I can't boulder anything harder than V1 but I can lead E1 5b no problem. My mate can boulder V4 and can just about do E1 5b.
I am thin and do lot's of aerobic exercise, he is built big and boulders three days a week.
I reckon one way to E1 is to be bold and have endurance fitness so that you can recompose yourself after a hard move. E1 5b isn't always strenuos. E3 6a is strenuous, I reckon bouldering would be good for that.
I agree there, I think the way to improve a grade at this level is to improve endurance. Get a shunt and find a local crag suitable for training. Bouldering improves power, but doesn't do much for real endurance similar to that needed for E grades.
Still feeling fresh when doing the crux moves makes a huge difference
Ok put it another way, what is the most efficient way to train to be leading E1?
First off I had been climbing for a year or so up to HVS back in 2003 and had a break for three years
...until Spring last year.
I started just about able to do HS at Swanage. It then took me 7 days of outdoor rock climbing over four months to get to E1 and a further 23 days outside over the next 10 months to get to E2. (with three months off to recover from a serious shoulder injury in between). I try to get down to the local wall once a week.
How many days bouldering over how many months did it take you to get your first E1? And does that then prove that bouldering is an efficient way to E1?
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: Thank you, that was an interesting article. As you say, different ways of training work for different individuals, and I'm sure that peeps in general are aware that a holistic approach to training is what works best.
What matters really is that targets are achieved and progress is made: so congratulations on your achievements and keep them coming! I'm looking forward to ticking my first E1 too, but a poorly shoulder and sometimes a lack of confidence get in the way. All the best ;-)
Your article is in effect an argument in favour of bouldering as training for trad.
I'm not spoiling for a fight but I am interested in a discussion or reasoned argument. You tentatively engaged in the argument and said that stamina wasn't required on slabs after a view was given by myself and others. I subsequently responded to you and clarified my argument, from that point onwards I felt your answers have been evasive. I pursued your evasiveness in the spirit of healthy debate.
That (the grade of StS) is a bit of a joke isn't it - I'm not saying its either, but it'd be far nearer the mark graded HVS than it would E2.........
Should get on Fools Gold soon....
I tend towards the slabby and bold for my hardest trad onsights, but my hardest sport onsights have been routes where the crux is quite short and 'ard followed by a rest and easier climbing above........ funny how I do it differently on each rocktype. Although mind you if my experience of 6a bolted limestone slabs is anything to go by then a 6b+ bolted slab must be, well, interesting.....
In response to the debate, boldness is good for pushing grades. Yup. In terms of stamina vs strength, I tend to think of it that if you are ridiculously over strong for a grade that brings a stamina all of its own. If you have the ability to hold on forever that won't necessarily get you through a bouldery crux. A mix of the two is probably optimal, but raw strength will get you a long way.....
> (In reply to RocknRoll)
> Bouldering improves power, but doesn't do much for real endurance similar to that needed for E grades.
You never do cruxy routes where the hard bit is short and powerful? There's a lot of uk routes that have good rests followed by powerful sections trough a buldge/roof/balnk section then back to decent rests.
Obviously everyone prioritises training depending on what style of routes they want to do, but power helps a lot on almost anything. Also, as AJM pointed out, getting strong means you don't get as pumped or powered out on other stuff too...
What's the quickest way to these grades? Usually - get ok at slabs, get bold, pick a soft touch. That doesn't mean it's what you want to train for. Anyway, I think TR's point is a good one: bouldering makes you better at trad. It's one a lot of low/middle grade climbers don't think about and I think the article might make some consider it.
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: These are 2 very different climbs, one is top end E1 and the other is a soft touch for E1, although both have good gear just below the crux. There is a very polished important smear on Fool's Gold and the sequence above the initial crux is superb climbing as opposed to very repetitive slab climbing on the other route. The only way to compare you climbing style, technique, fitness whatever is to do the same climb again with similar conditions/gear. And even then prior knowledge does make for easier climbing. Obviously to really evaluate your climbing you need to have lots of experience at the attempted grade, and HS is not E1.
In reply to TRNovice:
Good article. I personally think that bouldering gives you the confidence in being able to do the technical moves, which then helps the head game. This "should" then translate into trad climbing provided you can do the gear.
FWIW my experiences probably reflected yours in that I enjoy slate except I did Launching Pad as first e1, so only bolts to clip!
