The Touchstone Rope Series comps is entering its fifth year and the first of the series will be this Friday, January 21 at Sacramento Pipeworks. The rope comp will have beer, pizza, and a ton of fun! It's a great time to meet other climbers, enjoy a competitive setting, and check out a lot of new top rope and lead routes.
Ethan Pringle, an accomplished rope climber who just redpointed Spicy Dumpling 5.14d and one of the hardest routes in China, provided some insight into the best way to perform at a rope climbing comp.
One of the most important things is staying relaxed under pressure. "Don't let the pressure of the crowds and the onlookers get to you. Treat it like any normal day in the gym," said Pringle. Being calm will lower your heart rate and help you perform at a higher level.
Pringle continued with some excellent technique advice, "Breathe and take your time. Don't rush moves and sequences. Deeeeeep breaths. Again, stay relaxed. BUT, at the same time..."
"Don't hang out in any one spot and shake out for too long. I see people (especially people who only boulder) shake out for like a full five minutes at a rest a third of the way up the wall... WRONG. Of course if you get to some good holds and you are pumped you can take a sec to compose yourself, shake each hand a few times, slow your breathing, and set off. A good rule of thumb for me is not to shake for half as long as it took me to get to that spot on the wall. I usually try not to shake out more than three or four times with each hand unless it's a really casual stance. I try to treat routes in the gym like long boulders problems because usually they don't have good rests on them, especially when the setters put some thought into them."
Pringle will be heading to Spain soon to try his redpointing skills on some of the world's hardest sport climbs. For those of you who want a great chance to try out your redpointing skills- check out the Touchstone Rope Series- this Friday at Pipeworks. The next rope comp will be at Great Western Power Company on February 18!