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How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper?
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Learner


Jun 8, 2011, 11:34 PM
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How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper?
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I am having a tricky time on the last move of a particular route I want to send. On this move, for a moment, you need to put the majority of your bodyweight on a small foothold (nub) whose surface slopes from the back of the hold to the front (sloper). I need to step up on it while simultaneously traversing from right to left. (The hold I need to grab is up and to the left from this hold.) I get my foot on the hold, it feels secure, then the second I step up to go for that last hold (which would allow me to send the route), my foot slips off the hold. It's as if my shoe and the hold can only support so much pressure, and once that threshold is met it's as if the hold is covered with grease. I've tried this step time and time again, and I just keep slipping.

I haven't been climbing for a long time, and I realize that it is techique with my footwork that is holding me back. I need to discover how to use this type of tiny nub, sloper foothold. The most relevant advice I've found was under the "Smears" section on page 38 of the book "The Self-Coached Climber," which (if we treat a step on a tiny sloper as a smear) advises to keep your heel down to keep maximum surface contact and keep pressure constant. The problem is, I need to step up with this foot in order to reach the final handhold, which automatically raises my heel, so I believe my heel needs to come up as I step up. Further, I haven't found a way to keep pressure constant when I need to step up because when I step up it obviously increases. Consequently, in that moment that I go for the hold, my heel comes up, reducing surface contact, while pressure simultaneously increases. Reduced contact plus increased pressure... I understand why I'm falling there. Now, I'm hoping that you know what type of hold I'm talking about and you have a good technique for stepping up on it.

I realize that you'd have to execute the sequence yourself to give me the best advice you can on this, but this is still worth a shot--maybe someone here has some useful advice...

What is your technique for stepping up on a small ('nub') sloper?
Given the above situation, what is your advice to me?


(This post was edited by Learner on Jun 8, 2011, 11:51 PM)


blueshrimp


Jun 9, 2011, 2:23 AM
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Re: [Learner] How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper? [In reply to]
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Consider the possibility that you may be able to use your body to re-distribute the weight onto your foot BEFORE you reach for the hold.

In other words, consider the possibility that what might be happening is that as you stretch leftwards for the handhold, this redistributes your center of gravity AWAY from the foothold, somewhere to the left, which reduces pressure on your foot, and loss of friction, so a slip (what I am saying has nothing to do with the position of your heel at all, but the position of your body relative to the foothold--it may be too far left).

Consider that a possible alternative would be to step onto the foothold BEFORE you reach for the left hold. In other words, secure the foot first, by keeping your center of gravity above the foothold until you have stepped onto the foothold and it is secure, THEN reach leftwards, as opposed to reach as you put weight on the foot.

It may or may not help, depending on the exact nature of the problem.


rtwilli4


Jun 9, 2011, 4:11 AM
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Re: [Learner] How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper? [In reply to]
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Yea, what blueshrimp said.

It's really hard for me to tell you want to do... I wish I could show you. Climbing is all about body position. Try explaining a little better EXACTLY what the move is like. It seems to me that you have a low right food and a good right hand hold. You are high-stepping with your left foot onto this sloper and trying to reach up and left for the next hold? Tell me more. Tell me everything! What kind of rock are you climbing? What's the angle?

Generally your foot pops off of this kind of hold because your body weight is not centered over the hold.

If you are reaching for the handhold at the same time that you are trying to stand on this sloper than maybe it is causing your ass to stick out and right a little. That throws your center of gravity off, so you slide off the hold.

Try focusing ONLY on the foot hold. Get your hips and center of gravity over the hold. Use your left arm for balance like you would if you were walking on a slack line. Draw an imaginary line straight up from the hold (the line should be perpendicular to the ground, no matter what angle of the rock). Then you have to identify your center of gravity. Get that line to go through your center and you'll be standing on the hold. This probably involved rocking your hips over.

Don't hug the rock, but keep your hips directly above the hold. If the rock is lower angle, there will be space between you and the rock. If it is vertical there probably won't be any space at all...

If it's a slabby route, you can try palming/mantleing with either hand to help you raise your center of gravity high enough to get above the foot hold.

Once you're solidly standing on that hold, you should be able to reach the next hold. Send.

Edited to add that I'd need to know more about where your right hand and foot are and what kind of holds they are on to tell you any more.


(This post was edited by rtwilli4 on Jun 9, 2011, 4:13 AM)


notapplicable


Jun 9, 2011, 5:22 AM
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Re: [Learner] How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper? [In reply to]
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Very carefully


ceebo


Jun 9, 2011, 7:23 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper? [In reply to]
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I can relate to this (if i understand your situation correct). The paticular move i remember in this situation was left to right but i guess that does not really matter.

Anyway, what i at least found the best way was to forget normal technique and power through it. I lean back off the wall but arms still slightly bent and then as you already stated used it more like a smear. Instead of trying to go statically though, i done it from low down knee bent with weight planted over that foot and surged through it dynamically.

This meant i had maximum friction on the hold before putting down big force force, and since i was then dynamic i had next to 0 weight on the foot hold when passing the point you seem to be slipping off. After reaching the hand hold it is also difficult to keep friction on such a hold when your heal is facing up and the weight settles on it.

Depending entirely on the hand hold distance you can again sag out a little and try to get more friction on the foot hold. If not their may be the option of a out right smear flat on the wall, it kinda depends how stretched out you are at that point. It does require more finger strength though.. it may not be possible to get away with this if the route is of absolute limit. But in return it is just faster to do this and less likely of slipping.

Their is an option B though, attempt to clean the hold and climb the move in the efficient way.. those holds do tend to have the friction of black ice.


(This post was edited by ceebo on Jun 9, 2011, 7:38 AM)


ajcarrico


Jun 9, 2011, 9:31 AM
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Re: [Learner] How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper? [In reply to]
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Why don't you take a picture of the problem?


carpenter


Jun 9, 2011, 10:56 AM
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Re: [Learner] How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper? [In reply to]
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Learner wrote:
I get my foot on the hold, it feels secure, then the second I step up to go for that last hold ...my foot slips off the hold. It's as if my shoe and the hold can only support so much pressure, and once that threshold is met it's as if the hold is covered with grease.

If you jump through like suggested above, you might get lucky and send, but you won't become a better climber.

Many new climbers slap holds with their feet, and then step up in a quick jerky motion. It is almost as if they are jumping from the lower hold, hoping to land on the upper hold. Instead, imagine walking on a lake covered in thin ice. You are uncertain about how firm the ice will be under your next step, so you would gently place your foot and gradually shift pressure. If you lack patience or are too jerky, your foot will plunge into the icy abyss.

This is how you should treat dubious footholds. Statically. Nothing about your body is slack, your core should be tight. Slowly, gently shift weight. Don't stand up, focus on pressing down. Slowly. Exhale and relax your mind to avoid the onset of elvis leg. Your leg muscle will burn more from this than the dynamic move, because you are moving so slowly. Learn to love it because it means you're becoming a total fukkin' sloper zen master.


Rabit536


Jun 9, 2011, 2:43 PM
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Re: [Learner] How to Step Up On a Tiny Sloper? [In reply to]
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 I agree with carpenter. If you take your time, while you have a good hold, shift your weight around a bit. The slower you move the more likely you will feel the point your foot is starting to slip. You might be able to shift back and maintain your position...or if you fall...try again. It sounds like you've fallen a few times from this point anyway. *You learn more from failure than from finishing*Wink


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