In reply to TRNovice:
If all goes well Holy might be done this summer, found LP to actually be small ledges and all of a sudden I was at the first bolt(and yes I did put a runner into Holy Holy - at my level of competence it would be foolish not to)
In reply to TRNovice: Good routes to try at the grade would be Californian Arete (somewhat bold, but technically easy, I really enjoyed it); Sterling Silver (soft touch for the grade, looks easier than Fools Gold, which I haven't done); Gnat Attack (again somewhat bold, but the crux is just by the bolt); or Combat Rock on the edge of Twll Mawr (gets soft touch E1 on the Slate Wiki).
Thanks. Have SS on my E2 possibles list. Isn't CA effectively a solo? Climbed GA on <whisper>top-rope</whisper> on a PyB course back in the day, so not top of my list for a non-onsight climb. Don't know Combat Rock, will check it out.
In reply to odr: Good routes to try at the grade would be Californian Arete (somewhat bold, but technically easy
This is e1 4c in my guide, which makes it a bit of a chop route. Think I'd prefer to try something like Fool's Gold, although harder (and should be within the OP technical ability ) is at least is well protected which helps the head game.
Surely it all depends on the nature of the route - as with any grade, E1s come in all shapes and sizes. Some E1s have distinct technical cruxes with not much need for stamina, no complicated gear placements and no head issues. For such routes it will be sufficient to be technically proficient and bouldering will get you there. Other E1s are not massively technical but are stamina fests or have little and/or poor gear. Bouldering won't be much use for those, climbing lots at HVS will be. Same goes for any grade you are trying to break into.
My first E grade was a well protected but pumpy E2 5b. Bouldering won't have made that one easier, nor had I done much bouldering at that stage.
Something that got lost in the edit was that I had done a lot of bouldering in Bishop, which tends to have longer, high-ball problems, which help with both head issues and endurance. Not all bouldering is on 3m problems.
In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC: I think bouldering is a great way to build strength (short problems - good for crux moves) and power endurance (longer problems/traverses - good for longer crux sections).
It's rare that I can really 'train' leading trad routes. I can't max-out repeatedly to gain fitness in the same way as I can bouldering.
On a less technical level bouldering is great for building up your 'repertoire of moves', trying new things, gaining confidence on rock types and practising trying very hard (which is a difficult skill to master).
On a mental level (which is just as important as a physical level) bouldering is great because you gain lots of experience and familiarity with the rock, and you might climb much harder technical grades than you are aiming for on a trad lead - hence building a mental buffer zone, knowing you've climbed 5c earlier in the week, when the route you're attempting is 5b.
So advice from me - bouldering is good for your trad at E1 level.
As mentioned above, I did the 5c crux on FG, so my reasons for failure were other than tehcnical difficulty. Similarly, my reasons for success on StS were not just down to it being an easier technical (and less well-protected) climb. As with most leading it was mental issues IMO.
> Thanks Jack, glad to hear it works for E8 as well as E1 .
Also worth noting the parallels between Jack's comments, and how Dave Macleod made use of the bouldering traverses on the Sky Pilot wall in Glen Nevis as part of his endurance training for Echo Wall...
Even without considering the crux on FG, though, the 5b section is sustained and quite pumpy laybacking from what I remember, and you've just had to pull quite a strenuous 5c crux out of the bag. Whereas the 5b bit of STS is short (the crux) and slabby and in-balance. So even though they are both 5b, it's still not comparing like for like IMHO.
I do think STS and FG are quite different kettles of fish (though I've not led FG) but I do agree with the main thrust of the article. I'm not sure it's the way forward for everyone though - I think the bit that holds me back on routes is sustained, pumpy climbing and longer routes, just because bouldering doesn't prepare you for that stuff.
> (In reply to TRNovice)
> Even without considering the crux on FG, though, the 5b section is sustained and quite pumpy laybacking from what I remember
Yes, that was the bit that I struggled with. I found the 5c crux easier than the prospect of sustained 5b above. Though I should emphasise that, as I wasn't really bouldering at the time, this wasn't as a result of this.
In reply to TRNovice: i've top roped fools gold and wouldnt try leading it... ive lead seems the same and it quite a bit easier. if ur looking for an even easier E1 go for looning the tube! went from HS on rhyolite to E1 on slate in about 3 weeks.
> (In reply to Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC)
> Further to my comment above, any chance of the grade being changed to E1 from the current E2 on the logbooks (as below)?
good point...did the confusion arise because Stevie Haston soloed the first ascent and just gave it a speculative grade?
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