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Learner


Jun 14, 2011, 12:31 PM
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ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy?
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What is your mental strategy for on-sighting a route?

This thread is about the psychology of on-sighting. I am asking you to be as perceptive as you can here, in reading yourself and what goes through your head when you're about to attempt to on-sight a route.

For example, I have seen climbers imagine themselves gripping the handholds only, while physically imitating the movements, as if they were clutching the holds they can spot (left, right, left, right). The eyes scan the route from ground up, looking for potential handholds, and as each is spotted, the climber imagines himself/herself clutching the holds one-by-one. While the climber is on the ground imagining this, each hand physically executes each movement in mid-air, being in the exact position and executing the exact grip that would appear to be necessary to utilize that hold at that point in the route. These individuals would focus on what is going to happen with their hands, for the most part ignoring their feet until they actually attempt the route. Apparently they are gambling on the fact that there will be holds for their feet and that they will spot and be able to use them.

Others seem to account for their entire body, planning out what's going to happen with all points of contact and their relative body positions, but only for the first couple of moves. And I have to assume that there are others that actually attempt to execute the entire route in their heads, including all points of contact and body positions, for at least as much of the route as they can see from the ground.

Still others seem to just wing it, thinking one (hand or foot) move at a time as they go along.

So, what goes through your head immediately before you attempt to on-sight a route? Please share as much detail as possible.

(If applicable, how is your on-sighting strategy different for outdoor vs. indoor climbing?)


(This post was edited by Learner on Jun 14, 2011, 3:05 PM)


healyje


Jun 14, 2011, 12:33 PM
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Re: [Learner] Mental Strategy for On-Sighting? [In reply to]
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Ignore the chalk.


kennoyce


Jun 14, 2011, 12:57 PM
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Re: [Learner] Mental Strategy for On-Sighting? [In reply to]
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Learner wrote:
[So, what goes through your head immediately before you attempt to on-sight a route? Please share as much detail as possible.

This route looks fun, I think I'll give it a go.


olderic


Jun 14, 2011, 1:34 PM
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Re: [Learner] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Don't let go.


spikeddem


Jun 14, 2011, 1:49 PM
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Re: [olderic] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Before arriving at crag:

Read Rock Warrior's Way.

At crag:

Look for rests.

Look for clipping holds (or gear if trad).

Determine the most difficult parts of the route. These are the parts through which you will need to climb the quickest.

Locate parts that may be intimidating, and determine the safety of them. It may need to be refined on lead, but once you determine it's safe, you need to focus on the movement, not on perceived danger. If it's not safe, then skip it (or retreat).

Do your best to come up with sequences for as much of the route as you can, recognizing that they may need to be refined on lead.

Go over your list of excuses (or set some up!) that you'll have if you fail. Laugh

That's all I can think of for now.


(This post was edited by spikeddem on Jun 14, 2011, 1:50 PM)


Partner cracklover


Jun 14, 2011, 1:56 PM
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Re: [Learner] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Is this gym, or real climbing? Because on real rock, you can rarely see the holds well enough to do what you're talking about.

GO


Learner


Jun 14, 2011, 2:53 PM
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Re: [cracklover] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
Is this gym, or real climbing? Because on real rock, you can rarely see the holds well enough to do what you're talking about.

GO
Both. Is your on-sighting strategy different for outdoor vs. indoor climbing? If so, in what way(s)?


healyje


Jun 14, 2011, 3:35 PM
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Re: [Learner] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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What makes you think an onsight attempt is somehow different than any other climb or that it requires a 'strategy' of any sort? Personally, I try not to think that much prior to a climb and as little as possible during one.


kiwiprincess


Jun 14, 2011, 4:47 PM
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I too look for good holds/Positions for rests and clipping.
I like to break it in rest to rest segments and see if I can spot a sequence for any of it so I have a plan and can keep going through the hard bits.
I wear my helmet so I don't panic if the fall will be awkward.
I try to breath through my nose to stay calm.

For maximum success any style. I warm up well, eat small snacks regularly rather than a big meal, and stay hydrated etc


healyje


Jun 14, 2011, 4:54 PM
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Re: [kiwiprincess] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Is that somehow different than how you approach any climb?


jt512


Jun 14, 2011, 4:59 PM
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Re: [healyje] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
I try not to think that much prior to a climb and as little as possible during one.

A lot of folks around here use the same strategy for posting.

Jay


healyje


Jun 14, 2011, 5:24 PM
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Re: [jt512] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
healyje wrote:
I try not to think that much prior to a climb and as little as possible during one.

A lot of folks around here use the same strategy for posting.

Jay

I hear you. Also as opposed to posing no doubt which requires strategy.


(This post was edited by healyje on Jun 14, 2011, 5:25 PM)


kiwiprincess


Jun 14, 2011, 6:55 PM
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Re: [healyje] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Well if it's red point I already know most that from the experience rather than scoping it out. Definatelythe same if I repeat a route I did years ago and can't remember alot.


Learner


Jun 14, 2011, 9:48 PM
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Re: [healyje] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
What makes you think an onsight attempt is somehow different than any other climb or that it requires a 'strategy' of any sort? Personally, I try not to think that much prior to a climb and as little as possible during one.

They will be the same, for the most part. Although effective strategy for onsighting will be effective strategy for any climb, strategy for on-sighting poses additional challenges. On-sighting will require a greater expression of problem-solving skills than a climb you've already attempted, or have recieved beta on. So I agree with you, this is really a question of problem-solving before attempting to climb a route. So any effective strategies contributed to this thread could benefit you whenever you attempt to climb any route. However, we can learn the most about problem-solving by asking about strategy for on-sighting in particular...

As kiwiprincess pointed out, if you're attempting to redpoint, you may already have a good idea what you need to do, you just need to execute. Sometimes you know what you need to do but just can't do it at the time. You may come back later and redpoint it after you've rested, thought it through, gotten stronger, thought through and corrected technique, etc.... For example, you may not be able to make it through the crux because you can't do the particular move that is required. However, in this case you'd already know what you need to do, and have decided it is the best approach. When attempting to on-sight, on the other hand, you are more of a blank slate and need to figure out what move you need to do before you attempt to do it.

It's this 'figuring it out' stage I'm interested in with this thread. Since on-sighting places more demand on this stage than any other method of sending (hangdog, redpoint or flash), we can learn the most about this stage by posing a strategy question involving on-sighting. Hence, even though the answers we get will benefit all of your climbing, we ask about mental strategy for on-sighting instead of any other way to send. The result is that we learn the most about problem-solving before you attempt to climb a route than we would have learned had we posed the question any other way. That works out pretty nicely, don't you think? Wink


(This post was edited by Learner on Jun 14, 2011, 10:00 PM)


healyje


Jun 14, 2011, 10:04 PM
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Hmmm, personally I think when most of one's climbing involves resting on the rope to progressively figure out a stack of moves then onsighting tends to be well within one's limits exactly because you aren't used to thinking on the fly. Another approach would be to not rest on the rope so much and learn to think and problem solve while actually climbing - do that enough and onsighting will likely happen closer to your limit and come much more naturally than trying to come up with pre-climb thinking 'strategies'.


