/ Wild Country Crack School Part 1.5?
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?
That could be pretty useful actually... A selection of the weird techniques in cracks that are just the wrong size for more 'standard' jams
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!
Great naration/explanatations on all of the videos Tom! Really clear and on concise. You should do a full learn to Climb DVD.
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
> ...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...
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. :)
But that will only work on sequences of 20 moves.
Ok, I'll get my hat.
> 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?
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.
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.
> 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.
It's also 3ft off the ground making it very pointless as a runner...
Yeah I wondered if he was referring to it walking when he talked about it being "more stable".
Not just walking. Also twisting
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.
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.
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?
> Not just walking. Also twisting
Can't picture what you mean, twisting about which axis?
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.
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.
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 ;-)
> 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.
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. :)
Elsewhere on the site
Nuts, wires, stoppers, chocks, wedges, whatever you want to call them, have been around for a long time. Initially made from... Read more
A pack designed for year-round ascents. Super light, flexible, strippable and seasonally versatile you can rely on this perennial... Read more
Manchester Climbing Centre is showing Reel Rock’s Valley Uprising on Tuesday the 11th of November at... Read more
Pete Whittaker has flashed the 32 pitch route Freerider 5.12d on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley over three days,... Read more
Every so often you meet someone in climbing that makes you take a step back. Someone with a fire in their eye, passion in... Read more