Redpoint tactics


Saturday, 1 October

Redpoint tactics - A chapter from the future book The 8ABC of Rock Climbing

Dedicated redpoint climbers may spend years trying to send a chosen route. The way to get there often includes specific physical training, diets, stretching, visualization and the search for perfect friction and patient belayers. Most people don't bother struggling with optimization like this. Here are 10 quick tactical tips for the lazier climbing population.

1. Avoid getting pumped during warm-up/training
Start your training session on very easy routes. Make sure to always keep a good blood circulation in your forearms even though this means resting every 5th meter in the beginning.

2. Recruit specific strength needed for the crux
The more you train on the crux moves the stronger you will get. The muscle fibers will adapt to the specific move strived for. If the contact time for your fingers is longer than 10 seconds you should divide the crux into two or three parts. Rest at least 30 seconds between every hard effort.

3. Link and train on the last part of the route
Prioritize training on the last part of the route, this way you will fell comfortable and confident on your way to the anchor.

4. Tick marks/prolonged quickdraws/brushing of holds
Mark your hand and foot holds with chalk where needed. If it's a complicated sequence you might even want to use L and R ti indicate which hand to use. Decide the best position to clip from, even if this means prolonging the quickdraw. If the clip still is hard decide whether the gate should be to the left or right. Brushing the holds will make you take a thorough look at them and perhaps discover a better gripping position. Don't forget to also brush your Picasso drawing after your climb.

5. Describe the crux and your plan to get through it for your belayer, don't forget your feet
By describing and discussing your plan with the belayer you will get prepared to tackle the hard parts of the route. IF you are thorough you include where to clip and chalk. Don't forget to go through the safety!

6. Cheering (-breathe, good, crimp, come on)
Most people perform better with some cheering. Get your friends to cheer and remind you of e.g. gripping positions or your breathing.

7. Wait, rest and get the urge to climb
If you don't feel 100 % ready, wait a bit longer. Eventually you will get restless and totally focused on challenging the route and yourself with adrenaline.

8. Chalk up, breathe and start without tension
Make sure you have enough chalk and that your shoes are clean. Get rid of every indication of anxiety or tension, focus on your breating and visualize the moves during a minute or two before starting your redpoint attempt.

9. Climb offensive and take chances
The faster you get through a hard sequence the less time you spend accumulating lactic acid which may give you a couple of extra attempts the same day. Note that faster should be interpreted as efficient and without hesitation, we are not talking about speed climbing. You should also challenge yourself to take chances or climb with very small margins to save strength for the hardest parts of the route. If you have beaten your personal record by climbing in a passive and careful way you set the goal to low.

10. Go for a new personal record and an adrenaline rush
The worst thoughts for a climber are the negative ones like - I climbed badly in the beginning, and - As tired as I am now this is never going to happen... Try to see every climb as good training where the reward is a good dose of adrenalin and maybe also a new personal best.

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