Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Crack Climbing - Instruction


vertical crack, hand jam

While out at Joshua Tree National Park last month I did some hiking and worked on goals on learning to crack climb. Hired Seth Pettit of Mojave Guides to teach me basic crack climbing skills. Climbed for 2 full days (Day 1 and Day 2) and got on 15 pitches! Now I'm hooked. I come back to the east coast and of course it's cold and all my climbing buddies are salivating for ice to climb on. Meanwhile I'm like, "dudes, I'm still in rock mode here!" So I started looking for a climbing gym in my area that has vertical crack climbing routes plus instruction. Found one 77 miles north of me at Salt Pump Climbing in Scarborough, Maine with Tino Fiumara. Tino is the Head Routesetter and Assistant Program Director at Salt Pump. I spoke to Tino about my vertical crack climbing goals before I left for Las Vegas and scheduled my first lesson with him for when I return from my Las Vegas golfing/climbing trip.

Fast forward to today.....
I had my first lesson with Tino today and it was fantastic! Where I mostly worked on low-angled crack routes in Joshua Tree, the route I worked on today is a 30 foot vertical hand crack with the last 15 feet slightly overhung. It is the easiest of 3 crack routes at Salt Pump Climbing. My lesson was for 2 hours and it started off with warming up and assessment on 3 types of easy routes. This was so that Tino could see my movement, route reading, balance, strategy and strength skills. Then we moved over to the crack route. Before I climbed we covered jams, locks, rattly/insecure jams, lateral pressure and body positions. I climbed the vertical crack using hand jams in the crack while using my feet on the holds up the sides of the crack. It was fun, challenging and scary all rolled into one and I got to the top on my second try. And not gonna lie....it was work, but the constant body tension of crack climbing is addicting! Can't wait for my next lesson for feet jamming, but for now, I need to practice what I just learned!


crack climbing
Ocun Crack Climbing Gloves
Convenient, easy and fast on/off