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Partner cracklover


Nov 19, 2012, 9:25 AM
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Question about polished limestone - WTF?
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I've done a fair bit of climbing on just about every rock type imaginable, but there's one thing I just don't get: limestone routes with really polished holds.

When I climb, I tend to be all about technique. I'm very good at finding rests, keeping as much weight over my feet as possible, and initiating movement well. As a result, I tend to "sneak" my way through cruxes. Often people will get on a route after watching me do it and say I sandbagged them - they had no idea a certain section was hard, because I made it look easy. This is even on routes near my limit. All that is to say, I think my technique is reasonably solid at the grade I climb (low to mid 5.12 sport).

But, repeatedly, I have found that I just don't seem to have a clue when I get on limestone routes with really polished footholds. It feels like the feet are so slick that any attempt to move my weight around using my feet, as I'd normally do, would just cause my feet to pop. Even just in a stance where I'm using some force of my feet to stay in place, I can feel them buttering off the hold. As a result, it feels like all my weight is on my arms, so the pump clock just ticks down until I fall off.

Anyone who's gotten past this issue have advice to share?

By the way, my go-to shoes are the Anasazi Velcros, which I wear fairly tight. The sensitivity is quite good, and I typically can put a lot of force through them. Of course they are not at all downturned, and do not have a very pointy toe.

Thanks!

GO


marc801


Nov 19, 2012, 10:57 AM
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cracklover wrote:
But, repeatedly, I have found that I just don't seem to have a clue when I get on limestone routes with really polished footholds. It feels like the feet are so slick that any attempt to move my weight around using my feet, as I'd normally do, would just cause my feet to pop. Even just in a stance where I'm using some force of my feet to stay in place, I can feel them buttering off the hold. As a result, it feels like all my weight is on my arms, so the pump clock just ticks down until I fall off.
Have you been climbing in American Fork Canyon recently? I've fallen off of stuff there when I was just standing around trying to sus out the next move.


granite_grrl


Nov 19, 2012, 11:08 AM
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cracklover wrote:
I've done a fair bit of climbing on just about every rock type imaginable, but there's one thing I just don't get: limestone routes with really polished holds.

When I climb, I tend to be all about technique. I'm very good at finding rests, keeping as much weight over my feet as possible, and initiating movement well. As a result, I tend to "sneak" my way through cruxes. Often people will get on a route after watching me do it and say I sandbagged them - they had no idea a certain section was hard, because I made it look easy. This is even on routes near my limit. All that is to say, I think my technique is reasonably solid at the grade I climb (low to mid 5.12 sport).

But, repeatedly, I have found that I just don't seem to have a clue when I get on limestone routes with really polished footholds. It feels like the feet are so slick that any attempt to move my weight around using my feet, as I'd normally do, would just cause my feet to pop. Even just in a stance where I'm using some force of my feet to stay in place, I can feel them buttering off the hold. As a result, it feels like all my weight is on my arms, so the pump clock just ticks down until I fall off.

Anyone who's gotten past this issue have advice to share?

By the way, my go-to shoes are the Anasazi Velcros, which I wear fairly tight. The sensitivity is quite good, and I typically can put a lot of force through them. Of course they are not at all downturned, and do not have a very pointy toe.

Thanks!

GO

That sounds about right. A tighter core will help too, but with really bad feet you need to put in some extra effort to stay on.


Partner cracklover


Nov 19, 2012, 11:24 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
That sounds about right. A tighter core will help too, but with really bad feet you need to put in some extra effort to stay on.

Sorry, I don't follow you - what sounds about right? I'm completely puzzled. I really feel like I have no answers.

GO


granite_grrl


Nov 19, 2012, 11:37 AM
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cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
That sounds about right. A tighter core will help too, but with really bad feet you need to put in some extra effort to stay on.

Sorry, I don't follow you - what sounds about right? I'm completely puzzled. I really feel like I have no answers.

GO

Your story of climbing on polished limestone.

BTW - it does take some technique to stay on polished limestone. The technique consists of holding your core tighter and not thrashing around.


jomagam


Nov 19, 2012, 11:37 AM
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cracklover wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
That sounds about right. A tighter core will help too, but with really bad feet you need to put in some extra effort to stay on.

Sorry, I don't follow you - what sounds about right? I'm completely puzzled. I really feel like I have no answers.

