Any rock climbers in the house?

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  • Any rock climbers in the house?
  • deadlydarcy
    Member

    I’ll say this before anybody else. You’ll be hearing it quite a bit:

    “It’s all about the feet”. πŸ™‚

    spacemonkey
    Member

    Really? I’m quite close to my feet and they tend to do what I ask of them. Should I expect them to start misbehaving?

    peterfile
    Member

    Once you are comfortable tying in and belaying, get outside.

    You may find that you love indoor climbing too, but make the most of the good weather while you can and get in as much nice, sunny, dry rock as you can. That said, I climb rock routes all year round, but the good days are fewer outside of summer.

    You’ll love it. best tip – if someone shouts “below” when you’re belaying, don’t look up.

    Also, I agree with DD. I read somewhere that good climbers look at their feet 70% of the time (or something like that). As a novice you’ll find that you spend most the time using your hands, which is inefficient and very tiring

    spacemonkey
    Member

    if someone shouts “below” when you’re belaying, don’t look up.

    That’s the equivalent of crossing a fairway and having someone shout “Fore”?

    I’ve recently started bouldering. Really enjoying it. Initially I started indoors at my local climbing centre which was great, the first time I Ventured outdoors was a shock though. Suddenly fear was something else to deal with when I realised the great outdoors could actually hurt me unlike the safe indoor environment.

    But it’s great fun. Building finger strength has been the biggest help for me as has investing in a couple of crash mats. Have fun.

    peterfile
    Member

    That’s the equivalent of crossing a fairway and having someone shout “Fore”?

    Aye πŸ™‚

    It’s less of an issue on rock routes, but in winter, when you’ve been freezing your backside off for 45 mins at a belay and you’re drifting off into a nice, relaxing hypothermic sleep, the call of “below” as the leader knocks of a massive deluge of ice can trigger funny reactions, like staring right at it as it smacks you in the face 😳

    passtherizla
    Member

    Yep me. Great fun give it a whirl, what you got to lose? It’s taken me all over the place and has challenged me in ways I could never have imagined. Currently enduring not being on my annual chamonix trip. πŸ™

    spacemonkey
    Member

    the first time I Ventured outdoors was a shock though

    Yep, that’s what I’m thinking. Whilst I don’t have a fear of heights, I can’t say I’m entirely comfortable with the thought of clinging to a rock face even just 50ft up 😯 Just have to crack on with it I guess?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Even outside there is a very different feel from one type of rock to another. If you visit the Peak District, bolted limestone routes will be an easier transition from indoor climbing, whereas the gritstone edges might freak you out a bit with their lack of protection on even quite easy routes. Find someone who knows you and knows the area and enjoy it.

    spacemonkey
    Member

    Building finger strength has been the biggest help for me as has investing in a couple of crash mats. Have fun.

    Am looking to improve core and general arm/upper body strength as a result. My mate has a hardcore martial arts background and has kept his physique ever since. Ba5tard!

    CaptJon
    Member

    I started a year ago and love it. You’ll eventually find a style which compliments your strengths and weaknesses, but never stop trying things you’re poor at as you’ll become better all round climber.

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    I’ve never got into bouldering, altho I can see the addiction of setting and unlocking difficult little puzzles.
    I much prefer a good multi pitch mountaineering day out with all the paraphernalia, usually tweeds, alpenstock, a champagne picnic and a Berliner gramophone.

    Am looking to improve core and general arm/upper body strength as a result

    Yeah, I’m no expert by any means but improving overall fitness/strength and stamina are all going to be beneficial. I actually invested in one of these:

    http://www.tauntonleisure.com/beastmaker-2000-series-fingerboard/p8064?source=froogle&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=comparison_shopping_feeds&utm_nooverride=1&gclid=CLqjqOyQ-rgCFWOWtAodchgAaQ

    expensive but better than using the loft hatch, and has unquestionably improved my finger strength. Although the key is slowly slowly with building finger strength. All you are doing is strengthening the ligaments which takes time and you can easily get it wrong if you go over board.

    mt
    Member

    “Really? I’m quite close to my feet and they tend to do what I ask of them. Should I expect them to start misbehaving?”

    Yes, we used to call it disco leg, you’ll know when it happens. It looks funny when it happens to others but not on yourself when there a bit of a run out to the last runner.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    On the “It’s all about the feet” thing…

    I expect you’ll be starting off on indoor routes to get used to belaying, tieing double figure of eights (you should be able to do this with your eyes closed really), etc etc. You’ll haul yourself up climbs by reaching up with your hands first then pulling yourself up, all Sylvester Stallone, like. Don’t sweat it, this is all a natural reaction when you’re first faced with climbing a wall…and the reasons you’re doing it are part of the fun in the first place. If you think about how you’d climb a ladder – you always take a step up with your feet before going up with your hands – because your body knows it can push a lot more weight with its legs than it can pull up with its hands. Once you start getting the hang of this, you’ll fly through the easy grades and your arms won’t feel like concrete when you get lowered down.

