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ryan112ryan


Jan 4, 2005, 11:59 PM
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how far can technique get you
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lets a assume a person climbs a 5.7 leading solidly and his strength didn't improve at all, what level (5.?) could improvement in technique bring the person. :?:


the_dude


Jan 5, 2005, 12:10 AM
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I don't think too much. I think more experience is the key. Technique plays a role as you gain experience. I also heard a few quotes recently, I forgot who said it though, " technique is no substitude for power" The other one, "There are no reach problems, only power problems". My opinion though, technique, experience and power get you to the higher grades.
cheers


naw


Jan 5, 2005, 2:13 AM
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5.15b


healyje


Jan 5, 2005, 2:23 AM
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The equation the way I see it is pretty much a mix-and-match around the following aspects of climbing:

* physical: technique, strength, endurance, experience (body memory), control
* mental: technique, endurance, focus/control, experience, creativity
* emotional: depth, strength, resilence, stamina, focus/control

"Technique" as I believe you are defining it depends on the technique, experience, and control aspects of the physical requirements of climbing and variously throws in whatever you have available in the way of mental and emotional resources.

So to address the question of how much can you get by on "technique" (regardless of the rating), I'd say quite a bit, if you have good technique, extensive climbing experience (or at least a significant yardage), are on familiar ground, and/or are climbing short climbs. That said you can also inadvertantly get your knickers in quite a knot you didn't intend because you are skating by on technique without the [physical] reserve strength and endurance to back out of, or push through, a bad situation if you put yourself in one.

Most of us old guys are pretty good at getting by on technique when we are out of shape. BillCoe_ is known as the "Couchmaster" out this way and is famous for coming off the bench and spanking it. During the stretches when I've been out of shape I'd always say: "I can climb 30 feet of anything, bring it on!" and of course my wrists would cramp up into claws on reaching 31 feet...


anykineclimb


Jan 5, 2005, 2:43 AM
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I'd have to agree. technique can take you far.

Theres a lot of "technique" most probably take for granted.
don't edge, smear, toe/ heel hook. No flagging, backstepping or dropknee's either.

Se what I'm getting at?
You could train someone on a hangboard to do dozens of pullups off crimpers and slopers but if can't apply that strength, its useless.

Oh and I hear crack climbing takes a little technique. even the 5.7s:wink:


jcshaggy


Jan 5, 2005, 3:23 AM
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I have to agree that technique can take you far. I've got poor technique and look where i am 8^)


Partner gunksgoer


Jan 5, 2005, 4:45 AM
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meet bob. bob isnt the strongest climber around, but he can do a few pull ups and has ok technique. i garuntee that if bob suddenly got the best technique on earth, hed be working V15s with some of the worlds best.


grinspoon


Jan 5, 2005, 5:15 AM
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I disagree with some of these posts. Technique will only get you so far, strength will take you much further. As you get into harder grades, the holds will be much smaller and the sequences more tricky, requring alot of tension.


soulwithoutfear


Jan 5, 2005, 5:46 AM
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You need both strength and technique to be a good climber. Without one, the other is useless.


granite_grrl


Jan 5, 2005, 5:49 AM
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I'm currently feeling that strength is quite a limiting factor for me. I want to be able to lock off, campus, and pull those powerful moves. I want to be able to hold on to that sloper or fat pinch. Doesn't mean that I don't need to work on my technique a little more, but I was certainly inspired from bouldering and a visit to the Red this fall to improve my strength.

Last month I just did my first pull-up eva!! It'll come....


dirtineye


Jan 5, 2005, 6:53 AM
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Sometimes technique makea all the difference. A move can go from impossible to almost easy once you learn the correct technique.

For instance, using a painful but insecure finger lock when you could have used a comfortable boomber ring jam woudl be lack of technique.

All other things being equal, the climber with better and more technique will climb harder and longer.


markc


Jan 5, 2005, 6:59 AM
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This is a really loaded question. Something that's often recommended for climbing (as well as other disciplines) is training your weaknesses. If already have good technique but limited strength, you're eventually going to reach a point where improved technique brings very little practical benefit. The same is true if you have excellent strength and conditioning and little technique, bad balance, etc. As others have said, you also have to consider the mental aspect of climbing in the big picture. I'd rather have good technique than be the strongest climber, but it's all necessary. You also have to consider that some routes favor strong climbers, others favor more flexible or taller climbers, etc.

On another note, I'm not a big fan of questions that are so open-ended but ask for a really specific answer. (Such as this one, as well as what type of rope, shoes, etc. should I buy, will my S.O. like climbing, etc.) There are too many factors to say a 5.7 climber can climb 5.X with improved technique.


dingus


Jan 5, 2005, 7:12 AM
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Depends upon what you're doing. Old schoolers like me who believe 'its all technique (including power) often practice their craft on slabs... where not coincidentally, technique really is everything. That's not to say lard buckets like me with decent technique are going to float up things their lighter, stronger but less polished mates will flail upon. Doesn't mean that at all (though it could).

If you are into 'new wave' sport or bouldering, primarily overhanging, then it is hard to argue against the power patrol. You need power for modern bouldering and you need endurance for modern sport. All of which helps your slab technique along the way.

