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JGowans

Seeing a route and doing it

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I'm having trouble (even at the gym) of gracefully completing a route (let's say a 5.9). I think I can see what moves need to be done from below, but once I'm up there, I usually end up flailing around like some spaz and get pumped up way before topping out.

 

So, I have 2 questions

1. What do you do to help visualize a route before doing it, and then having the wherewithall to actually follow through once on the route?

 

2. What can I do to stop getting so damn pumped up and fatigued? I know I should keep my arms straight and use my legs etc. but despite my best intentions, I just can't seem to help it. Is it just practice?

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i am thinking one good way of training for this is to visualize ones self doing moves on holds you see. you are to be thinking of how you will look from ground as you are maybe reaching from one hold to next and forming strategy as in chess before climbing this route. this is classic Russian technique! maybe you are finding that your strategy is not working when you are on this route and maybe you are thinking that it will be working once you are there but something will happen.

to avoid getting fatigued you must train HARD everyday. you must be building strength in fingers and hands that will last for a lifetime of climbing. you are smart to look for rests while on routes especially where you may place gear nearby and rest with it close to ones self. good rests are not needing hands at all to stay on wall. also keeping mind calm and not gripping over hard to holds is helping one rest and climb at same time. be thinking and analizing while one climbs!

keep training hard little one and you will be finding success soon!

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I think that route finding in the gum is easy, and makes you totaly lazy frown.gif Most climbs have a general flow and if you can "see" the flow you can move woth it. I usualy try to take a moment to relax at the begining of a climb. I focus myself before I begin. Yes it is hippy dippy bullshit, but it works for me. Then I look for the first few moves and find a good place to rest. At the rest I check out the next part of the climb. So in essance I go Like this:

relax

focus

scope route

find firts rest

begin to climb

 

While you are climbing try and stay as calm and breath as smoothly as you can. The more over exhilerated you get, the more pumpped out you get. It is a waste of energy, and your best bet is to conserve as much enrgy as you can.

 

as you are looking for each placement... look wide (like the whole area) and then focus in on the placement you want. Watch your foot or hand go all the way into the placement and then leave it there. One limb at a time, one move at a time. There is no rush cool.gif

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Work on a route that is not at your maximum ability. If you can lead 5.9 most of the time but not consistently complete, then get on a 5.6 which is well within your ability, gives you time to contemplate your surroundings, allows to you try holds and back off. Search for different holds. On many routes there are harder holds that can be tried, you can bypass the lower rated ones once you gain confidence. You don't have to climb at your max ability all the time, paricularly when leading. Good luck! wave.gif

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and j gowan how have you progresed from this instruction above? are you now climbing harder than before and if so please tell us so that we may now we have helped you climb stronger.

when you visit squamish you must also visit my wall so that you may see many good climbing problems to study and try.

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what is harry pi and how is this my equal? i am not familiar with this and have only just noticed it nowe but expect someone to answer as this concerns me i think.

i am done training and must leave for work now but expect some response soon!

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You said in an ealier post that harry pi is your american climbing friend.

 

Getting through the route: Visualize the sequence before you do it. Even if you don't memorize the whole route from the ground, you should know the next couple of moves. Like our russian/canadian friend said, it's like chess. The sequence is very important for feet and hands. The less you have to match the better, cause that's just extra moves. When i'm working with the juniors at the gym they have this problem a lot, often it's because they grab a hold with their dominant hand w/o thinking of the next. The same thing can be said for feet.

 

The less moves you have to make to get up the wall the better, cause you will exert less energy. And practice of course.

 

All of this applies to climbing trad and sport outside too, it's just not spelled out for you with brightly colored tape.

Edited by COL._Von_Spanker

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Without seeing you climb in person, it's hard to say what the hell is going on with you, but I would be curious as to how long you've been climbing, how often you climb, and what grades you climb at.

 

Technique TENDS to develop with practice; the more you climb, the better it gets. But you might have some technical inadequacies that are prohibiting you from advancing up the grades? I wouldn't know without watching you climb.

