/ Wild Country Crack School Part 1.5?

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pacman - on 07 Jun 2012
Hi Tom, Pete

Good videos, especially for novices, but it's a shame you jumped straight from good fingers (Friend 1 with my hands) to good hands (Friend 2.5) without demonstrating the more difficult stuff in between, i.e. rattly fingers, ringlocks, thin hands (or Friend 1.5 and 2).

Any chance of doing Part 1.5? Even if it's just a rougher and less edited job for UKC?

Yours hopefully,
Pacman
Nick Russell on 07 Jun 2012
In reply to pacman:

That could be pretty useful actually... A selection of the weird techniques in cracks that are just the wrong size for more 'standard' jams
TomPR - on 08 Jun 2012
In reply to pacman:

Thanks Pacman. The videos were designed to have a fairly broad appeal to help those who are really just starting with the crack climbing. I'm sure there could be a good "Part 1.5" if you could persuade someone to sort it all!

I'd get hassling them on Facebook ;-)

One tip I will leave you with: try to use the "swimming technique" that we talk about in the video for any sizes that really don't suit the crack. You'll have more success that way, by avoiding cross overs.

Best of luck with the cracks!



1poundSOCKS - on 08 Jun 2012
Tom, a quick question if you don't mind. Some easyish routes sometimes have a really tough start with a hanging crack, no good way to get the weight onto your feet for a move or two. Any simple tips, other than man up & take the pain?

Mathew.
mmmhumous on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to TomPR:

Great naration/explanatations on all of the videos Tom! Really clear and on concise. You should do a full learn to Climb DVD.
TomPR - on 09 Jun 2012
In reply to 1poundSOCKS: Hi, I know exactly the routes you mean! Tough ones...

Couple of tips:

1. Try and climb this section really fast, and don't place gear in the middle of the moves.
2. Try to use "cross-body" technique as much as possible i.e. if pulling with the left hand, be pushing mainly with the right foot and vice versa. Steep stuff is much easier like this!
3. Look for holds on the lips of the roof, that you can heel hook or rockover onto. Harvest at Stanage, has a move on the lip that is much easier if you can find the face hold for your feet.
4. Keep your leading hard thumbs down 95% of the time.

Hope that helps
1poundSOCKS - on 11 Jun 2012
In reply to TomPR: much appreciated Tom, I'll try to remember all of that next time I'm out.
Palindrome on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to pacman:
> Hi Tom, Pete
>
> ...it's a shame you jumped straight from good fingers (Friend 1 with my hands) to good hands (Friend 2.5) without demonstrating the more difficult stuff in between...
> Pacman

Excellent videos! Have to agree with this comment as finger jamming is the one thing I struggle with. There are plenty of books showing different techniques but it's nice to see them in action and how to place them one after the other.

I would like to add that shoving a cam into the back of a crack is only a good idea if it doesn't widen at the back. Cams have a habit of opening again if it does and you may never get them back out.

Also, just because Tom says you can undercam your gear (green cam in video 5), doesn't make it a brilliant idea; I wouldn't be happy with such a placement. I'm not here to say that he should not place gear like that but to add that good/bad gear is perceived differently by each person. "Protected" is whatever you make of it.

Excellent tutorial on directional force, too. :)
henwardian - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to TomPR:
> 4. Keep your leading hard thumbs down 95% of the time.

But that will only work on sequences of 20 moves.





Ok, I'll get my hat.
speekingleesh - on 13 Jun 2012
In reply to Palindrome:
>
> Also, just because Tom says you can undercam your gear (green cam in video 5), doesn't make it a brilliant idea; I wouldn't be happy with such a placement.


Out of interest why not?
Palindrome on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to speekingleesh:

If I placed a cam like that I would think it was a c**p placement and only good enough to slow me down if I came off. If it was the only piece of gear for the last 10 metres then I would consider it as a last resort. You could fit a hex into that crack where it narrows; it has a nice v-shape to it.
GrahamD - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to speekingleesh:

The problem isn't the strength of the placement (constant camming angle and all that) but the increased possiblity of walking as the springs don't exert as much force on the rock. What I would have thought should have been stressed more was the importance of avoiding walking by a) judicious use of extenders and b) not allowing the belayer to have the rope tight.
speekingleesh - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to Palindrome:
>
> If I placed a cam like that I would think it was a c**p placement and only good enough to slow me down if I came off.

Yes I understand that you think it is a poor placement I was asking why you thought it was a poor placement.

> You could fit a hex into that crack where it narrows; it has a nice v-shape to it.

It's also 3ft off the ground making it very pointless as a runner...

speekingleesh - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to GrahamD:

Yeah I wondered if he was referring to it walking when he talked about it being "more stable".
GrahamD - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to speekingleesh:

Not just walking. Also twisting
lmarenzi - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to TomPR:

Tom, brilliant series of videos that I really enjoyed. Many thanks to both of you.

I too had a question about the cams.

