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!
So earlier in the week I decided to take another trip back to Snake Den. This time I was top roping instead of bouldering. I wanted to climb a route called the Rattle Snake a 5.12+. The Rattle Snake is the hardest rout in RI and having it less then five minutes away from my house in a blessing. The route was crimpy all the way up and required a bit of technique. All though it was a tough route it wasn’t that bad since it was over quick. The wall has to be around 20 -25ft high so it really wasn’t that tall.
When I was done climbing that route I was determined to keep climbing. However, it was hot, I was exhausted, and my fingers hurt. I knew with a few minuted of rest I would be good to keep climbing but I really didn’t feel like taking down the anchor and ropes and moving to reset up. I looked around for another route that would still be a challenge for me when I came across a crack. I looked up the route on climbri.org and I found that it was an un-named route that was rated a 5.8. Normally I wouldn’t climb a grade that low unless I really had no other option but I still saw it as a challenge. I have climbed a lot of different types of climbs but I actually have only crack climbed once at the gym. So I took this opportunity to change that.
I was a little iffy on climbing the crack because there were a lot of instances where my entire arm was inside the crack and I had no idea what little creatures were lurking around in there. I was also searching around in there for something to grab onto but sometimes I couldn’t see into the crack at all so it started to get really sketchy. But that didn’t stop me. As usual I quickly found my way up the crack successfully and unharmed by any small creatures. Off to the side of the crack I even found this really cool feature on the rock that allowed me to do perfect pull-ups. I had to take the opportunity in the middle of the climb to stop what I was doing and do a few. Show off? Maybe, but I most certainly had a lot of fun. And Don’t worry, once I finished my pull-ups I got back to the crack and finished the climb. I even went back and climbed it a second time just for fun.
So the other day I was putting together a small list of routes that I climbed because I wanted to apply for a sponsorship. I have climbed a lot of routes in the past ranging from 5.7-5.12. The problem that I ran into is that I have climbed so many routes and I didn’t want to write down everyone of them because I could be there for a while. That’s why I decided to send them my most recent. While trying to put together this list I realized that I have climbed almost every wall in Snake Den (that does not include bouldering). I wasn’t sure of the name of every route that I climbed so I decided to go to a site called http://www.climbri.org/. When I was going through all the routes I noticed that some of the ones that I had climbed were called “no name” and some of them, like Toast Master 5.11, had a really cool name. While looking a the site I noticed that it was very outdated but people still use it regularly. So maybe the routes are named and they just haven’t been updated on the site but it really bothered me that I had to tell people that I climbed “No Name” a 5.9. I would love to come up with a name for the few routes that are called “No Name” in Snake Den but I don’t want to be stepping on anyones toes who already call it something else. I guess it’s a kind of touchy situation. I actually am graduating this weekend with a Bachelor Degree in Graphics and Web Design so I should contact the owner of this site and see if he needs his site updated haha.
Well now that my rant is over I guess it’s time to inform all my followers that I did indeed get the sponsorship with OnSight Gear! They’re a really cool climbing gear company based in California. They make three different colored chalks to match different rock types and then they make the classic white. I really like the fact that they make different colored chalk because if more people used it there wouldn’t be any white spots all of the walls from climbers since it will blend in with the rock. Here in little RI most of the rock is a dark gray so the classic white chalk stands out a lot. I plan on buying some to sample off to some people in my area so they can see how it works first hand. It’s some really cool stuff.
So this past week has been yet another rough one. My grandfather who had been ill for the past few months took a bad turn and sadly passed away on Thursday. Hopefully this will be the last death in my family for a while but I can’t let it stop me from doing what I love. I find that climbing (or any hobby) really helps take my mind off of things. When I’m climbing it feels like all my problems just go away and I don’t thing about them. In fact I feel as if it may even make me climb a little harder because I know my loved ones are watching and I want to show off how far I have came to them. Over the weekend I decided to take a little trip to Snake Den Park. It’s only about a minute drive from my house in Johnston and I can even walk there through the woods if I wanted too. Unfortunately the people living on the farm behind my house don’t like me doing that since I would have to cut through the farm to get there. Anyways, I have done some top roping there before so I decided that this time I would check out some of the bouldering. I actually had a lot of fun and found that the there is a lot more bouldering then I expected. I’m not entirely sure of the rating for each rock that I bouldered but I could probably guess based on my experience. The one down side is the fact that not too many people actually climb in there anymore so a lot of the rock is very loose and I’m constantly throwing broken rock off of the rock. A few times I almost took a sketchy fall that could have left me injured but it’s funny how much of a better climber you become when your life or injury is on the line. Another thing about climbing in Snake Den is that since not too many people climb in there anymore there is a lot of dry moss growing on the rock that gets all over you when you climb. It may not be a big deal to some people but for a girl like me its pretty annoying. Especially when it starts to go down your shirt into your bra.
