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Mentally Preparing for RX routes
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By Brent Butcher
Apr 5, 2012
route photo

How do ya'll mentally prepare for challenging RX routes?


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By wankel7
From Indiana
Apr 5, 2012

1. Post on MP about how bold you are.
2. Recieve the "Yer gonna die"
3. Send.


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By Brent Butcher
Apr 5, 2012
route photo

This is a serious question.


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Apr 5, 2012
Imaginate

Prepare? I use them to prepare for the stress of life. Puts things back in perspective.


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By Andrew Mayer
Apr 5, 2012
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp

Personally, I avoid them. Unless it is something mellow enough that I know I can comfortably (mentally) solo it. Other than that just remind myself to breathe and climb with confidence. and in the back of my mind tell myself that falling is not an option.


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By Brent Butcher
Apr 5, 2012
route photo

The first pitch is 5.10 RX but the 2nd and 3rd pitches of this route are classics, and I am dying to do them.


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By wankel7
From Indiana
Apr 5, 2012

Brent Butcher wrote:
This is a serious question.


I am serious and don't call me shirley :p


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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Apr 5, 2012

Brent Butcher wrote:
The first pitch is 5.10 RX but the 2nd and 3rd pitches of this route are classics, and I am dying to do them.


Well if you're dying to try them it sounds like you're willing to risk it


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Apr 5, 2012
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Are you intent on onsighting the route and/or climbing it "ground up"? If not, you might consider toproping the first pitch.

Assuming you would prefer a ground up ascent, but are not intent on an onsight, talk to other people who have climbed the route, look for photos or video, and try to get an idea of any specialty gear that might be helpful, get an idea of where the crux is and how well its protected etc.

If you want to preserve the onsight, climb nearby routes at the crag, and try to get a good look at the route from as many vantage points as possible. Go through the "Rock Warrior's Way" processes of identifying potential gear placements, decision points, etc. Spend some time climbing routes of similar style at the same crag to get practice with that type of climbing, and to get a good understanding of your ability with respect to the 5.10 grade at that crag. Figure out when the best time to climb the route is (in terms of weather, temp, humidity and sun exposure). Figure out what makes you perform best in a risky situation (i.e. do you prefer solituded, just you and your ropemate, or do you want a gallery of holering houligans) and make arrangements to replicate those conditions. If you plan to do a lot of this, you might want to start practicing donw-climbing, which is an often over-looked remedy for foolish enthusiasm.

Once you have all the information, wait for the point in your climbing season when you're fit, your head is solid, and you feel like you're climbing well. Ideally some point when you're "on a roll" so to speak. Have your partner dial 9-1, then start climbing...


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 5, 2012
OTL

Brent Butcher wrote:
The first pitch is 5.10 RX but the 2nd and 3rd pitches of this route are classics, and I am dying to do them.


Ropegun.


Next question.


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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 5, 2012
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.

Treat it like you're soloing.


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By ben jammin
From Moab, UT
Apr 5, 2012
Aesthetics

The first thing I like to figure out is whether it is a mental or physical R/X. Being willing to take a fall if its physical and relatively safe, and/or knowing that I can't fall if its a mental and I should be able to do the moves. It all comes down to knowing your physical and mental capabilities. Warming up on easier but still sketchy lines will help you gauge where your at.

Monomaniac wrote:
. If you plan to do a lot of this, you might want to start practicing donw-climbing, which is an often over-looked remedy for foolish enthusiasm.


Also key.


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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Apr 5, 2012
downclimb off the First Flatiron <br />photo by TooTallTim

5.10RX doesn't mean that the RX section is necessarily 5.10. If the RX section is well below your max climbing ability, practice running out easier terrain or think 'when's the last time I fell on 5.6 (or whatever grade the RX section)'? If it closer to your limit, I would mentally break down the section into boulder problems to make them more manageable. This is the same approach I use for soloing.


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By PosiDave
Apr 5, 2012

bring the pieces of gear just for that pitch and and place them. Get to anchor and haul up the rest of the rack for the climb. (Save Weight).

-Go climb some highballs with your rack on.
-Sack Up
-see if you are really "dying" to do it.


or Aid climb the pitch and find all your gear possibilities.


