/ Did anyone else have a very hard time when you started climbing

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TheFasting on 10 Jul 2017
I just need to hear some success stories of someone really struggling and then eventually becoming good at it.

I started climbing indoors in October and it went well, I had a clear progression and started to get comfortable with it. Then I started climbing outside and anytime I've ventured past the F4a mark or so it's been a total shitshow. Anytime I'm sport climbing I rarely if ever send anything, either because of fear or just being a bad climber. Usually what I think will be my warm up ends up being an epic hangdogging struggle to get my quickdraws down before I leave. I've literally run out of routes that I can't send at the F5a/F5b level at the crag I sport climb. One route at F5b I have done at least 12 attempts on and still can't get it right.

Every move feels hard and every centimeter of ground I gain I have to work extremely hard for. I see others flying up what makes me pump out within a few seconds. They keep saying "just keep climbing and you'll get better" but half the season has gone by and I still climb beginner stuff and it doesn't feel easier.

In contrast, bouldering indoors is no big deal and I do much harder moves there.

Now I know this can't have happened to only me, but I'd just like to hear from someone with similar beginnings. It's gotten so bad that I don't look forward to going out to sport climb anymore, and I come home disappointed and sad each time. I still love climbing so I still go out as many times per week as I can, but it's more like a chore at this point.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to hear me whining as I comfort eat after my 3rd failed day out in a row.
Michael Gordon - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

If you get on much better when bouldering, I wonder if fear of falling when leading outdoors is causing you to both climb badly and overgrip (and therefore pump out). If so, the solution is less easy, and may involve more leading indoors (bolts may be closer together than outside) and generally getting used to being above clips?
Kevster - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Variety keeps it interesting, I flit between types of climbing, sometimes a few years mostly bouldering, other times mostly trad. Do what you like to do and work for you.
If you worry about not climbing a route clean, get down to Malham. There are far more failed ascents than successful clean ascents. That is redpointing.
They are going through the same emotions and effort as you are on your routes. This is the nice thing about climbing. The 3a or 9a climber both get the same experience.
john arran - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

After about 2 years of climbing, including a lot of leading as well as seconding, I led my first VS. Boy was I happy.
summo on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Stick to easy trad and scrambling. Think you've become to accustomed to pre marked indoor routes, where all the thinking and rock interpretation is removed.
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1poundSOCKS - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Kevster:

> They are going through the same emotions and effort as you are on your routes.

I spend a fair bit of time redpointing at Malham and Kilnsey, and it wasn't that many years ago I was failing on 5's at Giggleswick. For me the emotions and effort are very different.
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1poundSOCKS - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> I still love climbing so I still go out as many times per week as I can, but it's more like a chore at this point.

If it's a chore, what do you love about it?
TheFasting on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

For me sport climbing isn't the type of climbing I like the most, but it's a necessary evil and very fun when I manage to actually send something. It's just that the failures have outnumbered the successes lately and it's been weighing me down.

The best part about climbing for me are the nature experiences, and I want to do trad and alpine climbing, sport climbing is just what I do to learn the craft for those other things. But just climbing on things is inherently fun in it's own way, but amazingly frustrating when it doesn't work.
TheFasting on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

The fear is getting better because I've been doing a lot of fall practice. I try to get 10 falls in per session to get it out of my system.

So far my main problem is easily identifiable, and it's just that I don't trust any foothold outdoors, so it takes me forever to figure out beta and often I end up just desperately lunging for holds. So I just need to work on that to be better, and I'm doing that, but it's all a big struggle at the moment.
Greasy Prusiks on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:
How often do you fall off routes? If you're climbing it like trad with a "I mustn't fall" mentality 5b is a tough grade. In fact it translates at about HVS trad which most first year climbers will really struggle with.

If you're falling off a lot or also struggling on top rope (assuming you're comfortable on TR) then my second guess would be your footwork could do with some work. Hard to tell though.

The real key is to just forget the grades and focus on enjoying it though.

EDIT: I fell off a diff when I'd been climbing for about 10 months if that makes you feel any better!
Post edited at 22:11
1poundSOCKS - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> It's just that the failures have outnumbered the successes lately and it's been weighing me down.

Failure is inevitable, and the best way to learn. If sport climbing is just training, don't get fixated on success.
TheFasting on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

Maybe it's just that it's hard to find things I can just enjoy since my crag ( Hell) has only 3-4 routes at the F4 level and 5 or so routes at the F5 level. So I've pretty much done all the easier stuff. Perhaps when I move in a while and start climbing other places it'll get easier.

I do regularly fall 10 times when I warm up to get used to falling and it helps a lot. Don't get to top-rope much, but most likely I think it's my footwork yes.
Mick Ward - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> I just need to hear some success stories of someone really struggling and then eventually becoming good at it.

Well it took me seven years to get to the trad equivalent of F6a. So I've had my share of struggles. But really, for you to improve, you need to forensically dissect what the real problems are.


> Anytime I'm sport climbing I rarely if ever send anything, either because of fear or just being a bad climber.

Well we're all bad climbers relative to other, better climbers - so I'd drop the bad climber tag. However if fear is an issue (and it sounds as though it is), then this is something to address. But first, it may be better to take it out of the equation as much as possible by making things as stress-free as possible.


> Usually what I think will be my warm up ends up being an epic hangdogging struggle to get my quickdraws down before I leave.

> I've literally run out of routes that I can't send at the F5a/F5b level at the crag I sport climb. One route at F5b I have done at least 12 attempts on and still can't get it right.

If you have a stick clip and get proficient with using it, there won't be any more hangdogging struggles. Who needs 'em?

I'd stick clip a route and play around on it on a top-rope with a safe belayer. I'd divide the route into several sections, i.e. mini-routes. Every time I found a move that was tricky, I'd sit on the rope, play around, try to find a useful sequence. If need be, I'd ask other, better climbers at the crag - as long as they're sympathetic.

Doing this will reveal your learning needs. Right now, forget about topping out on routes. Instead learn to get the clips in them and out of them efficiently. And when you're on them, think of them as vehicles for learning.

There's more... much more. But right now, this is probably enough to be getting on with.

Mick







TheFasting on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to john arran:

Yeah I'd be extremely happy with an F5a lead on trad.
MFB - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:
Climb at every opportunity
Maybe lose a bit of weight
Get stronger - swim, bike, run, lift, manual work, you're in Norway, chop wood - 1 hr minimum, everyday
Top rope hardest stuff you can and repeat repeat repeat (auto belay, if available, till you drop)
When you have got a bit stronger - you're young so 30-40 days - get back on the routes
If your still bad at least you're a bit fitter
Good luck
John
Post edited at 22:41
Bulls Crack - on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Do you actually want to be a climber? Perfectly valid to do something else instead!
TheFasting on 10 Jul 2017
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Yeah of course. It's very fun when I actually climb to the top of things haha
Climbingspike - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:
I have to ask, what is it to "send" a route, I have climbed or ascended a route or two but don,t get this send a route.

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Damo on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I've seen your posts for a while and your YouTube clips. You seem to focus on numbers, lists and grades rather than actually climbing. Do you love the idea of climbing more than the act of climbing? Do you want to climb things, or do you want to have climbed things? Big difference.

If you can physically lead F4a then you have the technical ability to climb anything on the Seven Summits, 14 x 8000ers and many Alpine routes, let alone first ascents all around the world. What exactly do you really want to do?

For any mountaineering objectives, F4a is pointless unless it also means you can climb a Diff in boots, with a pack on, 1000m off the deck, with only two or three pieces of pro, after 5hrs of walking and scrambling, and another five to go. That's not a macho hardman boast, just the reality of basic alpinism and mountaineering.

Are you still doing all those squats and deadlifts? You don't need that level of 'strength' to climb anything. It might make you feel better about yourself but it's just useless weight to carry up a hill and more muscle using up oxygen that your lungs need. Climbing and mountaineering have been infiltrated by the Crossfit, 'training' and 'fitness' set in recent years, even trekking has, and it's not really helping most people actually climb mountains (and I say this as a formerly qualified fitness trainer, and weight-trainer of 30 years).

Being heavy and 'strong' is no good if your power-to-weight ratio - whether natural or trained - is crap, and while the number of pull ups you can do doesn't really matter below E3 or 5.10 or whatever, having confidence that your arms (fingers, really) can continue to take some of your weight while you move up over a succession of holds on steeper ground, as the footholds get smaller, is a big help. It's actually mostly psychological, as are most things in climbing, but it's a physical step you can take to help your mind. It can help to climb a route with poor form, using your arms too much and faffing about with your feet, then when you know you can get up it without dying, do it again right after, but properly this time, thinking, taking time to place your feet and giving your arms a holiday.

Despite what the books and videos might imply, you can't climb mountains at home (unless you live in Chamonix/Canmore/Queenstown) and at some point you need to go away and really spend some time - at least a month, ideally nine - actually climbing, just climbing, to cement the basics into your mind and body. Most of the famous people you admire almost certainly did (at least) this in the distant past. Their current training show is just the icing on an old cake.

Maybe go right back to basics and just spend short sessions doing moves low down where you totally trust your feet. See what you can move up on, how little you need. Forget hard bouldering, indoor numbers and falling on bolts. Second trad climbs near/just under your current leading limit, then try to lead them *straight after*. Learn how to rest and conserve energy, and to place gear you can trust.
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James_Kendal on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I say the most important thing is to enjoy your climbing. If you aren't enjoying Sport right now then stop. Climb something you enjoy, and have fun getting better at that.

You mention indoor bouldering which is great, an excellent foundation for whatever you'll climb after you move to an area with more crags. Great preparation for later getting on Sport / Trad / Alpine when you have more opportunities.

Don't get too hung up on falling, or on leading. These are things you can practice later if you aren't enjoying them right now. I never practice falling anyway.
TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Damo:

You seem to make a lot of assumptions you have no basis for. Why would you assume the things I want to climb and the reason I focus on grades is for anything but myself? Who cares how many 7 summits I've done etc besides myself? If I needed attention there are plenty things I could do that I would get more out of.

Second of all I don't think you know as much about training as you say you do if you believe the myth about gaining strength equaling gaining weight. I do strength training to be healthy and because it's fun. I never said my goal was to climb 8a or something ridiculous where I need to be as skinny as possible. My lifetime goal is just to climb 6a comfortably.

The reason for that is because of what you said and what I already knew. You don't need to climb crazy hard to enjoy nice routes in the mountains, which is what I want to do.

Further I think it's strange people assume being aware of grades must mean you don't actually like the sport. I am aware of them because unlocking a new grade means being able to climb a whole range of new things.

The reason I posted this and the reason I've been getting frustrated is that I've had a long period of no noticable progress as a beginner and just wanted to hear how that worked out for others who also experienced it. If I progressed in small ways that would be fun, but nothing at all just made me a bit upset.
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TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Climbingspike:

Maybe it's not the right word for it, I just mean getting from the bottom to the top without falling or using any assistance.
timjones - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> For me sport climbing isn't the type of climbing I like the most, but it's a necessary evil and very fun when I manage to actually send something. It's just that the failures have outnumbered the successes lately and it's been weighing me down.

> The best part about climbing for me are the nature experiences, and I want to do trad and alpine climbing, sport climbing is just what I do to learn the craft for those other things. But just climbing on things is inherently fun in it's own way, but amazingly frustrating when it doesn't work.

In that vase can I suggest that you focus on trad rather than sport?
summo on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> Maybe it's just that it's hard to find things I can just enjoy since my crag ( Hell) has only 3-4 routes at the F4 level and 5 or so routes at the F5 level. So I've pretty much done all the easier stuff. Perhaps when I move in a while and start climbing other places it'll get easier.

There are other crags with many more trad routes in the 4 or 5 range within striking distance of trondheim.

Michael Gordon - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

> In that vase can I suggest that you focus on trad rather than sport?

+1

While the idea of trad may be offputting if struggling on sport, it's generally more experience and less numbers orientated and you can have a great time on v-diffs, severes etc rather than constantly wondering why you perform badly on F5s.
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TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

But wouldn't it be dumb long term to just focus on that instead of trying to get better? Right now due to my partner situation I've ended up doing mostly sport lately.
DerwentDiluted - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:
The only advice I'll give as a self confessed lardy punter, (who has had a 25yr climbing history peppered with frustrations very similar to yours, and not just in the early days - I'm a heavy climber with a constant strength-weight problem, yet climbing is the only movement I have ever found where I feel I can move with delicacy, precision and dare I say it.... grace) is to not expect an exponential curve when it comes to improvement. Progress comes in big bursts and tiny increments, with reversals, plateaus and satisfying lumps of consolidation thrown in for good measure. Time invested in accrueing good technique is never wasted but strength comes and goes

Also have a look at what you consider to be 'progress' - soloing a Mod might be a much bigger leap forward than red pointing that F5b. Progress can be myriad, from climbing a route with no foot scraping, to finding ways to rest on steep ground or climbing easy routes in impeccable style. Be more generous to yourself in what you consider success so you come home feeling good about climbing and yourself.
Post edited at 08:30
springfall2008 - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

>One route at F5b I have done at least 12 attempts on and still can't get it right.