    On a safety note, whoever’s showing you how to belay should tell you to double check both your knot and his/hers before you start climbing. DO NOT be embarrassed to do this – an experienced safe climber should be more than happy for you to double check all knots (and the route through the harness loops). It’s easy to become blasΓ© about this as you get more experienced (guilty your honour) – and you want to find out there’s a problem before you start.

    Enjoy it though. It’s bloody brilliant fun. I really need to get back on a wall. πŸ™

    bigbeard
    Member

    You’ll also forget your left from right whilst half way up a climb – hence the common shout of “no, your other left!”

    darrenm
    Member

    Do not worry about finger strength if you are just starting, you are more likley to injure yourself than get any benefit.

    Just climb lots and watch others (especially women), you can do lots of hard stuff whilst not being especially strong. And just by climbing you will improve your contact strength, core etc anyway.

    Peak limestone is somewhere I would avoid if starting out, even if it is more akin to indoor climbing, it just isn’t very good at the easier end of the scale. The gritstone is far better and although different to indoor climbing imo has far greater satisfaction and better views!

    peterfile
    Member

    Avoid climbing with a loved one if possible πŸ™‚

    On a 35m pitch on a remote route in torridon last week, I found myself about 20m away from the belay, my last bit of gear at about 10m and suddenly faced with an almost featureless run out, with the “obvious” crack which promised good gear from below actually offering nothing by panic and concern. Nothing would go in before I needed to commit to the last section.

    Disco leg started, big time. My girlfriend and belayer noticed and offered some haunting words of encouragement:

    “oh my god, I can’t watch, you’re miles above gear, oh god, I think you’ll hit the deck if you fall from there”

    I think my response was short and to the point, followed by me running out the last part of the route (which was, mercifully, much easier than it looked).

    ahhhhh, you can’t beat it πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I used to love spending weekends in the Peaks at Froggat, Stanage or Millstone – lovely locations and loads of options…

    On a 35m pitch on a remote route in torridon last week, I found myself about 20m away from the belay, my last bit of gear at about 10m and suddenly faced with an almost featureless run out, with the “obvious” crack which promised good gear from below actually offering nothing by panic and concern. Nothing would go in before I needed to commit to the last section.

    The guidebook will have said something subtle like “a bold little route” which translates as ‘there is absolutely no gear on this route what so ever and you can’t reverse the second move’….

    darrenm
    Member

    The feet thing is correct, but think about your hips as well, by moving them closer to the wall you get your weight over your feet and off your arms. Amazingly this also works when it gets steep i.e overhanging.

    peterfile
    Member

    The guidebook will have said something subtle like “a bold little route” which translates as ‘there is absolutely no gear on this route what so ever and you can’t reverse the second move

    hahah! yes! I think it actually said “exciting”, which ought to have been a dead give away!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    When belaying someone who’s having a bit of a hard time, it’s customary to sing ‘Send In The Clowns’ in a rich baritone.
    If you don’t know all the words, just baa like a sheep until the leader falls off.

    Bit strange, I know, but it’s just part of the rich tradition of British Climbing, along with driving an unroadworthy vehicle, a drug/alcohol problem or eating disorder and the inability to hold down a proper job.

    darrenm
    Member

    Guidebooks have some excellent descriptions. ‘Interesting’ generally means make sure it isn’t your lead!

    wrecker
    Member

    pulling yourself up, all Sylvester Stallone, like

    😳
    That was exactly what I did. No matter how hard I tried, I could not make a particular route. Two tiny ladies got on it after me and went up it like it was a ladder!

    [cheeky] I have a pair of stickies (sz 9/10), a screwgate and a belay device for sale cheap, save you hiring them every time[/cheeky]

    spacemonkey
    Member

    On a 35m pitch on a remote route in torridon last week, I found myself about 20m away from the belay, my last bit of gear at about 10m and suddenly faced with an almost featureless run out, with the “obvious” crack which promised good gear from below actually offering nothing by panic and concern. Nothing would go in before I needed to commit to the last section.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about 😯 Can only assume you couldn’t find any holds near the top?

    peterfile
    Member

    I have no idea what you’re talking about Can only assume you couldn’t find any holds near the top?

    Ideally, you’d want good hand/foot holds AND good gear (protection) on a route.

    If you are missing one, then you tend to hope that the other is really good.

    i.e. easy climbing but poor protection if you fall, or hard climbing but really well protected if you fall.

    If you’re high up and find yourself in the situation where you have neither…as Rusty said…Send in the Clowns πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    The feet thing is correct, but think about your hips as well, by moving them closer to the wall you get your weight over your feet and off your arms. Amazingly this also works when it gets steep i.e overhanging.

