Spain 2011 009-w900-h700Desnivel, my Spanish book publisher, received several questions from climbers after my presentation in Madrid. They asked me to give answers, which I am posting here. Arno

8-6-2011 Matias P.
Question: Many times when climbing I think rope can break, this scares me and paralyzes me. How can I convince myself it’s not going to break and think only in climbing? Thanks a lot.
Answer: Hola Matias, It is important to convince yourself by taking action, not by thinking. You can begin by hanging on the rope (in toprope), swing around, then take small toprope falls. Each of these small stops help you experience the rope holding (and not breaking). These small actions will Guild confidence in your equipment.
———–
9-6-2011 Jose Antonio
Question: Hello Arno, yesterday in Desnivel book shop I didn’t have time enough to ask you one more question: How can I face a trad climbing multipitch route (for example, 10 pitches), if I just have information from a topo in a piece of paper? Also I would like to know if you have any tip for putting friends and stopper in a clean rout, as I usually gets nervous and waste a lot of energy. Thanks a lot for your Rock warrior’s way book, I really enjoyed it.
Answer: Hola Jose, Do short multipitch routes, like 3 to 5 pitches and then longer ones. Also, plan to make sure you can rappel off of these routes at each pitch. Does the route have rappel rings for belay anchors? This way you can rappel off if you can’t continue going up.
Putting in Friends and Stoppers can be challenging. Practice placing these at the base of a cliff. Just walk along and find cracks to practice places a number of pieces. Practice placing pieces quickly once you understand the basic requirements, such as placing in a constriction.
———-
9-6-2011 Ignacio F.
Question: Hola Arno. I´m a boulder climber and when I’m facing a highball I really get scared, even listening the encouragement of my friends. How can I surmount this? Thanks.
Answer: Hola Ignacio, Have your friends encourage you to breathe, relax, and remind you to focus on the next move. Also, you may need to practice falling some onto boulder pads from various distances. It is important to take appropriate risks, not just to think you have to finish the highball.
———–
9-6-2011 Almudena.
Question: Hola. I always do top-rope climbing… Is it real what people say me that if I always top-rope I will never be able to do lead climbing? I thought that when I learn more, I would overcome my fears, but truth is some years have already passed since I started and I don’t do lead climbing yet… Gracias.
Answer: Hola Almudena, If you want to lead climb, then you need to begin doing it. Begin on routes well below your difficulty limit to get a feel for it. Then you can increase it. It is helpful to understand the falling consequence also. I go into much detail in the new book, Lecciones Expres, on how to fall and the importance of the belayer giving a “cusioned” catch. I think the book will help you make the transition to leading.
————
9-6-2011 Juan Carlos
Question: I really liked your first book. About your second, what’s new on it that the first one doesn’t have?
Answer: Hola Juan, Lecciones Expres do not have philosophy in it. It goes into the material in a very practical way for applying it to climbing. I also go into falling in more depth and making appropriate decisions for taking risks, like goals, motivation, yes-fall and no-fall zones, how to engage each. There are also many more exercises in this book to help practice.
————
9-6-2011 Náufrago
Question: Congratulations for your work. I’m rock, ice and mountain climber. I had an accident last december in a couloir with not enough snow and fell 8 meters, breaking 3 vertebrae. Some months ago I return climbing, but my mind don’t let me climb like before, the fall I had is always in my decisions and that’s hard. What would you advice? Thanks a lot.
Answer: Hola Náufrago, A fall like yours can be difficult to overcome. The answer for overcoming it, though, is always the same. Find small action steps you can take to move through the fear. Examples might be falling on rock. For ice, you may need to place more protection to help your mind stay relaxed. In Lecciones Expres, I go into specific tasks for preparation and action while climbing. This could help to focus your attention and your belayer could remind you of these tasks when your mind distracts you.
———–
9-6-2011 Marcos
Question: How can I not be afraid of falling, as this fear doesn’t let me give my best?