Outdoor sports climbing is hard, it's really not that suprising.

Personally I would suggest:

- Find a friend who can lead Trad and second a load of easy routes (D, VD and perhaps S) and build up your confidence on top rope.
- Do some indoor leading where you have a much better selection of easier routes. I'm sure you will find indoors with coloured hand-holds that you can climb F5's. I also wouldn't be suprised if you fail to get up a F6a indoors, it does take time and practice.


wbo - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:
Based on my one visit I thought Hell an ok, but bit overrated crag with very little to do at the lower grades.(still better than the beach). I don't recall, is there anything else to visit locally.
How many days a week are you climbing? If you're just going there and thrashing around 3 days a week you're basically training yourself to fail.

Personally I have a period of time each year when I'm strong as heck but absolutely pathetic at climbing. I kind of just accept it, know it will pass and kind of work around it.

You doing any weekend trips?
stp - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Regarding the footwork I'm wondering if you've got good fitting shoes. I bought my first pair of climbing boots too large. I couldn't stand on certain holds at all and I soon discovered I could actually do most things better in bare feet.

Regarding your local area it does sound like you've run out of routes at the grade you should be climbing. So you're forced onto harder stuff and project it instead. I think doing routes that way is not usual for beginners. It's far more usual just to onsight everything and do as many different routes as possible. In your current situation you might have more fun repeating the easier stuff you've done before. All good experience and the complexity of climbing moves mean routes often feel different the second time around. When you move location you'll have lots of new stuff to go at and I'm sure that will be very motivating.

Progression comes in various ways but improving technique, strength and head are the main ones. Bouldering is great for technique and might help you're footwork. If you get used to standing on the worst footholds bouldering when you get back on routes the foothold will hopefully seem large by comparison. Strength improves with consistency - climbing several times a week - and intensity, pulling hard enough, and time.

Who you climb with can also have a big impact on one's climbing and enjoyment. If you're always climbing with people better than you it can sometimes feel a bit depressing. When you climb with people worse than you you can get a buzz from that.
Si dH - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I agree with those saying you should take up more trad. At your level, in my humble opinion, sport climbing is a bit pants, because apart from anything else, falling is always a more chastening experience if you aren't on steep ground. More to the point, there is loads of good trad at that level and below that will help you improve your footwork more, align better to your alpine goals, and hopefully be more rewarding for you. It will give you an opportunity to see progress again, if you start at a low trad grade.
You can get on more aport again if you plateau on trad (that is what I would recommend). But this will probably be at a much higher grade.

I would say that strength/weight ratio does matter even at F5 and that I agree with Damo about your step training etc. I had assumed those were aimed at alpine routes/approaches. For rock climbing purposes, you would better to go climbing, then on rest days, save energy and eat less.

Hth
Goucho on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

There are people on here far more qualified to give you advice on training than me, so these are just a couple of observations.

You seem to be getting sucked into a psychological downward spiral. You're not progressing at the rate you want, or think you should be doing. This seems to be creating an increasingly negative attitude.

Therefore, try and break out of this cycle. Whatever you're currently doing doesn't seem to be working for you. That happens to us all, so stop worrying and change things.

Stop putting presure on yourself. We all climb like ruptured ducks at times, the trick is to not get too obsessed or down hearted about it.

Climbing is all about confidence. You can talk yourself up, or out of a route before you've even got out of the car if your mental approach is wrong.

When you're next down the wall, spend the entire session just low level traversing on the bouldering wall section. You can make these circuits as easy or hard as you feel. Traversing is brilliant for improving footwork, balance, body positioning and technique, whilst at the same time improving finger and arm stamina. Do as many laps/circuits as you can. Don't worry about grades, just climb - it's also really enjoyable.

Do this for a few visits, and you'll be amazed at how your climbing technique and your physical conditioning will improve, which will in turn be reflected in an increased level of confidence and enjoyment (the enjoyment bit is absolutely crucial).

When you get back onto your graded route problems, still warm up with the traversing beforehand.

You might be pleasantly surprised with the positive changes to your climbing all this creates, physically, technically and mentally.

Finally, never lose site of the most important aspect - it's supposed to be fun and make you happy

summo on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> But wouldn't it be dumb long term to just focus on that instead of trying to get better? Right now due to my partner situation I've ended up doing mostly sport lately.

Why is it dumb? Your current focus of colour coded plastic climbing isn't ideal either or coming across as very satisfy to you either?

Just get outdoors and enjoy climbing, anything, everything, good weather, bad weather, alone and with others..

There must be a climbing or outdoor club in trondheim, I'd Google it, but that's your job.
GarethSL on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

From your logbook you seem to be getting out quite a bit, but I think you could probably focus your climbing so it is more suitable to your overall aim (from your previous threads and profile), this way you will feel far more successful and become more competent with skills that actually matter for what you would like to do.

As you are in Barteby I suggest:*

Go back to Kaldklova and spend a day/ weekend doing all of the sub N5 routes. Then end on Jordbær (get a mate to do the second pitch). Don't bother with Bananfluer again, as a guy in the carpark described it to me, 'its the grade 5 with the grade 7 crux...'

Go to Gravikheia and do the two N4's there, it's just up the road from Kaldklovafjellet and with a much better view.

Forget Hell, Korsvika and Tikneppen**. Go to Ekne and do all of the 4/5 graded routes over a weekend with nice weather. Go back to Ishoel do a similar thing.

Use the winter to do all of the sub WI4 routes in Drivdalen, Gauladalen (perfect beginner lead territory), Støren and around Trondheim... there are enough of them, I know. (actually the squats help for this ;) )

Do laps on the autobelay wall at Ute-hallen to get your stamina up... the really big wall, you know the one (go rainbow and only use very small holds or the wall for your feet to work on technique). Use this to practice relaxing whilst pumped and breathing solidly throughout the entire route.

Focus on doing lots of mid grade routes that challenge you but are not impossible when bouldering at KS/BS. I think working the same routes over an evening is wasted time in your case, unless you're genuinely into hard bouldering. progression will come and with bouldering this is better to be slow and steady to avoid injury.

