Rock Climbing

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Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:26 pm UTC

While I'm relatively new to the 'fit club', I'm trying to get more active overall and have found a love of rock climbing. I was surprised there wasn't a thread already. I'm just beginning to get really involved, but I hope that I can become competent soon.

Anyway, this is a thread to talk about rock climbing. Indoor, outdoor, top rope, lead, bouldering, whatever!

So, what kind of rock climbing do you do? How often do you do it? Where do you do it? Do you have any equipment recommendations?
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby paulisa » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 am UTC

I used to take indoor courses once in a while and went on summer camps a few times, but when I went away for uni I let it slide. I tried to take some courses at uni but either they were far too expensive or too many people for too small a wall.
Now thatI'm back home I go bouldering indoor with my bf sometimes, but he's got himself hurt and I find it boring alone. There are about 10 climbing halls in my city and we usually go to one in the inner district because that's where my uni is and it's between his uni and his home. There's another one that I really like on the edge of the town, but it's the opposite edge to where I live so it's really annoying to get to. Outside, there's a huge rock face about 1.5 hours drive from the city, and a lot of smaller rocks (5-10m) in the woods at the edge.
As for equipment, it depends on what you want to do. I never owned proper climbing shoes and I do wish I had some, but I've not got round to getting some. On camps I used to climb with my walking boots, which were kinda ok because they had a massive sole that didn't slip even if I only put a toe in a crack, but they were often too thick and of course I couldn't bend my foot. Now I climb with my fivefingers, which solved the problem of bending the foot but lack toe suport.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby natraj » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:06 pm UTC

I do outdoor climbing a lot; I've only ever been to an indoor gym once and that was this past weekend for the first time! I didn't like it near as much as outdoor climbing, but probably that is because a lot of the appeal for me is in getting OUTSIDE.

I assist in teaching a rock climbing course with the AMC. It's outdoors and for most of the course we do everything toproped, though we transition into lead climbing/seconding by the end (the students only learn to second, not to lead.)

There are some quarries just outside the city that are an excellent place to climb, as well as a few good rock walls in the nearby state park. Also sometimes we take trips down to the Gunks in NY and that is even better still.

As for equipment, I don't know. I have Evolv Pontas shoes right now and they are pretty decent. I had their Defy before and that was okay but tended to hurt more if I wore them too long. I haven't experimented with too many brands because I don't wear leather so I have to stick with what's easier to find synthetics in. Five-ten has some good shoes too, though.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:58 pm UTC

Going to get my first actual pair of rock climbing shoes tomorrow. Have some brands in mind (longer second toes than first) but I'll probably let the people at the gym help me the most. Also, going to the gym tomorrow! I've been going to vertical endeavors in Illinois and it's pretty awesome. Quite a few auto belays which is nice when I can't convince one of the other co-ops who is belay trained to come.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:53 pm UTC

Oooh oooh oooh!

I think bouldering is the way to go. Going up is just a gimmick. The best shape I've ever been in my life (EVAAAAR!) was when I was in bouldering shape.

It's so easy to get cracking on this; I've never lived in a city that didn't have a bouldering gym within 45m, and bouldering gym rats are typically the coolest. Just buy a pair of shoes and make a friend at your skill level.

And don't pop the blisters, but do tear/cut off the flappers.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:28 am UTC

Ah, you've hit the head on the nail with the 45 mintues thing. I'll be driving about an hour and a quarter to this gym. I know that's a bit ridiculous, but this is the only kind of exercise I've done that I've been excited about. There were other things I enjoyed, but this I'm excited about!

I'm taking an intro course as to 'how to rock climb'. I know how to belay and all, but I don't actually know how to climb well so this should be a good experience. I think they might cover some bouldering stuff too. While I'm sure that you can quite easily learn to climb without classes, I've always found that I do better when someone shows me examples and I build off of them instead of starting from scratch.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Marauder_Pilot » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:59 am UTC

I miss rock climbing. :cry:

I live in the Yukon, which is positively PACKED with mountains (Seriously, I cannot physically look in any direction where I don't see a mountain), yet rock climbing flat-out does not exist here. I've been tossing around the idea of applying for a sports development grant from the city and building a wall just so I have somewhere to climb.

