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Sport Climbing: From Top Rope to Redpoint, Techniques for Climbing Success Paperback – October 30, 2009
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The first chapter of SC is great, covering the history of SC, how it differes from bouldering and traditional climbing, and even gets straight to the heart of the matter: climbing is about falling, failure and fear, no matter what level you're operating at. There are a number of nice psychological nuggets like this throughout the book, even if the author does let his yoga fetish go a bit too far, e.g. "Let any expectations float to the surface and evaporate in the sun." I don't know about you, but when I'm pumped out at a scary bolt it's all I can do to keep my expectations from squirting out my butt onto my belayer's head. The detailed strategy recommendations for onsighting and redpointing are likewise worthwhile.
The chapter on gear is decent, with helpful tips on when to retire different pieces, but gives incomplete advice like "wire gates are... less likely to come unclipped," and "don't clip your belay carabiner through the tie-in points" without explaining the why and why not (triaxial loading and gate lash respectively). On the other hand, great detail is given to SC-specific techniques like regaining your high point, stick clipping and cleaning a route. Even here, however, there is no mention of simply having the person following the route clean the draws, or walking to the top and setting an anchor, which even for SC can be useful.Read more ›
The chapter devoted to technique covered the basics, but also offered a few gems that I had never really thought of before, at least on a conscious level. One, "balance first, move second" talks about putting yourself in balance before reaching that next hold. Seems pretty basic, but as a tall climber, it's usually easier to focus on just reaching the next hold instead of worrying about balance.
"Aside from knowing how to safely operate the belay devices, giving a soft catch is the most important, and least understood, aspect of great belaying." Preach on brother. I remember a day at the Minimum Crag in Maple Canyon where we watched this climber repeatedly taking bone-jarring whippers on one of the classic steep routes there. His belayer kept him so tight, what should have been casual lobs into space instead were candidates for a broken ankle each time he pitched. It was almost unbearable to watch, when all the belayer had to do was jump at the right moment and give a soft catch. Everyone who ever belays anyone should read this section and put the advice into practice.
Many climbers want to be better at onsighting, but they simply try to just onsight harder routes. Bisharat states that in order to boost your onsight level, try to redpoint four routes that are four letter grades harder. So if you want to comfortably onsight 11a, redpoint four 12as.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is amazing. It's perfect if you need to understand technique and the basics.Published 1 month ago by Kaitlin Bergan
This book serves as a coffee table read on sport climbing. It does not serve as a solid reference book. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Gchristo
Got a lot out of this book. Excellent for a beginner or novice, clear desciptions and really encouraging too. Recommend.Published on April 21, 2013 by Stephanie
Well written and organized. The best of the Mountaineers Series that I have read
so far. Minor points of contention.