Climbing lessons debrief: Ballet on the Wall

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This is a debrief from this week’s climbing lessons. I’m taking a course on belaying when lead climbing and a course in climbing technique. This week I took the third lesson in belaying (lead) and the second one in climbing technique.

Course: Belaying - Lead Climbing

Lesson 3

Goal: Learn to give out slack quickly with a Grigri by squeezing the brake. Rehearse everything we learned so far.

Observations: Giving out slack quickly is especially important when clipping the lowest quickdraws. After the climber starts pulling the rope there’s enough rope in the system to reach the ground in case of a fall. This dangerous window of danger is shortened by giving out rope and clipping quickly.

Course: Climbing Technique

Lesson 2

Goal: Improve footwork. Apply new footwork techniques and better planning (last week’s lesson) to climbing on the routes.

Observations: We started by exercising elements of footwork by traversing the climbing wall. This included switching feet in various ways on one foothold. This was followed by climbing a few routes. I climbed a few routes in the 5a-5c range. The handholds were mostly jugs. Regardless the goal was to unload the hands and let the feet carry most of the weight. I tried to keep the hands stretched and not engage the biceps. However, sometimes the hips moved away from the wall when rising up from a squatted position. Even though the elbow was stretched, the fingers had to work a lot to keep me from falling. I feel like more work is needed to optimize my motion on the wall.