Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
EWolfe

The Importance Of Restful Climbs

Recommended Posts

Whether it be 5.6 or 5.14, the rests, the moments between intensity are the Zen Times.

 

Be it a lay-down rest, a chin hook, knee-bar, thigh-scum, or those perfect seats where your belayer ties you off while you enjoy the view,

or the toe-hook rest you find on some crazy cerebral route makes the climb sometimes...

 

Stories and discussion?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I led my first 5.10c trad route. I'd top roped it two years previously, so I knew it had rests. I just couldn't remember exactly where they were.

 

Leading the thing I had the good sense to not stop until it felt like I had most of the weight off my arms and onto my legs, even if that meant I was stemmed way out with one foot smeared on the rock (rest is all relative).

 

I figured going into this, there was a good chance I'd pump out and have to call for a take, but I found enough rests to put in good gear, shake out and catch my breath.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uhhh, maybe. Once I'd gone down to JT with John and Bill Petrosky, maybe @ 1980 or so. Great guys. I jump on some "interesting" climb, maybe 5.8 or 9 if I remember.

 

Up high it turned into a flared chimney. It truly was unlike anything I'd ever done or seen before. I was greasing bad, and panting, and sweating. My feet were clawing and I'm trying an arm bar which keeps spitting me out toward the outside of the flare and the whole time I'm about to fall out of this damn thing and that would have been ugly as I didn't really have a piece I wanted to fall on near me and the wedge effect on the body would have been bad.

 

About 3/4 of the way up this horror show, I am able to wedge my head - nose on the rock (sans helmet duh) back into the chimney and rest 100 % on my head which was cranked into the only nice constriction available. Took a long breather - got a piece in (or 2 or 3) -finally, and then finished the struggle to a triumphant top out and a yell of joy!

 

Nothing down there is really that long, but I remember belaying them up from on top, so it must have been a full pitch.

 

John struggles up, clips off, has blood on his hands and is staring at me as I prepare to belay bill up.

 

"What ya lookin at John?" "Uhhh, the front of your face has quite a bit of blood on it Bill".

 

Fairly so too as it turned out, I'd cranked my head in there hard and did a full on jam directly on some nasty rugosites from hell. I almost needed a mallet to pound my head out it was that good, like an overcammed cam or a over wedged nut.

 

But the rest I got was critical to topping out. Had some bloody scrape marks which I totally did not feel while I was doing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MisterE-

 

Agree with the sentiment, but I think you have it backwards: When you shut your head off and are actually climbing it's more "Zen". Once I'm resting on a route I'm back to trying to force myself to relax, breathe, enjoy the view, etc. In other words: thinking.

 

As for an anecdote- there's a local sport climb that allows you at about 3/4 way up to step around an arete and sit on it like a saddle. A buddy and I are kinda torn about how we feel about it. One one hand, you're glad to take this rest as the route's quite pumpy, but on the other hand it's almost TOO much of a disruption of upward movement. You end up feelin' kinda 'dirty' for sitting there too long. haha

 

Good story, Bill! Hey, that reminds me- the same buddy and I found a "head-bar" inside a giant hueco on a route in Thailand.

 

phillip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whether it be 5.6 or 5.14, the rests, the moments between intensity are the Zen Times.

 

 

During one long interval of my climbing career it was the placing of gear that was the drug, not the climbing. Fear building, building, then gear placement and beautiful feelings. For a moment.

 

 

 

Be it a lay-down rest, a chin hook, knee-bar, thigh-scum, or those perfect seats where your belayer ties you off while you enjoy the view,

or the toe-hook rest you find on some crazy cerebral route makes the climb sometimes...

 

 

in the early years, before chalk, having trouble on a Gunks route and just putting my hand out where I needed a hold and finding it, or, as it seemed, creating it

 

in over my head on ROTC but getting up it to a rest before quite blacking out, trying to balance the need to huff-n-puff against the need to not fall off from overly wide ribcage excursions

 

arms failing and extending on the inverted layback of Grand Wall then back coming to rest against what was air but is now incredibly a chimney

 

 

[beta alert]

arms failing on 11c 2nd pitch of Borderline undercling then knee somehow wedges and wtf! no-arms rest why didn't I see that? hey, look at that lovely yellow smudge where the pants rubbed off some of the xanthoria (lichen) how does it grow back there where there isn't hardly any light?

 

 

Stories and discussion?

