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How to Understand Indoor Rock Climbing Sequencing

Learn what sequencing is from indoor rock climbing expert Cliff Simanski in this Howcast video.


All right everyone, right now I'm going to show you a little bit about how to understand sequencing while rock climbing. You'll notice all this tape on the wall as marking specific climbs. The idea is to follow a single color from the bottom to the top, which means that there's a particular way that this climb is meant to be done, and that involves the proper sequencing. So right now as I'm following the red tape, there's both handholds and foot holds. These holds over here are substantially smaller than some of these, which means that I'm going to try to identify those foot holds before I start climbing the route, so I have a better idea of how this route's going to climb, so I don't spend most of my time climbing trying to grab these tiny foot holds when there's really big holds right beside it.

So as I'm progressing, I'm trying to get a good idea about where this route is headed, so I know which hand to use to grab each hold. So right now, I could grab this hold with my right hand or with my left hand. But at this point, if I were to continue up the wall, my body position is going to start to throw me a little bit off balance. So the better sequence would be to have my right hand on the lower hold, and my left hand higher, which allows me to move my feet much easier, progressing to the next hold, keeping my body in better balance and better alignment. And now my left hand is going to be free, it's unweighted, and this orange hold coming up is facing in a much better direction for me to grab with my left hand, putting me in position to grab this blue one with my right. If my hands were switched, this position is far more awkward than that. So having my right hand here is certainly a better choice.

All right, you can take. And that's a bit about how to sequence while climbing a route.

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