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Crack climbing advice?


Original Post
fuzzy muzzle · · Seattle · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Basically it kills my dainty feet. Any tips other than stick to face climbing? Wearing Mythos. Thanks folks. 

Cole D · · Los Angeles · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 15
that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 210

Most people I find tend to go in to far and it fucks they're ankles, man up and maybe wear some socks. 

Ryan Williams · · London (sort of) · Joined May 2009 · Points: 1,245

Stiffer shoes might help. I know you see a lot of people in mocs and mythos but they are really better for hard crack where a lot of smearing and smedging and thin toe jamming is required. For hand cracks and bigger... stiff shoes, not too small, and yea, socks. 

Chris Hill · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 0

Wear shoes that allow your toes to be straight (not bent as is normal for edging shoes)
Not all foot jams are created equal.  A lot of the time you can move your foot around and find a less-painful position.
Sometimes its just going to hurt a bit.  Good reason to keep moving.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 210

Are you practicing indoors or outside on real rock?  I’ve never encountered an outdoor crack that hurts as much as gym cracks.

fuzzy muzzle · · Seattle · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0

Sorry the initial post was so brief and lacking. I'd composed a masterpiece initially with all the details and the damn page froze eventually pulverizing my post.

Thanks for the words and advise folks. I have seen those videos, very cool. I've had some pretty experienced instruction at this point so I get the mechanics and concepts at least intellectually, it's really down to pain. I have an extra pair of Mythos sized large to fit socks, tried it, agony. Am I a wuss, maybe. Am I a brute, definitely not.

I've almost totally been attempting the 2.5" hand crack at my gym. I climbed for like a second at Trout Creek in Oregon whenever the eclipse was. It sucked. I do appreciate the thought regarding gym vs crag...maybe there's hope.

Any words on TC Pros? There's also a Butura that's similar. I have ridiculously boney, thin, narrow, flat feet that probably are "in too far".

I remember getting my knuckles used to punching way back when I was into martial arts. Is this just the same game maybe? 

Sawyer W · · Van · Joined May 2018 · Points: 0
fuzzy muzzle wrote: ...

I remember getting my knuckles used to punching way back when I was into martial arts. Is this just the same game maybe? 

Yep, it’s pretty much exactly that

Cole D · · Los Angeles · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 15

Get tc pros that are comfortable. no bunching of toes in the toe box, no down turn, at all. you should be able to wear socks with them when you are outside. make sure to get them resoled before they fully blow out since they are your expensive comfy crack learning beaters. how your knee is turned out when you slot the jam, how you stand up into it, drawing you knee in line with the crack to lock it, and how far you are slotting your your foot in. Those are what you need to play around with. At that size crack you should quickly get to a place where there is no pain at all. You probably need to look at the size shoe you are wearing. have fun!

Agjohns · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 820


a d · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 5
fuzzy muzzle wrote: 

Any words on TC Pros? There's also a Butura that's similar. I have ridiculously boney, thin, narrow, flat feet that probably are "in too far".

Switching from Mythos to TC Pros for crack climbing (and really for anything else) made a HUGE difference in comfort and performance for me.

Abandoned User · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 6,720

Another vote for TC Pros and socks. The thick rand and leather covering the ankles help. They’re like crack gloves for the feet. 

Gabriele Benvenuto · · Orange County · Joined Dec 2018 · Points: 30

I hate being mainstream, but I had a nasty pair of cheapo 5.10s, and cracks were super painful on my feet, I wanted nothing to do with them. I got a pair of TCs and the difference is night and day.  The sole is alot stiffer than mythos.  +1 on wearing thin socks with them too

Matt N · · Santa Barbara, CA · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 354

First time my wife climbed an IC splitter - "WHY THE F$*) DON'T YOU PEOPLE JUST HIT YOUR FEET WITH HAMMERS INSTEAD!"
(She cruises handcrack now.) 

Just wait for the nerves to dull. It'll happen. Ocun crack gloves for the hands, and stiffer, flat shoes for the feet - then lots of cursing at the pain until it goes away.

Nathan Sullivan · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Sep 2018 · Points: 0

I had an epiphany on my local gym crack when I realized the goal of foot torque is to smear the side of the crack with your big toe, NOT jam your foot all the way in solid and stand on it.  "Jamming with Finesse" is right.  Apply just enough torque to stick to the edge and no more, and things can be pretty cozy.  You also need to avoid pressure points on the top of your foot, and that just took lots of practice for me.  For me, I have my big toe smearing on one side of the crack, and use the top of the foot well behind the little toe to push off the opposite side, avoiding the delicate parts near the toes on the top.  Lowering your heel a little can help with that position.

This has a good diagram of what I'm talking about, hope that helps: https://adam.younglogic.com/climbing/foot-in-crack/

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

if you want to actually learn how to crack climb go to IC.

Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

The most important thing for me was getting shoes where my toes could be totally flat. I have a pair of Mocs with blown toes and Katanas sized up a 1/2 size from my previous pair for this very reason.

I’m a newbie crack climber, so take this advice with a grain of salt. But I can now walk perfect hands crack like a ladder without pain, so...

Start on perfect hands. Bend your knee and turn your hip out so your foot goes into the crack vertically (like a knife) somewhere between the calf of your other leg. Insert up to the balls of your foot. Slowly bring your knee into alignment with the crack (this will cam your foot into the crack). Importantly, drop your heel a little. 
It should be secure without pain. Try it on slightly different sized cracks until you find one that fits your foot. Then practice. 
Have fun! Lemme know if you ever head back to Trout. We can get on Gold Rush :)

fuzzy muzzle · · Seattle · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0
Nick Goldsmith wrote: if you want to actually learn how to crack climb go to IC.

I'm pretty much PNW only. As much as I'd love to go to Utah and Nevada my life isn't wired that way. Thanks for the suggestion.

Chris Fedorczak · · Portland, OR · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0
fuzzy muzzle wrote:

I'm pretty much PNW only. As much as I'd love to go to Utah and Nevada my life isn't wired that way. Thanks for the suggestion.

We have plenty of cracks up here in the PNW, you just have to know where to look. ;)

fuzzy muzzle · · Seattle · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0
Chris Fedorczak wrote:

We have plenty of cracks up here in the PNW, you just have to know where to look. ;)

Yeah, I'm becoming very aware of this. My gf lives in Naches which is like 15min from Tieton, fair amount of cracks there...and friggin snakes 

fuzzy muzzle · · Seattle · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0
that guy named seb wrote: Most people I find tend to go in to far and it fucks they're ankles, man up and maybe wear some socks. 

Just came back from the gym and with my reg tight Mythos figured I'd play around on the hand crack. Oddly the best feel I get is by putting my foot "in too far". I think it's how flat my feet are, pretty much no instep. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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