/ Transitioning from Plastic to Rock
I've been climbing indoors on and off for years, but I started climbing indoors once or twice weekly 7 months ago. I think I've improved and I want to start heading outdoors more now the weather is good, but it feels like the transition to rock is a massive slap in the face. I'm having issues with reading the route and foot placement mainly, does anyone have any tips that could help me?
Climb really easy stuff to start with and work up the grades as you get used to placing gear, making belays and moving on natural rock.
Totally normal, outdoor grades only start to feel similar to some indoor grades if you have spent an equal amount of time on both.
What type of outdoor climbing are you interested in? Trad, sport, bouldering? The advice would be different for each discipline. Whatever you prefer if you enjoy pushing yourself and try hard while staying safe, it's hard not to improve.
That's been my aim. I went out bouldering on tuesday before I got rained off, but I couldn't even seem to start a V0! I assume the standard, "the best way to improve at climbing is to climb", is most likely true.
Ok, I thought this might be the case, I guess I was hoping for some miraculous advice I didn't think of.
Bouldering is usually hard, and feels even more so because of the chance of hurting yourself. If you want to start climbing outdoors I'd advise starting with climbing top rope/seconds with a friend until you can read the rock a bit better. It's much nicer for learning when you can just take a rest/dangle around at any time. The hard bit is finding a crag which has easy lines, starting on F5 is usually a good balance between availability of routes and difficult.
Just seen your other post on brushing sandstone and wanted to add some encouragement. Lots of people find moving from indoors to out a shock and I'd advise just getting lots of movement in. Certainly don't get bogged down by the grades. Indoors is just different to outdoors and I think sandstone more so than others. That and you'll probably find some of the indoor grades you've been on generous and they often suffer from compression at low grades, ie V0s that aren't.
Slow down on the rock, take your time to look around. The hand holds and foot holds will appear. Start on easy stuff until you get used to it.
Before I started trad, I had a few years of infrequent experience sport climbing outdoors. I think it's a good way to transition. Sport climbing allows you to learn about climbing on rock with the added safety of lovely, chunky bolts. From all my experience of climbing outdoors, drop a few grades, because it's just no comparison. There's nothing wrong with it. You will find far more variation in the type and nature of rock you will climb on than you possibly could indoors, but that's they beauty of it, right?
Hi bud, personally i'd make it as easy on my head game as possible. I can't speak for others or tell you if this is best practice but here's how I learnt... Firstly learnt how to properly set up belays and top ropes, there's lots of good material online and in books. I then set up a top rope on a quiet crag and had one friend belay me on the top rope with a little slack (so I didn't get use to the comforting tension of a tight line), I then got another friend to belay me on lead at the same time whilst I learnt to place gear and manage ropes. From here I lead loads of routes that were well within my ability (Diffs, VD to Severe when I could second up to HVS). Once i was confident with my gear I then started pushing it a little more.
Good luck and enjoy!
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