there, but there's no zoomed-in version so I'm not sure how informative they are. In the end, I think I'll just go for it - I'm sure they'll teach me something and I can at least try it out.

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Sytri
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:23 am UTC

Finally feel well enough to go climbing tomorrow! Feel so excited!

Annoying part is that I spent the last 6 weeks not doing any other exercise so I know that tomorrow will be bloody hard. Worth it though to get back into it.

Fingers crossed I don't injure myself :P

Edit: Does anyone know of any indoor climbing magazines or a mix of the both? There's loads of running and cycling but hardly any of anything else that I can find.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby eaglewings51 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

I love rock climbing. I boulder and do top rope at my college gym. I usually go with my boyfriend and we usually boulder for a while and then do some top rope climbing.

I usually use the harnesses that the gym loans out. However, the straps around the legs are super uncomfortable. I was given a Black Diamond primrose harness for my birthday and I can't wait to try it out. I've used Black Diamond harnesses before and they are super comfortable so I'm super glad that I was given that brand. I use mad rock climbing shoes and I really like them.

While bouldering, I enjoy doing routes that other climbers put up. However, my pet peeve is that most of the routes are designed for tall climbers. I'm 5'4" so I'm average height. Most of the routes are made by 6' experienced climbers so there are almost no routes designed for short people and/or less experienced climbers. A lot of the routes are even super difficult for my boyfriend to do and he's 5'10".

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:58 pm UTC

Eagle - the right harness can make all the difference in comfort. I'm assuming you are female here, and a lot of it may be that a women-specific harness is differently shaped than a mans. The belay loop tends to be longer to allow more distance between the leg loops and the waist, and the ratio of diameters between the waist and legs tends to be more inline with the avg female form.

Your frustrations in bouldering could be from a number of sources, and it this case it sounds like inexperienced setters. In a college setting there isn't as much reason to set for a wide audience, in the commercial gyms they tend to put more focus on the setting, because climbers are customers. For example, while they may set a long reach between two good holds, they may place a small foot chip in between. A climber who can't make the span is generally smaller all over, and thus has small enough hands to make use of this intermediate hold that sausage fingered folks (myself included) can't use. Feet are another area - the same foot chips that work for a 6'4" person with a +6" ape-index (I know such a man) aren't going to work for the 5'1" person with a -1" ape-index.

There are a handful of techniques shorter folks can use as well, but thats something better taught in person after watching someone climb. There being super difficult routes that you can't do is sort of the point isn't it? Gives something to aspire to, and if it was easy, it wouldn't be any fun. Well, I suppose that depends on why you climb. I climb because I enjoy the movement, the focus, and the beauty. Other things drive other people.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:19 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:Eagle - the right harness can make all the difference in comfort. I'm assuming you are female here, and a lot of it may be that a women-specific harness is differently shaped than a mans. The belay loop tends to be longer to allow more distance between the leg loops and the waist, and the ratio of diameters between the waist and legs tends to be more inline with the avg female form.

Well, that and gym harnesses seem to often be little more than a couple seatbelts sewn in loops :-)

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Simius » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:21 am UTC

Ho boy! A new climbing thread, and I totally missed it!

I've been climbing for about 12 years now and I still keep being amazed by how awesome it is. It really never gets boring, every route or boulder is a completely new challenge. I like all the disciplines, from bouldering to lead to trad climbing: each one has its own fun aspects, I think.

This summer I moved from flat and boring Holland to Vancouver, hoping to get lots of climbing done here. Unfortunately school kept kicking my ass and now I'm out-of-shape like never before. :(

I hope the coming year will be better, there's so much amazing rock near that I need to climb.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby jobriath » Sat Dec 24, 2011 4:06 pm UTC

I've been climbing for a few months now and am loving the almighty hell out of it. I top-roped my first 6B+'s last week (one was a long crack, and the other an awful sloper route). I'm now working on my atrophied lead skills, where "skills" can be read "cajones". Better, my wife is now hooked. One visit ago she was terrified. Last visit she owned the wall. Now she's tugging my arm to go climbing. I wonder if any other sport hooks you as quickly as climbing?

