/ dogging tactics
so, my 'style' if i have ever had one, is to get to the top without any rests. having done more sport climbing and indoor leading lately i see lots of people (including my mates) taking rests. my question is, do you dog at point of failure or at a convenient point to prepare for the next move (or both)?
i can see why dogging is good as it helps you to train and climb harder routes, and i am starting to do it more, but i can't help thinking in the back of my mind that its a bit cheaty! i sometimes think of climbing as an evolutionary activity and escape route from predators/attackers and tell myself that if i need to dog then i would have fallen and died anyway, and the wolves/baddies would have gotten me in the end anyway.
please feel free to make jokes about the term dogging, mock me for my opinion or laugh at your perception of my views about climbing!
You could argue that if you never fall you're finding it too easy though
It's part of a learning process, innit. I don't think even the sportiest of sport climbers would claim the "tick" for a route until they'd done it cleanly from bottom to top with no falls or rests, but the process of falling off and / or resting on your practice attempts can get you to that point a lot quicker, because you can actually spend time working on the bit of the route you find hard rather than spending all day yarding up and down the easier stuff...
If you were being chased by wolves and the only cliff available to escape up was too hard for you to onsight, would you dog up it or fall into their ravenous jaws? That's a very nonsensical view of the world - surely as an evolutionary activity then anything goes to ensure that you reach the top - aid, chipping, human pyramids...? It seems odd to strive for ethical purity as a survival tool, when in reality it's a waste of precious energy compared with dogging to the top or just walking round the back :)
An ascent with rests is an ascent that isn't a clean ascent. As one of the other posters has pointed out, that's not the same as a redpoint - it's perhaps some of the preliminary groundwork for an eventual clean redpoint but no one would really take the tick for a dogged ascent. In answer to your question, usually you would dog up a route tactically if you were preparing for a redpoint, so you would take rests frequently in order to ensure that when trying to work out the top moves you aren't so fatigued from the bottom ones as to stand no chance of working out the most efficient sequence. If you're a trad climber scared of falling off you'd probably start dogging at the point of failure. So the ultimate answer I suppose is that it depends.
That's sort of oversimplifying it - it takes a certain sort of mental toughness to approach something that appears to be utterly impossible and gradually break it down and patiently work out a way through it despite failing again and again, potentially over the course of months or even years. I mean, if you put my mind in Adam Ondra's body then I'd have gone "f*ck it, I'm off to onsight a load of 8c's" after about my first three attempts on that Norway project...
It's a different sort of mental toughness, though, for sure.
In any case, the main thing is recognising that just because something doesn't focus on the aspect of the sport that you personally enjoy doesn't mean it isn't a worthwhile activity for people who do enjoy it.
An interesting blog on the sort of mental pressures big projects can bring that a friend of mine wrote over the summer.
Isn't a redpoint an ascent without falling or dogging?
Either or neither, it depends what I'm doing. If I'm not trying to preserve my arms/fingers for another go I'll climb till I fall. If I am and I cock up a sequence or catch a crucial hold wrong I will slump onto the rope or grab a draw rather than cling on until I inevitably fall later as a result of the mistake. If I'm warming up, working the moves out, refreshing my memory, putting the clips in or just generally dicking about then I'll rest as and when I want to.
It's part of the game. If you think it's cheating then you're probably just used to playing a different game.
Each to their own. I think of climbing as a hobby :)
I take it you do all your climbing barefoot without ropes or gear, then?
I usually find I know whether I've called tight/grabbed the draw or fallen off. But in terms of the redpointing process it doesn't really matter which you do, unless of course the first was through fear in which case it's a weakness you need to work on. They both end that redpoint attempt.
I kind of agree with you, but I think there is a lot to be said for working a route. After all, as a musician, you generally don't aspire to being able to sight read the most challenging works. Instead you practice the sections until you can play the whole piece through. Why shouldn't climbing at your limit be the same, practising moves until you have them sussed?
No they don't, far from it. Redpointing at your limit requires strong self belief, determination and the utmost focus.
Really, you do surprise me.
> No they don't, far from it. Redpointing at your limit requires strong self belief, determination and the utmost focus.
Of course that's true but those attributes apply to trad as well but by minimising the danger element in sport it allows the participants to focus more on the physical. That's all I meant. I wasn't denegrating sport, it's no less worthy an activity than trad.
> I take it you do all your climbing barefoot without ropes or gear, then?
and naked apart from a bear skin sash;)
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