 

Being able to visualize the moves of a route from the ground also develops the more you practice it. So on every route you try, take a look at it until you start to develop some ideas of how it might go. This might take practicing a little patience at first. I've noticed some people get anxious and want to just jump on the route right away, as if this will make the anxiety go away. All it does is make your chances of getting to the top cleanly go away.

 

Which brings up state of mind. Notice this as you approach a climb. Are you feeling anxious and jittery? Maybe take a couple of minutes to just relax and breathe deeply before getting on the route. This should help you relax a little, and might also help you to then see the moves more clearly. Anxiety rarely helps us climb better.

 

Notice your state of mind while climbing also. Important. If you can relax on the route a bit, you'll be much better at finding rests, using rests when you find them, and you might find that you are actually stronger than you think, once you relax a bit and start trusting your strength.

 

But it all takes practice. The more time spent on the rock, generally the better you get.

 

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And ENJOY the movement! If you can FEEL grace as you climb, usually your climbing will express this automatically. And it sure makes climbing fun.

 

FEEL the grace! Each moment! Try it and see what happens.

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Exactly SC. If you feel gracful you will climb graceful; this will use less energy. Try climbing something that you are super comfortable on and do it slowly, but so that there is always a limb moving to the next feature, consciously think about trying to look and feel smooth on the rock. I've hear people say "climb like a girl" when trying to help with fluidity on the rock cause girlies tend to use their balance, legs and technique rather than just crankin' on holds with their arm. Guys on the other hand that are in the beginner stage tend to just just yard on holds with a big show of power, thinking they are the bomb, as their legs flail around like wet noodles underneath them.

 

 

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Hey everyone, thanks for the advice. There was a lot of good tips, but it's clear that there's no substitute for practice. I really do need to concentrate on climbing gracefully. I haven't been climbing that long, and so I appreciate the help.

 

Maybe I'll never be a Russian Hardman or a graceful Harry Pi but I'll keep trying.

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All good advice, even Specialed's.

 

Likewise, without seeing you climb, it's difficult to assess. However, from general stuff I've seen with other folks who are at the 'thrash away at 5.9' level, I can say that it is most often the two aspects mentioned above- that is, limited technique, and general inefficiency due to missed sequences.

 

Technique - as someone else mentioned, get on routes below your redpoint level and take the time to experiment with holds, body positions, sequences, etc. Even when we're beginners we get tied up in the numbers game ('I got up a 5.8!') and forget that childlike skill of just playing. So when you are traversing or tr-ing, take the time to just futz around and experiment with the holds - what you are doing is increasing your movement repetoire, and giving your body memory a greater number of options to throw at a given set of holds. And learn good footwork - critical, especially matching and efficient placement - when I'm teaching, I focus much more on footwork and weight shifting than upper body - that's what drives us up the rock.

 

As far as visualization goes, as you pick up more of your own technique, you'll generally begin to recognize sequences out of sets of holds- so even if you don't have a particular route figured out, you will gain a general sense of the 'flow' of the route, portions of sequence, crux sections, rests, etc. Also, watch other people- even if they may have different strengths or body types than you, you can use this information to pick and choose your own motion.

 

Generally, reinforce your strengths, and improve upon your weaknesses. And play.

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You can learn a lot by watching how someone better than you sends a climb. Watch how they move their body, where they rest, their pace, where their stances are for placing gear/clipping, etc.

 

Then go try the route and be humbled... How can something that just looked so effortless be so damned hard? yellaf.gif

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When you feel all pumped and edgy, just relax. I'm not a rock ninja, but the hardest moves I've ever done were done in a relaxed state. Just breathe, smile and move gracefully. Look were you're putting your feet.

Also, don't always waste time trying to find the perfect hold and/or grip. If it is good enough, go for it. Fishing around for holds makes me really tired.

Also stressing out about falling and heights can tire you out alot.

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When you're afraid to fall and stuck thinking of nothing but that, your mind is not free to focus on the moves. If you think you're going to fall, you probably will.

