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How many burns do you give on the proj?


Original Post
Chris Hatzai · · Bend, OR · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 611

How many times will you try a route before you abort or take a break from the thing? I definitely have a problem letting go of routes im syked on, especially if i feel like im getting close. I usually just pound my head against the wall until they go. Problem being though getting weaker in my overall climbing but getting really good at that one thing. Potatoes Potaatoes i guess.. 

What’s your approach? 

Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 337
Chris Hatzai wrote: What’s your approach? 

Not caring that much. 

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

I have approached trying to onsight every route I ever climb, for my entire climbing career.

Although I have plateaus at 5.11s, I can rest assured that anything I don’t do in one go, is a lame route, and that the person responsible for the first ascent was lying about the grade. 

“Letting go of routes I’m syked on.”  I think you answered your question.  Why do anything you aren’t syked about? Seems counterproductive.  Especially when their is so much climbing out there.  

Best of luck on the one that caused this thread.

Paul Hutton · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740

Who cares????  Some people do care, because it's amazing how pro athletes do what they do without getting hurt.  If you don't know anything about fatigue, and you keep going because you wanna be tough, that's risky.  If you call it a day before you injure something, you could avoid being grounded for weeks!  I used to climb climb climb, with elbow tendonitis, trying to be tough, because I was unaware of the science behind athletics.  I almost ruined a week long guided trip in Spain because of this, and my guide had to tell me to rest for a day while everyone else climbed.  That was a tough pill for me to swallow.  Fuckin' haters.

I start feeling fatigue in my forearms at some point.  If I'm dedicating my day to sending one route, I'll go until I'm confident that I won't clear the first crux, if I have the whole route dialed.  If there are other routes I'm interested in, I definitely have to judge how fatigued I am.  If a route is permadrawed, that makes things easy.  I usually fall a few times, depending on how psyched I am about how the route looks.  When I get fed up with hanging to rest, I can lower, pull the rope, move on to something else.  The only thing to possess beyond fatigue is injury.

Jon Frisby · · midwest/west circuit (Indiana) · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 120

after more than a day without positive progress, I reassess whether it's gonna go down in a time frame I'm happy with. This happened on a route that I continued to work on eventually send 2 months later, but also on a route that I decided to quit on because I didn't think I had it within the two weeks I was gonna be there and (also relevant) I wanted to work other things. I generally don't see a reason to stop working something if you're getting closer every day.

Paul Hutton · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740

I think all the bashing messages containing bad attitudes got deleted while I was typing up my post LOL!  All the haters withdrew?!  LOL!

Chris Hatzai · · Bend, OR · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 611
Paul Hutton wrote: I think all the bashing messages containing bad attitudes got deleted while I was typing up my post LOL!  All the haters withdrew?!  LOL!

Lol im not sure why this post would cause anger or annoyance.. scratching my head a bit on that aspect .. but anywho, was just curious what’s peoples’ tolerances for retrying something until they get it. Some of my hardest sends took 50+ tries and it almost felt like punching a clock after that many tries. It does take me forever though to dial in beta and im pretty envious of climbers who can send at their limit in a handful of tries. 

Honestly was just asking out of curiosity.. 
Boissal . · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,406
Chris Hatzai wrote: How many times will you try a route before you abort or take a break from the thing? I definitely have a problem letting go of routes im syked on, especially if i feel like im getting close. I usually just pound my head against the wall until they go. Problem being though getting weaker in my overall climbing but getting really good at that one thing. Potatoes Potaatoes i guess..

What’s your approach? 

I've heard tales of people putting in over 100 attempts over the course of several seasons to bang out on route in Maple Canyon. Very incremental process and beta refinement at its best. I'd personally want to gouge my eyes out but I'm not on team patience. If I can't get it done in 4 or 5 tries I come back the following weekend then much later in the season and it all else fails the following year. I'm easily distracted and have never tried a line more than 10 times which directly translates to having never sent anything hard...   

