The Rock Climber’s Training Manual is now available order yours here!
By the time you boot up at the base of your dream route, the outcome has largely been determined by the work you accomplished to prepare for that attempt. Crafting an effective plan and working hard by following through with the training are the most effective ways to achieve future success. Your training effort is like compounding interest, multiplying its value over time, producing long-term improvement that could never be realized otherwise.
Nevertheless, to reach your highest potential requires the appropriate application of effort in the moment of the ascent. Not the maximum effort — the appropriate effort, because success usually hinges on the ability to ration effort along the climb, reigning in strength and power whenever possible so that both are available to unleash where they are most needed. This applies to the route-projecting process as much as it applies to the eventual redpoint. Careful application of physical effort, time, skin, and belayer patience is required to discover the keys to the route in time for a worthy redpoint attempt.
Discovering and Refining Climbing Beta
Redpoint climbing is an addictive problem-solving experience. It is equally physical and mental, and the mystery and eventual epiphany of unlocking the sequences that fit your body and fitness are what fuel our obsession with this sport. Redpoint climbing is a process with many steps and potential pitfalls. The Rock Climber’s Training Manual will help you develop a process for successful redpointing that will help you get the most out of your training.
Learn more in The Rock Climber’s Training Manual. Topics on redpoint climbing performance include:
• Tips for optimal route selection
• Planning for your redpoint project campaign
• Specific strategies for short-term projects
• Specific strategies for long-term projects
• Expert tips for unlocking the sequences on a difficult project
• Techniques for memorizing the beta
• Techniques for controlling focus and intensity during redpoint attempts
• How to analyze and learn from your performance
• Advice on maintaining motivation through a frustrating project
RCTM.com Articles related to Redpoint Performance:
- Don’t Call it a Comeback!As most avid readers know, my family and I spent the last 3 years living in the Florida Panhandle, far from climbing. In May, we made it back to Colorado, and our home in the mountains. These last 3 years have been psychologically challenging, and it seemed to be a massive struggle just to maintain my climbing performance, let alone improve. I always planned/hoped that the training I accomplished in Florida would manifest itself when I was finally able to live closer to climbing.So this fall is our first full season back in the mountains, with good conditions. We trained hard and trained well, and I picked out a project that would represent a significant milestone for me; Prime Time to Shine, a 5.14b (8C) at the Primo Wall in Clear Creek Canyon, CO. Read more…
- Use Video to Dial-in your Beta The advent of inexpensive, compact digital imaging technology has been a boon to outdoor sports. Now, nearly everyone can get Galen Rowell-worthy images of their adventures in the wildest of places; and products like the Go Pro allow for first-person videos that required a professional camera crew in the past. I’m surprised and a little confused that more sport climbers don’t take advantage of this technology to boost their climbing performance. Modern digital point and shoot cameras can easily record high definition video that can help you remember those complex sequences. Though I’ve climbed all over the country, I’ve only ever seen Mark and I recording our attempts at the crag in this way. Read more…
- On A Mission I’m heading out to Smith Rock in a few days for a two-week trip. The climbing at Smith is extremely thin and technical — and difficult to prepare for. I believe strongly in taining and I generally feel that using indoor tools is superior to “just climbing” outside (for building strength, power, and endurance). That said, indoor training is far from ideal for developing or polishing technique. For highly technique-dependent climbing, like that at Smith, some amount of outdoor skill practice is essential. Outdoor training can also help prepare your finger skin if its done wisely (in moderation). Read more…
- Designing a Transition Phase …The transition phase will usually be a 2-4 week period. At the start of this period, climbers strictly following the Rock Prodigy method will be climbing indoors exclusively. By the end of this period you should be climbing outside as frequently as your lifestyle allows (note: that doesn’t mean climbing every day; rather, it means whatever days you would normally climb or train, in accordance with your pre-planned Seasonal Training Plan, should be spent outside, on your project(s), to the extent possible). The middle of this period will ideally include a gradual transition between the two extremes… Read more…
- Flight of the Phoenix In late 2009, my friend Ben Schmitt bolted a typical-looking Shelf Road face climb at Cactus Cliff. The line climbs a beautiful white wall of limestone, featuring a brutally hard 5-or-so-move crux right in the middle of the wall. When Ben put the hardware in, I was just finishing off the last of Shelf’s (existing) hardest routes. I wasn’t really much into establishing routes at that time, and besides that, I didn’t really see any potential. About a year earlier there was a thread on Mountain Project titled “No Hard Climbing at Shelf Road”, and (ironically) I actually defended that position, noting that (at that time) there were only 9 routes at Shelf harder than 5.13a. The truth was, the visionaries who kept Shelf relevant through the 80’s and early 90’s had all moved on to greener pastures, and with the discovery of Rifle, few arrived to take their place, so development stalled for 15 years or so, until Ben arrived. Read more…
