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Training/technique tips for steep sustained sandstone finger cracks?


Original Post
kawika m · · Olympia, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 0

was wondering if anyone had any effective methods for putting down long splitter finger cracks. I've been trying weighted pull-ups and lock-offs, but i still gas out fairly quick on straight in fingers and was curious to see if people have developed methods to get strong in this realm 

Thanks for any advice!!!

AL . · · UT · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 120

The best way is to climb fingercracks and work out the technique, especially the foot work. You'll also build up your pain tolerance. One arm lock offs are a good way to train strength for cracks but until you dial in the proper techniques it won't matter much how strong you get.

Dr Strangelove · · Bend, OR · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 30
Aaron Livingston wrote:

The best way is to climb fingercracks and work out the technique, especially the foot work. You'll also build up your pain tolerance. One arm lock offs are a good way to train strength for cracks but until you dial in the proper techniques it won't matter much how strong you get.

Any footwork tips?

Xan Calonne · · Joshua Tree, Ca · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 35

One tip I was given. Feet high, heels down. Stuff the little toe/rand in there and weight it as best you can. Try and keep your arms straight and sit on your feet (froggy stance). Works good for .4/.5 size stuff. 

Alain Aleksandro De la Tejera · · Riverside, Ca · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 125

The above poster is right.  I'd put an emphasis on mileage to master technique.  Once that is mastered, work the one-arm lock-offs for strength, laps for endurance, etc. Make it hurt. 

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

climbing friend,

must you hate yourself when climbing for crack to endure such pain?

shall you purchase "crack gloves?" or will you be mocked most ruthlessly by those with superior "technique?"

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

what type of rock are you talking about?  granite? desert sandstone? basalt?  the jamming and footwork can vary quite a bit for these.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 195
Aleks Zebastian wrote:

climbing friend,

must you hate yourself when climbing for crack to endure such pain?

shall you purchase "crack gloves?" or will you be mocked most ruthlessly by those with superior "technique?"

Aleks...I’m gonna let you think long and hard about how effective crack gloves will be for climbing FINGER cracks...

Here’s a visual, just in case:

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

even that is an assumption though.  a lot of granite finger cracks have a flare to them such that applying a shallow hand jamming technique while finger jamming is really helpful.  the crux of max factor at vedauwoo is a good example.  it looks like a finger jam but is a lot easier when combining a flared pinky up hand jam.

Ocalslay Onlyyay · · Not That Into Climbing · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 1,170

1. practice your technique by climbing moderate cracks.  Technique good?

2. ...boulder for finger strength

3. practice smearing/standing on nothing/crystals.  You're often looking beyond the crack for feet on harder finger cracks

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
slim wrote:

what type of rock are you talking about?  granite? desert sandstone? basalt?  the jamming and footwork can vary quite a bit for these.

Thread title says sandstone finger cracks, so for lack of other details assume Indian Creek? But your statement about footwork varying with rock type is very very true.

If we are talking Indian Creek, dialing in your shoe situation is an essential first step. The “correct” technique for thin cracks there is pretty dependent on having appropriate shoes (generally moccs or similar). It is hard to learn the proper technique if you are using a tool not suited to it.

Also, read “The Crack Climbers Technique Manual”. It will answer all your questions.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175
Ted Pinson wrote:

Aleks...I’m gonna let you think long and hard about how effective crack gloves will be for climbing FINGER cracks...

Here’s a visual, just in case:

climbing friend,

it is always possible the slipping in too far, in which case you for probable should be utilizing protektion ... 

all your flash are belong to me

Michael Sammartino · · Eagle, CO · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0

Mileage, mileage, mileage... Climb as many finger cracks as you can. Find stronger climbers and clean their routes; don't be afraid to spend a whole day on TR (no one will judge, unless you never try to lead anything ever); hop of routes that are less sustained but slightly above your level; get the rope up and burn a couple laps on em.

That's what I did and, within one season, I went from barely climbing .10+ to sending .11+.

And read the Crack Climber's Technique Manuel... it's the bible for crack technique and Kent Pease is the man!

AL . · · UT · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 120

Technique tips:

1. When there are no feet, smear the outside (pinky toe side) of your rand on the crack and turn your knee just as you would for a solid foot jam. Dropping the heel is key 

2. When ring locking/fingerstacking keep your hands at chin level or higher.

3. Wear a good proper edging shoe with a soft outer rand.

4. Place gear at the hip in difficult cruxes.

5. Don't deadpoint for locks 

Most of this will take lots of miles on TR to dial in. The Pain tolerance isn't natural for most people. DON'T read the "crack climbers training manual" many of the techniques they describe will do nothing for you beyond handcracks.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 484
Kawika Mau wrote:

Thanks for the responses everyone! Aaron, those tips are super helpful...reading that I definitely realize that I try to deadpoint way too much, I will try the heel drop technique! and yes I'm talking about da creek- cyborg, the start of king cat, pink flamingo.. it feels like the key for the crux sections on all of them is just being able to calmly bust out lock after lock after lock haha. thanks again for the tips, much appreciated :)

I see what you did there... ;)

AL . · · UT · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 120

Just make sure you hold off on king cat and cyborg for now, cat wall and reS wall are closed for raptors. Flight time at the fin, sig Sauer at pistol whipped wall and critics choice at the critics choice wall are all really good finger splitters with alot of stances for resting/placing gear. .

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

if you could scratch pink flamingo off your list i am pretty sure everybody would appreciate it.  unless you have really big fingers, routes like cyborg are going to require different techniques than a typical locker finger crack.

kawika m · · Olympia, WA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 0

sounds good. and thanks for the wall closure update!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Southern Utah Deserts
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