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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Foothold

 

 A foothold is a point on a cliff face where a climber places his foot, which allows him upward progress. There are three basic types of footholds: smears (also called friction holds) where a rock shoe smears against the rock surface for purchase; edges where a rock shoe is placed on a protruding edge or shelf, which is usually a positive hold; and toe holds, which is when aclimber sticks the toe of his rock shoe into a pocket or places the toe on a foothold.

One of the biggest obstacles for beginning climbers to overcome is to learn to use their feet and legs for pushing their bodies up a rock face, rather than pulling with their hands, arms, and shoulders. How many times has a beginner heard the mantra "Use your feet!" from their mentor, but usually that novice climber doesn't know what that means. Climbing footwork is subtle, it's not something easily mastered, but with practice in an indoor gym and outside at your local cliff you can begin to master footwork and push your climbing to a higher level.
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Push with Your Legs to Climb Higher
Most beginning climbers think about pulling themselves up with their arms when they are confronted with a difficult section. Just the other day I took a couple newbies climbing at Red Rock Canyon. As we hiked up the trail to the cliffs, the woman asked me, "Do I have to have a lot of upper body strength to do well climbing?" The answer was an emphatic "No!" But on the first route of the day, both climbers grabbed with their hands to pull upward, dragging their feet along behind as an afterthought.
Watch Your Feet Not Your Hands
The first thing you need to do is slow down. Take your time climbing. Most beginners get so hand-focused that the feet are forgotten. Experienced climbers always look down and find footholds before moving up on their arms. The more of your body's weight that you put on your legs, the less you have to strain your arms as you climb. Slow down, look around, and breathe.
Move Feet before Your Hands
The next time you're climbing, try to pay attention to your feet. If you have a handhold that is just out of reach, instead of trying to stand on your toes, try moving your feet up. Beginning climbers often get stretched out on the rock, almost lying against the face while trying to grab a high hold. Look for small footholds like edges and smears that are only 12 or so inches above your foot. Usually taking that short step will allow you to reach high to latch the jug.
Move from a Compact Position
Moving your feet before reaching with your hands also keeps your body in a compact position rather than being stretched out. In this compact posture you are able to keep your body weight centered over your feet and move from a power position.
Practice Your Foot Movements
Now, practice these foot movements at your local cliff or gym. Grab two handholds with your two hands and place your feet on edges. Next make two short steps, one with each foot, then reach to a higher handhold. Once you've mastered those short steps, practice making two foot movements with each foot before reaching a handhold. You will notice that stepping on higher footholds, even small holds, allows you to reach higher.
Learn to Use Different Kinds of Footholds
Okay, you're paying attention to your feet and you're reaching higher to better handholds. Next you need to work on how you use different footholds. One of the challenges of footwork as a beginning climber is learning how to stand on footholds, especially small ones; how to trust your feet on them; and how to move off the foothold without your foot slipping. Most beginners ignore small but good footholds, instead favoring big footholds, even if they are too high or off to the side of the line of ascent.
Footholds Come in Lots of Shapes and Sizes
Footholds come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and you use them in different ways. You smear your foot on smooth holds, letting the sticky rubber on the bottom of your rock shoes grip the rock surface. Other footholds are small edges that require decisions like "Should I use the outside edge, inside edge, or toe of my shoe to stand on that hold?"
First-Find a Foothold
The first thing is to find a foothold. As a beginner you need to learn to recognize a good foothold. Not all good footholds have to be big, they just have to work. Remember too that you are taking small steps, not big ones, so a small step is often an intermediate move between better footholds, it only needs to support you momentarily as you move up. Small steps take less power and energy than big high steps.
Decide how to Use a Foothold
Next, look at the foothold and decide how you might use it. Find its largest surface where you can get a maximum amount of shoe rubber. Look for bumps that could offer foot purchase. Smears often have ripples or irregularities in the rock surface that can grip. Also look for black rubber on the foothold from the rock shoes of previous climbers. Now place your foot on the best part of the hold and stand up.
Learn 3 Basic Foot Positions
Learn the three basic foot positions on footholds: smearing, edging, and toeing. Smearing is simply that-smearing or fractioning the smooth sole of your rock shoe on a smooth foothold. Friction between shoe and rock keeps you in place. When you edge, the edge or lip of your rock shoe grips the hold. You will use either the inside edge or the outside edge of your shoe on the hold. Most of the time you will use the inside edge. Toeing is when you use the toe of your shoe to stand on a hold or if you stick the toe into a pocket.
Practice Footwork in a Gym
Learn how to recognize and use footholds and then practice using the three foot positions. Practice using small footholds and figure out what works. If you're in a climbing gym, use big handholds and do bouldering traverses close to the ground. Put your feet on small holds, smear them on the gym wall, and use irregular parts of larger climbing holds for your feet. Experiment to see what holds work best and how much body weight your feet will support on tiny holds. Work at becoming comfortable on small footholds. Later you can take your new foothold awareness skills outside. You'll be surprised at how well you climb with better footwork

