Summary of my week in climbing: January 3rd - January 9th.
The exercise is simple. Put a short piece of rope (20-40cm) on top of each shoe and climb a route without any piece of rope falling off. There are more variations to this exercise. Pieces of rope can be replaced with coins or hacky sacks.
Maintaining those pieces of rope on top of shoes requires extremely controlled feet movement. I felt I had to be much tighter in the upper body to avoid any swings and always place a foot slowly and precisely.
We did a sweet morning session at Bolder Scena. I mostly work on what they call medium-hard grade, which is supposed to be between 6A and 7A on the Fontainebleau scale or V3 to V6 on the Hueco scale. Not sure whether it can be attributed to improvement in my performance or route setters’ generosity. I was able to flash one of the “medium-hard” problems and complete several others.
Gym (the one with weights)
I moved away from power-lifting training towards a style that supports climbing. I continued to work on my upper back strength and overall flexibility. Some of the exercises I did this week were:
Lead climbing: slab
I was trying to on-sight a new 6A route in the climbing gym. However, I did not read the route setter’s notes and used the edge of the wall, which was forbidden for that particular route. I must not make this mistake again, as opportunities to on-sight something in a gym are rare. Apart from that brainfart, the route is marvelous. It has nice giant holds which are very rock-like, with lots of details and features.
The night before the last training of the week I had trouble sleeping. It showed in more technical problems. I saw regressions on routes that require a good balance and full-body control.
Lead climbing: vertical and overhang
In this style of routes, I usually do the first and second third. In the last third, I’m usually pumped, panicking, and failing to commit to moves. There are 3 or 4 routes that I’m working on and failing at for the same reason: I get pumped and always fail at the same position. The failures come in two forms:
- asking the belayer to take the rope and take a rest on the rope
- going for the move, but in an over-optimistic way (in absence of full-body control required to stick the move)
Only a few seconds of rest are required to make those moves easy.
Added pressure to on-sight a route helped to give me the extra 10% required to complete one of the routes in this style. By definition of on-sighting, there is only one chance at doing it. If you fail at an on-sight attempt, that opportunity is gone forever. Since the goal was to on-sight, I knew that hanging on the rope would be a complete failure. Squeezing that sh***y hold before the last move really hard was thus the preferred alternative.
I also managed to red-point a 6B route that is troublesome for similar reasons.
Lead climbing: a string of boulders
The climbing gym has a 10m high route put together from the standardized speed climbing holds. I managed to stick a jump in the middle of this route. In theory that should be part of my muscle memory now. In practice? We shall see.
Lead climbing: corner and dihedral
Dihedral, the word of the week (In Slovenian: zajeda). Not much to be said about this style. So far, I’m quite poor at it. Therefore, I should practice it more.