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Average Number of Climbs in a Day at the Sport Crag


Original Post
Kaleb H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 5

When you head out to the sport crag for a day of climbing on the weekend how many climbs are you getting in? Not on a day of red pointing at your limit or trying to do a ton of climbs well below your limit. 

My partner and I will do around 4 warmup climbs, 8 - 10 climbs a few letter grades below our redpoint limit, maybe 1 or 2 near our limit mixed in and a few cool down climbs for around 12-15 climbs in a day. My partner and I pull the rope and lead every route. We are just trying to see if we should be moving faster to get in more climbs or if this is around average.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Wow.  I'm happy when I can get 10 routes in!  How long are your pitches?

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 317

You're climbing more pitches than average.

Ryan Hamilton · · Orem · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 20

I would be really happy if I got that many climbs in. 

Kaleb H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 5
Ted Pinson wrote:

Wow.  I'm happy when I can get 10 routes in!  How long are your pitches?

I'm climbing mostly in the bow valley (Alberta). I would say most climbs we do are in the 10 to 25m range. Might get a few rope stretchers but it's not too common. This is starting early in the day, packing out lunches and heading out late. 

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 250
Kaleb H wrote:

When you head out to the sport crag for a day of climbing on the weekend how many climbs are you getting in? Not on a day of red pointing at your limit or trying to do a ton of climbs well below your limit. 

My partner and I will do around 4 warmup climbs, 8 - 10 climbs a few letter grades below our redpoint limit, maybe 1 or 2 near our limit mixed in and a few cool down climbs for around 12-15 climbs in a day. My partner and I pull the rope and lead every route. We are just trying to see if we should be moving faster to get in more climbs or if this is around average.

What's the thought process behind asking this question? I am not sure... You are climbing more routes per day than is average (are you happy now?), but SHOULD you be moving faster, or not, depends entirely on your goals.

Are you training for 24HHH, or a similar endurance comp?  Are you trying to do Time Wave Zero, or a similar long multipitch climb, as quickly as possible? Are you gearing up to do a 30th birthday challenge? Then yeah, you should be moving faster to get in more climbs!

Are you trying to work your way up to redpointing a climb a grade higher than your current best redpoint? Then no, stop wasting your time, and get on that project already, give it maybe 4-5 solid burns in a day, and you are good.

Are you just having fun? Then do whatever the heck you want, to make it feel like more fun.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,275

It was always until I was too pumped or until it got dark, so it was seasonal and fitness related.
I'd say that when I used to occasionally go sport climbing, I'd get in 10 pitches a day or so, fewer in winter (dark, cold, and unfit) and more in summer (warm, light, and fit) but never really tried to do more than on-sight, so things went pretty quickly.  
Come to think of it, 10 pitches after work went down on some days if they were mellow climbs and I was just after mileage, which 90% of the time I am.  
Other days I got flash pumped early and the climbs were far apart, so I only got 4 pitches in on a full day.

C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 546
Lena chita wrote:

I love this

Pavel Burov · · Russia · Joined May 2013 · Points: 50

Depending on training schedule and routine.

Could be any number in between 4 (e.g., today I made 2 warm-up runs, and 1 training "refresh muscular memory" run, and two RP attempts on the current project = 5 runs total) to 20 (e.g., recently had a speed climbing exercise day runninng 3 routes about 6 times each).

Kaleb H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 5
Lena chita wrote:

What's the thought process behind asking this question? I am not sure... You are climbing more routes per day than is average (are you happy now?), but SHOULD you be moving faster, or not, depends entirely on your goals.

Are you training for 24HHH, or a similar endurance comp?  Are you trying to do Time Wave Zero, or a similar long multipitch climb, as quickly as possible? Are you gearing up to do a 30th birthday challenge? Then yeah, you should be moving faster to get in more climbs!

Are you trying to work your way up to redpointing a climb a grade higher than your current best redpoint? Then no, stop wasting your time, and get on that project already, give it maybe 4-5 solid burns in a day, and you are good.

Are you just having fun? Then do whatever the heck you want, to make it feel like more fun.

Thanks Lena. I've really only climbed with a few people outside and my thought process is... it seems like all the groups around us are just flying up routes and there tends to be people standing around waiting for us to move along. I don't want to be that group out there slowing other parties down so we just move along. I actually thought people were climbing way more pitches than us in a day. 

We aren't really training for anything specific mostly just climbing for fun! 

Sandbagger Vance · · Cincinnati, Ohio · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Wow, this is eye opening. My usual day of climbing consists of getting down to KY from Cinci by 10 AM climbing until 5. Last time we went I got 5 routes which was more than usual. I boulder v6 at most gyms but struggle on midrange outdoor 5.10's. I guess maybe I don't climb enough routes outside. Then again at most sport crags there are rarely more than a handful of climbs easier than 5.11. 

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,275
Kaleb H wrote:

...it seems like all the groups around us are just flying up routes and there tends to be people standing around waiting for us to move along. I don't want to be that group out there slowing other parties down so we just move along. I actually thought people were climbing way more pitches than us in a day. 

Hmmm... How many people is "we"?  If it is more than 2 with just one rope, or an odd number, that might be what is going on if you feel like you are moving slow.  THat's why I don't climb in Groups. Or at least I know I have a single dedicated partner if I want to get much done...

