Circular Patterns and Onsight Climbing

2 10 2007

It’s always funny how we learn things. Some times we go out and search for answer and other times we stumble upon them.

Something like this can often happen in climbing. The crux beta may be given to us or perhaps it is obvious and it just works. Other times we must work through sequences to find the way that works for our own body.

Training will help give you more time and more possible sequences on the rock when trying to onsight a climb. Recently I have been falling off onsight attempts because I am too pumped and either unable to climb the required sequence or unable to figure it out in the time I have.

In the past month I have been out to Echo Cliffs, in the Santa Monica Mountains, twice. I have been trying to push my onsight limit and have been getting really tired on my onsight go. The next try however, after having hung the draws and found all the holds has gone quite well. I am able to milk the rest more on my second try and reach the anchors without the bulging forearms I encountered on the onsight go.

I think that since I am getting really tired on my onsights I either need to be committing faster or need to keep training endurance. On my first hard onsight attempt I committed to the wrong sequence of holds and found my self with nowhere to go. The second time I could not figure out the sequence and I couldn’t last on the holds I was on. It was particularly interesting because this sequence took me a while to figure out and then on my redpoint it worked so well. It still felt a bit awkward but the movement linked together perfectly.

I learned a bunch about commitment this weekend and that you need to keep pushing since you can do amazing things if you want them enough. I thought I was going to fall at the 1st crux on my onsight but I made it through even though I had to try two different sequences before it worked.

The start of this post was about learning and how we learn funny things at different times. I was reading this article about saber tooth tigers and it mentions “coup de grace“. This is the name of a Dave Graham route in Switzerland. I had wondered what it meant and I now had the opportunity to find out. Coup De Grace is the blow of death (or death blow) and seems suitable for a yet unrepeated 9a.

Dave seems to have lots of cool names for climbs that sound good even if you don’t know what the mean. A recent FA he did in Rodellar is called Los Borrachos Del Mascun which translates to The Drunkards of the Mascun. You can see a video of the FA on MomentumVM.com

That’s really all for now but ill be writing more about training later this week.

– Luke

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One response

2 10 2007
lizzy

I also think that climbing more routes onsight will help your onsight ability – you need to have the ability to figure out sequences on the fly, and the only way to do that is practice. Too bad onsighting sport is so much harder than trad (I mean, when you have a jamcrack in front of you, it doesn’t take a genius to know that you should jam it…).

The other thing I think is important is having a good move library. This is something I struggle with in sport climbing because I don’t have quite as much experience as with trad and so I’m still working on building my move library. But the more kinds of moves your body knows how to do, and holds your hands and feet know how to grab, the more tools you have to figure out a difficult sequence onsight. The great thing about building your move library is that you can do it on redpoints, toprope, bouldering, whatever…

Basically, variety is key and that’s why its great to live here in SoCal where there’s so many very different options – the quarry, Echo cliff, Malibu, NJC, Red Rocks plus all the more traditional areas like J-Tree, Tahquitz, the Needles.

Let’s go rock climbing 😀

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