Paul Hutton · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740

When I see someone warm up on 5.12 and see them working a 5.14 (Brad Gobright in VRG), I start wondering how they do it!  I didn't touch on how I decide to keep coming back to the same project.  My style is steep, overhang and roof.  I don't care much for vertical, because they're risky.  You only have to fall wrong on vert once to get really hurt.  A vertical route has to be super aesthetic to me to keep drawing me back in.  I haven't taken on a long term project, because I've constantly been on the move or unable to lock down partners.  I once got a 5.12d in three burns, before I started feeling that fatigue in my forearms.  I'd climbed a 5.9 and 5.10 before that, and tried a 12a before working and committing to the 12d, so I was perfecty warmed up.  Proud send, for my ability!

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

climbing friend,

you don't give "burn," you flash like a man

Chris Hatzai · · Bend, OR · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 611
Aleks Zebastian wrote: climbing friend,

you don't give "burn," you flash like a man

Im not worthy!

Andrew Southworth · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 55

About two years ago I changed my mindset on routes at/close to my limit. Before every time I'd go to the crag I'd be singularly focused on one route. I'd get there, warm up and try to send. Looking back I honestly wasted many of those days just trying to send and not at becoming a better climber.

What I've changed in the past few years is putting in 9 out of 10 days climbing a few grades under my limit and working on working routes and trying routes of different styles. On that other day I go back to my longer term limit project at my limit and work it. I'm not really going for the redpoint until I feel confident that I can do every move solidly 75% of the time.

Since the change in mindset I'm having more fun and more success.

Paul Hutton · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740
Chris Hatzai wrote:

Lol im not sure why this post would cause anger or annoyance.. scratching my head a bit on that aspect .. 

I've posted up about where I had to leave a cam behind in Yosemite, so there were exact directions for booty that wasn't buried in a crack!  I was hoping that someone might return it, but there obviously wasn't a whole lot I could do if they retrieved and kept it.  That drew a bunch of haters telling me to go get it myself, or criticizing the fact that I left a cam behind.  I was like "but, I just told you exactly where it is, and I've left the state LOL!  You can obviously go get it right now!"  It was probably people that wouldn't be going to Yosemite any time soon, if ever; or people that could never summon the balls to climb Steck-Salathe.  Haters and trolls man!

Ryan Pfleger · · North Lake Tahoe, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 20

Eric Horst wrote and put out a podcast on this topic. His rule is 10 attempts over 4 days.

https://trainingforclimbing.com/the-10-4-rule-a-guideline-for-projecting-and-steady-improvement/

Paul Hutton · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740
Andrew Southworth wrote: About two years ago I changed my mindset on routes at/close to my limit. Before every time I'd go to the crag I'd be singularly focused on one route. I'd get there, warm up and try to send. Looking back I honestly wasted many of those days just trying to send and not at becoming a better climber.

What I've changed in the past few years is putting in 9 out of 10 days climbing a few grades under my limit and working on working routes and trying routes of different styles. On that other day I go back to my longer term limit project at my limit and work it. I'm not really going for the redpoint until I feel confident that I can do every move solidly 75% of the time.

Since the change in mindset I'm having more fun and more success.

You have to have your own perspective on the game to develop an understanding.  Comparing yourself to others and always worrying about how they do things, and why it doesn't work for you can't replace your performance.  Nothing wrong with talking about it, if you can find people that are willing to give some input.  You have to fail and make mistakes to eliminate the bullshit--what doesn't work for you.  Just last year, I've been taking more time to peer up at routes from the ground and make little notes on, first: whether the protection is good enough; parts of the route that could be dangerous if you fell anywhere around them; and where directional turns occur if the route's wandering, which can help you determine how to sequence your hands in a given transition (Adam Ondra has talked about this in his onsight climbing).  Directional changes I think are the next most important thing, after falling safety has been accounted for.  I actually talk to myself out loud in hopes of remembering it better, like writing something down, instead of just trying to remember it without a paper trail. "ok, right after the 2nd bolt, pull the roof, clip the bolt, then traverse left."  Can't say it works for me indefinitely, but my redpoint and onsight grades have only improved!