I personally always enjoyed bouldering more than straight wall climbs-I find both more challenging and without that annoying 'dangle' at the end (I have no idea why I hate getting roped down after I hit the top or my limit-I'm not all that bothered by the height on the way up, I just get really uncomfortable getting roped down). Not to mention it's a hell of a workout.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:05 pm UTC

I rarely rock climb, but I Ice Climb each winter and I do bits of general mountaineering.

When I do rock climb I do it in my plastic boots or my leather mountaineering boots, and I'm still on a Very Severe/5b kind of level (YDS 5.9/5.10). I also often climb solo, using a specialised ascender to belay, so I can get out and train when it suits me.

I want to take up dry tooling, but there are very few routes for it here in the UK, I used to live quite close to several good ones, but have since had to move home because I'm unemployed.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Woottang » Mon May 02, 2011 12:41 am UTC

Got to love climbing. Lead at VS at the moment, but have top roped harder, and I'm aiming for my first E1 by the end of the summer (to do this I have figured I will have to build my life for the next couple of months around this goal!). A great sport, certainly swimming and running can't be as scary as watching that flimsy gear get further and further away!
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Tue May 03, 2011 4:19 pm UTC

Finally got my first pair of rock climbing shoes. They're the evolv Elektra. I know that's a pretty beginning shoe, but I'm a beginner, and I got them for $75 from a store (aka, I could actually try them on) so that's pretty decent.

I also made my own chalk bag after looking at how expensive the commercially available ones are. I made two chalk bags with belts for $15, which is less expensive than many places are asking for one! It looks and functions nearly identical to the professional ones. Also, I had to buy everything - I didn't have it at home so it really was only $15. While that wouldn't be feasible for many (I have my grandma's old sewing machine and have been sewing for a while), you should definitely think about it if you enjoy sewing.

Now I just need to be able to climb better. I know that basically the only way to do that is just to climb, but it's still depressing when I have difficulty getting up a 5.7 wall.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 03, 2011 4:53 pm UTC

Wearing a homemade chalk bag immediately gives you more cred than any other newbie out there. People using anything shmancy are like people who buy expensive pet collars or leashes. I would however suggest having a drawstring at the opening; you don't want some poor sap to get chalked because you couldn't seal your wares.

A good beginner shoe is important; you probably aren't going to be rocking lots of chips or spending much time on overhangs, so a good soft non-pointed shoe is the way to go.

For the time being, just remember to keep your arms straight, use your legs, and do grip strengthening/hangtime exercises as often as you can. And have fun! Climb for an hour then shoot the shit with people. Gyms are awesome social playgrounds for awkward adults.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Tue May 03, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

Oh, yup! I have a drawstring at the top. I actually used this pattern if anyone's interested:
http://blog.tramdang.com/wp-content/upl ... kbagsm.pdf

(If you do use this pattern, I'd suggest using a little bit longer C piece than she suggests. It will just make sewing the rounded corners at the end a bit easier.)
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Thu May 12, 2011 4:35 pm UTC

Bouldering is my passion, followed by lead and toprope. Short bursts of gymnastic power fit my mesomorph body type, and for some reason my aversion to heights on toprope is not there on lead. I wear the La Sportiva Miuras and I love them, slightly agressive, but not as pinchy as a Jet7 or Solution (I just can't make those fit). Mostly a gym rat here, but I make excursions to HorsePens 40 every few years. Going back in the winter if anyone is interested in chilling there.

The thing I love most about it is the attitude, atleast here in the States. I was waiting in line for the restroom at a comp and realized I was directly behind Chris Sharma, Dan Woods, and Paul Robinson. Even the highest tier athletes are incredibly humble and theres no star-struck aura.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 12, 2011 5:13 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:Even the highest tier athletes are incredibly humble and theres no star-struck aura.

