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#71523 - 06/09/14 05:42 PM Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
Hi Folks,

After six years away from the east coast, I\'m coming back. I plan to spend a good bit of time at the Gunks. Would be cool to meet you all. But that\'s for another thread.

I always found the climbing quite unique, and didn\'t find that anything but climbing at the Gunks prepared me for climbing at the Gunks. So I expect it to take me a quite a while to get in tune with the rock again.

When I left, I was really only just breaking in to low to mid 5.10s (done perhaps a dozen). I plan to back up a bit until I get the feel of things. But once I do, I would like to start pushing the grades a bit on reasonably well protected climbs.

For those of you who climb (or have climbed) tens and elevens at the Gunks, did you boulder at the Gunks? Do you think it helped much? Or did you just climb routes?

I\'ve never been much of a boulderer, and, in fact, the one time I tried doing any established boulder problems at the Gunks, I got royally spanked. But I\'m willing to dedicate some time to training - in whatever form it takes. And I wonder if Gunks bouldering (in addition to getting Gunks mileage again) might be the best form of training I could do.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

GO

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#71524 - 06/10/14 02:43 AM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: GOclimb]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Welcome back!

I\'m not convinced that Gunks bouldering in general is all that specific to the climbs, but I\'d make an exception for the traverses, which have the advantage of allowing you to push the fatigue level without ending up looking at a longish fall. I think the best single boulder training traverse for Gunks climbing is Box Car boulder laps.

Since I retired from bouldering some years ago, I can\'t say whether there are new problems (perhaps some at Peterskill?) that would also suit.

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#71528 - 06/10/14 05:17 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: rg@ofmc]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
Thanks!

And RG, I appreciate your opinion, knowing that you did a lot of bouldering back in the day, and also put up (or did early ascents) on many of those tens and elevens I hope to try.

I\'ll look for Box Car boulder. How hard is it? Looks like around V4 based on what I\'m seeing on MP. That sounds pretty much right for where I\'d need to train. Is it this line in yellow?

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/106522681

Anyone else know of good long boulder problems that could be helpful?

Anyone disagree with RG? Is training on power problems of much use?

Thanks!

GO

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#71531 - 06/10/14 07:04 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: GOclimb]
fotovult Offline
member

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 141
Loc: ny
Agreed on the endurance, but I found most gains to come with increase in roped mileage. My experience with bouldering is it is too close to the edge of injury - often I\'d push the training on boulders and end up hurt. Plus the gain in strength doesn\'t work the mental game, and headier 10s like Welcome or Graveyard may not be super hard but require a good head to lead through.

A good route to leading gunks 10s and 11s confidently is to get out there and push yourself on 9s, developing strength and finding the good head you had before. Routes like Jean, Commando Rave, Beetle Brow, Le Teton, even Modern Times, that are either hard well-protected moves or endurance climbing at the grade should be good starting points.

Climbing the routes on TR can help with endurance, but I always default to leading more (and harder) to up your lead game, for whatever that\'s worth.
_________________________
www.chrisvultaggio.com

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#71532 - 06/10/14 08:25 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: fotovult]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
I totally agree on mileage. That is absolutely my first priority. I was just wondering if there was any \"supplemental\" training that might be valuable. And the first and most obvious thing I thought of was bouldering. I figure the moves on the little Gunks rocks might be more like the moves on the big Gunks rocks than anything I\'d find in a gym or hangboard or whatever.

I agree, too, on injuries. Most of my injuries to pulleys and such have come from bouldering.

GO

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#71533 - 06/10/14 09:42 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: GOclimb]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
Of course bouldering won\'t necessarily help the mental aspect of leading, although having more endurance can certainly calm you down. Mileage is important too, but bouldering is something you can do by yourself at odd or inconvenient times for climbing.

The Box Car boulder is ideal for a number of reasons. One is that the traverse is really near the ground; you aren\'t likely to get hurt jumping off and you really don\'t need a spotter. Another is that it isn\'t terribly tweaking. There are perhaps four fingery moves with minimal feet at the right side, but I don\'t think the holds are small enough to do bad things to the tendons of a 5.10 climber.

The route is indeed the yellow line in the MP link. The fingery hard part is from 10 to 8, and there is a pretty good rest at 8 before you head out on the easier but pumpy remainder of the route. I\'d recommend at first starting at the right end to get it over with, and then hang on for the rest of it. Once you start doing laps there are various strategies...

