Not a competition, but the question arose yesterday at a bouldering wall where only the starting handholds are defined:
On a problem with two defined starting handholds, is it legit to start with both hands on hold A in order to get both feet off the ground, then briefly touch hold B (stable position) before continuing?
A competitor ’s start will be judged:
B) “Incorrect” where the competitor
1) Fails to achieve a stable Controlled position with both hands and both feet on the Starting Holds; or
2) Controls or Uses any Artificial Holds or other Structures not marked as Starting Holds before achieving a stable Controlled position with both hands and both feet on the Starting Holds.
Since we didn't use anything not designated as a starting hold to achieve the stable position with a hand on each hold, we apparently didn't break any rules. Felt wrong though; if our method had been the intended one, the setter would surely have just put a double tag on A and nothing on B.
Can any one help clear this up for us?
starting holds are the holds you want to start on. either normally or crossed. those are the options I reckon
As far as I'm aware, in competiton you can gain the starting position in any (legitimate) way you like, and don't need to pull of the ground straight into it.
Consider modern style run and jump to the start hold problems. If you jump, catch it with one hand, then match, then that's a legit start, right?
> I agree.
> Consider modern style run and jump to the start hold problems. If you jump, catch it with one hand, then match, then that's a legit start, right?
If there were 2 lines on the hold, sure, but what if there was another starting handhold - could you match first and then grab the 2nd?
Thing is, it was impossible to get off the ground with a hand on each hold (at a grade which we were all capable of doing). So it sounds as though our matched start was legit, and the other hold needn't have been designated at all.
Oooh, good question!
Def in - catching both start holds similataneously.
Def in - catching one hold with 1 hand and the other with the other hand one after the first.
Not sure - match one of the start holds then campus / bounce to the other to be in the 'start' position.
Thinking about it, I think it's ok?
Pulling on with a match on one of the start holds, then getting into the start position (in control) is the rule.
I think it's fine.
Thinking this through a little more: Assuming a climber's go starts when the last part of the body leaves the ground (as in lead comps), that means it's possible to finish your go before you've even got to the start.
You mean if they fall off before sorting themselves out onto the correct starting holds having only used the starting holds but without getting all limbs on the correct holds.
If 2 different holds are tagged, start 1 hand on each hold.
If you started matched on one then touched the 2nd tagged hold, why would the setter bother to tag 2 separate holds!? Ie you could start matched in the first place!?
> why would the setter bother to tag 2 separate holds!?
Because it's the starting position - one hand on each hold. But that is not necessarily anything to do with how you get there.
Counter question: why would the setter care which of your four limbs gets in to the starting position when?
The problem has two marked hand holds, and the climber has the option to choose their own starting position for feet. Some people will place both hands on the correct starting holds first, then one foot, then the other. The OP is doing it by placing one hand on the correct starting hold, then both feet and then the other hand.
If the setter really did want to specify though, they could place four tags and make one of them the mat. That way the starting position would have one foot on the floor, and lifting that foot off would be the first move. (But it's a shockingly poor problem if getting your feet off the floor is the crux.)
> But it's a shockingly poor problem if getting your feet off the floor is the crux.
Have you ever climbed outdoors?
well reading this thread is going to be a game changer today at the wall. We’ve always done ‘one hand on each start hold, feet off the ground, go’, which in some cases is mega hard/impossible.
Looks like we’ll be looking at ‘get established on starting holds with feet off the floor, go’ today.
As long as you only use starting holds to get in the starting position, I think that's okay
this is a good point! not doing hardly anything indoors (and a total novice at that comp style malarky) this hadnt even crossed my mind. surely though, if two different holds are tagged, youre not meant to start matched on one? otherwise that hold would just have 2 tags right? I guess im lucky I don't go indoors much my ocd would be giving me a right hard time
> Have you ever climbed outdoors?
Meh, a bit. But none of the outdoor climbing around here has been reset for absolutely ages.
Btw: am I right in thinking the outdoor rules say that if the starting holds aren't clearly marked it's legit to start by standing on your partner?
> Btw: am I right in thinking the outdoor rules say that if the starting holds aren't clearly marked it's legit to start by standing on your partner?
I just stack up enough bouldering pads so that I can reach the top.
I just try to climb the routes how they were intended to be by the setter. It wont always be obvious but often it is.
There might be cheats or tricks you can use but you have to remember that they were set attempting to be inclusive for all shapes and sizes and you'll get the most out of it if you climb it how it was designed to be climbed.
If there are 2 obvious starting handholds, yes it may be legit in terms of rules to only use one matched but was that intended? Sometimes there are red herrings thrown in but you have to say probably not. Part of the challenge of the route may be overcoming this difficulty and you'll only become a better climber by facing it head on instead of trying to cheat a way around it.
This goes for 'French' starts and lanking past holds as well.
Surely you'll become a better climber by outwitting the route setter and finding a different/easier method.
After all, that's what we're all trying to do on real rock.
There is definitely merit in breaking problems and eliminating holds, making things harder or easier etc. But I reckon climbing how the setters intended, especially earlier on, is more beneficial.
In the OPs example, if both the holds are meant to be used to start on, then theres a good chance that theres a trick they were missing. Something like a heel hook or toe hook to keep you in, or maybe just body tension which they're not strong enough to hold yet. If you spend your sessions avoiding the problems, you'll never learn how to effectively get round them.
Thanks to all for loads of Interesting and entertaining answers!
Just to put things straight: we weren't trying to avoid the 2-hold marked start; we just couldn't find a way and believe me, we tried everything. None of us were strong enough to hold the obvious one-arm lockoff on a small sharp edge while swinging a foot up to head height, so we matched.
But as we thought at the time, and as several here have said: if that was ok, then why bother to designate a 2nd starting hold?
I actually had an example of this kind of start (although a sort of "reverse" to your OP) today at RockOver; low overhanging corner start with one foothold on each wall of the corner, starting handhold was both hands on a hold not far above the left foothold. There was no way (with my considerable lack of flexibility, core strength, etc) that I could put both hands on the starting hold and then get feet on the footholds, but by putting left hand on the left foothold, I could then get right foot on, push up to get both hands on starting hold and then left foot on.
> it's legit to start by standing on your partner?
On some Saxon sandstone routes, it used to be considered necessary and completely ethical to continue from a hanging belay by standing on your partner's head
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