Anyone have any guidance/pearls of wisdom/experience working routes with tweaky moves? I know there isn't a great answer to that question...
Anyone walk away (at least temporarily) from a project because it felt too tweaky? I'd hate to walk away from my project for the season and work on something else, but I'd also hate to rupture an A2 pulley in my L middle finger.
I managed to get out yesterday and look at the moves on my next project, Flippin' the Bird, at Birdsboro PA. The crux (as far as I can tell) involves moving from a thin block up into a left hand mono, almost an undercling mono, using that to get your feet up, then standing up into it to reach your right hand to a good slot. I know I can do the move that way, but the whole time I was working it, I kept thinking it may not be a good idea. It felt strenuous, and I'm worried I may blow something important in that finger.
I have heard from two strong climbers that the move can be done without using the mono, instead using a sloping side pull just underneath it. I looked at the move that way, but wasn't able to find the correct body position to make the hold useable. I may also be able to either jam the tip of my index finger into the pocket enough to take a little strain of the middle finger, or press the index finger into the back of my middle finger to give it a little more support.
Since it was my first look at the route, I'm hopeful that I'll find a better way with more investigation. For now, I'll just obsess about it until I can get back out on the rock.
I'd really stay away from something that feels dangerous since an A2 rupture is probably 6 months of downtime. Imagine using that 6 months to do 2 full training cycles that include mono hangs (where you can slowly increase tension as you build strength) instead of risking it now.
I know it's hard to stay off the heroin... err, I mean project.
Post by MarkAnderson on Mar 25, 2018 18:48:45 GMT -7
If I retreated every time I encountered a tweaky move, I would have missed out on a lot of awesome routes, pretty much all of my best sends in fact. Still, that might be the smart thing to do. I do dumb things from time to time because I think the upsides outweighs the potential, even likely, downsides. I've also been injured a lot. And I've always recovered. That's my Journey (lol). Personally I wouldn't shy away at all. I'd look at it as an opportunity to conquer a new challenge. You gotta choose for yourself.
If you choose to proceed, there are smart and dumb ways to work a tweaky route. The most important thing is to know when to stop. Your ligaments essentially stretch out during a climbing session and/or climbing day, and become more injury prone as they stretch. So you have a limited number of attempts on the tweaky move in each burn and in each day (maybe in each week, month etc). How many depends on the climber of course, but it's much fewer than you would have on a non-tweaky move. People generally get hurt on the last try of many, not the first try or even first few tries. Be conservative and quit early. Work on the other moves as much as you muscles can handle, but quit on the mono well before you feel tired, and don't try it at the end of the day. At first, I wouldn't try it at all on any burn but your first. Eventually you'll get a sense of truly how tweaky it is and what you can handle. However, don't assume you will get stronger on that grip through the season--often the opposite happens and you just wear down your joints and end up straining it at the end of the season when your power fades and you have to pull a higher % of your max to compensate for your new, lower max.
Another key is to make sure you are always loading it in a safe direction. I don't think I've every strained a pulley on a mono or 2-finger, but I've gotten more collateral ligament strains than I can count, which is usually the result of torqueing the PIP joint under tension. Place your finger relative to the direction in which you plan to load it, and don't allow it to twist along the axis of the finger. Easier said than done, especially on big moves. Anything you can scum around the pocket will help a lot to prevent the finger from rotating. Another common source of CL strains is quickly yanking your finger out to slap for the next hold, which sooner or later will result in slapping for the next hold before the finger is fully out of the pocket. These injuries can be really bad, so take care to fully remove your finger before throwing your hand anywhere.
This should be enough to get you started on your first injury, lol
Post by jetjackson on Mar 25, 2018 18:58:43 GMT -7
What makes the mono difficult, is it an accuracy thing?
I have a limit boulder problem on my home board that I'm working that has a rather tweaky crux, or 3. Last week I cut my middle finger on the blender in the kitchen - as a result I probably won't be able to use that finger on full crimps again for another 2-3 weeks. Rather than not train, I replaced the LH holds on my problem with a giant jug handle bar that allows me to use that LH without risking busting the cut open on my MF. I then spent about an hour just replicating the footwork and really dialing it in. It involves a really accurate deadpoint to a RH crimp pinch thing, that I need to hit dead on, without having to adjust the RH, if I have any chance of sending. So it occured to me that this was partly a hand eye co-ordination issue - so I just stood on the ground, with my head where it will be when I attempt the move, and I would look away, and then look back at the pinch hold and snap for it with my RH and try and hit it exactly at where I needed to hit it. I did this about 40 times, and because I wasn't weighting it, the high reps on the move didn't risk what would normally be a really tweaky move. I feel like now I've at least dialled in the feel and location of the hold for future attempts. I've also dialled in the footwork.
