08 Nov 2014

The climbing gym is fun

I’ve been having a great time lately in the climbing gym. With Jaro, Josef or Hannes, we go in the morning and work some routes. I wanted to remember the crazy level of obsession I bring to it by writing down my memorized moves for a climb I recently led clean (without rests or cheating). It’s 8- on the UIAA scale, which is about 5.11c. What a fantastic climb it was! I thought about it a lot when I wasn’t on it. I knew every move. Here is my story:

Working on this route Kauziger Vogel (8-, pink)

Lower section: Not difficult until the roof. At the roof, stand confidently to hold “pipe” and reach for left hand hold above roof. Clip.

Now, right foot on indentation, then huge twisting reach to the upper right. Grab that, update feet to one hold above roof on the right and left foot carefully placed on the “pipe” below the roof. Left hand grabs hold on the left, right hand grabs sharp/marginal hold on the right. Clip.

Crux begin: Left hand up to big hold, left foot up, right foot…I’m uncertain of what to do exactly here.

I think the next right hand hold is Painful Crimper #1. Right foot goes on Sharp/Marginal. Left hand on Painful Crimper #2, left foot, who knows.

Right hand on Shark Fin feature, feels like “Thank God hold”. Clip.

Left hand on Flat Feature Left. Left foot stays low, in Pocket. Right hand on Flat Feature Right.

Idea here is to reach up with left hand to a pink hold. Right foot goes up somewhere, and left foot pastes on slab. Right hand gets good-but-small hold.

The key now is to place the left hand on the left wall, lean on it, stand up high, and thusly reach a big-good pink hold with the right hand. Left hand comes over to match on this.


Here my memories get fuzzy, but the idea is to maximize use of features, to use the left wall for a pasted foot or a hand to lean on, at times extremely. The next rest point is a feature hold on the right. If you made it here, you are probably home free.

Feet are continually an issue on this climb. They are often hard to see because you are right next to the wall all the time. It often seems that the footholds are on overhangs or otherwise in awkward locations.


Now I have a new project, rated 8 (5.11d/5.12a), which provides fantastic fun. Here is a picture:

My description as of now. I haven’t led it clean yet, but I hope to (update: 2 clean leads!):

Start is not too bad, gets interesting once you are in a V trough. Must get right foot on lower left foothold to reach high left handhold on wall.

Next, left foot goes directly above on barely visible foothold (it’s underneath a structure triangle from your point of view), right hand presses on right hold, and you stand up and reach up and right for the next hold on left.

Clip high.

Once you gained that, you have to make use of the right structure edge to step higher, feet are on a sloping triangle. Some dicey moves in here are made easier by pressing up on a triangle to hold you in. A bit more work gets you to a position where your next hold is far on the left at shoulder level. It’s tricky (core strength) to touch it, but once you do your object is to get DIRECTLY BELOW IT.

Also, don’t try to clip above your head here because the balance is poor.

This isn’t so hard with some fancy footwork. Your feet are on a slopy triangle. Reserve the far left edge of the triangle for your right foot, which crosses over the left foot. Now the left foot goes out in space left, and you can shift your center of gravity to below the big handhold on the left.

Grab it with both hands, swing underneath, work to get your left foot on a high small foothold, and left hand up to a large left handhold on the same long vertical triangle as the main handhold. Clip.

Now heel hook the right foot on the right side handhold, scrabble with fingers on the structure where the triangle merges into the face, and work to get your right foot to a standing position on that right side handhold. Once this is done you can push up on that right leg to stand up. It seems to help to maintain an orientation on the RIGHT of the big triangle during the stand up.

Grab a handhold on the face. Clip high here. I think with right hand, then left, adjust your feet high so the left foot is on the triangle merging into the face spot, and right foot on the left facet of a structure triangle on the right. Right hand on a higher hold, but keep room to match and let the left hand take the spot.

A crux move here. You need to bring your left foot to the self-same left facet of the structure triangle, and move your right foot to the right side of it. Then bring your left foot to that side too.

Then (core strength!) reach far right for a poor handhold, touch it. Then look up to a triangular feature, and with an out breath and an inward/upward movement transfer this right hand to the top of the triangular feature. Now bring your right foot far right to heel hook a brown blob, then adjust to stand on it.

The left hand joins the right on the structure triangle, changing positions somewhat.

Keep center of gravity moving right and stand up on that foot. You’ll reach some thank god holds.

Along in here is a rest…milk it!! If you made it here without falling, you should be able to finish clean.

Now some straightforward movement up. The next problem is to reach a handhold far, far on the left.

Undercling a hold, feet on structure triangle slab, one foot goes far left, stamp it and press hard to hold yourself into the wall. Move the center of gravity left and grab the left hold before you fall off.

From here, it’s all enjoyment. 3-4 more moves to the anchor.