    +1

    The hips and legs make all the difference. Also soft feet is a great piece of advice i received. Practice gently placing your feet for each move rather than stamping your way up. You shouldn’t hear any noise as you’re going.

    Also don’t think it’s a competition aside from with yourself. Learn to enjoy watching some withered broken in half old man or woman absolutely boss what you were struggling to do five minutes earlier

    grittyshaker
    Member

    Leading low to mid grade outdoor trad routes is very much a head game and technique game rather than having too much to do with specific strength if you’re coming from a relatively active background (eg.from biking). Though flexibility might be an issue.

    Aim to get in lots of mileage on relatively easy routes and get used to exposure and how your slightly tired body and mind behaves with n metres of space beneath your feet. When you find yourself in such a position, relax your grip, drop your heels and look around. You’re still enjoying this, right? Good. Climbing may well be for you. Stay safe, watch your feet, check your knots and tie-ins, belay well.

    spacemonkey
    Member

    One of my mates has been climbing for a couple of years and has encouraged me to have a go. Looks like a mix of indoor ropes and bouldering to get a feel for both, then head off to the wilds for some outdoor action later in the year πŸ™‚

    Anyone else do (or done) any climbing? Good experiences? Anything to look out for?

    Cheers

    mt
    Member

    don’t be the 2nd on Scoop Wall at Stoney Mid or anything on Plum Buttress Cheedale till you can prusic or jumar like the devil.

    spacemonkey
    Member

    Some good tips guys, even the ones I don’t yet understand πŸ˜€

    Hopefully having first session next week. Apparently the Peaks is now on the radar for Sep/Oct! If so, I’ll be sure to bring my bike πŸ˜€

    grittyshaker
    Member

    Good advice about hips, feet, fear, fingers and loved ones πŸ™‚

    Climbing subculture is such a rich territory. Try to read a bit that gives a historical, personal perspective on the places you climb but don’t be a prisoner to tradition.

    When training on a climbing wall/on top rope, try exaggerating certain movements. Sometimes it’ll feel wrong but you’ll often discover the “sweet spot” and sometimes a “wrong” movement is what it takes to unlock a problem. As “pedestrians” we’re often just not aware of the range of movement our bodies are capable of. That’s why dance, gymnastics and martial arts can be such good cross-training

    Premier Icon stever
    Subscriber

    Train lots on the wall between now and September, then get on the gritstone and forget everything you learned about reaching and pulling on nicely sculpted holds, it’ll be very little use to you πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    great advice about feet πŸ™‚

    also don’t be a climbing wall snob, they are great places. Outside is different, it’s a bit like trail centre vs mountain both are good in their own way.

    When training on a climbing wall/on top rope

    Never thought of it as training just climbing πŸ™‚

    Enjoy the weather while it lasts and prepare to use your knees when you get outside.

    Duane…
    Member

    Climbing is ace πŸ˜€

    Terrible picture of me at Llanberis Quarry on Sunday.

    Plus it takes you to some pretty ace spots πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    I generally find climbing walls are good for watching other climbers and seeing how they solve problems or routes.
    One thing i’ve found is that it’s better to watch the skinny dude with dirty hair, fingers stained from a thousand rollies and a thousand yard stare from too much ‘herbal inspiration’ rather than the muscled up dude with his shirt off trying to cliffhanger his way up the competition wall who’s a little bit too pumped up to be enjoying themselves.
    One should show you decent technique, the other keeps my girlfriend distracted before it’s her turn to climb and just piss up the wall without thinking about it and making everyone else look shite*
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    *not bitter or anything

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    What mikewsmith says about walls +1

    Indoor and outdoor are different but both good. I always found indoors that I could try moves on eg. overhangs, difficult grades that I’d never try outdoors as despite thinking I’d be ok, I have sometimes found the exposure to limit my abilities to easier stuff and the “what if the belayer isn’t paying attention” nagging doubts to have got to me. Indoor climbing is fantastic exercise and shouldn’t be thought of as training alone.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    I watched a little guy at the wall a little while ago trying a v5 or 6 problem with what looked like an over ambitious heel-hook-for-the-sake-of-it. He fell of it a couple of times, then got up it.

    I said to him that it hadn’t really looked the best way forward, but fair play to him, he made it stick. He turned round and told me in the most enthusiatic and friendly way, why the shape of the problem meant it was the best way for him. While the penny dropped that it was Johnny Dawes.

    ‘Yeah, looked a bit over-indulgent, but well done!’ πŸ™„ πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    While the penny dropped that it was Johnny Dawes

    πŸ˜†

    natrix
    Member

    Climbers have their own language, (redpointing, flashing, onsighting etc) and a bewildering number of grading systems.

    http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/ is a good forum

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