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gblauer
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Jun 30, 2008, 11:45 AM
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How do you measure progress?
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Just curious.

Do you measure your long term trends (i.e. I started leading 5.7 sport, now, 5 years later I can lead 5.11s. 5 years later Gunks 5.6's really do feel like 5.6's)?

Do you measure short term gains (i.e. today I had the "balls" to lead something I've been afraid to do)?

A mix?

Or...none of the above, I just climb to have fun, it's not about progress.

For me, I think it's a mix. I can see my long term gains (sport and trad) and I can see my willingness to take on harder climbs, "in the moment". It's gratifying to see that I have been able to progress over time.

You can probably tell by my posts that I am very goal oriented and I recognize that not everyone shares my point of view. Being goal oriented is just who I am and it makes climbing "fun" for me.

Your thoughts?


(This post was edited by gblauer on Jun 30, 2008, 11:51 AM)


tigerlilly


Jun 30, 2008, 12:05 PM
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My long-term trends aren't quite so long-term, considering I started climbing about 1.5 years ago. Early on, it's easy to make big gains, so I'm having a ball at the moment. It's fun to go back and cruise up climbs I flailed miserably on last year. I'm starting to get up some 5.8's on TR where last year, I was lucky if I could make the first move. One of these days, I'm going to have to revisit Schockley's.....

Kathy


granite_grrl


Jun 30, 2008, 12:20 PM
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I think I'm more about the short term. I have routes I day dream about, and then I'm so happy when I send them. Most of the time this is with redpoints, but when I get to go away on trips there's always a couple of routes I am focused on trying to onsight.

When I think of things in the long term I almost feel dissapointed in myself. I feel I should be climbing much better than I am right now, should be able to progres faster. I don't really feel positive.

So, I usually stay with the elation with my latest hard (for me) send.


clee03m


Jun 30, 2008, 12:21 PM
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My leading ability for sport climbing is different for slabs, verticle face sport climbs, slightly over hanging sport climbs, and out right leaning powerful climbs. I can keep more honest track of my progress by comparing similar routes. I also keep track of leads in different areas in a pyramid format. This way allows me to measure long as well as short term progress.

Then there is trad, but I am such a noobie for trad, I really haven't started to divide out the trad into areas, yet. I measure my progess in trad climbing by simply how hard I am willing to push myself for leading, since I lead so much easier stuff than I can follow. When I am less of a gumbie and leading at my limits, I am sure my progress measure will change.

To me, measuring progress does not take away from my enjoyment of climbing. It aids me in climbing better, and there are so many cool routes that are harder than I can climb, so better I get, more cool climbs I can do, right?


gblauer
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Jun 30, 2008, 12:32 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
I think I'm more about the short term. I have routes I day dream about, and then I'm so happy when I send them. Most of the time this is with redpoints, but when I get to go away on trips there's always a couple of routes I am focused on trying to onsight.

When I think of things in the long term I almost feel dissapointed in myself. I feel I should be climbing much better than I am right now, should be able to progres faster. I don't really feel positive.

So, I usually stay with the elation with my latest hard (for me) send.

Question for you (although slightly off point)...you had a terrible accident. How hard has it been to fix your "head" vs. your body? Has the accident impacted your progress?

(Please feel free to tell me to "get lost" if I am being intrusive.)


Partner happiegrrrl


Jun 30, 2008, 12:48 PM
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I appreciate my small achievements as they occur. I'm not looking for a specific number to reach for, so that's just not a concern of mine, although I do recall trying especially hard when I followed Heart & Sole a few years ago(a number harder than anything I'd ever been on before). I slipped and caught myself before the rope weighted, but....I know that little bit of resistance did save me. Had there been no rope, I would have...not been there in the first place - hahahah....

But, I've been more interested in seeing how I face challenges as they come up, rather than setting myself up for them to come.

Long term - I think climbing might be sort of (though of course not really) like investing in the stock market. Things fluctuate....but generally rise over time. Until they don't, I suppose! I've seen/heard so many people suffering and beating themselves up over a setback like an injury, or going through a phase where they couldn't climb and finding their lead head lost. Or, the years have taken their toll and they just can't do what they did 20 years ago.

They don't seem to be having much fun, and I don't want that for myself. It's true to me, that any day out is a good day, and I can find as much enjoyment in being a 3rd in a team who takes photos as I can doing a lead at my limit. I actually don't so much enjoy days where the clock seems to be ticking. I don't care for the pressure.