I think this differs person to person. I've definitely heard stories of the sponsored solo freeing through people setting up.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Thu May 12, 2011 9:08 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
juststrange wrote:Even the highest tier athletes are incredibly humble and theres no star-struck aura.

I think this differs person to person. I've definitely heard stories of the sponsored solo freeing through people setting up.


Any idea if that would have been Dean Potter or Alex Honnold? Not sure I completely understand the comment though, can you explain? Pro climbers free soloing and passing people on a multipitch?
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 12, 2011 10:33 pm UTC

Honestly, I'm not too good with names, and neither of those are particularly familiar. I've heard of people setting toprope, and a sponsored/famous/bigshot climber comes through and basically just free solos it, so they have to wait him them to finish.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Tue May 24, 2011 9:06 am UTC

So in the course of getting fit some of my friends have invited me to join them bouldering. It's awesome! What's not awesome, however, is the fact I cant keep a grip or pull my bodyweight up enough to keep climbing for long periods. I know that it will get better over time as I can feel the improvement every week; but I'm wondering if anyone knows of any good techniques or exercises I can do whilst I'm in the gym to help with my climing?

I go to the climbing centre once a week (Mondays) and I hit the gym Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I'm guessing I need to do weights and many, many pull ups but is there anything else? I bought myself a Powerball to help improve my grip (I crack my fingers and recently found out that doing so decreases your gip strength, which sucks.)

So, any tips or handy hints would be welcome!

As an aside, how hard is it to come by climbing shoes for the person with a wider foot than average? I currently rent them from the centre but they always make my toes feel really bunched up and I'll be looking to buy my own pair soon. (As soon as I establish that I'll keep this up so I dont waste ~£90 on something I wont wear more than two times)

Sorry if it sounds a but ramble-y, in that sort of mood today.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Nath » Tue May 24, 2011 10:53 am UTC

Sytri wrote:So in the course of getting fit some of my friends have invited me to join them bouldering. It's awesome! What's not awesome, however, is the fact I cant keep a grip or pull my bodyweight up enough to keep climbing for long periods. I know that it will get better over time as I can feel the improvement every week; but I'm wondering if anyone knows of any good techniques or exercises I can do whilst I'm in the gym to help with my climing?

I go to the climbing centre once a week (Mondays) and I hit the gym Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I'm guessing I need to do weights and many, many pull ups but is there anything else? I bought myself a Powerball to help improve my grip (I crack my fingers and recently found out that doing so decreases your gip strength, which sucks.)

I'm not a climber, but a couple of other good grip exercises are towel pull-ups and farmer's walks. And heavy deadlifts, of course.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue May 24, 2011 2:53 pm UTC

I also highly suggest trying this thing:
http://www.dynaflexpro.com/

Also, it lights up!

EDIT: So, the Boston area has a couple gyms I've tried, and a couple more I'd like to. There's a groupon for one gym that's good for another 24 hrs, if anyone is interested in a cheap monthly subscription or coming to a gym with me, lemme know!
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:49 pm UTC

Went to the gym yesterday - SORE!

Sadly, that's not mostly because of the actual climbing - it's the falling and the rental harness. Causes some interesting bruises underneath the butt. Next purchase - padded harness! (Well, I'll probably buy a belay device first as that's much, much cheaper, but next big purchase!)
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby fooliam » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:08 pm UTC

I've started climbing again after many years off. Been goin for about 3 months now, and just gettin back to climbing v3.
Mostly, I boulder. I like top roping and lead climbing, but I go right after work and don't often have a partner to belay may. So, I stick to the bouldering walls. I don't do a lot of outdoor climbing at the moment because I work 7 days a week, so don't really have time to head out to any of the rocks around here, which sucks because there are a lot of good ones. So I have to stay indoors for now, just because of time issues.

