Okay, hypothetical situation: you’re on your first redpoint burn of the evening on a climb our devious route setters seem to have placed upon the wall for the sole purpose of tormenting YOU. (Of course, that never actually happens, wink wink. It’s hypothetical.) These hypothetical setters are so devious, in fact, that you begin to think maybe it’s time to toss this round into the “learning bin.” Your feet are shaky. Your forearm muscles feel like they could tear your skin open. Suddenly, you can’t hold on any longer. Your elbows point skyward like an all-you-can-eat wing buffet, and 3… 2… 1… you’re gone. Back on the ground, you begin the engaging process of solving this puzzle. What went right? What went wrong? What can you change right now to help you nail it on your second go?
Well, how precise is your footwork? Do you pinpoint each placement with deadly accuracy or do you stab about, sometimes in desperation, looking for that perfect grippy spot?
We ask because foot precision isn’t just one of the most important skills a rock climber can possess. It’s at the top of the list, and here’s why. (Warning: math.) Let’s say the climb has 40 footholds you’ll use. Let’s further say that it takes you 3 seconds each time you place a foot. That’s 120 seconds of foot placement altogether.
What if you could control that number, bringing it down to, say, 2 seconds per foot. That’s 80 seconds total—a difference of 40 seconds. Do you think an extra 40 seconds clinging to handholds at your climbing limit makes the difference between a send and, “Oh well, better luck next burn?” Yes, indeed. It sure does.
Foot precision is just one of the paradoxically foundational AND apex climbing skills we teach in our cutting edge climbing movement class, Fastrack 1. Designed by our very own Dan Hague, co-author of the definitive climbing-movement book The Self Coached Climber, Fastrack does exactly what its name implies.
And as a matter of fact, we have a Fastrack 1 class starting Wednesday, September 10th, 7-9 PM. It runs 4 weeks straight on Sept 10, Sept 17, Sept 24 and Oct 1. Check here for more info, or stop by the desk and ask next time you’re in!