(This post was edited by healyje on Jun 14, 2011, 10:05 PM)


Learner


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Re: [healyje] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
Hmmm, personally I think when most of one's climbing involves resting on the rope to progressively figure out a stack of moves then onsighting tends to be well within one's limits exactly because you aren't used to thinking on the fly. Another approach would be to not rest on the rope so much and learn to think and problem solve while actually climbing - do that enough and onsighting will likely happen closer to your limit and come much more naturally than trying to come up with pre-climb thinking 'strategies'.
I don't know what this first sentence in italics is supposed to mean. It seems you may have intended to say onsighting tends to be out of one's limits here instead of well within. And I don't know why you're talking about hanging from a rope. This thread is about on-sighting, which does not involve hanging from a rope.

That aside, I agree with what you wrote here in bold. I think what happens while you climb is more important than anything, worlds above what happens before you begin to climb. However, I am also interested in what goes through your head (if anything) before you attempt a route. I suspect most climbers have something they tend to do, and that's interesting.


(This post was edited by Learner on Jun 14, 2011, 10:21 PM)


healyje


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Re: [Learner] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Learner wrote:
healyje wrote:
Hmmm, personally I think when most of one's climbing involves resting on the rope to progressively figure out a stack of moves then onsighting tends to be well within one's limits exactly because you aren't used to thinking on the fly. Another approach would be to not rest on the rope so much and learn to think and problem solve while actually climbing - do that enough and onsighting will likely happen closer to your limit and come much more naturally than trying to come up with pre-climb thinking 'strategies'.
I don't know what this first sentence in italics is supposed to mean. It seems you may have intended to say onsighting tends to be out of one's limits here instead of well within. And I don't know why you're talking about hanging from a rope. This thread is about on-sighting, which does not involve hanging from a rope.

That aside, I agree with what you wrote here in bold. I think what happens while you climb is more important than anything, worlds above what happens before you begin to climb. However, I am also interested in what goes through your head (if anything) before you attempt a route. I suspect most climbers have something they tend to do, and that's interesting.

That sentence in italics means if the majority of your climbing employs sport tactics - i.e. resting on the rope working out the moves one crux after another until you can redpoint - then the likelihood is that your onsights will be well within you limit because you won't have the experience of trying to figure things out on the fly at your limit while climbing versus while hanging on the rope.

I personally don't employ any special 'strategies' of any kind and make no mental distinctions between FAs, onsights, or just climbing existing routes. Climbing a climb is just that and if I happen to get it first go then grand, otherwise I don't consider there to be anything special about the climb beforehand. Ditto for an onsight FA, lovely but not a very common experience if you're climbing at or slightly above your limit.


ghisino


Jun 15, 2011, 12:46 AM
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Re: [healyje] Mental Strategy for On-Sighting? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
Ignore the chalk.

and if you don't ignore it, learn to read thumb marks (the white spot left by someone's chalked thumb).

especially on bigger pockets and slots it tells with 99% accuracy if a given hold needs to be taken right or left hand...

less useful on plastic and on tufas.







edit.
as for the "problem solving" thing.
you can stop and think about the next sequence in the details only if the route has many rests/shakes.
(obvious strategy tip: if there's a decent pair of holds, stop and look at the following moves)

For a route (or sequence) without many obvious shakes, trying to *think* about it too much only gets you pumped (and when pumped you often make bad decisions. at least, that's me).
So, the other strategy on onsights is never stop right in the middle of a crux, and if you have no sequence, just take a risk and try the first thing that comes at your head : see a white spot? Maybe it's a chalked jug? DYNO to it, quick!

Of course for this second strategy to work well you need a good "climbing instinct".
How to develop it?
Mileage. climb, climb, climb, climb. Routes that are at the highest grade you can climb confortably (depending on the style, knowledge of the route, etc) work best. Try to have a "flowy" style, to eliminate any pause : you don't need to climb as fast a s you can, but to keep moving up, to build a rhythm.

The idea is to automate 90% of each move, eg when you get a sidepull, you should ideally get your feet and at least your body position right without the need for a conscious analysis.

(eg : if you go running on a trail in the woods, do you need to "think" that much about obstacles suck as rocks, tree roots, etc? When you walk in the street, do you think about every step you take?)

(see adam ondra 8c+ os video.
http://vimeo.com/21939923
No way he has a sequence from the ground on such a long route. But he keeps climbing rather fast. Only possible because a large part of what he's doing is automated.
He's been climbing for years already, mostly at the best age for such "automation" to occur...pre-adolescence...)


(This post was edited by ghisino on Jun 15, 2011, 1:23 AM)


herites


Jun 15, 2011, 4:32 AM
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Fuck, it's tall :)


habitat


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Not so much in the head, but getting it in your head...

The hardest route I've onsighted (an incredibly steep mid-12) I sat at the base for a few minutes with binoculars and planned out all the sequences.

I took this strategy from one of the world's best...8c OS in 2004...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V38fr3V6Yc

It was interesting, because from scoping I thought there would be a heartbreaker crux above the last bolt, but it was total ez mode. You might be very intimidated like I was, but a carefull assesment can often give you a road map...in the middle of the huge overhang I remembered some of the clipping holds I had glassed and didn't waste a lot of energy.

I also used some crappy hand jams to recover...something I often see "pure" sport climbers miss....


Partner j_ung


Jun 15, 2011, 6:03 AM
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healyje wrote:
What makes you think an onsight attempt is somehow different than any other climb or that it requires a 'strategy' of any sort? Personally, I try not to think that much prior to a climb and as little as possible during one.

That's fine and all, but it's you and you're approach to climbing. What climbers do mentally to prepare for a hard climb is as different for each of us as are fingerprints.

Do I do anything differently for an onsight that I might not do for a redpoint? Probably not substantially different. There's a whole range of things I think about before climbing something I expect to be difficult to try to focus my attention where it needs to be. It doesn't always work, but I can say that when I don't make any attempt to get my head right, I have a much lower send rate.

Aside from the usual stances, holds, gear, blah, I think about the things I can't control, for example the exact length of every potential fall. I actually list them out and say them quietly to myself. Then I think about the things I can control, such as breathing, pace, body position, and try to convince myself to only pay attention to those things.


Partner j_ung


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ghisino wrote:
healyje wrote:
Ignore the chalk.

and if you don't ignore it, learn to read thumb marks (the white spot left by someone's chalked thumb).

especially on bigger pockets and slots it tells with 99% accuracy if a given hold needs to be taken right or left hand...

less useful on plastic and on tufas.

You might have missed his point there. Laugh


jacques


Jun 15, 2011, 6:53 AM
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Learner wrote:
What is your mental strategy for on-sighting a route?

This thread is about the psychology of on-sighting. I am asking you to be as perceptive as you can here, in reading yourself and what goes through your head when you're about to attempt to on-sight a route.
sorry to be late to answer
As a trad climber, my onsight strategy is a little bit different. Often, we can not see the hole, and some time we can not figure out the move.
My first concern is about safety. I have to plan where I am going to fall. If i fall on a ledge, if I have to push myself way off the rock to avoid a ledge, if the pro is good, the higher i can climb before placing an other pro, the higher I can climb before coming back at the belay. For me onsighting a route is done clean. In a free style, if I aid the route, I am not onsighting and I fail to onsight the route.

