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Prep me for the Red
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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Sep 14, 2011

Dear Training Gurus,
At the end of October I will make my first trip to the Red River Gorge and want to get the most out of it. I am at the end of the campus phase in a periodized schedule based on The Making of a Rock Prodigy. Each phase has been 3 weeks with one-day-on-one-day-off. 3 to 4 training sessions per week. So far, the training has been:

Hypertrophy
System Board laps, 10-20 moves on 2-Finger pockets, pinches and open-handed edges. Increasing weight each session to fail in the 10-20 move window.
Recruitment
Campus board ladders, taps and double-dynos. Down-sizing rungs and adding weight to fail in 4-8 moves.
PE(planned)
4x4s and Treadwall Intervals

During the campus phase I was doing about 700 feet of mixed difficulty Dreadwall on the days I wasn't campusing. Should I keep up the "ARC'ing during PE or will too much volume diminish the gains of PE? Should I do a more high intensity, short duration workout on the days I am not doing PE?
I have access to a huge bouldering wall, a Treadwall, a System Board, Campus Board, Hangboard and moderately tall lead wall (50 feet). I can also set anything I need on these walls. Steep, big limestone options on the weekends. The periodized schedule will end on the 5th of October so I have three weeks of unscheduled time before the 5-day trip.
Remember, I am trying to tune this plan to the Red. Any specific insight would be appreciated.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Sep 15, 2011
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

I would defer to Mike if he posts, but since he hasn't yet...I usually just use a standard cycle, but I plan my trip for the very end of my PE/Performance phase. The best trips I've had there were always preceded by several weeks of working a long, hard, enduro-oriented project.

Keep in mind there are many different versions of the Red. If you're looking to work (or onsight/flash) strictly the routes in the Madness Cave, you would want to lean more towards pure ARCing. The routes on the Gold Coast are short and powerful, generally with only a few hard moves surrounded by relatively easy climbing. In my experience, a little bit of power goes a long way at the Red, so I certainly wouldn't emphasize power training. I would also spend more time in the gym, since most crags don't adequately replicate the style of climbing at the Red.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Sep 16, 2011
El Chorro

The first thing you need to do is to hire a body guard to keep people from punching you in the back of the head. You also need to practice your "air climbing technique" so that when you are sitting around at Miguel's you'll be able to communicate with all of the other strong climbers. After all, what's the point of sending hard routes if you can't replicate the moves at the table later that night?

Definitely perfect your bitching sequences for when you are hanging on bolts so that you don't look like a noob. Anyone who doesn't get pissed off at the rock is obviously not experienced or psyched enough to be worthy of projecting at the Madness Cave.

Finally, make sure you have ear plugs, a puke proof tent and a really good reason why you aren't living in a van and climbing 5.14.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Sep 16, 2011
El Chorro

Oh yea, I almost forgot:

Learn how to poop in a toilet before you go to the crag.


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By Dom
Administrator
From New Brunswick Canada
Sep 16, 2011
Moby dick 5.11-

The Red is an awesome spot. Don't be turned off by what Ryan said. You can find peace and quietness out there despite what he wrote. I love that place and I come from a climbing area in Canada where there are 500 routes for about 20 climbers so I know what peace and quietness is while climbing.

Like Mono said, the Red has more power-endurance routes. The odd bouldery route is really soft if you're a boulderer but the power-endurance routes kick my ass everytime I go down there. So get fit and Giv'er!


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By JohnWesely
From Red River Gorge
Sep 16, 2011
Gunking

Ryan Williams wrote:
The first thing you need to do is to hire a body guard to keep people from punching you in the back of the head. You also need to practice your "air climbing technique" so that when you are sitting around at Miguel's you'll be able to communicate with all of the other strong climbers. After all, what's the point of sending hard routes if you can't replicate the moves at the table later that night? Definitely perfect your bitching sequences for when you are hanging on bolts so that you don't look like a noob. Anyone who doesn't get pissed off at the rock is obviously not experienced or psyched enough to be worthy of projecting at the Madness Cave. Finally, make sure you have ear plugs, a puke proof tent and a really good reason why you aren't living in a van and climbing 5.14.


This is fairly accurate.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Sep 16, 2011
El Chorro

Sorry I wasn't trying to be a dick, just having a little fun since you already got a pretty good answer from Mono. The Red is a wild place, but a large part of the reason that it is so crazy is that there is a shit ton of excellent climbing there. You'll have a great time, just be prepared for the circus.


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By kirra
Sep 16, 2011

johnL wrote:
Women, you need to hit on all of them. High school, college, old, ugly, whatever. If she owns a sportsbra and a gri-gri she is gorgeous.

any xtra points for duo-pockets vs. the common uni-pocket model ?


