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New and Experienced Climbers over 50


Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 708
Lori Milas wrote:

rgold. Thank you for writing. I was thinking the same thing yesterday on that difficult grade.  I knew exactly what I was supposed to do... the technique necessary to make that climb...but I didn't have the strength to accomplish it.  I just couldn't get my right leg up to the peg needed to make the reach... while at the same time grasping the sloper. (you are probably also right about the chalk... it was covered.)  I belayed my coach so he could demonstrate... he was just able to make that reach so much easier, and then move on.  

Thanks also for the tips on grasping the slopers.  I don't know quite how this all translates to outdoor climbing... except that on some recent climbs in JTree there were holds that I could only describe as tiny  'pinchers' that I could not figure out how to grasp.  Maybe all these plastic gadgets have some relation to what you find on rock.

Hey, Lori, try turning your hip to the wall, to keep your hand on that sloper while trying to get a foot up. I don't bend worth a darn, anymore, so the only way my feet go something like high, is if my butt goes way out. Only happens on a jug, so you need to reorient that sloper.

Same thing for me, as rgold mentioned, grabbing a sloper. If it's the right size, my really small bones can loop my wrist over the top. Sometimes, again, from being sideways, you can then turn it into an oppositional, rather than a straight pull move. And, you can sit on the darn things, too!

Hope this helps! Best, H.
Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Lori, it's easy as a beginner to think that strength is located in a single muscle or single limb. But the two types of strength that matter most are hand strength and overall body tension (AKA core strength). The ability to maintain body tension all the way from a crappy hand hold through your torso and onto a tiny engaged toe is the pathway to advanced climbing. It's not about big weightlifting muscles at all. 

Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 518

The only way to become a good climber is to get out and climb miles of vertical/Slab/Overhang/Crack/crips ETC on the rock. More time on the rock=large volumes of different climbing moves in your brain catalog for use at any time you need a particular technic anywhere. Thinking about anything else but the climbing in front of you on rock outdoors does not help much, nor does going to the plastic gym.  So partner up and get on the rocks and you will find each time you go out things will improve the more you go.

Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170
Señor Arroz wrote: Lori, it's easy as a beginner to think that strength is located in a single muscle or single limb. But the two types of strength that matter most are hand strength and overall body tension (AKA core strength). The ability to maintain body tension all the way from a crappy hand hold through your torso and onto a tiny engaged toe is the pathway to advanced climbing. It's not about big weightlifting muscles at all. 

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. First, because of sheer gratitude to you (everyone) who have just coached and supported a fairly new climber from a distance.  I so appreciate it, and I hope I can return the favor. (seriously).  And cry because... well, you nailed the problem, and I'm frustrated.  But it helps.  ALL this input helps.
I was looking at a picture of a climber this morning while at the gym, and I just stared... couldn't for the life of me figure out HOW he was holding himself on this wall.  He's just standing there, comfortably.  So it's NOT big muscles.  It is 'the ability to maintain body tension..."  He doesn't appear wobbly, or about to lose his balance.  This is baffling...    

John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,080

Balance, note he's dropped the heel of the foot he's actually standing on. Stand up straight everywhere you can and relax.

Technique trumps strength most of the time. It baffles the young when old people cruise what they just couldn't do.

It's not a cheeseburger, don't rush it. 

Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 518
Yup old people are not dead yet! PS dropping the heal down stops sewing-machine leg lol!
Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170
Old lady H wrote:

Hey, Lori, try turning your hip to the wall, to keep your hand on that sloper while trying to get a foot up. I don't bend worth a darn, anymore, so the only way my feet go something like high, is if my butt goes way out. Only happens on a jug, so you need to reorient that sloper.

Same thing for me, as rgold mentioned, grabbing a sloper. If it's the right size, my really small bones can loop my wrist over the top. Sometimes, again, from being sideways, you can then turn it into an oppositional, rather than a straight pull move. And, you can sit on the darn things, too!

Hope this helps! Best, H.

There seems to be a limit on the number of allowed responses on MP (so I had to wait to respond).  You might have been a fly on the wall yesterday when my climbing coach yelled "Turn your hip to the wall!" ... and I yelled down "Which hip?"  

Roy Suggett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 7,470

Sorry, I am back again, but "Which Hip?" seems like a great new name for a new FA.  I am on it!

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 456
Jeff constine wrote:PS dropping the heal down stops sewing-machine leg lol!
Wait? You mean you get sewing-machine leg?
Suburban Roadside · · Abovetraffic on Hudson · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 1,464
Roy Suggett wrote: Sorry, I am back again, but "Which Hip?" seems like a great new name for a new FA.  I am on it!

Wait! ? You dont have a list of un-named FAs?

Here is a perfect Line for the name "Which Hip"
205, WHICH HIP,
Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 518

when yur leg starts shakin drop your heal it stops 

Scott Phil · · NC · Joined May 2010 · Points: 245

I was looking at a picture of a climber this morning while at the gym, and I just stared... couldn't for the life of me figure out HOW he was holding himself on this wall.  He's just standing there, comfortably.  So it's NOT big muscles.  It is 'the ability to maintain body tension..."  He doesn't appear wobbly, or about to lose his balance.  This is baffling...    

One can be very fit without having massive muscles. Acrobats, aerialists, dancers, et al have great balance and endurance and are typically much stronger than they look.

Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170
Roy Suggett wrote: Sorry, I am back again, but "Which Hip?" seems like a great new name for a new FA.  I am on it!

