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.
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.
As Fitness Program Manager of Earth Treks Golden and Englewood, I notice that a lot of our members are more than just avid climbers. You’re trail running, backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding and more. That’s why we’re creating a fitness training series called Mountain Prep designed to get you ready to crush your other outdoor pursuits. It may only be October, but winter and, specifically, ski and snowboarding season is just around the corner. It may still be a while before we can get our first turns in, but now is the time to harness your upcoming ski and snowboarding excitement into exercises to get your body prepped for the season. Here’s a series of exercises you can start now so that your first ski day feels more like your 10th.
You’re outside at your favorite crag or bouldering pit. The weather is perfect, you’ve been training hard to send your project and you’re geared up and ready to crush! You start climbing, your heart’s beating, you’re starting to sweat and your forearms are pumping out. You only have a few more moves until you send, but you don’t think you’re going to make it. What do you do? The answer: Breathe!
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.
The climbing approach, the trail or walk in to the base of an outdoor rock climb, can be a weird concept for newer climbers who have learned in a gym setting. I’ve heard from some that it can be intimidating climbing outside the gym because there is so much more you need to know and it can take some time before you can get there. But approaching the crag is one of my favorite parts of any excursion.