Forums: Clubs: Mental Training: The Rock Warrior's Way:
A new grit season - what approach to take??
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Mental Training: The Rock Warrior's Way

Premier Sponsor:

 


_fiend_


Oct 10, 2006, 3:15 PM
Post #1 of 7 (1572 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 3, 2005
Posts: 104

A new grit season - what approach to take??
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The weather is getting colder and grimmer and the days are getting shorter, so it is the time for any sensible Englishman to get on the gritstone and take advantage of the increasing friction, easy logistics, and technical challenge.

That includes me - and for me, I find gritstone a tough challenge. It is slopey, smeary, friction dependent, often bold, totally committing, and surprisingly pumpy for such short routes. I'm in my element dancing up sharp edges on crisp mountain rock, slotting in occasional bomber wires and taking reassurance that there will be some decent holds around even if I have to pull quite hard to get them.

Nevertheless I am inspired by many gritstone routes and am keen to get to grips with this challenge - particularly as I have been climbing well on other trad this year. The main issues I have with gritstone are: Trusting slopey and smeary holds, hanging onto said holds whilst placing gear, sweating quite a lot (this is a real physical issue), and committing to moves where I'm not certain what holds there will be.

So, what approach / attitude should I take towards this season?? Throwing it open to the RWW-inspired forum massive ;). I have my own ideas but I would be interested to see what people think/suggest too...


arnoilgner


Oct 10, 2006, 9:21 PM
Post #2 of 7 (1572 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 7, 2003
Posts: 366

Re: A new grit season - what approach to take?? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hello _fiend_
Are the grit stone routes well protected or runout? The ones I've heard of are runout.
Suggestion:
1. Identify major decision points on the climb, those places where you have a rest and gear.
2. Identify mini decision points, subtle rest stances between the major decision points.
3. Practice probing--climbing up from a decision point to gather info on sequences and then down climb to the last decision point.
4. Practice committing fully from major decision point to the next major/minor decision point.
arno


_fiend_


Oct 12, 2006, 5:42 AM
Post #3 of 7 (1572 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 3, 2005
Posts: 104

Re: A new grit season - what approach to take?? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Before I read the reply, this is what I thought...

My intentions:

Climb inspiring routes of course - realising that that inspiration can go a long way.

Apply what I've learnt this summer climbing well elsewhere to gritstone.

Get into the similar situations of committment that I have done on other trad routes - i.e. end up committing to moves and having to climb or fall.

Learn to tackle grit's nuances, but on reasonably safe routes so I can risk falls whilst challenging myself.

Learn to deal with the issues I have with grit including purely physical ones - take practical steps to stack the odds in my favour.



I think overall my main attitude is to tackle a challenge using what I've learnt and am still learning.


_fiend_


Oct 20, 2006, 8:21 AM
Post #4 of 7 (1572 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 3, 2005
Posts: 104

Re: A new grit season - what approach to take?? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Cheers for the thoughts arno.

Most of the grit routes I'm interested in are either well protected or runout but with an ultimately safe fall - I'm generally steering away from the dangerous ones. Generally I'm looking at routes where I can look at the risk and feel I can take it.

I do think I tend to break down climbs as you've suggested - the only sticking point for me comes with no. 4!

...

Further, I got back to climbing on grit around this weekend, had 4 days climbing. Mostly it was too warm to push myself with the friction, and I was just interested in getting some mileage in and getting used to the rock again and seeing what challenges I would be facing. So I stuck to routes which challenged me only a little bit, apart from a couple on the 4th day that were more testing. Had good fun and I think my approach was okay.

I learnt from this period, the challenges I will face...

1. Friction is still crucial. Day 1 was too warm and I couldn't hold slopey holds. Day 2 similar apart from in the shade which was fine. Day 3 was cooler but too claggy, I wisely backed off a bold slab because my hands kept greasing. Day 4 was great, cool and fresh, and I could tackle more challenging routes. Thus as a matter of practicality (rather than psychology) I need to choose the right routes for the right conditions.

2. Dynamic movement will be useful. On other rock types the positivity of holds means that positions within a move can be held more easily. On the rounded slopyness of gritstone the positions are sometimes so insecure and off balance that only continual motion for a move will be enough. I will have to work on this physically and mentall.

3. I still have my fair share of phantom fears about falling. For example on the most challenging route, I had good gear 1/2m below me, a reasonable fall-out zone, and I still felt very scared until I'd spent a while getting my balance and getting used to the situation. I'm going to have to do falling practise! (I.e. DO IT rather than talking about it!).

With this knowledge and what I've learnt previously I can look at what routes inspire me, and see what I can do to prepare to tackle them...


naw


Oct 21, 2006, 3:44 PM
Post #5 of 7 (1572 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 12, 2004
Posts: 192

Re: A new grit season - what approach to take?? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Plus you'll have to deal with the most difficult problem that gritstone climbing entails:

Finding the most efficent way to carry your massive balls up a vertical face.


_fiend_


Oct 23, 2006, 4:47 AM
Post #6 of 7 (1572 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 3, 2005
Posts: 104

Re: A new grit season - what approach to take?? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

LOL. My organs might be sufficiently sized but I don't tend to use them much for grit climbing (the grazes and all that).

As I say I'm sticking to stuff that is reasonable safe, even if it's bold. Stuff that is quite comprehendible, good gear below you, reasonably fallout zone, committing moves, that sort of thing.


sungam


Oct 23, 2006, 5:15 AM
Post #7 of 7 (1572 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 24, 2004
Posts: 26476

Re: A new grit season - what approach to take?? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Not all girit, from what I've heard, is mega runout. Obviously Mashuga and other "Hard Grit" classics give a very intemidating feel to the whole grit scene, but there are plenty of "resonably" (still runout, but by no means lethal) well protected hard routes.
As for easier routes, there are plenty of sweet crack lines and break hopping routes kicking around.
Good luck on the grit and send hard.

-Magnus


Forums : Clubs : Mental Training: The Rock Warrior's Way

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook