Tag: training

equipment | Climbing ETIQUETTE – How to show you are NOT a douchebag

I sincerely wonder why I didn’t write about this before! Just this morning on a little training session in the bouldering gym I was reminded how “mainstream” climbing and particularly bouldering has become!

Frankonia | Old Days [1996]

Frankonia | Old Days [1996]

20 years ago, there was a bunch of boys and girls trying to fight their way through deep undergrowth and off the beaten path in some woods to get to the holy grail. The latter mostly in form of a dark, soggy, moss covered rock deep in the forest. True that rarely happens with today’s boulderers or climbers, and true also that we already discovered the “easy” potential out there. Or the alternative scenario when back in the days you arrived at your favorite climbing spot and some 65 year old veteran was jogging up that 60m slopy and technical 5c completely unprotected, without chalk and in his EBs. That was long before Alex Honnold could even say “Mama”. However some of the stuff that used to make the difference in climbing and how climbers interacted somehow seems to have gotten lost along the way from the veteran to modern day industrialized climbing gyms. Thus for those that still care, here the basic points for climbing etiquette:

  1. Always watch out for others, if you are in a route make sure your moves don’t impact someone left, right or below you. In a climbing gym do watch out if you are the belayer that you don’t drop your partner on someones head.
  2. Do not enter a route or a boulder where others are training, without their consent, especially in a bouldering gym, do NOT enter a boulder that crosses into a boulder that others are doing.
  3. Outside watch out where you step or what you grab. If you reach an area which might have dirt or pebbles on it, make sure you do not throw the stuff down or at least warn your partner/others befofe you do. Even a very small pebble can cause severe injuries.
  4. You do not assume that just because you climb harder you are a better person. Anyone who takes on climbing does a good thing, respect that!
  5. Don’t leave anything, and I mean ANYTHING at all, wherever you climb, that applies for indoor and outdoor climbing/bouldering. If you need to follow nature, go far and dig deep! Don’t be an ass, please!

This said, don’t take whatever you do too serious. Climbing should be about fun, nature and people and not purely grades. So enjoy what you are doing and show respect to your environment, nature and people!

equipment | YOUR starter pack

This is about everything you need to start your climbing career. Depending on your area of choice, Bouldering or Climbing, the invest varies massively. While bouldering is less capital intensive, Climbing, particularly outside and in traditional areas (excluding alpine and bigwall climbing) can be very costly and easily far beyond the 2.000€. But let’s start with the easy version:


  • In general bouldering is much more versatile and athletic than climbing. For your shoes that means they should be able to support you along the whole style range: toe and heelhooks, jams, small ledges, sharp edges, slaps, etc. The shoe can be tighter and much more aggressive than your climbing shoe as if necessary you can take them off after each boulder and just need them for 30-60 seconds, max 5min if it’s a really tough and high one. You can identify the aggressive shoes by their banana-like form from the side. Make sure the heel is well covered with rubber as well as the upside of the front foot.
    More under: La Sportiva
  • This might seem a little odd, of course you can use your chalkbag from climbing, but I would suggest a different approach. Take one of the special bouldering chalkbags. The difference is the size. While at climbing the chalkbag is attached to a cord around your waist, during bouldering you don’t necessary need to carry the chalkbag with you during the boulder, but you might need much more chalk and have a few accessories (like the brush, tape and other stuff you can store in the chalkbag.
    More under: Bergfreunde.de
  • Back in the days when I started with bouldering around 20 years ago, we used normal toothbrushes to clean little holds in the woods, or used large cleaning or steel brushes for the tougher work. This sounds romantic but had a little downside, a) the steel brushes still in use today, destroy not only the moss or dirt on the rock but also the integrity of the rock itself, b) the toothbrushes were actually a bit too small and even the hard ones not good enough to clean the holds from rubber dirt and chalk. So the bouldering industry decided to take action and develop dedicated brushes. Key features compared to toothbrushes are: they are broader, longer and with tighter brush-settings.
    More under: Bergzeit.de
  • The crashpad is only needed outside of course, but there unequally more important. 20 years ago, we didn’t have the comfort of protection no matter how high the highball, climbing cuel de chien in Fontainebleau without crashpads is completely unthinkable for today’s boulderers, but a reality to us, back in the days. Nevertheless I fully support the use of crashpads in bouldering and to be honest I sometimes find myself walking through the High Sierra with 3 Crashpads on my back. When buying a crashpad test it first. If it is too firm it’s not of much use, same applies to a crashpad that’s too soft. In general take a look at the layering inside the pad, it should have a thinner harder layer, a thicker medium hard layer and again another harder layer. In general most of the big brand pads are reliable and high quality enough. No name ones should be compared to one of the pads in the pictures below. I personally favour the Edelrid, but have used several others, including PAD crashpads and BEAL pads. In Bishop I prefer to have 3 with me, In Fontainebleau 2 are enough, same applies in my view to the Grampians, but that’s all subjective. You should have at least one!
    More under: Bergzeit.de
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Climbing Yoga | … or being complimentary

Yoga is probably the most logical enhancement to a successful climbing career, particularly if you consider the long-term effect. Short-term simple cardio and peak performance training might bring you more immediate success and improvements. The effects of Yoga (Wiki) on your climbing are more subtle. While classical training techniques (see here: Lizenz zum Klettern (German)), focus on the generation of strenghts and blocking powers and uses the stretching techniques only to counterbalance the effects of those trainings, Yoga in my view takes a different approach, independent of the actual climbing training.
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