 

 

A Chinese story, kind of a Taoistic story about a farmer. One day, his horse ran away, and all the neighbors gathered in the evening and said, 'that's too bad.' He said 'maybe.' Next day, the horse came back and brought with it seven wild horses. 'Wow!' they said, 'Aren't you lucky!' He said 'maybe.' The next day, his son grappled with one of these wild horses and tried to break it in, and he got thrown and broke his leg...

 

 

When I was a boy, 15 years old, in a very orthodox Church of England school, I announced that I was a Buddhist. Nobody turned a hair. Here, if somebody announces that he's something strange, they have to go before the principal, and there's a big problem, and the FBI is brought in, and this, that, and the other.

 

 

stories from Alan Watts, the Value of Psychotic Experience, originally broadcast on KSAN radio, San Fransisco

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MisterE-

 

As for an anecdote- there's a local sport climb that allows you at about 3/4 way up to step around an arete and sit on it like a saddle. A buddy and I are kinda torn about how we feel about it. One one hand, you're glad to take this rest as the route's quite pumpy, but on the other hand it's almost TOO much of a disruption of upward movement. You end up feelin' kinda 'dirty' for sitting there too long. haha

 

phillip

You might be referring to Ride'Em Cowboy at Vantage. The one time I climbed it, I somehow missed the rest opportunity.

 

Another example of a welcome rest would be on Iguanarama at Exit 32. There is a nice hip scum about half-way up. Some of the other climbs there have knee bars, if you can find them.

 

My interpretation of what MisterE refers to as the Zen of resting is basically getting the most out of whatever rest you have. By that I mean relaxing everything that doesn't need to be tense, so that blood can return to muscles; breathing deeply and reguarly so that the pulse and breathing rate can be brought back into a reasonable range, but also so that the mind can remain calm and focused.

Edited by catbirdseat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My interpretation of what MisterE refers to as the Zen of resting is basically getting the most out of whatever rest you have. By that I mean relaxing everything that doesn't need to be tense, so that blood can return to muscles; breathing deeply and reguarly so that the pulse and breathing rate can be brought back into a reasonable range, but also so that the mind can remain calm and focused.

 

Very succinctly put - exactly what I meant.

 

That's a great story, Bill! :crosseye::tup:

 

There was one climb in Potrero Chico that I actually was able to hook a butt cheek into a hueco partway to get a rest... :ass:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Today I led my first 5.10c trad route. I'd top roped it two years previously, so I knew it had rests. I just couldn't remember exactly where they were.

 

Leading the thing I had the good sense to not stop until it felt like I had most of the weight off my arms and onto my legs, even if that meant I was stemmed way out with one foot smeared on the rock (rest is all relative).

 

I figured going into this, there was a good chance I'd pump out and have to call for a take, but I found enough rests to put in good gear, shake out and catch my breath.

 

I heard you put on quite a show out there on Saturday. Wished I was there :tup: :tup:

 

Now its time to do Davis-Holland with the Loving Arms finish. Rain, Rain, go away, so Catbirdseat can roperun all day :rawk:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Today I led my first 5.10c trad route. I'd top roped it two years previously, so I knew it had rests. I just couldn't remember exactly where they were.

 

Leading the thing I had the good sense to not stop until it felt like I had most of the weight off my arms and onto my legs, even if that meant I was stemmed way out with one foot smeared on the rock (rest is all relative).

 

I figured going into this, there was a good chance I'd pump out and have to call for a take, but I found enough rests to put in good gear, shake out and catch my breath.

Good work CBS! Thats the way to work those rests! :yoda:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's some shortish gently overhung off hand sized crack up above the snow creek parking lot, been awhile but I recall it coming in two sections, with a horizontal break. You can get an inobvious total rest by laying down in the horizontal break, discovered by a friend who has held the title of The Prince of Prone for his propensity to lie down whenever possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's some shortish gently overhung off hand sized crack up above the snow creek parking lot, been awhile but I recall it coming in two sections, with a horizontal break. You can get an inobvious total rest by laying down in the horizontal break, discovered by a friend who has held the title of The Prince of Prone for his propensity to lie down whenever possible.

 

Ride of the Valkyries??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's some shortish gently overhung off hand sized crack up above the snow creek parking lot, been awhile but I recall it coming in two sections, with a horizontal break. You can get an inobvious total rest by laying down in the horizontal break, discovered by a friend who has held the title of The Prince of Prone for his propensity to lie down whenever possible.

 

That's La Cucaracha (10d).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Prince of Pr0n ;)

 

Ok, Dru. I usually don't agree with self-proclaimed nicknames, but I'll let this one stick...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whether it be 5.6 or 5.14, the rests, the moments between intensity are the Zen Times.