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1. Look at feet, not hands

 

2. Keep heels down

 

3. Keep knee over foothold

 

4. keep hips balanced between feet

 

5. Mileage

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Deep breathing will help with solving almost any problem. Use your stomach muscles and get full even breathes. Find the equilibrium between getting too much air and not enough. Practice in various situations to establish a feel for how much to adjust your breathing rate. Feel your entire body. Focus on a immediate goal and move without over-thinking the process.

There have been many times that I have done moves that I could not remember immediately afterward. Allow the rock to lead.

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specialed said:

1. Look at feet, not hands

 

2. Keep heels down

 

3. Keep knee over foothold

 

4. keep hips balanced between feet

 

5. Mileage

 

Hmmm, I don't know about this advice.

 

1. I suppose you mean look at feet when placing them?

 

2. I think there might be too much variability to make such a generalization. My toe/heel plane tends to be perpendicular to higher when climbing.... Also, pointing the toe will often be necessary when makign a reach. And if the heel drops too much, your foot-to-rock contact strength will diminish. I'd say perpendicular or higher.

 

3. Often true, when driving off of that foot. But again, so much variation. Often you'll want the knee past the foot for maximal drive and for getting all weight on that foot, especially on high-steps.

 

4. maybe on slab to vert? While on both feet?

 

5. absolutely.

 

But try it all, and see where it takes you.

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You said in an ealier post that harry pi is your american climbing friend.

 

i have not said this and it is untrue! what are you a colonel of i may ask and i believe the answer is lies!

 

i am not aware of harry pi or any american climbers other than one russian american who i am often climbing with.

please be careful with what you are saying and suggesting and may i let you know that no harry is my equal.

 

milosh k

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sexual_chocolate said:

specialed said:

1. Look at feet, not hands

 

2. Keep heels down

 

3. Keep knee over foothold

 

4. keep hips balanced between feet

 

5. Mileage

 

Hmmm, I don't know about this advice.

 

1. I suppose you mean look at feet when placing them?

 

2. I think there might be too much variability to make such a generalization. My toe/heel plane tends to be perpendicular to higher when climbing.... Also, pointing the toe will often be necessary when makign a reach. And if the heel drops too much, your foot-to-rock contact strength will diminish. I'd say perpendicular or higher.

 

3. Often true, when driving off of that foot. But again, so much variation. Often you'll want the knee past the foot for maximal drive and for getting all weight on that foot, especially on high-steps.

 

4. maybe on slab to vert? While on both feet?

 

5. absolutely.

 

But try it all, and see where it takes you.

 

Sex chococolate: Stupid fuck. Of course this is a generalization! Its just good primary technique to start with. Its not like I made it up, its technique advice I've taken from climbers who climb a hell of a lot stronger than you or me. Dumb ass.

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pete,

 

smoke a bowl and chill out, you are going to scare the newbies!

 

mushsmile.gif

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specialed said:

sexual_chocolate said:

specialed said:

1. Look at feet, not hands

 

2. Keep heels down

 

3. Keep knee over foothold

 

4. keep hips balanced between feet

 

5. Mileage

 

Hmmm, I don't know about this advice.

 

1. I suppose you mean look at feet when placing them?

 

2. I think there might be too much variability to make such a generalization. My toe/heel plane tends to be perpendicular to higher when climbing.... Also, pointing the toe will often be necessary when makign a reach. And if the heel drops too much, your foot-to-rock contact strength will diminish. I'd say perpendicular or higher.

 

3. Often true, when driving off of that foot. But again, so much variation. Often you'll want the knee past the foot for maximal drive and for getting all weight on that foot, especially on high-steps.

 

4. maybe on slab to vert? While on both feet?

 

5. absolutely.

 

But try it all, and see where it takes you.

 

Sex chococolate: Stupid fuck. Of course this is a generalization! Its just good primary technique to start with. Its not like I made it up, its technique advice I've taken from climbers who climb a hell of a lot stronger than you or me. Dumb ass.

 

He just offered slightly different opinions...sheesh...lighten up rolleyes.gif

 

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