Do intervals with 10kg pack up Blussvuollsbakken, Møllebakken or similar. Get alpine fit, adjust your gym/other training to complement this instead.

Use the summer to do the easy routes on Stetind, Lofoten, Snøhetta traverse, Romsdalshorn etc....

Spend your evenings tying knots (blindfolded/one handed), practicing basic rope techniques and learning how to set up various anchors. Get all of the technical knowledge nailed before you end up on a wall scratching your head.

*these are just suggestions!
** of course don't forget them but single pitch sport is really only good for just that.
GrahamD - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I think following a sport progression in the UK must be hard. We simply don't have the right sort of rock in abundance to make a progression through the 5s easy. What 5s there are are often not very good or polished to buggery.

Personally I'd try trad as there are many more easier routes with a lot more protection possibilities but if you don't want to go that way (yet) then have you thought of doing a week course in Spain or France or somewhere with a decent range of quality climbs to go at ?
Damo on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> You seem to make a lot of assumptions you have no basis for. Why would you assume the things I want to climb and the reason I focus on grades is for anything but myself? Who cares how many 7 summits I've done etc besides myself? If I needed attention there are plenty things I could do that I would get more out of.

Just that your Profile says:

"Favourite Climbing-Related Discussion Topic
8000ers, 7 summits and the Alps"

Your intro says: "Ultimate goal is the 7 summits via harder routes ..., the 6 classic north faces of the Alps, ... as many 8000ers as I can get my hands on etc." which are all trophy lists made by other people, climbed for recognition, rather than organic climbing objectives done for their own value as individual climbs. Such ambitions say things about you, whether you realise it now or not.

and back in April you wrote re: Ueli Steck that you were "...paying my dues until I can climb the same routes he was on."

I took the care to look at your profile and some of your previous messages before answering the post you put on the internet asking for advice. I made assumptions based on the information you provided. Time will tell.
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TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

I think you might be misunderstanding, I'm talking about outdoor climbing now. Indoor climbing was of course much easier by comparison, and that's because my main problem right know is knowing what footholds I can trust. But like people here are saying, maybe my shoes are too big also. My previous shoes made my toes hurt so much I doubled over in pain if I bumped into something.

My new shoes (TC Pros at half off, only shoes in my price range in my size at the time, the same size as my regular shoe size) fit snugly but not painfully.

How do you guys size those shoes?
TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Damo:

Well alright if you need to assume those things to feel superior to others then I guess I can't stop you. I should say, it's not like I'm some fresh faced kid who just read about Mount Everest and want to go there. I've been mountaineering for well over 10 years now, and was president of the student mountaineering club. But I haven't written about those things here, because I did it for me, not to brag about it later.
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wbo - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting: That shoe sizing sounds about right. I think it's more a problem of lack of milage, lack of confidence causing you not to fully weight your feet, which in turn leads to them not sticking properly.

I think Gareth's post was really helpful. I think you should avoid going to Hell very often. If your climbing partner complains then remind him/her it's give and take and you want to improve too
TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to GarethSL:
Thanks for the advice. The bouldering Klatresenteret is fun because there's always new stuff, so I never get the same feeling of being stuck for long before I can do something new.

I'm basically doing that already, I just don't have a partner in Trondheim who'd like to go for the trad stuff. Also, I think it's nice to go do both tricky sport and easier trad. I feel I don't learn anything with trad climbing-wise because I just do what is exceptionally safe so don't test out what footholds will work etc. I learn a lot with bouldering technique-wise, and with sport suddenly I forget all those things.

I have lots of trad climbing planned for this summer, but doing easy stuff. By the suggestion of a friend I'm doing Via Lara (n3+), then attempting Agent Orange (n5+) (because it has bolted anchors to bail from if it's too hard. Grade on UKC is wrong, it has one pitch of n5-), and then it might look like I have time for Nordvestveien (n3+) later during the vacation. The last one was suggested to me as a good alpine beginner route.

So basically your suggestion is to just do more climbing in total, but on easier stuff, right?
Post edited at 10:41
HeMa on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

3 things I know from experience.

- Half a year is not really all that much experience (outdoors).
- Outdoor (i.e. real climbing) differs greatly from that of indoors.
- F5s are easy, if you do it right.

Longer rantings are as follows. Half a year of climbing indoors should get fit males quite quickly into low F6s, quite often they are in all honesty ladders, albeit they can be pumpy (and overhanging). Often easier climbs indoors are rather straight forward (i.e. again the ladder thing), easy to read and use big holds. Sub mid F6 routes outdoors, tend to be slabby or veritical, meaning technical (i.e. hard to read sequences) on small holds... completely different to that what is indoors.

Indoor boulders are often rather dynamic, big holds and roofs & overhangs. Meaning fit males often tend to early on climb mid f6s. This does not however translate to outdoors roped climbing all that well (until you hit mid F7s, that is).

When you finally climb outside, search for rests and try to utilize them. Don't over grip... and don't be scared of falling (provided it is safe...).


Oh, and as a bonus note... some people work well under pressure (to perform) and others don't... Judging by what you wrote, maybe you ain't fun. So instead of trying to tick routes and "perform", take a more leisure approach and simple "climb" and enjoy it...
slab_happy on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> So far my main problem is easily identifiable, and it's just that I don't trust any foothold outdoors, so it takes me forever to figure out beta and often I end up just desperately lunging for holds.

You already know what the major problem is, then.

So top-rope sports routes (whether that's by setting up a top-rope or seconding after someone else has led), second trad routes if you can find a partner for trad, and boulder outside (if there's any outdoor bouldering near you and you feel comfortable with that).

Use that to make a conscious effort to learn what footholds you can use, how much weight you can put on them, and how to read the rock in general, when you're in a relatively fear-free situation and can experiment and try different things.

Trying to learn to trust footholds when you're simultaneously trying to manage fear of lead falls may well be too much all at once.

You can't experiment and play with using a foothold to see what it feels like (or see how lightly you can hold on, to avoid over-gripping) if you're clinging on desperately and gripped out of your mind because you're so focused on not falling/failing.

I'd second what a lot of other people have said in different ways --- right now, it sounds like this is miserable and frustrating and a grim chore that you're trying to force yourself to do, when sport climbing is not actually what you find motivating in the first place.

There are some obvious things you can do to make sport climbing more enjoyable and productive, like using it as an opportunity to work on your footwork, which will benefit all of your climbing. Stop focusing on the grades you're leading, put a top-rope on stuff and work on your footwork. You don't have to stop leading, but maybe make leading and fall practice a separate part of your outdoor climbing days.