Once is done, I can climb without contraint. I train to climb as good on pro as in top rope. More relax, stronger I am. As I know where I am going to fall, the sress is not so hight. This is a clear distinction between trad and sport here in the way we train. One try the hardiest move, they know a number of movements and the other try to master a move they have less movement, but they are more in balance.

This preparation is very good when an hole broke in your hand. as you are more in balance, you can load a hole gradually an avoid the fall. This is very good for the mental and, as you climb, you see the possibility of the cliff.

With the fatigue, you begin to be less efficient and your head know it. You take to much time to make the move and finding a rest place become more important. To be able to rest is very important and your training is going to be in that sense. You don't want to go at the top, you want to know how long you can stay in a kind of rest place or how long you can rest before exhaustion.

Psychologically, you always evaluate your situation to be able to take the best decision. some time you will run it out. Some other time you will give the point to the cliff. the chalenge become more psychological than a sequence of hole that you have to grab. You take decision that can change your life if you fall in a ledge in a fifteen foot fall

So, my mental strategy is to always know where is my limit and to stay in a safe zone where I can climb for many years and chalenge myself at my limits


jape


Jun 15, 2011, 7:18 AM
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healyje wrote:
What makes you think an onsight attempt is somehow different than any other climb or that it requires a 'strategy' of any sort? Personally, I try not to think that much prior to a climb and as little as possible during one.


To me an onsight (or flash for that matter) is way different, and I mentally tell myself "one SHOT". This often gets me up the hardest section and to the anchor.

Hard redpoints are a different beast entirely...

Kind of like Sharma and FRFM, some of the 5.13s I've done have been real mental-slugfests. Especially the ones with heartbreaker cruxes above the last bolt or hard cracks with cruxes right at the top. I have had to almost get in the mindset of "I'll just go up and try to refine some moves" and then surprise myself with a send. The last 13 I did I was technically "warming up" when my partner called up "dood, looking strong, just keep GOING!!" Thanks, Junior!

Your problem with the route is more mental?
Sharma: Yes, itís a mental problem. After 30 falls on the same and last move, itís a real head fuckÖ Itís not like falling in the middle. When you fall, you have made all the effort of doing the other moves of the entire route.


I understand trying to be "present" and "flow" and "not thinking" but a lot of times, if you are really pushing your limits, it's inevitable at least for me...


(This post was edited by jape on Jun 15, 2011, 7:20 AM)


Partner cracklover


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Learner wrote:
cracklover wrote:
Is this gym, or real climbing? Because on real rock, you can rarely see the holds well enough to do what you're talking about.

GO
Both. Is your on-sighting strategy different for outdoor vs. indoor climbing? If so, in what way(s)?

Never mind, I really don't have anything insightful to add beyond what's been said already.

But since I'm posting anyway, I'll give you the best thing I can think of. For big climbs, really make sure you have all your logistics dialed if you can. Otherwise, expect half the adventure to be just in getting there and getting off the climb, and expect your chances of actual success on your first attempt to drop. Of course this is probably a no-brainer for most, so maybe I was right to say I really have nothing to add.

GO


healyje


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'Onsight' is quite different a mode to be in than if you are falling thirty times on the last move. I had an FA where I fell twenty-four times on the last move (a wide, overhanging pinch to finish a roof) and finally had to spend about five hours at home basically 'meditating' visualizing that move and then went out and stuck it. The actual climbing was as 'mindless' as possible as I had wired the sequence down to the grains-of-sand level in my head before leaving the house.

Definitely it's a 'to each his own' sort of deal, but with regard to falls: perceiving, gauging, and assessing the risk associated with them for me is part of the movement and in no way a discrete, foreground mental activity. This is where other posters have mentioned 'automation' and the experience / 'flow' derived from getting in significant yardage.

Overall [mindless] 'flow' is what you're aiming for with all other concerns - solving the moves, route finding, looking ahead for and placing gear, gauging falls, etc. - becoming well-integrated, continuous tasks running as quietly as possible in the background. Getting there requires lots of time on stone and yardage under your belt.

If you haven't experienced that 'flow' much then I'd recommend picking out a small sequence of routes you love the movement on that are at or slightly above your limit (say three of them) and simply climb that sequence in the same order again and again until you have each climb so ruthlessly wired you can do them all but blind folded at slightly above your resting heart rate. Really dial them down so there is no superfluous or wasted movement.

Once you know what that feels like, the challenge then is to be able to get to that same place and maintain it on moves and routes you've never seen before. That's a wide gap, if not a gulf, I know - but it's the objective in the long run, particularly in trad climbing where if you don't have all the 'logistics' smoothly integrated with your movement you will have a hard time staying in the moment as you will always be getting jerked out of it to deal with some 'issue' (usually mental, but emotional concerns can rise up and swamp you during a [logistical] pause).

Last, there is no hanging on the rope during an onsight and many hard FAs have sequences where neither falling or resting on the rope is an option. That really isn't a reality most folks can suddenly confront out of the blue and deal well with - it takes some 'practice' to come to terms with. This is where my comments pointing out that onsighting and 'working' routes with sport tactics are essentially mental / emotional opposites are coming from. I'm not saying 'sport' is bad, but rather if 99% of your experience in 'figuring out' routes is by hanging at the end of the rope then you'll be ill-equipped to deal with the challenges associated with climbing at or past your limit onsighting or if you find yourself in a situation where hanging on the rope isn't an option.

You also won't develop an emphasis on finding and milking rests, and believe me, there are routes out there where getting up them is less a matter of being able to do the moves than being able to stick the rests. So what I'm suggesting is if 'onsighting' or FAs is what gets you off you should spend at least some of your time not hanging on the rope - instead come back down and try the sequence again from the ground, belay, or last full rest - give it another go 'on the fly' to learn to think and problem solve while actually climbing in a continuous stream of movement.

Oh, and practicing downclimbing can also be highly rewarding.


(This post was edited by healyje on Jun 15, 2011, 11:14 AM)


DouglasHunter


Jun 29, 2011, 10:35 AM
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Re: [healyje] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
What makes you think an onsight attempt is somehow different than any other climb or that it requires a 'strategy' of any sort?

For serious climbers and coaches the obvious answer is that different types of athletic / cognitive challenges require different response from the athlete. On-sights and redpoints are very different types of athletic challenges; climbers can improve their performance by adopting tactics that are best suited to those challenges.

For folks who are less serious about or less interested in how the mind and body respond to the different challenges posed by climbing its not an issue that matters.

To the OP:
For me, I try to learn everything possible about the route before leaving the ground. I read sequences, I look for rests and clipping stances and cruxes, I also go over pacing, movement initiation and how to deal with ambiguity, fear, or getting pumped faster than I thought I would. Basically my on-sight tactics are based on the fact that the work the climber does on the ground doesn't "cost" anything in terms of aerobic or anaerobic energy production. Of course its often impossible to know everything from the ground but a skilled climber can learn a great deal from the ground, make a plan and then change that plan based on new information when then time comes.

