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Why is crack climbing more fun than face climbing ?

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Postby Mark Straub » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:05 pm

CClaude wrote:As for basaltic cracks, try this one

Image


Why is he using an American Death Triangle for pro?

-Mark
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Postby kevin trieu » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:57 pm

rhyang wrote:.. you jam more vertically instead of sticking your foot straight in .. hard to explain online...


I'm not a 12 crack climber but that's the basic or foundation of a correct start of foot jam. The same as a ham jam. Majority of the time you want to go with big toe up, small toe down, with the bottom of your shoes paralleling the crack. How deep you stick your foot in depending on the size of the crack and foot. After that you want to twist your foot and lock. A correct foot or hand jam should NOT hurt. Crack climbing technique came to me easy. A lot of my friends cannot climb crack and think it is not natural climbing technique. There's a constant fear of their hand or foot getting stuck should they fall.

Not the best picture but it goes something like this:
Image
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Postby lisae » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:27 am

kevin trieu wrote:
rhyang wrote:.. you jam more vertically instead of sticking your foot straight in .. hard to explain online...


I'm not a 12 crack climber but that's the basic or foundation of a correct start of foot jam. The same as a ham jam. Majority of the time you want to go with big toe up, small toe down, with the bottom of your shoes paralleling the crack. How deep you stick your foot in depending on the size of the crack and foot. After that you want to twist your foot and lock. A correct foot or hand jam should NOT hurt. Crack climbing technique came to me easy. A lot of my friends cannot climb crack and think it is not natural climbing technique. There's a constant fear of their hand or foot getting stuck should they fall.

Not the best picture but it goes something like this:
Image


That is exactly what hurts my ankles . . . turning my foot so I can put it in a crack with the big toe up, small toe down, then twisting it. If a crack is wide enough that I can use a heel - toe jam, it doesn't hurt.
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Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:32 am

REAL men.... climb cracks....

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Postby lisae » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:57 am

Gary Schenk wrote:
lisae wrote:That is exactly what hurts my ankles . . . turning my foot so I can put it in a crack with the big toe up, small toe down, then twisting it. If a crack is wide enough that I can use a heel - toe jam, it doesn't hurt.


Maybe you have the wrong shoes.


I wear mythos, generally, so I don't think it is my shoes. I do have arthritis in my feet and ankles and I really think the pain is related to that.
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Postby kevin trieu » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:26 am

lisae wrote:
Gary Schenk wrote:
lisae wrote:That is exactly what hurts my ankles . . . turning my foot so I can put it in a crack with the big toe up, small toe down, then twisting it. If a crack is wide enough that I can use a heel - toe jam, it doesn't hurt.


Maybe you have the wrong shoes.


I wear mythos, generally, so I don't think it is my shoes. I do have arthritis in my feet and ankles and I really think the pain is related to that.


I'm going to be a jackass and say crack climbing is not for you. Certain type of climbing is just not meant for certain people. For me it is face/friction climbing. I just cannot climb any friction/slab stuff in Joshua Tree. I would jump on any 9/10 crack in Josh but anything beyond 8 friction/slab and I start the "elvis legs." Give me a "hard" crack in Indian Creek anytime over the 5.7R in Tuolumne Meadows. I sweat bullets climbing any of those "sport" friction stuff in Tuolumne Meadows.
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Postby kevin trieu » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:34 am

Sierra Ledge Rat wrote:REAL men.... climb cracks....

Image


Nice moobs. :lol:

Say yes to crack!

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Postby ksolem » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:42 am

Mark Straub wrote:Why is he using an American Death Triangle for pro?

-Mark


Mark that is a good question and shows you are observant. I think that is actually the use of opposition, the lower piece is set for upward pull and it's purpose is to keep the upper nut (the one which matters in a fall) from lifting out of it's placement as the leader climbs by.

You should check the web for a copy of "Learning To Rock Climb" by Mike Loughman. It's an old book and some bits are dated, but it has great pictures and drawings of all the old school trad protection techniques. It should be cheap too.

If you can't find it pm me. If you give "scouts honor" to return it I'll lend you my copy.
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Postby lisae » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:03 am

kevin trieu wrote:
lisae wrote:
Gary Schenk wrote:
lisae wrote:That is exactly what hurts my ankles . . . turning my foot so I can put it in a crack with the big toe up, small toe down, then twisting it. If a crack is wide enough that I can use a heel - toe jam, it doesn't hurt.


Maybe you have the wrong shoes.


I wear mythos, generally, so I don't think it is my shoes. I do have arthritis in my feet and ankles and I really think the pain is related to that.


I'm going to be a jackass and say crack climbing is not for you. Certain type of climbing is just not meant for certain people. For me it is face/friction climbing. I just cannot climb any friction/slab stuff in Joshua Tree. I would jump on any 9/10 crack in Josh but anything beyond 8 friction/slab and I start the "elvis legs." Give me a "hard" crack in Indian Creek anytime over the 5.7R in Tuolumne Meadows. I sweat bullets climbing any of those "sport" friction stuff in Tuolumne Meadows.


