/ Projecting - how far can i go?

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OliBangbala - on 29 Apr 2012
SO, im heading out to Spain for 2 weeks at the end of may for my first trip abroad sport climbing, I generally climb at around V4-V5 & 6a+ - 6b mark with my best indoor ascent being 6b+, however i generally prefer bouldering and trad so i havent much experience of sport climbing outside.

I really really want to get a 'trophy' ascent out of this trip and wondered if with enough training and projecting whilst there if it would be unreasonable to aim for a redpoint 7a?? bearing in mind i haven't even touched 6c or 6c+ territory yet..

I don't mind if i have my head in the clouds with this and would actually be very happy with a 6c but i want to have some good aims which will really push me whilst there.

training wise I will probably have 2 nights at the wall and around 4 sessions pumping myself out traversing the local bendcreate boulder plus fingernboarding, running and push/pull ups.

any suggestions regarding training etc would also be much appreciated.

thanks
Oli x
hexcentric - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala: training will help esp stamina, but many people are stopped from achieveing their goal by the lack of rock reading skills.

if you find a suitable 7a (your style) and are happy to work on it for several days just to get the tick I think you'll manage, but don't get too disheartened if you fail miserably the first time you try it
ericinbristol - on 29 Apr 2012
willoates - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala: I know this isn't exactly what you wanted to hear, but in my opinion, having been in that position, I think you should sack of the idea of climbing 7a and just try onsighting loads of routes. This will have a far greater benefits to your overall performance as a climber. If you climb 6b+ at the moment, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to climb 7a pretty comfortably in a short amount of time through natural progression.

If you do want to redpoint a 7a, choose the route carefully, one that suits your style. It sounds like you should go for a less sustained, bouldery one, if you can boulder v4/5 you should be fine on a bouldery 7a.

In terms of training, you have kind of left it a little late, but i would just do some endurance and stamina stuff so that you can climb for longer on your trip. More importantly, take a few days off before hand to allow your muscles to recover and replenish your finger skin, finger skin is precious!

Will
Ciro - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala:

Agree with Will, if you want to improve your outdoor sport using these two weeks for mileage would likely be more beneficial.

That said, if you're bouldering V5 you're certainly strong enough for redpointing 7a (I've never sent a problem higher than v5 and I've redpointed spanish 7c). I'd just ditch the fingerboard and concentrate on stamina training and learning redpoint technique and how to rest on hard routes, pace yourself, etc.

It's good to set your sights high, but when doing so for a specific trip it can mean you come back with nothing but experience in the trophy cabinet... if you're happy with that possibility then a hard projecting trip can be very rewarding :-)
bpmclimb - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala:

I agree with Will - sounds like you need a 7a that's cruxy rather than sustained, at a crag which you expect to visit more than once. Get really familiar with the moves (and clips); than if you don't get the redpoint there and then, you will have another opportunity another day.

Where are you going? I'm sure that if you post your destination on here, you'll get specific route recommendations.
OliBangbala - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala: Thanks for the feedback, I realise its a bit late for training but its a last minuite trip so thyeres not alot i can do but put the miles in now.. I hadnt really thought of just getting in mileage onsighting stuff, i guess ive watched so many video's of hard sport redpoints that i forgot you could actually go for that!

Im going to El Chorro in Spain, i dont have my guide yet but looking at the (very very) local crag i was thinking of this http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=62268 Technical with good rests, sounds good :)

any suggestions for a good bit of steep jug pulling? ;)
Alex1 - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala:

Train stamina between now and the trip - spend the first week of the trip onsighting to build fitness than pick a 7a and go for it. If you can boulder V4-5 F7a should be relatively easy once you've got the moves wired.
Ciro - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala:

Does very, very local mean you're staying at the olive branch? If so, when you get there Martin Heywood (assuming he's still resident) knows the place inside out and will be able to point you in the direction of the climbs that will suit you.

