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The dreded cracks.
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Apr 10, 2002, 6:44 PM
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Registered: May 17, 2001
Posts: 1351

The dreded cracks.
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Anybody have any tips on cracks? Ones where your leaning back on your arms the whole time. How do you rest? Or do you just not? Cuz what if its a really long crack?


Apr 10, 2002, 7:04 PM
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Registered: Oct 10, 2001
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The dreded cracks. [In reply to]
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If you are talking about laybacking or laying back on the crack, here are a few tips:

1) Try resting with straight arms. Don't always have bent arms when on a lay back. Especially if you just sucked yourself in to place gear. Just straighten out your arms, choose the right size (quickly) and place it (quickly). Clip the rope (quickly) and keep moving (quickly). Sometimes, it is best to just run it out a bit if you are in more danger of falling when placing gear than if you were to just keep moving.

2) If you can throw a little sideways foot jam in there, that will help too. Maybe just keep feeling around and you might be lucky enough to find a place where there are feet on the wall and a constriction where you can quit laybacking and just throw in a hand jam/fist jam and rest. Also, don't forget to do some finger jams if it is that size. It is much easier to lay back when you have good finger locks rather than using muscles to keep your hands in the crack.

Besides those, get in the gym and do some low rows on the machine or bent-over rows on the flat bench. Get strong, stay lean and before you know it, you will be able to layback 5.12 tips.

TRADitionally yours,

Cali Dirtbag


Apr 10, 2002, 7:20 PM
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Registered: Feb 18, 2002
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The dreded cracks. [In reply to]
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Reed's Direct in Yosemite is the perfect crack climb, with respect to your question. The jams are bomber, and it's really easy to climb up. Trouble is, the crack is in a corner that leans to the right a bit, so there is no way to rest your hands. You have to hang on, top to bottom. I learned the hard way that the best thing is to trust the bomber jams, and run it out a bit, placing pro as sparingly as possible. Otherwise, you wind up burning yourself out placing pro, and then have to hang on a #8 hex near the top while your belayer yells at you that you are a complete fuqup.

I think the idea of a compromise between getting pro and getting up fits in here somewhere. Cams lessen, but don't eliminate, this essential part of strenuous climbing.

It's part of the mental aspect of climbing, the need to strategically attack the situation. The same logic applies to running marathons, I would suppose. Wouldn't know personally, though. I have a car that can easily go 23 miles without breaking down.

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