As for equipment, I cannot recommend the La Sportiva Mythos shoes enough. They are a natural leather upper and lower, and the rand and sole rubber is super sticky and smears great. They are also super comfortable shoes once you get them stretched out (more on that later). They're a little pricey, but their performance is great, and the lacing system is just simply the best around. Did I mention they stretch? A lot? Stretch Armstrong style stretching? I wear a 10 - 10.5 in US men's street shoe. I got my mythos inthe smallest pair I could physically jam my feet into when I went to REI to buy them. They were painful and super tight in the store because I bought a size 8.5. But they stretch a TON and now fit PERFECTLY with great performance.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby juststrange » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:57 am UTC

Pull-ups are good for working grip and power, and eventually working up to the ability to campus. That said, I've found the ability to pull up over-rated early in a climbing career. Admittedly, I'm a fan of pull-ups and just "getting burly" and powering through stuff. But its certainly not pretty, and unless done right lacks the aethstetic I have come to enjoy in climbing. I've found early on, just getting the technique(s) down, and developing a high core strength, help loads. Just knowing how to center your bodyweight where you need it, how best to place your toe, etc. Powerful legs are extremely helpful as well - if you are flexible enough, just get a solid foot high up, near waist high, and drive up on that leg. One legged squats (pistols) are very handy. That said, this technique grew out of my size - 5'7", +3 or +4 ape-factor. The core strength lets you lock up and channel more oblique forces along the line of action you want - think about a small child who goes limp to avoid being lifted, they seem much heavier than they are (or than a stiff mass of similar size).

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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:54 pm UTC

Started looking at harnesses online. I'm definitely going to go with a woman's harness as I definitely have some hips. I'm trying to decide between the Petzl Selena and the Black Diamond Primrose. REI has the 2008 Petzl marked down, so they're about the same in price. Basically, the major difference is that the Petzl has fixed leg loops and the Black Diamond had adjustable leg loops.

I haven't had the time to take out my tape measure to see if I'm actually in the correct range for the Petzl (if I'm not, I'll go with the Black Diamond).

Does anyone have any preferences for adjustable vs. not adjustable? I've heard the fixed ones are a bit more comfortable as they give, but I don't have any experience with fixed leg loops.

EDIT:
Ordered the Petzl Selena and it's been delivered today!! Too bad I have to stay late at work and have a thermo exam this Thursday, or else I'd head over to the rock wall tonight! I may go Thursday night as my exam is earlier in the day and this weekend I'll be out of town.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:16 am UTC

I know I'm responding to a 3-month-old post, but... I couldn't let this stand. :-)

Izawwlgood wrote:Oooh oooh oooh!

I think bouldering is the way to go. Going up is just a gimmick. The best shape I've ever been in my life (EVAAAAR!) was when I was in bouldering shape.

That "gimmick" is why I and many others got into climbing. It wasn't until I had been climbing for a couple years that bouldering actually became interesting to me in its own right, as opposed to just something to do while in a group of 3 and waiting your turn, or a "better than nothing" alternative when you don't have a partner. (Or perhaps as a means to get better at routes.)

Even now, I enjoy them for very different reasons. For me, bouldering itself really isn't all that fun -- it's the overcoming the challenge portion that's fun. Roped climbing actually is fun. (As an example of a consequence of this, for me it's way easier to have a fun, easy roped climb than a fun, easy boulder problem. The latter aren't unheard of, but nor are they very common -- and I go to a gym that sets good boulder problems. It almost has to be something like a roof that I never get to climb roped.)

Now, that said, I suspect you may have said that a little tongue-in-cheek... you know, the way I say bouldering is for climbers who are afraid of heights. ;-) Which one you like better, and which one will excite you and get you to continue the sport, depends on what you personally enjoy and why you're interested in it in the first place.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:27 am UTC

I too got into the true form of climbing, bouldering, through starting with the inferior, and significantly more boring art of top roping. Indeed, my wimpy kid sister told me after our first lesson "Man, this is easy!"