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By Devin Krevetski
From West Woodstock, VT
Apr 5, 2012

fossana wrote:
5.10RX doesn't mean that the RX section is necessarily 5.10. If the RX section is well below your max climbing ability, practice running out easier terrain or think 'when's the last time I fell on 5.6 (or whatever grade the RX section)'? If it closer to your limit, I would mentally break down the section into boulder problems to make them more manageable. This is the same approach I use for soloing.


um...I might be wrong, but it was my assumption that the gear rating of a climb is the gear rating for the section that which the difficulty rating of the climb is rated.


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By DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Apr 5, 2012

devkrev wrote:
um...I might be wrong, but it was my assumption that the gear rating of a climb is the gear rating for the section that which the difficulty rating of the climb is rated.


I dont think you could have worded that any worse and yet you are still incorrect!


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By steverett
From West Hartford, CT
Apr 5, 2012

devkrev wrote:
um...I might be wrong, but it was my assumption that the gear rating of a climb is the gear rating for the section that which the difficulty rating of the climb is rated.


AFAIK, it's a completely separate rating. Basically it's a rating of how screwed you would be if you fell (R/X = serious injury/death).


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By john strand
From southern colo
Apr 5, 2012

learn about down climbing. It will help loads.


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By Shelton Hatfield
From Austin, Texas
Apr 5, 2012
Photo by Damien

Brent, if you're thinking of League of Doom, there are tough moves high above your gear on that first pitch. If you're confident on 5.10 slab, it shouldn't be a problem, but if you aren't, I suggest you rap in for the money pitches.

EDIT +1 for being versed in downclimbing


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By Simon Thompson
From New Paltz, NY
Apr 5, 2012

Regardless of how any one individually prepares his/her self for a run-out route, most R/X rated routes are rated so because there is potential for a fall that can seriously injure or kill. If you are going to make hard moves high above your last piece you should be very confident at the grade and/or very familiar with the moves. Beyond the physical ability needed, you have to have the mental ability to take advantage or the pro you DO get and keep it together while climbing.

This is what I remind myself when I consider climbing any such route. Falling is not an option and if there is any reasonable doubt I probably shouldn't be on the route. Once I pass my own mental test I prepare just like any other route.


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By PTZ
From Chicago/Colorado
Apr 5, 2012
Where? Wouldn't you like to know. You have to buy me a beer, then I will tell you.

You climb those routes when you know you can climb those routes. You should know if you can ready. No one else can tell you if you are ready. It's your ass on the line.


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By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Apr 5, 2012
Dow Williams, 2011

PTZ wrote:
You climb those routes when you know you can climb those routes. You should know if you can ready. No one else can tell you if you are ready. It's your ass on the line.


True. If you have to ask anyone but yourself this question....then I can only assume you are in over your head on the particular route in question.


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By joshf
From missoula, mt
Apr 5, 2012
Me

"I am Jerry Moffatt, I am Jerry Moffatt." If you can get a toprope up and rehearse it, you might be more comfortable. The hard trad routes I've done on lemmon have always been rehearsed which makes the lead much more comfortable mentally.


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By Buff Johnson
Apr 5, 2012
smiley face

Yer Gonna Die!


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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Apr 5, 2012
Colonel Mustard

fossana wrote:
If the RX section is well below your max climbing ability, practice running out easier terrain or think 'when's the last time I fell on 5.6 (or whatever grade the RX section)'?


Heh. I'd always been of that school myself. Then I was leading a 5.7, off-handedly decided to put a piece in and fell a move after the piece. I had never fallen on a 5.7 lead. Period.

Not that I'm much of a soloist or r/x climber (I have only done a little of either).

As for the OP, mental prep probably varies, but the final mindset should be one where you feel absolutely in control and completely committed. No "what ifs" going on, just pure execution.

Bachar described climbing 10-15' at a time (knowing he could downclimb) and just reassessing and staying in the moment.

I respect all that but I just know that game really isn't for me. I think you will know when you are prepared to do a route and if that style of climbing is for you.


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By adam brink
From Boulder, CO
Apr 5, 2012
Arlo in all his magnificence.

Steve Levin wrote:
Capturing the right moment is as important as the desire, motivation and ability to climb a dangerous pitch.


When Steve Levin talks about climbing runout routes you had better listen. He knows his stuff.


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