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David_Parker

More Crack

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OK, now that we have lots of suggestions on where to practice crack climbing, how about some tips on technique from some of you masters. Fingers, hands, fist, offwidth? Thumbs up or down? Move hands and feet on same side up or use opposite? How high to reach? What about tape? Why do I feel like my hands are slipping all the time? How to keep from pumping out on steep stuff? Etc, Etc....

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Hot tip number one: Remove your wrist watch and rings.

Hot tip number two: It is generally preferable to keep your hands above your feet.

Hot tip number three: Use down pressure from one hand to free a stuck boot.

Hot tip number four: It ain't supposed to be pumpy. You can hang off a well-placed hand jam longer than the best jug.

Hot tip number five: On a pitch near your limit on a warm day, you should go through a half block of chalk. Throw away that bison ball and digit-dusting pussy bag you picked up at Smith Rock.

There you go, the fundamentals. Not that I'm such a hot crack climber, but I do find them way more secure than face climbing once you've done a couple of them.

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i found this link a long time ago. it's pretty decent: http://flash.lakeheadu.ca/~lurock/crack.html

uh, other than that, i would personally recommend taping at first because sloppy technique will shred your hands. on the same note, once you get a little more proficient, try jamming without the tape. you don't always need tape. i use it most the time (especially now since the backs of my hands are soft from about 7 months of bouldering only), but when i was climbing cracks a lot, i could get away without tape most the time. and on some sizes and textures, it is just better not to have sloppy tape in the way. good luck!

cheers,

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Here are a couple of tricks I learned from a Great Pacific Iron Works Cat. years ago. I think the writer was Dale Bard. At least while practicing hand jams try not to use your fingers but instead rely on the palm and back of the hand. Of course in those difficult jams you'll use everything you have. The link was pretty good but think that one comment was confusing. It's not difficult to reach far with and then place thumb to the inside hand jam. What is hard is reaching past the thumb-in jam. Thumbs-in jams are usually better jams tho but you pay the price when your reaching for the next jam.

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Crack climbing is the natural line up a mountian, it can be protected without harming the rock and allows elegant smooth upward progress.

Each person has their "special" tricks that allow for a efficent ascent of a crack. Thumbs up jams are strongest and llow for longer reaches between the jams. Not always possible, but every chance you get you should try. Mr. Pope is right a solid hand jam is a rest, especially on those harder routes. Soon you will be searching for the hand jam just to de-pump, so you can move throught that rattaly fingers section. Each movement should be upwards, just like ice climbing. If you are constantly shuffling your feet and hands to secure yourself you are losing precious energy. Foot work is also essential, as the order of foot movement really depends on the climb. Finger cracks usually require a high pain tolerance. Basically i try to jam my knuckles behind constrictions and move as fast as possible. Offwidths bear and grin it. Technique depends on the size and oriantation.

Hope my ideas help, as they are how I do it. Maybe we can get out soon and i will show you what i mean.

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Most of the time I have seen people struggling on cracks (myself included) they were not properly jamming their feet. Footwork in crack climbing is just as important as footwork in face climbing. A good foot jam in many instance can be sat on to relieve the arms for a rest. Or sometimes merely stemming out..even just one foot gives added stability.

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