LOL! I much prefer face/friction climbing. I do have decent foot work.
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Postby ksolem » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:24 am

More crack pRon...

Insomnia makes you do it twice. Just when you think you have her done, up comes round two - the "10.d" upper crack.

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Postby fatdad » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:57 am

lisae wrote:
Gary Schenk wrote:
lisae wrote:That is exactly what hurts my ankles . . . turning my foot so I can put it in a crack with the big toe up, small toe down, then twisting it. If a crack is wide enough that I can use a heel - toe jam, it doesn't hurt.


Maybe you have the wrong shoes.


I wear mythos, generally, so I don't think it is my shoes. I do have arthritis in my feet and ankles and I really think the pain is related to that.


Crack climbing does require a lot of ankle flexibility. There is a lot of torque, as the picture suggests, however you do have to drop your heel pretty low while keeping your toes in the crack, which would bother your ankles if they're bad. I had a buddy who had the same problems after busting an ankle.
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Postby CClaude » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:15 pm

kevin trieu wrote:
rhyang wrote:.. you jam more vertically instead of sticking your foot straight in .. hard to explain online...


I'm not a 12 crack climber but that's the basic or foundation of a correct start of foot jam. The same as a ham jam. Majority of the time you want to go with big toe up, small toe down, with the bottom of your shoes paralleling the crack. How deep you stick your foot in depending on the size of the crack and foot. After that you want to twist your foot and lock. A correct foot or hand jam should NOT hurt. Crack climbing technique came to me easy. A lot of my friends cannot climb crack and think it is not natural climbing technique. There's a constant fear of their hand or foot getting stuck should they fall.

Not the best picture but it goes something like this:
Image


For some people it does hurt their ankle. I know a pretty decent climber, (he's doing .13's daily at the age of 52) but had to give up trad climbing (he was an old grit stone climber) because of damage to the feet and it just hurt too much. If it hurts your ankle, work with a PT and a good massage therapist to see if they can work on range of motion, otherwise it could be a specific limitation for your body (mine is a deformed pinky which is residual from being struck by a drunk driver years ago when I was out on a run).

Some cracks, especially as they get harder, will be painful (when Mike Sokoloff did Parting Gift on the previous page) he left a trail of blood because of of painful jams. Myself I added to the blood trail on the last 1/4 of Rubys Cafe at the Creek. Some cracks will just do this, especially tight finger cracks. On some finger cracks (tight fingers) leaving a finger in the crack as you fall away is a valid concern. Rattily fingers, ringlocks, handjams, butterfly stacks, not really.

The key is efficiency. I found that finding a crack that is difficult for you and practice it over and over until you have developed clean technique. Work with someonew who has super clean technique if you can. The PG-Sunnyvale climbing gym is actually well setup for this. For hand sizes, work thumbs up hand jams (which will come more difficult then thumbs down for most people. You can cover large sections of a crack with just a few moves with thumbs up jams or a combination of thumbs up and thumbs down. Work ring locks. Ringlocks will feel insecure for most people. Its a jam that takes a bit of power, but the real issue is the feet. At ringlock sizes you will only get a small outside edge of your pinky toes into the crack, or smooging (a smear/edging) on the edge of the crack. This will become even more important with finger cracks.,

Once you have a specific technique clean, work other techniques. The more techniques you have in your repitoire, the better off you will be.
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Postby rhyang » Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:02 pm

Lisa, I like Kevin's description above, but I hate the idea of giving up. These are skills that will come in handy in places like Yosemite Valley.

On the other hand I don't know anything about your arthritis. If I were you I would ask your physical therapist if there are exercises that can help, and maybe experiment a bit.

Over the years some of my partners have complained about pain initially, and then after a while they figure out how to do it properly and it becomes easy for them. I suspect that it might take some persistence and time to adapt and maybe some creative workarounds. How often we tell ourselves that we can't do something, or wonder how .. and then over time we just figure it out.

I'm an incomplete quadriplegic -- there is nothing that can be done for me except adaptation and physical therapy. But I've managed to lead 5.8 cracks and slabs. If I can do it, you able-bodied people can too :)
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Postby Guyzo » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:18 pm

Sierra Ledge Rat wrote:REAL men.... climb cracks....

Image



Rat..... Love your new profile pic. :wink:

Just what did you plan on doing if you fell off??????

Land in the snowbank.

gk :wink:
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Postby CClaude » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:47 pm

Guyzo wrote:
Sierra Ledge Rat wrote:REAL men.... climb cracks....

Image



Rat..... Love your new profile pic. :wink:

Just what did you plan on doing if you fell off??????

Land in the snowbank.

gk :wink:


Lets not talk about snowbanks, in 1 mile I had to push 6 cars out of the snowbank, and shortly I'll be going out for round two of snowblowing my driveway
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