/ Sure-fire ways to go up a grade
Oh absolutely! Actually on that note, I once saw someone climbing with earphones in an indoor wall (Mile End I think), and I asked him in the changing room later what he listens to while he climbs. He said, 'Nothing. The earphones are just to stop people from shouting at me while I'm trying to focus.'
I always find the best way to climb a grade harder than you have done before is to find a route you like the look of and really want to climb at said grade and to try it.
If we're talking about trad, pick a well protected one. Most climbers are already physically capable of climbing a grade harder but it is the mental aspect that prevents it (this is true for me anyway)
One mental trick that has worked for me is to try and replace the fear of failing / falling / not being good enough, with a fear of never getting another chance to climb the route. Ask yourself, how long will it be before you return to this crag, will the conditions be as good then as they are now, will you be as fit then as you are now....
Edit: If we're talking about going to HVS on grit, get good at jamming. If you think that a good hand jam is better than any jug, then you are already there.
Work your weaknesses!
In my case that means improving at: Open handers, French, finger jams, swimming, crimps, tolerance, off-widths, tidying, layaways, listening to my wife, bridging, crosswords and some other things I can't remember.
- Wear a Beanie
- Wear a vest top
- Go Shirts Off For Power!
- Climb while a member of the opposite sex is watching
- Take a sharpie to the indoor wall and upgrade all the routes
- Give all routes logged on UKC the maximum grade possible in the voting system to skew the average upwards.
- Pull on gear/rest on the rope but still log it as an onsight on your logbook
- Read through the UKC logbook comments and only attempt routes that are 'soft for the grade'
My sure fire way of going up a grade is to regress about 3 grades beforehand !
If its trad then my top tip would be, get into sport climbing.
Even moderately difficult sport climbs will likely have you climbing on rock doing moves much harder than you're used to on trad.
After a season of that, when you venture back onto VS terrain it'll seem like a steady jug fest and you'll cruise them.
Get really fit indoors then go to Sharpnose. Sea Green and Break On Through (both E4) are about f6b
There are 47 guarantees in this thread. I have done 32 of them.
I started at a very reasonable 5a.
Given a-b-c- at each grade, I am now capable of climbing 15c.
Smoke that Ondra!
Start drinking before each session. Your training goal is to gradually drink more and more before climbing while maintaining your present grade.
When you can climb grade N after drinking four pints of beer you have an excellent chance of climbing grade N + 1 if you only drink 3 pints.
Switch grading system from UK tech to French Sport. If that's not enough then start using Aus or SA grading systems.
This thread is really useful and I realise that my current tactics of:
train, train train, oops blow elbows, recover and repeat
haven't been working!
The obvious one missing so far, is "get on the wrong route"
I can help with this, by failing again to get on Avalanche/Red Wall/Longland's Continuation at Lliwedd, and put us on some "WTF" unknown line with at least 3 pitches of sketchy high-end HVS with all water seeping out and an unknown future
Pick a route that you have failed on.Keep working it on top rope til you can do it.
In general,try harder and pick routes that inspire you.
Slim down a couple of kilos.
be like a drop of water flowing upwards
> The single most sure-fire way to go up a grade has not been mentioned: climb with people who are better than you.
and make sure they lead the hard pitch
Climb lots of routes with old school grading then go Kalymnos
Think "top rope" when you're leading a run out crux
But more seriously Mick Ward's advice is sound. Experts talk of three elements to climbing - mental, technical, physical.
From my experience a "normal" person is likely to be physically fit enough and have natural technical ability to climb at the VS/HVS level with little or no training, what usually holds them back is their mental approach. At the low E level you need technical skill as well as mental, and at the mid to higher E grades you need physical training as well.
So the best advice is to climb lots and on different rock types as this will hit all three elements.
Get on harder routes. People often say 'I can't climb x grade' and if you ask them which they have failed at the chances are they haven't tried one.
I've done my absolutely best ever when on a route hopeless too hard for me while cursing about how my partner told me there was no need for hand jamming or chuntering about how reachy everything is. There's nothing motivates like a bit of rage.
