Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners:
Found this neat crack ... now what?
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Beginners

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


zchandran


Jul 22, 2009, 2:26 PM
Post #1 of 28 (3213 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 120

Found this neat crack ... now what?
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I have absolutely no experience in crack climbing. When I went up a multipitch in Yosemite a month ago the guide told me in a few spots to handjam or footjam, and it didn't happen for me. He had to demonstrate on a ledge because I would just face climb past the crack each time after failing to get my foot/hand to stick.

Anyways, last weekend I found this great looking crack that's a 5.9 at the local crag. It is the perfect size for my hands, and about 30 feet tall. The guidebook says "splitter crack".

I want to take a shot at climbing it, but I don't want to wreck my hands for the rest of the season.

I've searched through the forums, but I'm not interested in getting heavy into crack climbing, I just want to try it out a couple of times and see if I like the taste. Hence my questions:

1. I'd like to practice on the cracks at my gym. Maybe 5 minutes at a time just to break into it gradually. Given that, should I invest in the hand jammies I see mentioned on other threads or just learn how to tape from the get-go?

2. How much pain am I supposed to put up with? I've tried weighting my hands without tape and it's not pleasant.

Any help is appreciated.


uni_jim


Jul 22, 2009, 2:39 PM
Post #2 of 28 (3196 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 27, 2008
Posts: 429

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

well, i climb in the rockies (not a whole lot of jamming going on up here) so take my advice with that in mind.

I would just tape up if i were you, hand jammies seem to be a specialty piece of gear that most people manage without. From the occasional jam that i have done, i understand your concern about pain, but if the crack is perfect hands for you like you say, than this crack should be super comfy for you. Also remember that you can save your hands with good footwork.


saltydog


Jul 22, 2009, 3:44 PM
Post #3 of 28 (3141 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 17, 2009
Posts: 42

Re: [uni_jim] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

use your feet. tape up. sack up and get it done.


glytch


Jul 22, 2009, 4:07 PM
Post #4 of 28 (3119 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 28, 2006
Posts: 194

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'm not a good crack climber by any stretch of the imagination, but I've gotten a lot better in the last year or so, and much more willing to trust my jams. I've started focusing heavily on never, ever moving the hand as I'm jamming it. Fidgeting, trying to reset, and generally messing with a semi-weighted jam will cause you all sorts of agony, both immediately and for the time it takes you to heal. Spot any small constrictions you can use in the crack, place your hand in and feel around a little, jam, and move. If, after jamming, you just don't feel secure, gingerly remove your hand fully from its jammed position and then reset it.

My understanding, and I may be wrong, is that there's a certain requisite amount of suffering for anyone who's just starting to climb cracks, but place your hands and feet carefully and don't move'em, and you'll minimize the hurting.


wally


Jul 22, 2009, 5:08 PM
Post #5 of 28 (3083 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 22, 2003
Posts: 6

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Climb that thing!! Tape is cheap and gloves aren't hard to make - they definitely reduce the pain factor. You might have a botched bit with your first pair but its a skill worth knowing, like learning to tie in. Once you learn how to crack climb, you'll probably really like it - unless you want to stick to well protected sport climbs, if your not going trad your definitely limiting your options. One run up a crack shouldn't trash your hands - just dont thrash! It's like trusting your feet on a dime edge or a smear - place it and trust it. I got a pair of Hand jammies but I don't care for them too much - they're too bulky for thin stuff, but for fists they're great. I've only been to Indian Creek once and they were kinda nice to have while socially cragging - you can just pop em off real easy. The guy that was leading most of the stuff didn't even use any gloves...smooth.

good how to sites - make sure you can flex your wrist and make a fist.

http://www.chockstone.org/TechTips/Glove.htm
http://www.tradgirl.com/...ng_2.htm#cracktaping


AntinJ


Jul 22, 2009, 5:19 PM
Post #6 of 28 (3070 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 3, 2008
Posts: 475

Re: [wally] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'm no crack-master by any means. but I'll jump on one any chance I can get!

In my short climbing career I have found that it helps to just start jamming away ~ The pain/discomfort goes away after a few moves and your hands get slightly numb, which helps you to keep moving.