I have written at length on this topic in a new book coming out at the end of the year.


healyje


Jun 29, 2011, 1:35 PM
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Re: [DouglasHunter] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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DouglasHunter wrote:
healyje wrote:
What makes you think an onsight attempt is somehow different than any other climb or that it requires a 'strategy' of any sort?

For serious climbers and coaches the obvious answer is that different types of athletic / cognitive challenges require different response from the athlete. On-sights and redpoints are very different types of athletic challenges; climbers can improve their performance by adopting tactics that are best suited to those challenges.

Well,leaving aside irrelevant 'coaches', and as a 'serious' climber, I suppose first I'd have to agree different endeavors require different responses and therein lies the real rub.

A big part of the reason you even bring up that disparity is because, for most climbers these days, what constitutes climbing is so far removed from onsights / 'redpoints' as to almost be a different sport. So sure, if what constitutes 'climbing' 98% of the time you are roped-up is [aerial] bouldering up routes hanging from the end of the rope then yes, absolutely, onsighting / FAs are another beast entirely and one you won't be prepared for. And if you are unaccustomed to wrangling that beast it will definitely require an altogether different mindset as you suggest.

DouglasHunter wrote:
For folks who are less serious about or less interested in how the mind and body respond to the different challenges posed by climbing its not an issue that matters.

Nor is it an issue for people who can't see the forest for the trees, I suppose. The answer the OP needs isn't to do a bunch of mumbo-jumbo when suddenly attempting to do an onsight, but rather to spend a greater percentage of their time on a rope climbing like they are climbing onsight - i.e. not hanging. Instead come down to the ground, last solid rest, or to the anchor and give it another go without hanging (repeat until you get it or are burned out). In the end, if 'onsighting', or climbing like you are, is less less than 5% of what you do when tied into a rope then, hey, guess what? No amount of 'tips' is going to really make all that much of a difference.

DouglasHunter wrote:
For me, I try to learn everything possible about the route before leaving the ground. I read sequences, I look for rests and clipping stances and cruxes,...

Yeah, well only so much of that is available sometimes, particularly on multipitch and especially multipitch FAs.

DouglasHunter wrote:
I also go over pacing, movement initiation and how to deal with ambiguity, fear, or getting pumped faster than I thought I would.

If you need to consciously do that roped in at the base of a climb I should think you're a day late and a dollar short.

DouglasHunter wrote:
Basically my on-sight tactics are based on the fact that the work the climber does on the ground doesn't "cost" anything in terms of aerobic or anaerobic energy production.

And overall of little utility if what you are trying to overcome is a near complete lack of experience climbing without hanging your way up a route.


DouglasHunter wrote:
I have written at length on this topic in a new book coming out at the end of the year.

Hmmm, I'm sure it will be as great as all the other climbing books out there, but if onisghting and FA is what they dream of then reading won't do anything for them if they continue to make 98% of their climbing experience bouldering up routes hanging on the end of a rope.


(This post was edited by healyje on Jun 29, 2011, 1:41 PM)


DouglasHunter


Jun 29, 2011, 2:10 PM
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healyje wrote:
I suppose first I'd have to agree different endeavors require different responses and therein lies the real rub.

A big part of the reason you even bring up that disparity is because, for most climbers these days, what constitutes climbing is so far removed from onsights / 'redpoints' as to almost be a different sport. So sure, if what constitutes 'climbing' 98% of the time you are roped-up is [aerial] bouldering up routes hanging from the end of the rope then yes, absolutely, onsighting / FAs are another beast entirely and one you won't be prepared for. And if you are unaccustomed to wrangling that beast it will definitely require an altogether different mindset as you suggest.

You seem to have an axe to grind with the way other people climb, so be it. But its not a matter of "mindset" its a matter of what is required in each type of climbing in term of the cognitive and physical demands of the performance. There is a huge difference between attempting to execute a difficult movement sequence after it has been memorized, and trying to execute a movement sequence on the first try with incomplete information about that sequence. The reason I brought up the difference is because they are radically different challenges, it has nothing to do with the habits of climbers. Regardless of an individual climber's habits, redpoints and onsights are and will always be very different athletic challenges.

In reply to:
The answer the OP needs isn't to do a bunch of mumbo-jumbo when suddenly attempting to do an onsight, but rather to spend a greater percentage of their time on a rope climbing like they are climbing onsight - i.e. not hanging.

You miss the point and make the point at the same time. Applying correct tactics is not mumbo-jumbo even if the climber is inexperienced at on-sight climbing. Less experienced climbers will simply be able to apply fewer tactics and apply them less well but you even mentioned one tactic involved in on-sighting that being down climbing. Well, reading sequences, pre-visualizing, and so on are just more advanced on-sight tactics that even inexperienced climbers can work with. They just do so at a lower level.

"healhje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
For me, I try to learn everything possible about the route before leaving the ground. I read sequences, I look for rests and clipping stances and cruxes,...

Yeah, well only so much of that is available sometimes, particularly on multipitch and especially multipitch FAs.

I don't think you don't have a point, obviously the degree to which a route can be read from the ground varies a great deal in different contexts. But this has no bearing on the degree to which a climber should apply tactics from the ground to try and glean information.

"healhje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
I also go over pacing, movement initiation and how to deal with ambiguity, fear, or getting pumped faster than I thought I would.

If you need to consciously do that roped in at the base of a climb I should think you're a day late and a dollar short.

Nope, quite the opposite, its part of what made me a very good and extremely consistent on-sight climber.

"healyje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
Basically my on-sight tactics are based on the fact that the work the climber does on the ground doesn't "cost" anything in terms of aerobic or anaerobic energy production.

And overall of little utility if what you are trying to overcome is a near complete lack of experience climbing without hanging your way up a route.

Look, everyone has to start learning on-sight tactics at some level. Less experienced climbers will be able to do less productive work from the ground but one learns, as you point out, by practicing. using good tactics on the ground and then reviewing after an on-sight attempt is part of that learning.

"healyje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
I have written at length on this topic in a new book coming out at the end of the year.

Hmmm, I'm sure it will be as great as all the other climbing books out there, but if onisghting and FA is what they dream of then reading won't do anything for them if they continue to make 98% of their climbing experience bouldering up routes hanging on the end of a rope.

I know its hard, but try not to be an ass, its not becoming.


healyje


Jun 29, 2011, 3:13 PM
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DouglasHunter wrote:
You seem to have an axe to grind with the way other people climb, so be it.

None whatsoever, but it's common sense that if you don't do an activity 98% of the time you are roped-up then you are going have a pretty hard time coming up with the goods [on demand] the 2% of the time you do attempt it.