I also noticed some more top roping spots that I didn’t see last time I was there so I do plan on going back sometime soon to do some big wall climbing. I will also be back to boulder but I think I might check out some other spots in the mean time. There are actually a lot of cool places to climb in RI especially when it comes to bouldering. I do plan on doing a lot more outdoor climbing this spring and summer than I did last year. Being in the gym is fun and all but climbing outside is so much better and is a completely different feeling. Just being outdoors alone makes it even better for me. I see so many people just being gym rats and climbing in the gym all summer long and hardly getting outside. How can anyone be a good climber if they haven’t had that much outdoor experience? Does anyone else feel the same way?
As many of you may know that the last two weeks for me I have been going through a lot and I really want to thank all of my friends who have been there for me trying to keep me staying happy and my followers who have been there for me along the way. This week was definitely a good one. I spent the beginning of the week doing an athletic photoshoot (you can see the final image on my about page) and a few days were spent at the gym and a lot of time was spent enjoying the out doors. I actually ended up going to a glow party at the Peacedale rock gym on Saturday. They were throwing a three year anniversary party in the dark with black lights and a live DJ. I took the opportunity to go and enjoy myself. My friend Mike and I went together and had a great time.
I did a lot of climbing and bouldering. I climbed a few 5.11’s and 5.12’s but I found it a little more difficult to climb in the dark. Some of the holds glowed under the neon light and some didn’t making some holds very hard to see. I sometimes wasn’t sure if I was on the right hold at all. It didn’t matter anyways because it was a party not a regular gym day. It was more about enjoying yourself and having fun then climbing seriously.
Here I am bouldering under neon lights
Don’t forget to follow me on snapchat! User name: ksparadeo
Did I mention that there was beer there too?! On the top floor in the gym they had a small “beer tasting” set up. It was pretty cool. Of course you had to be 21 plus to get up there so sorry to all of you under agers but it was a good time. I forgot what kind of beer they were serving but it was some sort of local IPA. I actually really enjoyed it. When I found out there was beer it was juts the icing on the cake. What a good time it ended up being and I will definitely go back if they ever throw another one.
I also ended up getting baby chicks the other day. View my Instagram on the sidebar to see photos! My brothers birthday was a few days ago and he’s been asking for chickens for a while so my parents decided to get him everything he would need to raise them and keep them outside. We ended up with four bantam silkies which are a type of show chicken. They’re not meant for eating and are okay egg layers. We also ended up with nine red rangers which are meat type and egg layer chickens. They’re still little chicks now and I know that all of them won’t make it but I’m so curious to find out what they look like when they get older. I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks! I’ll keep posting more photos!
It ended up being a better week than expected and I know that I will have more to come. I plan on going to the gym either later tonight or tomorrow. I came down with a really bad cold Monday night and it’s still kicking my ass so I’ll see how I feel once I get moving.
So last night I was climbing in the gym with my friend Mike when I decided to onsight a 5.11 on an auto belay. I asked Mike if he could film it on my phone so that I could see what mistakes I made and try and learn from them. While watching the video I did a pretty decent job but I noticed one small mistake at the top of the wall which makes me feel uncomfortable. If you look closely you can see at the top that I accidentally put my foot on the wrong foot chip, then fixed it by smearing it on the wall. This is something that I will have to go back and fix correctly or it will bother me. While climbing the route no one corrected me like they usually do because of the same reason I didn’t notice it at first. The foot chip (or hold) is that same color as the rest of the holds that were in my route (yellow). I was following the 5.11 route which consisted of yellow holds with white tape underneath. However, on that route there is also a 5.9 which consists of all different color holds with red tape underneath them. The footchip that I used accidentally was yellow with red tape underneath which is why I didn’t notice at first. I saw that the hold itself was yellow and I assumed it was in my route since all my holds were yellow. It wasn’t until after I grabbed the last hold that I realized it wasn’t in my route because it had red tape under it. I fixed it by smearing my foot on the wall. However, I still feel like I have to go back and finish it. The fact that this happened makes me feel so unaccomplished. I hate how gyms do things that lead to confusion like this. I feel that all the holds should be the same color and that there shouldn’t be multi colored routes and same colored routes on the same wall because that is what happened in my case. Other then that one mistake I feel like I did pretty well.