 

Be it a lay-down rest, a chin hook, knee-bar, thigh-scum, or those perfect seats where your belayer ties you off while you enjoy the view,

or the toe-hook rest you find on some crazy cerebral route makes the climb sometimes...

 

Stories and discussion?

 

There is a climber I know who was quite inspirational for me once upon a time. People had said I should climb with him, but you know, whatever; I never made it a point to try.

I was fortunate enough to run into him at little si a few years later. Someone introduced me to him: "this is Dave Moroles, Dave meet Sexual Chocolate."

 

"Hi Dave, heard your name before. Nice to meet you."

 

"Nice to meet you too, Sexual Chocolate. You really are as sexy as they say!"

 

I forgave him for his redundancy and thanked him for the compliment.

 

He was tying into the rope, and since I had just arrived after the grueling hike up, was resting and hanging out, doing my own thing, rereading Engels or Marx on dialectics or somesuch. A few minutes later, I looked up and watched Dave on Chronic.

 

There was a moment where nothing really registered, you know, just another climber on the local trade route.

 

After a couple of moments though, I noticed something was different. Even though it's the trade route at Little Si, it's still a solid 13b, and Dave was not climbing it in the ordinary way. Dave was climbing it, no, climbing in a way that I really hadn't seen before, especially on a route of that difficulty. Actually, to call it climbing is misleading, since he was doing something a little different.

 

I was taken aback. I felt awe; I also felt jealousy yes I admit it. These two emotions tugged and pulled at me for a little while, until thankfully awe completely won out. I was then able to appreciate the beauty of what he was doing on the rock.

 

 

So how does this relate to the thread topic?

 

Harken: Zen as I understand it is ultimately about the dhyana absorption state where observer and observed have unified, extinguishing the subject/object split, thereby leading to "satori", the awakening of the mind.

Most people seem to carry on with their lives as "separates", barely in tune with themselves, much less their environments. In climbing it expresses itself as jauntiness, fear, grasping, gasping, verbosity, blame, etc etc, a generalized stiffness of body, originating in a stiffness of mind.

 

Dave had completely transcended this, coming so much closer to the "Zen" state than anyone I had ever witnessed in climbing before.

 

Still you ask: How does this relate to the thread topic?

He was "resting in Zen" without interruption,throughout the climb. The "climb" was a rest! The entire experience was a continual flow, uninterrupted by any sense of differentiation between "rest" or "effort" in the conventional sense, and this exuded from him like a halo, a tangible aura which, from that moment on, redefined what climbing was about for me.

 

 

Coincidentally, I've been climbing with another "Dave" lately, one who embodies what I speak of above, but on boulders. It's no coincidence that he regularly onsights V10, because of the presence that he has (although grades don't play into what I'm talking of).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relaxing is for old people, sittin' on the couch with a beer. I suppose it would be kind of neat to find a special resting place, to find a moment in time and vertical space where one can pause for a little introspection, to appreciate the ambience. Who da Hell has time for that hippie nonsense? My itinerary is full, with plans for dozens of pitches then a harem of bitches when the sun finally settles. And if Dwayner catches me milkin’ a hand-jam, I can expect a scolding: Just climb the damn thang, we’re late for the taco bus.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zen as I understand it is ultimately about the dhyana absorption state where observer and observed have unified, extinguishing the subject/object split, thereby leading to "satori", the awakening of the mind.

 

 

Could be. Usually preceded by a ritual such as the tying of the shoelaces.

 

At best I have no sense of moving but the climb happens around me. Nice applications in the domestic arena, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can sit down on that big knob halfway up Neat and Cool for a rest, but it sure is tricky to stand up again if you do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can sit down on that big knob halfway up Neat and Cool for a rest, but it sure is tricky to stand up again if you do that.

 

 

Was it "good" for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whether it be 5.6 or 5.14, the rests, the moments between intensity are the Zen Times.

 

Be it a lay-down rest, a chin hook, knee-bar, thigh-scum, or those perfect seats where your belayer ties you off while you enjoy the view,

or the toe-hook rest you find on some crazy cerebral route makes the climb sometimes...

 

Stories and discussion?

 

Rest when you're dead.

 

051022-PA.jpg

 

Harken: Zen as I understand it is ultimately about the dhyana absorption state where observer and observed have unified, extinguishing the subject/object split, thereby leading to "satori", the awakening of the mind.

hippies.gif

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×