On the one hand I think you are right about undercammed big cams - if it is only 5% cammed, you still might have as much as quarter of an inch of rock to play with. A Nr. 2 cam would need to be 20% cammed to give you the same quarter of an inch of reach (percentages for the sake of illustration only). In other words, big cams often look worse than they are if you are used to assessing normal sizes.

My question? Do you also find that microcams are in fact, for the same reason, much worse to fall on in practice? Even a perfectly cammed microcam will not give you that same quarter of an inch to play with. Since there are usually only 3 lobes on this smaller gear, if one goes, the cam is pretty much gone. Being a coward I tend not to fall on microcams (only one 10 ft fall onto two perfect microcams, also backed up with a big cam below) which went well. Do you know any more?

Given the super high quality of microcams these days with their very good ratings (7 kn or something for the currently smallest green BD microcam) I just worry that the protection is desperately dependent on just a couple of slivers of rock or a nubbin here or there to hold the fall, especially on softer rock like grit.

Best

Luca

derryclimbs - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to Palindrome:

Indeed these were fantastic video's which had my hands throbbing at the memories. Would also agree though that the only part I did scratch my head at was the demonstration of the undercammed friend. As these vids were designed for the beginner crack climber, having something less than ideal is well, less than ideal!
Still loved watching them and the missus even won a new friend from the comp.
sarahjharrison - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to TomPR:
Hello Tom,
I thought the vids were great - wish they'd been around years ago, instead of people telling me 'why don't you just jam it?'!
One more question for you:
Although my jamming has improved immensely in recent years, I still find jamming 'thumbs up' pretty difficult at times. My main climbing partner is always telling me that this is the way to go, as you can crank so much further, and can maneuver your body better. Yet you are saying to stay 'thumbs down' 95% of the time? Anything to add?
Thanks.
Sarah
speekingleesh - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to GrahamD:
>
> Not just walking. Also twisting


Can't picture what you mean, twisting about which axis?
TomPR - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to Palindrome: I suppose what I was trying to say in that section of the video is that the WC big big cams are amazing in that they'll stay stable right until their limits. I've fallen on quite a lot of No.5 and 6s that we were worse than that in the video and they've never fallen out. That's not to say that it's impossible, but more to show you you can have a little more confidence! Hope that explains it a bit better?

TomPR - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to GrahamD: You're certainly correct in saying that they'll walk more when they approach the limits of the camming angle. It's a bit of an issue the "walking" and one which you'll come across quite a bit especially when turning the lips of roof cracks.
TomPR - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to lmarenzi: Hi Luca, I'm no technical expert in cams but I've found the following:

1. I can't think of a single occasion when I managed to rip a big cam (even when placed really badly)

2. I've ripped a few mid sized.

3. Loads of small cams have ripped out on me, mainly due to soft/sandy rock or roughness inside on the crack.

This is based on falling off rather too many routes! Overall, it's seemed that the margin of error increases as the size of the friend increases. Hope that helps.

Tom
TomPR - on 14 Jun 2012
In reply to sarahjharrison:

Hi Sarah, your friend is correct in saying that you can reach further from a thumbs up jam (which is a useful tool to have!) but you'll use more bicep and find the jams much harder to seat as soon as the crack isn't perfect hand size. It also makes it trickier to use the "swimming" technique if the crack is plumb vertical.

So maybe I should say "use the leading hand thumbs down 95% of the time" to be less misleading?

Overall, it's best to go out and practice the techniques yourself on something a perfect size and then do the same on something a little too thin for you. See what works best and make a mental note... :-)

NB. Finger cracks, especially peg scars, use both hands almost always thumbs down! Thumbs up is pretty tricky, especially if you have a skinny little finger.



sarahjharrison - on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to TomPR:
Thanks Tom, it's great to get another perspective on all this. Thumbs up (talking hand jams here) uses more bicep for sure, and harder to seat, but it's easier on the shoulders. I find that thumbs down can occasionally roll shoulders inwards quite painfully.
I see a certain similarity to the cry of 'don't use your knees!' when you're a beginner - Once you've got a good grasp of all types of jamming, it's perfectly acceptable to jam thumbs down ;-)
Palindrome on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to speekingleesh:
>
> Yes I understand that you think it is a poor placement I was asking why you thought it was a poor placement.
>

The point I was trying to put across was that good/bad placements are a matter of personal opinion. If you want the details, here they are: the back of the cam is placed well but the front two are not placed within the recommended camming width. I make sure my cams are placed well and have been rewarded as they have protected me from a serious groundfall twice (fell on size 1 and size 2).

>
> It's also 3ft off the ground making it very pointless as a runner...

The cam is 4ft off the ground. These are merely examples.
Palindrome on 15 Jun 2012
In reply to TomPR:

Thanks for the reply Tom. I take it that you wanted to show that bigger cams have a larger margin for error and can be more stable than a medium sized cam in a similar situation. Will keep that in mind. :)

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