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Applying RWW practice indoors to trad leading outdoors?
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_fiend_


Nov 16, 2005, 3:39 AM
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Applying RWW practice indoors to trad leading outdoors?
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A little bit of a problem here.

1. See signature :wink:

2. Mid-north England in the winter, there are pretty much two climbing choices:

- climbing indoors when it's pissing down i.e. most of the time.

- climbing outdoors on gritstone when it's dry and cold and the friction is great.

Then general weather issues means that it's tempting to train for the latter with the former.

Unfortunately there-in lies the difficulty. Climbing on gritstone is about as far from climbing indoors as it's possible to get. It's rounded, slopey, ferociously technical, tricky to protect (and short enough that you need to get every bit of protection right), highly friction dependent and ultra-committing. Indeed it's the second most obtuse rock I've climbed on (the first being Castle Hill limestone - and that at least has some bolts).

Now, it is brilliant and inspiring, but I think it's hard to translate indoor training to that sort of trad climbing.

And I think that difficulty might be the same for applying RWW techniques. For example, witnessing one's thoughts, and choosing to ignore the ones that hark for security, and progress anyway, seems like a rather different kettle of fish when you're just above a bolt on a gently overhanging indoor wall, with an obvious line of coloured holds, than when you're just above a couple of cams in a flared break with the ground fairly close beneath you, and an obscure line of "maybe" rock features above. Even if the latter is objectively safe, and you've looked at the fall potential beforehand, it's a much sterner mental challenge. And I don't see how practicing the former will translate well to the latter.

So, does anyone have any ideas?? Specifically, practising RWW techniques indoors, and *applying them* (the crux) to use the same techniques outdoors on very different and challenging trad leading??


jt512


Nov 16, 2005, 9:15 AM
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Re: Applying RWW practice indoors to trad leading outdoors? [In reply to]
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And I think that difficulty might be the same for applying RWW techniques. For example, witnessing one's thoughts, and choosing to ignore the ones that hark for security, and progress anyway, seems like a rather different kettle of fish when you're just above a bolt on a gently overhanging indoor wall, with an obvious line of coloured holds, than when you're just above a couple of cams in a flared break with the ground fairly close beneath you, and an obscure line of "maybe" rock features above. Even if the latter is objectively safe, and you've looked at the fall potential beforehand, it's a much sterner mental challenge. And I don't see how practicing the former will translate well to the latter.

It's the same process, so I don't see how the former could not be good practice for the latter. Sure, it's a rather big jump in risk, but you should be better prepared to confront that risk after having practiced in the gym than not.

As for physical training, based on the little I've seen of gritstone (basically, Seb Grieve's videos) you're right, practically apples and oranges. Training open hand strength and balance on slopers in the gym is about all I can suggest.

Jay


_fiend_


Nov 16, 2005, 11:12 AM
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Re: Applying RWW practice indoors to trad leading outdoors? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
It's the same process, so I don't see how the former could not be good practice for the latter. Sure, it's a rather big jump in risk,

Hmmmm not sure I agree with that. It's not so much that it's a big jump in risk, it's that it's a HUGE jump in the mental challenges involve. The mental challenge jump from indoors to sport is quite small, from indoors to longer positive trad routes (like the stuff we have on limestone or rhyolite) is larger but okay, from indoors to grit (or some sandstone) is a lot bigger.

For example, the following features all have definite mental aspects in the way they inspire confidence and committment:

Positive holds, reliability there are positive holds above, positive footholds rather than smears, fairly obvious moves, obvious (or fixed) protection, choice of protection, enough length to have a clear fall-out zone...

Indoors, some sport, and some non-grit trad routes have that. Gritstone usually has none of those and indeed the challenge is characterised by their lack.

In reply to:
but you should be better prepared to confront that risk after having practiced in the gym than not.

Possibly... I think that mental training indoors can be good for something that has a similar mental challenge outdoors - I'll happily try mental training indoors if I'm going on a sport climbing trip to Spain, for example. But it seems the gap between the mental aspect inside and the mental aspect of the most "un-indoorsy" of trad climbing (for me, gritstone, but I'm sure there are other examples - some american granite, maybe?) is a wide gap to bridge.


jt512


Nov 16, 2005, 11:34 AM
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Re: Applying RWW practice indoors to trad leading outdoors? [In reply to]
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In reply to:
In reply to:
It's the same process, so I don't see how the former could not be good practice for the latter. Sure, it's a rather big jump in risk,

Hmmmm not sure I agree with that. It's not so much that it's a big jump in risk, it's that it's a HUGE jump in the mental challenges involve. The mental challenge jump from indoors to sport is quite small, from indoors to longer positive trad routes (like the stuff we have on limestone or rhyolite) is larger but okay, from indoors to grit (or some sandstone) is a lot bigger.

For example, the following features all have definite mental aspects in the way they inspire confidence and committment:

Positive holds, reliability there are positive holds above, positive footholds rather than smears, fairly obvious moves, obvious (or fixed) protection, choice of protection, enough length to have a clear fall-out zone...

Indoors, some sport, and some non-grit trad routes have that. Gritstone usually has none of those and indeed the challenge is characterised by their lack.

In reply to:
but you should be better prepared to confront that risk after having practiced in the gym than not.

Possibly... I think that mental training indoors can be good for something that has a similar mental challenge outdoors - I'll happily try mental training indoors if I'm going on a sport climbing trip to Spain, for example. But it seems the gap between the mental aspect inside and the mental aspect of the most "un-indoorsy" of trad climbing (for me, gritstone, but I'm sure there are other examples - some american granite, maybe?) is a wide gap to bridge.

The mental process is exactly the same, whether you are climbing in the gym or climbing a death route. There is not one Warrior's Way book written for gym climbing and a separate one for gritstone. The process of observing yourself, centering, evaluating the risk, taking decisive action, trusting the process, and finding comfort in the risk is the same.

What you will be challenged with are more fearful stimuli. Balance will be more difficult, the runouts long, etc.; but your response when confronted with these stimuli should be the same, regardless of the environment: redirect your attention to the process, ask yourself questions about how to find balance, make moves, and so on.

Jay


arnoilgner


Nov 16, 2005, 2:27 PM
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Re: Applying RWW practice indoors to trad leading outdoors? [In reply to]
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Hello fiend...
A couple of thoughts.
First, when entering a learning experience you need to take it in small steps. As you mention, going from something as innocuous as indoor gym climbing to outdoor runout grit is a big jump. I think you are asking how to increase the level indoors so you'll be better prepared when the weather clears.
*Climb to the bolt instead of clipping from below.
*Skip a bolt when you get high on the route? Better make sure this is okay with the gym owner.

Second, your approach on runout trad is different than on well protected sport/trad. The ww model doesn't change but there is one significant difference. On well protected sport/trad you do push past what you think you can do. On runout trad, where a fall will hurt you, you don't want to push past the point of no return. So, in a gym you can do a lot of probing (climbing up and down) to monitor your strength level. Then commit to the next bolt (say after skipping one) if you feel you have enough strength to make it.

Basically, you are learning where that fine line is between "having enough strength" and "not having enough."
Does this help?
arno


dirtineye


Nov 16, 2005, 5:15 PM
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Re: Applying RWW practice indoors to trad leading outdoors? [In reply to]
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HEHE, I know at least one rock warrior who seemed to benefit from a few beers while gym climbing, in Atlanta, about two years ago.


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