If you just want a good fun jug pulling 7a, it doesn't get much better than the first pitch of Poema de Roca http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=112605 - it's worth a go just for the views climbing in such a magnificent cave. Very popular though, you'll likely have to queue for it, and nothing will prepare you for the stamina fest - there's no hard moves or small holds, just insanely pumpy steep climbing.
James Oswald - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to Ciro:

I heard from someone that he no longer works there.

To the OP - I second Ciro. Get on Poema de Roca, but you need to find the no handed rests. There are at least 3, I only managed to use two of them. Enjoy :)
Stone Muppet - on 29 Apr 2012
Poema di Roca P1 isn't the easiest 7a around. Fiebra del Sur is very reasonable at 7a (*) and nice climbing especially if you take the obvious line of weakness which weaves slightly left of the bolts in places (though harder if you go direct). Coņo paco on Frontales Bajas is easier still, though a longer walk in :)

(*) supposedly. My stamina wasn't all that when I went there so I found all Spanish 7as hard compard to cruxy British ones. But plenty of others found the Spanish style easier.
jkarran - on 29 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala:

> any suggestions regarding training etc would also be much appreciated.

Focus on climbing. Lots of climbing on real limestone before you go. If it's not something you already do then read up on and learn to redpoint then practice it extensively indoor and out. Learn the tricks, be careful not to overdo it and get hurt. If it is something you already do then do it more, lots more and better. I wouldn't bother getting stronger, you're strong enough. Focus on using your strength as best you can. Research what to do with your rest days, there's loads to see and you'll need rest in a two week trip if you want to perform at your best.

If you're bouldering V5 (indoor?), are really comfortable leading, efficient and can quickly get attuned to the rock then yeah, a 7 isn't a ridiculous ambition for a 2 week trip. Get some friends on board with similar goals, push each other. Choose crags and routes to suit conditions and strengths, be flexible when something turns out to be not as good/shady/suitable/safe as expected.

Don't get despondent if it all feels hard, re-adjust your short term goals and get stuck in, it'll probably come together over a few days as you adjust to the rock.

jk
Eagle River - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala:

Hi Oli,

You have mail.
Quiddity - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to OliBangbala:

I disagree with what seems to be general thrust of the advice on this thread - ie. that you should sack off redpointing and focus on getting onsight mileage.

If your goal is to climb 7a, then you need to be doing the sort of moves that you will find on a 7a. Climbing lots of 6b and 6b+ will get you very good at climbing 6b and 6b+, and long term is going to be essential to you developing as a climber, but there is no reason why you shouldn't learn to redpoint at this stage. Yes you will have a lot of work to do in the future, going back and filling in the gaps, but doing your first 7 is a big boost to the psyche.

That being said there is a real art to redpointing stuff properly at your limit, and i would not recommend you get on something 4 or 5 grades harder than your current personal best, as your first ever redpoint project. If you have 2 weeks, I would spend the first week learning to redpoint - doing some fast (1 day, probably) ascents of 6b+s and 6cs - take the time to really learn the process. Get a benchmark for the hardest thing you can do in a day - really you want to be able to get 6c in a day and 6b+ within 3 goes or so to stand a chance on a 7a. Then pick something inspiring at the start of your 2nd week and really go for it.

FWIW When I did my first 7a I had not done 6c+ and had only done one very soft 6c (more like 6b+), which I did onsight. I was fairly routinely onsighting 6b with the odd 6b+ on a very good day.

Be prepared to fail. Coming back from a holiday having spent a week on one route and having failed to tick it is gutting, but is part of the game of redpointing.

Also I thought Poema de Roca was shit, over-hyped, really not that easy for 7a, and has people queueing for it all day as everyone climbing in that cave uses it as their warm up - I personally find it a bit distracting when you are thrashing around on something at your limit, to have a queue of people forming tapping their feet and waiting for you to be done.

Cono Paco at sector Suiza is fairly amenable at 7a - bouldery crux low down, then a good rest, then hold it together to the top. If you are a boulderer at heart and like the steep, Cosas Caseras at Desplomilandia, is in the guidebook at 7a+ but in reality is 7a and probably not a bad shout if you are fairly tall.

