Post by acmesalute76 on Sept 20, 2019 19:57:56 GMT -7
I’m finding this is something most climbers don’t seem to worry about that I know, so it’s been hard for me to address. I don’t really have much trouble climbing hard above a bolt with air under me. I have also done a lot of work taking practice falls, and sometimes still fall in purpose to remind me it’s ok. But I have friends who are afraid of whipping while thinking nothing of soloing up 4th/low 5th class, climbing easy highballs, high first bolts, etc. Whereas I find it difficult to ignore the fall potential and just focus on climbing, since it’s most likely I wouldn’t actually fall.
Part of it I think goes back to an actual injury I got in a lead fall, which took me out for a long time. I want to do my best to never do that again. Holds can break and even though you may never fall off of something easy, the probability is never zero. But sometimes it holds me back. Alpine objectives are something I often avoid, I get more sketched on easy trad sometimes than hard sport, and sometimes there’s a sketchy approach pitch for a cool climb I want to do.
I know that I don’t “need” to do certain things. I’m ok with staying off of tall boulders (maybe I’ll want to do one or two that inspire me). Alpine is fun but I don’t see myself soloing long days to do big linkups. But I just want to be able to relax on a multi pitch if there’s a 5.8 with sparse gear or whatever. And to cruise those approach pitches at the sport crag where it’s 4th class or whatever.
Maybe it will come with time. I’ve only been climbing a few years. I’m in my thirties. I used to race dirt bikes and was pretty good at not thinking about injuries (at least when younger and less injured) but with the slower pace of climbing I have a harder time staying out of my own head. Just wondering if anyone has thoughts on this.
It's about how you start, I guess. For me the opposite: Easy sketchy stuff in Elbsandstein. There was nothing else (that I knew of), thus I just did it. I have rather issues to sports-fall, since it wasn't an option in sparsely protected trad land. I learned it slowly by taking practise falls. I need to do it often, and I kinda celebrate if it happens on-route. It must happen if I want to climb harder.
I guess the same is helpful for you - do a lot of it, slowly raise sketchiness, enjoy the extra-focus during those "solos". You kind of have to consciously decide, that it will be part of your game from now on.
Post by MarkAnderson on Sept 21, 2019 18:33:14 GMT -7
My thoughts are below. They are harsh, so if you don't want to hear something harsh, don't read it.
Obviously, climbing is not for everyone. And so it follows that even within the subset of people who are "climbers", not every style of "climbing" is for every "climber." Fortunately there are many ways to enjoy climbing, and some of those are already well-within your risk-tolerance. I recommend you focus on those. The climbers I know who are timid never get over it. They can fake it for special occasions, but I've never seen a single one of them permanently change their risk tolerance.
Post by acmesalute76 on Sept 22, 2019 16:23:32 GMT -7
Mark, I don’t think your thoughts are harsh at all. I like the idea of not trying to change your risk tolerance.
I have come a LONG way from when I first started, in terms of what scares me. And really, I guess my risk tolerance isn’t any different, it’s just that I’ve gotten more proficient, both physically and mentally. So it has increased the amount of things that fall into my risk tolerance. So I believe a takeaway from your answer is to focus on increasing your skills, and you will become comfortable on more things.
I do believe in training the mind, and I certainly climb things for the “mental challenge”, although my idea of a mental challenge is maybe not that extreme. I’m completely happy focusing on sport/bouldering, and as sort of a side project working on expanding my comfort zone. I’m not trying to become a “bold” climber or anything, I’m just wondering if anyone else worries about cartwheeling off a 5.7 or if it’s just me.
Post by acmesalute76 on Sept 22, 2019 17:45:03 GMT -7
Another thought I had is about the rock warriors way, a book which helped me get over my fear of lead falls. One of the things is that once you accept the fall potential, you commit 100% to climbing. What it doesn’t talk about is, what if the fall potential is not acceptable, but the chance of falling is near zero? Does the book not address this aspect of climbing or did I miss something?
To be clear, I’ve done plenty of easy stuff with bad fall potential, and not fallen, but it sometimes makes me think about it.
Post by jetjackson on Sept 22, 2019 17:48:06 GMT -7
Risk in an industrial setting is usually measured by probability x consequence. When I first started out climbing I would say that I probably had the same level of risk aversion, but wasn't fully aware of the aforementioned equation, either the probability or the consequence potential in climbing. As I've climbed more, I'm becoming more aware of the probability of certain things happening, and after a few accidents, more acutely aware of the consequences.
I think the starting place is relevant. After learning to climb in Texas on limestone sport where every bolt was 6-8 feet apart, moving to Melbourne Australia, where the ethic is trad and mixed climbing, and many of the sport routes were bolted by bold trad climbers, it required me to up the mental game just to climb. I go to Arapiles here which is predominantly trad and has hundreds of climbs in the 5.2 to 5.6 range that are easy climbs on jugs, with really bad fall consequences - So many of these routes have multiple deck potential falls. as a reflection of the easy climbing. People who have learnt to climb at Araps tend to be really comfortable on this kind of terrain, and they are very comfortable soloing say grade 5.3 or 5.4 scrambling to reach the start of climbs and stepping out across chasms that are easy, but feature on a lot of the easier climbs. For me, I struggle more with this, as I think I'm still getting comfortable on that kind of terrain, and am not as familiar with the probability part of the risk equation. As a predominantly time poor sport climber, I don't really want to spend that much time investing in the head game on that kind of terrain, so it's only slowly improving.
I like the idea of focusing on not adjusting your risk tolerance, but that can be difficult. With about 60% of the Grampians closed, which includes about 80% of the >5.13 climbing, a lot of the options have dried up. This has meant that I have started climbing spicier routes, and so there is a bit of extending draws, pre-placing pro etc. going on at the moment to bring climbs down to my level of risk tolerance. Still, the logistics of this is really slowly down my climbing and the amount I can get into a day, so it's changed my strategies a bit. Adjusting risk tolerance would be an easy solution here. Still, sometimes the fear I have is illogical and I can switch into a mode where I accept higher risks when the benefit is there - i.e. I'm on a project with bad fall potential, but I've pre-practiced the moves and I'm on redpoint.
When it comes to sport routes, or even mixed routes, I'll do everything possible to reduce the risk. I took a massive whip at the end of 2017 and a lower back injury killed climbing for me for about 4 months and was very uncomfortable. I nearly always stick clip the first clip, and if it's a really hard 2nd clip or there is ground fall potential off the first clip, I'll even clip the second until I'm confident of making the moves. I stick clip through run-outs until I know the moves - pulling up a stick clip might take 10 minutes, but a broken ankle will set you back a lot more.