All that said - I am looking SO forward to my first trip to Yosemite. It's not till fall(for the Facelift, and I am staying extra days). I KNOW I am going to have to work on my commitment level if I am going to be able to get up climbs there, and so I do hope that I can see progress in that realm in the next few months. I certainly can't work on my jams here.....so might as well focus on the other aspect!


tavs


Jun 30, 2008, 2:18 PM
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I had some trouble trying to figure out where I might fit in with this question. But after some reflection, I'd say I'm mostly aware of the short-term and MEDIUM term; but every so often I do look back over my whole climbing life and think about the long-term gains (or, in some cases at some times, the lack thereof).

What I mean by medium term.....my interests in climbing have ebbed and flowed significantly over the almost 8 years that I would consider my "real" climbing lifespan. At one point I was just psyched to get out climbing regularly (top-roping, mostly). After getting comfortable leading, I had a spurt of being obsessed with pushing my redpoint grade on sport routes. Then, I turned more of my attention to trad for a while. An obsession with bouldering stepped in for a brief time followed by a return to being focused on trad (and more generally, the mental challenge of being on "fall-possible" terrain above gear I didn't completely trust yet....this phase included the introduction of ice climbing to my world). Then, alpine became the obsession--long approaches, long routes, long days, extremes of fatigue, uncertainly, risk. Also over time my relative interest in onsights and redpoints has shifted. In my sport climbing obsession days, it was all about the redpoints. But in the last two years, I don't think there's a single route I've tried more than 5-6 times. I still do all of these types of climbing in any given climbing season--trad, alpine, sport, bouldering, long, short, onsights, redpoints--but the focus of my energy changes.

So, given all the shifts in focus/interest, it's hard to really measure the long-term progress in conventional terms (grades, particularly). In my sport redpoint phase, I sent 5.X for the first (and 2nd, 3rd....and 10th maybe?) times. That was 5 years ago. As of now, I still haven't sent harder than 5.X sport. I bouldered V-X 3 years ago and haven't done harder since (though I have matched it plenty). But at the times, those were huge "medium term" goals to measure myself by.

The last two years I'd say have been primarily about trad and alpine, so I'm measuring my progress by a bunch of different factors: onsight and redpoint grades, doing harder pitches on long days/routes, making better decisions when the sh*t hits the fan, route-finding skills, doing better on a wider range of styles (I swear I won't call myself a "true" 5.X climber until I can climb offwidths at that grade Smile), etc etc etc. But my improvements in these areas are mostly measured only over the last couple of years, rather than over my whole climbing time. When I think about my progress, I think more along the lines of "compared to last season" or "last month" rather than much further back. I guess in the areas I'm currently most interested in, I take for granted a certain amount of "progress" in the LONG term, but I'm really looking to see progress in the medium term.

Short-term, I definitely appreciate the good days, but I find that getting too focused on what I've done on a given day tends to lead me to dwell more on the bad days rather than revel in the good ones. So I don't look to see too much progress on any given day--better to be pleasantly surprised than bitterly disappointed, I guess!


lena_chita
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Jun 30, 2008, 6:07 PM
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I am a mix, too.

While I climb for fun, seeing progress is certainly something that makes me feel good, and something I keep track of.

I look at a route pyramide as a way to measure past progress and set up short- and mid-term goals.

But I also look at a lot of little things that aren't reflected in a pyramid, the "mental things" -- e.g. when I first started leading sport, I could only lead one or two routes a day. I wasn't physically tired, I would toprope a few more pitches, but mentally that was all I was able to handle. Now I don't have this issue anymore. While I still have bad lead-head days, it is not as often as it used to be... To me, that is an evidence of progress.

Or another example, I remember thinking that I would never ever want to try trad-- until one day I felt that I was ready to try it, and wanted to.

Long-term goals I am not so sure about. Or rather, I don't care much about long-term goals in climbing... I don't actually have a goal of climbing a certain grade. I just feel that i can climb better than I climb now, and every time I get my onsight or redpoint bumped up by a letter grade I feel good. When will I get to the point that the bumping up is not happening anymore--I don't know. Right now I don't care either.
There are couple routes that I dream of, something that is way outside my redpoint range right now, but something I think I would be able to do in couple years. Thats is as much of a lont-term goal as I've ever had.

But if I think beyond that, my only " longterm goal" is to keep climbing, for many, many years.


lhwang


Jul 1, 2008, 11:49 AM
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Well... they say the best climber is the one having the most fun, and that's what I try to live by.

That being said, I still enjoy seeing that I'm "improving", and by that I mean climbing harder grades or climbing routes I've done before in a way that flows better or seems more efficient. Some of it is mental for me... I like seeing how I'm having less irrational fear of falling on lead routes because that makes the climbing more fun.


wonderwoman


Jul 1, 2008, 1:07 PM
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I met all of my trad goals early in the season last year... I need new goals this year!