> Climb angry.
> I've done my absolutely best ever when on a route hopeless too hard for me while cursing about how my partner told me there was no need for hand jamming or chuntering about how reachy everything is. There's nothing motivates like a bit of rage.
That's such a brilliant idea - I'd love to climb with you sometime now you've said that! I've always avoided climbing anything hard when I'm 'not in the mood', but now I come to think of it, I bet it would work. My partner never shuts up ;-)
> Get on harder routes. People often say 'I can't climb x grade' and if you ask them which they have failed at the chances are they haven't tried one.
I'm getting lots of serious advice out of nowhere! That's a good point though - I have actually only roped up at the bottom of one X+1 route, on New Year's Day with a hangover. Maybe just turning up is the best advice.
Check out ol' man Hörst.
> Do 100 pull ups a day (spread out over the whole day, if your soft)
Gave me tendonitus, and although this is in the OP's list of possible assisting factors, it really didn't help me.
Increased bouldering on a specific rock type helped me for Dartmoor granite.
Falling practice and telling myself that 'there is no take' helped for sport routes.
> I got a lesson off Dave McLoud once.
I imagine a lesson from Dave McLoud would just be a non-stop barrage of shouting.
I went up a couple of grades by just going to Kalymnos. My previous holiday was to the Verdon. A 6B+ in the Verdon roughly equates to a 7a or 7a+ in Kalymnos.
> I went up a couple of grades by just going to Kalymnos. My previous holiday was to the Verdon. A 6B+ in the Verdon roughly equates to a 7a or 7a+ in Kalymnos.
I think the grades are beginning to level themselves out in Kalymnos, at least in some of the more popular locations. I did several 7a's last year in the full knowledge that they were acknowledged "soft touches" so it's no surprise to find that they have been downgraded in the new guide. Damn them Some of the newer areas/route setters are still on the soft side. Gerakios springs to mind, but I found the routes at Monastry to be the opposite i.e. hard for the grade.
It would be interesting to know why they got so out of kilter in the first instance considering that routes were being put up by a good cross section of nationalities.
Not at all, quietly spoken, very considered
You imagine wrongly.
I think you need to check your spelling
Until last year when I was working away a lot I managed to improve sport , bouldering or trad grades just about every year. Here's the formula. 1) Know what you can do and assume you can do it - ie mental confidence gets your lead grade closer to your top rope grade. 2) Train specifically - eg on finger boards etc but don't overtrain or you will get injured. 3) Watch your diet. 4) Enjoy yourself - if you endlessly worry about performance you are missing out on everything else climbing has to offer. 5) Sometimes climb easy stuff to concentrate on technique. Its like an expert skier going down a red run flawlessly.
> So if my wife sees me watching other women climb I just need to explain to her that I am trying to learn from them? Great!
As long as, when challenged, you can remember what shoes she was wearing and where she placed her feet!
I think that says more about the verdon than kalymnos. But it's about right that. Probably one for the how to drop 6 grades in one week thread: just go to the Verdon
A eastern euro fella was there last time I was trying to do his first 8a, right at the top of the gorge. What a place to choose.
Climb when no one is watching.
I find I finish difficult boulder problems when no one is there to witness them as the fear of doing some stupid move and failing is gone. Also, the less honest can lie!
I frequently tell my partners to <Morpeus voice from the Matrix> "Stop trying to climb it and CLIMB IT!" usually does the trick.
Also get a climbing partner who will ridicule you so incessently for years after a failure that it becomes an unpleasant experience failing on routes. It gives you the extra impetus required to climb through that crux.
Don't stop climbing outside over winter completely - inddor strength is bloody useful but so is having a head in the right place. The year I went from solid HVS to solid E2, I achieved it over the winter by refusing to let the weather get the better of me. It's remarkable how much easier routes feel once you can feel your fingers again when spring comes around.
If you go to a climbing wall always go onto the leading wall and make sure you fall off a few times. Same for sports climbing, make sure you climb un until you fall off.
..and remember, if you don't let go you can't fall off.
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