UKC

/ Indoor Winter Climbing Training Ideas

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jonnie3430 - on 11 Oct 2016
Hello,

I don't feel I get the winter climbing training that I'd like from indoor walls. I have a couple of ideas and wondered if people could comment on their suitability for an indoor wall.

I've tried indoor tooling and never liked the chance of tools popping off and hitting you on the face, or the risk of dropping a tool. The indoor tools with loops never seemed to take off (never even seen them.)

How about holds shaped like tool grips permanently attached to the wall? You'd use the existing bolts to fix the holds, so variety and challenge of reaching up to a really high hook, or one off to the side would be there, and you could use them anywhere in the wall without the risk that comes with tools. Tool holds that allow hand swapping and rests could also be used. Disadvantage is that walls would have to have enough to equip a route and there is a risk of the pommel of the hold hooking ropes, etc.

The other option would be to hang a chain (can't do this in my garden,) and hook the links with tools and crampons. A top rope could be used from the same point the chain is attached too. Disadvantage is that it involves tools and crampons indoors and all that it entails.

Any other suggestions for interesting indoor winter training (not loads of pull ups, please!) gratefully received.
planetmarshall on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:

> Any other suggestions for interesting indoor winter training (not loads of pull ups, please!) gratefully received.

Training is, among other things, about specificity. 'Winter Climbing' covers a lot of ground, so I suppose it depends on which particular areas you want to train. For what it's worth, here are my 2p

Most of these ideas and others are in 'Training for the new Alpinism'. Steve House is very receptive to emails so you could always ask him directly - be sure to mention that you've already bought his book.

* Dry tooling, indoors and out, is mostly about steep routes. However, if you can handle steep terrain with ease, then you won't be fazed by the more vertical stuff and will be less stressed when hanging around placing gear ( analogous to steep bouldering and trad ). Admittedly whether you can find a wall where you can do this depends on where you live. If you're in Fort William maybe Dave Mac will let you rent his garage...

* Deadhangs with the axes. If you can hang on a single axe for more than 30s, add boots, pack etc.

* Scottish Winter involves a lot of walking, and a lot of carrying. General hill fitness will ensure you aren't so knackered when you get to the crag that you can barely stand ( or be one of those people who seems to spend forever at the base of the crag gearing up, drinking coffee, eating lunch and basically having a rest ). This is generally achieved by climbing up a lot of hills with a heavy pack, or trail running or cross country skiing etc if you have the terrain/weather for it. On the strength side, deadlifts and box steps with a barbell or pack are good training for breaking trail.



jonnie3430 - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to planetmarshall:

Cheers for that, if anyone knows of dry tooling near Inverness can they let me know? I don't fancy the drive to Newtyle, hence the thoughts above.
Luke90 on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:

> How about holds shaped like tool grips permanently attached to the wall? You'd use the existing bolts to fix the holds, so variety and challenge of reaching up to a really high hook, or one off to the side would be there, and you could use them anywhere in the wall without the risk that comes with tools. Tool holds that allow hand swapping and rests could also be used. Disadvantage is that walls would have to have enough to equip a route and there is a risk of the pommel of the hold hooking ropes, etc.

Would this really add anything over climbing an existing steep and juggy route? I've never done any winter climbing so my perspective possibly isn't all that valuable but is the specific shape of the axe handle really something that needs training for?

My understanding was that the advantage of training with actual axes and/or simulations like the handles with loops was that you could practice some of the skills of placing an axe and would need to use the correct body position and tension to stop the loop or pick from slipping off the hold. I don't imagine that static axe-shaped holds would offer any of that, you could lunge at them and pull on them from any direction, just like any jug.
jonnie3430 - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Luke90:

> Would this really add anything over climbing an existing steep and juggy route? I've never done any winter climbing so my perspective possibly isn't all that valuable but is the specific shape of the axe handle really something that needs training for?

It's the stamina hanging onto a grip and the strength for long reaches poor footholds that I'd like to develop. For the first I think training the muscles specifically involved in holding a grip instead of all the muscles in the forearm is important.

> My understanding was that the advantage of training with actual axes and/or simulations like the handles with loops was that you could practice some of the skills of placing an axe and would need to use the correct body position and tension to stop the loop or pick from slipping off the hold. I don't imagine that static axe-shaped holds would offer any of that, you could lunge at them and pull on them from any direction, just like any jug.

I think with route setting you'd get winter style moves, I.e. having the hold at an angle and the next offset so it is like pulling off a torque. I've played on some wildly overhanging dry tooling routes before and it is the stamina and strength that lets me down.
Lemony - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:
> It's the stamina hanging onto a grip and the strength for long reaches poor footholds that I'd like to develop.

Would that not be more easily and specifically trained by making or buying a pair of these type trainers and doing deadhangs and lockoffs?
http://crusherholds.co.uk/accessories/pair-ice-axe-trainer-hangboard
jonnie3430 - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Lemony:

I've taken that a bit further with drilled hooks in a 2 by 4 drilled to the wall and a hanging rope underneath it with loops tied in it that can be hooked so I can use my axes, but I find it a bit short and repetitive and would prefer longer and more interesting and wondered if more could be done at walls?
3leggeddog on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:

Some off cuts of 3x2 on a steep board and do laps.

Climb some big trees

Suspend a chain or ladder in your garage or between 2 trees and fig 4/9 along it.

Axe hangs

Knees to elbows on axes

Fig 4/9 on axes

Oh, and axe pulls.
Jeff Ingman - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to jonnie3430:

Your profile shows you have E3 trad and sport 7a credentials, so you're already quite fit

I know you said that you don't want to do loads of pullups but I would suggest that you consider Ian Parnell's work out described here for winter stamina.......

http://ianparnellphotography.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/winter-training-and-ukc-gallery.html

My own variation on Ian's workout is to use a range of grips, including axes, sets of 3 for 40 consecutive minutes. Easy to start, hard to finish. It replicates a hard lead on one pitch IMHO.

If you want to increase your winter strength, look at page 228 of Steve House and Scott Johnson's book. Pullups again, but you only have to do a few.

Good luck to you for the winter........Jeff




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