We’ve spent a lot of time on this blog discussing training plans training plans, mental techniques, and breathing exercises to help you improve your climbing. Check out those posts to get a ton of helpful tips you need to push into higher grades. However, sometimes when I’m looking for an extra edge, I head to my local gear shop to see what’s up. So, if you've got a few bucks laying around, here are four items that have helped me immensely with various climbing goals over the last several years.
After the long, cold winter of pulling on plastic, you may be hearing the outdoors inviting you outside again. You can hear it now…the chirping birds, the wind rustling the trees, and the clink clank of climber’s gear bouncing in cadence. As you head up the approach to the cliffs, you can feel the stoke of the first climb of the year. You’re feeling strong from all the winter workouts as you strap your shoes on and pull out that old rack that’s been sitting in your gear closet since last…who knows when? Belay on! The rock feels familiar, an old friend. The movement up the rock is as natural as the first two stoppers you just placed. Feeling confident on the easy terrain, you figure you might just run it out a little. After all, there’s a great placement just a little further up. Suddenly, you’re 8 feet above that last stopper. As you reach to make your next placement, panic sets in--the cam is frozen. The lobes won’t expand when the trigger is released. Heart racing and grip starting to sweat, it’s very clear: you forgot check your gear before heading outside for the first time of the season.
Get the latest climbing news, tips and tricks straight to your inbox.
If you Google "tips for climbing harder", chances are that you'll get article after article offering up extensive training plans. But what if you’re not ready to jump into a complicated training plan? Perhaps you see other climbers sticking on impossible holds, utilizing crazy-looking techniques, and easily climbing routes and problems you could only dream about. ‘One day,' you think, 'but surely there are some quick and easy adjustments I can do now to climb a little better and a little smoother....’ You're in luck! Check out these quick tips:
For many climbers starting out, it makes sense to assume that you should focus on getting stronger if you want to climb harder. Certainly, strength is important if you want to progress to harder climbs (check out these posts here and here for tips on gaining strength), however learning to move more efficiently can really give you a leg up on your climbing goals. Maybe you find yourself stalled and pumped out at a certain grade or maybe you’re wondering how others are able to easily glide up a climb that feels impossible to you. Whatever the case, we’ve got some tips straight out of our Intro to Movement classes that can help!
I could open this blog with a faux-inspirational intro about building a better tomorrow for yourself. Or about how no one is holding you back from being the best person you can be, except the doubts in your own mind. But I know you, mysterious reader. You’re too busy designing your plan of attack to smash your climbing and fitness goals into smithereens—you’ve got no time to tolerate platitudes and pontificating. So, without further ado, check this beta for maximizing your workouts in order to crush your 2019 climbing goals.
Most Americans typically give up on their new year’s resolutions two weeks into every new year. Climbers seem to be a different breed. If I’ve noticed anything at Earth Treks Englewood over the last few weeks, it’s a committed focus towards crushing your climbing goals in 2019. Conversations I’ve overheard in the last week: “I’ve kind of plateaued in my climbing over the last year. I really want to break into the next number grade” “There’s this bouldering project I’ve been eyeing on Mountain Project, but it feels WAY out of my pay grade.” “I’ve only been climbing for a few months, but I’m so stoked. I can’t wait to see what I’m climbing by the end of the year!”
Sunday morning provides crisp, fall air sifting through the madrone and oak trees as they shade the Tafoni Sandstone in Castle Rock State Park (CRSP). The costume party last night only contributes to my excitement, despite the lack of sleep. Rebolting has been so intriguing to me after years of seeing so much antiquated rock protection. I was overwhelmed at the opportunity to contribute to some local climbing areas. That morning, we set out with the Bay Area Climbers Coaltion (BACC) and gear provided by the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) to update some of the old bolts that protect the California Ridge area.
“I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down…” -Chumbawumba
As a personal trainer and fitness guru at Earth Treks, I hear a lot of the same mindset: “All of my climbing goals involve tall climbs on ropes. Why would I boulder?” At first glance, the logic behind the thought seems sound. If you want to run a faster mile, you spend a lot of time running miles. If you want to lift heavier weights, you… well, you lift heavier weights. The fact is that rock climbing, especially leading sport routes, demands a very precise ratio of power, strength, endurance and mental fortitude. That’s where bouldering comes in.
I recently walked into my local climbing store for nothing in particular. As I was browsing, I came across a box and thought, “Is this box empty? Why are they displaying an empty box?” Skeptical, I opened the box and found...a climbing helmet! I was dumbfounded. Climbing helmets are normally bulky pieces! And while even the heavier versions aren’t that burdensome, at the end of a long day at the crag, I find myself tilting my head to the side and belaying while practicing neck rolls. As far as I'm concerned, cutting a few ounces can make a huge difference.