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Pre-climb ritual, way, methodology
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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Mar 7, 2013
Day Lily.
I'm at a point in my climbing experience where technique and strength training (traditional training period.) Is key but not enough. I'm FASCINATED by the fact that I can lead, say, single pitch 5.10 traditionally but get (can get, not always but enough) thrown off balance on multi-pitch and comfortably lead 5.7/5.8 in the multi-pitch environment (if taken move by move, pitch by pitch, I would think id be on the same level of capacity to handle as on single pitch routes) . I love this about climbing and want to lead 5.10/11 multi-pitch just as effortlessly as single pitch (effortlessly = psychologically which greatly effects my performance and by having perfect technique as to not spend that much physical energy.)

Goal: multi-pitch, sport, trad all the same level applying effort to make my climbing effortless. Light.

Course of action: establish a pre-climb ritual (I have a balanced, effective physical/technique/strength training program already)

My question to you: do you have one? If so what do you do? Why do what you do? Where'd you get this ritual?

I need, want, won't accecpt anything less than purposeful and authentic for myself and this new ritual. I think that by having this ritual/way I will slow myself down (without smoking weed), center myself and retain my energy which can then be applied as needed in the moment.

Think purposeful, prayerful. That's what I need my ritual to encompass.

I appreciate your time and I look forward to hearing what, if at all, you do. Enjoy!

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By Dustin Drake
Mar 7, 2013
You're stoned right now, aren't you? :P

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Mar 7, 2013
Day Lily.
Unfortunately not. Waiting for my wife, not exciting but at least its nice out. Thanks for posting though...

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By EricSchmidt
Mar 7, 2013
Yeah... Im guessing your pre-post ritual is to get really stoned? What are you talking about....

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Mar 7, 2013
Day Lily.
I thought it was straight forward but apparently you all hone in on the weed.

Do you do anything before a climb? Example from Eric Horst (in a nutshell since I don't have it memorized): he takes 5-10 deep breathes, puts his right hand on the rock, concentrates on the thermal energy between him and the rock, may does something again then he's ready to climb.

Taking breathes, sitting still, jumping jacks, fuckin' something, anything before a climb. I can't imagine Eric Horst is the only climber or the first to have something he does before every climb.

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By frankstoneline
Mar 7, 2013
I usually take a couple breaths and spot as many moves as I can see (if holds are chalked/I've tried the route before). Chalk up, shake my hands some, grab starting holds, place left foot then pull on. Often times I'll start humming a song/singing in my head, think it helps to alleviate some of the stress I get built up when I'm focusing too hard on stupid things before a climb.

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Mar 7, 2013
Day Lily.
Thank you FrankStone. I appreciate knowing what you, others, do.

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By frankstoneline
Mar 7, 2013
The Stoned Master wrote:
Thank you FrankStone. I appreciate knowing what you, others, do.


I think the most important part of the whole thing for me is reduction of stress. Well before I step up to climb I check to make sure I've got the gear I need, my knot is good, etc. By the time i'm looking up at the pitch I've convinced myself that all the safety critical shit is taken care of. Then I just start thinking about something silly (i.e. a song) so I can relax and transition into the ideal state for climbing. Sometimes I'll jump on too early and find myself too aware low on the route and downclimb and try again. It's all about relaxing, and understanding whats about to happen (all possibilities) so you have fully committed when you pull on, then you just execute.

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By SeaJellie
From Ann Arbor, MI
Mar 7, 2013
Adrift on the oceans.
Left shoe on first. No weed.

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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Mar 7, 2013
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt K...
Left shoe on first. Tie my knot. Retie my knot. Spank my own ass and say, "Get 'em Tiger."

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By Eddie2170
From Orange County, NY
Mar 7, 2013
I think it depends on the climb, be it indoors, or outdoors, or sport or trad.

I think the best thing is, when I'm climbing something hard, like at my absolute limit, is to almost zone out, like pretty much turn everything off.

I know I do this by looking up at my climb (at least as far as I can see) and try to work out as much Beta as possible and get it down in my head, from hand positions to hips and feet. Then depending if its trad or sport try to add in my clip or pro spots by doing by Beta from bottom to top and working out the moves a second time. (If i've rehearsed the climb before and know the moves out of site I'll try to picture it and my body movements in my head) then I check my knot and partner. After that I take a bunch of deep breaths while I shake out my arms and chalk. I do my best to literally turn off anything outside the climbing & then tell my partner climbing & set off.

