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New and experienced climbers over 50, #3


Tom Hickmann · · Bend, OR · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 35

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: 1,084
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: 175

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 · · LA, CA · 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 · · LA, CA · 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: 175
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: 1,100
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 · · LA, CA · 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: 1,100
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

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

Currently have a messed up back and right hand from a freak accident, so on the shelf for a week or two and away from my gym friends. Glad to able to at least talk climbing again!

Lovena Harwood · · MA · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 400
Lori Milas wrote: 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!  

Oooh that's a pretty crack! Hard to tell from photos, but when at a climb, I study it to see how wide the crack is and if there are any ledges to stand on for a rest. I'm continually working on developing good feet technique for solid foot placements! For me that means practicing jamming my feet and figuring out how much of my foot to jam into the crack. Then no dilly-dally.....just get up on that foot and then move hands up, then repeat with other foot. Trusting my feet jams was a big "light bulb" moment for me! LOL!

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 181

One of my climbing partners pointed out that I was really into the giant step.  He suggested that when I get one of those I should practice making 2 little steps up before I did the big pull. 

Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175
Dallas R wrote: One of my climbing partners pointed out that I was really into the giant step.  He suggested that when I get one of those I should practice making 2 little steps up before I did the big pull. 

Wendy, Dallas, Lovena... exactly! Thanks for pointing this out! This here underscores the value of collusion. (Can I say collusion here?) 

It’s clear as day reviewing pictures. At the time I was wondering why Nelson spent so much time lecturing me on taking a smaller step...but I can see it here. Leaving the crack aside, just getting TO the crack was a project. And then “Get up on that foot!”  How fun! I’ll try it again!
John Barritt · · OKC · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 1,084

Some good discussion this week for sure......

Heading to the boonies.....If your weekend doesn't involve boonies, mud, blood, internal combustion or the three Rs (ropes, rocks & rubber) you're doing it wrong! (Except you Mark, heal up bro)

@Dallas, baby steps will get you up anything.....
@Lori, if you can do 5.8 at JT you can do 5.9 but you need to ease up & let your hands heal. Also change that tape on your finger daily! It's looking pretty manky..... ;)
@Russ, Vinegar will do wonders for that Greek lichen rash (topically) I bet it's pretty green by now... ;)
@everybody else, be safe and have fun.....and if you can't do both.... ;)

Dallas R · · Traveling the USA · Joined May 2013 · Points: 181
John Barritt wrote: Some good discussion this week for sure......

Heading to the boonies.....If your weekend doesn't involve boonies, mud, blood, internal combustion or the three Rs (ropes, rocks & rubber) you're doing it wrong! (Except you Mark, heal up bro)

@Dallas, baby steps will get you up anything.....

I'm doing it wrong then.  Been out in the boonies all week, climbing, fishing, hiking, white water kayaking, headed to work tomorrow for my long 2 day work week. Didn't have the motorcycle out but did take a nice mountain bike ride. 

Baby steps sure helped me, but I still don't have much hang time so I need big jugs to get over those bulges with my baby steps.     

Carl Schneider · · Adelaide, South Australia · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0
Lori Milas wrote: Speaking of training...  Senor, I thought of you and laughed yesterday when Ryan added downclimbing to our new wall laps.  Somehow I thought climbing down would be a piece of cake... but as I began to step down, already pretty tired, Ryan continuously let out slack, and I felt like I might free fall.  It was tremendously difficult for me!  I yelled down "HEY! Take up the rope!" and all I got was "NOPE!"    That was a quivering, shaking, trembling experience... 

Down climbing is really great training. I almost always downclimb at least some of most boulder problems in the gym, unless I fall off, like today. I was helping a mate set and felt like a little lab monkey in his lab setting gym.. 

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


At the bouldering club trying hard and being Pete my mates route setting lab monkey. He changed the ending later on. You can learn a lot I think by helping someone set... 
Lori Milas · · Rocklin, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 175

My instructions were to "follow the trail"....      For this reason, we now have a Garmin.  AND, hopefully, I can find a little class on navigating desert 'trails'.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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