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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

The Redpoint Game

Over the last few years i have abandoned most styles of rock climbing in order to improve my redpoint grade in bouldering and sport climbing. I am quite interested in the mental game that is redpointing. To someone who doesn't understand the issue redpointing can seem like the easy path. After all you can work it as much as you want and have as many goes as you want, doesn't normally matter how long it takes. This view belies the reality though. As anyone who has become immersed in the redpoint game will tell you it can be an extremely stressful and thought provoking process especially when at one's limit. In general like anything in life the more of it you do the better at it you get. It is my belief that physchological factors are very significant in redpointing and to become good at it it is important to try and master these especially in multi-day seiges. My most disturbing battle with mental factors that i can recall was in 2003 on Raindogs at Malham. I can remember when i started redpointing putting my shoes on and feeling incredibly nervous in the pit of my stomach. I was almost telling myself i was going to fail. It is these kind of thoughts that it is very important to master. But what is the perfect redpointing mentality, should you relax? or pump yourself up and try and climb with aggression? I guess it depends on the person and the route/experience. After a significant seige on something its also important to keep believing that the end will come. I've spent over 40 days on boulder problems (not as stressful as routes granted) and i suppose belief is the most important physchological attribute. On my present project i have been pleasantly surprised with how my mentality has held up, especially since i've had so many goes in a short space of time (the ususal recipe for mental burnout). Yesterday i got the good hold but my heel slipped off a bit and i couldn't recover. This kind of thing is hard to take as luck does play a part. It is important to keep focussed however and most importantly keep positive!

6 comments:

Neal said...

nice write-up -hadn't checked the blog in a while. And good to meet you last weekend at the crag.

Had a similar experience redpointing a route in France last year. ended up having be last evening of last day of trip. Had to keep focused on just enjoying the whole experience so the psychological pressure didn't kick my ass.
Didn't think I'd enjoy redpointing when I started it a few years ago, but am hooked now (although be nice to send all projects in a few days :). Never gotten into it for bouldering, it's starting to show on routes as lacking in power......

Might see you at LPT on Friday evening.
- Irish Neal

Doylo said...

cheers Neal, can be a stressful game! If i do my proj tomorrow you might well see me at LPT. Tommy broke his foot yesterday falling off Wild Understatement! Bummer!

Neal said...

just keep enjoying the experience - it'll go :)
Crap about Tommy, looks like I won't be skipping any bolts then on Statement......

Doylo said...

yeh i'm trying. Haven't spoken to tommy yet so not sure what happened. I hope he didn't fall off that middle section where he was skipping that clip! I guess its not (relatively) that steep on that sector of crag and he must of just slammed in and caught his foot badly.

Neal said...

whatever happened, it sucks.....

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