  

Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170
Scott Phil wrote: I was looking at a picture of a climber this morning while at the gym, and I just stared... couldn't for the life of me figure out HOW he was holding himself on this wall.  He's just standing there, comfortably.  So it's NOT big muscles.  It is 'the ability to maintain body tension..."  He doesn't appear wobbly, or about to lose his balance.  This is baffling...    

One can be very fit without having massive muscles. Acrobats, aerialists, dancers, et al have great balance and endurance and are typically much stronger than they look.

Scott, it's all starting to come together for me now... I danced for years, but really thought I would need more power and muscle to get up those rock formations.  Hopefully, one day I can dance up a grade. Until then, I'm still just trying to get the basics down.  What an incredible sport!  Nothing to match it for total fitness, brain work, balance, breath... and laughter. 

Carl Schneider · · Adelaide, South Australia · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

Hey BTW. In regards to older climbers and injury, I posted a while ago about a shoulder problem I had.  I thought it was an impingement, was in terrible pain for about three weeks, couldn't even hold a tea cup without pain.  Got very depressed  

Last night I unthinkingly shot my injured arm out to catch something, felt EXTREME pain that had me doubled over, but also felt an odd movement in the shoulder at the front.  Funny thing is, once the pain subsided from that I felt a LOT better.  

Now, the next day,  I have almost NO pain at all. It feels just like I did a medium hard workout, that's all.  A friend of mine reckons I had a dislocated biceps tendon and it seems by all accounts I did! Feel SO much better, on top of the world and I think after a week or two of stretching, rock rings and gymnastic rings I'll be ready to hit the climbing gym for bouldering and crag for climbing too!!  I'm not out of the game yet it seems   

#keepingonkeepingon #oldfitandstrong #ageshallnotwearythemnortheyearscondemn #rageagainstthedyingofthelight #riseupbeforewefall   

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 577
Carl Schneider wrote: 
Last night I unthinkingly shot my injured arm out to catch something, felt EXTREME pain that had me doubled over, but also felt an odd movement in the shoulder at the front.  Funny thing is, once the pain subsided from that I felt a LOT better.  

Now, the next day,  I have almost NO pain at all. It feels just like I did a medium hard workout, that's all.  

Hefted a pint at full extension, mate?  I agree, works wonders!  ;-)

Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170
I wanted to report in from my last visit of the season Joshua Tree. It’s starting to get fun now and I think I’m ready for a summer of climbing other places. Having been pretty sick with the flu for a couple of weeks I didn’t expect to be strong this week but I was.  We spent a whole afternoon on Thin Wall, and each grade of climb got easier. I think cracks might be my thing! So...it looks like strength and progress do hold over—even after a break. It’s becoming more intuitive. As you all have been saying—just climb, every different kind of climb.While walking to Thin Wall I pointed out other climbs I’d like to try...every one looks fabulous. (“Umm..Lori that’s a 5.12b.) Like a kid in a candy store.
Lori Milas · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170

Packing up to leave with a heavy heart I’m trying to understand. Why don’t I want to go home? My love of this place has to do with a lot more than climbing..it is the beauty, quiet, congeniality of people here. The blazing skies. But it’s also the climbing. I woke up this morning bruised, sore, banged up and sunburnt, yet still considered the invite to a 6 am climb on a multi pitch route on Hemingway.  I just got off Thin Wall at 7 last night. 

But I declined because I’m learning this “one last climb” idea is a trick of the devil. I don’t think any last climb will be enough. There’s only “the next climb”.  
Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

That climb below, Ain't Nothing But a J-Tree Thing, was one of my first trad leads. 

Lori Milas wrote:
I wanted to report in from my last visit of the season Joshua Tree. It’s starting to get fun now and I think I’m ready for a summer of climbing other places. Having been pretty sick with the flu for a couple of weeks I didn’t expect to be strong this week but I was.  We spent a whole afternoon on Thin Wall, and each grade of climb got easier. I think cracks might be my thing! So...it looks like strength and progress do hold over—even after a break. It’s becoming more intuitive. As you all have been saying—just climb, every different kind of climb.While walking to Thin Wall I pointed out other climbs I’d like to try...every one looks fabulous. (“Umm..Lori that’s a 5.12b.) Like a kid in a candy store.
John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,080
Lori Milas wrote: I woke up this morning bruised, sore, banged up and sunburnt, yet still considered the invite to a 6 am climb on a multi pitch route on Hemingway.  I just got off Thin Wall at 7 last night.But I declined because I’m learning this “one last climb” idea is a trick of the devil. I don’t think any last climb will be enough. There’s only “the next climb”.  

"If you can walk, you can climb" I'll not name the genius that said it.....

Your "adult" brain aka voice of reason stopped you from impending additional pain no doubt. But......

Often your confidence in youself is tainted by how you feel. Others looking at you make judgements based on how you are acting.

They wouldn't have asked you if they didn't think you could do it. They wouldn't chance having to drag you up something or have to bail needlessly if they felt strongly it would go that way.

Next time, throw some mustard packets in your pocket, eat four aspirin, chug a coffee and go.

I remember being so sore one Sunday morning I could hardly crawl out of my tent. 2,400 feet the day before had kicked my butt.

My buddy was chomping at the bit, We ended up doing another 1,000 feet before I said "enough" I caught myself smiling in pain, in the truck on the way home.

The devil is too busy with the internet to trick people into climbing........ ;)
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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