Taping also helps a bit…and use your feet as much as possible.

I've also found some good instructional videos on the web. The advice may seem obvious to many, but I believe they offer some great basic tips for a new crack climber:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcRAkkFbutg

http://www.youtube.com/...&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/...&feature=related

Have fun and let us know how it goes.

J


tedman


Jul 22, 2009, 5:48 PM
Post #7 of 28 (3047 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 5, 2007
Posts: 237

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

One thing that can make crack climbing ALOT more painful than it should be is your shoes. If your toes are curled over in your shoes you REALLY wont want to put weight on your feet in a footjam. Makes upward progress alot more strenuous. So if you can, switch out those aggressive sport shoes for some comfy all day trad shoes and jam em in there!


nhgill


Jul 23, 2009, 4:08 AM
Post #8 of 28 (2964 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 22, 2009
Posts: 19

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Go climb it man, it's only 30 ft Wink My guess is (and this is speaking from my experience in my own climbing area, your results may differ) that it is a 5.9 hand crack is not going to be super steep. Chances are, if you climb it well, you won't be putting that much stress on your hands at all. Really focus on your feet. This may seem obvious (but I have often had trouble with it) but don't limit yourself to only using the crack. If there are edges/ledges/pockets/smears for your feet/hands use them. I would also add that in my, so far, short crack climbing career I have never taped my hands and can't say that I have mangled them yet nor have I had to put myself in an extraordinary amount of pain (the worst has been wide-ish toe jam rests while placing gear.)
So to recap: stop worrying and climb it.


bobbj22


Jul 23, 2009, 6:54 AM
Post #9 of 28 (2913 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 13, 2007
Posts: 54

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Panty-liners + tape = sissy crack gloves

-but they do work..


squishy654


Jul 23, 2009, 10:22 AM
Post #10 of 28 (2865 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 18, 2008
Posts: 137

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

This is dinkum crack isn't it?


Wunderkind


Jul 23, 2009, 11:00 AM
Post #11 of 28 (2830 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 7, 2008
Posts: 120

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

do not buy jammies

i've read Dingus' explanation of where they can be used in a non-ghey fashion, but that is the exception not the rule


mnottingham


Jul 23, 2009, 11:00 AM
Post #12 of 28 (2830 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 20, 2008
Posts: 18

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I learned to crack climb indoors. My gym has two 60 foot cracks that go from thin hands to forearm jams. There's also a long roof crack in the bouldering cave. I started out with my hands in the crack, feet outside the cracks on holds. After doing this for a while I had enough confidence with my hand and fist jams to start sticking my feet in. I can now lead both cracks no problem and I can downclimb both of them as well. Be warned, once the techniques start to click for you, you might become a crack addict. I get on any hand or fist crack I can find. Unfortunately there are few splitters in the NE. I use the hand jammies indoors. They are quick and convenient, and more comfortable than a tape job. The disadvantage is they tend to shift around a bit no matter how tightly you've taped and velcroed them to your hands. They can help if you are in a wide hand or fist crack and a slightly bigger hand would help secure your jams. The jammies are no good on tight hand cracks though, as their thickness will make a difference versus tape job. As any crack lover will tell you, nothing beats a perfect hand jam. Good Luck.


subantz


Jul 23, 2009, 11:04 AM
Post #13 of 28 (2818 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 7, 2007
Posts: 1247

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Found This Neat Crack Now What???
BOLT THAT STUPID CRACK, RUN get a power drill but you have to hurry before someone beats you to it.Mad You might hear some yelling at the bottom of the cliff. Not to worry that is a few people cheering you on as you are making history BOLT BOLT BOLT.


shimanilami


Jul 23, 2009, 11:09 AM
Post #14 of 28 (2810 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 24, 2006
Posts: 2043

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The hand jammies are a lot more convenient than taping, especially for the gym. And if anyone tells you, "That's cheating," tell them, "We're climbing plastic, you fucking dweeb."

How much pain should you tolerate? That's up to you. But consider that pain is an excellent teacher. If you can be objective about it, you'll quickly learn what works, what hurts, and what doesn't.