DMT


dirtineye


Jan 5, 2005, 7:44 AM
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In reply to:
Depends upon what you're doing. Old schoolers like me who believe 'its all technique (including power) often practice their craft on slabs... where not coincidentally, technique really is everything. That's not to say lard buckets like me with decent technique are going to float up things their lighter, stronger but less polished mates will flail upon. Doesn't mean that at all (though it could).

If you are into 'new wave' sport or bouldering, primarily overhanging, then it is hard to argue against the power patrol. You need power for modern bouldering and you need endurance for modern sport. All of which helps your slab technique along the way.

DMT

Sure power is good for the climbing along the roof of a cave crowd, but I know some of those guys pretty well, and one in particular will tell you flat out, it's the feet.

There's technique to working on overhangs, try climbing one if you can't keep your feet on.

There are guys who are really strong who can't climb 15 feet of overhang on jugs, because they can't figure out how to keep their feet on and then use em.

But it is definately true that if you don't have power as well, you will not be climbing along the roof of a cave any time soon.

And as far as Dynos, no power means no go, hahahahahahaha!


lonequail


Jan 5, 2005, 7:58 AM
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The last two replies by markc and dingus are right on, in that it depends on the type of climb. Overall if you have a 60%/40% split between strength and technique or vice-versa, you'll get farther with your 60% on the side of technique rather than the reverse. But if it is a 90%/10% split (technique/strength) or even 75%/25% then your improvements will be limited from gains in technique and strength improvements are needed.

Technique is more subtle than knowing various moves; more importantly it is the ability to transfer weight to your feet, weight distribution, weight shifting, balance, subtle hand placement positions on holds, not overgripping, etc.

Strength is somewhat misleading in that endurance is probably more important for most climbs than pure strength. It is easy to get the two confused. As an example, a climber will probably do better by increasing the number of pullups rather than increasing the weight added to a single pullup.

LQ


outdoorclimber


Jan 5, 2005, 7:59 AM
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Personally, I climb with lots of technique/good footwork and have very little power. I have climbed at 5.12 for a couple of months and decided that technique, no matter how good, cannot get you past a crux with a dyno on it... So, technique w/ power; it does the body good.


Partner cracklover


Jan 5, 2005, 8:07 AM
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In reply to:
If you are into 'new wave' sport or bouldering, primarily overhanging, then it is hard to argue against the power patrol. You need power for modern bouldering and you need endurance for modern sport. All of which helps your slab technique along the way.

DMT

I knew a woman who can cruise up slightly overhanging 5.12. She's never been able to do a single pull-up in her life. She's not very strong in any dimension, really. And she's no twig either. But she's got fairly strong fingers, and technique (and the smarts to know how to use it) to die for.

GO


anykineclimb


Jan 5, 2005, 8:09 AM
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reminds me of a day out a few months ago.

The guys I was with A) was a lot stronger than me. ones been climbing as long but more consistently than me and thB) was fairly new, but went to the gym a lot.
So we get to this 5.8 slab A get on it an struggles, falling twice.
B gets on TR ands truggles too. WHile I'm tying in they're saying, "no way its an .8" I get up a cruise it, I actually really liked it and one of my favorites in recent hx.

So what was the problem? Slab technique these guys were wooping my ass on V3s a few weeks prior and it felt GREAT to work this route they have trouble with!

One of the greatest things about climbing is the skills set it requires.
just when you think you've mastered them all, you climb somewhere new on different rock and you have to learn things over again!


dingus


Jan 5, 2005, 8:21 AM
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I knew a woman who can cruise up slightly overhanging 5.12. She's never been able to do a single pull-up in her life. She's not very strong in any dimension, really. And she's no twig either. But she's got fairly strong fingers, and technique (and the smarts to know how to use it) to die for.

GO

Right on. An excellent example of just how far technique might be taken without those things. Of course it can be taken farther WITH those things. But implying a woman who can't do a single pullup lacks power and especially endurance is short changing the differences between men and women. Many grown women can't do pullups or do them well. Doesn't mean they are weak or lack endurance. A lot of lard ass men can crank at least one pullup and have no real power to spare and the endurance of a paper bag in the rain.

Proper 'technique' involves all three yes? Pure technique, endurance AND power?

Cheers
DMT


fracture


Jan 5, 2005, 4:24 PM
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... technique, no matter how good, cannot get you past a crux with a dyno on it...

Dynoing is one of the more technical types of motion there is. It requires precise coordination to move your whole body (often using multiple limbs simultaneously for your initial burst) to a location such that you can latch the hold. You have to fire hard enough to get there, but not so hard that you over-shoot it and make it more difficult to stay on. You often need to swing away first and then launch at it properly using momentum instead of just muscle. Frequently keeping one or even both feet on will be crucial in allowing you to stick a difficult dyno where holding the outward swing would otherwise be inefficient or impossible. Most dramatically, perhaps, it requires the mental ability to commit completely to your movement.

No amount of insane one-arm pullup strength is going to enable you to latch a difficult dyno if you have no technique. And no amount of upper-body power will make you better at committing.

