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New and experienced climbers over 50, #3


Jon W · · Longmont Colorado · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 75

Haven't sent one yet, but I will soon. It shouldn't be important to anyone but myself.  It is a personal goal and I hesitate to share it with anyone other than those that I will be with when I send it. I only shared the info in my previous post, because this is about training and I've had a lot of success and thought I'd share for once. Usually I don't. 6 months ago I couldn't do any moves on this route. a month and a half ago I finally got linkage but they were short. Tues I did the whole 22 move crux 3 times in a row. I couldn't do that before I went back through another training cycle. Just sharing what I have learned.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 569

Jon, good luck- send it!

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Jeffrey Constine wrote:
Little Paige

I know Paige. She's a crusher. 

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Lori, glad to hear you got to enjoy some downclimbing. That stuff is HARD. Also, ratings going UP don't match how hard (or not) it is going down. I led and then downclimbed a nice 5.10c the other day only to get totally baffled by the 5.9 next to it on the next lap. Theoretically that shouldn't happen but it sure did to me. Fatigue also doesn't help your precision.

Today I whipped more times than I can count trying to lead a 5.12 I've had my eye on. Threw in the towel a few moves from the top. But I'll get it next time.

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170
Jon W wrote: Haven't sent one yet, but I will soon. It shouldn't be important to anyone but myself.  It is a personal goal and I hesitate to share it with anyone other than those that I will be with when I send it. I only shared the info in my previous post, because this is about training and I've had a lot of success and thought I'd share for once. Usually I don't. 6 months ago I couldn't do any moves on this route. a month and a half ago I finally got linkage but they were short. Tues I did the whole 22 move crux 3 times in a row. I couldn't do that before I went back through another training cycle. Just sharing what I have learned.

Hey Jon!  SO glad you did share, and I hope we do get pictures, if you feel like it.  There were a lot of responses to my question about 'what do the numbers mean to you..." and I think my question was misunderstood.  I know we are each trying to climb goals, and at our limit... and watch those limits amazingly grow.  Looks like in 6 months your hard training has changed your climbing a lot.  Congratulations! 

I think my question was more to an earlier discussion where folks like rgold said they aren't interested in numbers any longer--but they are out there for the entire life experience. So WHY do people climb?  

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that what stays with me about climbing are aspects that have nothing to do with sending a grade--this morning I had to delay my trip for a day because I suddenly got sick... and what I am missing is the chance to smell the desert air, re-meet a chuckwalla, and stand at the bottom of a route and tie in.  Kind of an afterthought--I wonder if I can truly climb a J Tree level 5.9.  Thinking about the arete on my upcoming route, wondering about that.... but man... it is the process of a climb, and the experience at the top, that I dream about.  I can see that empty slab with no holds in my mind... and the process of sorting it out, finding some fissure that might work... 

But you guys... Constine, Carl, and others here... are training hard to get that level of climbing and the send you aspire to.  Carl has shared a lot over the months his total focus on improving over time... strength, endurance.  You are on your way to meeting some goals most of us will never approach.    

Since this is a thread for 'over 50'... a lot of the discussion is on training... trying to know compared to younger folks what is too much, what is enough and what is damaging. You can apparently hit it hard... and it's working!  I was reluctant to put myself into the hands of a 27 year old trainer.... would he get that I have to go a little slower, there might be things that are out of my reach... yet still help me find 'my' limit?  I now believe he will.   What I do know is I'd like not to end this time because of a busted ankle or finger... and so training is important.  

So we're all out there for different reasons....  

PS. It's also been interesting to hear about people's other activities: golf, dirt bikes, surfing, hiking.  Problem is, it is really hard to do this (climb) and have a job, and a family, and tie in other activities. Balance.  :-)

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170
Señor Arroz wrote: Lori, glad to hear you got to enjoy some downclimbing. That stuff is HARD. Also, ratings going UP don't match how hard (or not) it is going down. I led and then downclimbed a nice 5.10c the other day only to get totally baffled by the 5.9 next to it on the next lap. Theoretically that shouldn't happen but it sure did to me. Fatigue also doesn't help your precision.

