Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Momentum Mill Creek "Finger" Crack
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Sean H
From San Francisco, CA
Aug 23, 2014
Da Bugs
OK - Maybe it's not "fingers" per say, but, the smallest crack on the right at the new Momentum.

What's the secret to that size? I can climb v7 at momentum on a good day, v6 fairly consistently. (Please - that's not spray, just for reference/comparison - v* in a gym doesn't really compare to climbing outside imho.) Anyway, I can stack my digits over my thumb, and using whatever plastic feet happen to be there, climb up it no problem. But crack only? I can make like...a move.

A majority of whatever level of technique I've acquired I owe to putting weight on my feet. But on that crack? I basically try to angle my foot "up" so my big toe is out of the crack, and some sliver of my shoe near my bottom 4 toes is semi in the crack. I can't imagine that anyone who is comfortable (that is, wearing a rack, doesn't feel like they're going to peel every second) with that size crack is just campusing with a little tiny bit of help from their feet.

So how do you do it/learn it?

To be fair, my first encounter with crack climbing was with a dead vertical hand crack in a gym. I read all the technique articles, tried, and just couldn't make progress. 2 weeks of trying and failing and one day it just clicked. That was years ago, and since then, most sizes came...fists, offwidth, etc...but THAT size? Kind of a monkey on my back. Any tips would be awesome.

FLAG
By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug 23, 2014
You are on the right track thinking about how to get more weight on your feet.
Parallel crack pros will buy a new pair of moccasyms and sand the rubber down to 10% before ever using them to climb.
Another strategy related to the moccasym is to get a shoe where your feet lay flat, so that they are their narrowest. Typical performance shoes bunch-up your big toe, making it thick and strong. Soft, flat-footed shoes let you point your big toe into a chisel shape.
You can also look into shoes with rubber on the top of the toes for added friction, i.e. Supermoccs.
How your foot approaches the crack also determines how much too will get into the crack. Experiment with the height of your knee in relation to your foot, or how 'froggy' you climb.

If all else fails, you can make a pair of cheater shoes by buying them 2 sizes too big, filling the toes with epoxy and clamping them until it dries into a perfect chisel.

FLAG
By BruceH
From Salt Lake City,UT
Aug 23, 2014
New Religion
A very good short primer on thin crack technique: lackhead.org/jamming/

Hip flexibility (my bete noire) appears to me to be an important aspect of implementing the thin crack technique mentioned in the above article.

I also agree with Brendan's advice regarding shoe sizing and flat toes. (I have a suspicion that some dedicated crack climbers smush their shoes on train tracks.) However, most crack climbers don't want a lot of dead space over the big toe - by all means try on the Moccs but experiment with other soft shoes, if necessary, to find a shoe that allows your toes to be flat but that doesn't feel floppy. (I've met a couple of really good crack climbers that actually like the clown shoe approach; I've found that it's good for a certain size crack but is not very versatile.)

Finally, I'd recommend practicing on the straight in (no corner, no roof) thin hands crack at Sandy to dial in your footwork, and then graduating to the straight in ringlock crack there. (Crux on the latter is 3/4 of the way up and very difficult for mortals.)

FLAG
By Daniel S Parker
From Sandy Utah
Aug 23, 2014
Second ascent.
Sean,
my suggestion would be to get some hands on help, if your climbing V7 your obviously strong enough... ringlocks/fingerstacks can take some time to get comfortable on, but its not just about shoving your fingers in there. theres a certain pressure in specific areas and direction of pull that'll make those very comfortable. as for your footwork, low profile slippers are the way to go, fit them so your toes are flat. I personally find the clown shoes approach to be very sloppy and insecure. (and cheating)
Jon Vickers, and Chris Mcfarland work there and are pretty knowledgeable crack climbers. i'm sure they could give you some pointers!
also, if your looking into buying slippers check out the evolv addicts, i used to climb in moccs (and they're great) but the addicts are more comfortable for my foot and i can actually jam in smaller cracks with them.
Best of luck! if your looking for someone to climb the gym cracks let me know!

FLAG
By Sean H
From San Francisco, CA
Aug 24, 2014
Da Bugs
Thanks for the replies.