And don't bleed all over the crack. That's not cool for the next guy.


Crack_Addict_Ty


Jul 23, 2009, 11:20 AM
Post #15 of 28 (2798 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 7, 2009
Posts: 57

Re: [shimanilami] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

My climbing career is pretty short, but in that time I have come to love crack climbing (notice the screen name).

For me, it was like a week or two of dedicated crack climbing in the gym. It was painful, I felt awkward, and even a bit embarrassed that I was flailing around on this 5.8 hand crack. But, it seemed like one day it just clicked. I learned that a proper foot or toe jam turns the sketchiest of jams or ringlocks into bomber holds. The technique just isn't as intuitive as with face climbing.

Anyway, I say just commit to getting up that crack and I am willing to be that after 10 or so failed attempts, you will send it and then the splitter addiction will commence!


raymondjeffrey


Jul 23, 2009, 11:35 AM
Post #16 of 28 (2777 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 2, 2004
Posts: 361

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

found a crack? Cool, now what you wanna do is put bolts up the side of it. That way people who don't like using trad gear due to the increased danger level can just clip quick-draws to the perfectly spaced bolts (about 6 feet apart is perfect for Yosemite). That way you'll be considered unselfish by the rest the climbers on this site.

Carry on,

jefro


zchandran


Jul 23, 2009, 7:31 PM
Post #17 of 28 (2680 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 120

Re: [nhgill] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

OP here. I've started working the cracks in the gym. I'm keeping my feet on the face holds as suggested instead of jamming them and that's making a lot of difference - especially to the pain levels. My taping leaves a lot to be desired, but my hands aren't getting chewed up too bad. I'm going to try the 5.9 at the crag sometime next month after I build up my technique a little bit.

And no, I'm not going to bolt it. I'll be setting a cam every 3 feet or so since I'm new to trad, but the sooner I get over the fear-hump the better...


petsfed


Jul 23, 2009, 7:56 PM
Post #18 of 28 (2673 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 24, 2002
Posts: 8599

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

zchandran wrote:
I'll be setting a cam every 3 feet or so since I'm new to trad, but the sooner I get over the fear-hump the better...

So you're looking to find out how to turn a 5.9 into a 5.10, eh?

Perfect splitters can be a little bit hard to work with if you don't have much experience with them because the rope likes to fall back into the crack, right where you keep putting your hands and feet. It takes some chutzpah to deal effectively with it since the best solution is to consistently get above your gear, and place gear below your shoulders.

The upshot is that perfect splitters are nearly idiot proof when it comes to cam placements.

Don't misunderstand me, definitely get out there and do it, but fight the urge to always toss gear in above you, it'll screw you, hard, in the end.


Partner camhead


Jul 23, 2009, 8:00 PM
Post #19 of 28 (2667 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 9, 2001
Posts: 20939

Re: [petsfed] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

petsfed wrote:
zchandran wrote:
I'll be setting a cam every 3 feet or so since I'm new to trad, but the sooner I get over the fear-hump the better...

So you're looking to find out how to turn a 5.9 into a 5.10, eh?

Perfect splitters can be a little bit hard to work with if you don't have much experience with them because the rope likes to fall back into the crack, right where you keep putting your hands and feet. It takes some chutzpah to deal effectively with it since the best solution is to consistently get above your gear, and place gear below your shoulders.

The upshot is that perfect splitters are nearly idiot proof when it comes to cam placements.

Don't misunderstand me, definitely get out there and do it, but fight the urge to always toss gear in above you, it'll screw you, hard, in the end.

he's in Missouri, though. I doubt his "perfect splitter" is really that perfect.


tim_b


Jul 23, 2009, 8:48 PM
Post #20 of 28 (2641 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 8, 2006
Posts: 34

Re: [tedman] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

tedman - right on. Can't forget about the feet.

There's NOTHING quite like sticking your foot in the crack (toes aligned to the vertical axis), giving it a good twist (toes aligned to the horizontal axis) then standing on it.

