62

It's a matter of practice, but also a matter of feel: When stepping with the front of your foot you have a smaller contact area, so the pressure is higher than using the whole foot. This increases sensitivity to the rock underneath (extremely important with smaller holds), strengthens the muscles you will need for them, and also sort of gives you more ...


36

Apart from the reasons already stated, namely getting used to doing it that way as it will help you on smaller footholds, there's also maneuverability: If you step with the entire foot, it is really hard to turn your foot if you e.g. need to reposition yourself to reach the next hold. You often see beginners especially in gyms doing the "frog move", where ...


21

Basically, "spotting" someone means making sure that they safely land on the pad with their feet first to prevent injuries in case of a fall. This means several distinct tasks: Moving a falling climber to the pad: try to guide them towards the pad, ideally by pushing at the hips or shoulders. Don't try to catch them (which includes not standing directly ...


18

The job of a spotter is to prevent the climber from landing on their head and (if possible) ensure they land on their feet and on the crashpad. This may involve moving the crashpad (which should coincide with the climber having a secure hold or position. The job of a spotter is not to "catch" the climber! That's something they're simply not going to be able ...


17

Yes, shoe size plays a role which is quite important. But for beginners I would suggest to think more about foot technique than caring about the best possible gear. For climbing shoe sizes I give the following simple hints: choose the shoes as small as possible choose shoes which aren't causing ache of the foot/toes/nail/heel climbing rubber shoes will ...


17

Before the climb As @ShemSeger suggests, most of the work is to be done before the climb itself. You need to stay warm belaying your partner and waiting to climb yourself - if your hands and feet are cold beforehand, it will be hard to warm them up when they are in contact with cold stone. What you can do is: Keep your core warm by wearing warm clothes - ...


17

Answer: What should I do before climbing to increase the amount of time I can climb before my forearms start hurting? There are plenty of opinions on what to do before climbing, stretching is old school, warming up is new school, easier climbing with a slow progression towards your "problem" for the day is cool too. Nothing but climbing, and often, is ...


16

I climb barefoot and in vibram five-fingers (KSO's), climbed in them for the first time in 2008 and loved them, where they excel is in roofs and overhanging problems because you can hook holds a lot easier with your toes, but for tougher wall climbing with small features (5.11+) I still use climbing shoes. There are some gyms that allow climbing barefoot, ...


15

I am not a very good climber as such, and I am 5'7" only. I think I am dwarf enough to put in my experiences here: As you rightly said, being short can be very frustrating when you don't get to access a specific hold. There are a few techniques that might help a short climber do amazingly well. Realize that you may not be able to do exactly the same ...


15

This is not a complete list per se. If bouldering outdoors, particularly with an overhang, wear a helmet. This isn't to protect you from a fall, it's to protect your head for if rocks get knocked down onto you. When spotting, maintain an athletic stance. If you just stand normally, you won't be able to absorb impact from a fall as well. "Spoons, not ...


15

Avoiding Pump: Warm up, warm up, warm up. To avoid serious arm pump you need to do at least 15 minutes of EASY climbing. That's 15 minutes of you doing what you feel is exceptionally easy, even if that means doing traverses back and forth across the wall, or climbing up and down a step ladder. You want to activate your muscles and get the blood flowing so ...


14

Before embarking on specifics, a word of advice: learn to love plateaus. When beginning climbing, we make drastic improvements seemingly every time we go out. As we improve, gains become more and more difficult. There will still be jumps in ability, but they will become more and more sporadic. Learn to love climbing for the movement and adventure, for the ...


13

Because you want to increase your chances of contracting nail fungus or athlete's foot from your rental shoes :) In other words, it's probably better to keep the socks on if you're renting shoes.


13

The best single tip I got when I started bouldering (especially overhangs) is If you are reaching for the next hold with your right hand, keep most of the weight on your right foot. If you are reaching with your left hand, keep most of the weight on your left foot. This is to prevent barn-dooring. In fact, taking the other foot off a hold will often counter-...


