Project Kong

The ambition to on-sight 7a by an older man returning to climbing.

Posts Tagged ‘climbing technique

Day’s of Power – how to have them and how to avoid an injury!

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I had a day of power yesterday. I felt light and every hold felt large and positive. I felt I could climb anything. Projects were dispatched with ease and I felt a huge reservoir of power.

The last time I felt this excess of strength I did two 7A boulder problems and a 7B problem which had been eluding me for months and it felt easy. But ¬†I injured myself in the process and strained a tendon in my left index finger and my right pinkie. I was so pumped up that I didn’t really notice until the next day. The lesson I learnt is that muscles have a Day of Power, but tendons don’t. Tendons (for the thousandth time) take much longer to get strong than muscles. But when I was pulling on a two finger half pad pocket on the 7B and felt light. I had forgotten that.

But yesterday I remembered it. So I didn’t charge down to my projects and start ripping myself apart. I had a great day felt like a god but kept it mortal for the sake of the tendons, which have only just recovered ūüôā

However for those who wish to ignore my warning regarding Day’s of Power here are the secret tricks. But you have been warned. My Day’s of Power always come after a couple of months of intense climbing where I can feel that I am¬†over-climbing¬†a bit and starting to ache. I then take a five days off and do one good day of climbing. But not exhausting. Then another five days without climbing. I don’t drink for a few days before and sleep really well. I didn’t do any other exercise apart from some yoga and antagonistic exercises like push ups etc. Then you will be ready. Basically exercise the opposite of your climbing muscles but leave the climbing guns alone for a few days.

Oh and eat plenty the night before and on the day itself never get hungry. Keep snacking so that body is full of the good stuff. Oh and a bit of protein at lunch seemed to help if you are climbing in the afternoon.

That’s what works for me:)


Written by Journo

August 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

Tangerine 6C+

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I tried this line for about five months over last Summer. Maybe longer. It’s really really thin with micro edges and small lumps for the feet. It’s not much better for the hands. It starts with a jump up to a slopper and then trends upwards and right along a line of small crimps and slopping holds to the end where you find a “medio bueno” (spanish for half ok) hold on the lip. Then to finish you have to do a really hard heal hook rockover for a great hold much further back.

The line might be harder than 6C+ but I haven’t done enough boulders at this difficulty to say. ¬†I think shorter climbers will find it harder reaching between the holds and footholds. But awesome moves all the same and really required a step up in my technique on both body position and feet to send it.

Written by Journo

July 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Falling practice

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I am back doing¬†endurance¬†as I have done my three weeks of bouldering and I can feel my muscles getting stronger than my ligaments. So back to mosaico and los buitress for some real routes. I decided to kick off by taking Dave Macleod’s advice of doing some fall practice every time you climb. So on the first time on No es broma a 6b on Mosaico wall I climbed to above fifth bolt and fell onto the fourth three times. On the last pulling up a bit of slack for a bit of extra air time. First time took a bit to let go but did get used to it. Dave reckons that until you find falling boring you’re still scared of it!!

I’m always suprised by how gentle the catch is on falls. It seems the longer it is the more stretch the rope has and the softer the landing. The only bad part is the swing in which hurt my toes at bit. But that was probably because Amy was attached to a tree so her not being dragged up the cliff didn’t soften the blow!

Here is the man himself taking a monster whipper on an E11 right on the last move. Awesome!!

Written by Journo

May 7, 2010 at 8:02 am

Bouldering in Albarracin

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Oh wow. How good a holiday can one man have and my wife and children loved it as well. I have never been to Fontainebleau so cannot compare. But the place has so many different sectors all within walking distance and all crammed with different shaped boulders all of different grades and character than it is impossible to walk more than a minute through the forest without spotting a line which calls out to be climbed. There really are boulders and lines of every character and it is like being in a climbers sweatshop. I just had the best time ever. Overhanging prows, upward trending travers following a sloping ledge, (coincidently my favourite climbing), beast rockovers on sloping top outs, off balance lean aways on sloping blocks with tiny incut foot holds. Just so many great moves and fantastic pulls. The weather was amazing, with loads of blue skys and a few snow flakes, but warm enough (about 10) to wear a tee shirt for the problems. The town itself is a medieval town trapped in amber. It is something waiting for an army of orcs to attack it, surrounded by walls, cliffs and a river its something out of a Lord of the Rings book. The province is even called Aragon which is either the name of one of the heroes or pretty close.

