Showing posts with label indoor crack climbing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indoor crack climbing. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Crack Climbing & Sport Leading Instruction #9





This month marks one year that I started on my journey of learning to crack climb. While vacationing in Joshua Tree National Park a year ago, I hired Seth Peitit of Mojave Guides for two days to teach me to crack climb. Not only do I love crack climbing, but I enjoy the process of learning the techniques of crack climbing. Since returning from Joshua Tree NP, I wanted to continue my crack climbing lessons. So every month I drive 70 miles north to Salt Pump Climbing Company in Scarborough, Maine for my lesson with Tino. Tino, the head routesetter, is a "movement guru" and I'm fortunate to take lessons from him. And today I had another super day of lessons with Tino! 

Several months ago I added sport leading to my crack climbing lessons. I find my lessons on sport leading to be really helpful and enjoyable to learn! The lessons give me an understanding and help me get accustomed to the technique necessary in the movement of sport climbing. It includes leading in the 5.6 to 5.8 range and the technique training I come away with has been most invaluable! 

I got my indoor lead cert from a New Hampshire climbing gym several years ago. In order to do so, I had to demonstrate lead and lead belay on a 5.9 route. I lead up to a 5.10 but most times I felt like I was thrashing my way up a route and didn't see any point in continuing. Discouraged, I stopped climbing indoors for a while and that caused me to lose my mindset and an overall interest in sport leading. Learning climbing techniques with Tino has renewed my interest in sport leading/climbing. 

For the crack climbing portion of my lesson, I worked on using and alternating tension in my body in order to climb through the pain and pressure. It was nearing the end of my lesson and I was tired, but super stoked to get up part ways of the overhanging section of the crack! On my next lesson, I'll push through the pain and pressure to climb through that overhanging section and to the top! The one factor that I keep in mind in all my lessons is that technique is uber important in crack climbing as in another other style of climbing. This is what keeps my interest piqued. 

At the end of my lessons, Tino gave me exercises to do to increase my mobility and strength. He also suggested that I keep a climbing journal. So I downloaded the Journey Diary and Journal App, and use that to list all my "light bulb" moments and lesson details to reflect back on. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Salt Pump Climbing - Indoor Climbing





Noreen and I spent several hours climbing at Salt Pump Climbing gym in Scarborough, ME. Originally we were supposed to climb at the Lower Slabs at Pawtuckaway but with heavy rains for the past 2.5 days and the crag being under tree shade, we cancelled and did some indoor climbing. This gave me a chance to work on the wide crack and Noreen a chance to climb at a gym she's never climbed at. 

In addition to top roping some of the other climbs in the gym, I did 3 runs on the crack route. My second time I made it half way up the crack before having to stop to rest. Working on building more stamina to finish the route in one sweep. Also, I noticed that if I didn't place my feet well, it was painful. If I placed my feet well, there was just pressure. I have to look at where I'm placing my feet, and purposely place them so that the rubber on the side rand makes good contact with the rock surface. I'm learning that It's really important to calculate just how deep or shallow to place my feet in the crack so that I don't experience any pain, and do it as quickly as possible. Having a really great pair of crack climbing shoes (Butora Altura Green) also helps! 
A short clip of my climb on the wide crack


Same climb, another angle - before my iPhone fell over! LOL!


Noreen crushing the 5.9 Pipe Master

Friday, July 20, 2018

Crack Climbing Instruction #6





Fantastic crack climbing lesson with Tino today!! After warmup worked on “Pressure Garden” the green route (right) to practice, what else, cross-body tension - and it was so fun!! The route is a dihedral and is supposed to mimic the 5.11, 5th pitch of The Prow on Cathedral Ledge - "Stemming" used to ascend. Climbing on vertical cracks is super strenuous but I have to admit, it makes the low-angle cracks outdoors easy. #crackclimbinggoals

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Connecticut Rock Climbing



Shaka from the top of Wiessner's Slab
Ragged Mountain, Connecticut

Spent the Memorial Day weekend with Nicole and climbing in her neck of the woods. It was amazing an amazing day!







On the first day Nicole and I went to Ragged Mountain. I wanted to lead a slab so Nicole showed me the Wiessner's Slab. I quickly learned their slabs aren't the same as the slabs I'm accustomed to in NH. 













Nicole didn't want me to miss an opportunity for an on-sight - so I lead Wiessner's Slab and it sure was fun. There were a couple of hand and finger jams as well as a couple of foot jams to satisfy my crack fix! LOL!

Right: bringing Nicole up!







Rain the second day so we shopped at REI. It was cool to see Wilson hanging out!















Afterwards we headed over to Prime Climb climbing gym to do some indoor climbing. There are two crack climbs (in the wall) and I got on both. They're both narrower than the crack I get my lessons on, but I was able to climb both several times. Still fun and it satisfied my urge to climb crack!










The last day we climbed at Pinnacle Rock. I followed Nicole up Double Crutch.  

Nicole at the belay up top!!
Trad is Rad!












Vee Zee (5.4)
FA: 1988 Claude Mallegol & Nunzio Marino

Then I saw this crack that I just had to lead. It's located immediately right of the Emerald City Slab. The start was tough and a reachy for me. It was wide in the beginning and my small hands and feet weren't jamming. But there were good foot places at the back of the crack and the crack was wide enough for me to fit up to my calf. However, as I got higher the crack narrowed and I was able to get a few (shallow) hand jams and a 4-finger slot. Near the top and at the end of the crack I was able to get a couple bomber foot jams in as well. It was an amazing weekend!






Bringing up Nicole on Vee Zee.



















Pano from the top of Pinnacle Rock, Connecticut

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Crack Climbing - Instruction #1


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

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