TRC Blog

THE CLIMBER'S DICTIONARY: PART 2

The Climber’s Dictionary (F-K)
By Neal Royal (Contributing Blogger) 

 

I hope you’ve been able to drop some new climbing lingo and up your cred. Now that you're the one slinging Master's level jargon, its time for a new challenge. Don’t worry... more insider terms await. But first? A quick grammar lesson:

You’d think with the number of words in a climber’s arsenal we’d be more creative with our grammar. Nope. Climbers are always making things harder than they need to be. This has led me to create a new grammar rule: “When in doubt, add a -y.” Let me prove it. Think of a climbing word and add –y:

Jug > Juggy

Pump > Pumpy

Shoulder > Shouldery

Crux > Cruxy

Flow > Flowy

That wasn’t so bad, was it? Now you don’t have to be at a loss for descriptors when describing a 5.11+. Just throw a “y” on something like “crux” and you’ll at least sound like a pro (even if not looking the part). Enough with grammar. Let’s get to what you came here for: CLIMBING LINGO, LETTERS F - K:

 

Flagging: With the goal of maintaining balance, straighten one of your legs out right or left while maintaining three points of contact
with your remaining limbs. This technique allows for greater control, opting for static as opposed to a dynamic movement.

Example: “I found flagging right helped me from barn dooring.”


Flapper: 
When the first layer of skin separates or peels away from the underlying layer. Occur most often after long climbing adventures or failed dynos.

Example: “To cut or not cut the flapper? That is the question.”


Hang-Dog: 
Not necessarily a positive way to describe someone. When someone repeatedly rests over the course of a route, hanging on the rope. Belayers of hang dogs regularly question their friendship with these individuals.

Example: “Don’t hang dog on me.”

High-Gravity Day: One of those days where your body feels heavier than usual and you don’t climb particularly well. These days occasionally happen. Work on the hangboard or do core work instead

Example:
Sandra Bullock: “How’s your climbing today?”

George Clooney: “It’s definitely a high-gravity day.”


Hero Jug: 
Not your ordinary jug (type of climbing hold that is easy to hold onto). One that awaits your arrival after pushing through a difficult section on a route. Some refer to it as an ubergrippen, which sounds cooler. Use thisvhold to take a much needed rest and raise your psych to finish the route!
Example: “Push through that section until you get to the hero jug halfway to the top.”

 

Jug Haul: Used mostly in a bouldering context in reference to the top of a problem. Much like a hero jug, a jug haul is a series of jugs that await your arrival after a difficult section or crux, or the most difficult part of the route.

Example:“Get through the crux and it’s a jug haul to the top.”

 

Knee-Bar: Much like how a cam works, position your foot and knee in between two holds, so that your body is locked in place. Knee bars allow for much needed breaks and control in order to make a static movement.

Example: “Give yourself a break by setting a knee-bar.”

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TIPS FOR AVOIDING CLIMBING INJURIES

SIMPLE TIPS FOR AVOIDING CLIMBING INJURIES

Let's face it: climbing is equal parts of amazing and strenuous, and, no matter how safely you climb or train, injuries (both big and small) are practically inevitable.  While we can't guarantee the following tips will fully prevent all injuries, we are certain they will - at the very least - help you train more effectively and avoid more injuries than necessary.

1. CROSS TRAIN

Raleigh Yoga and PilatesClimbing every day sounds pretty ideal to us, but in order to reach your fullest potential while working toward avoiding injuries, it's better to mix things up with cross training workouts. Attending yoga, Pilates or Functional Fitness classes, running, biking, and weight lifting will help strengthen other muscle groups and thus prevent you from putting too much strain on your climbing muscles.

2. WARM UP BEFORE YOU CLIMB

It's easy to skip this part of your climb time, but before getting on the wall it's important to set aside a few minutes to warm up your joints and muscles. Adding some jumping jacks, toe touches, side bends, wrist rotations, finger movements, and cross-body shoulder stretches will get the blood flowing and your muscles prepped for climbing. Before diving into your project, it's also helpful to climb a problem or two well under your abilities to warm up your fingers and tendons.