KestrelLowing mentioned The self-coached climber a while back, which seamt like a good idea. Does anybody have a strong recommendation of a DVD or book that develops technique for intermediate climbers?

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:16 pm UTC

I have the self-coached climber and it seems decent. I'm not so good about following it though. It has some good ideas for exercises, but it seems to me like it assumes you have way more time for climbing than I have.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby eaglewings51 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:21 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
juststrange wrote:Eagle - the right harness can make all the difference in comfort. I'm assuming you are female here, and a lot of it may be that a women-specific harness is differently shaped than a mans. The belay loop tends to be longer to allow more distance between the leg loops and the waist, and the ratio of diameters between the waist and legs tends to be more inline with the avg female form.

Well, that and gym harnesses seem to often be little more than a couple seatbelts sewn in loops :-)


That's it exactly (and yes, I am female). That's essentially what the harnesses are at the gym and everyone I know (even guys) who have used them complain about how uncomfortable they are. There's no padding on the leg straps and they are essentially narrow canvas straps that cut into your thighs like crazy.

I have had a chance to try out my Black Diamond harness and I love it. It's super comfortable. It was a package deal so it came with a belay device and a chalk bag. I'm going to give away or sell the chalk bag though because, since it was a package deal, it's a pretty cheap one. It's small and the waist strap is just a thin cord that isn't adjustable (unless you decide to knot it). Also, about two weeks before I got the harness, my amazing boyfriend gave me a really nice chalk bag for my birthday: better quality, adjustable waist strap, a pocket on it to hold something small, and it's larger.

juststrange wrote:Your frustrations in bouldering could be from a number of sources, and it this case it sounds like inexperienced setters. In a college setting there isn't as much reason to set for a wide audience, in the commercial gyms they tend to put more focus on the setting, because climbers are customers. For example, while they may set a long reach between two good holds, they may place a small foot chip in between. A climber who can't make the span is generally smaller all over, and thus has small enough hands to make use of this intermediate hold that sausage fingered folks (myself included) can't use. Feet are another area - the same foot chips that work for a 6'4" person with a +6" ape-index (I know such a man) aren't going to work for the 5'1" person with a -1" ape-index.

There are a handful of techniques shorter folks can use as well, but thats something better taught in person after watching someone climb. There being super difficult routes that you can't do is sort of the point isn't it? Gives something to aspire to, and if it was easy, it wouldn't be any fun. Well, I suppose that depends on why you climb. I climb because I enjoy the movement, the focus, and the beauty. Other things drive other people.


Very true. I am glad that there are difficult routes. Just a few weeks ago, after trying a difficult route three or four times every time I was at the gym for several weeks, I was finally able to complete it which felt great. I am glad that there are routes I can't do but have to keep attempting and practicing and imporving until I can.

My complaint is that there are routes where I can't even reach the first handhold. I'll start sitting on the ground with my foot or feet on the first foot hold and the first handhold will be three or four inches above where I can reach. So I'll have to start partly standing or sitting on a three inch thick pad which is sort of cheating, in my opinion.

/rant

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Izawwlgood
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:44 pm UTC

So a buddy got me a gift card to Boston Rock Gym. Anyone want to have a meetup?
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Sytri
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:26 am UTC

eaglewings51 wrote:My complaint is that there are routes where I can't even reach the first handhold. I'll start sitting on the ground with my foot or feet on the first foot hold and the first handhold will be three or four inches above where I can reach. So I'll have to start partly standing or sitting on a three inch thick pad which is sort of cheating, in my opinion.


When I come across this in my bouldering I take it to mean you smear you feet against the wall and not use a foothold. If that's too difficult then yeah, stand on the pad.

I'm finally getting back to my usual skill, pulling all the muscles in my foot has taken a long time to heal and a lot longer for me to get my confidence back in putting my weight on my foot. Bah.