My wife and one of our boys on the totally unsafe metre wide walkway between turrets. The one in the background was featured in the Dosage V video.

The town is also only about four km from the bouldering. So it is super easy to get there and back. Here is a picture of our hotel which was fantastic. Really friendly family run place. Casa de Santiago and right in the centre of town next to the restaurants and bars.

Our hotel

The bouldering was great, but the grades were all over the place. They are just a guide as to problems. But there are a lot of 5 from 5- to 5+ which are so hard as to be nearer 6b. Most of the 6a and 6a+ I did were easier than a lot of the 5’s I did. Or in one case tried but it was so fierce I stayed away for fear of injury. The following problem is a 6a+ in Arrastrado sector. If you top out half way it is 6a. This is one of the problems which felt easier than than many of the 5’s. However the full traverse felt very hard for 6a+!

Sit down start with small but positive foot holds and on quite positive slopers..

So far so easy with a slightly tricky move up to the left hand crimper.

the right hand hold isn't good and the footholds get smaller.

the build up for crux. Off the rubbish left hand hold and going for the slopper with not much for the feet.

slopper on right hand and need to get established on that right arete. Didn't make it on my first go and had to rush off to sector Sol to meet friends. Definitely one for next time!

Written by Journo

April 5, 2010 at 8:08 am

Redpoint of Toda por la tapia 7a, Vudu Wall, San Bartolo.

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Got a smooth redpoint of a short power endurance 7a at San Barolo. First attempt tried to on-site it but totally blew my fingers on the third clip which is quite power sapping. My subsequent goes were all too weak and I couldn’t link it all together. The route also has a nice little sting in the tail with a final move which requires the placement of the feet on two very high and very small 5mm edges, before a scrunched up reach up for a finishing jug.

Andy, my regular climbing partner, took it easy on his first go up and hung on every bolt, checking out the moves without blowing his strength and then stormed it on his second go!! I was happy for him and gutted for me!!

So despite a hangover from my wifes’ birthday party and bad guts I dragged the whole family up there for another go and did it easily. The whole route felt great and not too hard.

Written by Journo

March 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Turntillburn verdict

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I’ve got to give this product the thumbs up. I have noticed a real break through in my strength plateau using this product. Every week I can feel myself getting fitter on it and my forearms reacting really well to it. It’s the only thing I have which actually exercises the forearm muscles in a dynamic rather than static way. For a climber who spends all his time gripping and holding a static position it’s a totally new feeling. I feel that the synergy between this and my other static training is huge.

I found it after looking at Eric Horst’s books on climbing training which go on about heavy finger rolls using a hugely expensive ball bearing sleeved bar bell and massive weights and huge spotting rig. The turntillburn seems to do the same from a rotating pull up bar. Check out the website as it has loads of good articles on it.

Written by Journo

March 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

El Helechal session

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the 6a arete from the ground

Finally found the bouldering area El Helechal near Bolonia in Tarifa. There are apparently loads more problems but we found plenty for a first session. We met a bunch of spanish boulders there who showed us a few of the problems. The sandstone rock has loads of friction and trashes the fingers but it’s an awesome spot. There are loads of problems there with grades from 6a upwards. The hanging arete is a really nice soft 6a. It is an off balance start off good holds and then keeping your balance upto a crimpy lay away with an awkward reach to a blunt pinchy crimpy hold. This allows you to get established on the upper part and make the easy moves to the top and off. Really nice warm up problem.

Same 6a arete.

Written by Journo

February 17, 2010 at 9:20 am