3. IT'S OKAY TO REST

As with most sport-related injuries, overtraining and overuse are common reasons behind climbing injuries. Climbing puts a tremendous amount of stress on your tendons, joints, and muscles, and it's imperative to respect your body and give it days to recover. When training, your rest days should be just as important as your climbing days. Give your climbing muscles a break 2-3 days a week and focus those days on yoga or other cross-training exercises.

4. STOP WITH THE DEATH GRIPS

Avoiding Climbing Injuries tips Triangle Rock ClubOver gripping a hold is more common than you might think among new and experienced climbers alike. Not only does applying this excess energy exhaust you more quickly, but a "death grip" on a hold also sets the stage for finger and tendon injuries. Using a lighter grip helps you avoid injury while simultaneously conserving your energy, thus increasing your endurance on the wall. In order to avoid over gripping, begin experiencing with the overall strength of your grip: try an easy route (one with big holds, maybe a V0 or a 5.5 or 5.6) and begin noticing how much energy you actually need to exert to stay on the wall. Chances are you need far less strength than you're using.

 

5. PRACTICE MINDFUL MOVEMENTS

Don't rush into mastering a brand new problem immediately. Fully observe the route in front of you and plan ahead. When actually moving into the climb, be sure to utilize basic climbing techniques: keep your hips close to the wall, engage your core, use conscious footwork (and push with your legs/feet), maintain strong posture and keep your arms straight. Be mindful and conscientious of every single move. Thinking ahead and planning accordingly not only sets you up for a successful send, and helps you avoid injuries that could've been avoided with careful planning.

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Climbing Gear and Buying Tips

(Newer) Climber Gear, Products and Buying Tips

Triangle Rock Club, Raleigh climbing gear

Newer to the world of climbing, or looking to purchase your own gear for the first time? It can be overwhelming with the variety of brands, options, and endless possibilities, but it doesn't have to be.

We sat down with TRC Morrisville's Front Desk Manager (and TRC Morrisville Gear Shop expert) Morgan Bounds for a Q&A session to shed some light on the wonderful world of climbing gear.

 


Q: I’m a new climber and want to stock up on my own, personal gear. Where do I begin?

A: "I recommend looking into shoes and a harness. Whether you are bouldering or climbing on ropes, having your own shoes will make a quick difference in comfort and climbing performance. When you have your own shoe that you break in, it will fit more securely and with fewer pressure points than a rental shoe. A harness won't be too important for someone who mostly boulders, but for climbers who focus on ropes it is nearly essential to have your own. Other basic and essential items would be your own chalk bag (we sell a variety of brands and styles at all three TRC locations) and chalk."

Q: When looking for a harness, how should it fit?

A: "The fit is very important both for both comfort and safety:

1) Your waist belt should sit above the iliac crest at your waist, and the waist belt should be the tightest part of your harness so that it can not slide down over the hip bones

2) The leg loops should be all the way at the top of the leg directly under the buttocks... when they are weighted it should feel like sitting on a swing - very balanced and stable

3) When sizing your harness keep in mind that that the largest one that fits you securely will have the most padding where you want it. You may be able to get into an XS and tighten it down, but the leg padding may only go half or two-thirds of the way around your leg. Not the best for working on your project (believe me)."

Q: How do I decide on what type of harness/brand I should purchase? Triangle Rock Club climbing gear shopWhat are the differences between all of the brands/styles that TRC carries? 

A: "All of the harnesses we carry at Triangle Rock Club look fairly similar because they're all the sit-style with two tie-in points, a belay loop, and gear loops for equipment. There is, however, a disparity in overall pricing across the board, and it's hard to know what you're getting for your dollars. Largely the differences aren't visible but have more to do with the overall construction of the product. Here are few details about the harnesses we sell at TRC:

The Black Diamond Momentum/Primrose: This is a great "no frills" harness, but the padding is not very breathable or very rigid. It will be hotter than other options and it will have more pressure points when you are hanging in it for any length of time.

The Petzl Adjama/Luna: One of the two "do all" harnesses we carry in our TRC Gear Shops. It's fully adjustable with locking buckles on the legs as well as the waist. The mesh foam and endo frame on the Adjama/Luna seeks to maximize comfort and breathability while minimizing weight.

•The Misty Mountain Sonic/Silhouette: Another "do all" harness that is also fully adjustable with locking buckles on the legs and waist. The Sonic/Silhouette is our heaviest harness, but it shows. The padding is stiff enough to support a full trad rack with little deformation to maintain comfort while still cushioning better than any other harness Triangle Rock Club carries. Not something you may notice in a gym session, but a huge bonus when sitting at a belay station on a multi-pitch route. There's also a large, full-strength haul loop to secure any and all equipment with as little reaching as possible.

The Black Diamond Aura/Ozone: This the lightest weight harness we carry and it's intended for sport climbing. It's a little more breathable in hot weather, but it does not have a haul loop.

• The Misty Mountain Bolt/Volt: Another lighter weight harness we carry. The Bolt/Volt has stiffer padding that will support the weight of full rack better, and the outer layer is Cordura Nylon that is incredibly abrasion resistant. The stiffened horizontal gear loops make clipping a nearly thoughtless process. Throw in a full strength haul loop and you have a lightweight sport harness that can be used for anything including multi-pitch trad when needed."

Q: When looking for shoes, how should they fit? I've heard they're supposed to be very (VERY) tight, is this true?raleigh climbing gear, triangle rock club

A: Do not feel like you need to size down too much, especially if you are going for your first pair. Working down toward tighter shoes can be a process. Ideally climbing shoes should fit like a sock. Consistent pressure across the whole foot, no gaps or spaces, but overly tight places either. Try on as many shoes as you can to find the pair that fits you the best!

 

Q: Like the harness selection at TRC, the variety of shoe brands and styles is overwhelming. Can you help break down the buying process a bit?

A: "The first thing to consider is what type of climbing you want the shoes for:

• Looking for performance without sacrificing comfort? Check out the Evolv Kira/Kronos, a flat shoe with a heel tensioning band, toe rubber, and variable tension velcro closure. You get everything you need for great slab climbing and still tackle heel hooks and some steep climbing.

• Largely bouldering on overhanging terrain or working with super small foot holds on ropes? Look into the down-turned shoes. We carry the Butora Acro, La Sportiva Solution, Evolv Shaman, and still have a handful of sizes in the Evolv Luchador in our Morrisville Gear Shop. In addition, check out the 5.10 Blackwings at North Raleigh. The Luchador and Blackwings don't have as aggressive of a profile as the others and will be a little friendlier on the toes on the longer routes.

The Acro, Solution, and Shaman each give great purchase on steep and roof terrain with a little of their own flair. The Acro has a liner made largely from hemp that allows it to hold its shape well throughout the life of the shoe, giving you a consistent performance. With that in mind don't try to size down much in these, they'll fit similarly after heavy use! The Solution and the Shaman both separate the toe and heel rubber with some mid-sole tension to cut down on the tightening at the toes when you need to smear on something. The Shaman uses a triple velcro closure while the Solution uses a slipper-like fit with their easy to customize Fast Lacing System(TM).

Ultimately, outside of the type of the shoe, the fit (like with a harness) may be the most important part of buying new shoes. Find the pair that minimizes or cuts out gaps, spaces or pressure points. Some brands separate by gender, others use a wide or narrow fit. Typically aside from color, the only difference between a men's and a women's shoe is the fit, with women's being a narrower lower volume shoe compared to the men's.


There you have it! A quick overview about new, basic climbing gear.  Each of Triangle Rock Club's three facilities has an on-site Gear Shop equipped with tons of essentials for climbers. In addition to shoes and harnesses, we also carry belay devices, chalk, chalk bags, climber tape, TRC apparal and more.  Feel free to reach out to Morgan with any questions!

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Make Your Resolutions a Reality

MAKE YOUR RESOLUTIONS A REALITY WITH TRC!

2017 is here and many of us have a list filled with goals and resolutions for the next 365 days, which is great. What's not so great, though, is the fact that only a mere 8% of individuals actually achieve the resolutions. Yikes.

