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Duckfoot crack climbing?


Original Post
bmdhacks · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 416

I'm severely duckfooted and find it really hard to jam finger cracks.  A former ankle injury doesn't help my flexibility.

Any other duckfooters out there with any tips on how to climb finger cracks?  My pigeon toed friend can do a foot jam that looks impossible for me, with her pinkie toe in the crack and her big toe pointing straight up, and she's spectacular at finger cracks.

Oh, but give me some edgy slab and I'll stroll up it like Charlie Chaplin.

bmdhacks · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 416

Bump, just cause I'm still curious.  Any insight from pigeon-toed people?  No fellow duck-footers out there?

abandon moderation · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 204

My feet are pretty normal, but are you sure it's not a shoe or technique thing?

For me some shoes climb noticably worse in finger cracks (if they're not "pointy" enough on the front)

I never really considered pinky toe in the crack, I always go for the big toe area and torque the shit out of it. Maybe I'm doing it wrong though, because I'm definitely better at hands and fists than fingers.

JFM · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,758

My feet are ducked also. I don’t know that it makes a difference in hand size cracks. I also have a hard time with feet in finger cracks but had attributed it to my poor technique and unwillingness to cause pain to my toes

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

i'm pretty duck footed and i think it is actually a pretty big help for crack climbing.  it seems like it requires less ankle rotation to get your toes/feet in the crack.  i think it would be a lot more difficult to be pigeon toed for crack climbing.  it is also helpful for heel-toeing and the #4 camalot heel trick.

Bobby Mustard · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 3,387

Finger cracks are really hard to toejam. It may be shoe/technique/pain-tolerance dependent.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

What’s the #4 Camalot heel trick?

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 340

Lol...I'm imagining its in between your heel and the rock(t-stack)...but Irdk

Danny Parker · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 50

I'm not duck footed, but there's a technique that I use when the cracks get too small to jam that takes almost no ankle flexibility. That being said, your hip flexibility needs to be awesome. 

Hang straight off our fingers and walk your feet as high as can in front of your hips, your knees should be facing directly out to the sides, and use the toe of your shoes to press on the adjacent edges. 

The better your flexibility the more weight you can actually take into your feet and off your hands. 


slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107
Ted Pinson wrote:

What’s the #4 Camalot heel trick?

for a #4 camalot splitter, instead of climbing straight on you climb kind of sideways to it.  for example, you face to the right.  your left foot stays high, in kind of a backstep orientation with your toes pretty much straight down into the crack.  so, your left foot is kind of like a wedge driving downwards into the crack and you are almost sitting on your left foot.

now for the heel trick part.  your right foot stays low and you insert your heel first into the crack.  this is a lot easier if you are duck footed.  inserting your heel first gives you a lot of natural torque to keep the foot secure.

left arm goes in deep with your forearm bent downwards.  again, this creates a lot of natural torque for security.  right hand reaches across your body and your arm goes in with your forearm upwards (kinda like power rangers unite!), or you can do the ultra-cupped magic johnson jam (like you are palming a basketball).

you basically just shuffle up the crack like this.  it makes the #4 splitters at the creek pretty secure, and a lot easier than teetering back and forth off a calf lock trying to throw your stacks higher.

if you are naturally duckfooted it is also easier to heel toe the corner of a dihedral, which can work pretty well.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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