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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 23, 2011

Kind of a strange question but maybe someone out in MP world will have some insight.

I am an onsight climber. When people ask me how hard do I climb, I respond with my onsight level. Not trying to rain on anyones parade, but a redpoint just doesn't do it for me. Anyone can send really hard if they work a route long enough.

My endurance is really good, my finger strength has never held me back, and my technique is pretty sound. My hardest onsight to date is about 11+. My redpoint limit is probably 12+, but I honestly don't really work routes enough to gauge that accurately. A few days ago my buddy really wanted to climb a 12+ even though I wasn't really into it because it's beyond my onsight range. Once I got on it, I was able to do all the moves fairly easily, but not without hanging to scope out the upcoming holds. The point of this rant is that I don't think it's my strength, endurance, technique that's holding me back from onsighting harder, it's getting better at reading sequences from below. Anyone got any tips for how to improve this? I mean, obviously just keep trying to onsight harder things and increase my endurance so I can hang on longer, but I'm wondering if anyone has a specific tactic that they've used to improve this skill.


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By Kai Huang
From Thornton, CO
Sep 23, 2011

Well, someone has to ask this...

If you are reading sequences from below, does it still count as onsight?


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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 23, 2011

Just to clarify, I don't mean reading the beta from below as in on the ground. I mean getting to a decent shake, looking up, and being able to read the next moves or even being able to read moves and sequences mid-crux.


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By fat cow
From Salinas, CA
Sep 23, 2011
perfect seam

The birdman obviously means while climbing


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By Casey Ryback
Sep 23, 2011
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

Hi Birdman,

The answer is without a doubt BINOCULARS! But, not just any pair will do. These are the ones I use- www.amazon.com/Nikon-7295-Monarch-10x42-Binocular/dp/B0033PR>>>

I feel like Im due for an upgrade though. I would recommend spending at least $300, or else youre not really gonna see any improvement.

Good luck!


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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 23, 2011

SirMixALot wrote:
Who cares Maybe if you spent more time climbing then worrying about this crap, you could onsight more than measly 11+...


Considering your most recent tick is a 5.7, 10b, 5.8, and 11a (toprope) I don't really believe that 11+ is measly, especially to someone of your ability level. Also, this "crap" is climbing. I didn't ask how many laps I need to run on a campus board to climb 5.12, I asked how to get better at reading beta because I like climbing onsight. Anytime you'd like to meet me, I'd be happy to jump on some measly 11+'s to see how that goes for you.


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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 23, 2011

DavidG wrote:
Hi Birdman, The answer is without a doubt BINOCULARS! But, not just any pair will do. These are the ones I use- www.amazon.com/Nikon-7295-Monarch-10x42-Binocular/dp/B0033PR>>> I feel like Im due for an upgrade though. I would recommend spending at least $300, or else youre not really gonna see any improvement. Good luck!


Are you trying to sell me something or help out? Pulling on binoculars mid-route bumps the grade at least a letter...


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By Casey Ryback
Sep 23, 2011
Chief Petty Officer and former Navy Seal turned chef

Youre gonna wanna use those while youre still on the ground there 'lil bird fella!


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

I think you have to read the sequences the best you can (as you already do), and then climb them. As soon as you are finished, play those sequences in your head over and over, paying close attention to the difference between what you thought the moves were and what they actually were. Analyze how well you read the sequences, noting how they felt the same and/or different from what you expected. Then go back and look at the climb again, standing in the same spot as you did before you climbed. You'll learn what mistakes you made and hopefully not make them again.


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By J.J
Sep 23, 2011

cjdrover wrote:
To be fair, your first response, which you tried to backpedal and delete, was pretty dick-ish.

Yeah? Well you don't even have any ticks so STFU!


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By J.J
Sep 23, 2011

I was tempted to start a rant-style thread about east coast climbers. But then I would never get my homework done..


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By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Sep 23, 2011
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.

One other thought - maybe your expectations are unrealistic? In all honesty one number grade difference between onsight and redpoint sounds pretty good - the people at the top are onsighting 5.14- and redpointing 5.15-...

Think of it like thise - if you do a sequence perfectly on a 12a then you are doing 12a moves. Any less than perfect and you're very quickly doing 12b, 12c, 13a moves. The more "beta-intensive" the route is the faster you'll drive the grade up. In other words, if you keep pushing your redpoint grade up I would expect your onsight grade to go up too - if you can pull 5.13 redpoint you'll be able to mess up the sequence a little on a 5.12 and get away with it.


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By Darren in Vegas
From Las Vegas, NV
Sep 23, 2011
Skiing around.

SirMixALot wrote:
The people that can do that definetely don't waste time on mountainproject...

