emperor: Photograph of me climbing. (climbing)
[personal profile] emperor
I'm probably the wrong person to plug this here, since I have yet to climb on a boulder outside [unless you want to count The Arete at Castle Naze :p ], but I saw the UKC Review of Boulder Britain by Niall Grimes, and thought it might be of interest to the pebble-climbers in this community ;-)

The review concludes:
For your local or favourite bouldering areas you will more than likely have a bouldering guidebook or phone app but Boulder Britian is essential if you like to travel to climb small rocks whether you wear a beanie or not. It is a beautiful well-crafted showcase to the high quality bouldering we have in the UK and within its pages is the information and inspiration for many great days out. How lucky we are.
rydra_wong: "i like to climb alot". The xkcd stick figure climbs up the side of Hyperbole and a Half's yak-like "alot." (climbing -- alot)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(Because I've been promising to write this post up for at least two years.)

I can honestly say that a solid 90% of everything I know about climbing technique, I got from the first two of these resources, and the third may be the single wisest book I've found about training. Since I keep reccing them to all and sundry, I thought I ought to explain why.

The Self-Coached Climber by Dan Hague and Douglas Hunter (book, with accompanying DVD)

On at least one climbing forum, "Read the Self-Coached Climber" has become the equivalent of "read the FAQ, n00b".

This is a very information-dense book with a lot of very solid advice. It starts with a focus on movement awareness, then breaks down the theory behind different climbing movements such as backstepping and flagging, explaining why they work in terms of centre of gravity and balance, with a range of suggested exercises for improving your skills and developing fluency.

The second half of the book focuses on training, discussing the physiology of climbing then breaking it down into aerobic endurance, anaerobic endurance, and power, with suggestions on training each and on putting together a training plan to meet your goals. As far as I know, all of this information is as accurate and state-of-the-art as anything in climbing training can be (i.e., given the lack of double-blind controlled trials, mostly based on anecdata — but this is as solid as it gets).

Cut for length )
rydra_wong: Lisa Rands' chalky hands on the sloper on the route Gaia (climbing -- hands)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
"Deep play" is philosopher Jeremy Bentham's term for any gamble or wager in which "the stakes are so high that ... it is irrational for anyone to engage in it at all, since the marginal utility of what you stand to win is grossly outweighed by the disutility of what you stand to lose."

It's also the title of Paul Pritchard's first book, in which he chronicled his growth from a semi-feral child throwing petrol bombs down at the climbers in the local quarry to becoming one of the brightest and boldest British climbers of the '80s and '90s generation: the "dole climbers" who scrounged gear and food while creating ever-more-daring new routes, most famously in the slate quarries near Llanberis and on the sea cliffs of Anglesey.

Pritchard's a sharp, pawky writer, and the book's fragmented and lyrical and jagged, dodging around moments of self-revelation, from his impulsive decision to throw himself down a four-storey stairwell at school to his near-fatal fall (from a route named "Games Climbers Play" -- this story has too many ironies to count) at Gogarth.

Cut for length )
rydra_wong: Lisa Rands' chalky hands on the sloper on the route Gaia (climbing -- hands)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Would book/DVD reviews be of any interest?

I realized that I seem to have accumulated quite a stash of reading/viewing material about climbing, and it might be interesting to try some write-ups ...

(I'd certainly love to read other people's reviews.)


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