Sticking to your resolutions is easier when you surround yourself with a strong community of others, and Triangle Rock Club offers the perfect place to foster those friendships that keep you striving to achieve your goals.

Check out some ways to get more involved with the TRC Community in 2017, and commit to making this your best year yet:


(1) JOIN A TRC MEETUP
Whether your goals are climbing or fitness related (or both!) Triangle Rock Club's CLIMBING MEETUP  and FITNESS MEETUP offer opportunities each month to connect with others, challenge yourself, and have fun along the way!

 

(2) TRC'S FREE FITNESS, YOGA & PILATES CLASSES!
As a TRC Member*, you receive unlimited free fitness, yoga and Pilates classes at both TRC Morrisville and TRC North Raleigh, and free yoga classes at TRC Fayetteville! Each class has been created to accommodate all levels and abilities, meaning everyone is welcome at any time! CHECK OUT TRC'S CLASS DESCRIPTIONS and sign up for classes at TRC NORTH RALEIGH or TRC MORRISVILLELearn more about TRC Fayetteville yoga HERE.

 

(3) PARTICIPATE IN A CLIMBING-FOCUSED FITNESS CLASS
While all of our fitness classes work to enhance your climbing skills, we also offer a handful of climber-specific fitness classes, including TRX, CRUXFIT, CRAGFIT, R.O.M, and Pilates for Climbers - all of which cater specifically to those hoping to strengthen their abilities on the wall. See offerings for TRC NORTH RALEIGH or TRC MORRISVILLE.
(4) ATTEND A CLIMBING CLASS OR CLINIC
We offer a handful of climbing classes and clinics for our Members at all three locations! Check out UPCOMING CLIMBING CLASSES and CLINICS!

 

(5) BECOME A TRC MEMBER
Not a TRC Member yet? Our membership base is a close-knit community full of people from all walks of life who share a common passion for climbing and fitness. If you visit TRC more than twice a month, an individual or family membership makes more sense than paying Day Pass Rate.

Plus, when you're a TRC Member, you get TONS of perks, including unlimited access to our facilities, free climbing, fitness and Yoga passes, a monthly guest pass, no contracts, and so much more! Throughout the month of January we're waiving ALL INITIATION FEES for any new member who joins between January 1st-January 31st! LEARN MORE HERE >>

 

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The Climber’s Dictionary

The Climber’s Dictionary (A-D)
By Neal Royal (Contributing Blogger) 

You’d think after finally getting your first V3 you would be met with a standing ovation and glorious applause. However, to your confusion, your friend says, “Nice job, but you dabbed.” You’ve heard this word before, but it's typically associated with Cam Newton and middle-school boys rather than with rock climbers. I’ve done this “dab” they speak of, but there’s an actual word for that?

We’ve all been there. A fellow climber drops a climbing term and all you can do is smile-and-nod - acting like you understand. I want to move you toward social redemption by sharing some common climbing jargon. Like any good dictionary, I’ll supply you with a definition and real-life example. Add these to your arsenal to get some climbing street cred.

A-D

Arête: Two planes come together to form an edge in the rock. Commonly used as a hold itself, including one or both starting holds

  • Me: After figuring out how to put both hands on this tiny start hold.
  • Someone lurking behind me: “It’s an arête start.”

1

Dihedral: Opposite of an arête. Two planes come together to form a corner in the rock.

  • “Use the dihedral as an extra foot or hand hold.”

2

Barn-Door: Body swing similar to that of a door hinge when in an unbalanced body position. Sometimes unavoidable but always controllable.

  • “I always barn-door when I do that move.”

 

Bathang: Set both toes over the hold and hang upside down

  • “It’s cooler if you start with a bathang.”

3

Beta: The preferred way for completing the route. May be different based upon height

  • “Do you have any beta on this route?”

 

Cam: Both a piece of trad climbing gear and climbing move. The idea is to place the device or body part in between two surfaces so that the position may be maintained

  • “Cam your toe in between those two holds.”

 

4

Campus: Climbing using only your hands. No feet allowed!

  • “Bruh, I bet you can’t campus to the top.”

 

Chimney: Look above you as you make your way through the Expansion entrance.

