The other weekend I fell off more than usual. I’ll have a go at harder problems every time I go bouldering as a way of trying to improve my climbing. About a third of the time I complete the problem, another third of the time I fall off every time, and the remaining third I’m just baffled about how to actually do the climb. However, this time, I fell just off again and again.
I’d decided to go bouldering at the Pinnacle Boulders at Froggart Edge because it has a mix of easier problems (described as ideal “starting points for the beginner” in the Rockfax Peak Bouldering guide), and problems at the high end of what I can climb on gritstone. I thought that I could warm up and practice movement on the easier problems, and then progressively push my grade on the harder problems.
The first part of this plan worked. I had fun climbing some interesting and easy problems. Then I switched on the harder problems, and began to fall off. For example, I came off the problem The Northerner (V2 5c) repeatedly. I kept going because it’s a stimulating problem, and I felt I was close to completing the crux move. But, in the end, I decided to climb something else because too much of my fingertips was getting left behind each time I slipped off.
I managed to avoid becoming frustrated at all this falling off by continuing to remind myself that I was probably learning something each time I failed. I also reminded myself that I had managed to get up one problem I found challenging – Starter Motor (V1 5b). This helped me to enjoy myself, and so come away at the end of the day tired, scraped and sweaty, but still satisfied.
4 thoughts on “Falling off a lot”
Yeah – it’s important to finish on a good note, i.e. a success! But you’ve made me think how much I’m slacking really as I’ve suspected for a while that I’m refusing to fall off and, if I meet problems, I’m giving up instead. Mind you, I have no real ambition to improve as such – more just keep going at my age!
I don’t think that’s there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just about doing what you find fun.
I think I’m allowing myself to get scared of falling off though which isn’t good – after all, I’m only ever seconding and usually single pitch!
It’s pretty hard to get over that fear of falling. It’s a very natural reaction and an issue for lots of climbers.