• Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 5
  • The Training Effect: Methods by Steve House
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 4
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • Catch of the Day
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Too Hard for a Caveman
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Training for Climbing: Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Cheap Tricks
  • How to Mentally Train
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Training While Hungry
  • HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dialing in Crampon Technique
  • Ultimate Strength
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Beat the Ice-Climbing Pump
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Training With an Injury
  • Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Connecticut Bouldering
    Connecticut Bouldering

    How to Unlock a Crux


    I get flustered by complex cruxes above good rests. I down climb to the rest and get more confused, then finally go up and slap aimlessly for something just to get it over with. Any advice for calmer route reading? —Tim Magnus, Pittsburg, PA

    With redpointing, the key to solving complex sequences is to work backwards, starting from the exit hold in the crux. With onsighting, you can do the same by looking for the highest good hold and working backwards, piecing together a theoretical sequence. Decide if it will be crucial to get the good hold with a particular hand or whether you can match.

    Give yourself credit for returning to the rest. It’s amazing how few climbers reverse, even if the rest is only a few feet below. Down climbing is one of the more useful tactics for taming a crux, especially if you can clip first and then reverse.

    If the rest is good and you are reasonably fit then you can treat the crux like a boulder problem, except you will climb down each time rather than jump off. I agree that things can get tough if you don’t solve the problem after two or three inspections. Accept that the holds are bad and that this situation won’t change. Commit and summon as much power as possible.

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