  • Many who taunt the routesetters: “I bet you can’t set a 5.12 in a chimney.”
  • Scott Gillam: “Challenge accepted.”

5

Crag: Mass of rock projecting upward or outward where a congregation of routes may be found

  • “Heading to the crag this weekend!”

6

Crux/Cruxing: The most difficult section or move within a route. “Cruxing” is associated with a moment of struggle while on a route or any area in life.

  • “That crux move is what makes it a 5.10+ instead of 5.10-.”

Dab/Dad Dab: Making slight contact with the ground after starting a route. Difficult not-to-do on steep, overhung climbing.

  • “Dab.”
  • “Dad-dab.” (When pronounced upon a father or father-figure)

 

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The Climber’s Plateau: Part I

The Climber’s Plateau: Part I

Written by Neal Royal (TRC Morrisville Staff Member)

You’ve been hitting it hard with this climbing thing for months, but can’t seem to break that barrier into the next grade. V3’s still give you fits, and to even begin to think of sending a V5 seems like a “quick” game of Monopoly… near impossible!

Fellow climbers are typically quick to offer their advice of “try hangboarding!” and “just keep at it!”. While these tips are always appreciated, they’re also not always what I need to hear when looking for further direction. Believe me, I feel your pain. Climbing is HARD, but that does not mean you’ll be forever relegated to low-grade purgatory for life. Below I offer you a few points of direction to boost your confidence and give you the ultimate reward of sending that next grade.

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1) Do What You Hate:
When I started climbing 3 years ago, I hated overhung bouldering and slopers. What did I work on to improve my climbing game? Overhung bouldering and slopers. Surprisingly, I grew to enjoy that style of climbing. Some loathe crimps. Others are terrified of lead climbing. Working on the things we don’t care for ultimately mold us into more well-rounded climbers while simultaneously building our strength and endurance

2) Think with Your Feet:
Our natural tendency is to reach as high as we can before remembering to move up our feet. We usually forget the truth that our legs are stronger than our arms. So why not use them to our advantage? Try this exercise as your warm-up: for every one hand movement, move both feet. This will train your mind to think more about your feet and find the best body position for making that next reach with your hand. Don’t know what a drop-knee or flag is? Read the next point for a clue.

3) Climb with the “Pros” & Ask for Help:

The routesetters just completed a new set, and all of the strongest climbers have swarmed to the area. Your excitement for new routes quickly turns into a nervous retreat, and it’s easier to sulk off and find an easy, not-as-popular place to climb. That sulking off? Stop it. Don’t do that. Stick around. Watch other climbers. Observe their feet. Pay attention their body movement. Be confidently humble to ask for beta. I have found the climbing community to be incredibly encouraging. Yeah. I fell off that V1, but the girl behind me might offer some pointers that I had not thought about. The guy beside her might have tips that I would’ve never considered. Ask, listen, and be ready to apply what others are sharing with you!

  4) Get Outside:

Climbing on real rock changed the game for me. Outdoor rock forces you to think creatively and experiment. Climbing outside offers an opportunity to build friendships, challenge one another, and enjoy the great outdoors… all while pushing you beyond your limits and strengthening you in new ways that will ultimately help you take your indoor climb time to the next level.

Climbing is hard. We know that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot progress and have fun at the same time. This advice isn’t a quick fix, but rather a set of tools to add to your climbing toolbox. Whether it’s a 5.8 or 5.12c, these tips and tricks will serve you well… I promise. Check back in next week for more tips. Climb on!

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Rock Climbing Benefits Kids

Character, Confidence & Courage:
How Rock Climbing Benefits Kids

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Any sport or physical activity encourages developmental skills in kids, but rock climbing brings positive growth to a new level –literally! When kids climb, they stretch their physical and mental capabilities in innovative ways and enrich their overall lives through strengthened character, confidence and courage.

