Crack Climbing Techniques and Tips
Crack climbing is a sport that involves ascending along the various sized cracks in a rock. It is also known as jamming. It lets the climber place protection in between the crevices to aid the climb. There are a number of techniques involved in crack climbing which can be used for the different types of rocks as they each differ from each other.
Here are a few tips for mastering crack climbing techniques:
Understand the Type of Cracks
Cracks can vary in size and shape and thus the techniques used to climb them are also different. One can categorize the cracks according to the way they can be used to climb. Hand cracks, fist cracks, and finger cracks are a few examples. Cracks large enough to fit a person in are known are chimneys while smaller ones ranging between 4-10 inches are called off-width tracks. For beginners, it is best to try out a combination of cracks and practicing each crack climbing technique before moving on to the next level.
Learn the Technique of Jamming
Jamming is an important skill that all crack climbers should add to their repertoire. It takes practice to master it, but once you have learned the right technique, crack climbing becomes immensely easy and satisfying. Jamming involves wedging your body parts into the different types of cracks to aid in climbing. Combining this skill with the right climbing footwork can make one accomplished in this sport.
Focus on Foot Placement
Crack climbing is not only about jamming and brute strength of your arms. It also involves your legs and the lower half of your body. Make sure you master climbing footwork for different types of cracks. Your legs have more strength than your arms and so it is important that you pay attention to using them well so as to avoid exhausting yourself soon.
Look for Constrictions in the Rocks
Constrictions in the rock help in jamming and holding your body part in place. So while crack climbing, constantly look out for such constrictions to help you wedge your body parts in a more secure manner. Try to focus on your footwork here as feet are more secure in anchoring you to a surface as compared to fingers.
Follow these tips to help you climb cracks and master various climbing techniques. Crack climbing requires a lot of patience and practice as it is a difficult sport. Make sure you train well in all aspects including endurance, flexibility, and strength to get the most out of this unusual and grueling sport.