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rxb609


Aug 12, 2014, 2:01 PM
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Training for the outdoors at my local indoor gym?
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Hey folks,

I've been climbing for a few years now; and mostly all of it at my local indoor gym, I'm afraid. Not that I don't like being outdoors, just that it's more than a simple day trip from my home. I've been on 7-8 outdoor trips, an have regularly noticed a discrepancy in my outdoor climbs versus indoors. I on-sight 10a/10b, red point 10c/10d, and 11s are projects in the gym. But then when I get outdoors, I seem to occasionally struggle on certain 5.9s and even a 5.8 here or there.

I feel like it's definitely a route finding issue. Certainly, it's more pronounced on granite slab with some degree of route finding difficulty already built in, but I also occasionally notice it on (what should be?) straightforward face climbing with positive jug-like features. I just don't "see" the route as obviously as when it's spelled out and color coded for me in the gym.

Aside from the obvious "go on more outdoor trips", do you guys and gals have any suggestions or training tips/regimen to help approach this route finding issue while still at my local indoor gym?

I've been thinking to start more gym-wide traversing to get myself off the route setter's intentions and force myself to adapt as I come to it, but any additional tactics would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

-rxb


kennoyce


Aug 12, 2014, 2:23 PM
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Re: [rxb609] Training for the outdoors at my local indoor gym? [In reply to]
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rxb609 wrote:
Hey folks,

I've been climbing for a few years now; and mostly all of it at my local indoor gym, I'm afraid. Not that I don't like being outdoors, just that it's more than a simple day trip from my home. I've been on 7-8 outdoor trips, an have regularly noticed a discrepancy in my outdoor climbs versus indoors. I on-sight 10a/10b, red point 10c/10d, and 11s are projects in the gym. But then when I get outdoors, I seem to occasionally struggle on certain 5.9s and even a 5.8 here or there.

I feel like it's definitely a route finding issue. Certainly, it's more pronounced on granite slab with some degree of route finding difficulty already built in, but I also occasionally notice it on (what should be?) straightforward face climbing with positive jug-like features. I just don't "see" the route as obviously as when it's spelled out and color coded for me in the gym.

Aside from the obvious "go on more outdoor trips", do you guys and gals have any suggestions or training tips/regimen to help approach this route finding issue while still at my local indoor gym?

I've been thinking to start more gym-wide traversing to get myself off the route setter's intentions and force myself to adapt as I come to it, but any additional tactics would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

-rxb

Just realize that the ratings in the gym might be wrong. A lot of gyms (maybe even most gyms) rate the routes as being harder than they really to make their customers feel better about themselves so that they will keep coming back.


Gravitron5000


Aug 13, 2014, 6:20 AM
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Re: [kennoyce] Training for the outdoors at my local indoor gym? [In reply to]
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There is not much that will help you with route finding outdoors other than getting outdoors and practising route finding, although improving your endurance and learning how to find and use rest stances would give you more time to futz around looking for holds and pondering sequences before you gas out.


skelldify


Aug 13, 2014, 11:50 AM
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Re: [rxb609] Training for the outdoors at my local indoor gym? [In reply to]
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I've tried not looking at gym routes before I get on them. This helps you learn to figure out moves and sequences as you come to them.

Just don't get into too much of a habit of this, as an essential part of climbing outdoors is trying to figure out beta before you get on the route.


lena_chita
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Aug 13, 2014, 12:52 PM
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Re: [rxb609] Training for the outdoors at my local indoor gym? [In reply to]
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It sounds like the routes that give you most trouble outdoors are vertical/slabby routes. There really isn't any good way to train for them in the gym, because gym routes tend to be more overhanging and have bigger feet. Even the tiny jibs are bigger than the footholds you would be using on a slab climb outside. There is also no good way to build routes in the gym where the holds are incut and/or hidden from view.

You just have to accept that you get better at those kinds of routes by climbing them more often (e.i. outdoors). Strength and endurance always help, in a general way, so you might see some returns from that traversing and up/down-climbing. But it will be rather limited.