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#71534 - 06/10/14 10:48 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: GOclimb]
kenr Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: GOclimb
I always found Gunks climbing quite unique, and didn\'t find that anything but climbing at the Gunks prepared me for it.

I\'ve also been wanting to start bouldering to prepare to climb more 10s + 11s in the Gunks. Because there\'s not much good Sport climbing near southern NY, so bouldering seems like the most time-effective way to practice lots of hard moves on outdoor rock.

My concern about Gunks bouldering is that the few problems (with good landings) I\'ve looked at so far do not seem much like the cruxes of the Gunks 5.10s I\'ve done so far. My theory is this is because the Gunks cliffs are mainly about (a) steep slab climbing, and (b) overhangs/roofs with horizontals. But the big chunks of rocks that long ago separated from the cliffs and rolled down to be counted as \"boulders\" are mostly not at the appropriate angle to be specifically relevant practice for the Gunks on-cliff cruxes (i.e. the linear features are no longer horizontal, and the featureless \"slabby\" surfaces are not at the correct incline).

Also some of the popular problems near the Uberfall have (interesting fun) features from explosive blasting.

Just my limited ignorance in need of correction.

So while I see how the Boxcar traverse is a generally good training thing, I\'m not seeing its specific relevance to Gunks 5.10-11 cruxes on the cliffs above.

Anyway just what is it about Gunks 10s and 11s which is unique?

Thanks for helpful corrections and suggestions.

Ken


Edited by kenr (06/10/14 10:52 PM)

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#71535 - 06/11/14 11:38 AM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: kenr]
rg@ofmc Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/25/99
Posts: 2472
Loc: Poughkeepsie, NY
I\'d suggest working the Boxcar traverse until, say, you can go across and back. (BITD, folks like Kevin Bein and Steve Wunsch could do at least double that.) Then report back whether helped your ability to do 10\'s and 11\'s (and 12\'s for that matter). If you are sceptical now, I think you\'ll be surprised...

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#71536 - 06/11/14 03:47 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: kenr]
fotovult Offline
member

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 141
Loc: ny
Originally Posted By: kenr


My concern about Gunks bouldering is that the few problems (with good landings) I\\\'ve looked at so far do not seem much like the cruxes of the Gunks 5.10s I\\\'ve done so far.


I agree - especially when that crux involves hanging on to work in a brassie, 15-ft above your last piece, while your leg is working like a singer sewing machine and you will your slipping fingers to stay put on delicate holds.

Strength and endurance go a long way, but I know more than a few climbers who can comfortably climb 5.12 but won\'t lead half the 10s in the gunks because they don\'t have the mental game.
_________________________
www.chrisvultaggio.com

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#71537 - 06/11/14 04:00 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: rg@ofmc]
kenr Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 36
Thanks -- I\'ll be glad to take your recommendation that the Boxcar is specific helpful preparation for harder routes on the Gunks cliffs above.

Ken

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#71539 - 06/11/14 05:20 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: fotovult]
GOclimb Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 2361
Loc: Boston
Originally Posted By: fotovult
Originally Posted By: kenr


My concern about Gunks bouldering is that the few problems (with good landings) I\'ve looked at so far do not seem much like the cruxes of the Gunks 5.10s I\'ve done so far.


I agree - especially when that crux involves hanging on to work in a brassie, 15-ft above your last piece, while your leg is working like a singer sewing machine and you will your slipping fingers to stay put on delicate holds.

Strength and endurance go a long way, but I know more than a few climbers who can comfortably climb 5.12 but won\'t lead half the 10s in the gunks because they don\'t have the mental game.


I can\'t speak for anyone else, but for me, the mental game is a strength that needs to be worked in order to build, just like physical strength. Still, it does soothe the head somewhat for the muscles to report back that they\'re feeling solid, and they think they can make it to the next rest.

With that said, your anecdote about 5.12 climbers who aren\'t comfortable on all Gunks 5.10 is, I think, not just about a poor lead head. I\'ve always found that my onsight grades are lowest at the Gunks, and other places with a similar style (thin gear protected face climbing). When you\'re following a crack, no matter how hard it is, you can usually look up and figure out where the next place is you can get gear, where the next place is where you can get a good jam, or a good foot.

Often that is not so at the Gunks, where feet and hands are just white in a sea of white. Horizontals may or may not take gear, or feet, or hands. No way to tell until you get there. To me, that forces me to be much more conservative, and the grades reflect that. I suspect that I am not entirely unique in this, and it may help explain your anecdotal 5.12/5.10 climbers.

