/ Bouldering really ??????

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Ciderslider - on 31 Mar 2013
Having reasonably recently got back into trad (and being severely restricted as to the amount of actual climbing I can do - mainly due to where I live).
My vice is trad and I've got pretty solid on the lead on VS with a few HVS's under my belt.
Over this last winter I have been doing 2-3 times a week at my local wall and this has culminated in my first 6b+ lead (now working 6c project).
My question is this - will bouldering sessions help me to climb harder trad.
Climbing wall has certainly made a big difference and I have yet to see if this winters wall improvement will show improvement on trad (yet to get outside this year).
Jonny2vests - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

I think it's good to have a mix of routes and bouldering. If you only ever do routes, you'll develop good stamina, but gains in strength will be slow. Bouldering is also a fast track for technique.

If you only boulder, then obviously you get the opposite, except that being strong with not much stamina is less of an issue I think; stamina is relatively easy to get and if you're way stronger than the route, you need less stamina anyway. What you don't get with bouldering is learning how to flow and relax. Watching mates of mine who rarely do routes but boulder much harder than me is always a laugh, it's like they can't switch off the bouldering gene and just end up jerking all over the place, and being too dynamic.

Bouldering on grit massively helps grit trad btw. Low E number cruxes will seem trivial if you can boulder the odd 7a.
Jon Stewart - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

Yes.

Bouldering gives you finger strength, power and technique. If you have an excess of these, you can do hard moves onsight, muffing the sequence a bit, overgripping or being overly static through fear etc. If you're operating at the limit of your finger strength and power, you have to be much better at climbing than someone who has built reserves of these through bouldering.

Really good climbers will tell you that you only need to be bouldering V2 to climb E2 (on grit say). I'd say it's a hell of a lot easier to climb E2 if you're bouldering V5.
Kafoozalem - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:

My thoughts exactly.
Ciderslider - on 01 Apr 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: Thanks for the advice guys
jkarran - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to Ciderslider:

> Over this last winter I have been doing 2-3 times a week at my local wall and this has culminated in my first 6b+ lead (now working 6c project).

Well done. You can probably go a fair bit further than 6c down the redpointing route if that interests you.

> My question is this - will bouldering sessions help me to climb harder trad.

Depends what limits your trad climbing. By inclination I tend to climb about your level despite bouldering a fair bit and redpointing mid 7s. It doesn't seem to help my trad climbing much although the fitness would be a big help were I to actually focus on improving my traditional climbing. I just never seem to and increasingly I don't really care to.

> Climbing wall has certainly made a big difference and I have yet to see if this winters wall improvement will show improvement on trad (yet to get outside this year).

Don't be too surprised if it doesn't seem to at first, the spring fitness and spring rustiness tend to cancel each other out in my experience.

jk
Cruty Rammers - on 02 Apr 2013
I've found that (indoor) bouldering has certainly helped my (indoor) route climbing over the winter - I've found that it improves my confidence in going for what would otherwise seem marginal moves, as well as the strength and technique. Like the OP I'm going to be very interested to see how it's improved my outdoor trad.
Jon Stewart - on 02 Apr 2013
In reply to alfadax:
> Like the OP I'm going to be very interested to see how it's improved my outdoor trad.

Don't expect too much! The key with trad is being able to apply the strength and skill you have stored somewhere beneath the fear and uncertainty of the situation you're in.

It takes a certain amount of work to build up reserves of strength and technique through bouldering. It then takes a lot of experience (in my case years, but other people have more aptitude) to be able to apply that on the lead. The other useful 'reserve' to have for trad is aerobic fitness (as in climbing, not general cardio) - if you can hang on for hours, that's a massive benefit.

Sadly, the least useful 'reserve' to have is power-endurance, as so few trad routes below about E5 (I guess) require sustained sequences of really hard moves, done quickly. And climbing routes indoors, especially redpointing them, trains power endurance and not much else. Worth being aware of if you expect indoor climbing to translate to trad.
Ciderslider - on 03 Apr 2013
In reply to jkarran: Thanks for your reply - did my first indoor bouldering session at Brighton Bouldering today - WOW !
I've no doubt that this is gonna make a massive difference. My theory is that being new to climbing I had no real technique and was also scared of falling.
Having spent the winter before this one going to the wall it improved my strength but didn't make a massive difference in grade.
Last summer I had and enforced stoppage to my climbing from April to Oct. I did however manage to do a fair bit indoors including lots of lead falls.
I managed to get out at the tail end of the year, and bearing in mind that i had not climbed for months I found I was moving on the rock like I would at the wall - much better and without effort.
So I think that all the wall training gave me confidence that I was climbing well within myself and I was therefore totally relaxed (making me climb better)
If that's the case my indoor grade is now much higher and this should give me much more confidence knowing that i'm climbing well within my tech grade.
And bouldering today was absolutely fantastic as I was able to try outrageous stuff safely (apart from a couple of flappers)
Going on a bit but I'm totally stoked !!!!
Ciderslider - on 03 Apr 2013
In reply to Ciderslider: Also before my stoppage last summer I managed to onsight my first few HVS's - all I'm after is to get my trad grade to reasonably solid leading HVS and maybe the odd E1

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