Beginner's Bliss

If you are a beginner climber and want to ask other climbers any questions - then this is the place to ask.
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Beginner's Bliss

Post by Klipspringer » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:16 pm

What to do if you have just started climbing, absolutely love it, but seem to get stuck on a specific route or just don't manage to climb a higher grade. More time in the climbing gym? More time outdoors? More time in the gym? Or a technique & skills course?

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Post by Stu » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:25 pm

When you're starting out, it's all about enjoying yourself! Just get out onto rock and have fun on GOOD routes. Don't focus too much on the grades, you'll improve in time...

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Post by Iain » Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:46 am

I agree with Klipspringer that as a beginner, your focus should be on enjoying your climbing.
If being goal orientated is what motivates you, then set a goal for 2008: Flash or redpoint 100 different routes (redoing routes from previous years does not count but nailing last year's project does).
Inspiration exists, but it must find you working. – Pablo Picasso

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Post by BAbycoat » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:56 am

- Roadtrip -> climb as many different routes as you can, on as many different rock types as possible.
- Vary your climbing -> sport, gym, trad, boulder.
- Learn from others: watch them climb, speak to them, pick up tips.
- Vary your technique - if you are repeating routes, use different sequences.

As I've said elsewhere, clock up vertical (s)mileage. The grades will come later.

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Post by nosmo » Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:19 am

Climb more, that's all there is.

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Post by Justin » Fri Nov 16, 2007 10:31 am

A technique & skills course will do you well (Stuart Brown will be doing some coaching classes (Western Cape) - contact me if you would like his details

BAbycoat put some good tips down, also...

- Watch other climbers to see how they do moves that you can't or struggle with (both on rock and in the gym)
- Try focusing on your footwork rather than the grips you are holding onto (this is best done on an easier route or one that you are familiar with). Your feet are a lot stronger than your arms ;)
- Check out for some technique tips
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Post by Klipspringer » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:16 pm

Thanks to all for the great advice. :D

Justin, please send me some info on the course you mentioned. I have tried numerous times to do the Technique & Skills course at City Rock, but there never seems to be enough interested parties to make up a full class.

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Post by JonoJ » Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:45 pm

My two-bob....

- Firstly- don't stress about grades, have fun on whatever you climb.
- Forget about strength training at first - this will come in time.
- Brrrrreath.... focus on oxygenating your muscle all the time.
- Concetrate on your footwork and technique
- Try not over-grip - fiddle around on holds and figure out just how much effort is needed to keep you there and no more.
- Repeat routes you get up with a fair amount of effort, trying out different body positions and foot placements.
-Learn to milk a rest off whichever holds you again (by experimenting with different body positions and footwork, you'll soon find out which offers the best rest or least amount of effort on each move)
- Repeat routes until you feel fluid on them. (and by that I don't mean feel your blood dripping down the route)
- Climb as statically as possible (no dyno's and big lunges) - this will prevent beginner injuries and will improve your endurance.
- Climb with, and watch, girls! Not only is it aesthetically very pleasing, you will learn a lot about technique and milking unique rests

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Post by Mark » Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:00 pm

Don't try and push grades - rather climb many easier routes, this will teach you technique and endurance, which is far more beneficial than working / fighting your way up one hard route.

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Push it

Post by Justin » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:48 pm

Looking at it from a another angle... when you climb harder, more routes and possibilities open themselves to you (the trick is not injuring yourself along the way ;)
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Post by DaveD » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:09 pm

In my experience, I have found my biggest gains in grade have come when I try harder things.

We can get into a comfort zone, and as soon as we try something harder, we struggle, feel weak and gravitate back towards easy routes again. Break that comfort zone, and streach yourself.

Keep in mind that you will struggle on harder routes, and may not even be able to do 2 moves together. Keep trying and focus on small improvments and keep trying. With time and effort, you will improve.

If you can, climb with people that climb harder than you. Get onto routes they are climbing.

I also find that indoor climbing can only help you so much with outdoor climbing. You want to be hitting the crag at least once or twice a week to get nice and strong.
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joint pain

Post by Localforeigner » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:48 pm

I don’t know if this is on the same subject, but I’ve been having joint pain!
I started climbing in February last year.
Because of the bad weather here in Germany, I mostly climb indoor. I hardly ever get muscular pain or “stiff” muscles after a hard climbing session, but I keep having joint pain though!
At the moment my elbows are hurting so much, it’s difficult to enjoy the cup of coffee I’ve just made, not to mention the strong urge to go to the boulder room tomorrow and climb some!
Any advice would be appreciated. Maybe training of some sort to strengthen the joints? Food I should include into my diet? Maybe something wrong with my technique?

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Post by Justin » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:03 pm

No sir, you are in the wrong department, this discussion is about making your fingers sore ;)
See Finger Trouble & Sore fingers
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Post by Localforeigner » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:34 pm

Thanks Justin, guess what works for the finger joints works fort the elbow- and shoulder joints as well.

Thought my post was appropriate after reading the post from DaveD on pushing yourself.
I guess the secret really is to push as hard as possible without injuring yourself. Problem is the pain only announces that you’ve overdone it the next day.

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Post by oOdball » Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:21 am

As far as I'm aware, joint pain (esp. elbows) is the result of overdeveloping pulling muscles (biceps) relative to the opposing muscles (triceps etc.). Try doing some non-climbing specific conditioning exercises like push ups after you've destroyed yourself on the campus board. Maybe training powerful Gaston moves will also help.

Disclaimer - I am not a health professional, take all advice at your own risk :wink:
You have an opinion, so do I. When these differ, please don't confuse your opinion with the truth, nothing is absolute.

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Improving in the climbing game

Post by GBM » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:54 pm

Hi ...

I got into trad fairly early on and have found that it improves your ability to tackle harder sport routes considerably.

I agree with most of the recommendations above and would add that it won't hurt to buy 1 or 2 good books (particularly if you have aspirations to trad climb).

Enjoy it ...

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