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ErnestC3


Mar 9, 2011, 5:56 AM
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Smearing
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Is smearing a proper technique to climb indoors?

I smear quite a lot when climbing in the local gym here since there's not many footholds on the wall..Crazy


spikeddem


Mar 9, 2011, 6:54 AM
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Re: [ErnestC3] Smearing [In reply to]
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Smearing is a legitimate technique when footholds run out. Don't fear the smear.


lena_chita
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Mar 9, 2011, 7:13 AM
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Re: [ErnestC3] Smearing [In reply to]
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Funny question. Is there a specific reason or situation that made you ask it? Yes, smearing, like any other climbing technique, is not reserved for outdoor climbing only.

The possible exception (rather forced) in some gyms is the following: when climbing a route that is set for tracking feet on molded walls, flagging is supposed to be O.K. (touching the inside or the outside of your toe/foot to the wall in an unmarked location), but smearing (e.i. putting weight on the foot while pressing it into the wall) is not.

I don't like that rule, and i wouldn't set routes like this myself, but it seems to be the common way to make the climbs harder in the gyms that use Entreprize or Nicros wall systems.

Did someone tell you that it was not O.K. to smear? maybe they were referring to a specific route that was set that way, for some reason...


saint_john


Mar 9, 2011, 7:46 AM
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Re: [ErnestC3] Smearing [In reply to]
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ErnestC3 wrote:
Is smearing a proper technique to climb indoors?

I smear quite a lot when climbing in the local gym here since there's not many footholds on the wall..Crazy

smearing is fine.
However, if you find that you must smear excessively you may need to improve your footwork.
Footholds could be there, you just might not have the technique to use them so you resort to smearing.


olderic


Mar 9, 2011, 8:24 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Smearing [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
Funny question. Is there a specific reason or situation that made you ask it? Yes, smearing, like any other climbing technique, is not reserved for outdoor climbing only.

The possible exception (rather forced) in some gyms is the following: when climbing a route that is set for tracking feet on molded walls, flagging is supposed to be O.K. (touching the inside or the outside of your toe/foot to the wall in an unmarked location), but smearing (e.i. putting weight on the foot while pressing it into the wall) is not.

I don't like that rule, and i wouldn't set routes like this myself, but it seems to be the common way to make the climbs harder in the gyms that use Entreprize or Nicros wall systems.

Did someone tell you that it was not O.K. to smear? maybe they were referring to a specific route that was set that way, for some reason...

Yeah indoors you might run into tracking vs. non tracking, features on/off, stemming against the side wall depends on whether marked holds exist on it - these are all common. Outdoors people like to think that anything goes - yet "vegetable" holds or your belayer's head are usually (but not always) considered off.


kachoong


Mar 9, 2011, 10:06 AM
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Re: [saint_john] Smearing [In reply to]
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saint_john wrote:
ErnestC3 wrote:
Is smearing a proper technique to climb indoors?

I smear quite a lot when climbing in the local gym here since there's not many footholds on the wall..Crazy

smearing is fine.
However, if you find that you must smear excessively you may need to improve your footwork.
Footholds could be there, you just might not have the technique to use them so you resort to smearing.

I wouldn't necessarily agree with this. IMO smearing excessively is not a sign of bad footwork. I would argue that smearing where no foothold exists, or even just to the side of a hold, should be encouraged in situations that put your body in the best position to do a move. Not everyone can utilize a designated foothold the same way, due to height, limb length etc, and if you must smear to the side then good for you.

How many instances is smearing going to be a better option than a nearby foothold, if not to put your body in a better position to make a move?


spikeddem


Mar 9, 2011, 10:12 AM
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Re: [kachoong] Smearing [In reply to]
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kachoong wrote:
How many instances is smearing going to be a better option than a nearby foothold, if not to put your body in a better position to make a move?

Five instances. Next question.


naitch


Mar 9, 2011, 11:04 AM
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Re: [kachoong] Smearing [In reply to]
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kachoong wrote:

I wouldn't necessarily agree with this. IMO smearing excessively is not a sign of bad footwork.

