Faster Sending – Chunk it Down – Learn how to use a chunking down strategy to send your project more quickly. It usually requires a lot of patience, dedication, and time to send a project route. But some approaches can help you send your project faster than others can do!
Chunk it Down – If you are used to redpointing you may be able to do this successfully from the ground. If not then you can do it when on the route. Try to break the route down into 3, 4, 5 or 6 manageable chunks. This may be by counting the total number of bolts and dividing it up or maybe something like easy section to crux, crux section, easy section to chains. Over time these chunks will change and get less in number as you link them up.
Top Down – Get to the top of your project by whatever means, climbing, bolt to bolt, clipstik. Then lower down one bolt and climb back to the top. If successful lower down two bolts and climb back up to the top. Carry on like this until you can climb from the bottom to the top in one go. You will obviously hit sections that you can’t yet climb through and get to the top. These you must work until you can get through them and get to the top. What this system does is to ensure that you have climbed the upper sections more than the lower sections. You will now have the upper sections fully wired. When at the top of your redpoint burn, fatigued and pumped you will sail through as if on autopilot!
The Crux – The crux needs not only to be learned but trained for also. When learning the crux sequence first look at the possible options. Try climbing each sequence and see if one might work, if not then look some more. Remember that you are looking for the most likely to succeed sequence for you and not what others have done. Remember also that it may be the right sequence, just that you are maybe not strong enough or flexible enough to do it yet. Obviously, you can try climbing the crux from the bottom up, but also from part way up or even down climbing. The top-down method discussed above allows you to lower to any point in the crux and climb back up. This means that you can chunk the crux itself down into micro-chunks and practice these bit by bit. Top down also allows you to safely downclimb a crux sequence. Downclimbing is a powerful way of unlocking the crux sequence but is a much-neglected tactic. You see foot placements that you previously didn’t, you position your body better, your balance point improves. Try down climbing next time it might just work for you!
When to go for the Redpoint – If you are using the top-down method discussed above then this point will be obvious. If climbing from bottom up with one bolt hang, then start your redpoint burns.
Rest – With redpointing a major point is to rest, rest between practice climbs, burns and days. Take 30 to 40 minutes rest between practice climbs or burns, but remember to keep warm in between. Rest at least one day between redpoint sessions, maybe even two days if you worked really hard.
In the end, there is no real shortcut to getting better at climbing, it’s a matter of putting in the work. But above all have fun!
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