Today I whipped more times than I can count trying to lead a 5.12 I've had my eye on. Threw in the towel a few moves from the top. But I'll get it next time.

Senor... I am STILL laughing over this!  Life never ceases to amaze me.  And climbing always throws a curve ball.  Nowhere did I say I 'enjoyed' downclimbing.   

Just a technical question  regarding cardio-endurance... is that once or twice a week session of laps and now downclimbing enough to really make a difference?  I'm still trying to find that spot of enough/too much.  How hard do you have to work to really make a difference in endurance?  

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 176
ErikaNW wrote:  I cannot seem to make this text box go away! :)
On the icon bar above the this edit box you will see " marks.  Increase adds a box, decrease removes a box.


Tim Lutz · · Colo-Rado Springs · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 5
Jeffrey Constine · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 548

I don't train lol never have. just climb many days.

Tom Hickmann · · Bend · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

This discussion has been very interesting to read about training and pushing climbs. I climbed my first V0 last Christmas and thought it was really hard. Then I climbed my first 5.6 on auto belay a few days later and was terrified. But I just kept doing it over and over. I now do V3's and they still feel really difficult and 5.11s and I still get scared. But I still have a blast when I am outside on a 5.6. For me this is about being outside, being with great people who are usually very fun and funny. I never feel the need to be victorious over a climb. I just climb and I am thankful I can at whatever level. I tell my non climbing friends that climbing for me is like yoga.... except its yoga with consequences. It focuses my mind to think past the discomfort. I am still scared of taking falls, but I see that as a good thing. It keeps my head in the game and keeps complacency away.

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

Here you go Tim,

I don't always boogie, but when I do I wears a helmet... ;)
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170

With some time to kill... I'm relooking at Double Cross.  Is this how you all use beta?  Does anyone study pictures before or after a climb?  I wanted to know where it went wrong before, and what I could do to improve this time.  Body positioning... right arm/left arm, but I think it might come down to basic strength and just plain experience?  Side by side...  Nelson showing me how to do it, me giving it a go.  I can still hear him saying "Take a smaller step up." "Stand up on that left leg!"  (trying! )  I can see that he got right up on his left leg and into that crack... no dawdling.     (I finished the climb, but it felt pitiful.    )  Lovena, you would nail this crack climb on the first go!  

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Lori, of COURSE you would enjoy downclimbing. Gravity is on your side. To your question: For me doing the Power/Endurance thing has been helpful. I find that putting in 15 minutes of continuous climbing on easier stuff is really good at helping my endurance on the much harder, overhanging stuff in our gym. It's probably just as much mental as physical in my case. But it's helped condition me to SUFFER through some discomfort while climbing. My general aerobic fitness has always been pretty good. I can ride 100 miles on my road bike and I was able to do the Mt. Whitney hike without much trouble. But I have a tendency to run up the white flag of surrender if climbing gets too uncomfortable. Practicing discomfort helped with that.

One of my climbing friends had a serious issue of getting gripped with fear whenever he'd get shaky and tired. Doing the workout with leading followed by downclimbing (and unclipping) has been hugely helpful to him. In his case I think it was just helpful to get used to moving through fear on really easy stuff. Because it does get scary downclimbing with shaky legs and sweaty hands, even if you're only on a 5.7 at that moment.

Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

Re. the photos of you and your guide. Remember, his beta may not be your beta. Different people need to approach things with different strategies. For example, my daughter (who is a way better climber than me) recently told me that she'd found this one climb at an outdoor spot to be the hardest one on the wall. For me it was the easiest. When I studied why, it was because there's a single spot where I can just stand and reach a jug over the lip of a small roof. For her, that jug is totally out of reach and there was nothing else. She had to basically do a 5.11 move on a 5.9 climb to get past it. For me it was just a 5.9.

