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Rock Climbing : Comments

Comments by arnoilgner (7)


Article: Learning How to Learn
Yes, that is an important issue. Basically it goes like this...
There is nothing wrong with grabbing the rope. However, ask yourself this:
"Am I grabbing the rope out of fear (reacting) or to help keep myself upright (responding to the fall effectively)?"
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Just because some top climbers grab the rope doesn't make it the most effective thing to do. My experience has shown me that the end of the fall is where I'll usually impact the rock. So, it is helpful to have hands and feet about shoulder-width apart and relax/bent to absorb that impact. If my hands are grabbing the rope they cannot also be helping with the impact into the rock. The only time I grab the rope is if I am beginning to go sideways (where I'll end up not being upright). And, I only do it at the end of the fall, not during.
Arno

Article: Learning How to Learn
Hello jambojambo69,
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Last weekend I taught a trad/mental camp at the New River Gorge and we did just what you describe. Students were falling on pieces they placed. Most were solid pieces but some ripped. The backup toprope allowed them to do this without risk of going beyond the piece ripping.
In trad climbing, especially when you are learning, you should place gear like you vote: early and often...
Arno

Article: Learning How to Learn
Hello harrisguitar.
Your comment: Hmm.. I don't know about the rest of you, but the belayer should be tight to the ground anchor. The belayer should move very little and stay focused on the falling partner. The dynamic rope provides enough cushion for a fall.
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No, the rope doesn't provide enough cushion. I would like to respectfully ask how many falls you have taken, how many falls you have caught, and if you've been injured. For me, I've taken many, many falls, belayed many, many falls, and thankfully not been seriously injured yet (knock on rock).
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Much of life is paradoxical. We want something yet we must do the opposite to achieve it. In climbing we want to send the route but we must focus in the moment to achieve it. For falling we want to keep the climber safe so we can tend to retract and keep rope from entering the system. But, it has the opposite effect. We keep the climber/faller safer by giving in to the pull. Doing this includes us in the "climber, rope, belayer" system. Retracting essentially removes us from that system. This has been my experience when it come to falling and catching falls.
Don't mean to step on toes. Just consider it.
Arno

Article: Learning How to Learn
Hello martinheynert. Your comment: Mostly nonsense. If you fall, it is the best to "crunch" together like a cat, NOT "relax" and "roll you shoulders back". Your body has to be unter tension, not relaxed if the impact force hits you.
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It is difficult to express in words what I actually do when I teach falling. There are many aspects of it that are misunderstood. We could be agreeing more than it appears.
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Consider martial artists and the body tension they have when performing. They use just the amount needed to do the task. Any excess tension is due to fear. This is what I mean when describing falling. We tend to contract (hold our breath, get tunnel vision, have concave posture, and tense up) when under stress, which falling can cause. Contracting causes us to be rigid and get hurt. By breathing, looking down, maintaining positive posture (subtle roll of shoulders back/down), arms/legs bent and shoulders-width apart, and staying relaxed (just the right amount of tension as we impact the wall)...the falls seem to cause less injury.
Anyway, that's been my experience; not saying it was yours.
Arno

Article: Deliberate Transitions are Ambiguous
I probably could have used a better title. Many times (and I could be totally wrong on this point) a title is to grab the reader's attention, not necessarily explain the article.
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The article points to the need to deal with ambiguity that is within the transition, once one has let go of preparation, yet hasn't engaged yet. So, if one is able to deal with that ambiguity well then he/she actually makes his/her transition more deliberate...ambiguity leading to deliberateness, as it were.
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Anyway, the intent for the title was to grab the reader's attention. Perhaps it did that; perhaps not.
Arno

Article: The Mental Toughness Error
Yes, I can do better to coordinate pic with article. I'll do that next time...
Arno

Article: The Mental Toughness Error
no, the pic isn't of zoo view.
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mturner comment: "downclimbing isn't always an option."
You are correct. Downclimbing isn't always a possibility. I think a lot of the disagreement in the various posts here boils down to what each of us sets as the goal.
For instance, what is better, to commit forward or to downclimb, when you are in doubt? If you set the goal of achieving an end goal, like getting to the top or to the next rest/pro stance, then committing forward is the answer. This is because by committing forward you at least are going in the direction of your goal and you may achieve it.
However, if you set your goal to take an appropriate risk so you can learn and not injure yourself, then downclimbing is the answer. This is because the prospect of committing forward with a high chance of falling in a no-fall zone is too high. Better to downclimb even if you can only downclimb a few moves and then fall, that's a fall consequence you can deal with better than falling off after committing forward.
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So what is your goal? To commit forward to get through any way you can, or to take an appropriate risk and learn?
Arno