DouglasHunter wrote:
But its not a matter of "mindset" its a matter of what is required in each type of climbing in term of the cognitive and physical demands of the performance. There is a huge difference between attempting to execute a difficult movement sequence after it has been memorized [hanging from the end of a rope], and trying to execute a movement sequence on the first try with incomplete information about that sequence. The reason I brought up the difference is because they are radically different challenges, it has nothing to do with the habits of climbers. Regardless of an individual climber's habits, redpoints and onsights are and will always be very different athletic challenges.

Again, we disagree - the 'problem' isn't that you don't have things worked to death or memorized, but rather you simply have little to no experience working out sequences while actually climbing unaided by the rope 'on-the-fly'. More of that experiences is what is required.

DouglasHunter wrote:
healyje wrote:
The answer the OP needs isn't to do a bunch of mumbo-jumbo when suddenly attempting to do an onsight, but rather to spend a greater percentage of their time on a rope climbing like they are climbing onsight - i.e. not hanging.

You miss the point and make the point at the same time. Applying correct tactics is not mumbo-jumbo even if the climber is inexperienced at on-sight climbing. Less experienced climbers will simply be able to apply fewer tactics and apply them less well but you even mentioned one tactic involved in on-sighting that being down climbing. Well, reading sequences, pre-visualizing, and so on are just more advanced on-sight tactics that even inexperienced climbers can work with. They just do so at a lower level.

Again, forest for the trees - the issue isn't doing anything 'different' on rare occasions when you attempt to climb something you don't have wired from hanging on the end of the rope, but learning the requisite mental and emotional capabilities necessary to work out unknown sequences on the fly without the aid of the rope.

DouglasHunter wrote:
healje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
I also go over pacing, movement initiation and how to deal with ambiguity, fear, or getting pumped faster than I thought I would.

If you need to consciously do that roped in at the base of a climb I should think you're a day late and a dollar short.

Nope, quite the opposite, its part of what made me a very good and extremely consistent on-sight climber.

Well, I'd say that's your tactic/crutch, not mine - that's more active mental activity then you'll ever find me doing. In fact, I do the opposite and attempt to clear my mind entirely to the degree possible, but to each his own. Personally, I'd recommend my approach over yours, but then I think we can agree you'd do the same.

DouglasHunter wrote:
healyje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
Basically my on-sight tactics are based on the fact that the work the climber does on the ground doesn't "cost" anything in terms of aerobic or anaerobic energy production.

And overall of little utility if what you are trying to overcome is a near complete lack of experience climbing without hanging your way up a route.

Look, everyone has to start learning on-sight tactics at some level. Less experienced climbers will be able to do less productive work from the ground but one learns, as you point out, by practicing. using good tactics on the ground and then reviewing after an on-sight attempt is part of that learning.

Maybe don't think of climbing without hanging on the rope to figure out the sequences as a matter of 'tactics', but rather just think of it as 'climbing'; instead think of bouldering your way up routes working out the sequences from the end of a rope as a practice 'tactic' and don't make that practice more than about 50-60% of your climbing if you want to get good at onsighting and FAs.

DouglasHunter wrote:
healyje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
I have written at length on this topic in a new book coming out at the end of the year.

Hmmm, I'm sure it will be as great as all the other climbing books out there, but if onisghting and FA is what they dream of then reading won't do anything for them if they continue to make 98% of their climbing experience bouldering up routes hanging on the end of a rope.

I know its hard, but try not to be an ass, its not becoming.

Neither is saying someone is "not serious" while declaring yourself an 'expert' because you can type.


(This post was edited by healyje on Jun 29, 2011, 5:21 PM)


stealth


Jun 30, 2011, 3:54 PM
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Re: [healyje] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
You seem to have an axe to grind with the way other people climb, so be it.

None whatsoever, but it's common sense that if you don't do an activity 98% of the time you are roped-up then you are going have a pretty hard time coming up with the goods [on demand] the 2% of the time you do attempt it.

DouglasHunter wrote:
But its not a matter of "mindset" its a matter of what is required in each type of climbing in term of the cognitive and physical demands of the performance. There is a huge difference between attempting to execute a difficult movement sequence after it has been memorized [hanging from the end of a rope], and trying to execute a movement sequence on the first try with incomplete information about that sequence. The reason I brought up the difference is because they are radically different challenges, it has nothing to do with the habits of climbers. Regardless of an individual climber's habits, redpoints and onsights are and will always be very different athletic challenges.

Again, we disagree - the 'problem' isn't that you don't have things worked to death or memorized, but rather you simply have little to no experience working out sequences while actually climbing unaided by the rope 'on-the-fly'. More of that experiences is what is required.

DouglasHunter wrote:
healyje wrote:
The answer the OP needs isn't to do a bunch of mumbo-jumbo when suddenly attempting to do an onsight, but rather to spend a greater percentage of their time on a rope climbing like they are climbing onsight - i.e. not hanging.

You miss the point and make the point at the same time. Applying correct tactics is not mumbo-jumbo even if the climber is inexperienced at on-sight climbing. Less experienced climbers will simply be able to apply fewer tactics and apply them less well but you even mentioned one tactic involved in on-sighting that being down climbing. Well, reading sequences, pre-visualizing, and so on are just more advanced on-sight tactics that even inexperienced climbers can work with. They just do so at a lower level.

Again, forest for the trees - the issue isn't doing anything 'different' on rare occasions when you attempt to climb something you don't have wired from hanging on the end of the rope, but learning the requisite mental and emotional capabilities necessary to work out unknown sequences on the fly without the aid of the rope.

DouglasHunter wrote:
healje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
I also go over pacing, movement initiation and how to deal with ambiguity, fear, or getting pumped faster than I thought I would.

If you need to consciously do that roped in at the base of a climb I should think you're a day late and a dollar short.

Nope, quite the opposite, its part of what made me a very good and extremely consistent on-sight climber.

Well, I'd say that's your tactic/crutch, not mine - that's more active mental activity then you'll ever find me doing. In fact, I do the opposite and attempt to clear my mind entirely to the degree possible, but to each his own. Personally, I'd recommend my approach over yours, but then I think we can agree you'd do the same.

DouglasHunter wrote:
healyje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
Basically my on-sight tactics are based on the fact that the work the climber does on the ground doesn't "cost" anything in terms of aerobic or anaerobic energy production.

And overall of little utility if what you are trying to overcome is a near complete lack of experience climbing without hanging your way up a route.

Look, everyone has to start learning on-sight tactics at some level. Less experienced climbers will be able to do less productive work from the ground but one learns, as you point out, by practicing. using good tactics on the ground and then reviewing after an on-sight attempt is part of that learning.

Maybe don't think of climbing without hanging on the rope to figure out the sequences as a matter of 'tactics', but rather just think of it as 'climbing'; instead think of bouldering your way up routes working out the sequences from the end of a rope as a practice 'tactic' and don't make that practice more than about 50-60% of your climbing if you want to get good at onsighting and FAs.

DouglasHunter wrote:
healyje wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:
I have written at length on this topic in a new book coming out at the end of the year.

Hmmm, I'm sure it will be as great as all the other climbing books out there, but if onisghting and FA is what they dream of then reading won't do anything for them if they continue to make 98% of their climbing experience bouldering up routes hanging on the end of a rope.