Still, learning to top rope at the end of the month, very excited :)
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby d0nk3y_k0n9 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 2:58 pm UTC

eaglewings51 wrote:My complaint is that there are routes where I can't even reach the first handhold. I'll start sitting on the ground with my foot or feet on the first foot hold and the first handhold will be three or four inches above where I can reach. So I'll have to start partly standing or sitting on a three inch thick pad which is sort of cheating, in my opinion.


If it's supposed to be a sit start and you can't quite reach the start holds from the ground, grab the start holds first, then put your feet on, get as low as you can, and start climbing from there. It isn't cheating if the lowest you can possibly get on a sit start is a few inches off of the ground. It'd be cheating if you could reach them from sitting and started standing up to make it easier, but it's completely fine if you can't reach.

Also, not everything is supposed to be a sit start, so see how other people are starting it; if everyone's standing, then don't feel at all bad about doing it yourself.

Personally, my opinion is that it doesn't matter how you get to the start holds (unless it's specified as a jump start, but those are infrequent in the gyms I've been to), it matters what you do after you start climbing. I've had climbs where I use an extra hold or two to get my feet set on the starting feet before putting my hands on the start holds, but then climb the rest of the climb without added holds. Since I went from the start holds to the finish holds without using any holds not on the route in between, I don't think of it as cheating.

Of course, it doesn't really matter what you use or what other people think. Climbing is great because you can do what you want and just enjoy the climb regardless of whether someone else would say you went off of the route or whatever.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jan 09, 2012 3:36 pm UTC

If you're bouldering, the sit start is just a 'complete start'. If you want to work on any given problem in the route, I think jumping on the wall and cheating to get yourself there is perfectly legit. If you can't do the sit start, don't.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:42 pm UTC

Oh the great sit-start debate. Trying to do climbs from a guidebook written by someone much taller than I.... frustrating. I'll be honest, there are boulder problems out there that starting seated in the dirt really added something that starting on a pad wouldn't have. But its rare, and it wasn't a function of reaching the holds, it was a function of lessening that initiate crank up (Pounding the Pooch in Coopers Rock WV).

The whole debate is fairly meaningless in the gym, the reality is those holds will be gone in a month or two anyway, so there's no real reason to get too upset. Outside, especially with top end climbers who have pressure from sponsors, these things take on a new level of importance. The Carlo Traversi - Steppenwolf 'scandal' is a prime example. Carlo is short, and couldn't reach the holds and the ground so he did a "squat start". There was some backlash, but he handled it in a very humble and diplomatic way.

On that note - what's everyones ape-factor? I'm +3" at a height of 67" tall, my girlfriend is -1/-2 at 65" tall. I think the most I've seen was a guy at +6.75 at a height of 76".

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby eaglewings51 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:31 am UTC

With routes where I can't reach the first hold, I usually do what d0n3y_k0n9 said: I grab the hold, put my feet on the proper holds, and then hunker as low as I can and start from there.

I do frequently jump up on the wall and just try different sections of a route or do no route at all or pick my own. Sometimes, however, I just want to see if I can do a certain route exactly the way the route maker intended. And it's usually relatively easy to tell if a route is a sit-start or not just the way the first holds are situated (I don't know if it's like this at all gyms because I've only been to one, but here, the starting handhold(s) and foothold(s) are marked with V's of colored tape and the rest of the holds are marked with just one piece of tape). Plus, pretty much all the routes at my gym are sit-starts.

Anyway, enough of my grumbling. Let's talk about something other than my problems. :P


I haven't climbed in almost a month! I'm home for Christmas and there's no gym here and no places to rock climb (plus we have two feet of snow, so .....) I'm really looking forward to getting back to college and climbing again.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

I haven't been able to go climbing in quite some time, but I am 5'10" (70") and my arm span is 68". So using the subtracting method, I've got a -2 ape index. My legs are long, but my arms are fairly standard.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby jobriath » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:00 pm UTC

I did something to my hand bouldering yesterday and I'm trying to gauge how big a problem it is.