I think your key for Double Cross will be having practiced proper jamming techniques. If I recall, you didn't know that on the first attempt. 

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 170
Señor Arroz wrote: Lori, of COURSE you would enjoy downclimbing. Gravity is on your side. To your question: For me doing the Power/Endurance thing has been helpful. I find that putting in 15 minutes of continuous climbing on easier stuff is really good at helping my endurance on the much harder, overhanging stuff in our gym. It's probably just as much mental as physical in my case. But it's helped condition me to SUFFER through some discomfort while climbing. My general aerobic fitness has always been pretty good. I can ride 100 miles on my road bike and I was able to do the Mt. Whitney hike without much trouble. But I have a tendency to run up the white flag of surrender if climbing gets too uncomfortable. Practicing discomfort helped with that.

One of my climbing friends had a serious issue of getting gripped with fear whenever he'd get shaky and tired. Doing the workout with leading followed by downclimbing (and unclipping) has been hugely helpful to him. In his case I think it was just helpful to get used to moving through fear on really easy stuff. Because it does get scary downclimbing with shaky legs and sweaty hands, even if you're only on a 5.7 at that moment.

In case I haven't said it before, thank you for this.  You always make perfect sense.  I appreciate you!    

Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,095
Jon W wrote: Haven't sent one yet, but I will soon. It shouldn't be important to anyone but myself.  It is a personal goal and I hesitate to share it with anyone other than those that I will be with when I send it. I only shared the info in my previous post, because this is about training and I've had a lot of success and thought I'd share for once. Usually I don't. 6 months ago I couldn't do any moves on this route. a month and a half ago I finally got linkage but they were short. Tues I did the whole 22 move crux 3 times in a row. I couldn't do that before I went back through another training cycle. Just sharing what I have learned.

Too young to post, but doing it anyway just to stay I am so impressed with you.  Not only are you coming up on actually climbing 5.14 (personally beyond my wildest dreams), but your attitude toward it is so casual and personally driven and you are really generous with your knowledge.  This is why I like this thread so much.

Also, to the nice people that said thanks for starting the new thread despite my still being in the pledge class, thank you!  You guys are sweet! :)

Back to lurking.
Señor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10
Alicia Sokolowski wrote:

Too young to post, but doing it anyway just to stay I am so impressed with you.  Not only are you coming up on actually climbing 5.14 (personally beyond my wildest dreams), but your attitude toward it is so casual and personally driven and you are really generous with your knowledge.  This is why I like this thread so much.

Also, to the nice people that said thanks for starting the new thread despite my still being in the pledge class, thank you!  You guys are sweet! :)

Back to lurking.

I'm going to cast a spell on you with my old guy wand and nominate you as an honorary 50+ person. So feel free to keep contributing.

Alicia Sokolowski · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 1,095
Señor Arroz wrote:

I'm going to cast a spell on you with my old guy wand and nominate you as an honorary 50+ person. So feel free to keep contributing.

I am truly honored! I will still try to keep my chirping to a minimum as this is one forum where I can truly benefit from reading more and posting less :)

wendy weiss · · boulder, co · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 10

Lori, I'm not sure if I can tell anything from the photos, but it sure looks like a high step and Nelson may have gotten his right foot higher in the scoop before making it. I do know that working my feet up a little bit higher has often made things possible for me. It's the same as growing that much taller.

Mark Orsag · · Omaha, NE · Joined May 2013 · Points: 760

Back on the new thread. At 56, and only climbing for 11 years, my goals are less lofty than some here (like Jeff or Jon)-- all on sport lead. 12 in my local and other gyms-- done it already!  12- or 12a at normal outdoor sport crags and 11+ in the sandbagged and runout Black Hills. I am currently climbing 11 at normal crags and 11- in the Hills, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Mark O

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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