Paul Hutton · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740
Ryan Pfleger wrote: Eric Horst wrote and put out a podcast on this topic. His rule is 10 attempts over 4 days.

https://trainingforclimbing.com/the-10-4-rule-a-guideline-for-projecting-and-steady-improvement/

That's definitely for trying to break into a new redpoint grade!  Some pro's have talked about no more than 3 attempts for an entire session.  Sometimes, rest for an hour after every attempt, I guess until you just feel like shit!  I've noticed a pattern in myself, where I can bag a route around my redpoint limit in no more than 4 tries in a session. So, a few tries of maximum effort in a session, after a solid rest where you no longer feel any physical pressure, seems to be a solid theory.  The human body can take a lot!  The mind, even more so!  But the whole machine can only take so much before it requires maintenance.

Jon Rhoderick · · Redmond, OR · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 916

Hey Chris!
Good question, sometimes it’s THE question in climbing. I think you get something a little different in every kind of project. Stuff you onsight, do 2-3 goes, and stuff that takes 10-12 goes. I feel like I’ve seen all of these described as “80% intensity”, so go figure.  Some trainers/climbers believe you reach close to 100% efficiency after about 5 goes or so, I think that’s BS.  But you get to climb way more terrain and things stay super fresh. At the same time I feel like these climbs you can actually count how many goes, which sometimes leads to disappointment.  

There should be a handful (5 or less?) climbs in you go all in on, and lose count of how many tries go into it, and be 100% invested. It’s natural to hit a few slumps, maybe just past 20 goes, whenever you feel like there’s little else to learn on a climb, but then you do and then you regain motivation.  You really can learn learn a lot about Redpoint strategies like top down links, warm up goes, how long to rest on route and off, etc on a really hard project.

Obviously you gotta gauge it by feel. Ask you’re belayer how you look. Sometimes I’m belaying or watching and I wonder “do they REALLY believe this go is the one?”, not just the one where you make a better link or fall 1 move higher.  Body language can’t be in denial the same way our spoken dialogue can.  The time to stop is only going to be obvious after you throw in the towel.  You’ll know if you want to be back. 

Paul Hutton · · Kansas City, MO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 740

If you keep thinking about it, you're obviously curious, and you should continue going back and learning how to interact with it.  You can only do so much.  You'll forget about the routes that didn't interest you. There are routes around the world that I've tried, some I've only seen, that I'd LOVE to go back to!  I can still see them after 5 years!

Chris Hatzai · · Bend, OR · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 611
Jon Rhoderick wrote: Hey Chris!
Good question, sometimes it’s THE question in climbing. I think you get something a little different in every kind of project. Stuff you onsight, do 2-3 goes, and stuff that takes 10-12 goes. I feel like I’ve seen all of these described as “80% intensity”, so go figure.  Some trainers/climbers believe you reach close to 100% efficiency after about 5 goes or so, I think that’s BS.  But you get to climb way more terrain and things stay super fresh. At the same time I feel like these climbs you can actually count how many goes, which sometimes leads to disappointment.  

There should be a handful (5 or less?) climbs in you go all in on, and lose count of how many tries go into it, and be 100% invested. It’s natural to hit a few slumps, maybe just past 20 goes, whenever you feel like there’s little else to learn on a climb, but then you do and then you regain motivation.  You really can learn learn a lot about Redpoint strategies like top down links, warm up goes, how long to rest on route and off, etc on a really hard project.

Obviously you gotta gauge it by feel. Ask you’re belayer how you look. Sometimes I’m belaying or watching and I wonder “do they REALLY believe this go is the one?”, not just the one where you make a better link or fall 1 move higher.  Body language can’t be in denial the same way our spoken dialogue can.  The time to stop is only going to be obvious after you throw in the towel.  You’ll know if you want to be back. 

Thanks Jon! Im definitely trying to get better at sending projects in less goes. Hearing all these strategies is quite refreshing and informative.. thanks for the input brotha!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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