If sport climbing is a "necessary evil" that you're just doing to improve your trad, then that's an additional reason to treat it as training, not performance (Dave MacLeod's distinction between the two has been super-useful to me).

Take the pressure off, take the fear of failure off, and focus on learning, not performing. Remember that your goal isn't "lead [sport grade X]" anyway.

Right now, it sounds like the immediate goal is "improve your outdoor footwork", and it also sounds like pushing yourself to get on harder sports leads isn't the best way for you to work on that.

And if what actually motivates you is trad/Alpine/mountaineering, then keep your focus on those things. Doing the stuff you actually enjoy and that you're passionate about will make you perform better anyway.

Driving yourself into a downwards spiral of frustration, misery and self-imposed pressure will *definitely* not be good for your climbing.
GarethSL on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

No worries

> So basically your suggestion is to just do more climbing in total, but on easier stuff, right?

Something to that effect, yes, if you want to feel the benefits of continued successes, and building core techinical skills. This will improve your overall competence way more than desperately flailing around on routes that may simply not suit your style of climbing (that's another thing to take into account).

Of course I'm not saying don't jump on silly hard routes and have a go, or climb routes until you fail, so long as you are prepared for that failure and dont let it get to you.

The idea being that continued successes on less technical ground, along with the ability to gain and reinforce technical skills, will be far more rewarding in the long run. This will subsequently lead to a solid can do attitude with the experience and mileage to back it up, which is important for a good lead head/ climbing mentality...

Then when you do get back on all those routes you've struggled on now at Hell (that probably have sandbag grades thanks to TG), you may just surprise yourself.
summo on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> . I've been mountaineering for well over 10 years now,

It's a question of how active you've been. Not years since you started. Mileage isn't measured in hundreds of metres, but hundreds of routes, at all grades.(i.e. scrambling to test pieces).

https://m.facebook.com/trondheimklatreklubb/
http://trondheim-klatreklubb.no/

They look fairly active from their fb events page etc.. were you at their events?

Set yourself a goal. If you aren't that active a climber, then say 100 outdoor routes this summer. If you are active, then many times more can be achieved. People become very competent mountaineers living in far worse locations than yourself.
TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

> Then when you do get back on all those routes you've struggled on now at Hell (that probably have sandbag grades thanks to TG), you may just surprise yourself.

I am slightly comforted by the fact that a woman who climbed the west pillar of Presten (Vestpillaren Direct (n6), balls hard) marked my F5b "project" as "hard" on 8a.nu.

I thought about what someone else over here wrote and I'm thinking it might be good to just do 80% top-roping and 20% leading to work on my footwork first instead of being deathly afraid to fall on everything? Like only lead when I feel super comfortable?

Thankfully the only people I know here in climbing warm up easily on the stuff I do so no problem top-roping.
davidbeynon on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Some of the best climbers I know warm up on easy stuff. It's the most reliable way to not break yourself.

I used to have the attitude that I should go to the wall and immediately climb close to my limit, and then wondered why I was fscked after 3 routes and spent half my time injured. Easing off a bit made me get more climbing done and in the long term had me climbing harder.
summo on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

Indeed mileage is pretty important. I've always considered it to be like a pyramid, you need a broad base before you jump up a tier, build some mileage at that level and up you go again. If someone has done a hundred+ routes at f5, then stepping onto f6 isn't likely to present them with any moves, or gear problems they haven't encountered already.
superturbo - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Make sure you are getting enough rest. I'm a fitclub lurker and you lift heavy (to me at least) weights. In my experience, I've found that heavy compound lifts resulted in a drop in climbing performance for at least a few days afterwards. While you will undoubtedly recover faster being more used to weightlifting, it could be something to think about.

RockSteady on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

You know, one thing that climbing has taught me, almost more than anything else, is patience. Like you, I have an 'improvement' mindset and expected, when I started out, to make rapid progress through the grades based on my experience in other sports. Now I made some good progress to 6b/6cish but getting past that took a lot of hard work and a number of years. Some people shoot right up into the 8s, but everyone reaches a point where progress becomes a struggle.

What I've learned from climbing is that there aren't really any substitutes for actually putting the time in on the rock until you learn what you need to do to succeed.

You say you're failing on 'beginner' climbs. You've only been climbing since October. You are a beginner. Try to embrace the 'beginner's mind' and focus on why you are failing, not the fact that you are. Also, why not find one of the climbs that you can do. Then climb this a number of times, focusing on movement quality. How smoothly can you climb it? How many times in a row before getting pumped out? How fast?

Also would point you at the resources for climbing technique - Neil Gresham's Masterclass DVD, and The Self-Coached Climbers are in my view the best starting points.
summo on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> I thought about what someone else over here wrote and I'm thinking it might be good to just do 80% top-roping and 20% leading to work on my footwork first instead of being deathly afraid to fall on everything? Like only lead when I feel super comfortable?

Forget about your f5 project. You need to find a party who is also new and relatively inexperienced and focus on climbing ever 3 then every 4 within a 100km of trondheim.

If you really want to be climbing tough alpine routes in the future, it isn't going to happen if you spend your time yo yo up and down on some bolted single pitch that you are top roping.
1
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jonny.greenwood - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

You've had lots of replies here and I'll be honest, I haven't read them all. I do agree with the recurring question of 'Why do you/we/I climb?'

I climb for long mountain days, on medium grade mulitpitch trad routes. For me, my weekly trip to the gym is an effort to keep match-fit and occasionally learn (stumble across) a new technique so that when I'm in the mountains/peaks I'm having a good time. Taking myself down the local sports crag and beasting it week in week out is just not my cup of tea. I'm the fell-meanderer to the fell-runner. I get equal pleasure from constructing a bomber belay as I do nailing a crux move. Do what you like to do, and naturally you'll get better. Stick with it!
TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

That's a good suggestion. But "mountaineering" is very different from actual climbing though, so with technical climbing it's like starting over. I have a lot of outdoor experience in all sorts of conditions, but not vertical climbing.
TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I gotta say, and I don't care about the downvotes about this, but this thread disappointed me a bit with UKC. I mean, I have gotten lots of good advice and some encouraging stories. But at the same time a lot of assholes seem to want to question why I climb, as if it's any of their business why I do it, and making a lot of assumptions they have no basis for.