Action: Did a smooth dyno onto a two-finger hold, placing middle and ring finger solidly. I felt my weight come on to it gradually, and then felt something like tendons clicking at the wrist and pulling taut all the way down to my forearm. Let go before my full weight came onto the hand, aware that something had gone wrong but not sure what. No immediate pain but the hand was ginger about forming a fist. Even forming a tight fist doesn't cause any pain.

I'm confused about what I've done. Careful testing suggests that my open-hand grip is as strong as it was---I think I could hang one-handed from a doorframe. Hanging weight off the index finger and middle finger together feels fine, but involving the ring finger causes faint pain across the back of the hand and feels "tentative".

Is it obvious to anyone that it's, say, a pulled muscle, or a damaged tendon? It doesn't feel like an injury requiring medical attention---anyone think otherwise? How long might I expect to rest it?

Edit: Whatever it is, the problem is patched by taping the first joint of the ring finger. Experienced climber friends reckon it's a tendon thing and will respond well to "gentle stimulation". I'm going to skip climbing for a week then see how it responds to non-fingery climbs.

Further edit: I managed to write both bold-tags as [b}. Bloody LaTeX.

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:33 pm UTC

Each finger is made up of a tedon that runs from the tip down through the palm to the forearm. In order to get your finger to bend, its routed through a number of pulleys to change its direction along the way. Of most interest to climbers are the A1-A5. A1,3,and 5 are over the joints, from the palm to the most distal. A2 and 4 are over the two longer of the bones. I've strained a number of these in any number of fingers, but far and away the most common injured is the A2 of the middle finger. You would know if you ruptured it, it would "bowstring" on your finger and swell like crazy. If you think you have this type of issue, avoid "closed crimp" hand positions like the plague until you feel solid again.

That said, that doesnt exactly sound like your issue. I hurt some pulley in my palm recently, and the healing is about the same. Take a week or two off, ice and NSAIDs for the first few days, and come back into it slowly. If you start to feel pain again, stop. Every re-injury just pushes your out-time farther.

The pain across the back of the hand strikes me as odd. If this isnt the answer, hopefully it atleast steers you in the right direction.

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Sytri
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:41 am UTC

So I've had to stop going climbing for a few weeks as I've run into a bit of a wall with regards to healing. It's mainly my forearms that are the problem, I can grip onto the small edges and I can pull myself up but only for a few problems then it starts to hurt. Weirdly it hurts even more after I let go. I think it's that I'm over-straining when I'm gripping. As was pointed out to me yesterday, you should use the loosest grip you can with out faling off, but I think I just overshoot it way too much and I'm causing damage. So I'm taking a rest and going to do some pilates in my break so that I'll be more flexible and stronger in pulling myself through holds.

It's annoying that I've finally improved again after my injury last year and now it's another thing thats holding me back again. On my return I'm going to be doing some top rope stuff aswell, which involves 3 hour-long courses before they'll let me and my friend on a wall without supervision. Hopefully mixing in pilates, top rope and bouldering will give me that edge to improve even more and hold off any more injuries.

I really wish I'd got into this years ago when I was still a young thing and able to shake off injuries and I had more free time. Damn work, getting in the way of my fun!
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Samik » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:27 pm UTC

Whoo hoo.

Went climbing yesterday for the first time in about 4 years. Apparently I had forgotten how to do literally everything (had to youtube a refresher on the correct way to tie a rope before I went).

Went with a buddy, and he wanted to start on a 5.6. Flew up that. Okay.
Found a 5.8. Flew up that. Okay.
Found a 5.9. Flew up that. Okay.
Found a 5.10. Flew up that.

Arms were pretty dead at this point, so the rest of the time was spent just screwing around bouldering, but given the four year layoff, and the obviously terrible condition my forearm and finger strength is in (and the fact that I was never really very good in the first place), I was overall pretty pleased with it (the 5.10 would have been trivially easy were it not for my rapidly fatiguing arms, which gives me optimism moving forward).


Came out of there on an endorphin kick the likes of which I haven't experienced in... quite a while. Time to find a gym near me now...


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