A foundational decision determines why we climb. Primary decisions determine what we will climb. Secondary decisions determine how we will climb so we can accomplish the primary decision. This progression takes us deeper into the climbing experience itself. At the bottom, the foundational decision about why we climb supports the primary decisions about what we climb so we can make effective secondary decisions about how to climb.
Secondary decisions are about the process, about actions we will take. Let’s say your primary decision is to redpoint The Prow. Secondary decisions are made easily without hesitation because you are clear about why you climb (foundational decision) and what you are climbing (primary decision). Therefore, secondary decisions become the most obvious course of action to take.
For a primary decision to redpoint The Prow, typical secondary decisions would be:
- Climb as much of the route free, but hang on protection so you can learn the protection placements, sequences, fall consequences, and resting points.
- Continue to work on the route until you’ve learned all of these elements.
- Climb the route as free as possible making note of how many times you need to hang to rest. Diminish these rests as you continue to work on it until you are down to one or two rests.
- Climb the route with the intention to redpoint—no hangs; no falls.