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Crack climbing advice?


Jens K. · · San Diego, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 185
fuzzy muzzle wrote:

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 

Snakes for sure. I put up some routes there. As for the topic, the older I get, the more my toes hurt in cracks. When I was younger I thought that all my nerves were already dead. Crack climbing sure isn’t elegant but it gets you up the big cliffs of this planet. I never really understood the allure of single pitch trad climbing. 

frog pirate · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

Socks are aid.

Lovena Harwood · · MA · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 450
Nathan Sullivan wrote: 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. 

Yup, this works for me too.  

Fuzzy, I tried both the TC Pros and the Butora Altura brands. For me the TC Pros didn't fit well. The "red" narrow model of the Butora Altura was too narrow for me, but their "Green" wide model is perfect. I too wear socks and I have to remember to tighten when lacing up. I found out the hard way that if I didn't tighten my laces, my feet would move within my shoes....not too bad when I went to go place them in the crack, but as soon as I weighted my feet, they'd kill!
Sawyer W · · Van · Joined May 2018 · Points: 0
Jens K. wrote:

I never really understood the allure of single pitch trad climbing. 

Training for multi pitch

SmithVentures · · Fayetteville, WV · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 171
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. 

Man up?  Nah bruh change your shoes and learn some technique.

fuzzy muzzle · · Seattle · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 0
Lovena Harwood wrote:

Yup, this works for me too.  

Fuzzy, I tried both the TC Pros and the Butora Altura brands. For me the TC Pros didn't fit well. The "red" narrow model of the Butora Altura was too narrow for me, but their "Green" wide model is perfect. I too wear socks and I have to remember to tighten when lacing up. I found out the hard way that if I didn't tighten my laces, my feet would move within my shoes....not too bad when I went to go place them in the crack, but as soon as I weighted my feet, they'd kill!

Thanks for the Altura bump...the narrow ones fit great for me. Might try them. The only drag is that the tongue is so thick that they're really hot....trade offs. 

Any other extra low volume feet crack Climbers out there??
Abandoned User · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 6,720

I'd also like to add that it depends on the cracks.  I was toproping a local finger crack called Dave's with a friend.  Even with the TC Pros, it wasn't the best feeling.  He suggested taping up the pinky and big toes which made a world of difference.  Play around with how much tape you need.

Chris Johnson · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Nathan Sullivan wrote: 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/

Thanks for the tip. Tried playing around on the hand crack at my gym a few weeks ago. Jammed my foot in, thought it felt really solid, twisted and stood up and Jiminy Christmas the pain. Gonna have to go back and try this now. 

J B · · Denver, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 0

What do people do about leaning cracks? Especially what to do with your feet when there is no face holds, and it is a finger crack so I can't really get my toes in the crack? I've been stuck on this for a while now

Michael Lagueux · · San Diego, CA · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 331
J B wrote: What do people do about leaning cracks? Especially what to do with your feet when there is no face holds, and it is a finger crack so I can't really get my toes in the crack? I've been stuck on this for a while now

See if you can put one foot in the crack and look for face holds (or smearing opportunities) for the other foot!  In thin cracks, the sides of the crack (and other little features) can be used like edges to push against and stand on, rather than jamming your toes in and standing up.  Hope this helps! 

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

I never really understood the allure of single pitch trad climbing. 


You’ve obviously never been to the New. Or the Dacks. Or City of Rocks. Or Indian Creek. Or Little Cottonwood. 
Jens K. · · San Diego, CA · Joined May 2009 · Points: 185
Ryan Williams wrote:


You’ve obviously never been to the New. Or the Dacks. Or City of Rocks. Or Indian Creek. Or Little Cottonwood. 

Uh no.....I’ve opened new routes @ 3 of the 4 areas you mention& despite being older than your dad I still redpoint 5.13. 

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

Uh no.....I’ve opened new routes @ 3 of the 4 areas you mention& despite being older than your dad I still redpoint 5.13. 

No one asked how hard you climb, not sure why that matters. 


More power to you for FAing in some cool climbing destinations. But if you weren’t psyched on single pitch trad climbing, what were you doing at those places? 
PS I’m not sure how old you think I am, but my dad is almost 70. 
Evan Crumpecker · · Colorado Springs · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 185

Tc pros are much more comfy for hand cracks. Too big for fingers tho.

EFS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 40

dont get your knee stuck in an offwidth and shit yourself.......

i just saw that vid again today  :)  

Abandoned User · · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 6,720
Evan Crumpecker wrote: Tc pros are much more comfy for hand cracks. Too big for fingers tho.

That’s why I’m having trouble with finger cracks!  Any particular shoe suggestion for finger cracks?

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

I think the standard choice for small cracks is Moccasyms with a less aggressive (looser) fit.  I wear mine for nearly everything though, as long as hard edging isn't involved.

Edit: By loose, I mean flat toes - not sliding around or anything.

Marc H · · Longmont, CO · Joined May 2007 · Points: 255
Ryan Williams wrote: 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. 

I like my toe jam super thick. Nothing worse than runny toe jam.

Steven Cooney · · North Conway, NH · Joined May 2016 · Points: 10
fuzzy muzzle wrote: 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? 

Fuzzy,

Cracks in my gym are so painful on the feet I don't know how folks get through it. I would not judge your ability to tolerate pain on gym cracks. They are very painful on the feet.
Don't know your time put in but it does take time in lower grades where you can substitute a crack foot for a face foot placement. Sounds like you might have feet that are not toughened by who knows what but don't give up hope might just take time and as you mentioned awesome instruction from folks who figured it out.
that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 210
J V wrote:

That’s why I’m having trouble with finger cracks!  Any particular shoe suggestion for finger cracks?

Dude you just need to modify your technique, rather than jamming with your big to you need to go in at an angle just tourquing in your smaller toes, you don't see the likes of TC and honnold swapping shoes to get up hard finger cracks.

That being said if you're happy to buy another shoe I have found solutions to works very well in finger cracks and have heard great things about skwarmas in fine cracks too. 
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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