Get in touch with biscuit off here, he lives out there and will be able to point you at 7as.
Quiddity - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Quiddity:

> If you are a boulderer at heart and like the steep, Cosas Caseras at Desplomilandia, is in the guidebook at 7a+ but in reality is 7a and probably not a bad shout if you are fairly tall.

Actually thinking about it, this route is a good illustration of what is likely to be the main challenge of trying to jump several grades to redpoint a 7a. The crux itself is probably powerful V3 on massive buckets, which I imagine will be fine for someone with a reasonable bouldering background - but above that is quite a lot more climbing which is easier but still sustained and quite pumpy F6b+/6c, with ok shake outs but the sort of thing that is a shake if you are climbing 6c, not necessarily at 6a+.

While I think a route like this is do-able if you are onsighting mid 6's, you will need to have your redpoint skills totally down - you want to have the upper bit very very wired, know exactly where you are going to stop and shake out, and sprint through the rest as you are likely to be mega pumped, you will have much less margin on the 'easy' bit than someone for whom the route was more comfortably within their limit. Also don't underestimate the logistics of working it - especially on a steep route, hauling up it, burning energy figuring it out, pulling on quickdraws etc. is quite physically tiring, and the closer you go to your physical limit, the more tiring it gets - this is likely to be the limitation on how many decent attempts you will get in a day. If you have very good redpoint skills you can economise the energy you burn here, but that comes with lots of practice of doing the process.

These are the aspects of the process where having a relatively high 'base' level, gained through mileage doing onsights and fast redpoints, gives a real advantage when trying to push your limit redpointing.
Ciro - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Quiddity:
> (In reply to OliBangbala)
>
> If you have 2 weeks, I would spend the first week learning to redpoint - doing some fast (1 day, probably) ascents of 6b+s and 6cs - take the time to really learn the process.

Totally agree, I think this sort of easyish redpointing mileage was what I wanted to get at, but perhaps didn't articulate (I guess in my head, mileage on sport involves getting the odd OS in between easier redpoints).

> Also I thought Poema de Roca was shit, over-hyped, really not that easy for 7a

Have to disagree there though - I got sending fever and fluffed it after the last clip on what would have been my first ever 7a onsight. It took over a year after that before I actually got one, so I think it's a very easy 7a if you're fit enough.
James Oswald - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ciro:

"Have to disagree there though - I got sending fever and fluffed it after the last clip on what would have been my first ever 7a onsight. It took over a year after that before I actually got one, so I think it's a very easy 7a if you're fit enough."

And if you can take your hands off in the little cave!
Bulls Crack - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ciro:

Sh*t? Hardly! Good fun. I found a head jam but probably can't claim the full tick since I grabbed the chair (no-one told me i couldn't!)
krasavenko - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Ciro:
> (In reply to OliBangbala)
>
> Does very, very local mean you're staying at the olive branch? If so, when you get there Martin Heywood (assuming he's still resident) knows the place inside out and will be able to point you in the direction of the climbs that will suit you.

Martin doesn't live there any more but ask Tom (blonde Tom with the calves as he was knows :) )

Little Brown Baby is a good jug hauling 7A - popular and polished, but not too badly
Quiddity - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to krasavenko:

> Little Brown Baby is a good jug hauling 7A - popular and polished, but not too badly

It's 7a+ and fairly graded at that.
Quiddity - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:

re. poema de roca... calling it shit is perhaps a little unfair but it is massively over-hyped. It looks the business but as far as steep tufa routes go, isn't actually that good to climb. The only reason it is as popular as it is, is because everyone goes there to do it - it is a prime example of the Rockfax self-fulfilling-prophecy method of generating Top 50 lists. There are much better routes to project in Chorro that you won't have to queue for.
Jon_Warner - on 30 Apr 2012
In reply to Quiddity:
> (In reply to Bulls Crack)
>
> it is a prime example of the Rockfax self-fulfilling-prophecy method of generating Top 50 lists. There are much better routes to project in Chorro that you won't have to queue for.

I'd agree that there are much better 7a's to try in Chorro (http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=112975) and easier ones (http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=112550).