I know its hard, but try not to be an ass, its not becoming.

Neither is saying someone is "not serious" while declaring yourself an 'expert' because you can type.

The thing is Mr. Hunter keeps himself inside, so he can't get hurt. Or blindsighted!
Its actually protection ! Jest sayin !
Get him to come out and play with you, so you are on level ground . Climbing ????????????


rockprodigy


Aug 17, 2011, 7:36 AM
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Re: [stealth] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Sorry in advance for digging up an old thread.

First, I don't understand this pointless bickering between DH and Healy. Clearly the OP is asking what you do in the moments before an onsight and Healy insists on talking about what you should do in the months and years leading up to an onsight. He has a point, but doesn't need to be so obtuse about it...gotta love the internet.

The OPs question is somewhat ill-posed. He asked about the PSYCHOLOGY of onsighting, but then goes on to ask very specifically about reading sequences, which are not the same IMO. Reading sequences before an onsight attempt is an important step, but kind of a boring discussion topic. The psychology question is very interesting, however, because it is so hard to have the right mindset.

What should your attitudes and expectations be (ideally) before and while you attempt a hard onsight? Should you be afraid that you're going to fail? Should you be very confident that the route will be easy for you? It seems that both of these options are the wrong approach, so is it something in between? Then again, even if we knew what the best mental state were, is it possible to create that mental state on-demand before an onsight attempt?

There are a couple of ways to come to an answer. One is to think of your best onsights and try to reconstruct your mental state at the time, as well as the events and circumstances leading up to it that created that state. Often when someone succeeds on a hard onsight, they say it was "easy" or "effortless", so another approach might be to look at all climbs that feel that way, and try to understand why they do. For example, for those that have a regular warmup route they climb often, they probably climb it in a very relaxed state, a state that might be ideal for hard onsighting. This state is easy to achieve during the warmup, but not on a hard route, why is that?

At least a whole chapter could be written on this topic, if not an entire book in itself, so I'll try to "cut to the chase". For me, when I try a hard onsight, I want to be in a mental state I call "cautious optimism". I need to feel that there is a high likelihood I will succeed on the route, but an understanding that it will be hard, and I will have to try hard. This means, I need to have confidence that I am "good" enough to send the route, which you can't lie to yourself about. The only way I know to have that confidence and really believe in it is through a route pyramid. If I'm about to attempt a 13a onsight, I have tangible confidence if I've onsighted other 13a's, or many 12d's, especially if they are of similar styles and at the same crag. The hardest thing to do is onsight at a new crag, so I will start smaller...maybe 12b, and build up a few routes at lower grades before working up to the route I want to eventually onsight. Confidence gives you several advantages on an onsight. It makes you believe that you can recover if you make a mistake, and it makes you believe you'll figure out the right sequence through the crux. This relaxes you, and helps you climb with a relaxed grip, and thus conserve energy throughout the climb. The relaxed mental state makes it easier for you to take the climbing as it comes and solve movement problems as they are presented.

On the other hand, if I think the route is too hard for me, I will likely overgrip throughout the climb, wasting energy. My movements will be very rigid and static rather than flowing because I'm constantly thinking I may need to retreat at a moments notice. I don't believe that I will find good places to rest, so I'm in constant fear of pumping off. When I come to a crux sequence, I'm likely to rush through it too quickly because I'm certain I'm going to get pumped and fall off if I climb slower. On a route I believe I can climb, when I grab a very small or uncomfortable hold, I'm likely to take my time looking for alternatives, whereas, on a route I believe is too hard for me, I'm likely to accept that this is the correct sequence, and I'm simply not good enough to climb it. In short, it is so much easier to climb a route that you THINK is easy, it's just not that easy to get in that mindset if the route is truly near your limit.

That said, there are also make-or-break moments, when you really just have to throw down and bust out some hard moves. That's where you don't want to think the climbing is too easy, but you do want to have the confidence that when you reach that crux, you have a good shot a succeeding. You then spend some time exhausting all of the possibilities to "flow" past it, and if that doesn't work, you just pull hard and go for it, knowing that you only have one shot, so you better climb in a manner that you won't regret later -- try hard! Just make sure you're able to calm back down after you stick the crux sequence so you can keep cruising to the chains.


(This post was edited by rockprodigy on Aug 28, 2011, 12:08 PM)


damienclimber


Aug 19, 2011, 2:32 PM
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rockprodigy wrote:
Sorry in advance for digging up an old thread.

First, I don't understand this pointless bickering between DH and Healy. Clearly the OP is asking what you do in the moments before an onsight and Healy insists on talking about what you should do in the months and years leading up to an onsight. He has a point, but doesn't need to be so obtuse about it...gotta love the internet.

The OPs question is somewhat ill-posed. He asked about the PSYCHOLOGY of onsighting, but then goes on to ask very specifically about reading sequences, which are not the same IMO. Reading sequences before an onsight attempt is an important step, but kind of a boring discussion topic. The psychology question is very interesting, however, because it is so hard to have the right mindset.

What should your attitudes and expectations be (ideally) before and while you attempt a hard onsight? Should you be afraid that you're going to fail? Should you be very confident that the route will be easy for you? It seems that both of these options are the wrong approach, so is it something in between? Then again, even if we knew what the best mental state were, is it possible to create that mental state on-demand before an onsight attempt?

There are a couple of ways to come to an answer. One is to think of your best onsights and try to reconstruct your mental state at the time, as well as the events and circumstances leading up to it that created that state. Often when someone succeeds on a hard onsight, they say it was "easy" or "effortless", so another approach might be to look at all climbs that feel that way, and try to understand why they do. For example, for those that have a regular warmup route they climb often, they probably climb it in a very relaxed state, a state that might be ideal for hard onsighting. This state is easy to achieve during the warmup, but not on a hard route, why is that?

At least a whole chapter couldn't be written on this topic, if not an entire book in itself, so I'll try to "cut to the chase". For me, when I try a hard onsight, I want to be in a mental state I call "cautious optimism". I need to feel that there is a high likelihood I will succeed on the route, but an understanding that it will be hard, and I will have to try hard. This means, I need to have confidence that I am "good" enough to send the route, which you can't lie to yourself about. The only way I know to have that confidence and really believe in it is through a route pyramid. If I'm about to attempt a 13a onsight, I have tangible confidence if I've onsighted other 13a's, or many 12d's, especially if they are of similar styles and at the same crag. The hardest thing to do is onsight at a new crag, so I will start smaller...maybe 12b, and build up a few routes at lower grades before working up to the route I want to eventually onsight. Confidence gives you several advantages on an onsight. It makes you believe that you can recover if you make a mistake, and it makes you believe you'll figure out the right sequence through the crux. This relaxes you, and helps you climb with a relaxed grip, and thus conserve energy throughout the climb. The relaxed mental state makes it easier for you to take the climbing as it comes and solve movement problems as they are presented.

