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!
- 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!