Introduction to Rock Climbing
This site will not teach you TRAD climbing or it’s techniques as that is purely used when a pre-placed anchor at the top of the route cannot be fixed The area i climb,Southern Sandstone,United kingdom does not allow lead climbing,and i will assume you will always try to fix an anchor whenever possible.
This site however is for climbers who wish to climb and train,better and harder.
Southern Sandstone Climbing
The one advantage of sandstone is that it is very featured and therefore allows you to really develop your technique.I will cover the skills and techniques to make you a greater climber.
First started climbing on a school day trip to Bowles and Harrison’s Rocks ,Southern Sandstone,United Kingdom in 1976 and i did reasonably well ,climbing up to 5a grade but climbing in trainers i did not enjoy it.
Then i started going regularly with the Scouts from 1979 to 1982 and tried everything from Southern sandstone to lead climbing in the Peak District to leading in North Devon and Cheddar Gorge.This time i invested in some P.A. boots and later the E.B. boots and although they weighed a lot compared to modern climbing shoes the grip and technique improvement they gave was great and i soon found i was enjoying the climbing and pushing grades.Got up to about 5c/6a.
Gave it about a 25 year gap .Now i climb regular and have found a passion for climbing.
IMPORTANT NOTE! The most important idea that i learnt from my early climbing years is that you do not know how to climb when you first start out and that the ideas you formed of how to climb at the start really left a lot to be desired .You basically get in to all sorts of bed habits and do not want to spend the effort to get out of them.
Techniques used in Climbing
The First important technique.
Footwork is without doubt the most important technique of all.And footwork requires ONE very important sense and that is the sense of SIGHT.Footwork is all about SEEING WHERE YOU ARE GOING.
Feet placement can be divided into 2 techniques .
(1) The technique of seeing where you are placing your foot.
You need to look at your feet the whole time you are placing them as you apply pressure to the foothold,to be sure you can follow through the force the feet and legs apply,you also need to see what direction that force is moving you in as you make the move.
Think of it like you are going to move around an obstruction,you look where you want to go,where to propelle yourself in the right direction, so you are in the right place to move around the obstruction not just fire the burners and hope you avoid the it,the process it made up of a number of connected movements that you carry out in one smooth action.That is what you want to achieve when you make a move in climbing.The principle is the same just that the move is vertical. and the same is with climbing.You have sight why not use it to your advantage.
Look where you place your feet ,as if you do not how do you know they are even on the hold.
Like you look where you are going when you move if you do not follow through and look for the holds and see where the move is taking you how can you know where you will end up.String them together and spend more time seeing where you are going and less time wondering why you fail to complete the move.
and (2)the technique of positioning yourself correctly to apply the best pressure and use the power of your legs to the best advantage.
Honestly i do not know why people cannot work out the whole move visually and then put them in the right sequence to achieve the move and still be able to look through where there feet are and where they want to eventually end up.After all it is only natural to see where you move and see where you move to as you would on the ground ,but just adapt the method for vertical climbing.
These two segments are about looking at yourself through all moves you make and look where you are moving from and moving to.
And like a lot with climbing can truly be only practiced when actually climbing.The phrase you will here a lot here explains it best,that is,”the best way to improve at climbing is to climb”.
The next stage in your progress covers your own personal climbing style and how it should be adapted is at Rock Climbing Style
Good basic technique is the key to hard climbing .It was when i was taught to climb the first time and it is still the best way to improve.