GO

P.S. - I took the liberty of removing the backslashes from the quoted posts above, to help keep them from multiplying any further.

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#71553 - 06/17/14 04:56 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: GOclimb]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
Gabe - Welcome back! I, like you, don\'t really boulder but realize that it is a potentially powerful tool for breaking through the \"5.10 barrier\". My experience with what little bouldering I have done is remarkably in line with the comments above. Namely that the common boulder moves are very un-cliff-crux-like. Too often it\'s a \"contact move\" (e.g. slapping a sloper or rounded edge) or a big pinch (Black Bouler type move). I can see why boulderers enjoy this type of power-oriented challenge, but I can\'t think of many 5.10 cruxes like that. Secondly, since I bouldered alone on days when I didn\'t have a climbing partner, the prospect of landing on my back from a heel hooking problem (Andrew boulder\'s V4) or mantling insecurely onto a sloping shelf 10 feet up simply presented too much injury potential. Hell, I\'ve turned my ankle from 18 inches off the carriage road. Bottom line - I spent most of my profitable time on the boxcar traverse. Worked it R to L. And it was without a doubt effective at improving my ability to hang on small holds. No coincidence that I climbed No Solution (one of my hardest TR\'s, coming at a time when onsighting 10b was about my limit) clean within a few days of my first clean B\'car traverse.

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#71556 - 06/20/14 04:27 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: Mike Rawdon]
slevin Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 18
There are plenty of hard boulder traverses in the Gunks to work on endurance:
-- Keyhole Low traverse (v2)
-- Kama Sutra traverse (V3 slab)
-- Boxcar traverse (do it both ways!)
-- Who is Andrew? - an extended version of Andrews boulder problem (V5 roof traverse, you can do it back and fourth too), ---- Capsized Boulder traverse (hard V7)
-- Nameless Boulder traverse (v2)
-- the thin diagonal crack on the face opposite pebbles (v6-v7)
Once you are able to do all that... try Little Death (V10).

A well rounded boulderer who\'s flashing V4s on regular basis should be able to lead protectable Gunks 5.10s, IMHO. Someone who\'s able to work his way up V6-V7s should be able to work his way up 5.12s.

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#71557 - 06/21/14 02:16 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: slevin]
Ralph Offline
member

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 142
Who is Andrew?
And you know your traverses?
Andrew Zalewski Traverse

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#71558 - 06/21/14 09:41 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: slevin]
kenr Offline
newbie

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 36
Originally Posted By: slevin
A well rounded boulderer who\\\'s flashing V4s on regular basis should be able to lead protectable Gunks 5.10s

Yes, there\'s no doubt that outdoor bouldering is a great way to improve my outdoor climbing in the Gunks (provided I don\'t get injured).

But why should I do my outdoor bouldering in the Gunks?
Nowadays there\'s lots of other good bouldering around the NY-NJ-PA region. So why not work my way up to V4 at some of those other (more convenient) places?

Ken

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#71564 - 06/22/14 07:05 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: Ralph]
slevin Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 18
Originally Posted By: Ralph

Whoa! That\'s pretty rad! I have done all of these separately (Pebbles Left, Goldsteins and Lynn Hills traverses), but never even thought of linking them up. That link-up gotta clock-in at medium 5.14!

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#71565 - 06/22/14 07:11 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: kenr]
slevin Offline
stranger

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 18
Originally Posted By: kenr
[quote=slevin]
But why should I do my outdoor bouldering in the Gunks?
Nowadays there\\\'s lots of other good bouldering around the NY-NJ-PA region. So why not work my way up to V4 at some of those other (more convenient) places?

No real reason. I boulder in NYC (CP etc), Powerlines and the Gunks and like it all. Gunks bouldering is awesome and diverse, but a hour of laps on the Rambles slab does not suck either.

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#71568 - 06/22/14 11:58 PM Re: Gunks bouldering for sending 5.10 through 5.11+ [Re: slevin]
Ralph Offline
member

Registered: 02/01/07
Posts: 142
Originally Posted By: slevin
Originally Posted By: Ralph

but never even thought of linking them up.

Yeah, the gap move is pretty neat. I\'m 6\' and I\'m pretty sure Andrew is a touch shorter than me. He made it look much easier than it appears to be when you\'re standing there sizing it up.
It\'s out of my pay grade though, and I\'d probably need about two years of poppin my vinyassa to have a serious shot at it.

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