Thoughts on climbing and training

Iron, Granite and Rice: 5 Commitments for the Fall 2023 Season

With another esteemed fall season coming to a close, it’s time to tally up the scores, lick our wounds and retreat to our training dens and caves. The conditions here in the Northwest are dwindling in fits and starts, with the extended forecast barely providing enough optimism for me to keep the crash pads loadedContinue reading “Iron, Granite and Rice: 5 Commitments for the Fall 2023 Season”

Progressing vs performing

Determination is highly valued in climbing culture. But is it always good? Swiss legend Martin Keller recently climbed a V16 after another 150+ session siege. Johnny Kydd had an intriguing interview on the Careless Talk podcast about investing over 100 sessions in a V15. Much has been said about Daniel Woods’ winter in Vegas whereContinue reading “Progressing vs performing”

Getting what we deserve: counterfactuals, four-leaf clovers and V10 flashes

“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” In the last few years I’ve fostered a strange obsession with looking for four-leaf clovers. It’s said that finding such a clover is a good omen. But this is a bizarre conclusion to reach, sinceContinue reading “Getting what we deserve: counterfactuals, four-leaf clovers and V10 flashes”

KISS Training: Intro & April

Lots of climbers can’t afford the time/cost/energy investment of structured training. And lots of climbers make plenty of progress without those things. This doesn’t mean those things aren’t useful. But in many cases, progress is made not because of the structured training, but because of the focus that structured training requires to pursue effectively. AContinue reading “KISS Training: Intro & April”

Managing the beatdown: the long trip performance curve

It’s expected on a long trip that certain performance aspects will change over time. Maximum strength will usually go down due to a lack of focused training. Coordination and speed may improve or plateau depending on the demands of the problems being climbed. Endurance on the wall is one physical factor that can be expectedContinue reading “Managing the beatdown: the long trip performance curve”

The Joy Question

Where’s the joy in climbing? I ask this question in consultations a lot. It catches people off-guard, and the answers are often illuminating. My least favorite thing about this question is it makes me feel like a life coach. It’s a kneejerk presumption in the climbing community that everyone is in it for higher numbers.Continue reading “The Joy Question”

You are not your max hang

Intuition is an essential tool for the climbing athlete. As climbing gets more popular, training and coaching inevitably follows that growth. The pressure to organize and record and meticulously obsess over every trackable detail gains momentum each day. But you are not these numbers; and if you let them, they’ll start making your decisions forContinue reading “You are not your max hang”


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