Have you ever seen a noob paddl'n the wall' with their feet because they were too focused on the holds above and weren't looking at and consciously placing their feet (climbing with 'quiet feet')?


Rudmin


Mar 9, 2011, 11:50 AM
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Re: [ErnestC3] Smearing [In reply to]
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I find that smearing frequency is roughly proportional to shoe age. New pair of shoes and suddenly you can edge anything.

Someone needs to make a shoe with a replaceable front edge like ice climbers get replaceable picks.


gmggg


Mar 9, 2011, 12:20 PM
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Re: [naitch] Smearing [In reply to]
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naitch wrote:
kachoong wrote:

I wouldn't necessarily agree with this. IMO smearing excessively is not a sign of bad footwork.

Have you ever seen a noob paddl'n the wall' with their feet because they were too focused on the holds above and weren't looking at and consciously placing their feet (climbing with 'quiet feet')?

I thought we were talking about smearing.

I would go so far as to say that frequent quality smearing is a sign of climbing experience and excellent footwork.


iknowfear


Mar 9, 2011, 12:28 PM
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Re: [ErnestC3] Smearing [In reply to]
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ErnestC3 wrote:
Is swearing a proper technique to climb indoors?

I swear quite a lot when climbing in the local gym here since there's not many footholds on the wall..Crazy

ftfy! Tongue


(This post was edited by iknowfear on Mar 9, 2011, 12:30 PM)


spikeddem


Mar 9, 2011, 12:32 PM
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Re: [iknowfear] Smearing [In reply to]
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iknowfear wrote:
ErnestC3 wrote:
Is swearing a proper technique to climb indoors?

I swear quite a lot when climbing in the local gym here since there's not many footholds on the wall..Crazy

ftfy! Tongue
It's noteworthy that that technique is far from being helpful only indoors. I use it regularly outdoors, too.


naitch


Mar 9, 2011, 12:37 PM
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Re: [gmggg] Smearing [In reply to]
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gmggg wrote:
naitch wrote:
kachoong wrote:

I wouldn't necessarily agree with this. IMO smearing excessively is not a sign of bad footwork.

Have you ever seen a noob paddl'n the wall' with their feet because they were too focused on the holds above and weren't looking at and consciously placing their feet (climbing with 'quiet feet')?

I thought we were talking about smearing.

I would go so far as to say that frequent quality smearing is a sign of climbing experience and excellent footwork.

I was responding to the 'excessively' which I indicated in bold above. I guess it depends upon how you define excessively. To me, it means more than needed...

[ik-ses-iv]
–adjective
"exceeding a normal, usual, reasonable, or proper limit. Excessively describes a quantity, amount, or degree that is more than what is justifiable, tolerable, or desirable"

It conjured up many situations I've observed (and probably participated in when first learning to climb) when the focus was on hands and the feet were being smeared everywhere ineffectively because of that.


(This post was edited by naitch on Mar 9, 2011, 12:40 PM)


gmggg


Mar 9, 2011, 12:41 PM
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Re: [naitch] Smearing [In reply to]
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naitch wrote:
gmggg wrote:
naitch wrote:
kachoong wrote:

I wouldn't necessarily agree with this. IMO smearing excessively is not a sign of bad footwork.

Have you ever seen a noob paddl'n the wall' with their feet because they were too focused on the holds above and weren't looking at and consciously placing their feet (climbing with 'quiet feet')?

I thought we were talking about smearing.

I would go so far as to say that frequent quality smearing is a sign of climbing experience and excellent footwork.

I was responding to the 'excessively' which I indicated in bold above. I guess it depends upon how you define excessively. To me, it means more than needed...

[ik-ses-iv]
–adjective
"exceeding a normal, usual, reasonable, or proper limit. Excessively describes a quantity, amount, or degree that is more than what is justifiable, tolerable, or desirable"

It conjured up many situations I've observed (and probably participated in when first learning to climb) when the focus was on hands and the feet were being smeared everywhere ineffectively because of that.