Yeah, just do what you enjoy most, obviously. At the height of my bouldering fitness, my stamina was shit. The fine art of Climbing consists of 10-20 finely rehearsed moves, and then them run in reverse, followed by at least 20 minutes of shmoozing, right?
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:06 am UTC

The main reason I definitely prefer top-rope is that the bouldering grades are too hard!!! I'm horrible at all things physical, and rock climbing is no exception, so I'm only consistently climbing 5.7's right now. V0 difficulty is about 5.8, if I was told correctly.

Also, it seems that bouldering relies a lot more on strength than top roping - something I really don't have! And, the bouldering cave is intimidating. :oops: Not the actual cave, but the people there. I know that most climbers are really nice and cool, but I suck. Big time. It's hard to muster the courage to try and fail at routes that people off the street could do but I can't, even though I have been climbing regularly for the past 6 months. I typically regulate myself to the auto-belay side of the gym where there are a lot more birthday parties and kids and people that don't know that a 5.7 is actually really easy.

Anyway, I'm trying to get better so I bought The Self Coached Climber which came highly recommended from a lot of climbers online. I've read about halfway through, but sadly a lot of the exercises just can't be done in my current gym. Still, it's helping me think more about how I'm moving, so hopefully that will allow me to improve a little.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:25 pm UTC

I'm finally getting my climbing shoes today! 4 months of going once a week and having to rent different shoes is over! Woo!
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Nith Azra » Sun Jul 31, 2011 5:48 am UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:Also, it seems that bouldering relies a lot more on strength than top roping - something I really don't have!


While it can seem that bouldering is more strength based, it's usually that because problems are shorter, you can push the harder moves earlier. Bouldering is great for building technique and strength (plus you can always boulder while you're waiting to climb).


Sytri wrote:I'm finally getting my climbing shoes today!


What shoes did you get? :D
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:27 am UTC

Got myself a pair of Boreal Jokers. They are a good intro shoe apparently but I fell in love with them at first sight. Luckily they had my size and they fit like a glove (for your feet). Went bouldering in them straight away and the difference between using a comfortable pair that are yours and a rental pair is so much different! I love climbing even more now!

Plus I also managed to complete my first intermediate climb, which definitely helps cheer you up!
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Nith Azra » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:24 am UTC

Mmm, they look very similar to the shoes we use at the gym where I work.
Did you go in to try them on somewhere?
And it's amazing what a fresh, good pair of shoes does for you. I bought a pair of 5.10 Newtons earlier this year, and they're the best fitting shoe I've even worn. The boost in confidance is amazing. XD

Just keep climbing hard and you'll be hungry for other gear soon! :P
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:58 am UTC

The centre where I go has a climbing shop attached to it and the people behind the counter know what they're talking about. So I tried them on, go the best fit. Paid for them and within 30 seconds was up a wall.

The only problem now is that I've started to develop a fear of falling. It's all after I got to the top of a route and just couldn't get down. So I just dropped; didn't hurt myself or anything as the mats took the fall mainly and I landed well. But damn if I can't stop myself worrying when I'm getting to the top of a climb. Just gotta keep my head down and bull through it I think.

Also had to buy my own chalk bag as I usually use my friends but they were late. Tied it on me with a bit of rope for the real cheap-climber look :D
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Nith Azra » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:03 pm UTC

Ah good, It's horrible to see people buy their shoes either just online by size, or in the store because they look good. I think I spent 2 hours just trying on shoes and talking about the new designs when I bought my last pair. XD

One of the best things to keep in mind about climbing is this: whether you're one foot off the ground, or 100, it doesn't really matter, because as far as you're concerned, you're not going to fall.
Now falls do happen, but that's why your belayer is there. The climber should just be going as hard as they can. XD :)
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:50 pm UTC

I only boulder so I don't have a belayer. So one foot off the ground = not too bad. 12 feet is a bit of a worry.