I also wanted to share a little something personal with all my followers. So the last two weeks have probably been one of the hardest weeks in my entire life. My aunt who I was very close with suddenly fell ill and my mom I tried to stand by her and the rest of my family as much as possible the entire week she fought for her life. I don’t want to get too much into detail for the respect of my family but sadly she passed away this past Monday. I tried to be there for my family as much as I could, especially my mother. She never thought that she would lose her sister so early in life and she has been taking it pretty bad. I stayed away from social media as much as possible over the last two weeks to be with my family. I was kindly asked by my mother and grandmother to write a poem for my aunt so I wanted to share it here with you guys. Let me know what you all think.
She was an angel walking upon this earth
She was the most thoughtful person I ever knew
She was strong, full of life and never lost hope
She is my aunt who’s nickname was Arby
And I always looked up to her
The most precious of flowers in life’s garden
Her heart was pure and her smile so beautiful
I’ll always remember her as being so generous,
kind and an amazing cook
As a child her and I spoke of heaven
And what we pictured it as
She told me her idea of heaven was a beautiful place
Full of flourishing flowers and tranquility
And that is where I know she is
And where she is happiest
Today she has taught me how precious life is
How it can be taken away in a blink of an eye
So for her I vow to live life to the fullest
While keeping loved ones deep in my heart
I already miss everything about her so much
We all do and we all love her so much
It’s only a matter of time until I see her again
-Kasey Sparadeo “
Have you ever been climbing with a friend/partner that was in such a bad mood that it affected your climbing? This happens to me sometimes and I’m not sure if it happens to anyone else. When the person I am at the gym with is in a bad mood it is really a buzz kill. I usually go into the gym amped up, excited, happy and ready to go. When the person I am with is cranky or down it’s really hard to keep that mood going. When I go to the gym I sort of rely on the friend I am with to be in the same mood. For instance I was at the gym last night with my friend Kyle. We were on auto belays at first and I was in a good mood on the other side of the gym and I was climbing great. I then found a 5.12 that I wanted to attempt since I just started getting back into climbing 5.11’s (you can read my last post for more info).
Climbing the 5.12!
The only problem was that I needed Kyle to belay me. I noticed after a while of being at the gym that he was very upset, cranky and being sort of depressing. I wasn’t really sure why he was like this but it probably has to do with the fact that he is a breakfast cook and wakes up at 5am everyday and is usually in bed by 9:00. Well it was almost 9:30 so that explains his mood. I couldn’t shake the negativity and the bad energy really rubbed off on me. Once climbing the 5.12 I made it three quarters of the way up and couldn’t make it. I jumped up for the next hold and almost grabbed a hold of it but failed. The negativity was getting in my head and I feel like it was holding me back . No one wants to jump when they’re in a grumpy mood and I know that on a good day I could have made that jump and completed the climb. It’s all about head game and I just wasn’t there. It really sucks that I got dragged down like that but I’m not going to be mad at it. I just find it really weird how that works. I plan on going back at an earlier time soon and conquering the 5.12 now that I know I can do it. After all the 60-70 degree days we’ve had here in RI over the last two weeks it is going to snow over the next few days and we could get up to 8inches. I hope it’s not as bad as predicted because I need to get to the gym! Hopefully I won’t have any negativity to bring me down. Do any of you ever run into the same problem I do? Or am I just crazy?!
I had a major break through this week! I climbed a 5.11 for the first time since I broke my thumb! A few months ago I broke my thumb and I suffered a set back that I have been pushing to work through since I healed. Before I broke my thumb I was climbing a max of 5.11 on the 30ft walls in the Lincoln location and 5.12 on the 45ft walls at the Peacedale location. When I broke my thumb a few months ago I was still climbing but in a brace. The brace restricted movement in half of my left hand. I was still able to climb but the harder walls became almost impossible while using only one hand. Breaking my thumb set me back to a 5.8 (on the 30ft walls). Once my thumb completely healed I shot up to a 5.9 then a few weeks later a 5.10 on the 30 ft walls. The 30ft wall are in Lincoln where I mostly go. Peacedale has the 45ft walls, which I can always climb a grade or two higher on, but the drive is long so I rarely ever go there.
Climbing my first 5.11 on the 30ft wall for the first time since I broke my hand.
