I have two Board Meetings recorded that will likely come out next month - worst bouldering tactics and worst sport climbing tactics. In addition, in my quest for currency I did a new to me V9 the other day with the most concise tactical assault I’ve ever used. Didn’t even try it from the bottom until one attempt prior to doing it. I wish we had filmed it.
But all that has made me curious as to the worst tactics you’ve seen or any that are pet peeves for you?
I feel like the worst bouldering tactic I see and probably the one I’ve done more than I care to admit is the ‘let’s just try from the beginning over and over in case I get lucky’ approach. Especially when it involves a tweaky move and you end up putting repetitive stress on yourself.
The biggest pet peeve of mine that I think is a terrible tactic is the thing where you “work” the big number super cool climb you have no chance actually sending because you feel secure failing on it. Rather than trying to build a base, do less cool climbs that are actually at your level and risk failing on a v5 in front of people who don’t care anyway.
Only trying a route ground up, and not trying it in overlapping sections. Then seeing them pump out and rest 10+ minutes at the crux before continuing to the chains.
Once on the ground they think that, because they did all the moves they should just go ground up again, forgetting they had a that 10 minutes rest.
I’m sure this endless loop approach helped birth the term “red point crux”, to let climbers identify and break through this pattern behaviour.
I pretty often see people try to send sport projects while hanging draws.
I also commonly see people (myself included sometimes) climb too much before getting on the project, leaving themselves to tired for more than one try in a session
Yesterday I applied rhino skin performance before climbing… I was slipping off everything. Learned that apparently I need more than the stated 8 hours for it to absorb. Come to think of it, I really made some huge mistakes when it comes to skincare over the years.
I watched someone floundering at the gym, leading a climb. I made the comment “well you could always set up a top rope and work that section out.”
Said person then proceeded to tell me that if he couldn’t lead it (as in, work it out while leading), then he wasn’t going to do it. Top roping was out of the question, he didn’t believe is doing that.
Walking away I said “good luck ever getting better”.
@AmirNickname haha it happens. Everyone’s skin is a little different but I start applying performance after sanding every night 2 weeks leading up to climbing outside. I’ll also apply dry spray the night before climbing. Pretty much keep those two constant through the fall/winter but I have really soft/wet skin and respond well to regular methenamine exposure. You’ll have to play with it a bit but Rhinos line of products are pretty safe to experiment with and work great.
@AmirNickname its a fine line to walk, but there’s also the possibility of it being too dry. I’d be careful not to assume that slipping = a need to be drier. You know your situation better than I do of course - I just want to make sure that is thrown out there since it’s often forgotten, ignored, or not understood.
Damn, I do love a good toprope.
Free-snake toprope is the purest form of climbing, I can’t understand the haters
@Kris I think I simply still had some product on my hands! The advantage being that I didn’t lose any skin every time I slipped off
@Pisyphus Thanks for the advice! I won’t give up on rhino skin performance just yet then. Maybe if I apply it the days before a climbing session it will work better.
@Bswitze I hear you, but I think not everybody wants to get better. I recently interviewed someone who did kung fu for 13 years, and he actively trained finger strength. On his first climbing session, he managed to top a 7a boulder. Terrible technique, super strong fingers. What intrigues me most is his mentality: he considers it cheating to brush holds, or start halfway up a boulder to feel the route. I think this is a remnant of his old school kung fu training: he is always looking for “the way”. Of course in climbing, there is no 1 way. But still, that’s the way he wants to approach climbing. He’s having fun, so who am I to argue otherwise.
(and something tells me he’ll let go of his strict views within a couple of months, but we’ll see)
Not resting between attempts for me on boulders. Also being mindful to add more rest time throughout my session as it progresses has helped me some. Brush the holds, talk through moves with partner/review video, and just take in the view have helped me.
Last bad tactic: using other people’s tick marks… they have steered me wrong more than they have helped me.
Not pulling back on (or boinking) and then practicing the top of a route. I have climbed with quite a few people who when trying to redpoint a route they really haven’t tried that much, they just immediately default to “lower me” when they fall off. Get back up there and practice the thing!
Not brushing, not rehearsing top outs, refusing to use a power spot through an easy section to try harder moves/ never stacking pads to pull on, climbing in the direct sun, not taking video, always trying from the start, not bringing a skin kit… all things I’m guilty of.
My #1 bad tactic pet peeve is when someone asks for beta and then says “I can’t reach that I’m not tall enough” without ever even trying the beta. I always try the ‘tall beta’ and sometimes it totally works for me and sometimes it’s just comical, but I always try it before dismissing it.
Another big annoyance is when people walk around feeling holds on a boulder without bringing a chalk bag and a brush or pull on without chalk. The same people also put their feet on footholds while wearing dirty approach shoes not realizing that they need to clean things afterwards.
Anyway I had to learn not to do all of these things and still do most of them. I’m a huge offender of not rehearsing top outs and rapid firing.
@WickedC I’m guilty of yelling at the college bro (not stereotyping, just stating facts), warming up in flip flops. Don’t put your flip flop feet on the holds!
I’m guilty of it and am refinding my own around it, but trying it from the bottom over and over without ever low pointing, repeating, exploring new beta, walking away… So easy think “it’s right there,” or “I’m so close,” without ever trying to break down sections of it. Sometimes you need a win! Whether that is a move, a link, a summit, who knows.
Just last week my friend misread the label on Rhino Mikey`s Tip Juice that says apply 1nce a week, he applied it 2 times a day, his friction next 2 weeks was like glass against glass.
I was listening to the Patron Podcast and heard you talk about this. What a friggen awesome moment. I would like to employ something like this one day. Cool stuff, thanks for sharing it. I actually went searching in the forums for it.
Yes! Ticks suck! Followed a nice line of ticks up what would have been a very good for me onsight a couple weeks ago only to throw for a tick that was a sloper on the left when jugs were to my right. Helped/didn’t help! Super annoying. I hate wondering what would’ve happened had the rig not been ticked to death, so yeah, I’m the one cleaning all y’all’s ticks off at The Red. Not sorry!