I usually compile a 'to do' list of climbs, and that's how I measure my success.


clausti


Jul 1, 2008, 1:13 PM
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as someone else said, in the beginning, it is easy to make huge gains- revel in that.


weekend to weekend, the two things that give me the most satisfaction are: redpointing a 5.12 and not backing off of stuff.

now, obviously the first is a numbers-chaser thing- i LIKE quantifying things. that said, my max redpoint has been the same for several years now, right around .12a/.12b. i am really happy when i tick those climbs, though it doesn't happen that often.

the second, well... i am much stronger than I redpoint, as a general rule. more so than most people i have observed. by that i mean that even when i'm onsighting in the mid-11s, i still don't repoint much above .12a, it's all mental. also, when conditions are bad, i have been known to bail and let my partner finish stuff. therefore, some of my most memerable climbing moments are not when i climbed something really hard, necc, but when i didnt take:

- yos valley, 9 pitch 5.10, and i get to a couple moves i cannot do 5 or 6 pitches up. i took a couple deep breaths and aided through till i could get a hand in the crack again. i didn't let my partner down, we didn't epic, and we made it down before dark. even though i didnt free the route, it was an amazing day, and I was really proud that i held it together and go through all the pitches on my leads.
- this past weekend on saturday, it'd been raining and i was going up a .10b with a slab section at the top- totally manky. i kept collected, lead through the water, and didnt take, even though right at the bottom of the wet stuff, i had a bolt at my waist.
- climbing past a stopper balanced between two cystals in a water groove till it's below my feet so i could clip the chains on a route that i don't even remember its grade.
- knowing i didnt have enough of the right size peice on bird of fire and climbing through the crux anyway.
- every time i have been pumped out of my mind, facing a dangerous fall, and/or fumbled and dropped the rope, but i pick it (/back) up and manage to get the rope in the draw.
- every time i climb till my hands open instead of until i think about falling.


i think you can see a theme there. so i guess in summary, i measure progress in my head, mostly, with a side of numbers chasing.

oh and, i know the question wasn't directed at me, but i'm gonna answer anyway- harder to heal mind, but my injuries weren't as bad as granitgirl's.


(This post was edited by clausti on Jul 1, 2008, 1:16 PM)


granite_grrl


Jul 1, 2008, 3:21 PM
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gblauer wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
I think I'm more about the short term. I have routes I day dream about, and then I'm so happy when I send them. Most of the time this is with redpoints, but when I get to go away on trips there's always a couple of routes I am focused on trying to onsight.

When I think of things in the long term I almost feel dissapointed in myself. I feel I should be climbing much better than I am right now, should be able to progres faster. I don't really feel positive.

So, I usually stay with the elation with my latest hard (for me) send.

Question for you (although slightly off point)...you had a terrible accident. How hard has it been to fix your "head" vs. your body? Has the accident impacted your progress?

(Please feel free to tell me to "get lost" if I am being intrusive.)

Nah, I'm pretty open about what happened to me. I guess the biggest issue that came from my accident is lack of confidence. It seems like when I'm on I'm on, but it doesn't take very much to bring me down. Before I successfully climb a hard route I have to first believe that I can climb it. Then I'll push myself harder to make that happen. If my confidence isn't good that day then its more likely I'll take than to really try.

Its funny, 'cause I'm happy and proud of how I've dealt with and where I'm at since my accident, but I'm still not happy with my over all progression in climbing. My accident did put me back, but it also made me determined which has helped offset that. I think things like university, sticking only with trad climbing for years and initially being scared to go out on my own has probobly hurt me more in my 8 years of climbing (not that I'll be sending too many hard slabby routes anytime soon).

I really am happier looking at the short term, sending the lines I lust after, building up my confidence.


caliclimbergrl


Jul 1, 2008, 3:58 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
Nah, I'm pretty open about what happened to me. I guess the biggest issue that came from my accident is lack of confidence. It seems like when I'm on I'm on, but it doesn't take very much to bring me down. Before I successfully climb a hard route I have to first believe that I can climb it. Then I'll push myself harder to make that happen. If my confidence isn't good that day then its more likely I'll take than to really try.

Its funny, 'cause I'm happy and proud of how I've dealt with and where I'm at since my accident, but I'm still not happy with my over all progression in climbing. My accident did put me back, but it also made me determined which has helped offset that. I think things like university, sticking only with trad climbing for years and initially being scared to go out on my own has probobly hurt me more in my 8 years of climbing (not that I'll be sending too many hard slabby routes anytime soon).

I really am happier looking at the short term, sending the lines I lust after, building up my confidence.