On the other hand, if I think the route is too hard for me, I will likely overgrip throughout the climb, wasting energy. My movements will be very rigid and static rather than flowing because I'm constantly thinking I may need to retreat at a moments notice. I don't believe that I will find good places to rest, so I'm in constant fear of pumping off. When I come to a crux sequence, I'm likely to rush through it too quickly because I'm certain I'm going to get pumped and fall off if I climb slower. On a route I believe I can climb, when I grab a very small or uncomfortable hold, I'm likely to take my time looking for alternatives, whereas, on a route I believe is too hard for me, I'm likely to accept that this is the correct sequence, and I'm simply not good enough to climb it. In short, it is so much easier to climb a route that you THINK is easy, it's just not that easy to get in that mindset if the route is truly near your limit.

That said, there are also make-or-break moments, when you really just have to throw down and bust out some hard moves. That's where you don't want to think the climbing is too easy, but you do want to have the confidence that when you reach that crux, you have a good shot a succeeding. You then spend some time exhausting all of the possibilities to "flow" past it, and if that doesn't work, you just pull hard and go for it, knowing that you only have one shot, so you better climb in a manner that you won't regret later -- try hard! Just make sure you're able to calm back down after you stick the crux sequence so you can keep cruising to the chains.

Excellent post. Seems like the op thinks by reading a book he will acquire the technique,talent and confidence to onsight hard climbs outside.
You on the other hand have accomplished the mental strategy to follow through with your goals.
So what's your advice for other to attain onsighting 5.13's?
Or should we just accept the reality of our personal best?


rockprodigy


Aug 26, 2011, 7:58 AM
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Re: [damienclimber] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Sorry for the delay.

First, never accept reality. My personal belief is that in the sport of climber we are nowhere near the limit of human performance. We have just barely scratched the surface, therefore, even the best climber in the world has lots of room for improvement, so certainly the rest of us do as well.

Pushing your on-sight ability is different from pushing redpointing, and unfortunately, not many people put effort into it or even write about how to do it. The first thing you need to realize is that the two are different in almost every way:

Physically - An OS route will have bigger holds and easier moves. You'll likely climb it slower, so the duration of performance is longer.

Technically - You'll be doing moves that you have never done before, but hopefully they are similar to moves you've done before. You may struggle to find all the holds, especially footholds.

Mentally - Everything is unknown. In RP'ing, many climbers try to get into a mental state where they climb on "autopilot" while only thinking about staying calm and breathing. On an OS, you don't have that option, you must be actively engaged in problem solving in the moment.

So these differences dictate how your training should be different for OSing. The first thing I advocate is to get as much mileage as possible, on real rock. If you aspire to OS well on many different types of rock, then that's what you must train on. Route pyramids are great for this, and IMO should not be composed of gym routes.

For more "physical" training, I recommend lots of ARC sessions, with the most useful being up and down lead climbing. You can do this in a gym or at the crag. Basically I tie in and lead up a route, then down climb it (unclipping as I go) then up the next route all without stepping on the ground or untying for ~30 minutes.

On an OS, the fact that you have to figure out the moves as you climb dictates that the majority of the climbing must be below your anaerobic threshold, otherwise you would pump off before you had time to figure out the sequences. Therefore, you must push that threshold up in order to be able to OS harder grades. While most of a given route will be below the threshold, there may be sections that are harder, but your ARC training and capilarity/vascularity will help you recover from those sections without pumping out. All of this is irrelevant if you are overgripping. During the ARC sessions, it is imperative that you practice proper breathing, pacing and rationing effort, especially how hard you are gripping. Practice finding rests, and shaking out...learn what it feels like to get recovery on a jug on steep terrain.

At some point, your ability to do hard moves must improve, but in the short term, this is probably not a limiting factor for most people. I would guess that most people are capable of doing every move on a failed OS, but they fail because they overgrip, get nervous and forget to breath, and lack the ability to recover after a demanding sequence. These skills can all be obtained by practicing them, but most people choose not to.


hyongx


Aug 26, 2011, 4:15 PM
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Re: [Learner] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Learner wrote:
What is your mental strategy for on-sighting a route?


All these folks are writing essays! Dang!

Short and sweet,

A willingness to fall.

If you aren't willing to fall, you won't climb smoothly. You won't just go for that dyno. Calling take should not be an option on onsight attempts.


A-Bowl


Aug 26, 2011, 5:05 PM
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Sport onsights:
A little easier. just try to figure out from the ground where the rests are and the cruxes are, attempt to decipher the moves and just keep plowing to the good holds if they get bad mid crux. Sometimes you need to skip a bolt cuz the crux of many sport routes is in the clips the first go. I look for chalk like crazy on sport routes. Tells you where resty spots are cuz people can chalk up and generally gives you an idea of where the holds are. They can throw you off but more often than not they will help you. Its a matter of luck anyway at the higher grades when you are forced to stab your way through stuff.

Trad Onsights:
Heres the real mental puzzle. Read everything you can from the ground. Rests, sequences, gear, go for it spots and sew it up spots. You have to find that mental balance between overprotecting and running out to the point that it scares you and lowers your performance. Learn the balance between going for it and down climbing till you are rested and ready for cruxes. Make a gear nest before cruxes which will give you the extra mental confidence, especially in the thin stuff. Keep you mind open. Many old school trad routes require climbing one feature to protect, downclimbing then going up an entirely different way to the next rest. Let the rock challenge you, your goal is to make the route as easy as possible. Nothing is "off" and getting to the next belay without falling is your only goal. Try hard and keep reminding yourself that you will never have this chance again.... if you climb with that attitude you will climb till you fall or onsight. Either way its the best feeling you can get.

On a side note. If you fall, get over it and quickly get into red point mode, figure out what you need to do, lower down and redpoint that pitch.

say what you want.


patto


Aug 26, 2011, 7:01 PM
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All most all of my climbing is onsight trad. Often its multipitch.

Rehearsing, mental imaging!? Nah I just climb. Wink


healyje


Aug 26, 2011, 11:09 PM
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Also, some climbs are more about seeing and sticking unorthodox rests as much as they are about sticking the hard moves...


flesh


Aug 27, 2011, 11:11 AM
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If you read my mock comp thread.... I've never done anything else better for onsighting, boulders that is, after 3 or 4 sessions doing it my onsight level went up about a grade....

Not sure how it translates to routes. I'd guess that if you used the same idea and changed it a little for routes it would work.

Bottom line is, if you want to get better at onsighting, make it a point, maybe once a week for a couple months to do nothing but onsight. You'll prove to yourself everything everyone here has already said, and therefore use it. You'll pick up some other tricks as well. The best onsighters, practice onsighting often. On those days, purposely limit yourself to one or a maximum of two tries per route/boulder.

Personally, the best climbing days are either ones spent onsighting at your onsight limit, those days it just comes together and the days you get your hardest redpoint. Good news is, you can have lots of great, stimulating onsight days, bad news is, you won't have that many days where you push your redpoint level.


healyje


Aug 28, 2011, 12:53 AM
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Re: [rockprodigy] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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The reason there is a "psychology question" is because over the course of the past thirty years 'climbing' has changed significantly and "onsighting" isn't what 98% of people do 98% of the time. Most of the time folks 'work' routes out hanging on the end of a rope and the notion of climbing things without 'working' or hanging on them has now become the exception, not the rule.

In other words, they only reason there is a "psychology question" is because 'onsighting' is now a novel activity distinct and apart from what climbing 'is' for most people; i.e. it's such a different notion that it must require a different mental, emotional, or psychological approach in order to do it.

The answer is pretty straightforward - skip the psychology and, for at least half of the time you are tied into a rope, don't hang on it - either you're climbing, falling, or lowering, but not hanging. Do that for awhile and you'll realize no other mindset or psychology is required.


jt512


Aug 28, 2011, 10:40 AM
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Re: [healyje] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
The reason there is a "psychology question" is because over the course of the past thirty years 'climbing' has changed significantly and "onsighting" isn't what 98% of people do 98% of the time.

Why is there a psychology question about redpointing?

Jay


healyje


Aug 28, 2011, 10:46 PM
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jt512 wrote:
healyje wrote:
The reason there is a "psychology question" is because over the course of the past thirty years 'climbing' has changed significantly and "onsighting" isn't what 98% of people do 98% of the time.

Why is there a psychology question about redpointing?

Jay

There isn't a question about redpointing. The process of redpointing is basically what climbing has become and 'is' for the majority of today's climbers.


jt512


Aug 29, 2011, 8:57 AM
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healyje wrote:
jt512 wrote:
healyje wrote:
The reason there is a "psychology question" is because over the course of the past thirty years 'climbing' has changed significantly and "onsighting" isn't what 98% of people do 98% of the time.

Why is there a psychology question about redpointing?

Jay

There isn't a question about redpointing.

Hague and Hunter just wrote a book about it.

Jay


healyje


Aug 29, 2011, 9:30 AM
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jt512 wrote:
healyje wrote:
jt512 wrote:
healyje wrote:
The reason there is a "psychology question" is because over the course of the past thirty years 'climbing' has changed significantly and "onsighting" isn't what 98% of people do 98% of the time.

Why is there a psychology question about redpointing?

Jay

There isn't a question about redpointing.

Hague and Hunter just wrote a book about it.

Jay

Trad is from Mars, Sport is from Venus - climbing has really come of age now that sports have become a self-help subgenre. Writing books absolutely makes it real and did you know that the AMGA is about to spin up a TR Therapy and Lead Counseling course?


ghisino


Aug 31, 2011, 2:40 AM
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healyje wrote:
Trad is from Mars, Sport is from Venus - climbing has really come of age now that sports have become a self-help subgenre. Writing books absolutely makes it real and did you know that the AMGA is about to spin up a TR Therapy and Lead Counseling course?

Laugh



yet i strongly believe that if "sending" is important for a sport climber, there might be more psychological traps along the way than for o/s.


of course none of this would exist if sport climbing was still "training", but it isn't.


given the trend i predict that in in some years we will have psychology issues in gym climbing...Tongue


billcoe_


Sep 19, 2012, 1:53 PM
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Dave MacLeods review of the Hunter book from his training site (link below):

In reply to:
Redpoint - a whole book on tactics finally!


Finally weíve got hold of some stock of Hague and Hunterís new book ĎRedpointí in the shop (right here). The authors are most famous for their superb book The Self-Coached Climber which is justifiably one of our better selling climbing improvement texts. Like Iím sure most experienced coaches know, tactics are becoming an increasingly important area that forms the difference between progress and stagnation among modern climbers. So they have written a whole book dedicated to perfecting all the tactical tricks and advantages for both onsight and redpoint climbing.
Itís a worthy addition to the knowledge base and Iíd say there are very few climbers around who are not aware of, or milking all the tactical advantages offered in the book. Whether you read it as a beginner or intermediate level climber to open up a whole new world of tactical awareness and advantage, or as an expert climber reminding yourself of all the tricks you could be using to get that crucial extra edge for your current goal, Iíd recommend it.
Itís a substantial subject and a substantial book too. Thereís even a 30 minute DVD that comes with it to see the tactics in action. They have included some assessment forms and checklists in each section to help you get a clearer idea of where you stand with your use and prowess of different tactics or skills. This sort of thing maybe doesnít appeal to everyone. But if writing things down isnít your style, you can just skip them and simply read the advice. Just as with The Self-Coached Climber, the book is thoughtfully laid out, well illustrated with colour photos and thorough without being a mind-number.
As a coach visiting ever improving climbing walls with stronger and fitter climbers, Iíve appreciated that tactics are the big deal for climbers these days. More and more often, climbers have the strength and fitness from many hours in the climbing wall. But without even knowing it, lack of tactical awareness has placed the glass ceiling above their head much lower than it ought to be. Itís a shame when that happens.
You can get hold of a copy from our shop here.

http://www.onlineclimbingcoach.blogspot.com/

And don't forget to milk the rests and not yourself.

Regards to all:


villageidiot


Sep 24, 2012, 6:36 PM
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Because of the limited number of attempts I have on route per given trip I usually try to focus on sending harder routes in two or three 'burns' or an onsight. The third bastard-child option, long multi-month efforts on a single route seem costly to me in terms of potential experience, and I try to avoid being caught up in more than one or two at a time. I always try to determine before hand if I am onsighting or redpointing-not doing so is a waste of time and more importantly, energy. I'll outline my process below in hope of showing why the two strategies are mutually incompatible.

When red pointing I have already determined that it is unlikely that I can onsight a route, and I am trying to learn the most efficient way to climb the route without exhausting myself. I'll climb slow and methodical, checking out most of the holds, hunting for rests. When I hit any section I am unsure of how to climb, I'll rest on the rope, and try and run a few scenarios thru my head before ever doing any moves. If a section of easier climbing did not feel easy, I may go back and try it again before moving on. If I don't retry it, I'll definitely give it a second go after lowering from the anchors.

Ideally when I reach the crux I am not even pumped, and I am at my strongest and more importantly smartest. I might consider pulling on the draws to get thru the crux so I can check out the holds from above. After I have plan for getting thru the crux next time around I move on, checking for rests, and red point cruxes that could spoil the send. On the way back down, route permitting, I may try to link a section containing the crux to check my beta.

Thus when I get on a route for a second burn I am only trying to execute a sequence I have believe will get me through the crux.

Onsighting is alot like the first burn (or any other burn where I have realized I have to seriously rethink my beta), but with the added complication that I now have to balance in my head whether is better to hang out at spot and try to recover, or press on. Giving up is not an option because, I have already devoted my strongest burn of the day to this route. Safety considerations on some routes may dictate whether to press on or not, but its best to decide on the ground what you are prepared to commit to, and allow most of one's faculties to be purely devoted to route finding.

Of course if your just climbing easy routes, just try to focus on climbing, and not looking down girls shirts from above.


villageidiot


Sep 24, 2012, 6:42 PM
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Re: [villageidiot] ON-SIGHTING: Mental Strategy? [In reply to]
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Don't spend a ton of time thinking about the various ideas old men proclaim as the TRUTH. Whether they have found something that works for them or not, they are stuck with it and can't change.

Figure out what works for you by actually trying different ideas.


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