Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners:
Confessions of a 20-something Novice Climber
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Beginners

Premier Sponsor:

 


Benjammin5593


Feb 4, 2014, 9:02 PM
Post #1 of 7 (3072 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 13, 2014
Posts: 5

Confessions of a 20-something Novice Climber
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Hey fellow climbers, I am new here, my name is Ben and I am a fairly new climber. I started this fall but only climbed once or twice a week. Before winter break for college, I started getting more in to it. After school started two weeks ago I have been climbing 4 days a week. I have only climbed indoors because it is free as I am a student and my Wisconsin university has an indoor gym. In climbing, I have noticed somethings that I need to work on. For starters, I am a tad overweight, but working on diet and I will be running again when it's not so cold. I use my arms way too much and legs not enough. Heck after tonight's climb, I can barely lift my arms to type this. I also have a fear of busting my face (or other body parts) into the wall, which is actually going away. I also have crappy footwork where i use the sides of my feet more than the toes. Scraping is sometimes a problem. And I have huge, yet kind of weak hands which makes gripping small holds a bit of a chore. Overhangs kill me too, a lot of them are impossible for me to get over right now. Confidence is also a big issue for me, which climbing is helping me with that both on the wall and off. I have a ton of friends who eat sleep and breathe rocks so they have been a lot of help. Just somethings I've noticed in my short time climbing. I hope to use these forums to get advice and help, even though I know it doesn't replace that PRACTICE!


gblauer
Moderator

Feb 5, 2014, 10:02 AM
Post #2 of 7 (2960 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 3, 2002
Posts: 2818

Re: [Benjammin5593] Confessions of a 20-something Novice Climber [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Welcome to the sport!

Get yourself a copy of "The Self Coached Climber"...it should help you with technique.

I have more than a decade of experience and I could have written the same post!


Benjammin5593


Feb 5, 2014, 10:21 AM
Post #3 of 7 (2956 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 13, 2014
Posts: 5

Re: [gblauer] Confessions of a 20-something Novice Climber [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks! I've been reading a few things now. I'll have to check it out! That's what people tell me too, is that when first beginning they have had the same problems!


socalclimber


Feb 6, 2014, 7:13 PM
Post #4 of 7 (2774 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 2435

Re: [Benjammin5593] Confessions of a 20-something Novice Climber [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hey Ben,

Welcome to the world of climbing. I'm a professional climbing guide here in Joshua Tree and have over 20 years of experience.

Here's my take and advice.

I get a lot of beginners who climb tons in the gym. I can spot them a mile away when they climb for the simple reason that they, as you, are constantly climbing on the sides of their shoes.

First, here's why. In Gyms the walls are always a bit over hanging. They do this so that if you are leading and fall, you have less of a chance of hitting the wall or hitting the holds on your way down. The reason you are constantly using the sides of your shoes is because as the climbs get harder in the gym, the wall angle gets steeper, and the holds get smaller and smaller. This forces you to edge.

Edging is a important technique but not a a primary one.

My advice, and what I do with new gym climbers heading outdoors. I put them on low angled slabs with little to no hand holds whatsoever. This forces them onto their feet. On low angle terrain you want the ball of your foot on the rock, and for the most part, your heal down.

Forget about leading right now. Find a place where you can have easy access to low angled slabs and top rope. Don't try to learn everything all at once.

One last piece of advice. Forget about the numbers. Forget about 5.whatever. Complacency with numbers can kill. Find easy routes that you can develop your technique and start to move up from there. You are not going to learn much getting dragged up difficult routes.

Take your time.

Feel free to post more questions if you feel the need. Remember, the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask!

Robert


bozeclimb


Feb 7, 2014, 2:51 PM
Post #5 of 7 (2675 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Nov 17, 2006
Posts: 14

Re: [Benjammin5593] Confessions of a 20-something Novice Climber [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Welcome Ben,

My first post would have been similar, except it would have said something about "late 30s." I agree that the Self-Coached Climber can really help steer you in the right direction in terms of technique. Either find an experienced mentor or take a course on outdoor climbing when the weather is right. The gym is a great place to train, but it cannot replace real rock. Some of the technique transfers well, but as was pointed out in another post, most indoor walls are very steep (or overhanging) compared to comparable grades of outdoor climbs. Have fun!


Benjammin5593


Feb 8, 2014, 10:47 PM
Post #6 of 7 (2558 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 13, 2014
Posts: 5

Re: [Benjammin5593] Confessions of a 20-something Novice Climber [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks for the advice guys. I was talking to a friend about footwork and he was telling me to use the part of the wall that the university has for new climbers and belay certifications with no overhangs, just a straight wall. He said to climb it and only use one arm, to get footwork down so I'm going to try that tomorrow.


Benjammin5593


Feb 8, 2014, 10:51 PM
Post #7 of 7 (2557 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 13, 2014
Posts: 5

Re: [Benjammin5593] Confessions of a 20-something Novice Climber [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The university is also hosting a trip to Iowa to go Ice climbing and Indoor climbing at some fantastic gym. I was going to go, but I have to work next weekend so that's painful. Thing is, I'm transferring colleges and at the top of my list is University of Alaska Fairbanks, and they have ice towers so that will be cool.


Forums : Climbing Information : Beginners

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$193.46 (10% off)
$105.30 (10% off)
$49.46 (10% off)
$62.06 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook