Tech Tips from a Pro.

So how about another “Tech Tips” post? I know a lot of you are overwhelmed with the amount of gear and knowledge out there when it comes to rock climbing, and it can be tough to filter through all the junk. Here our some things I’ve learned that have helped me get to where I am today:

  • Socks are your friend: Climbing shoes are made of leather. Leather is an organic material, and can decompose when in contact with moisture (sweat). This makes the climbing shoes very smelly and can ruin them. I started climbing without socks because thats what I was told, but after a month, they smelled so bad that people in the gym wouldn’t go near me! I chucked that pair of shoes in the bin, and have switched to exclusively wearing socks with every new pair. Any cotton sock will do the job.
  • Brushes only go so far: When I climb at the gym, or even outside, I find that the toothbrush I’m using doesn’t quite get the holds as clean as I need for optimal friction. A little trick I use is to carry a spray bottle with me filled with water and alcohol. When I am going to project a boulder problem or route, I make sure to brush each hold, then, spray it thoroughly with the water bottle, wait 10-15 minutes until completely dry, then dip the toothbrush in some chalk, and re-brush each hold. Do this, and you’ll jump a full number grade.
  • Boinking: A lot of climbers will try (futilely) to “boink” up a rope after a lead fall. I see climbers do this all the time in our lead cave where a fall puts you in space. They are usually so tired after trying to blink, that even when they make it back on the route, their exhaustion overwhelms them, and they fail to send! Thus, I like to use a little trick that outdoor climbers have been using for decades: prussiking. I always carry paracord on me anyway, so when I need to get back up to a route after a fall, I set up 2 prussiks, and use a quickdraw clipped into my harness to ascend the rope. In a few minutes, you’re at the top, and not tired at all!prusik
  • Core, core, core: You’ll hear a lot of climbers use the term, “core”. This is used to describe the fact that a lot of climbing uses the muscles in the middle of your body. But climbing itself does not work out these muscles. In order to get “core” strong, you need to supplement your climbing with crunches and sit-ups! The best way to do this is in between routes or boulder burns at the gym. Do a boulder problem, do some sit-ups, do a route, do some crunches. This has literally saved my life in times where you cannot fall, and have to do a “core” move.

Anyway guys, I hope you enjoy todays post. Have any other tips you want to share? Leave a comment!

Namaste, Wes.

36 thoughts on “Tech Tips from a Pro.

  1. I appreciate your trying to help others by blogging about your climbing experiences.. but what is it about your experience that makes you a pro? Have you had any formal training? More experienced mentors? How long have you been climbing outside?

    Generally “Pro” refers to a professional- someone who gets paid to do something. It seems like you set in a gym. This is a great way to learn about climbing movement. However, most technical details of climbing (outdoors) are lost on the gym climber. If you are teaching friends it would be prudent to learn all the facts.

    Check out Mountaineering, Freedom of the Hills.


  2. Thanks for the reply! I have had formal training and am a certified top rope instructor. I have spent extensive time with guides and learning the tricks of the trade. I hope to one day in the near future get my mountain guide certification, and am working on gaining the skills necessary to do so! I have spent at least the entirety of last year climbing outdoors and have learned a lot from it. Thanks again!


  3. Lol you can’t even assess your own anchor and you are a top tope instructor? If i were you i would delete this shit ass blog and keep your tips to yourself before someone dies following your bullshit advice.


  4. Very helpful tips – especially the socks. Is white acceptable or should the socks be some sort of earth-tone. Are socks considered aid?


  5. I have had issues with climbing shoe odour too! I’m definitely going to try socks, seems obvious – but I was always told otherwise. Anyways, thanks for the advise!

    P.s. Which type of sock is best? Thin as in dress sock or thick/comfortable as in wool?


  6. Do you recommend white or colored socks? Does it matter? I think earth tones are appropriate but I don’t want to embarrass myself. Also, are socks considered aid?


  7. Hey Wes, great blog. Helped me get the right stuff to go do some top roping out at the crag out in Sydney. Totally stoked to read your blog.

    Hey man was wondering if you could like teach me how to like place those anchor things in the rock….but like over the internet man.



  8. Lift? WTF are you talking about? No I CLIMB, and I haven’t killed anyone… except that one guy but that doesn’t count how was I supposed to know that he might fall I mean I’m only the belayer and there was a bee near me and this girl was free solo bouldering in yoga pants and the sun was in my eyes but I did hold the lever thing down on the GriGri but that didn’t seem to help who knew people could fall that fast anyway I think his anchor wasn’t SERENE maybe just IRENE (Idiotic, Ridiculous, Excessive, n00b, Expensive)….
    Good Luck Dumb Fuck


  9. Pingback: Answering Your Questions: | Rock Climbing Life

  10. Haha, the socks! Yeah use socks it will make you climb at least a letter grade harder..So if you climb 5.4 you should start crushing, and I mean destroying all kinds of 5.5’s



  11. Nylon socks or thin cotton ones work the best. Great conversation starters too. I get a lot of crap for wearing them, and also for wearing a helmet, but once I send their proj the smack talk usually stops.


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