Ancent · · Reno, NV · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 42

I think this is a valid interesting question. Glad to see some responses. I used to often do ~10-15 or so in a full day (sport), because I was never particularly local to any spot and just wanted to climb as many routes as possible. Ten climbs in an 8-6 pm day is a pitch an hour, which isn't exactly rushing for low-level onsight sport climbing. They would all be below my grade, and we were only interested in onsight climbing, but I enjoyed ticking them off. Run up all of the sub 10s on a cliff (doing as you described; pulling the rope so the second climber could pink the route), and then hit the 10s a little slower. Run around to more sub 10s and tick tick tick. It was a good way to see a lot of rock, and that's what our group wanted to do.

Somewhat more recently, I've starting mixing in redpoint days and everything slows way down. Leading nearer (or at or above) your limit requires more rest and more thought during and in between climbs. That said, I'm happy to vary between both styles. Whatever's fun. To me, hanging and trying harder and harder route sequences isn't why climbing is fun for me... but I see the appeal for others. 

Trad cragging or multipitch is, obviously, completely different.

Dom · · New Brunswick Canada · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 1,110

It depends if I'm projecting or if I'm doing volume. Lately, I feel more like projecting. That means 1 or 2 warmups and 2 or 3 good burns on a project. Involves lots of down time between burns where I'm resting, socializing and making coffee.

Years ago, I would've been on par with your 15ish routes a day. Motivation and focus changes over the years. 

Greg Twombly · · Conifer, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 260

I find it depends on the crag. In crags with clippable top anchors and fewer crowds more are possible. My max was 64 in a 12 hour day at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch (Birthday Challenge thanks to Tucker Olson for belaying), but I've done 20-30 a day in Castlewood Canyon, Clear Creek, Rifle, but Ive been stymied by crowds and lethargy in those places and more.

Ryan Pfleger · · Tahoe, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 15

Yesterday, hit the crag around 1:30pm. Climbed 1 route. Decided it was too damn hot. Drove down the road and jumped in the river. Lazed. Ate. Started climbing again around 5pm, and got in 3 more routes. Stopped climbing around 7:15 or 7:30 as the sun was disappearing. Lately this is what an average day out looks like. 4 climbs. I wonder why I suck?!

sherb · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 60
Ryan Pfleger wrote:

Yesterday, hit the crag around 1:30pm. Climbed 1 route. Decided it was too damn hot. Drove down the road and jumped in the river. Lazed. Ate. Started climbing again around 5pm, and got in 3 more routes. Stopped climbing around 7:15 or 7:30 as the sun was disappearing. Lately this is what an average day out looks like. 4 climbs. I wonder why I suck?!

I like your style. I get bored after 4-6 outdoor pitches, and want to eat and be lazy.

Indoor pitches, lead 6-7 then call it a day.

Lena chita · · Cleveland, OH · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 250
Kaleb H wrote:

Thanks Lena. I've really only climbed with a few people outside and my thought process is... it seems like all the groups around us are just flying up routes and there tends to be people standing around waiting for us to move along. I don't want to be that group out there slowing other parties down so we just move along. I actually thought people were climbing way more pitches than us in a day. 

We aren't really training for anything specific mostly just climbing for fun! 

Is it just you and your partner? Are you climbing each route only once, or are you getting this many pitches in a day by climbing the same route several times? If you are a group of two, you are climbing each route only once, and you are getting 12-15 climbs a day, you are moving pretty fast. So if it seems like people are waiting for you impatiently, maybe there are other circumstances...

Like, maybe you get on the one good warmup at the crag, and then do 3 pitches each on it?

Is this all happening at the same crag? Maybe a convenient short-approach crag with climbs in the 5.7-5.10 range, where people commonly take big groups? I am having a really hard time imagining that you have this experience at a variety of different crags, where you are climbing fast enough to do 12-15 different routes in a day, and yet people are always waiting for you impatiently. Just doesn't seem to match 

Brandon.Phillips · · Portola, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 55

I think it depends on if all your friends want to run top rope laps.  With 2 people I probably climb 10-12 routes or so.  With a couple more people it becomes 5-6. 

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,053

If you do the math you are climbing about 700' per day average. Not exactly fast but not slowpoke either. In my youth (mid 20s to late 30s) 16 to 18 average pitches of 100' would be a normal quartz day for example. At that pace myself and a partner would do roughly 2.5 routes to your one so it would appear like we were flying in comparison. It may just be the other groups are moving quickly because they know the routes well.

But more than likely it's this; You said you pull ropes and lead each route so we're talking sport and trading belays. This will take twice as long as if the second or others in the party are just top-roping after the lead lowers. They would get done with their climb and move to the next while you are on the second lead, as the day progresses they will climb everything and end up waiting for you to get off something if they don't repeat.

Climb at your own pace, and as others have said have fun. JB  

yosem1te · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 15

I'm definitely of the "whatever's fun" school.  Usually, I climb until I'm too tired or too pumped, but I've also left when the weather gets unpleasant.  Not unsafe, but just unpleasant.  Climbing should be fun to me, and when sport climbs stop being fun, I'm done.  Alpine...that's a different story.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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