Onsight Tips from 2 Masters

With STONE’s Birds Egg Competition right around the corner, NTUT’s Shanzai Cup on May 11th, and the National Championships on May 18th-19th, there are plenty of reasons to want to improve your onsight climbing level.

Although generally thought of as a route-climbing skill, onsighting or flashing routes is the ideal strategy in bouldering competitions as well. Not only do you have the most strength, and the greatest chance to send on the first try of a boulder, but attempting a problem more than once will tire you out quickly, reducing your chances of finishing subsequent problems.

Without further ado we present Onsight Tips from 2 Masters:

Alex Megos

photo – Megos

Alex has blown the climbing world away by onsighting 9a. To put this into perspective, the current hardest route in the world is graded 9b+.

How does he do it? Alex Megos talks about specific skills needed to onsight and how to build them in this interview to RCUK last year. Although at that time he had “only” onsighted 8b+, the same tips are relevant today.

Jerry Moffat

Jerry Moffat is one of the legendary British climbers from the 80′s who pushed the envelope of what is possible. Known for both his onsight and redpoint achievements, in this video he gives very practical strategies for dealing with nerves,  and getting the right frame of mind for onsight  climbing.

The Best Training Plan for Beginners

So you’re climbing Whites or Silvers at STONE or Xinyi, or you’re stuck in the easy 5.10′s. How do you get better and start crushing the Yellows? How do you make the leap from flailing up the routes at Y17 to conquering the technical routes and monster overhangs at Neihu?

Hit the weight room? Do more pullups? Hang off the fingerboard? If you are reasonably fit(at a reasonable weight for your height, able to do 5 pullups), the answer is probably not.

Kris Hampton outlines the perfect  training plan for you at The Power Company Climbing Blog, guaranteed to take you into the next grade, if not more.

Besides this beginner oriented article, The PCC blog also contains many other gems for intermediate and advanced climbers, such as this article about properly warming up for your project.

The Stick Clip

Route at Backdoor have a crazy hard, sketchy start? Stick clip it.

Made from tools often found at the crag; tape and a big stick, stick clips are a way to clip the first bolt from the ground and thus secure the start.

Climbing Magazine shows you how:

Training Principle – The 1.01 Law

Recently an image has been making the rounds on Facebook in Taiwan, of a plaque made by a Japanese schoolteacher, which we thought is relevant to climbing.

A rough translation of the plaque reads

The law of 1.01 :  1.01365= 37.8
The law of 0.99: 0.99365 =0.03

In layman’s terms:

  • When we eek out 1% more effort every day, our abilities can grow almost 38 times over the course of a year.
  • When we slack off 1% every day, our abilities diminish greatly over the course of a year. (to 0.03 of our original ability)

Is this principle literally true? Probably not.  You are not going to be climbing 38 times harder from spending 1% more time training everyday, and you’re not going to be a weakling a year later if you slack off 1% of the time.

However the general principle holds — pushing yourself just that 1% more beyond your previous limit every day,  can have a huge exponential effect over time — and the reverse holds if you slack off!


1 Comment

Walking the Rope

When climbing an overhanging route or a roof, a fall will often leave you hanging in space, unable to get back on the wall.. what to do?

Climbing magazine shows you how to Walk the Rope


8a.nu also has a good explanation of this cool technique