When I think back on one of the proudest moments of my climbing career, I almost immediately remember one of my worst experiences climbing. Both occurred at Indian Creek, Utah.
Above photo: Approaching the crux on Cannibals, 5.12d at Donner Summit. This isn’t going to be another train harder, work out more, get stronger fingers-type article—because, while these articles are important and valuable, they’ve already been written. Instead, this is what I do mentally when I want to climb harder. Let’s face it, we all want to get better. It’s why we love climbing. There’s always a challenge, whether you’re looking to climb your first 5.10 or 5.13. In my 14+ years of climbing, these are my time-tested tips on how to push your climbing level to the next grade.
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If you've ever felt like a fear of falling is holding you back from climbing through hard cruxes of routes or problems, you're not alone! Fear of falling is something that all climbers, even those with years of experience, manage regularly. It can be one of the most scary parts of climbing. However, falling is a part of climbing and learning how to take practice falls is a skill that should be practiced.
(Warning: This article discusses curriculum for a new class. Whether you're interested in this class or not, please free to read on and enjoy the information!)
If you’ve ever walked away from a crag with black, dirty hands, it might be time to wash your climbing rope.
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!
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!