 

How to yous your hand holds in Rockclimbing

 

 How to yous your hand holds in Rockclimbing
Every rock face that you climb offers a variety of handholds or grips. Handholds are usually used for pulling yourself up the rock, rather than pushing, which is what you do with your legs; although you push yourself upward if you use a palming move. The use of handholds is somewhat intuitive; your hands and arms usually know what to do when you grab a handhold to stay in balance and to pull.
Learn and Practice Using Different Handholds
While handholds are key to rock climbing movement, how you use those handholds ranks below your footwork and body position for successful climbing. Still, you need to learn how to grip various kinds of handholds that you will encounter in the vertical world. Most indoor climbing gyms set routes with a wide variety of manmade handholds, which allow you to learn and practice the different grips. Practice using every type of handhold to gain the best hand techniques and to build hand and forearm strength. Read Six Basic Finger Grips to learn how to grab handholds.
3 Basic Ways to Use Handholds
When you encounter and then choose a handhold to use on a cliff, you have to decide how you are going to use that hold. There are three basic ways to grab handholds: pull down, pull sideways, and pull up. Most handholds that you use require pulling down. You grab an edge and pull down like you are climbing a ladder. For the other holds, you will learn how to use them through practice.
Here are the basic types of handholds and how to use each one with specific hand positions:

Brent Winebrenner/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images
1. Edges
Edges are the most common type of handholds that you encounter on rock surfaces. An edge is usually a horizontal hold with a somewhat positive outside edge, although it can also be rounded. Edges are often flat but sometimes have a lip so that you can also pull out on it. Edges can be as thin as a quarter or as wide as your whole hand. A big edge is sometimes called a bucket or a jug. Most edges are between an 1/8-inch and 1½ inches in width.
There are two basic ways to use your hands on an edge—crimp grip and open hand grip. Crimping is grabbing the edge with your fingertips flat on it and your fingers arched above the tips. This hand position is usually solid but there is the danger of possible damage to your finger tendons if you crimp too hard. The open hand grip, while not a power hand move like the crimp, works best on sloping edges where you get lots of skin-to-rock friction. The open grip is often used on sloping holds. Use chalk on your fingers to increase friction and practice open hand grips

2. Slopers
Slopers are simply that—sloping handholds. Slopers are handholds that are usually rounded and without a positive edge or lip for your fingers to grip. You will often encounter slopers on slab climbs. Slopers are used with the open hand grip, requiring the friction of your skin against the rock surface. It takes practice to effectively use sloper handholds. Slopers are easiest to use if they are above you rather than to the side so that you can keep your arms straight for maximum leverage when gripping them. Slopers are easiest to use in cool dry conditions, rather than in hot sweaty weather when you can grease off them. Remember to chalk up good.
If you’re climbing and encounter a sloper, feel around with your fingers to find the best part of the hold. Sometimes you will find a slight ridge or bump that allows a better grip. Now warp your hand onto the hold with your fingers close together. Feel around with your thumb to see if there is a bump that you can press it against.

3. Pinches
A pinch is a handhold that is gripped by pinching it with your fingers on one side and your thumb opposed on the other. Pinches are usually edges that protrude from the rock surface like a book, although sometimes pinches are small knobs and crystals or two side-by-side pockets, which are gripped as you would the finger holes in a bowling ball. Pinches are often small, requiring your fingers and thumb to be close together. These small pinches are usually strenuous. Pinch these small holds with your thumb opposed to either your index finger or your index and middle fingers, which when stacked on each other are much stronger than just the index finger. Wide pinches that are the width of your hand are usually the easiest to grip and hold onto. On these big pinches, oppose your thumb with all your fingers.