Answer: Hola Marcos, To overcome any fear you need to take small action steps. For fear of falling you need to practice falling in small increments. The process for doing this is detailed in the new book, Lecciones Expres, There are many parts to practice to help keep you safe, such as how the belayer gives a “cusioned catch.”
————-
10-6-2011 Juan Carlos
Question: I´ve been last 5 years without climbing, or climbing only occasionally with not very good feelings. After that, I climbed for 17 years of my life, achiving a level of 8a/8a+ (7b onsight), those years rock was my passion (even my life as I worked in a mountain refugy). For personal reasons I abandoned this world, and now I would like to recover, but the few times I’ve climbed, I feel blocked and didn’t enjoyed at all, I just grab the quick draw or down climb for not falling. Before, falling was not a problem at all for me, it was part of the game. I would appreciate if you can tell me if there’s something I can do to enjoy again climbing as I did before, as it’s something I really would like. Thanks a lot and congratulation for your book, everybody talks about it…
Answer: Hola Juan, It sounds like the climbing you are doing now is too difficult. It causes too much stress. I would suggest doing routes that are easier to build your skills again. Find ways to also include practicing falling. With less difficulty you will be less stressed and can learn the movement, breathing, and other skills again. This will improve your enjoyment.
————-
12-6-2011 Maria
Question: How can anyone be prepared for a solo climbing, like Alex Honnold does? Thanks
Answer: First it is important to only solo if it is something we choose to do for ourselves, not because someone else does it. Alex does rope climbing on routes that are more difficult than his solos. We must solo below our difficulty limit so we can have options of down-climbing when necessary. Then, all it takes to free solo is full attention on climbing, not focused on falling. Not easy to accomplish but with practice it can be done. I think Alex practices a lot.
————-
13-6-2011 Alberto
Question: I’ve been climbing for quite a long time, but I’ve never surmount my fear to verticality. How can I train my mind? Thanks a lot.
Answer: Hola Alberto, “Fear of verticality?” I think you mean being up in a high place. Remember that being mentally focused just means that your attention needs to be in the moment, focused on the task. In Lecciones Expres I outline the tasks we need to focus on while climbing. When you notice your attention being distracted to fear of being high (verticality) then refocus it on the task. This will be a continuing process.
————-
15-6-2011 DIVIDE Y VENCERAS
Question: Arno, how can you multiply yourself? I have the clinic with you the same day of your digital meeting in Desnivel…
Answer: I am not sure I understand exactly, but digital meeting can be recorded at earlier times and scheduled to be posted on websites at various times. Is this what you mean? I must admit that I can only be in one place at one time.
————
15-6-2011 Jose
Question: Hello. I think I’m strong enough to climbe 7b routes and usually I’m not afraid when climbing, but I think I have a “psychological barrier” to redpoint 7a routes.. as many times I feel I’m not able to make some movement and I just hang on the rope, or I’m afraid of lead climbing a 7a if I haven’t toperoped it before. Even I have a 7a+ I’ve already done on tope rope many times, but leading I just fall before clipping the belay… What can I do to eliminate this barrier? My deepest fear is to fall in the very previous moment of clipping the quick draw, with all the rope in my hand… Any especial advice to surmount this? Really thanks a lot for your help.
Answer: Hola Jose, Whenever you have a doubt or fear, find small action steps you can take. If you fear falling while clipping an express, then practice falling while clipping. I would suggest practicing regular falling as outlined in Lecciones Expres and then practice falling while clipping. Begin “falling while clipping” practice by pulling a little (not all the way to the express) and falling. Then pull a little more and fall. Finally pull all the way to the express and fall. Just find small increments you can take to work through this.
————-
16-6-2011 Paco
Question: If we can enjoy climbing any level, Why almost all of us need to train and make higher grades? Does this make sense to you? Thanks.
Answer: Hola Paco, I think there is a part of us that wants to learn and do more challenging climbs. We can get bored just climbing the same grade or routes. We seem to feel most alive when we push outside our comfort zones.