Not sure if there are any take-aways for you there, but is there a way you could work the move on top-rope or in some other way, without the mono, so that every element of the move is dialed in, before you take the risk of using the mono?
It might look ridiculous, but maybe you could even extend a rock ring on a sling to sit it on the route in that position, and then you could use the rock ring holds to dial in the other elements of the move, and then afterwards take it away and do the mono.
Edit: re-read your description, I guess you can't really improve that undercling mono with a rock-ring. Maybe a cam or nut with a sling and aid through the move? Maybe you could recreate the move on the home board but with a 2FP undercling or something less tweaky.
Last Edit: Mar 26, 2018 2:06:03 GMT -7 by jetjackson
If I retreated every time I encountered a tweaky move, I would have missed out on a lot of awesome routes, pretty much all of my best sends in fact
Helpful perspective, thank you
The most important thing is to know when to stop
I may just have to be extra conservative until I get a better sense of this. Not just on tries per day, but attempts per week.
However, don't assume you will get stronger on that grip through the season--
That's what I was afraid of. I'm hoping this will get offset by improved efficiency on the move
This should be enough to get you started on your first injury, lol
I trained the mono for the first time on this hangboard cycle, and I'm glad I did. I wouldn't say the move is hard as much as it is sketchy/scary. The thing that makes it sketchy is that I'm prying my body into the wall using my flipped up middle finger jammed into a pocket. I'm hopeful that I can fine a "safer" way to do it when I check it out more.
Done a quick Google search and it's seems like it's quarried sandstone type of place. Therefore might be limited footholds (compared to limestone) but going back to basics small foot moves and outside edge of other foot directly under the mono may help. The rock ring idea is genius- trying to think of routes I could use this on. Maybes just a finger in a sling though held in supinated position. My current crux plan for this season is to have my hangboard app in my jumper pocket and do a 7:3 repeater session on the hold- beep, beep, beep / belayer permitting of course...
It's diabase... super hard rock, but tends to fracture. That part of the quarry has been defunct for a while, so us climbers (and local pot smokers, punk kids and wannna-be graffiti artists) have taken it over. Half of the routes are held together by glue. I'll be out there again tomorrow at the crack of dawn to see what I can figure out. It will be raining all night, but I'm hoping the rock will be dry enough and not "sweating" like a cold beer taken out of the fridge.
So... turns out there is another way to do that move without even touching the mono, so my tendons are safe for now.
Also... turns out that isn't the crux; the next section is harder. It's tweaky in a different way.
Somehow, managed to bruise the tips of all my fingers and actually raise a decent little blood blister on my left index finger. I've never had that happen before. My skin is totally fine (with the exception of the blood blister which I foolishly opened and drained).
So, I used to think my skin was good because I never had any significant skin problems. After today, I think my skin was good because I never really had to crimp the $h!+ out of really sharp-@$$ holds.
I've done all the moves on my project except for the last one, which involves an awkward sideways throw to get out of the crux crimps and onto the cruiser rails to finish the climb. This resulted in a bleeding R index finger pad today. Unfortunately, I'll have to tape that finger pad until it heals. Don't think that will help me fire that move, but slipping off the holds with bloody tips won't help either.
Anyone have any tips/experience on learning beta or projecting with a skin-eating climb? I just re-read the thread on skin in the injury section, the one called split tip, skin recovery and superglue.
Last Edit: Apr 18, 2018 19:41:46 GMT -7 by Chris W
I don't know if you heard the JStar-2 TBP episode, but Jstar gives a tip that he learned from Robyn Erbesfield about skin healing: tape a stiff object (like a clothespin) to the back of your finger so the finger heals in the straight position. That means your skin heals while stretched.
The idea is that skin that heals with the finger bent is going to be thinned out when you straighten the finger later, making it more vulnerable to re-injury.
I've never tried this, but Jstar insists it's the best advice he's ever gotten for finger skin healing.
(Apologies if this was already mentioned in the split-tip thread.)