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4. Pockets
Pockets are literally various-sized holes in the rock surface, which a climber uses as a handhold by putting anywhere from one finger to all four fingers inside the hole. Pockets come in all shapes from ovals to oblongs and in various depths. Shallow pockets are more difficult to use than deep pockets. Pockets are commonly found on limestone cliffs like Ceuse in France and Shelf Road in Colorado.
Usually you will insert as many fingers as you can comfortably fit into a pocket. Feel inside the pocket’s floor with your finger tips to find dimples and lips that your fingers can pull against. Some pockets, especially ones that have a sloped floor, are also utilized as sidepulls, with the fingers pulling against the side of the pocket rather than the bottom.
The best pockets to use are either three-finger pockets or two-finger pockets, while the hardest and most strenuous pockets are one-finger or monodoigt pockets. Be careful using one-finger pockets since you can severely stress and injure your finger tendons if you pull our whole weight on the hold. Whenever you use one- and two-finger pockets, always use your strongest fingers—the middle finger for monodoigts and the middle and ring fingers for two finger pockets.

5. Sidepulls
A sidepull handhold is usually an edge that is vertically or diagonally oriented and is located to your side rather than above you when you’re climbing. Sidepulls are holds that you pull sideways on instead of straight down. Sidepulls, sometimes called layaways, work because you oppose the pulling force that your hand and arm exert on the hold with your feet or opposite hand.
Usually you will pull outward on the sidepull hold, while pushing a foot in the opposite direction with the opposing forces keeping you in place. For example, if the sidepull is to your left, then lean right to maximize the opposition with your body’s weight. Use a sidepull with your fingers and palm facing toward the hold and your thumb facing upward. Sidepulls also work great by turning your hip toward the wall and standing on the outside edge of your climbing shoe. This position often allows you to make a high reach with your free hand.


6. Gastons
A Gaston (pronounced gas-tone), named for the stylish French climber Gaston Rebuffat, is a handhold that is similar to a sidepull. Like a sidepull, a Gaston is a hold that is oriented either vertically or diagonally and is usually in front of your torso or face. To use a Gaston, grab the hold with your fingers and palm facing into the rock and your thumb pointing downward. Bend your elbow at a sharp angle and point it away from your body. Now crimp your fingers on the edge and pull outward like you’re trying to open a sliding door. Again, like a sidepull, a Gaston requires opposition with your feet to make it work best. Gastons can be strenuous but it’s worth practicing the move because you will find it on lots of routes.

Ian uses an undercling with his left hand on a hard route at Penitente Canyon
7. Undercling
An undercling is exactly that—a hold that is gripped on its underside with your fingers clinging to the outside edge of it. Underclings come in all shapes and sizes, including diagonal and horizontal cracks, inverted edges, pockets, and flakes. Underclings, like sidepulls and Gastons, require body tension and opposition to work best.
To make an undercling move, grip the upside-down hold with your palm facing up and your thumb pointing outward. Now move up on the hold by pulling out on the undercling and pasting your feet against the wall below in opposition. Sometimes you can make an undercling move with only your thumb beneath the hold and your fingers pinching above. Underclings work best if the hold is near your mid-section. The higher the undercling move, the more off-balance you will feel until you move up on the hold. Underclings can be strenuous, so use straight arms whenever possible to lessen muscle fatigue in your arms.

8. Palming
If no handhold exists, then you have to palm the rock surface with an open hand, relying on hand-to-rock friction and pushing into the rock with the heel of your palm to keep your hand in place. Palming works great on slab climbs where no clearly defined handholds exist and they also help save lots of arm strength because you push with your palm rather than pull with your hand and arm.
To use a palming handhold, find a dimple in the rock surface and turn your hand so your palm faces toward the rock. Next, press down on the rock with the heel of your hand below your wrist. Palming allows you to move a foot up to another foothold while your body weight is concentrated on the palm. Sometimes you can also use a palm on the vertical walls of a corner or dihedral, pressing your palms against the walls and opposing your arms and legs on either side of the sidewalls.

Zach matches hands on a big handhold at Red Rock Canyon in Colorado. Photograph © Stewart M. Green
9. Matching Hands
Matching is when you match your hands on a large handhold, often a wide edge or rail of rock, next to each other. Matching allows you to change hands on a particular hold so that you can reach up to the next one more easily. It’s easy to match hands and fingers on big holds since they will be side by side.
It’s more difficult to match on small edges. If it looks like you have to match on a small hold, keep your first hand to the side of the hold with maybe only a couple fingers on it. Then bring your other hand up and grip the hold again with only a couple fingers. Shuffle the first hand off so that you can grip the hold better with the second hand before reaching for the next hold above. In some instances on hard routes, you may have to match by lifting one finger at a time off the hold and then replacing it with your other finger.