I can do that, and I waste lots of time on MountainProject.


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By cjdrover
From Somerville, MA
Sep 23, 2011
Taken at MWV Icefest 2014.

SirMixALot wrote:
I was tempted to start a rant-style thread about east coast climbers. But then I would never get my homework done..


Please, enlighten us. I'm sure you know exactly what you are talking about.


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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Sep 23, 2011

Along with what Ryan said, I would think that limiting yourself to climbing routes that you think you can onsight will only hold you back in progressing/learning to read harder sequences. It sounds like the only thing that is holding you back is mileage on harder routes (redpointing) to gain experience actually doing harder sequences so you will then later be able to recognize them when you are onsighting. You onsight a full number harder than me, but I find that I can't expect to read harder sequences when I don't know what they even look/feel like.


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By J.J
Sep 23, 2011

cjdrover wrote:
Please, enlighten us. I'm sure you know exactly what you are talking about.

Nah, my 3 posts in a row were enough for me.

And Darren- I was just in a talking-out-of-my-ass mood. But you probably can't climb hard anymore after reading my posts. The pussy with inflated ego disease is really contagious.

Bye


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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 23, 2011

Joe and Ryan: I think your points are valid. At a certain point climbing just gets hard, hard enough where onsighting is very difficult. To onsight harder routes, the key might be working routes that are harder than the grade I hope to onsight.

CJ: Your point about highly-traveled areas is well-taken, i.e. Rumney. When I'm climbing, I definitely get tunnel vision for the chalked holds, which in highly trafficked areas, are usually not the right holds.

SirMixAlot: I'm just going to treat you the same way I treat any other idiot at the crag, by completely ignoring you. If you have anything else to spew about what an egotistical jerk I am and how badass you are for climbing trad, feel free, I just won't waste the time to read it.


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By J.J
Sep 23, 2011

TheBirdman wrote:
at the crag

;)


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By Ian Cavanaugh
Sep 23, 2011

I just thought you all should know that im the best climber on this site! I warm up on your projects, I one arm mono dyno to heel hook, and .11+ onsites are measly. and always remember, you get more gnar points for calling your mom while onsiting!


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By Ian Cavanaugh
Sep 23, 2011

johnL wrote:
I've definitely called YOUR mom while onsighting. Does that count?

2x bonus


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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 23, 2011

johnL wrote:
Birdman, first off, you're a little hotheaded and prone to flying off the handle.


John, I think you make valid points. Like I said in a previous post, at a certain point climbing just gets hard enough where onsighting becomes very difficult. The only way to improve my onsight ability is to project routes above (roughly a number grade) where I want my onsight level to be. Agreed, 11+ is measly if my goal is to onsight 12+.

I am curious though, what makes me a little hotheaded and prone to flying off the handle?


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By J.J
Sep 23, 2011

TheBirdman wrote:
I am curious though, what makes me a little hotheaded and prone to flying off the handle?

Big Butts? Babies that got back?


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By JoeP
From Littleton, CO
Sep 23, 2011

johnL wrote:
I've definitely called YOUR mom while onsighting. Does that count?


Depends if you had a her number saved on your phone. Can't be an onsight if you already knew her number...


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By slim
Administrator
Sep 23, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i think that remembering to stop and look ahead when possible is a tough habit to form. i can relate to the question that you have. john has some good points though. redpointing harder route will help your onsighting.


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By Gunkiemike
Sep 23, 2011

TheBirdman wrote:
My endurance is really good, my finger strength has never held me back, and my technique is pretty sound.


Tell us then, what "fails" when you fail to OS a route? Do your fingers involuntarily open? Can you work up into the crux only a few times after backing down? You're failing for SOME physiological reason. Maybe focus training on that aspect.

The only exception to this I can think of is if you think every problem can be solved with a dyno. Not sticking a real good dyno pretty much = failure, I guess without any underlying physiological shortcoming. But then, that would be your problem... thinking you can dyno all the cruxes.


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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Sep 23, 2011

Gunkiemike wrote:
Tell us then, what "fails" when you fail to OS a route? Do your fingers involuntarily open? Can you work up into the crux only a few times after backing down? You're failing for SOME physiological reason. Maybe focus training on that aspect. The only exception to this I can think of is if you think every problem can be solved with a dyno. Not sticking a real good dyno pretty much = failure, I guess without any underlying physiological shortcoming. But then, that would be your problem... thinking you can dyno all the cruxes.


I don't think it's physiological as much as it's poor planning. If I use bad beta, 12a bumps up to 12+ really quick. My point was I have sufficient physical ability to onsight 12a if I use the correct beta.


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