Thanks for the help and all, but I don't think this forum is very friendly for people at my level. I guess I have to look for advice elsewhere where I don't have to constantly defend myself to get some tips on how to improve my footwork.
22
summo on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> That's a good suggestion. But "mountaineering" is very different from actual climbing though, so with technical climbing it's like starting over. I have a lot of outdoor experience in all sorts of conditions, but not vertical climbing.

With all due respect, "what are you on about?"

Mountaineering is technical climbing. I've climbed for 30 plus years now in all aspects of climbing and I'm 100% sure that if you had lots of 'outdoor experience' you wouldn't be asking any of the questions you do here or have that pile of.. .. on your profile.

I shall not be offering anymore advice. Just join that club and get out climbing.
1
Fredt on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I started climbing in 1967, and I progressed to E1 in about 3 years.

Despite another 47 years climbing all over the world, I haven't managed anything harder.

JayPee630 - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:
You say you both find climbing hard and it makes you sad, but you also love climbing?

Are you confusing liking climbing with the idea of liking being a climber? One is about the thing, one is about the image of being something that appeals to you.

Reading yr posts you are coming across as having a bit of an twattish ego tbh.
Post edited at 12:52
1
beefy_legacy on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

How many people would come down from failing something they've tried many times before after trying hard and say "wow that was so fun I can't wait to fail again!"?



Climbers ;)
TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to JayPee630:

I came here to ask for advice. Why are you trying to talk about me as a person? Why do you need to question what I say regarding my feelings for climbing? If I say I like it, what does it matter to you whether I do or not? It's just strange behavior.
4
bouldery bits - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

It's meant to be hard.
TheFasting on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

True. I really like that it's hard though, if it was easy I don't think I'd be as interested in it.
Michael Gordon - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I think people are just pointing out that it's meant to be enjoyable, and if it seems like a chore you're probably going about it the wrong way. Climbing lower grade trad won't necessarily help you improve technically; however, going out trad climbing will help you improve at trad climbing, and, in time, the mental skills if nothing else will help you for other disciplines.
slab_happy on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

> Forget about your f5 project. You need to find a party who is also new and relatively inexperienced and focus on climbing ever 3 then every 4 within a 100km of trondheim.

> If you really want to be climbing tough alpine routes in the future, it isn't going to happen if you spend your time yo yo up and down on some bolted single pitch that you are top roping.

As the person who suggested some time working on improving footwork while not on the lead (whether that's seconding, top-roping or whatever), I don't think it has to be either/or.

Finding partners for trad and building that base of experience is going to be essential, given that this seems to be what the OP actually wants to do and is motivated by.

But he's already said:

> I feel I don't learn anything with trad climbing-wise because I just do what is exceptionally safe so don't test out what footholds will work etc.

Speaking as someone who's spent the last several years going through my trad apprenticeship -- I think I've benefited from starting off in a lot of mileage with a nice safe margin between what I'm trying to lead on trad gear and the limits of my physical climbing ability. That's been where I've concentrated on learning ropework skills, improving my gear placements, building up confidence on rock, and so on.

But it hasn't done that much to improve my climbing ability per se, in terms of strength/technique (okay, getting in a lot of mileage at whatever level does help somewhat with reading the rock, I think, but that's it), because I've been leading stuff that's so far below my current limits. It's only comparatively recently that I've started being confident enough in my gear placements to reduce that margin.

Being too gripped and stressed to risk trusting small footholds so you end up "desperately lunging for holds" is about the worst possible scenario for trying to learn anything about footwork. On the other hand, climbing stuff that's so easy that the footholds are huge and obvious isn't going to do a lot for footwork either.

So yeah, I'd absolutely agree with you that the OP should be looking to get lots of easy trad in, since trad is where his real motivation and enjoyment seems to lie.

But some time not on the sharp end where he can relax and concentrate on learning and improving his technique could be very useful *as well*.

Certainly more useful than pressuring himself to get on harder sports leads, flailing, having a miserable time, not making any progress, and beating himself up for it. And if he's ending up at sports crags because of not having trad partners right now, it could be a more productive (and less depressing) way of getting something out of it.
bearman68 - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Don't bother with all this 'sports' climbing. It aint fun, and it's steep and scary. And beside sports climbing is all about the ego of the FA. No-one ever puts up a nice F4 do they?
No, trad climbing is where it's at. Go and tick off all the local trad climbs under 4 with 3 stars. Loads of fun. Do multi pitch stuff, and you get to have a 'rest' every other pitch, as someone else leads. Good opportunity to have a nice close look at the rock, use small footholds, and wonder at the sheer complexity of the rock, and examine the wonderful locations you get into. And when you've done a big route, go to the pub, and enjoy the experience over a beer. It's the way forward. It's a rewarding way to spend time.
One of my best best days was alternative leads on Main Wall. At least 3 grades below what I was comfortably leading, but what a masterpiece of route finding, in exposed and wonderful positions. And I did it with a really good mate, and it's a route that has stayed with me many years beyond the bolted stuff of quarries and climbing walls.
4
MischaHY - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I didn't bother reading the full thread as there was considerable drama.

My two-pence - sack off the sport entirely for a while and do a lot of bouldering. Mix it up outdoor and indoor, and focus on getting a range of different movement types.

Fitness and headgame are pretty easy to get, but being strong first makes it a damn sight easier! If you want to get out on the lead, just go out trad climbing and focus on simple, enjoyable mileage. Follow the stars and place lots of gear - you can't go wrong!

You'll soon find yourself progressing.
1
zmv - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:
Hey pal,

To answer the original question in the thread - yes, very much so!

During my first months of climbing I was often considerably worse than many of the other beginners I was climbing with. But that is perfectly normal, climbing especially at that level is mainly a skill based sport , and skill in it is very hardly won.

Things I progressively did to improve:

- Watched Neil Gresham's videos in great detail.

- Read Dave Macleod's 9 out 10 climbers.

- Climbed 3 times a week with a weekly bouldering session to work on technique. It's a lot easier to work on technique on ground level in a relaxed way and try all the stuff you read and watched.

- Practiced falling, almost every session.

French 5s are not an easy grade, in fact I remember it took me a while to break into the 6s (two years maybe to consistently start onsighting 6a/6a+). Even these days ( I climb in the mid and high sevens at the moment) I don't really enjoy climbing many of 6as I sometimes warm up on - a lot of them in the UK are poorly bolted slabs where a fall would not be pleasant at all. Very different to a steep fest in which an unexpected fall just leaves you swinging in space safely.

You are not doing bad at all, just keep perservering and enjoying this sport. In fact, many people who have tried a climb twice or so, tend to not try it again, so you're already doing well on that factor.