 

How to imp row your climbing 6 Tips to Climb

 

 How to imp row your climbing 6 Tips to Climb Outside
While indoor gym climbing is a great place to start, to learn basic movement techniques, and to get stronger, it is not rock climbing—it is training for the real thing. If you start climbing in an indoor gym, use these six tips to make a smooth transition to climbing outside.
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Tip #1: Look, Think, Then Move
Climbing is not just physical, but also mental. Before you begin climbing, study the rock surface and the cliff face. Look for handholds and footholds. Look for places to rest. Look for chalk marks or foot scuff marks that other climbers have used. Visualize your route and pick out the best and most efficient line to the anchors. Then move up the rock. Try not to waste effort and energy. Try to follow your route. If you get off-route or find that the way you chose just doesn’t work, then find another path. Stay calm and centered and solve the problem.
Tip #2: Don’t Hug the Rock
One of the basic mistakes that beginners make is to hug the rock. It’s great to love rock, but you don’t have to get that close. When you lean into the rock surface, or what climbers call “hugging” the rock, it takes weight off your feet and makes you feel out of balance. Climbing is all about being in balance so keep your body perpendicular or roughly 90 degrees to the earth’s surface. Keep your hips centered over your feet for more stability. Every hand or foot movement you make should keep you in balance.
Tip #3: Stand on Your Feet
While upper-body strength is important, especially on vertical and overhanging routes, climbing is more about balance and finding equilibrium. To be a good climber doesn’t require muscling up cliffs using biceps, abdominals, and shoulder strength, but requires using your legs and feet. A lot of the power needed to climb is in your legs, which push you up the rock. Your legs, particularly your quadriceps, are extremely powerful. As you climb, concentrate on pushing with your legs on footholds and pulling with your arms and hands. Use your upper body to help you find balance. Practice pushing with legs and pulling with arms and finding harmony in their opposition.
Tip #4: Use Basic Foot Positions
Besides using your legs, you have to use your feet. Practice and use the three basic foot positions—toeing, edging, and smearing. Toeing is exactly that—using the toe of your shoe to stand on a foothold. Edging is using the inner and outer edges of the shoe to stand on footholds, using sharp flakes or ripples. Smearing is placing as much of the foot and shoe rubber on the rock, as in slab climbing, and relying on friction to keep the foot in place. Smearing uses both the toes and bal ls of your feet to support weight. Use both your outdoor and indoor climbing sessions to practice the three foot positions.
Tip #5: Hands Keep You On
While your legs push and propel, your arms and hands pull on various kinds of handholds. Use your hands to your advantage with lots of different grips, including crimps and open-hand grips. As you climb, continually assess the rock surface to find the best handholds. Look for both horizontal and vertical edges, big holds or jugs, edges that you can layback against or climb in opposition, and cracks where you can jam or wedge your fingers and hands for support. Remember that there are almost no perfect handholds. Make do with what you find. Grab and grip the hold and move upward. Don’t over-grip or hang on too tightly. You will use valuable strength, weaken, and fall off. Grab the holds with a loose hand. Learn more about handholds by reading Six Basic Finger Grips.
Tip #6: Flow with the Rock
Climbing is about flow and movement. Don’t climb with a jerky manner. Instead strive for gracefulness and equilibrium. Climbing is not a series of isolated movements but instead like a vertical dance with one movement leading to the next one. Some moves are hard because the holds are small, while others are easier with big holds. Climb fluidly and try to stay in motion. Don’t stand around on holds and over-think the route. Reach and grab, step up and push. Stay relaxed and breathe as you climb. If you have to shift your weight to keep in balance, make sure that you transition the change smoothly. When you reach a big foothold or handhold, stop and rest. Shake out your hands and arms to increase blood flow. Study the route above and figure where you’ll rest next. Let your climbing movements ebb and flow. Be one with the rock.

Rock climbing

 Rock climbing is an activity in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a usually pre-defined route without falling. To successfully complete a climb, one must return to the base of the route safely. Due to the length and extended endurance required, accidents are more likely to happen on descent than ascent, especially on the larger multiple pitches (class III- IV and /or multi-day grades IV-VI climbs). Rock climbing competitions have the objectives of either completing the route in the quickest possible time or attaining the farthest point on an increasingly difficult route. Scrambling, another activity involving the scaling of hills and similar formations, is similar to rock climbing. However, rock climbing is generally differentiated by its sustained use of hands to support the climber's weight as well as to provide balance.

Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber's strength, endurance, agility and balance along with mental control. It can be a dangerous activity and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialised climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. Because of the wide range and variety of rock formations around the world, rock climbing has been separated into several different styles and sub-disciplines.[1