13

Have you ever done any weight training? This kind of "delayed onset muscle soreness" is very common for people beginning a weight training program. This wikipedia page attempts to explain the mechanism. For weight training, the general advice is to not stop lifting, but to reduce the weight and intensity. If you google "delay onset muscle soreness" you'...


13

Climbing next to a road is, in general, not a pleasant experience. Any roadside rock face is artificially shaped by the excavation that created it. The rock can be more likely to crumble under you as you climb than naturally exposed rock, and it is likely to be dirty from dust kicked up by passing traffic. You may think that dirt is a silly complaint, but it ...


12

As a girl 167cm tall (5'7") I'm on a shorter side of climbers spectra. I believe that while sometimes not being able to reach a hold can mean a no-go on a route, there is plenty of situations where being short gives you the edge: Shorter body means shorter levers. This comes handy in steep overhangs and in any other situation that requires a lot of body ...


12

I'm a very static climber, but back in the day I was one of those climbing cave rats who campused and dyno'd his way through as much of a problem as he could. The key to becoming a more static climber, is to learn more technique and balance. I learned how to be a static climber from bouldering. You can learn a lot from reading a book, or watching some ...


11

With due respect to Ben Crowell, who is I believe a far more experienced outdoorsman than I am, I beg to differ with his answer. (Edit: his answer prior to revision.) Having worked at a very small climbing wall I have seen tough ropes completely worn out by top-rope climbing alone, therefore at least in the extreme "Ropes don't become weak from top-roping ...


11

Here are some features to keep in mind when buying climbing shoes once you're past the beginner phase: Downturned: Most beginner shoes are pretty flat, which are fine for mainly vertical walls. However, as you climb harder stuff on overhanging walls, it's helpful to have downturned shoes for maintaining a hook-like foot shape. This allows you to hook your ...


11

Fall More. If you're not falling a lot, then you're not pushing yourself enough, ergo you won't see much improvement. Grasping a basic understanding of proper climbing technique is what enables most new climbers to quickly advance in their climbing abilities, but once you have that understanding of climbing principles, then your limitations are mostly ...


11

Little excursion up front: If you have problems with joints or back when jumping down, do not ignore that. Either you already have a significant problem with those areas, in which case you should consult a health professional, or more likely you don't land properly. Even with mats, good landing technique is very important to save your body. That's out of ...


11

Using your whole foot while rock climbing is a poor practice in most cases as it restricts your footwork and limits your movement options. When stepping with the front of the shoe you are able to effectively pivot and stretch onto your tip-toes. Pivoting can be a very important part of increasing your overall climbing efficiency by allowing you to move ...


10

Not much advantage being a short climber to be honest.I'm probably the shortest around, I'm 5'1" male @ 120lbs and getting stronger in my mid 30's. I can solve most problems, but not all reachy problems with no intermediates. Be creative all the most, no different than your daily life. Its what life has brought to me is to think outside the box. Sometimes ...


10

Short answer: Climb lots of other routes in many different areas and have lots of other people climb your routes. Let me get into why you opened a can of worms with your question: Ratings for routes are almost always in a greater context both historically and in respect to their location. The people who created the Yosemite Decimal System for example had ...


10

Warm Your Core! One thing all climbers have in common, is a big poofy down jacket. Your fingers are only going to be as warm as your core is, so keep your core warm, and that nice warm blood will circulate to your fingers. Only take your jacket off when it's your turn to climb. For extra warmth, drink hot chocolate while you're wearing your poofy jacket and ...


10

Even though you say cost is not a primary factor, I still think it's good to be aware of this point when buying your first climbing shoes when mainly used in gyms (I wasn't aware at the time :) ): This won't be your last pair of climbing shoes, you'll need new ones quite soon due to the sole wearing through. Therefore you don't need to get the perfect ...


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