Once I got into climbing, I started watching competitions. Well, I guess not all comps - specifically, the IFSC's (IFSC stands for International Federation of Sport Climbing) bouldering finals competitions. And while I don't climb in comps, even casually, I have learned a lot of great lessons and I recommend more climbers watch comps.
I’ve been climbing for 8 years and I know I’ve accomplished so much, but every now and then I can’t help but compare myself to other climbers. Sometimes I look around and I get a little discouraged when I see other people, who’ve been climbing for much less time than me, working on climbs that I can’t even touch.
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When I think back on one of the proudest moments of my climbing career, I almost immediately remember one of my worst experiences. 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.
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.
The best climbers I know aren't just climbers on the wall. They are climbers as a lifestyle. I'm not talking about the dirtbag climber lifestyle, and I don't mean these people train all the time. I mean that they practice the principles of effective climbing in their daily lives, and view their daily lives as practice for climbing.
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.