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By JohnWesely
From Red River Gorge
Sep 16, 2011
Gunking

johnL wrote:
If you don't throw a tantrum when you fall, fuck off. General etiquette: if you fall off steep stuff, be sure to explain to everyone around how easy every single move is but you've 1) been climbing in a power area 2) been climbing at the red so long that you've lost all your power, or 3) are on your 6th consecutive day. Have fun.


The tantrums at the Red really are world class.


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By steitz
From midcoast, maine
Sep 16, 2011

Ryan Williams wrote:
Oh yea, I almost forgot: Learn how to poop in a toilet before you go to the crag.


+1


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By LeeAB
Administrator
From ABQ, NM
Sep 16, 2011
Once we landed we headed to Font to find a place to stay for the night before doing a day of wine tasting and heading to Buoux.

For me lately, its been, quit ridding the bike (normally 100+ miles a week) drop the extra weight and the endurance appears. Though I'm sure Mono and Mike's method is better.

Remember that even at 50 feet the wall you have is short by Red standards, laps and ladders.


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Sep 16, 2011

Ryan Williams wrote:
The first thing you need to do is to hire a body guard to keep people from punching you in the back of the head. You also need to practice your "air climbing technique" so that when you are sitting around at Miguel's you'll be able to communicate with all of the other strong climbers. After all, what's the point of sending hard routes if you can't replicate the moves at the table later that night? Definitely perfect your bitching sequences for when you are hanging on bolts so that you don't look like a noob. Anyone who doesn't get pissed off at the rock is obviously not experienced or psyched enough to be worthy of projecting at the Madness Cave. Finally, make sure you have ear plugs, a puke proof tent and a really good reason why you aren't living in a van and climbing 5.14.


This is pretty good advice, but I'll add one more thing...definitely don't mention that you know me.

How to prep for the Red...lets see it took me about 2 solid years to figure it out, but you're much less stubborn than me.

Do you have any specific or general goals? Redpointing or on-sighting?

For redpoinging, my preparation for the Red isn't much different than what I would do anywhere else, but it is essential to have the ability to hang onto OK holds and get some recovery. There are mental and physical aspects to that activity, and you can practice it during ARC or PE sessions.

I encourage you to do ARC-ish activities on your low intensity days, and I think doing it on lead is most valuable. The key is to be able to hang out for long periods on steep terrain without panicking. There are rests on routes in the Madness Cave (and other crags) that you would be able to hang onto all day if they were 5 feet off the ground, but the location on the route and the exposure make it hard for many people to relax.

Oh, 97% of the holds are incut edges with a thumb catch, so be ready to crimp a lot. The other 2% are slopers, and 1% pockets.

Do you need a place to stay?


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By sunder
From Alsip, Il
Sep 19, 2011
ICE PIT 2011

Do Endless laps on HIT Strips or on 45 degree wall.
If you have 50' wall do 3 laps on the wall (overhung) at 60-70% of your max ablility, rest 1/2 it took you to climb it. And Repeat 3x. Get to just before the pump and then shake out. Make sure not to pump out.

Helps a ton.
Pratice clipping when your beyond pumped.

Don't know if you have been there before but.

Bring EarPlugs if you want to sleep.

Don't stake out tent with the guy lines. Someone Drunk at 2am always trips over them and then falls on your tent. It will scare the shit out of you!


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Sep 19, 2011
El Chorro

sunder wrote:
Don't stake out tent with the guy lines. Someone Drunk at 2am always trips over them and then falls on your tent. It will scare the shit out of you!


Ha I learned that lesson the hard way.

Also, one morning I woke up and someone had actually staked out one corner of their tent with my stake! They tied their guy line to my tent! Who does that!?!


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By Brendan N. (grayhghost)
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Sep 19, 2011

Mike Anderson wrote:
Do you have any specific or general goals? Redpointing or on-sighting? . . . Do you need a place to stay?


Main goal is first onsight of a 13. Only five days to see the whole place will mean pretty much constant onsighting. I am hooked up for staying in a cabin, but thanks for the offer. I hope we can climb together during my time there.


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By Zappatista
Sep 19, 2011
Book me, officer.

Man, it's sounding overrun as shit up there. It's funny, people complain about crowding in Red Rock, but it's been really rare for me over the last few seasons to see anything remotely approaching the Roadside scene out here, even at the walls that are always busy.