- Passing the Time I spent the latter half of October working a route in Clear Creek Canyon called “Primetime to Shine”. This is a linkup of two popular Peter Beal 14a’s, “Primeval” and “Shine”. I’m usually not a big fan of linkups but this one is a rare example of a linkup that actually improves on the piece parts. The Primo Wall is fairly short (maybe 35 feet tall?) and the geometry is such that the ‘straight up’ lines are really only continuous for a little over half the height of the wall. The ‘Primetime’ linkup traverses left and up through the middle of a steep shield of stone, keeping the line hard for a good 30 or so hand moves. The result is one of the most continuous hard lines on the Front Range. Read more…
- Dreams of Ten Sleep It was a long, hot summer on the Colorado Front Range, so after a seemingly interminable climbing drought the family was fired up to head north and check out the latest rage that is Ten Sleep Canyon. We’ve had lousy luck when it comes to Ten Sleep. I first bought the guidebook in the Spring of 2007, with plans to head there that coming summer. I developed a curious Sesamoid injury (that’s in your foot) that was mis-diagnosed as a stress fracture, so I spent that entire summer in a walking boot, meaning Ten Sleep would have to wait. I don’t exactly recall our excuses for the next four summers, but to sum up, each year we made firm plans to go to Ten Sleep, each year those plans fell through, and each year the new edition of the Ten Sleep guidebook doubled in size. Read more…
- Roped Bouldering in Cowboy Country We recently spent a few days in Wyoming to take advantage of the last week of Kate’s maternity leave. Sinks and Wild Iris are among our favorite crags. I can’t ever recall having a bad day at Wild Iris. Even when I get bouted by a project there (which happens often enough), the warmup climbs are so fun and the setting so magnificent its hard to leave the crag without a smile. Read more…
- Sunny St. George Part I: Breakin’ The Law …My primary objective for the trip was a power endurance route called “Breakin’ the Law“, which climbs out the upper of two shallow limestone caves at the Black & Tan crag. The route was the vision of Salt Lake hardman and fellow training advocate Jeff Pedersen. However, a young Dave Graham nabbed the first free ascent, and the name is reminiscent of the confessionary “I Am a Bad Man” (now known simply as Badman), so-named by JB Tribout after his friend Alan Watts told him, ‘you can have any route [at Smith Rock] except that one’…It would be quite a challenge for me to send a .14b in a week… Read more.
- Sunny St. George Part II: The Present After sending Breakin’ the Law, I faced the kind of dilemma I always dream of: what to do with my remaining two climbing days. I thought something in the 5.14a-range would be a good goal; something I had a good chance to send in the time remaining, but not a sure thing. I spent the night scouring the guidebook, and the next day I left early to recon various approaches, cliffs and climbs. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to climb as much as I do with two kids in tow, but there are constraints. Not every cliff is safe for kids, and that must be considered when selecting a project. After scouting the VRG and Gorilla Cliffs, the choice was clear. The Present was absolutely stunning, had a perfectly flat crag base with no loose rock, and the climbing was short and powerful (perfect for my current state of fitness). Read more…
- Mission (im)Possible! Last spring I climbed Mission Overdrive in Clear Creek Canyon, a linkup that begins up Daniel Woods’ 5.14c(/d?) test-piece Mission Impossible, and then traverses right at mid-height to catch the upper half crux of the canyon’s mega-classic 5.13d Interstellar Overdrive. At the time I was curious to investigate the complete Mission Impossible, but the remainder of my season was already booked solid. After returning from St. George in mid-January I decided to focus my attention on Mission Impossible. Read more…
If you have a question or comment related to Redpoint Performance, please post it on the RCTM Forum. We will try to respond as soon as possible.
3 thoughts on “Redpoint”
Just bought and finished reading your book…it’s amazing and such a help! thanks a bunch for writing it.
i have one more question before i get started with this winters training season: where i live, we have a long down-season that basically lasts from the middle of october into late february. the weather is so bad and unpredictable that a perfomance phase within this time frame would be absolutely wasted.
do you have any recommendations concerning training planning over a period of 4-5 months (excluding the performance phase that would commence earliest in middle of february)? as i am first and foremost a boulderer, the recommended training plans in RCTM are much shorter and i don’t see that much benefit in a huuuge base phase – i have been climbing 15+ years and a two-month skill acquisition phase (in a gym!) probably wouldn’t be very beneficial to say the least.
thanks in advance!
This question comes up quite a bit. You can find some answers here: