On-Sighting

When on-sighting, much clarification and modification of your plan occurs during action, once you begin the actual on-sight effort. At the base of the route, you make a decision about what you will do: you will climb with resolve to exert effort forward in the climbing process, modify your plan as needed, and commit fully to climbing through any yes-fall zone you encounter. You may shift frequently between thinking and doing—hypothesizing and testing—using the mini and micro decision points you discover. At each point, decide what action to take and when to act it out. As in redpointing, rest long enough but don’t linger. At times, if a rest stance permits it, you may want to adopt an experimental process, probing into a crux sequence to gather information, and then retreating back to the rest. Probe decisively with a specific plan to move up, answer some questions you have about how to proceed, and then move back down. Once you have all the information you feel you can obtain without wasting more energy, commit fully to action.
On-sighting requires you to take in information quickly, make a decision, and execute your plan. If you make a mistake, you need to adapt, take in new information, make another decision, and execute it quickly.
One way to assure that your climbing plan can morph easily is to identify general features rather than exact sequences. You may notice specific skills you could utilize, such as heel-hooking for roofs or stemming in dihedrals. Look for various possibilities rather than one specific move sequence. As you engage, trust your body to climb the features. For on-sighting, the quality of your effort will improve if you are flexible with changing your plan.
Intuitive climbers tend to on-sight closer to their redpoint level because they are more comfortable making decisions on the fly. They tend to make flexible plans that can easily be modified, and are accustomed to letting their bodies direct their climbing.
Analytical climbers often find on-sighting very stressful, and their on-sight level lags far behind their redpoint level. They desire accurate beta, waste time and energy gathering too much information, and don’t cope well with ambiguous situations or quick decision-making. Thus, on-sighting is the perfect laboratory for analytical climbers to work on their weaknesses and hone their mental skills.

T-Wall 002-1-w900-h700When on-sighting, much clarification and modification of your plan occurs during action, once you begin the actual on-sight effort. At the base of the route, you make a decision about what you will do: you will climb with resolve to exert effort forward in the climbing process, modify your plan as needed, and commit fully to climbing through any yes-fall zone you encounter. You may shift frequently between thinking and doing—hypothesizing and testing—using the mini and micro decision points you discover. At each point, decide what action to take and when to act it out. As in redpointing, rest long enough but don’t linger. At times, if a rest stance permits it, you may want to adopt an experimental process, probing into a crux sequence to gather information, and then retreating back to the rest. Probe decisively with a specific plan to move up, answer some questions you have about how to proceed, and then move back down. Once you have all the information you feel you can obtain without wasting more energy, commit fully to action.

On-sighting requires you to take in information quickly, make a decision, and execute your plan. If you make a mistake, you need to adapt, take in new information, make another decision, and execute it quickly.

One way to assure that your climbing plan can morph easily is to identify general features rather than exact sequences. You may notice specific skills you could utilize, such as heel-hooking for roofs or stemming in dihedrals. Look for various possibilities rather than one specific move sequence. As you engage, trust your body to climb the features. For on-sighting, the quality of your effort will improve if you are flexible with changing your plan.

Intuitive climbers tend to on-sight closer to their redpoint level because they are more comfortable making decisions on the fly. They tend to make flexible plans that can easily be modified, and are accustomed to letting their bodies direct their climbing.

Analytical climbers often find on-sighting very stressful, and their on-sight level lags far behind their redpoint level. They desire accurate beta, waste time and energy gathering too much information, and don’t cope well with ambiguous situations or quick decision-making. Thus, on-sighting is the perfect laboratory for analytical climbers to work on their weaknesses and hone their mental skills.


One thought on “On-Sighting

  1. Arno,
    Thanks for the onsight discussion. I’m very involved with my own education at the moment, but use your lessons alot. Taking a new in-class course to me can be related to redpointing: The territory is new, and the unknown is a little scary. I am not always positive of the outcome, and my habitual thought process sometimes interupts my progress. For me, that’s when it’s a great time to practice the witness position. (Can you tell I’m more of an analytical climber?)
    I let the thoughts flow, but I don’t act on them. Breathing deep helps tremondously, and allowing myself to have thoughts of negativety, but to stay open, helps me take small steps into the unknown. Just becoming aware that I have had a habit of thinking a particular way helps me to maintain my composure and posture. I don’t know where I would be without climbing…and the Way. Any thoughts?
    Vielen Dank
    Robby

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