A while back, likely last March based on the date stamp, I read a blog post from Sean McColl about a French Training Camp he participated in. Right away I was intrigued by one of the activities he described as “Mangrove Power” or as my poor French translating from the diagram to the right, “The Mangrove Tree”. At the time I was guest routesetting at a local Lifetime Fitness climbing wall. This wall is actually pretty decent compared to other fitness center walls I’ve seen. They had 9 top-rope set-ups and some pretty good variety of angles. I thought of using this Mangrove Tree concept at that wall for 2 reasons.
First, to increase the volume and variety of routes in at least a 2-rope section of the wall. I wanted to have each of the branches/roots to have a theme based on movement type or hold type. In this section of wall, instead of 2-3 routes that were standard, there would be 16 combinations and in my plans 18. (Direct Routes on the outsides)
And second, I saw it as a way to train stamina. One key benefit of this location was the 2 hours of childcare provided. I was excited to develop my recovery abilities, both mid-route as well as in between attempts. I wanted to see if I could do all 18 variations in 2 hours.
Regretfully, I did not get the opportunity to give this a try before we moved and my membership dissipated. But the idea didn’t leave my head. Enter homewall v.3.0 and my modified Mangrove Tree. Modified based on the limited height and boulder focused rather than route focused. It’s still a work in progress as I only have 2 lower branches and 2 upper branches set so far. But here’s what I came up with.
How it works: Every boulder is a combination of a # route (1-4) and a letter route (A-D). The # routes are the bottom half of the problem. The RED hold at the top center is the equivalent of the center point in the French Mangrove Tree. Because these are much shorter and more bouldery, it is not really a very good rest hold, but is matchable and (*key*) identical to the RED hold in the bottom center. As well as the spacing and size of the white foot jibs. Once the # route is climbed to the top center, the climber drops and IMMEDIATELY begins a lettered route.
Like I said, its a work in progress, but at my disposal I will have 16 problems with 12-13 hand moves each. I plan on working some serious stamina, climbing all 16 combinations in a set workout time. I can tick them off systematically or by random drawing.
I’ll let you know how it turns out and, with any technological luck, possibly upload a video or two.
Thoughts? Experiences? Please feel free to share your insight. Or ask questions… chances are I may need to provide additional clarification.
~ Climb 4 Real ~