• The Truth About Caffeine and Climbing
  • Five Strategies to Sharpen Concentration and Climb Better
  • Five Ways to Get Better Without Training
  • Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra
  • Effective Gym Training Strategies (for Route Climbing)
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Map Out a Plan with the Radar System
  • Managing the Fear of Falling
  • Projecting 101 – 6 Tips For Sending
  • Slowing the Pump Clock
  • Training on the Go
  • How to Train for Compression
  • Nutrition: Eating Your Way to Better Climbing
  • How to Dyno
  • General Conditioning for Climbers
  • Transitioning from Gym to Crag
  • How to Keep Your Job and Family and Still Climb at Your Limit
  • Staying Strong to Perform Your Best All Season
  • How to Lose Weight for Climbing
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 5 - Strength Phase II
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 4 - Power Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3 - Strength Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2 - Low-Intensity Endurance Phase
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1 - Conditioning Phase
  • Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • How to Mentally Train
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Training While Hungry
  • How To Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Ultimate Strength
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Training With an Injury
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Slopenstein V7
    Slopenstein V7

    Dialing in Crampon Technique


    I'm flummoxed by mixed climbing technique, specifically the footwork. Can you give me some tips for using crampons on rock?

    —Wes Walker | Carbondale, CO

    It's all too easy to over-rely on your axes in mixed climbing, but as in ice climbing, if you can place your feet securely you will save your strength. It's vital to remember that your feet will misbehave just like your axes if you don't give them the same level of attention. Most rock climbers who try mixed climbing are shocked by the lack of feel and sensitivity in foot placements, and the fact that you can't smear. But with practice you can develop a sixth sense for what works, and you can edge on almost anything, provided you maintain stable posture. Study every foothold before you place your points and position them with care and accuracy. Hook your front points over in-cut edges. On larger holds you can slide your foot forward so that the secondary points engage just below the edge. On easy-angled terrain you can drop your heel slightly so the secondary points engage to create a stable tripod. Mono-points give more options for thin cracks and narrow pockets, and also allow pivoting on edges. The big mistakes on marginal footholds are raising your heels too high (so the front-point pops) or simply forgetting to maintain stability while you're concentrating on something else. Front pointing on rock is all about maintaining angles. When you shift your foot 10 mm in a rock shoe, you'll often be OK. In mixed, however, contact between rock and metal is tiny, with little friction, and any change in angle can cause your feet to skate. Keep your foot relaxed, especially in tight-fitting fruit boots, and let the shoe do the work. Be creative with footwork and employ some of your rock climbing tricks like side-stepping, outside edging, flagging and back-stepping. Keep your front points filed razor sharp and have faith.

    Unfortunately, mixed footwork isn't just about skill. Bucket loads of core strength will be required, especially when things start getting steep, to prevent your feet from swinging off, and if they do cut, to lift them back up. Train for this with endurance sets of leg raises. Hook your axes over a bar and wear big boots for maximum specificity. Beginners should start with three or four sets of 10 or 15 and high-level climbers may do up to eight sets of 20 or 30

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