Odd overheard advice, I'm enlightened.


Original Post
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 0

I overheard some advice about crack climbing the other day. The one giving the advice is a 5.14 climber who I know has sent loads of 5.13 cracks. The one getting the advice was a moderate trad climbing seeking advice to improve.

The question was about what to do when the crack is too thin to jam your feet in. Basically indian creek tight .75's and smaller, your foot size may vary.

I wasn't part of the conversation but my inner dialogue immediately said "get soft shoes your feet lay flat in, get your feet high and smear the rand against the opening of the crack. Especially useful if there is an irregularity on the part of the crack you're putting your foot". Seems like pretty basic advice. I was fully expecting to hear almost exactly that.

I couldn't have been more wrong. He explained that hard thin cracks are basically campusing and in order to do them, you're best served by practicing campusing and lockoffs (to place pro). There was little more to the conversation than that. Basically, hard cracks = campusing.

My initial thought was that he was just some sick strong dude that solves technique problems by overpowering them. It put a little bug in my brain all day and I thought back to when I used to climb hard cracks. I think of the handful of upper level finger cracks I've done in more energetic years and actually, I think he's right with a grade qualification. I think his advice is spot on for thin cracks harder than 12b. Below that all the tricks help and are useful.

I don't think he was saying not to learn the appropriate crack foot techniques. He definitely distilled what super hard cracks tend to be.

20 years of climbing trad. Probably a hundred or more finger cracks that qualify for his advice, and I never thought of it that way.

CCChanceR Ronemus · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 0

Nah, you've gotta get some realllyyy loose mocs, then you just jam the extra rubber past your toes into the crack - Boom, .4 toe jams, baby!

climberish · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

If you listen to interviews with Tom Randall (of wide boyz fame) he often discusses how his training (he is a coach/trainer and very well respected at that) is essentially the same sort of training an elite sport climber/boulderer would under go, but he just applies it to hard trad and hard cracks (and yes I'm differentiating between hard trad and cracks).

There is a precedent for very strong sport climbers and boulderers learning a bit of crack technique then just crushing hard cracks in the desert and else where.

Jon Nelson · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 4,425
highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion wrote:I overheard some advice about crack climbing the other day. The one giving the advice is a 5.14 climber who I know has sent loads of 5.13 cracks. ... He explained that hard thin cracks are basically campusing and in order to do them, you're best served by practicing campusing and lockoffs (to place pro). There was little more to the conversation than that. Basically, hard cracks = campusing. ...
Seems strange. Perhaps some of the context was missed? Perhaps the person was using the term 'campus' in some sort of very broad sense?

When I think of campusing, I picture the feet just hanging free. But I've never seen anyone climb a crack like that. In quite the opposite approach, I've seen pictures of Mason Earle where he has removed a shoe and jammed a taped-up foot.
climberish · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
Jon Nelson wrote: Seems strange. Perhaps some of the context was missed? Perhaps the person was using the term 'campus' in some sort of very broad sense? When I think of campusing, I picture the feet just hanging free. But I've never seen anyone climb a crack like that. In quite the opposite approach, I've seen pictures of Mason Earle where he has removed a shoe and jammed a taped-up foot.
I disagree. Inherently hard thin cracks have poor pasted on feet. It is not campusing in the absolute literally sense, but more so the idea that you have a minimal percentage of body weight on the feet and most of it on the hands..
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 1,865

I suspect maybe the comments were more along the idea of "Think of it like campusing", as in pull hard and don't expect too much help from your feet despite your best efforts; rather than "Campus the crack" as in don't use your feet.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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