It really depends on onsite or redpoint, and as far as multipitch especially onsite youre routefinding and multipitch efficiency can definitely hinder performance. Another thing is to make sure you have the utmost confidence in your gear placement for trad & your belayer. Youre not going to climb at your limit if you don't feel safe, but not as far as to turn it off entirely such as if you know there's a spot where falling would make you hit a ledge; obviously that's situational but important nonetheless.

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By Christopher Gibson
From Frisco, Texas
Mar 7, 2013
Live to Work not Work to Live.  We Love Our Jobs!!...
Im not a consistent 5.10 climber but have done a few successfully. I pretty much do what frank does so the prelim safety stuff is not in my head and then my last deep breath i say out loud bottom to the top no falls no takes, then left foot on in most cases.

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By Eric Engberg
Mar 7, 2013
#1 put on my shoes - yes left one first
#2 tie in
#3 grab the gear

I frequently forget #3 which results in at minimal an "oppsie" and sometimes it ends in tears.

Occassionally I forget #2 with similar results.

I haven't intentionally forgotten #1 yet.

Sometimes I randomize the order,

If you do more you are overthinking and buying in to some useless mumbo jumbo

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By Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Mar 7, 2013
The Stoned Master wrote:
fuckin' something, anything before a climb.


I imagine that would be relaxing, I might have to start a new pre-climb ritual of my own.

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By clay meier
Mar 7, 2013
Thats Me
I usually smoke a bowl (of weed) and
take some codene

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Mar 7, 2013
Eric Engberg wrote:
If you do more you are overthinking and buying in to some useless mumbo jumbo


This

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By Lou Hibbard
From Eagan, MN
Mar 7, 2013
I think that if you ramp up gradually and get the mileage under your belt that you don't really need to psyche yourself up. The more climbs you do at that grade it's not a matter of can you do it but rather will you style the onsight.

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By Unassigned User
Mar 7, 2013
I don't lead harder than 5.8 multi pitch. But when I get scared I sing to myself. Pre climb I trash talk myself, the rock, everything except my belayer. I talk a lot about how sketched I am about doing this. Then I charge off. On my way up I will holler back down "that peice won't hold!" About crappy placements. All this half hearted trash talk seems to get me past real fear.

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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Mar 7, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
J Hazard wrote:
I don't lead harder than 5.8 multi pitch. But when I get scared I sing to myself. Pre climb I trash talk myself, the rock, everything except my belayer. I talk a lot about how sketched I am about doing this. Then I charge off. On my way up I will holler back down "that peice won't hold!" About crappy placements. All this half hearted trash talk seems to get me past real fear.

I tend to be the same way. I do some honest visualization, try to spot gear, a few deep breaths while chalking up, and once I'm off the ground I start joking. Serious, honest effort, but making light of the situation helps me dial back the fear a little. Unless I'm in really dicey territory, then it's sphincter factor 10 and I go back to silent visualization and deep breathing. Sometimes I scream like Sharma. saaiiiii!!!

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By nicelegs
From Denver
Mar 8, 2013
I don't think a tantric chant at the base of a route is going to overcome your weaknesses in technique and strength. Poise is cool and all, it usually improves with better technique and strength though.

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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Mar 8, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on
Dustin Drake wrote:
You're stoned right now, aren't you? :P



Dustin here has provided you with the answer which you seek...

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By Steven Groetken
From Durango, CO
Mar 8, 2013
On top of Hitchcock Pinnacle.
Right shoe on first. Check knot, check partner, check self again then chalk. Partner checks them self, me, then them self again. Put right hand on rock and thank it and its creator for being there and allowing me to be there instead of at work. As stressful as climbing can sometimes be, it's still not as stressful as being a corporate slave, and that always calms me down.

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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
Mar 8, 2013
CoR
Everyone seems to want everything now. It is very simple. Put in hundreds of hours at the grade before moving up, thus assuring you are ready to move up.

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By Mike Mu.
Mar 8, 2013
The Nose from the road
rging wrote:
Everyone seems to want everything now. It is very simple. Put in hundreds of hours at the grade before moving up, thus assuring you are ready to move up.



what he said

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Mar 8, 2013
Topo - Cliffs in Green
drop a tab...

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By LML
Mar 8, 2013
Making Sauce...
The Stoned Master wrote:
..I will slow myself down (without smoking weed), center myself and retain my energy which can then be applied as needed in the moment. Think purposeful...


If you want the above while you climb, practice the above all the time.

The best pre-climb rituals happen long before you climb.

Lao Tzu said something like "do the hard things while they are easy"

... of course he also said something like "those who speak don't know, and those who know don't speak."

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