If you are a newcomer to rock climbing (or even if you have been climbing for years), there are some tips and suggestions that can make you even better. If you have never climbed the rocks before, it is a good idea (and generally required if you go to the gym) for you to take part in the activities. But the classroom is shorter than an hour and will only teach you these basic rules and give you some safety advice. While this is of course extremely important, there are many other techniques that you will not learn in one of these introductory courses.
Rock climbing is both physically and mentally exhausting. Planning movements and getting closer to each climb from an intellectual point of view is more important than brute force. That’s why I suggest climbing when you’re tired. This may sound stupid, but if you are full of energy, you will attack the wall where you are physically tired, you will have to plan every step to consume as little energy as possible. You should climb more wisely, not harder.
You should always work with the wall, not with it. There are several ways to do this. First of all, you need to find and maintain your center of gravity. This should be kept in the abdomen and all movements should begin here. It is a good idea to keep your legs either directly under yourself or at equal intervals on both sides between movements. You should only move one leg at a time, which ensures that you use the lower part of the body to push you up instead of the upper part of the body. If you feel that you are going to contract your muscles…… stop moving. If you continue climbing, you will have a much harder time to get rid of the contraction than if you stop and rest for a few minutes once the contraction has passed. You can stand on the wall or rest in a harness while you rest. The latter will be more relaxing for the body, but will also require more movement to return to the wall.
Take a few moments between movements to plan the next step. Check to make sure where your feet and hands are and find out what your limb will be able to move to get to them. Rock climbing is not a race (unless you’re a sports climber), so don’t be embarrassed to move as fast or as slow as you feel comfortable.
When you are on the ground of safety nets or just hanging outdoors, watch other climbers. You will learn the best techniques by observing other, more experienced climbers. Watch their movements and pay special attention to how they move their weight, where they rest, and how they move from one foot to the other.
Improving climbing techniques is the most fundamental way to increase rock climbing. Surely, power and courage have their roles to play. But the honoring technique will be profitable for life.
And often overlooked resources are other, more experienced climbers. Start by watching them in the local climbing gym. Choose the route you found hard and watch another, better climber on it. What did they do differently? They will almost certainly have more precise footwork. Notice where they gently used the finger point on the small footrest instead of trying to count the whole foot on it. Pay attention to where they used the heel hook, where it never happened to you. Notice how good climbers will constantly use Egyptians (both knees facing the same direction) on hanging routes, so that their center of gravity is as close to the wall as possible.
You will leave this view with a checklist of skills that you need to improve. One of these skills will almost certainly be walking. You can improve your work with your legs by traversing and honing them. Then we return to the route and climb it with a new level of skill. You may be surprised by this difference!
What else can you learn from more experienced climbers? Look out for their breath. Is it slow and regular? Very likely. In situations where you have been stressed, do they seem calm? Almost certainly. Have they read the route better than you and found innovative positions to rest? Can you use these rest positions?
All this is a science of climbing technology in a passive sense by watching good climbers. It is even better to learn in an active sense through a partnership with them. Why not? They have to climb with someone. Why not? They probably learned from climbers who were better than them. This is how we make progress. Skills are passed on from person to person. By helping you, they devote themselves to climbing. And you, in turn, let’s hope that you will do the same.