Dynos require power; but they also extremely technical.


fracture


Jan 5, 2005, 4:44 PM
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Depends upon what you're doing. Old schoolers like me who believe 'its all technique (including power) often practice their craft on slabs... where not coincidentally, technique really is everything.

But, despite the fact that technique could be said to be of higher relative importance (vs strength), the complexity of the technique required is significantly diminished. By far the biggest thing that seems relevant to me on slabs is mental "technique"---that is, trusting a foot hold that seems horrible (but is actually great, with modern rubber) or staying calm during the invariably-present runout. Other than that, in my experience they tend to be pretty much the same move over and over (even on "harder" slabs), with a lot less coordination required than overhangs.

Mainly I'm talking about granite slabs here. The low-angle limestone climbing I've done has invariably been quite more complicated and interesting (comparing grade to grade) than the low-angle granite....

In reply to:
If you are into 'new wave' sport or bouldering, primarily overhanging, then it is hard to argue against the power patrol. You need power for modern bouldering and you need endurance for modern sport.

And unless you only want to climb 5.10, you'll need a huge dose of technique also. Overhangs are extremely varied and require vastly different movement from one climb to the next. You need to be able to apply your power in all sorts of strange and non-obvious ways to boulder hard or climb through a hard crux. And "endurance" is often an issue of how efficiently and quickly you can move, or how well you can milk a rest---all of which requires good technique.

In reply to:
All of which helps your slab technique along the way.

Mainly because slabs don't require very complicated techniques, comparatively. Ever seen someone do a drop-knee on a low-angle slab? :lol:


rhu


Jan 5, 2005, 6:27 PM
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The cover of my edition of "Advanced Rock Climbing" says it all for me. I am not sure of his name so I will not butcher it, but the guy is a RAIL and he is climbing Grand Illusion. My point is that he looks to have more technique than power and he is leading 13 trad.


andy_reagan


Jan 5, 2005, 6:49 PM
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I would say you're doing yourself a disservice in the long run by underestimating the complexity of climbing insofar as it is ineffectively subdivided and analyzed by your OP. I would suggest using a more open ended approach to training for climbing.


curt


Jan 5, 2005, 7:40 PM
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I would say overall that technique is more important than strength in climbing. Having said that, it is of course impossible to completely compare these two things as if they are diametrically opposed traits as they relate to climbing progress. A climber with impeccable technique and no strength at all won't get much further than a climber who is infinitely strong with horrible technique--ratings wise. It really takes both. Someone posted earlier that slab climbing requires relatively little technique--and, I can tell immediately from that statement that the person who posted this comment can not climb hard slab routes. Hard, thin routes are extremely technical. That is why Hall of Mirrors sees remarkably few repeat ascents.

Curt


Partner rgold


Jan 5, 2005, 9:27 PM
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Technique vs. strength: what matters the most is what you ain't got. But to be less flippant, strength and endurance are such general terms that there's no guarantee any two people are actually talking about the same thing. To add a little specificity, there is hand strength/endurance, and there is upper body strength/endurance, which right away gives at least four different qualities that might be referred to as ``strength.'' For now, I'm going to confound strength and endurance and just refer to strength, but they are in fact distinct qualities and some people have a lot more of one than the other.

I'm going to go out on a limb and flat out guarantee that those girls who climb 5.12 and can't do a pullup have (for their weight) superior hand strength and/or endurance. Technique will definitely enable to get more out of your hands, but you ain't gettin' up no 5.12 without a very high strength/endurance to weight ratio---those girls are really strong and I believe you could measure it with endurance hangs or crimp hangs.

Upper body strength is a different matter. First of all, if you don't have the hand strength, it doesn't matter how strong your upper body is, you've got a racing car engine in a jalopy chassis. Secondly, dynamic technique has alleviated much of the need for upper body power, although a person who is relatively weak in their upper body will be less able to control dynamic moves and so may be more prone to injury. The one place something like lock-off strength still seems to matter is in steep trad climbing, where it may be very helpful to be able to hold a locked-off position while placing gear high---something you can't do with deadpoint technique.

As Dingus says, it also matters what type of climbing you are trying. The 5.7 climber who keeps whatever strength level he or she had for 5.7 can in principle develop technique and climb much harder slabs. But if he or she doesn't build hand strength and endurance, forget about steep 5.9, much less 5.12. (This is highly hypothetical, because it is almost impossible in practice to develop technique without at the same time training hand strength.)

Another confounding problem is that technique and strength are interdependent. In many of cases, you have to have enough strength to even bring technique to bear---a case of the rich getting richer---while in other situations it is technique that allows you to martial the strength you have.

I consider myself a good example. At 61, I am far less strong than I was at, say, 31. My technique is, I think, better and certainly no worse. But I can't climb as hard, at least not on the steep face climbs that are the local norm, and the reason is I'm not as strong. So what matters more? In my case, the decrease in strength is the decisive factor. But there is another way to look at this (sob) decline: my strength loss is in some sense greater than my ability drop, in other words I've been able to compensate for some of the lost strength with improved technique.

Which brings me back to the opening line: what you don't have is what you need most.

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