Warm winter fingers = Talent for top climbers?


Friday, 7 January

Is the potential to climb in freezing conditions a positive marker for being a top climber? Over the years, I have heard and seen many top climbers that can climb in very cold conditions. This has also been confirmed by four polls where actually 6 % say they prefer hardcore bouldering in freezing conditions and another 33 % voted 4 degrees is optimal.

Some are born with warm fingers and this should relate to having great blood circulation in the forearms. When such a forearm is exposed to climbing training, the size of the muscle and the number of capillaries might increase the possibility to climb on the rock in freezing conditions. What if you could test how warm fingers 100 beginners have and that you later could find a correlation with climbing performance?
This theory could be backed up from a medical point of view as one symptom of compartment syndrome is actually cold fingers and toes. The syndrome stops the blood circulation and the forearm will swell and could remain stiff for hours after a climbing session. What is your take on this new theory?

In the picture, Eva Hammelmüller climbs an 8b+ in minus 2 degrees, no sun and a nasty wind.

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