However, your attack on rockfax is somewhat unfair, Poema del Roca has been polished for much longer than the top 50 has been around!!
Quiddity - on 01 May 2012
In reply to Jon_Warner:

> However, your attack on rockfax is somewhat unfair, Poema del Roca has been polished for much longer than the top 50 has been around!!

I was going more for an attack on poema de roca with only an opportunistic and flippant dig at rockfax, in case I wasn't clear.

But while we are on the subject, the El Chorro Rockfax is explicit, by the way, (on page 38 if you are checking) that the Top 50 list is not necessarily based on quality but is the Top 50 most popular routes, so no I don't think I am being particularly unfair.

To be constructive, when I have most enjoyed Chorro has been when we have got away from the very highly starred sectors and routes, which have often been somewhat disappointing - conversely some of the best routes I have done there have been 1 or 2 stars.

I think both your recommendations are good routes BTW.
Quiddity - on 01 May 2012
In reply to Quiddity:

> I was going more for an attack on poema de roca

also I should probably declare that yes I did fail to onsight it and yes those grapes are mighty sour.

:-)
Jon_Warner - on 01 May 2012
In reply to Quiddity:
> (In reply to Quiddity)
>
> [...]
>
> also I should probably declare that yes I did fail to onsight it

me too!
biscuit - on 01 May 2012
In reply to Jon_Warner:

Can i join the " got it 2nd go " gang ?

This book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Redpoint-Self-Coached-Climbers-On-Sight-Climbing/dp/0811707644/ref=sr_1_1?ie...

has not gained the popularity of Self Coached Climber but would be perfect for someone at your level looking at what you want to achieve.

As to route selection as you have 2 weeks i would suggest finding out what kind of route you're performing best on ( i would guess short and bouldery ) and then go for one of those.

If you really want to just get a 7a ( and i'm not having a go at that ) then this one:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=112579

could be worth a go. It's all about one move really. Easy climbing for a few metres to get warmed up, then the crux to a good rest, even a cave/ledge rest on the left if you detour to it, and a slightly pumpy finish.

If you've got the stamina then Redders is a good bet. yes it's hard for 7a but lots of rest opportunites.
krasavenko - on 04 May 2012
In reply to biscuit:
> (In reply to Jon_Warner)
> If you really want to just get a 7a ( and i'm not having a go at that ) then this one:
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=112579

Second vote for El Orejazo - very nice and soft for the grade

> If you've got the stamina then Redders is a good bet. yes it's hard for 7a but lots of rest opportunites.

Just my own experience here: although I haven' tried it, I saw people who onsight 7b's fall off Redders
biscuit - on 04 May 2012
In reply to krasavenko:

That's why it is hard to make a recommendation i guess. If you're used to 12-15metre British, bouldery, crimpy routes a near 30 metre stamina route may kill you.

I am trying to onsight 7a at the moment and i came closer on that than any other at the time. I thought it was quite straightforward at 7a and later learnt it was now supposed to be 7a+.

Be interesting to see how he gets on ;0)
ksjs - on 05 May 2012
In reply to OliBangbala: Have you redpointed 7a in the UK? If not, get this done before you go or at least start on it (should be easy if you're bouldering V4/5). And do plenty of laps on routes indoors. 7a seems totally realistic.
OliBangbala - on 10 May 2012
In reply to ksjs: sorry for the late reply guys, all your help is much appreciated!

No i havent redpointed 7a in the uk, i went to horseshoe last week with the intention of trying one but then pulled off a huge block and utterly lost my head for anything higher than a boulder problem.

i should probly make it clear that V5 is my top bouldering grade indoors, as is f6B leading.. My top outside grades are V4 (worked) and 6a (onsight).

my general onsight grade is V4 and 6a/6a+

At the moment i think i am going to get my onsight milage and get used to the rock in the first week(i imagine its quite different to anything we have in the uk?) and possibly eye up a 7a and have one play on it.. then in the second week i will start working harder grades.

ive been training alot but have also seen the return of my tennis elbow which may put an end to this all together!!

thanks for the help again :)
Kevster - on 10 May 2012
In reply to OliBangbala:

Tie on and have a go!

Good luck and hopefully enjoy the journey.

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