In my head, when I'm on the floor a fall is easy to deal with. Even when I'm at the top and know that if I fell it wouldn't be too bad, part of my brain says, "That's not a crash mat down there, that's SOLID FLOOR"

I think it's because I'm pushing myself more now and I know that the likely hood of me falling is increasing but I'm trying to not let that stop me.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:47 am UTC

I've backed down from plenty of boulder problems because I was worried about a fall. High feet and insecure holds don't do it for me. I don't think much about it. It bothers me a lot more when I back off of a roped climb (basically, a lead climb; I don't really chicken out on TR).
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Nith Azra » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:36 am UTC

Well, bouldering is another matter. I've very rarely bouldered without someone I trust here to spot me, and while I'll happily boulder or free climb something I know I can climb easily, I won't go much over 5-6ft off the ground with a hard problem.

I'd definitely recommend finding a good partner and getting some climbing in though. Bouldering is great, and it's mostly what I do; but for people who're still beginning, I think getting harnessed up is one of the best things you can do for your confidence.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Sytri » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:35 am UTC

So, went last night and felt more comfortable. My main problem is my grip in my hands and I'm working to improve that. Apparently if you crack your knuckles it deteriorates your grip. And I've cracked my knukcles for years. So have started really working on it. My fear is slowly leaving now which is good. You need some fear just not lots. Plus my new shoes are amazing! :D Also progressed from intro to some intermediate climbs, so overrall I'm very happy! Yay!
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby Nith Azra » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:41 pm UTC

Aww man, I pumped out so fast tonight. But I've got 4 days of serious climbing coming up next week, so I shouldn't be pushing myself too hard anyway. :P

Grip strength comes with time; as does everything I suppose. But technique is more important in climbing than strength. Strength will just happen, whereas technique you have to actively work on. But if you are working on strength, obviously go for your harder holds as much as you can, but also work on endurance everytime you climb, so find somewhere with a decent amount of space to traverse and then do as many laps of that as you can. :)

And, I think is probably every climber's bane; work on open-hand gripping everything you can. The more you do that rather than crimping or pinching, the better you'll be when you feel like climbing something harder. :D
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby EvanED » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:55 pm UTC

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.
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby maxmillean » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:59 am UTC

I love rock climbing (well I love climbing just about anything), but I haven't been able to really get into it as much as I like. My brother and I used to go to a mountain and instead of taking the trails to the top we would free climb up different rock faces up to the summit. My brother moved away to another area of the country last year so we can't do that anymore. I recently went to another closer, smaller mountain to do some climbing, but the place I had planned to climb had funnel spiders in all the hand holds. I've been told that there is a pretty nice indoor rock climbing place in a nearby town, but I haven't gone due to me not wanting to go alone and my local friend pool aren't into that stuff.

I prefer to free climb mostly cause I don't have to deal with equipment (I know I'm cheap and poor). I never climb too high and definitely need to find more places to climb so I can get back into it...
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Re: Rock Climbing

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:33 pm UTC

maxmillean wrote:I love rock climbing (well I love climbing just about anything), but I haven't been able to really get into it as much as I like. My brother and I used to go to a mountain and instead of taking the trails to the top we would free climb up different rock faces up to the summit. My brother moved away to another area of the country last year so we can't do that anymore. I recently went to another closer, smaller mountain to do some climbing, but the place I had planned to climb had funnel spiders in all the hand holds. I've been told that there is a pretty nice indoor rock climbing place in a nearby town, but I haven't gone due to me not wanting to go alone and my local friend pool aren't into that stuff.

I prefer to free climb mostly cause I don't have to deal with equipment (I know I'm cheap and poor). I never climb too high and definitely need to find more places to climb so I can get back into it...


Sounds like bouldering is just the thing for you. Mostly, you can do it alone (although it's always better to be with someone when you're far from civilization) except when you need a spotter and you can even go to the gym alone as you wouldn't need someone to belay you.

If you'd like to find places near you, check out http://mountainproject.com/
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