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Mentally Preparing for RX routes
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Apr 5, 2012
route photo
How do ya'll mentally prepare for challenging RX routes? Brent Butcher
Joined Nov 18, 2010
314 points
Apr 5, 2012
1. Post on MP about how bold you are.
2. Recieve the "Yer gonna die"
3. Send.
wankel7
From Indiana
Joined Oct 4, 2010
17 points
Apr 5, 2012
route photo
This is a serious question. Brent Butcher
Joined Nov 18, 2010
314 points
Apr 5, 2012
Imaginate
Prepare? I use them to prepare for the stress of life. Puts things back in perspective. David Appelhans
From Medford, MA
Joined Nov 11, 2007
350 points
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. Andrew Mayer
Joined Nov 14, 2010
113 points
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. Brent Butcher
Joined Nov 18, 2010
314 points
Apr 5, 2012
Brent Butcher wrote:
This is a serious question.


I am serious and don't call me shirley :p
wankel7
From Indiana
Joined Oct 4, 2010
17 points
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
S Denny
From Aspen, CO
Joined Sep 25, 2008
24 points
Administrator
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...
Monomaniac
From Morrison, CO
Joined Oct 26, 2006
17,268 points
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.
Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Joined Oct 20, 2010
501 points
Apr 5, 2012
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater ...
Treat it like you're soloing. jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Joined Jul 30, 2008
305 points
Apr 5, 2012
Kolob
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.
ben jammin
From Moab, UT
Joined Jul 10, 2008
710 points
Apr 5, 2012
Tbolt summit block (photo by Damien)
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. fossana
From Sin City & Bishop
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,438 points
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.
PosiDave
Joined Dec 7, 2011
3 points
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.
Devin Krevetski
From West Woodstock, VT
Joined May 3, 2008
57 points
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!
DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Joined Mar 23, 2012
3 points
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).
steverett
From San Diego, CA
Joined Feb 9, 2012
13 points
Apr 5, 2012
learn about down climbing. It will help loads. john strand
From southern colo
Joined May 22, 2008
2,279 points
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
Shelton Hatfield
Joined Apr 18, 2011
166 points
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.
Simon Thompson
From New Paltz, NY
Joined Apr 7, 2011
887 points
Apr 5, 2012
Where? Wouldn't you like to know. You have to buy ...
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. PTZ
From Chicago/Colorado
Joined Jul 27, 2010
523 points
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.
Dow Williams
From St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB
Joined Mar 13, 2006
186 points
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. joshf
From missoula, mt
Joined Oct 25, 2007
982 points
Apr 5, 2012
Rrrrr
Yer Gonna Die! Buff Johnson
Joined Dec 19, 2005
1,499 points
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.
Colonel Mustard
Joined Sep 13, 2005
1,382 points
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.
adam brink
From Boulder, CO
Joined Mar 1, 2001
666 points


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