November 2, 2012

Ready to Rock and Inspire!

It's that time again, the temperatures are cooling off, my fitness level is increasing and my ambition is high (well higher than the normal high that it usually exists at), yeah it's time to project.

Projecting is when you choose a route that you want to climb without falling, even though it might feel extremely difficult the first time or two or ten!. Projecting is about learning and rehearsing the moves and eventually leading the climb and doing them all together in perfect harmony. A project is completed when you lead without falling and clip the anchors without weighting any piece of protection during the ascent. A project might take three efforts and it might take thirty, what is important is that you choose a route that you love climbing on. That way each and every time you are climbing on it you are excited and motivated.

Years ago, when I was honing my skills as a rock/crack climber, my weekends would consist of visiting Rifle, Shelf Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Clear Creek Canyon, Indian Creek, Zion, the Black Canyon and the solitude of desert towers and getting in as many pitches as I could. I sought out days where I started at dawn and ended after dark. If I didn't get 20+ pitches in where ever I was climbing, it was a wasted effort and I wasn't pushing myself hard enough.

From that desire to learn new skills and hone techniques, I became a competent climber on all types of rock and styles and ventured out to the big wall venue where I could apply all that I had trained for. It was incredible to be able to free climb long routes with all kinds of challenges in a day and not fall. I was loving it.

Now that my goals have changed again, I still love pitching it out, still love climbing big walls, but I have now focused on climbing aesthetic single pitch lines that have never been climbed before. Often times I need to project the climb because it's a weakness of mine or because it's just too difficult. My climbing road has brought me to that place once again and this fall/winter I will be working for another first free ascent in the desert near my home.

After the first day or two on the route I felt confident that I could do it but knew that it would take a real effort. It would take focusing on my lock-off and crimp strength and power endurance. The  eighty foot line that only got harder and harder as I climbed higher and higher was going to take me a new effort where I had to raise the bar.

What will that look like?
 Frank Zappa Appreciation Society ffa
 Arcturus ffa
 Army of Darkness ffa
 Aqualung ffa
 some indian creek thing (repeat)
 Dunn Route ffa
 Walking on Water ffa
Spec One ffa
I will focus my two days a week of circuit training on powerful movements and perfect execution. I will work on my crimps and lock-offs on my climbing specific day. With a little running and rest and one day a week on the climb itself, I will prepare and eventually complete this climb.

Get outside and climb!

piz : )


  1. Thanks for the inspiring post. I usually "just pitch it out." I personally don't like the idea of only climbing one route over and over. However, I now desire to raise my personal climbing bar and enter into the 5.13 realm, and I know that this will require projecting. I need to find the projecting psych and this post helped.

  2. Cool Ben. Projecting is the ultimate way to push yourself, increase you abilty, gain confidence and see growth. While projecting I always warm up properly, try the route and then pitch it out after I can no longer try the project at a high level. That means 2 warm up climbs, 2-3 burns on the project and then hopefully another 10 routes to warm down afterward depending on daylight. I make sure that my body knows how to finish a route. So if my project is 13+ then I will pitch it out on 5.11+ and 5.12's to keep my fitness. Climbing on just one route will make you stale and loose psych. I don't ever advise that!