One experience that kind of blew my mind (ok slight exaggeration) - Months ago I was at Momentum Sandy and saw a couple people climbing the overhung wide crack. They clearly knew what they were doing. I'd just played around with it a bit, but never tried it seriously. I went and talked to them a little, and when they were done with it, gave it a go.

Now, I "knew" how to get knee locks, and they worked. Pretty well anyway. But the guy who had been climbing (it was a guy and a girl, never got names) saw me and gave me a few pointers. One was how to set it by "leading" in to the crack with your foot first, then the knee, then extracting the foot and setting the lock. I had probably just been shoving my knee in somehow first like McLovin on his first time.

Second, he pointed out how to lean into it a little bit to make it more secure. I think he said a few other things which were either subtle, or I don't remember how to verbalize, but anyway - after his pointers I definitely was getting the most secure knee locks I ever had.

Anyway, still amazes me away how much the small things can help when it comes to technique on cracks, even for something that looks as NOT subtle and brutish as wide climbing. Someone better than you being there really make a difference.

FLAG
By BruceH
From Salt Lake City,UT
Aug 24, 2014
New Religion
I completely agree regarding subtleties. Unfortunately, many expert crack climbers (I'm not one) aren't even aware of all the little things they're doing - I ask them for a detailed recipe and they just shrug.

With regard to really thin cracks, there are a couple of nuances I can suggest considering: 1) the high foot may sometimes initially go in big toe first, and you can press that toe against the outer crack edge to get some sort of counterpressure, and you really want that high knee close to the wall, engaging the core, to get as much weight as possible over your feet; 2) after the high foot goes in, if you're too scrunched up, try sliding the lower foot down - this is perhaps counterintuitive, but I've seen at least one expert thin crack climber do this, and I've started to experiment with it to some success. Perhaps also play around with shuffling the feet up, stacking one on the other, rather than leapfrogging.

Having seen a couple of different people waltz up the overhanging Sandy ringlock crack, it seems that there's more than one way to skin a cat (or cam a crack). Fingersize, footsize, and flexibility are obvious variables. (I've searched YouTube in the hopes of finding footwork shots of crack masters like Honnold, Caldwell etc. but the videos almost never show the feet!)

FLAG
By brat
Aug 24, 2014
Celebrating on Intersection Rock, JTree.
When I climbed that thing at Momentum, I used what I've always heard called the "froggy foot" technique.

Ringlocking/thumbstacking with my upper hand, thumbs up stuffer jam with my lower hand.

Knees out, rand of shoe by the pinky toe in the crack with my toes pointing up. Lots of small moves, keep feet super high, don't cross your hands.

FLAG
By Tom Hore
Aug 25, 2014
Sean.... go get in your car... drive to Yosemite, Moab, Index, Paradise Forks, and many other destinations and get beat down and scared like everyone else. Oh, and don't forget to have fun on the way.

FLAG
 
By Travis Haussener
Aug 26, 2014
All great relplies but I'm gonna stir the pot a bit: I've been working on fingers for about 6 months with respect to momentum sandy I can get pretty close to redpointing their finger cracks. What I've noticed is: 1. Your feet do a lot but your hand strength is way more important, if you can get solid locks feet will come naturally. How do you build this up? Crack machine, crack pull ups etc. 2. Feet suck outside, the real finger cracks Swedin Ringle, Power Line, etc all angle a tiny bit one way or another hence one foot will be smeared anyway to be more comfortable while you place gear, hence one more reason to build that finger strength.

Also it takes time, the smaller the crack the harder it will be to get good at, think, less muscle to put pressure on, more focused training, not going to build overnight. A lot of the previous posters are right, it's really hard to explain how to do it, it's like riding a bike once you get it it's just natural.

FLAG
By Sean H
From San Francisco, CA
Aug 27, 2014
Da Bugs
Thanks Travis.

And Tom...man, why didn't I think of that! Amazing advice.

FLAG
By engineer1984
From Ogden, UT
Sep 3, 2014
Test yourself on the first pitch of Green Adjective in the LCC when you start to feel comfy:

mountainproject.com/v/the-gree...

: )

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.