You make it really hard to believe that you know what smearing is.


naitch


Mar 9, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Re: [gmggg] Smearing [In reply to]
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Ah...OK..sure...whatever...


ceebo


Mar 10, 2011, 6:20 AM
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Re: [ErnestC3] Smearing [In reply to]
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It seems to me that smearing is mostly used when the climber has no answer to a move, even though their is. The more experienced climbers appear to use it allot less, when it is the only or most efficient option.

The times i personally use this move is on the extreme high steps where leaning off to bring the foot up is either too demanding or not possible. Sometimes its better to just crimp > crunch up and power your way through the move with a smear instead.

I would say its better to smear as little as possible as a new climber. Its quite easy to learn and it is equally easy to use on lower end grades. Its just to easy to assume any move that you can not think a way around ''must'' be a smear.. when mostly it will not be.

It could be that where you climb forces the use of lots of smears. I personaly think thats lame.. because its to easy to learn and you could be spending time learning more advanced things.


jbro_135


Mar 10, 2011, 9:13 AM
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Re: [ceebo] Smearing [In reply to]
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ceebo wrote:
It seems to me that smearing is mostly used when the climber has no answer to a move, even though their is. The more experienced climbers appear to use it allot less, when it is the only or most efficient option.

The times i personally use this move is on the extreme high steps where leaning off to bring the foot up is either too demanding or not possible. Sometimes its better to just crimp > crunch up and power your way through the move with a smear instead.

I would say its better to smear as little as possible as a new climber. Its quite easy to learn and it is equally easy to use on lower end grades. Its just to easy to assume any move that you can not think a way around ''must'' be a smear.. when mostly it will not be.

It could be that where you climb forces the use of lots of smears. I personaly think thats lame.. because its to easy to learn and you could be spending time learning more advanced things.


You have no idea what you're talking about, and you obviously have terrible footwork from what you just described


gmggg


Mar 10, 2011, 9:31 AM
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Re: [jbro_135] Smearing [In reply to]
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jbro_135 wrote:
ceebo wrote:
It seems to me that smearing is mostly used when the climber has no answer to a move, even though their is. The more experienced climbers appear to use it allot less, when it is the only or most efficient option.

The times i personally use this move is on the extreme high steps where leaning off to bring the foot up is either too demanding or not possible. Sometimes its better to just crimp > crunch up and power your way through the move with a smear instead.

I would say its better to smear as little as possible as a new climber. Its quite easy to learn and it is equally easy to use on lower end grades. Its just to easy to assume any move that you can not think a way around ''must'' be a smear.. when mostly it will not be.

It could be that where you climb forces the use of lots of smears. I personaly think thats lame.. because its to easy to learn and you could be spending time learning more advanced things.


You have no idea what you're talking about, and you obviously have terrible footwork from what you just described

+1

How could it be possible that so many people have such a hard time with the simple concept of smearing?


camhead


Mar 10, 2011, 9:36 AM
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Re: [ErnestC3] Smearing [In reply to]
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For the purposes of indoor climbing, here is my take: Smearing is really easy on Nicros and Entreprise walls (as mentioned earlier) because they are so heavily textured. I've actually had a hard time setting on walls like that, because the textures and diverse features give you too many options.

More recently, walls have been moving toward having no texture at all, with just paint or varnished plywood for a surface. This makes it harder (if not impossible) to smear, and ultimately gives the route-setter more autonomy in setting feet only where they are needed. Active sequence prevails, rather than passive features.

If you have a shitty route setter, smearing sometimes can be a way of still having an enjoyable time on otherwise lame routes. Fortunately, the facilities most likely to have shitty setters are also those most likely to have heavily featured, textured, and less steep walls (most university walls).

Good gyms with good route setters should neither have nor need smears. And, assuming that you already have basic 10a slab technique, you will become a better, stronger climber by sticking to sequence, not by "outsmarting" the route.

If you can't do a sequence using the holds provided, then either a) the setter sucks, or b) you need to get better. It's that simple.


caughtinside


Mar 10, 2011, 10:53 AM
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Re: [camhead] Smearing [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
If you can't do a sequence using the holds provided, then either a) the setter sucks, or b) you need to get better. It's that simple.

