Lessons Learned: Routesetters Clinic
“Where the heck have you been?” you may be wondering (& maybe not wondering). Great question! Two key factors came into play, leading to a delay in blogging about climbing. The first pertains to blogging and the second to climbing.
Blogging Factor: I’ve been doing some contemplating and internally debating on the direction I can go with this blog. After the major bust of my previous post/poll, I have come to realize that quality of content far surpasses the frequency of posts. I’m strategizing in my mind about how I can + ADD + value to the climbing community all while facilitating an atmosphere of collaboration. Alone, I have very limited knowledge and experiences, but together, we have more than the sum total of all climbing books combined. So I come to you with a proposition; if I promise to avoid posting fluff, will you promise to add your insight where applicable? Deal!!!
Climbing Factor: A month ago, I was invited to participate in a 3-week routesetting clinic for prospective new routesetters at our local Climbing Gym Franchise. It was a tremendous experience. I learned a ton about movement, mindset, and my own climbing. There are lessons to be learned in every experience and in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
And so is born the first in series of posts, Lessons Learned.
Lesson from Week #1 – K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Setters
What I learned first is that not every route/boulder needs to be comp style or gimmicky. My personality tends toward the analytical side (as if you haven’t picked up on that already). When I look at my favorite routes, both indoor and out, the common theme is that they are thought-provoking and sequence specific. But getting good at setting straight forward routes that still flow is a necessary foundation. This has inspired me to get back out in the garage and set some straight forward problems. One thing I will be doing is setting problems exclusively using each grip style and hand position.
Lesson from Week #2 – Collaboration is King
Remember the anectdote about the horses pulling? The horses individually can each pull 2000 lbs. but working together they can pull twice the sum, so 8000 lbs. A wise mentor of mine often says, “You are limited to the knowledge in your own mind.” I learned so much from watching other people climb my routes in their own style. This goes for just plain climbing too. Having a true partnership mentality with a climbing partner is OH SO valuable, and yet often tough to come by. I am more of a controlled technical climber by nature. But I will be seeking to partner with climbers that climb more dynamically to expand my schema. I will pay better attention when belaying/spotting to variances in body position and movement.
Lesson from Week #3 – Intentional Focus = Intentional Growth
This should have been a “Well, DUH!” for me. But as obvious as it is, don’t we all have those [face-palm] moments from time to time? When bodybuilders focus on a muscle group, it grows. Why wouldn’t the same apply to climbing. I’m not even talking about getting stronger here. I’m talking about how much we focus on technique and movement. Just being intentional with creating movements that flow, I have already noticed a difference in my mental ability to locate slight changes I can make in my own technique to be more efficient.
Those are but three of the lessons I’ve learned. What have your experiences taught you?
~ Climb 4 Real ~
Posted on February 22, 2013, in Holds & Routesetting, Lessons: The Series. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.
A few little lessons l’ve learned along the way…
1. Not every climb has to be stellar über-classic. Sometimes plain old “meat and potatoes” routes are all you really need.
2. When you’ve hit a creative block or you’re just not “feeling it”, throw a little randomness into your routine. If you normally set bottom-up, try top-down. Don’t look for a specific hold, just reach in your bucket and grab a random one, then see how to make it work.
3. Definitely watch other people get on your route! Sometimes their beta is way easier than your own preconceived sequence. Adjust ego accordingly.
Allen, this is spot on. I especially like #2. I have done a different spin on this. On my homewall, I’ve created some of my best movement by selecting a combination of holds already on the wall.