GO

I think he's saying that climbing on polished holds is hard. IMO that's the type of rock where difficulty increases most between a first ascent and 10 years down the line when the route has been climbed a million times. I've been on routes in Europe where you had to step on the "wrong holds" because those were not as slick as ice just to do a 5.9


Partner cracklover


Nov 19, 2012, 11:39 AM
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Re: [marc801] Question about polished limestone - WTF? [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
But, repeatedly, I have found that I just don't seem to have a clue when I get on limestone routes with really polished footholds. It feels like the feet are so slick that any attempt to move my weight around using my feet, as I'd normally do, would just cause my feet to pop. Even just in a stance where I'm using some force of my feet to stay in place, I can feel them buttering off the hold. As a result, it feels like all my weight is on my arms, so the pump clock just ticks down until I fall off.
Have you been climbing in American Fork Canyon recently? I've fallen off of stuff there when I was just standing around trying to sus out the next move.

Never climbed in American Fork. This has happened to me in Rifle, and most recently at Shelf Road on Lats Don't Have Feelings

GO


USnavy


Nov 19, 2012, 8:23 PM
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marc801 wrote:
cracklover wrote:
But, repeatedly, I have found that I just don't seem to have a clue when I get on limestone routes with really polished footholds. It feels like the feet are so slick that any attempt to move my weight around using my feet, as I'd normally do, would just cause my feet to pop. Even just in a stance where I'm using some force of my feet to stay in place, I can feel them buttering off the hold. As a result, it feels like all my weight is on my arms, so the pump clock just ticks down until I fall off.
Have you been climbing in American Fork Canyon recently? I've fallen off of stuff there when I was just standing around trying to sus out the next move.
I almost blew a 5.10b there when I was onsighting 5.11+ at the time. Slippery crap. Their five star routes are two stars when you account for the polish factor. Rifle also has some really polished crap. I hate polished climbing, it simply isint fun. I dont think there is some special technique that makes polished climbing more secure, it is by nature insecure and slippery.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 19, 2012, 8:24 PM)


rsmillbern


Nov 20, 2012, 12:57 AM
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I have found this to be true. Often I try to find a smear off to the side of the foothold and a different body position. Sometimes the move (for me) is not intuitive due to the holds getting slicker over time...

Pretty much anything under 5.11c in Arco is like a greasy pizza box. As well popular routes in the Frankenjura as well are pretty slick.


jomagam


Nov 20, 2012, 6:19 AM
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rsmillbern wrote:
I have found this to be true. Often I try to find a smear off to the side of the foothold and a different body position. Sometimes the move (for me) is not intuitive due to the holds getting slicker over time...

Pretty much anything under 5.11c in Arco is like a greasy pizza box. As well popular routes in the Frankenjura as well are pretty slick.

Add Paklenica to that list.


Partner cracklover


Nov 20, 2012, 9:14 AM
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Sounds like the general consensus is: suck it up Nancy. That's fine, if that's all there is. Not what I'd hoped to hear, of course, but so be it. lol

One last question - anyone think one type of shoe is much better on these super-polished holds? More downturned better? More sensitive better?

GO


shotwell


Nov 20, 2012, 9:29 AM
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cracklover wrote:
Sounds like the general consensus is: suck it up Nancy. That's fine, if that's all there is. Not what I'd hoped to hear, of course, but so be it. lol

One last question - anyone think one type of shoe is much better on these super-polished holds? More downturned better? More sensitive better?

GO

I like to do a couple things to mitigate the difficulties of polish. This works for me on very polished tuff, limestone, and dense sandstone (think Font or South East US.)

1) Clean your shoes. Use a little water and rub them till your hand chatters. Sand them if you're really obsessive.

2) Wear slightly softer shoes than you normally would for the same move. Surface area seems to make a difference on polish contact. Stiffer shoes seem to skate a little, whereas the softer shoes 'melt.' You'll probably need to learn to think and move faster while in control to keep the 'melt' from affecting you.

3) Push harder than you think you need to. The note to focus on keeping a very tight core is critical. There is typically a very small window of 'right' body positions on polish.

4) Most importantly, climb a lot of polished stone. It is really the only way to get used to it. You'll climb smarter and faster.

5) The tips to step on the wrong holds work, sometimes. Sometimes you have to use the polish. If you always try to get around it you'll just short circuit the learning process.


dagibbs


Nov 20, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Bring an angle-grinder with you, and take some of the polish off the holds?


eric_k


Nov 30, 2012, 5:38 PM
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dagibbs wrote:
Bring an angle-grinder with you, and take some of the polish off the holds?

I am no goeolgist but dont holds get polished because all the crystals in the stone get worn off and there are no more crystals underneth. Thats way some stone types like granite dont polish as easily because there are crystals throughout the stone. So polished limestone is polised for good and I dont think a grinder would help much.

BUT that may be a bunch of BS and it probably is, either way after living and climbing in europe for a while my advice to all american climbers is to get over to places like Ceuse/Suirana and the like soon because the polish factor is beginning to creep up the grades. Even harder routes 12+ are getting polished!

Eric


USnavy


Nov 30, 2012, 5:45 PM
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eric_k wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
Bring an angle-grinder with you, and take some of the polish off the holds?
while my advice to all american climbers is to get over to places like Ceuse/Suirana a
Eric
That is one option. Or American climbers could just choose one of the 90% of sport routes that arnt polished... Wink


guangzhou


Nov 30, 2012, 6:28 PM
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USnavy wrote:
eric_k wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
Bring an angle-grinder with you, and take some of the polish off the holds?
while my advice to all american climbers is to get over to places like Ceuse/Suirana a
Eric
That is one option. Or American climbers could just choose one of the 90% of sport routes that arnt polished... Wink

Not all American climbers have a vast and limitless amount of climbing option in the Area. We're not all bless with the wealth of Climbing options Hawaii offers.


USnavy


Nov 30, 2012, 10:23 PM
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guangzhou wrote:
USnavy wrote:
eric_k wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
Bring an angle-grinder with you, and take some of the polish off the holds?
while my advice to all american climbers is to get over to places like Ceuse/Suirana a
Eric
That is one option. Or American climbers could just choose one of the 90% of sport routes that arnt polished... Wink

Not all American climbers have a vast and limitless amount of climbing option in the Area. We're not all bless with the wealth of Climbing options Hawaii offers.
Well maybe you should come visit Hawaii then and indulge in our limitless climbing potential. One could do as I do and just spend six months out of the year on the [continental US] road climbing. That is always a good option.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 30, 2012, 10:23 PM)


camhead


Dec 1, 2012, 7:19 AM
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eric_k wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
Bring an angle-grinder with you, and take some of the polish off the holds?

I am no goeolgist but dont holds get polished because all the crystals in the stone get worn off and there are no more crystals underneth. Thats way some stone types like granite dont polish as easily because there are crystals throughout the stone. So polished limestone is polised for good and I dont think a grinder would help much.

It was a joke. You just revived a 10-day old thread to show us that you have no sense of humor, and can't spell.


dan2see


Dec 1, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Every popular route on every popular crag will get polished by the millions of feet trampling up the limestone. You can't change that progression. Although the friction will get better as you climb the cliff. So if you can possibly get off the ground, there's a good chance you'll be OK higher up.

Some routes that were hard to get up on, will get to be impossible. You have two choices: keep trying, or leave and try something else.

Think about it this way: What do you do when you encounter any rock move that you just cannot perform? You don't chip or glue! You choose: keep trying, or go away.

The folks I climb with went through this process. After leaving the popular (easy) crags, we ventured onto more and more challenging areas. Over time, most of us learned to climb better, so the harder climbs became the norm. Eventually most of us reach some kind of limitation and that's that.

As for me, I haven't been climbing consistently enough, So I'm not at any kind of plateau. I just try stuff -- it's all hard, it's all fun, it's all good.


marc801


Dec 1, 2012, 3:23 PM
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dan2see wrote:
Every popular route on every popular crag will get polished by the millions of feet trampling up the limestone. You can't change that progression. Although the friction will get better as you climb the cliff. So if you can possibly get off the ground, there's a good chance you'll be OK higher up.

Some routes that were hard to get up on, will get to be impossible. You have two choices: keep trying, or leave and try something else.

Think about it this way: What do you do when you encounter any rock move that you just cannot perform? You don't chip or glue! You choose: keep trying, or go away.
Er, you do realize that you're talking to someone who's been around more than a few blocks a few times and not a newbie, yes?


dan2see


Dec 1, 2012, 4:28 PM
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Quitcherbellyachin' and climb that rock!


Kartessa


Dec 3, 2012, 5:15 AM
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The easiest trick would be to chop the bolts - seems to work around here


superchuffer


Dec 3, 2012, 10:34 AM
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maybe stick to cracks as your name implies? or you could change your name to slimey-limestone-foothold-hater.


(This post was edited by superchuffer on Dec 3, 2012, 10:36 AM)


sbaclimber


Dec 4, 2012, 2:41 AM
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superchuffer wrote:
maybe stick to cracks as your name implies? or you could change your name to slimey-limestone-foothold-hater.
He can't, I've already trademarked that name! Tongue


guangzhou


Dec 4, 2012, 5:36 PM
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sbaclimber wrote:
superchuffer wrote:
maybe stick to cracks as your name implies? or you could change your name to slimey-limestone-foothold-hater.
He can't, I've already trademarked that name! Tongue

I've had the pleasure of climbing some very polished routes in on Yosemite Granite. (Climber Polished, not water polished too.)

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