8-6-2011 Matias P.

Question: Many times when climbing I think rope can break, this scares me and paralyzes me. How can I convince myself it’s not going to break and think only in climbing? Thanks a lot.

Answer: Hola Matias, It is important to convince yourself by taking action, not by thinking. You can begin by hanging on the rope (in toprope), swing around, then take small toprope falls. Each of these small stops help you experience the rope holding (and not breaking). These small actions will Guild confidence in your equipment.

———–

9-6-2011 Jose Antonio

Question: Hello Arno, yesterday in Desnivel book shop I didn’t have time enough to ask you one more question: How can I face a trad climbing multipitch route (for example, 10 pitches), if I just have information from a topo in a piece of paper? Also I would like to know if you have any tip for putting friends and stopper in a clean rout, as I usually gets nervous and waste a lot of energy. Thanks a lot for your Rock warrior’s way book, I really enjoyed it.

Answer: Hola Jose, Do short multipitch routes, like 3 to 5 pitches and then longer ones. Also, plan to make sure you can rappel off of these routes at each pitch. Does the route have rappel rings for belay anchors? This way you can rappel off if you can’t continue going up.

Putting in Friends and Stoppers can be challenging. Practice placing these at the base of a cliff. Just walk along and find cracks to practice places a number of pieces. Practice placing pieces quickly once you understand the basic requirements, such as placing in a constriction.

———-

9-6-2011 Ignacio F.

Question: Hola Arno. I´m a boulder climber and when I’m facing a highball I really get scared, even listening the encouragement of my friends. How can I surmount this? Thanks.

Answer: Hola Ignacio, Have your friends encourage you to breathe, relax, and remind you to focus on the next move. Also, you may need to practice falling some onto boulder pads from various distances. It is important to take appropriate risks, not just to think you have to finish the highball.

———–

9-6-2011 Almudena.

Question: Hola. I always do top-rope climbing… Is it real what people say me that if I always top-rope I will never be able to do lead climbing? I thought that when I learn more, I would overcome my fears, but truth is some years have already passed since I started and I don’t do lead climbing yet… Gracias.

Answer: Hola Almudena, If you want to lead climb, then you need to begin doing it. Begin on routes well below your difficulty limit to get a feel for it. Then you can increase it. It is helpful to understand the falling consequence also. I go into much detail in the new book, Lecciones Expres, on how to fall and the importance of the belayer giving a “cusioned” catch. I think the book will help you make the transition to leading.

————

9-6-2011 Juan Carlos

Question: I really liked your first book. About your second, what’s new on it that the first one doesn’t have?

Answer: Hola Juan, Lecciones Expres do not have philosophy in it. It goes into the material in a very practical way for applying it to climbing. I also go into falling in more depth and making appropriate decisions for taking risks, like goals, motivation, yes-fall and no-fall zones, how to engage each. There are also many more exercises in this book to help practice.

————

9-6-2011 Náufrago

Question: Congratulations for your work. I’m rock, ice and mountain climber. I had an accident last december in a couloir with not enough snow and fell 8 meters, breaking 3 vertebrae. Some months ago I return climbing, but my mind don’t let me climb like before, the fall I had is always in my decisions and that’s hard. What would you advice? Thanks a lot.

Answer: Hola Náufrago, A fall like yours can be difficult to overcome. The answer for overcoming it, though, is always the same. Find small action steps you can take to move through the fear. Examples might be falling on rock. For ice, you may need to place more protection to help your mind stay relaxed. In Lecciones Expres, I go into specific tasks for preparation and action while climbing. This could help to focus your attention and your belayer could remind you of these tasks when your mind distracts you.

———–

9-6-2011 Marcos

Question: How can I not be afraid of falling, as this fear doesn’t let me give my best?