Wait, what happened to you? How did I miss hearing about that. I'm curious because i shattered my ankle really badly on a 40-ft lead fall on granite slab last summer and I have very similar feelings as you do about it. I have very limited range of motion with my left foot still and the shock absorbency is really bad (I still can't run). They expect the range of motion to stay bad, but hopefully the shock absorbency will get better. I'm was never the most ballsy climber, but the fall/injury really messed with my head. Sometimes I'm fine, and sometimes I get really scared. But climbing is the one thing I truly enjoy and I'm proud of myself for not letting this injury hold me back.

As for as the original question ... I'm not really big on measuring progress. I am very aware of the level that I am climbing at because I want to push myself to take the more difficult leads, but I don't want to bite off more than I can chew and fall and injure myself again. For me, progress isn't about being able to say that I can climb 5.10 or whatever. It's about being able to be an independent climber. Right now, I feel competent leading pretty much any 5.8 crack that's hands or thinner. If it's wider than hands or harder than 5.8, I have to think about it. And if it's harder than 5.10a or if it's off-width, there's no way I'm leading it. That really limits me to the climbs I can do or it makes it necessary to climb with someone who is better than me. I would like to be able to climb 5.10 multi-pitch and at least be as capable as my partner. I don't want to feel like I need someone to take me up climbs anymore. Last summer, I broke into leading 5.10 on single pitch climbs. Hopefully by the end of this summer, I'll be leading 5.9 or 5.10 on multi-pitch climbs.


gblauer
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Jul 1, 2008, 7:01 PM
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This is the thread about Rebecca's accident.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...%20accident;#1419313


rockgirlCO


Jul 10, 2008, 12:53 PM
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I've given this a few days of thought and concluded I have short term and long term goals too. My long term is an annual goal that I set. It might be climbing a grade consistently, or leading, or learning something new. Short term is probably leading a specific route.

While I write down everything I climb, I don't do a number crunch or pyramid or hard core analysis. I can see that I'm doing more of a particular grade than last year and that's good enough to show I'm progressing. (I guess it's more a personal journal than a training progress report!)


lemonade


Jul 11, 2008, 1:56 PM
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I have been thinking about this...

I am the type of person that is very goal orientated, want to be the best, etc.

But when it comes to climbing, my progress is finding a climb that challanges my body or technique and working hard at it until I can do it. In fact, that's prb what I most enjoy out of climbing.

I do have long term "dreams"....but I don't really think about those when I am out there...it's like, I dream of one day doing an ultra marathon (running lol) but I don't think about that when I'm rolling my eyes and tying my sneakers about going for another run. (and I won't be doing even a marathon anytime soon. haha)
So I guess that means I am more focused on short term goals...
There is an aspect where I am focused on the long term goal of being able to do a broader range of grades...if only for more fun climbing!

ughh I don't feel like I made much sense but oh well.


acacongua


Jul 18, 2008, 9:19 AM
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caliclimbergrl wrote:

I'm curious because i shattered my ankle really badly on a 40-ft lead fall on granite slab

Another reason to "just say no" to slab. Yikes!


caughtinside


Jul 18, 2008, 11:52 AM
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One of the things I like to do on occasion is repeat trad routes that I led a couple seasons earlier where I felt gripped. Now they feel casual. Fun.


camhead


Jul 18, 2008, 2:04 PM
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caughtinside wrote:
One of the things I like to do on occasion is repeat trad routes that I led a couple seasons earlier where I felt gripped. Now they feel casual. Fun.

I have tried that, but usually I just fall on routes that I onsighted two years ago, since I'm still kind of getting back into it.

however, since this is the Ladies' Room, what type of prAna top is best for getting back into it?


chossmonkey


Jul 30, 2008, 9:37 AM
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camhead wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
One of the things I like to do on occasion is repeat trad routes that I led a couple seasons earlier where I felt gripped. Now they feel casual. Fun.

I have tried that, but usually I just fall on routes that I onsighted two years ago, since I'm still kind of getting back into it.

however, since this is the Ladies' Room, what type of prAna top is best for getting back into it?

Haha!!



Go for 100% commitment and climb topless.


mecalekahi-mekahidyho


Aug 30, 2008, 10:12 AM
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  Progress is like.... When I can get laid on the 2nd date.... JK,

I believe you are correct, it can be measured in long term and short term. As long as you are progressing towards a desired range then any progress is good.


fluffystuff


Sep 3, 2008, 8:36 PM
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My long term goals are to lead a few levels higher than I am now. As long as I keep getting out there on the rock, it feels like I'm moving towards my long term goal and that feels good. That specific goal is b/c it seems like it would open up a lot of fun, aesthetic climbs all over the place.

For short term gains, I get excited to hop on climbs that are at my max leading level. It is humbling and scary sometimes, but keeping challenged somehow makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing.

However, a nice stroll on something well within my ability keeps me refreshed and happy. = ) Always being sketched is tiring.


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