I do recommend getting into bouldering as well - the bouldering in the UK is absolutely superb at all grades and the sport climbing will seem easy when you're back on the ropes! :p

Keep getting inspired as well - there are some absolute gems in the UK. I remember doing Skin Game 6a+ at LPT and thouroughly enjoying the interesting moves and cruising this awesome slab (nothing too big protruding so basically safe to fall off as well on this one!) It's probably the best route of the grade I've climbed in the UK of that grade, might be a good target to aim for!

Good luck.

Just whatever you do, keep enjoying yourself, it's a fantastic sport and lifestyle and there are some great routes to look forward to.
Post edited at 08:22
Fredt on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

After 3 years of pushing myself to E1, (see my previous post) I went to Chamonix in 1970, and climbed several easy peaks. Had a fantastic time.
Came home, went to Stanage and suddenly realised the game had changed. Pushing grades seemed pointless, its a tiny insignificant part of the climbing experience. Started really enjoying climbing, went further afield doing classics in Wales, the Lakes, Scotland, choosing routes because they looked nice. Alps every year with my Chouinard Zero, California, Utah, Africa. Still can't climb above E1.

Somebody once said about climbing, "its not what you do, its who you're with".
I'd add to that, "... and the view"
2
david100 - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

I had a very hard time when i started climbing. With me it was a strength issue so this may not apply to you. I kept going because it got me outside in the sun in amazing places with good friends. I tried to cure the problem by doing a lot of routes inside and out but that did not work. What fixed it for me was consistent (once or twice a week) indoor bouldering. I found also that it was far easier to analyse and improve my technique at the bouldering wall than it was on a route.
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Fredt:

Just wondering genuinely, don't you look through the guidebooks and think, "if I climbed E2 or E3, I'd have all these new 3* routes to go at, and they look even better than the E1s"? You can't climb at new places all the time, so if you don't get better you either have to start climbing rubbish to climb onsight or you're just repeating stuff which is never as fun.
thebigfriendlymoose - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> My new shoes (TC Pros at half off, only shoes in my price range in my size at the time, the same size as my regular shoe size) fit snugly but not painfully.

> How do you guys size those shoes?

La Sportivas fit large compared to most other manufacturers - I wear my Miuras, Genius, Katanas etc 3 Euro sizes below my street shoes (43 compared to 46 in street shoes). With Sportiva slippers (Venoms, Futuras) I go to 42.5.
Fredt on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> Just wondering genuinely, don't you look through the guidebooks and think, "if I climbed E2 or E3, I'd have all these new 3* routes to go at, and they look even better than the E1s"?

When I've fancied a route harder than E1, I find someone who can do it, and they take me up.

> You can't climb at new places all the time, so if you don't get better you either have to start climbing rubbish to climb onsight or you're just repeating stuff which is never as fun.

I haven't run out of places yet, I'm more likely to run out of time. I'd rather saunter up a Grade III scramble in Wales than beat myself up about a Stanage E2. Onsight? - a meaningless obstacle to enjoyment.

I'm just trying to put it to the OP that climbing is not important, grades even less so.
Post edited at 11:16
summo on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Fredt:

Would agree, for me I think once you can lead around hvs/e1 you have the best of it all. You can escape the queues and polish, the grade is sufficient that you feel like you are climbing but without hopefully any near death experiences. But best of all you can do some awesome long multi pitch trad routes in incredible locations.
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to thebigfriendlymoose:

> La Sportivas fit large compared to most other manufacturers - I wear my Miuras, Genius, Katanas etc 3 Euro sizes below my street shoes (43 compared to 46 in street shoes). With Sportiva slippers (Venoms, Futuras) I go to 42.5.

I've got TC Pros is 39.5, and they're pretty comfy. My street shoe size is about 41.5/42.
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Fredt:

> I'm just trying to put it to the OP that climbing is not important, grades even less so.

But that's all very subjective. You can't really tell someone else what's important to them. Unless in the grander scheme of things I suppose, but that doesn't really help the discussion.
Fredt on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> But that's all very subjective. You can't really tell someone else what's important to them. Unless in the grander scheme of things I suppose, but that doesn't really help the discussion.

I agree, but my point is that these things are very important to the OP, but as a result its spoiling his enjoyment and, it seems, his whole concept of climbing.
Jon Stewart - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Fredt:

> When I've fancied a route harder than E1, I find someone who can do it, and they take me up.

It doesn't matter to you whether you lead or second? It matters a lot to my experience of a route! I've done some amazing E5s on the blunt end, but they don't go down as amazing climbing experiences the way my best leads do. And difficulty is a big factor, but not the only one, in "best". If I'm climbing at my limit, eyes on stalks, or I'm keeping well in control on difficult (for me) terrain, then the buzz is intense. If I'm pottering merrily along, it isn't an intense experience, although it may be enjoyable.

> I haven't run out of places yet. I'd rather saunter up a Grade III scramble in Wales than beat myself up about a Stanage E2.

I've climbed a lot of the classic routes at many of the major crags -or ones that I'm interested in - around the country within my comfort zone. If I could get two grades better, my enjoyment of climbing would sky-rocket as I'd be able to rock up at any crag and climb a classic route up the best bits of rock, onsight, which for me is what gives the enjoyment. Most often (though I understand that there are exceptions) the VDiffs climb ledgy, grassy bits round the edges. good VSs climb might easy-angled big features, the E-grades attacking the clean walls and steep, soaring cracks. Sadly I don't have the motivation to put in the hard work required to get two grades better, but if I did, the rewards would be enormous, it would open up dream routes, the very best in the UK.

> Onsight? - a meaningless obstacle to enjoyment.

I don't get this. When I say "onsight" I don't mean some neurotic definition about not knowing anything about the route, I mean climbing a route I haven't done before and not cocking it up. It's so much more rewarding to climb a route for the first time: the holds, the gear, the story of the route unfolding with you as the protagonist. Repeating something is a pale imitation, completely diluting the full-bodied trad climbing experience, for me at least.

I'm not saying that it's imperative for every climber to aspire to hard grades - how would I know what makes other people tick? - but I am saying that there is a lot more to getting better in trad climbing than just an arbitrary score to improve for the sake of it. That's a part too, the personal satisfaction of improvement, but I wouldn't seek to discourage anyone from "chasing grades" - I'd encourage people to explore what climbing can give them if they put in the effort to reap the rewards.
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1poundSOCKS - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Fredt:

> I agree, but my point is that these things are very important to the OP, but as a result its spoiling his enjoyment and, it seems, his whole concept of climbing.

