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5 Tips for Lead Climbing in Indoor Rock Climbing

Learn five tips for lead climbing from indoor rock climbing expert Cliff Simanski in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So right now, I'm going to do some lead climbing. I'm tied in as a climber, Chaz is clipped in here is the belayer, we've already done our safety checks, I'm ready to start, and while I'm climbing, I'm going to give you five tips for how to lead climb, and how to do so effectively and efficiently.

One good tip is before you start climbing, to take some time and really try to identify the route. What I mean by that is to try to look for critical spots on the route where maybe you'll get a good rest or maybe some difficult cliffs. You'll notice another tip is that when you're clipping, you want to be doing so from a balanced position with a straight arm. Having these straight arms to make those cliffs is a great way to conserve energy.

As I move up a little farther, you'll notice my arm still stays straight clipping. I'm making that clip with a straight arm, and at this point, I'm pretty comfortable, I've good footholds, and I'm on a big jump hold, so I can shake out my arms a little bit to try to get some of that lactic acid out of there. I'll do the same with my other arm. This type of move, shaking out, can really help you to recover while you're climbing.

Another pointer is when to chalk up. So right now if I'm moving into a difficult sequence, I might want to chalk up before I go through it, so timing your chalk ups, when to do it, how often to do it, is something you want to consider.

So, on a similar note, while timing your chalking up, to make sure you're not doing it excessively, but just kind of as needed, a good idea is to try to identify a crux of the route, which is the most difficult section, or where you expect to have the most trouble, and rather than stopping in the middle to chalk up, or maybe try to make a clip from an awkward position, try to push through that crux, identify the sequence, chalk, prepare yourself, get a good rest and shake out, and move straight through that crux

Another tip would be that while I'm climbing, if I'm so scared of falling the whole time, it's going to make me over grip, which means squeezing a lot harder than I need to be, and putting a lot of weight on my arm that doesn't need to be there.

I want to keep it on my feet. So a great tip for lead climbing, is to get comfortable falling. You're going to climb a whole lot better if you're not scared to fall. It'll also make it a lot easier to commit to some of those bigger moves. So those are some tips that are really good for lead climbing to help you move efficiently and effectively.

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