Friday, November 14, 2008 by Daniel

Onsighting 10d's makes me feel pro

Rushed for time, so will keep this short.

Had two climbing sessions Friday, both of them went very well.

Thruster practice: 5x10 @ 65#
Climbing w/Tor: 10a(c), 10d(o!), 10b/c(o)

Climbing w/Bekka: 10a(c), 10d(o!), 10c(c)

That's TWO 10d onsights in one day! And neither of them even felt particularly hard! Now, I know that a lot of it is subjective, and there are 10B's in the gym I can't do without resting, but regardless: climbing 10d's is good for the ego. I might even try an 11a sometime soon...

I've been really focusing lately on what I call "Tree-sloth" climbing, as opposed to "Throw and catch" style. These are just terms I made up - I don't know if there are actual technical terms for this. However, in "Throw and catch," moves are made in a dynamic, fast fashion - essentially like a clean or jerk, you use a combination of momentum, leg and arm strength to temporarily make yourself weightless, and in that brief window you advance a hand up to the next hold. It's not that this is an invalid method or anything - I've seen very good climbers use it, and sometimes it's your only option - however, it comes with a couple attendant prices: 1) I believe it tires you out faster, since you have to generate a spike in energy, and 2) if, for some reason, you misjudge the distance, or misread the hold, or just fuck up, it is very difficult to rescue a throw-and-catch move. You will probably fall.

Tree-sloth climbing, in comparison, is very non-dynamic. Every move is stabilized, and you don't move a hand up unless you can do it in a slow, controlled fashion. Watching the really good climbers, most of them climb in this fashion most of the time. The trick is finding the most efficient body positions that allow you to stay on the wall with only three (or sometimes two) points of contact. It's definitely a more isometric type of exercise, and in very difficult positions you can feel the energy needle slowly moving from F to E while trying to maintain the hold, but ultimately I believe it forces more efficient movement, thereby tiring you out less while simultaneously reducing the risk of falling. In other words, it's good. So that's what I'm focusing on these days, particularly on the lower-level climbs where I have the mental bandwidth to think about things like technique.

1 comment:

Maximus Lewin said...

The terms are "dynamic" and "static".

I like "tree sloth" better.

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