General => Ice & Winter Climbing => Topic started by: old_school on January 23, 2007, 07:28:02 AM

Title: Best Advice?
Post by: old_school on January 23, 2007, 07:28:02 AM
Just curious,

In all the years, months...days(?) that you have been climbing, what was the single most beneficial bit(s) of advice that you received that took your climbing ability to the next level?
Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on January 23, 2007, 08:56:29 AM
Spoken advice has never done that much for me.  The big turining point for me with rock was partnering up with Charlie Gray and getting dragged up a bunch of climbs in the gunks and then out west. Before that experience I thought that those kind of climbs were only done by those mythical hard men. Same thing happened on ice last year when Rocky dragged Bob and myself up The Promonade. That climb and all the other grade 5's at the Lake had mythical status in my mind. That cold trip up the Promonade and subsquent thread off in the dark didn't exactly shatter those myths but it did open my mind to the possibilitys of what could actually be climbed.  Before that day the hardest climbs that I had lead were dracula and 20 Below. Since that day I have ticked several of my all time dream climbs and a few that I never would have even considered.
Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: Admin Al on January 23, 2007, 09:06:21 AM
many years ago i asked a musical idol of mine "how do I get better?" he raised one eyebrow and responded "just play all the time, buddy". about 10 years ago (when I was 49 & had been climbing a fairly long time) i asked the same question of Mark Wilford at Ice Fest. he said "buddy, just climb all the time, the more you do it, the better you'll get." I moved up here and climbed a lot more, I got better.

<wry grin>

Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: old_school on January 23, 2007, 09:58:33 AM
When I first starte climbing (around 25 years ago) I used to climb as though I was climbing a ladder. A guy that was watching me yelled up..."climb like a frog dude"! I had no idea what he was trying to tell me and inside i thought he must be making fun of me. When I got down to the ground, he said that I was climbing too inefficiently...making too many small moves. He then jumped on the climb, hung on stright arms....moved his feet up in a crouch position...he said "see, the frog collects himself...then he springs forward" at which point he stood up on both legs and went for the higher holds. He proceeded to solo the pitch and did it in half the movement that I did...I will never forget really helped me move more efficiently and concentrate on the feet and using the legs!
Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: stinkyralph on January 23, 2007, 04:42:39 PM
"climb with your feet" -?

"stop looking at your hands- look at  your feet" -?

"hold on loosely, but don't let go- if you cling too tightly, you're gonna lose control" - 38 Special

"be safe, have fun, come home friends" first trip to the Sierra -Austin Moseley circa 1992
Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: bag11s on January 23, 2007, 06:16:18 PM
Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: Admin Al on January 23, 2007, 06:39:58 PM

I totally agree wit this. probably the most important thing for almost anything you do. directly applies to music, climbing, cycling, you name it. probably even sex...  ;D

Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on January 28, 2007, 07:09:18 AM
A bit of my own wisdome here ;) On big ice climbs make a plan. Scope the climb with binocs and  break it up into sections that you know you can climb. Often if you look at the whole climb it seems totaly nuts! You would have to be certifiable to even attempt it but if you look at it one section at a time it becomes a reasonable endevor. 8)
Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: Admin Al on January 28, 2007, 07:29:18 AM
while you can look at a climb with binocs & get some idea of what it's like, when you are actually doing the climbing it's different. I've been surprised many times. remember "it's always steeper than it looks!" that said what nick says is absolutely on the mark. when you are climbing break the thing up into sections. i really mean even smaller than 50' sections, more like every 10 feet. very rarely are climbs 60 meters of sustained suffering. usually the hard sections are 10-20' then there is some place you can get a rest. thus if you can get thru the very difficult places, you can do the climb.

Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: alchimist on January 29, 2007, 12:37:39 PM
at the Gunks at least - if the road is dry the rock is dry

on summer day when it was about 85F and 90% hummidity: "Your going to try the Book, today!"

"flick your wrist at the end of the swing"

one day to a guide on Cinema Gully on a blustery day - "How do you keep your hands warm in those gloves?" we asked. "I don't" he said. Oh, I thought, I guess even pros get cold, maybe there is some hope for me yet.
Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: Pat on January 29, 2007, 03:21:46 PM
What about solid advice for climbing steeper ice?  Any good tips on that topic folks have received and care to pass on?

Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: tradmanclimbz on January 29, 2007, 03:59:48 PM
Have a plan. Even on the steepest climbs there are rests if you keep your eyes open, a mushroom that you can flat foot on while placeing a screw etc. try to place from these pre planned spots rather than burn out placeing screws in the middle of the hardest moves. Either have a clipper/android style leash system or leashless. You burn tons of energy getting in and out of lockdown leashes to place gear. Also lockdowns strangle your blood flow and render your hands usless frozen weak noodles. Have a totaly eficient racking system so that placeing gear on dead verticle goes smoothly. Be FAST and move UP.  The faster  you crank through the crux the less pumpy it is. How many of us have gotten in the middle of the crux and hung out burning gas trying to get the courage to move up on that placement? If your gear is decent and close enough just move up and keep moveing up untill you get another flat foot to place from.  Be strong. Strength builds confidence and confidence allows you to move up faster thereby useing less strength. Get more upward movement out of each placed tool. Don't over drive your tools unless you are out of gas in a no fall zone and have to get a screw in NOW!!! Then you burry that sucker and fire one in. If it is a choice between falling and grabbing gear by all means grab the gear ;) Know how to thread off safely. Knowing you can bail if it gets too hairy will allow you to investigate more bigger harder climbs.....
Title: Re: Best Advice?
Post by: DLottmann on January 29, 2007, 10:11:38 PM day to a guide on Cinema Gully on a blustery day - "How do you keep your hands warm in those gloves?" we asked. "I don't" he said...

I've been thinking about this alot lately.  I recently got a pair of EMS Work Gloves (retail $30)

and climbed Hitchcock during that cold snap a week or two ago.  I think it was -6 that day.  I've summited Washington in fairly cold temps too without needing to change into my warmer gloves, while I put clients in expedition mitts with chemical heat pads.  Why are my hands staying so warm?  I have a few guesses.

Things you can control:
Hydration and Fuel, constantly
Keeping your torso warm
Not over gripping your tools (I swear people deny this while they are suffering the "screaming barfies" and I am belaying bare handed.
Wearing gloves thin enough you can do delicate tasks WITHOUT taking them off.

Things you really can't control:
Poor Circulation.  Try vitamin E and any vaso-dilators you know of.

I feel with thinner gloves tasks like trying in, placeing and removing screws, etc. you do not squeeze your hand as much, restricting circulation.  I have had a few partners in BD Ice Gloves (my old favorite) rip them off since they couldn't get their crampons on with them on, only to have cold hands the rest of the day.

Below treeline these days I wear these thin, non-waterproof gloves all day, with my BD Ice Gloves dry and at the bottom of my pack, sometimes coming out for the walk down just for the dryness of a new pair.  Up on Wash I add expedition mitts I haven't worn in 4 years.

Be cautious trying new clothing ideas, and bring back ups and hand warmers till you are sure, but I don't think the secret to warm hands is any particular glove, but in technique.