Friday, March 16, 2012

Kiaran Ponders Projects

That Guy looks familiar (maybe even attractive)... Oh wait it's me!

Part of the fun of climbing is that you're constantly making new friends. Sucks if you have the memory of a wet sponge like me when it comes to people's names, but who needs to remember passwords when you can just etch it on your laptop?

Well recently I've met this upcoming talent Kiaran, or Kenan or Kel. Anyway, he wants to join in this blogging lark. So please give him a warm welcome.

Take it away Kiaran.

Firstly I better say hi! My name's Kiaran, I climb and Stan is letting me post on his blog (not quite sure he understands what he's let himself in for...)

Unfortunately I doubt my posts will be as witty as Stan's or have as many fancy links or be completely grammatically correct (I wish, Ed.), but oh well here goes anyway...

"Does this combination of glasses and glowing monocle make me wittier?"
(Completely fabricated Stan quote. I wasn't even there when this was taken)
So back to my ponder on projects, I currently have three at my local wall, Redpoint, and for those of you unsure what a project is, generally it is a route (top rope, lead or even boulder problem) that you attempt/climb a number of times beforehand to work out the sequence of moves and/or gain the confidence to do it clean (without resting on the rope) .

Often a big project is at the top of your grade or maybe even a grade higher than you've ever climbed before, but it can also be a project well within your grade or a route that even though you do clean - you just want to perfect the moves to help improve your techniques. I want to show you some of my own projects, for instance a pinky pink 6c on lead, and then talk you through one of my other two projects to hopefully give you some tips on how to use projects to your own advantage:

So this is my on sight attempt and it shows the need to practice your clipping!

My second attempt 2 days later...Not so good but a big help.

My first attempt did admittedly go a lot better than my second, however I was getting a lot of beta on my first attempt. On my second attempt I wasted a lot of time on certain moves and got pumped - however it taught me a lot about the sequence of moves leading up to the lip and how to do them quickly, efficiently and where I can take some valuable rests!

Unfortunately my subsequent third attempt failed because I managed to wrong-hand myself while trying to clip above the lip. I have also tried the crux section higher up and know that sequence of moves, another big help in putting the whole route together, and hopefully with a bit more work this project will soon go and will become the hardest thing I've climbed!

Just find a route you like at the top end of your grade and work it till it goes, practice makes perfect!

Keep practicing, I'm sure you'll be able to park someday...
I know this post is reading really self centred but hear me out. My other 2 projects are both leads and the one I want to talk about is a 6b that I went up yesterday just to work out the correct sequence of moves.

I lost my nerve and was pumped so had to bail and use 'bonus' holds at times, but I kept going just to see what would be in store next time around. By doing that I should breeze up it on my next attempt. So even if you fail on your on-sight attempt, keep going if you can because it is a great way to be prepared for your next attempt! 

Projects can in my opinion be the key to achieving that harder grade (and techniques if you're perfecting certain moves on a route), but don't become too absorbed - remember to work on your techniques and that there are other ways to push your grade. Also remember that you can't just cue montage music to shorten the time it takes to work on your project, it can take time so don't get frustrated.

Don't we all wish we could just montage to the muscles right here!
So now I'm going to let you get back to your lives, but not without leaving you from a quote from 9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistake (it's signed and fast delivery from Dave's store, Ed.) by Dave MacLeod:
A top climber will try the boulder problem 26 times for your 25, and do it on the last go.
Keep pushing your project till it goes!

Oh yeah and good luck if you do take my advice! :)

Kiaran Away!

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