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Interview with Kris Solem
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By Don McGrath
From fort collins, CO
Oct 6, 2012
I thought I'd share the interview that I did with Kris Solem, where he shares some interesting insights into training for climbing. I hope you enjoy it.

masterrockclimber.com/intervie...

You can find other info on training for rock climbing at:
masterrockclimber.com/

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Oct 6, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
there's some really cool stuff there; thanks for posting this. It's always interesting to hear about climbing philosophy from someone with backgrounds in more creative or artistic pursuits like music or dancing (as opposed to the dominant paradigm of approaching climbing from science or engineering perspectives).

I was a semi-professional jazz guitarist way back, come from a family of professional musicians, and my wife has gotten really into swing and blues dancing. It's really interesting how things like body positioning, technique, and just overall mind-body connections cross over from these disciplines into climbing.

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By reboot
From Westminster, CO
Oct 6, 2012
Really cool read. As someone with a martial arts background (but otherwisely not exposed to a lot of artistic endeavors) before climbing, I share a lot of the same sentiments, particularly with mental training and visualization. I also initially felt in love with the movement aspect of climbing.

Maybe because of the differences in background, I don't see eye-to-eye with the route selection aspect (success breeds success). As a musician, maybe you can pick the pieces to perform, but as a martial artist, you don't get to pick your battles. Some aspects of mental training can only occur at the sharp end. For climbing, sometimes you have to eliminate backing down as an option in order to push through.

As far as mind-body connection, body awareness, IMO, is training at a more advanced state. For beginners, it may be more conducive to just do, not think, until the body adapts to the new activity through repetition.

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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Oct 6, 2012
rockerwaves
"Some aspects of mental training can only occur at the sharp end. For climbing, sometimes you have to eliminate backing down as an option in order to push through.
For beginners, it may be more conducive to just do, not think, until the body adapts to the new activity through repetition."
Well stated, Shumin

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By Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Oct 9, 2012
Big Boulder, just a bit downhill from Temple of Kali. Alabama Hills, CA.
Don, great article about Kris.

Thank you.

I know from experience just what Kris means when he wants to build on sucess.

It's basicly to not go out and get REALLY spanked to the point of no progress.

Another way to put it. Don't go and get on a TR on some 5.13 when your a 5.10 climber. You just end up not being able to properly make progress, or learn much.

He always pushes me hard, to get on stuff just a bit more dificult than i'm happy with.

I don't wish to put words in his mouth but he often comments about:

The impossable top rope that we see all to often out at Josh or other places.

You know it when you see it.... very tight rope with climber just dangling and grabbing at any holds just to make a inch of progress, so the rope can be pulled tight.

But do not be fooled by Kris' humble demeaner, he is one of the most fearless climbers on lead that I have ever had the pleasure of climbing with. When he knows that he has the pro rigged up the best that it can be, he forgets about falling and just climbs.

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