Answer: Hola Marcos, To overcome any fear you need to take small action steps. For fear of falling you need to practice falling in small increments. The process for doing this is detailed in the new book, Lecciones Expres, There are many parts to practice to help keep you safe, such as how the belayer gives a “cusioned catch.”

————-

10-6-2011 Juan Carlos

Question: I´ve been last 5 years without climbing, or climbing only occasionally with not very good feelings. After that, I climbed for 17 years of my life, achiving a level of 8a/8a+ (7b onsight), those years rock was my passion (even my life as I worked in a mountain refugy). For personal reasons I abandoned this world, and now I would like to recover, but the few times I’ve climbed, I feel blocked and didn’t enjoyed at all, I just grab the quick draw or down climb for not falling. Before, falling was not a problem at all for me, it was part of the game. I would appreciate if you can tell me if there’s something I can do to enjoy again climbing as I did before, as it’s something I really would like. Thanks a lot and congratulation for your book, everybody talks about it…

Answer: Hola Juan, It sounds like the climbing you are doing now is too difficult. It causes too much stress. I would suggest doing routes that are easier to build your skills again. Find ways to also include practicing falling. With less difficulty you will be less stressed and can learn the movement, breathing, and other skills again. This will improve your enjoyment.

————-

12-6-2011 Maria

Question: How can anyone be prepared for a solo climbing, like Alex Honnold does? Thanks

Answer: First it is important to only solo if it is something we choose to do for ourselves, not because someone else does it. Alex does rope climbing on routes that are more difficult than his solos. We must solo below our difficulty limit so we can have options of down-climbing when necessary. Then, all it takes to free solo is full attention on climbing, not focused on falling. Not easy to accomplish but with practice it can be done. I think Alex practices a lot.

————-

13-6-2011 Alberto

Question: I’ve been climbing for quite a long time, but I’ve never surmount my fear to verticality. How can I train my mind? Thanks a lot.

Answer: Hola Alberto, “Fear of verticality?” I think you mean being up in a high place. Remember that being mentally focused just means that your attention needs to be in the moment, focused on the task. In Lecciones Expres I outline the tasks we need to focus on while climbing. When you notice your attention being distracted to fear of being high (verticality) then refocus it on the task. This will be a continuing process.

————-

15-6-2011 DIVIDE Y VENCERAS

Question: Arno, how can you multiply yourself? I have the clinic with you the same day of your digital meeting in Desnivel…

Answer: I am not sure I understand exactly, but digital meeting can be recorded at earlier times and scheduled to be posted on websites at various times. Is this what you mean? I must admit that I can only be in one place at one time.

————

15-6-2011 Jose

Question: Hello. I think I’m strong enough to climbe 7b routes and usually I’m not afraid when climbing, but I think I have a “psychological barrier” to redpoint 7a routes.. as many times I feel I’m not able to make some movement and I just hang on the rope, or I’m afraid of lead climbing a 7a if I haven’t toperoped it before. Even I have a 7a+ I’ve already done on tope rope many times, but leading I just fall before clipping the belay… What can I do to eliminate this barrier? My deepest fear is to fall in the very previous moment of clipping the quick draw, with all the rope in my hand… Any especial advice to surmount this? Really thanks a lot for your help.

Answer: Hola Jose, Whenever you have a doubt or fear, find small action steps you can take. If you fear falling while clipping an express, then practice falling while clipping. I would suggest practicing regular falling as outlined in Lecciones Expres and then practice falling while clipping. Begin “falling while clipping” practice by pulling a little (not all the way to the express) and falling. Then pull a little more and fall. Finally pull all the way to the express and fall. Just find small increments you can take to work through this.

————-

16-6-2011 Paco

Question: If we can enjoy climbing any level, Why almost all of us need to train and make higher grades? Does this make sense to you? Thanks.

Answer: Hola Paco, I think there is a part of us that wants to learn and do more challenging climbs. We can get bored just climbing the same grade or routes. We seem to feel most alive when we push outside our comfort zones.

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