I think Mike's advice is spot on. I got over my "fear of numbers" at the Red, a big part of that was learning to relax and have fun with the process of being near-inverted for most/all of a full pitch. Exposure and crowds can work on your head and take your pulse rate through the roof; my best days up there I felt like I was on an upside-down treadmill of amazing holds, move, move-shake, move, move-shake'd myself up some pretty staggering looking steepness, controlling my breathing, and comfortable enough to laugh at the absurdity of this whole pursuit. I went for pure endurance 75% of my gym sessions while hitting the Red up frequently (18 weekends in a row one season), the theory being: if you can climb 100 5.11s in an hour or two in the gym, onsighting 12- isn't going to be tough after recovery. If you're aiming for 13-, try to do 100 12-s in a session, mix in some bouldering, if you're rested you should be in there.

I know those numbers probably sound ridiculous to people that don't train or have access to a gym, but start with sets of ten on routes a number grade below your limit and you'll see progress. By the time you're stacking sets of 20 together, you should be getting used to making real progress. I've never subscribed much to campusing and training logs, so I can't comment on the rockprodigy stuff, but I have been able to get substantially stronger using the volume principle. I bouldered using the same lots-of-laps approach on days when I couldn't scrounge a belayer.

That's my 2 cents. I never really got psyched on clipping bolts before the Red or since, but for a while there it was all I thought about. Post up after your trip and share what you learned.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Sep 19, 2011
El Chorro

Jesus Killis, how tall (short) are the walls at your gym? It takes me 8 to 9 minutes to do a set of 4 routes when I'm endurance training, then a 4 min rest and repeat. That's only 20 routes per hour. 100? Our walls are 50 feet high.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Sep 19, 2011
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Ryan Williams wrote:
Ha I learned that lesson the hard way. Also, one morning I woke up and someone had actually staked out one corner of their tent with my stake! They tied their guy line to my tent! Who does that!?!


Apparently alot of late arrivals do that. I had a nice 2 ft. square 'front porch' when I went to sleep; woke up with a new neighbor who had not only shoved the butt end of his tent into my doorway(thus blocking a straight forward exit), but had now entwined spyder webs of guy lines in, around, and under mine. It's a jungle out back. Pick a spot where you face a fence or area where nobody can squeeze in between your doorway and the pond, etc. And if the party noise doesn't keep you awake, the frogs in the pond will. Hopefully they're all frozen deep in the mud for winter by mid Oct.(the frogs, not the party people!/;-)


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Sep 23, 2011

grayhghost wrote:
Main goal is first onsight of a 13. Only five days to see the whole place will mean pretty much constant onsighting. I am hooked up for staying in a cabin, but thanks for the offer. I hope we can climb together during my time there.


Sweet, good luck. I highly recommend the Under tow wall. Start on the 12a, and work up through the grades. There are 3-4 13a's on that wall you can try, and all very similar and not too steep.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Sep 23, 2011
El Chorro

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Hopefully they're all frozen deep in the mud for winter by mid Oct.(the frogs, not the party people!/;-)


I'd be OK with either. I love to get crazy every now and then, but not where others are trying to sleep. Ahhh the Red River Gorge.


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By vacano
Sep 23, 2011

Some back-to-back training days is pretty key tactic IMO since you'll be climbing consecutive days. Perhaps some higher intensity (20 - 35 moves)sets of PE one day followed by longer PE/endurance the next.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Sep 23, 2011
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Mike Anderson wrote:
Sweet, good luck. I highly recommend the Under tow wall. Start on the 12a, and work up through the grades. There are 3-4 13a's on that wall you can try, and all very similar and not too steep.


My problem with the Undertow Wall, is that its realy hard to "onsight" anything since every route is constantly being worked and beta is constantly on spray from that chick that sells sex toys and doesn't own a shirt.

Get there early if you prefer a pure-as-can-be onsight.


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By caughtinside
From Oakland CA
Sep 23, 2011

I heard camhead is going to be there, so be sure to pack a raincoat.


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Sep 23, 2011
You stay away from mah pig!

caughtinside wrote:
I heard camhead is going to be there, so be sure to pack a raincoat.


naw, I'm mostly climbing at the New these days. Though I never considered that the reason I was always failing at the Red was because I kept mentioning that I knew Mr. Anderson, so maybe I should just start going there and ignoring him? hmm.


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Oct 4, 2011

naw, I'm mostly climbing at the New these days. Though I never considered that the reason I was always failing at the Red was because I kept mentioning that I knew Mr. Anderson, so maybe I should just start going there and
ignoring him? hmm.

That's DOCTOR Anderson. I didn't spend five years in Evil Graduate School to be called "mister", thank you very much.


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By Zappatista
Oct 24, 2011
Book me, officer.

Ryan, 55 feet back east, bout ten less out here. Sets of 100 are very possible if you give it a try. Toughest part (wish I was joking) is avoiding all the dipshit questions and gossip that are part and parcel of actually trying to get something useful done in a climbing gym. The guy with the headphones may be an asshole, but at least he's not absorbing all the spew that floats around those places.


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