PROBLEM SOLVING

Climbing requires a unique combination of physical output and inventive problem-solving at every level. As kids are encouraged to broaden their physical and mental boundaries through rock climbing, they begin to sharpen their problem solving skills in ways that most sports would not. Whereas many sports place focus on other positive traits, like good sportsmanship and teamwork, climbing is different. When they climb, kids develop their curiosity through question-asking, solid concentration, absolute perseverance and pure focus. Each one of these newly honed skills can then be taken outside of the climbing gym and implemented throughout a variety of “real-life” situations, specifically within educational or classroom-based experiences.

INCREASED CONFIDENCE

Rock climbing also serves as an exceptional confidence-booster. When kids are put into a situation where they have to rely solely on their own strength and abilities to succeed, their confidence soars. As they climb, kids are presented with multiple decisions in a short period of time: which rock should they grip, which leg should they place their weight on, which arm should they use to reach for the next hold, how should they allocate their use of energy to make it to the top? Processing these types of questions on their own encourages autonomy and confidence in even the most timid and hesitant of climbers. When kids reach their climbing goals, there is nothing quite like it: not only have they expanded their horizons, but they have also stretched themselves in exciting, new ways.

COURAGE

Courage is another positive trait that is developed through rock climbing. As a child overcomes an obstacle, fear or hesitation associated with climbing, a desire to set and reach new goals is formed and a new sense of courage is achieved. When kids are encouraged to place their fears behind them and aim to accomplish more challenging goals, anxiety dissipates and allows their courage to shine even brighter.

Triangle Rock Club recognizes the incredible benefits a child reaps from climbing, which is why it purposes to place kids programming, teams and camps as a top priority within its business model. It is TRC’s goal to create a well-rounded climbing experience that encourages safety, friendship, a healthy lifestyle and a love for climbing, which, in turn, is sure to yield positive results for kids both within the climbing gym and outside in the “real world”!

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUTH PROGRAMS AT TRC 

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Bouldering Tips From The Lead Routesetter

Three Bouldering Tips From The Lead TRC Routesetter

Flashing fresh boulder problems doesn’t seem overly complicated when climbed by a member of Triangle Rock Club’s route setting team – but let’s face it: these guys (and girls) practically live and breathe climbing, and, if they’re not “officially endorsed pros”, they’re about as close to it as you can get. TRC’s setters’ climbing abilities and knack for conquering problems of all grades is uncanny, and, fortunately for a majority of us, they’re always more than willing to offer advice, tips and tricks for even the most novice of climbers.

TRC’s routesetter Scott Gilliam took some time to share a few insider clues relating specifically to this week’s V7+ Route of the Week from TRC North Raleigh’s Swam Wall (climbed by the one and only Tyler Weiss). Check out this week’s video and Scott’s tips below, then let us know what you think. Have a few ideas of your own? Share your thoughts in the comments. Who knows, your tip may be the very thing that helps someone flash their next problem!

1.  Look Beyond The Holds

Our arêtes* make good hand holds. That's why we reserve the right to make them off limits within certain routes. Can't control the barn door swing at the crux? Maybe you can get a heel or toe hook on a natural feature. Why not take the risk and try it?

The same goes for smears**. When you don't have a foot with which to generate momentum, try smearing your push foot on the wall.

2. Sometimes A Toe Is A Better Choice

First, toe hooks often release more gently than a heel hooks. Because of the way the ankle joint moves, you can ease your toe off by slowly pointing your toe. Plus, this releasing movement may get you just a few more inches of reach – and we all know that when it comes to solving a problem, every inch counts.

Also, no one likes head first falls So, when you're considering that super solid heel hook at head height, but you hand holds are bad, maybe put a toe up instead of a heel, at least until you sort out the top-out beta!

3. The Go-For-It Go

So sad that you didn't flash. And that you didn't get the bloc second try, either. On your third go you didn't get much further. So, stop trying it from the start and now... work it. Figure out the moves. Where's the key foot switch? Where are the best spots on the arête? Got it all sussed? Now try it from the start... like you mean it!

Still brushing up on your climbing terminology? Add these words to your mental climbing dictionary:

* Arêtes: A method of indoor climbing, in which one is able to use such a corner as a hold; Vertical edges that jut out from a wall (or cliff)

** Smears/Smearing: Using friction on the sole of your shoe in the absence of any useful footholds.

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