Yes, it might be too much focus on grades, or it might simply be impatience and grades are just a reflection of it. I think you can you can progress, and chase grades, and enjoy your climbing. I do. But you have to be patient and try to avoid comparing yourself to others.
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> there is a lot more to getting better in trad climbing than just an arbitrary score to improve for the sake of it

I'm not sure I could explain why, but as the routes I've done have got harder (higher grades), they've definitely got better.
TheFasting on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

I think I've probably gotten impatient and just need to re-align my perspective. I've been climbing with people who climb 6c and 7b, and they of course can't quite remember what it was like to be new I think. I was sniffing on the 6a's indoors and I think that made me impatient outdoors and I started charging up the grades to get there. But outdoors is like starting over. So just have to do mileage to get comfortable with it and just do easy routes I guess.

I must admit easy routes are a bit boring though, I do like a challenge a bit more than just going through the motions.
1poundSOCKS - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> I do like a challenge a bit more than just going through the motions.

Just cause it's easy, doesn't mean you have to just go through the motions. Try to climb it well, and try to enjoy moving well. I think the best way is to assume every route is going to be hard, regardless of grade, it focuses the mind. Then it might feel easy. But set off with the mindset it will be hard.
Wayne S - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:
A failure is missing an opportunity to climb. Failing to do a route is simply a learning opportunity.

Firstly 5+/6a is a bit hard, and does require some work. By work I mean structured climbing practice. What you don't need to climb those grades is to be super strong. Moving well with good footwork will pay dividends.

I almost didn't bother responding because some of your responses to some posters were a little off. The point being is it's hard to listen to the actual things you need to hear sometimes.

I notice you have a video of you climbing a route. Firstly you look reasonably steady and it's a reasonable performance. Watch you feet however and you bounce test nearly every foot placement. This can be a symptom of not trusting your feet and at the very least is pissing away energy for no good reason. At times you look to be over reaching with your hands, rather than working your feet up. The overall pace of the climb is quite slow. Good route climbing is about conserving energy.

The downside of climbing plastic is it does not promote good footwork in the same way as climbing natural rock often does. Let's be honest the holds are massive! They have to be to be able to bolt or screw the hold on. Spending some time outdoors working on footwork and taking as little weight as possible on your hands would be time well spent, even if this is just some low level traversing.

As others have said grade progression if far from linear, and usually has plateaus and set backs. Enjoy learning over grades.

Getting out climbing with good company is a success for me, good grades are a just a bonus.

I'm sure you will crack it.

Wayne
Post edited at 22:28
Si_G - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

It's really hard! And really different to indoors.
Just drop the grades right down, and persevere.
Working out the holds is a big part of the problem - indoors it's obvious, and you get used to the setters.
You'll get your eye in. It just takes time. Far more rewarding, imo.
Good luck, and have fun - it's not about the numbers.
Wsdconst - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Stop trying so hard, you're getting stressed for no reason, when I started I was naturally good, then the people I'd started with got better while I kinda plateaued. I put so much pressure on my self to keep in front of them I stopped enjoying it, Infact I would dread it. I'd always pick something at the top of my capabilities and struggle all the way up just to prove I could do it and was still better than they were. One day I decided enough is enough and started climbing things at a lot lower grades, this meant I could concentrate a lot more on technique and actually think about the next move, instead of scrambling about panicking, looking for something to grab before I fell off. Anyway, as I got better I started to try harder stuff and as my technique was so much better I found I actually enjoyed the hard moves unlike before. Now when I climb I just do routes that I wanna do, ones that seem interesting and enjoyable, I don't really care about grades, they're just numbers to me.
rocksol - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Climbing outdoors is totally different to colour coded plastic pulling. Our little group started up to 45 years ago before climbing walls and French grades
Outdoors some of us can still flash 7,s, but indoors my max. is currently 6b+.(torn rotator cuff but outdoors red pointed a7a+ last week)
Bouldering will give you power, walls stamina and the way the Redpoint system works climbers who might be grades adrift on site can, with repeated practice achieve the same grade as more technically aware friends. It doesn't work for trad. by the way!
So stick with it and as previously stated it's supposed to be fun and it's not a given that everybody will be a climbing god
purkle - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Hey, I haven't read the rest of the replies, but just wanted to add a success story. I haven't found learning to climb as physically difficult, but have found it extremely mentally difficult. I've been climbing for 3, maybe 4 years now (but had at least a year of that off due to injuries near the beginning).

I have a serious mental health disorder and climbing definitely acts as a therapeutic activity, but is also very challenging in many ways. I progressed ok inside and then started climbing outside, had a big fall (without injury, sport outside) & my confidence was totally destroyed. Took a long time to even feel vaguely ok leading inside again after that, and outside was out of the question.

Since then, I have been progressing well inside and seconding well outside (trad), moving up the grades. But leading was still just so far out of my comfort zone and so far into panic zone that I honestly got to the point I didn't think I would ever manage to be a lead climber outside, and even inside I had to stick to such easy climbs on lead that I just got bored with it.

I've stuck at it, followed a lot of advice (eg fall practice) & been through times where it seemed totally hopeless. Finally this year ive had a massive breakthrough and managed to move away from only being able to lead v diffs & finding them absolutely terrifying, to being able to comfortably lead hs & some vs, tech 4c, and on good days be able to lead vs 5a. I still haven't led higher than 5 on sport weirdly, I think sport climbing just doesn't suit my brain very well. I like having to focus on putting gear in & finding gear placements, it somehow helps to sort my head out!

This has been partly due to finding extremely patient climbing partners who are pushing themselves very very hard on their routes & their grades, which encourages me that it's OK to be trying that hard (even if they're on e5 & I'm on vs) & that it's OK to take a while on a climb.

Its been infuriating a lot of the time but is really starting to come together. Obviously our issues sound a bit different, & I'm sure that others have posted already about focusing on impeccable footwork & really going for it on the technique side of things. But I just wanted to add my experience & encourage you to keep going, if some elements/styles of climbing don't work well for you then feel free to try others (eg sport doesn't seem to work that well for me but others hate trad). You never know, it might finally start coming together.

And something that really dawned on me the other day was that it's OK when it's f*cking hard, like really f*cking hard, cos hey if it was easy it would be boring!! The challenge is part of it. Not comparing my grades and speed of progression is difficult but let it go, it's not helpful. Climbing, for me anyway, is all about personal challenge.
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