Sure it hurts on the begining, but after that, WAY SECURE. Practice at home by climbing the little crack in between the DOOR and the DOOR JAM.

Argh ! .... Ahhhh ! ... (secure)


dhorgan


Jul 23, 2009, 9:51 PM
Post #21 of 28 (2610 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 25, 2007
Posts: 77

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Tape is pretty darn helpful. Keep the tape as thin as you can. I found that skipping the finger loops (shown in diagram that comes w/ Metolius tape, which is excellent) is better. Don't cover your any of your knuckles, including those at the bases of your fingers. Just cover the back of your hand and wrist. Actually, one exception: do a separate wrap (just one short strip starting and ending on your palm) around the base of your thumb. Then trap that with the wraps around your hand. Essential that none of the tape be tight. If it is tight, cut through the palm and/or wrist w/ scissors and re-secure with one more wrap, but looser.

You didn't ask, but thumb pointing up is often the best way to approach the jam, and then snug it up by squeezing the thumb toward your palm.

But what you really want to do is go to Indian Creek. Moab Desert Adventures runs a thing out there called Splitter Camp which is a super fun way to learn cracks, although you should be pretty comfy on 5.10 a/b-ish before you go. Or, just borrow all of your friends' #2 and #3 Camalots and go have at it! Either way, after a couple of laps on Incredible Hand Crack you'll be in business!


ladyscarlett


Jul 23, 2009, 11:56 PM
Post #22 of 28 (2581 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 16, 2008
Posts: 376

Re: [tim_b] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

tim_b wrote:
tedman - right on. Can't forget about the feet.

There's NOTHING quite like sticking your foot in the crack (toes aligned to the vertical axis), giving it a good twist (toes aligned to the horizontal axis) then standing on it.

Sure it hurts on the begining, but after that, WAY SECURE. Practice at home by climbing the little crack in between the DOOR and the DOOR JAM.

Argh ! .... Ahhhh ! ... (secure)

Yes!

And when it's Juuust right, I can stand on it for minutes! And place a piece! its a good feeling...

though I found out that one reason it hurt in the beginning was because I didn't understand the correct positioning for the foot, hadn't felt what 'right' was. Now, the only time I feel pain is in thin toe jams, I'm waaay over my level, and when I'm placing my feet/hands incorrectly for that spot in the crack.

Just like in non crack climbing, feet are key! And a good foot in a crack is a great stance to place...well not the best, but can be pretty good!

have fun!

ls


fresh


Jul 24, 2009, 6:17 AM
Post #23 of 28 (2547 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 6, 2007
Posts: 1199

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've noticed it's a lot easier to learn crack climbing while leading, because you care much less about the pain than you care about getting good jams.


zchandran


Jul 24, 2009, 7:43 AM
Post #24 of 28 (2520 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 120

Re: [petsfed] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

petsfed wrote:
zchandran wrote:
I'll be setting a cam every 3 feet or so since I'm new to trad, but the sooner I get over the fear-hump the better...

So you're looking to find out how to turn a 5.9 into a 5.10, eh?

More pro makes it easier - I weight each piece of pro after placing it, sometimes for 10-15 minutes each... Cool

Also, it's nowhere near a perfect crack, but it's about the best you're going to find in the area. It's mostly bolted routes, I'm having to learn trad on 5.6 to 5.7 routes since those are the easiest trad routes.

Still, I'll be at the one year mark for climbing in less than a month, and no injuries yet, so I'm going to keep plugging along slow and steady.


petsfed


Jul 24, 2009, 9:43 AM
Post #25 of 28 (2491 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 24, 2002
Posts: 8599

Re: [zchandran] Found this neat crack ... now what? [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

About a week ago, I was on a real perfect splitter handcrack and I thought back to when I first attempted to lead it years ago. I kept making the mistake of putting my gear up as far as it could go, then fighting to get my arm around the rope so that I could actually jam.

Its frustrating but its true, if you weight the rope on lead while climbing a good splitter handcrack, it will instantly go from 5.7, 5.8, 5.9 to like a grade or two harder. All because the rope got in the way. And it won't ease up until the rope is relatively loose again.

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Information : Beginners

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook