/ w/o climbing shoes

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
mutt - on 08 Jun 2017
Having forgotten my climbing shoes I spent the day top roping in my approach shoes. Very surprised to find that climbing English 6a is not a problem. I didn't have a chance to try 6b or 6c, which is where my own technical limits lie but I was wondering whether anyone else can give reliable (i.e. non speculative) feedback as to what grade climbing shoes become essential. My contribution is that English 6a is not a problem at all in approach shoes. This was experienced on limestone sea cliff wall climbing.

Matt
17
Dave Garnett - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

> My contribution is that English 6a is not a problem at all in approach shoes.

Depends on the 6a and the approach shoes. I used to be able to do the start of Ascent of Man in my Five Tennies but I bet there are plenty of HVS that I couldn't.

mutt - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to Dave Garnett:

well more accurately two 5c's and one 6a without problems.
Subluminal and Lighthouse Cliff
Poetry in Motion (E3 6a)
Grandma's Groove (E2 5c)
Doug on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

Based on a little bouldering at Fontainebleau, if the holds are positive there's not a huge difference but once they are smears or slopers my rock shoes are much better. I suspect there's not much difference between 'big boots' & approach shoes and both will work well on cracks & positive holds.
nniff - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

An uncharitable view would be that you need to work on your foorwork...

;o)
1
Dave Garnett - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:
> well more accurately two 5c's and one 6a without problems. Subluminal and Lighthouse CliffPoetry in Motion (E3 6a)Grandma's Groove (E2 5c)

Also, toproping isn't the same as leading them. I've seconded all sorts of things in approach shoes that I wouldn't lead.
Post edited at 14:51
mutt - on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to nniff:

> An uncharitable view would be that you need to work on your footwork...;o)


there are plenty of people who train in trainers specifically to improve footwork
14
Greasy Prusiks on 08 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

Really? I've never seen or heard of that.

I don't think you can really answer your OP as it it depends almost entirely on the type of route and the climber. For example if you're a beast doing 1-5-9 on small rungs is probably British 7a and could be done in wellies but a 5b climber doing a delicate 5b footmatch would be struggle without rock boots.

IIRC the Fitz traverse was done in approach shoes and that was F7a but an onsight first ascent, moving together and carrying gear if that helps you.
mutt - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

they are thin but positive limestone wall climbing routes. F7a equates to english 6b. thanks for that - I will try and up the grade next time I forget my shoes.

and yes really. Personally I've always regarded the that practice as hair brained but actually having climbed in approach shoes on thin holds I now see that it focuses the mind on footwork very well!
AlanLittle - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

Daft idea. Teaches you to weight your feet as little as possible - exactly the opposite of useful technique training.

And this realisation goes back a long way - Ron was critical of the practice of brick edge cruising in knackered EBs in Fawcett on Rock.
ads.ukclimbing.com
thebigfriendlymoose - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

> I spent the day top roping in my approach shoes. Very surprised to find that climbing English 6a is not a problem.

#humblebrag

tspoon1981 on 13 Jun 2017
zmv - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

I've seen Steve Mac setting routes between 7a and 8a and then proceeding to test them all in a quick tope rope - all in trainers and in short amount of time.
abseil on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

> ....I was wondering whether anyone else can give reliable (i.e. non speculative) feedback as to what grade climbing shoes become essential....

Didn't Al Harris second The Grasper* wearing Winklepickers? Said to be true / impressive if true.

*Edit, may have been Zukator
Post edited at 17:49
Lusk - on 13 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

You're 31 years behind the times, mate.
Johnny Dawes was knocking out f6b in sloppy trainers ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK8goXiIPDU @ 3:30ish.


stp - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

There won't be any grade limit since it depends much more on the type of climbing involved. Added to that a strong climber will climber harder than a weaker one if both climb without rock shoes.

Seems like sandstone is particularly suitable for barefoot if Charles Albert can climb font 8C barefoot. Trevor Panther, a London climber from the 70s, used to prefer climb barefoot on Southern sandstone too.
jimtitt - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

I´ ve led Grandma´ s Groove (and Philatus) in crampon-compatible big boots back in the day, rock boots in those days weren´ t a huge improvement on big boots on a lot of routes.
Pretty sure there ´ s some real hard stuff been free climbed in big boots as part of aid routes.
johncook - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to zmv:

Did he fasten his laces?
Mark Kemball - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to abseil:

It was Zukator, but I believe what is now the crux section was climbed on aid.
Misha - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to mutt:

> there are plenty of people who train in trainers specifically to improve footwork

And they are actually making their footwork worse...
ads.ukclimbing.com
Michael Hood - on 14 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Kemball: I think it was winklepickers and cow-gown (type of coat) and it was something like - anything you can lead (to Pete Crew?) I can follow in winklepickers and cow-gown.

Not sure of the exact details but there's a famous picture of them walking down the road afterwards - it might be in Extreme Rock - not at home so can't check - but I'm sure I've got it somewhere and that's the only book I can think of that it would be in.

AlanLittle - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to zmv:

> I've seen Steve Mac setting routes between 7a and 8a and then proceeding to test them all in a quick tope rope - all in trainers and in short amount of time.

I suspect most of us could probably manage to climb eight or more grades below our redpoint limit in trainers.


abseil on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to Mark Kemball:

> It was Zukator, but I believe what is now the crux section was climbed on aid.

Right, thanks. I'd forgotten that Zukator still had some aid in those days.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.