Having trouble reaching the next hold? I know that feeling. As a youth climbing coach and a human with height and wingspan under 5 feet, that's a situation I encounter on a regular basis. Over the years, I've gathered some approaches to stretch out every inch of a climber's (and my own) reach.
One of the most basic climbing techniques we teach in our intro classes is learning how to use the holds given to you by our phenomenal routesetters. You could be the strongest climber in the gym, but if you grab an undercling incorrectly, you’ll likely come off the wall. Let’s examine some common holds you’ll find in our gym and how to use them.
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We hear a lot of first-time climbers say: “I’ll never be good at climbing, I don’t have enough upper body strength.” Well, we’ve got some great news: a lot of climbing takes place in the legs. It’s a balancing sport, one that requires expertise in the delicate art of shifting your weight from foot to foot.
The key to a good life is to have balance and what better way to test your skills than walking along a suspended length of flat webbing tensioned between two anchors, also known as slacklining? If you’ve never heard of slacklining or would just like a few extra tips, we’re here to help!
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!
Lead climbing is what I love most about this sport. While climbing can primarily be described as an individual sport, there is almost nothing more important to a lead climber’s success than trusting their belayer. This trust allows the climber to focus 100% on their climb and to commit to those harder and scarier moves. On the flip side, the fastest way to erase that trust is to give your climber a hard catch or, even worse, spike them. There are many tips, tricks and techniques that climbers learn and develop over the years to make themselves the best belayer possible in all scenarios.
Some of my fondest climbing memories have been spent with friends, huddled around the same 15 foot tall boulder, figuring out the precise sequence to send, and laughing all the while. I love bouldering outside--it's really awesome! However, there are a few things you should know before you take your inside hobby into the great wide open.