So I decided to put together my own personal list of climbing tips to maybe help some of you guys. Other people’s list may be different but you can always learn something from what people have to say. I don’t expect anyone to follow every one of my tips but maybe they can help some of you out.
- Stay Positive – Staying positive is personally the most important one for me. Not being positive can lead to unwanted frustration and give others a bad vibe. It may even cause you to lose your passion for climbing. Don’t worry, you will reach your goal in time. It just takes a lot of practice and patients and before you know it your goal will just fall right into your hands.
- Wear The Right Shoes- Wearing the right type of shoe for the type of climb you are going for may help you out. When I’m climbing flat walls in the gym I will wear my Evolv Nikita’s which are a moderate type shoe. (You can view types of climbing shoes by clicking here) This allows me to have a better foot placement and climb cracks when needed to. When I am bouldering or climbing anything with an over hang I will wear my La Sportiva Miura Vs’s . Since they are an aggressive shoe my feet can dig in nicely to over hanging rock and hep me stay on the wall longer. If I was using my Evolv shoes on an over hanging rock my feet wouldn’t get as good as a grip and I may fall off or struggle a bit. Wearing the wrong type of shoe can sometimes make a climb harder.
- Triple Check Everything- Whether your in the gym or outside in the crag make sure you check everything as many times as you can. Check your belay knot multiple times, make sure your partner is properly on belay and all of the locking carabiners are locked. If you are setting up top rope check the anchor also give everything a good tug to make sure everything is tightening correctly. Safety is big and it never hurts to keep checking. When out doors I’ll sometimes climb up to a safe distance and test “fall” off the wall just to make sure that everything is working properly.
- Learn/Practice Technique- Technique is key to climbing. Once you reach around 5.10, climbing 5.11+ is almost impossible without technique. Once I was at 5.10 it felt like there was a huge hump to get to 5.11. Once I brushed up on my technique I was able to break the barrier. Endurance is also key. Climbing anything 5.11 or higher requires you to have more endurance and better technique because you will be doing a lot of moves such as heal hooking, flagging ect. Here is a link with some good climbing technique articles.
- Train Hard– Like I said in the last paragraph. Endurance and technique are key to climbing. Practice better endurance by running or jogging long distances. I will sign myself and a friend up for a 5k that way I have something to look forward to and train for. Knowing that I will have a 5k coming up will get me to run/jog more outside. Also, practice core exercises, pull ups and push ups at home. I even have a pair of rock rings hanging from my pull up bar to practice on. If your local climbing gym has a training area I highly suggest utilizing it. Even if you’re not that great at it still attempt to do it because eventually your body will becoming stronger and you will be able to use it without a problem.
- Carry Tape & Climb On- Always carry tape on your harness. And if you are bouldering take it with you. Eventually there will come a time where you are going to rip your finger open and it will bleed and it will hurt. It happened to me tonight while bouldering at the gym. I ripped a huge piece of skin off my pinky and it bleed a lot. If I had not had tape to cover it up I would have had to stop climbing. Don’t use it if you rip your skin open a little because you want it callus over to become stronger. I use Metoulius Climbing Tape and I keep it on the side of my harness with a carabiner. Also invest in Climb On or a related product. I swear by the stuff. Every time my skin rips open the stuff does wonders to repair the wound. I’ll use it anywhere any time. I’ll even carry it out with me if the tears on my skin are bad and I know I will be out a while.
- Boulder More-Now I know that climbing and bouldering go hand in hand. However, I found that when I started bouldering more and getting better at it I started to climb higher grades on the big walls. This might have something to do with the fact that bouldering naturally helps teach you technique. Before I started bouldering I was maxed out at 5.9 and couldn’t climb any higher. Once I started bouldering I noticed that when I would go back to the wall I started climbing 5,10, 5.11, 5.12 and so on.
Now you may or may not have learned anything by reading this post but the most important tip that I could give anyone about climbing is to just have fun. Don’t take it too seriously and have a good time. The best climbs are sent when your laid back and just enjoying yourself and the company of others. Making a fun day out of it will make all the difference, I promise. Climb On!