Well I would disagree. How many times have you seen a group of people on a route outdoors climb a route the exact same way?


spikeddem


Mar 10, 2011, 11:01 AM
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caughtinside wrote:
camhead wrote:
If you can't do a sequence using the holds provided, then either a) the setter sucks, or b) you need to get better. It's that simple.

Well I would disagree. How many times have you seen a group of people on a route outdoors climb a route the exact same way?
That'd be (a)


camhead


Mar 10, 2011, 11:03 AM
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caughtinside wrote:
camhead wrote:
If you can't do a sequence using the holds provided, then either a) the setter sucks, or b) you need to get better. It's that simple.

Well I would disagree. How many times have you seen a group of people on a route outdoors climb a route the exact same way?

I never said anything about having to climb the route "exactly the same way." A good setter sets routes that might have a variety of different sequences to get through it. It's just that it's up to the setter, not some prefab, high texture surface that turns every route into a smear fest.


lena_chita
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Mar 10, 2011, 11:04 AM
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Re: [caughtinside] Smearing [In reply to]
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caughtinside wrote:
camhead wrote:
If you can't do a sequence using the holds provided, then either a) the setter sucks, or b) you need to get better. It's that simple.

Well I would disagree. How many times have you seen a group of people on a route outdoors climb a route the exact same way?

Sure, people climb differently, indoor and out, but this isn't necessarily contradictory to what camhead is saying.

I think it takes more skill to set a problem that would be V3 both for a 6ft tall person, AND 5ft tall person, for example. But I have seen examples where problems were set in that way, and no smearing was required...

I honestly don't understand why smearing was singled out or thought to be bad in the context of this thread. It is a technique like any other. And it is NOT the frantic scraping of feet against the wall that some people seem to think means smearing...

I have seen some problems set specifically FOR smearing-- simulating a situation where you have a good seam at the junction of a roof and a vertical wall, but no good feet on that vertical wall, and you just have to traverse for a bit, and smear feet. Very much applicable to real-life outdoor situation, and legitimate in gym, too.


(This post was edited by lena_chita on Mar 10, 2011, 11:06 AM)


gmggg


Mar 10, 2011, 11:28 AM
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camhead wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
camhead wrote:
If you can't do a sequence using the holds provided, then either a) the setter sucks, or b) you need to get better. It's that simple.

Well I would disagree. How many times have you seen a group of people on a route outdoors climb a route the exact same way?

I never said anything about having to climb the route "exactly the same way." A good setter sets routes that might have a variety of different sequences to get through it. It's just that it's up to the setter, not some prefab, high texture surface that turns every route into a smear fest.

Just to be clear you are merely talking about actual smearing and not edging on some faux-rock features right?

Even the newer "smooth" wall style in contemporary gyms are smearable since they use some amount of texture paint. I've yet to see any gym (except old old gyms where the textures been worn away) that has walls that are too slick to smear.


camhead


Mar 10, 2011, 11:32 AM
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gmggg wrote:
camhead wrote:
caughtinside wrote:
camhead wrote:
If you can't do a sequence using the holds provided, then either a) the setter sucks, or b) you need to get better. It's that simple.

Well I would disagree. How many times have you seen a group of people on a route outdoors climb a route the exact same way?

I never said anything about having to climb the route "exactly the same way." A good setter sets routes that might have a variety of different sequences to get through it. It's just that it's up to the setter, not some prefab, high texture surface that turns every route into a smear fest.

Just to be clear you are merely talking about actual smearing and not edging on some faux-rock features right?

Even the newer "smooth" wall style in contemporary gyms are smearable since they use some amount of texture paint. I've yet to see any gym (except old old gyms where the textures been worn away) that has walls that are too slick to smear.

The standard in most comps is that use of walls is good for feet, but not hands. And yeah, most surfaces will still allow you to smear on things like volumes, against opposing walls, occasionally hook around an arete. But for the most part (especially on steep stuff), this is quite a bit more challenging than smearing on high-texture entreprise-type surfaces.

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