I began climbing 5.10 comfortably a little over a moth ago and I have been pushing myself to climb 5.11 for the past few weeks. Breaking the barrier requires a bit more technique and a bit more skill. I have been suffering a lot with pinches on my left hand and any move that requires me to squeeze with my left thumb. Even though it is healed it is still weaker than before and I am now suffering with something called “triggers thumb“. I have been trying to work through it a lot by climbing walls that require a lot of pinching and doing a lot of at home exercises. I am hoping to gain the muscle back in my thumb. I feel that I may have been able to climb 5.11 a few weeks ago but because I never tried there’s no way to tell. Once I started climbing 5.10’s again I immediately jumped over to a 5.11 but failed. Yesterday when I was at the gym I was breezing through every 5.10 I did. People couldn’t believe how fast I was on-sighting 5.10’s. Once I realized that the 5.10’s were not a challenge I knew it was time. Once I climbed my first 5.11 successfully I knew I had to keep climbing and hopefully I will only continue to progress. Now that I can climb 5.11’s on the 30ft walls I know that I can probably do the 5.12’s on the 45ft walls in Peacedale. I will have to head there soon. I have REALLY good endurance so I plan on doing even bigger walls this summer. I also plan to keep progressing with my climbing. I know that as long as I keep pushing myself anything is possible.
Uhhh what a day! It started off real well. I had plans to make a trip to REI, then to drop off some work at the art gallery and then go to the climbing gym. It started off pretty well, I got to REI and bought some bike accessories. I was in major need of an arm band for my phone since I always take it with me for music while biking, running and climbing. I ended up getting it practically free with a $20 gift card that I received the other day for spending over $100. I needed a new bike rack to take my bike in the woods. The old one I had I lost when I broke up with my ex.
Trail riding in Snake Den Park. It’s less than 5 miles from my house.
After I went to REI I stopped at the gallery to drop off some art for the spring showing. On the way home I was so excited to go to the rock gym and climb with my new arm band. However, my whole day took a turn when my car started to not change gears on the high way. Along with that there was a bad smell of burning rubber coming form the engine. I pulled off the highway and into the gas station and realized that if I continued to drive my car it would catch on fire. I called a tow truck and sat there for almost two hours before it came and I was able to go home. It really sucks that it happened. My mechanic was closed so I left it in their parking lot so I won’t know until tomorrow what the problem is but I can guess that it is my transmission or something worse. I wasn’t able to get to the gym so my good friend Chris is going to pick me up tomorrow and we’ll go then. Hopefully I can get my car fixed quick so I can go to the gym and take my bike out more.
On a better note the weather in RI has been in the 70’s this week setting a record high in the state. I took the advantage to spend almost all week outdoors, mostlyhiking and trail riding. Also, on another note, many of you may know that I am an artist. I have a bachelor degree in graphic design and you can view my website (www.kaseysmind.com) to see my portfolio.
Here is some of my art that will be featured in the New Hope art Gallery in Cranston RI
I have had my art up for the past couple of season in an art gallery called the New Hope Gallery located in Cranston RI. This seasons work has a very “spring” feel to it. If anyone is ever in the area feel free to check it out! Opening night is March 29th so I’ll be sure to post about it the next day!! Hopefully my luck changes with my car situation, I feel like it never ends.
It feels really good to be in the gym this week. The last two weeks have been terrible. We all know that in my last post I talked about how sick I was recently. Well more serious things have happened in my life since then. At the beginning of last week I got a phone call from my sister saying that my grandfather had been rushed to the hospital. I know that when someone in their mid 80’s gets rushed to the hospital it’s never good. It started off as an infection in the body so they treated it with antibiotics. However, his body wasn’t responding to the antibiotics and his health started to decline fast. Towards the end of last week we were told that he only had a few days at most to live since his body wasn’t responding to treatment. But my gut just didn’t believe that this was going to be the end for him. It was real hard to convince myself that it was. A few days went by and when I went to go visit him the other day I learned that my gut was right. I was surprised to see my grandfather up talking and laughing. The doctor came in and told my family and I that he had an astonishing come back within a short period of time. However, he will need 24 hour care and the infection will still kill him. He has weeks maybe even months to live, but thats better than a few days. I think my grandfather can even push that to years. He’s a Sparadeo and we Sparadeo’s are fighters and never ever give up. Giving up just isn’t in our blood. I know he’ll only continue to make progress and get better. Anything is possible with my family.
Once I heard about the better news I was able to take my mind of things with more climbing. Between me being sick and my grandfather becoming ill I feel as if I may have declined a bit with climbing since I was only able to climb once last week. But I still got it! Two days in a row I crushed some 5.10s and 5.11’s. I even bouldered a bit too! I do plan on being in the gym a lot more this week. I may even do some outdoor bouldering!
**sorry for the bad quality photos!