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getting back my head for leading
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ajax


Apr 18, 2007, 9:06 AM
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getting back my head for leading
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after a really long winter without climbing i went out for the first time yesterday and found that i had a hard time leading, even climbs which i had lead before.
my trouble stemmed for fear of climbing higher above my protection and running out of holds before i got to the next bolt, even when i had a good hold i was worried to move up incase there was nothing above it.
i just started leading last year and did quite a lot of it, before winter i was quite confident in my abilities, my question is, does anyone else find that they have to regain that mental edge after a long period away from climbing?


arnoilgner


Apr 19, 2007, 3:55 PM
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Re: [ajax] getting back my head for leading [In reply to]
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hi ajax,
we do lose fitness, mental or physical, when we have a gap. i guess the first thing to ask is what do you want from your climbing? it's apparent that you want to lead climb. however, do you want to push the grades or do you rather want to climb and not fall? if it's the latter then find little ways to engage by probing up and back down to gain info about what is ahead. if it's the latter (push the grades) then you need to get familiar with falling. practice in small increments (beginning on short toprope falls) in vertical/overhanging situations, and increment up only when you get comfortable on the smaller increment. take it in one-step up increments. it is critical to make sure you breathe, look down, and don't grab the rope. when you can do this and stay relaxed then you know you're comfortable at that increment.
perhaps this helps?
arno


tolman_paul


Feb 11, 2008, 5:38 PM
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Some days you simply don't feel solid, just don't dwell on it. If you've been off the rock for awhile, you won't feel as solid. Maybe hit some routes you aren't so familiar with, and hence won't have expectations of how you should feel.


anykineclimb


Mar 12, 2008, 6:06 PM
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Re: [tolman_paul] getting back my head for leading [In reply to]
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glad this came up.

I've had this problem recently as I took a groundfall while ice climbing back in October. The next time out on ice I was really spooked and ended up backing off a climb. funny thing is on rock I felt ok. I'm guess that its because I've been climbing rock a lot longer and more comfortable on it and associating ice with my fall.
As for getting my "ice head" back, I led easier climbs that I would normally solo but I'm still not 100% while leading ice.

BTW Arno, I was loaned your book after my fall and I feel it helped tremendously.

Cheers


tolman_paul


Mar 12, 2008, 7:06 PM
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The mental aspect is such a wierd deal. I remembe when I was teaching myself to lead relatively hard aid. I don't recall exactly how high up I was, maybe 15 feet, maybe 20. Anyhow, I popped the piece I was on, zippered and grounded. Fortunately it was a perfect flat gravel landing and I was unhurt, just phazed. I got right back on the route, properly drove the pins and topped out.

A month or so back I went out to do a roped solo of an easy climb. I got up to put in my firt screw, and just felt aweful. The ice was real hard, and it was a struggle to get the screw in. I hadn't had a good night sleep in a week, and by the time I go the screw in, I was spent, and fealt like puking. I should have just downclimbed, but I lowered off the screw and slunk back to work, defeated.

Then a few weeks back I rope soloed a nice 5.8 face climbing, I just fealt perfect that day.

Take the good with the bad, just don't throw in the towel for good. Bailing on routes that are physically or mentally over your ability is just as much a part of the learning curve as those perfect flash's.


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