Player


Aug 13, 2014, 2:30 PM
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Re: [rxb609] Training for the outdoors at my local indoor gym? [In reply to]
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I had a similar situation to you when I started climbing. A couple years ago, I started spending more time climbing outdoors than indoors, even quit indoor climbing for a while. When I got back into the gym, I found myself getting shut down in the gym a number grade below what I could climb outside. The gym was now harder (same gym, mostly same route setters and grading, and my friends who weren't getting outside as much as me didn't think the gym suddenly got harder).

The only thing I can think of really is if you find any moves at the gym difficult for the grade, try to practice those moves more. Routefinding can be tricky, but I also felt one of the big problems was lack of certain techniques, like crack climbing. Pinchers, slopers, slabs, cracks, etc... Practice wherever you are weak.


rxb609


Aug 14, 2014, 7:25 AM
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Re: [Player] Training for the outdoors at my local indoor gym? [In reply to]
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Player wrote:
I had a similar situation to you when I started climbing. A couple years ago, I started spending more time climbing outdoors than indoors, even quit indoor climbing for a while. When I got back into the gym, I found myself getting shut down in the gym a number grade below what I could climb outside. The gym was now harder (same gym, mostly same route setters and grading, and my friends who weren't getting outside as much as me didn't think the gym suddenly got harder).

The only thing I can think of really is if you find any moves at the gym difficult for the grade, try to practice those moves more. Routefinding can be tricky, but I also felt one of the big problems was lack of certain techniques, like crack climbing. Pinchers, slopers, slabs, cracks, etc... Practice wherever you are weak.

I guess your situation was exactly opposite, in a way. Perhaps you grew accustomed to the freedom of the outdoors' lines, and the indoors then seemed to be too confining. (well, I suppose certain outdoor cruxes are still limited to a few, specific moves also)

For me, my climbing developed around the indoor environment, so now, when I do get outdoors, there's almost too many options. Many times I feel like I am not picking or seeing the "best" option(s) very efficiently.


jb2100


Aug 19, 2014, 1:23 PM
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Re: [rxb609] Training for the outdoors at my local indoor gym? [In reply to]
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What you'll notice after climbing outside for a while is that, while route-finding and sussing beta is generally harder outdoors, there are typically more options. An indoor route with footholds and handholds in certain positions forces you to make certain moves without much variation, this is good for strength but it doesn't let you be very creative in how you find your way up a route and your ability to route-find outdoors WILL suffer.

So point #1, as everyone else has said, climb outdoors more often.

Point #2 that hasn't really been mentioned is that there are techniques you can use to improve your outdoor route-finding ability that you can even practice indoors. The first and foremost is to study your route from the ground before you go up it. This may seem obvious but its surprising how many people look at the first 5-10 moves and ignore the top. Look at your route from bottom to top (or top to bottom if you prefer) and try to find a sequence that links the entire route (following the bolt line is a good start, as well as looking for chalked holds). What I like to do is look for holds that look like I can match on them, and mentally climb the sequences up to each of those holds. The match is important because if you get mixed up in your sequence and put the wrong hand on a hold it's often difficult to do anything about it unless you can match. This helps me chunk the route into sections so that each time I get to a hold I would match on, I can look up at the route and re-evaluate the sequence based on my new perspective, and I often find that I will change my beta and adopt a new sequence at this point.

One thing you'll also notice is that popular routes tend to have nearly as much shoe rubber on the footholds as chalk on the hand holds. If you notice a sequence looks particularly difficult with small hands keep a close eye out for rubber marks on the rock to indicate crucial footholds.

In summary:

1) Identify your line from the ground, which will help you from going off-route.
2) Look for crucial rest holds/matchable holds and break the route up into chunks with these holds as the checkpoints. Mentally rehearse a sequence from each of these checkpoints to the next one.
3) Chalk is your friend, look for the orientation of chalk on a hold to indicate where the best spot on a hold is and how you should be grabbing it. This applies to shoe rubber marks as well.
4) Remember that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Almost every route, until you get into the bigger numbers, will have multiple ways of doing most of the moves, if nothing else than by virtue of the fact that they'll have more footholds. Be creative and figure out beta that works. Not knowing what to do, and having to figure it out is the most fun part of climbing anyway.


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