I’ve climbed for years with the intent to become stronger, not so much to evolve technically or to climb more efficiantly. Why? Because these are not the main subjects in focus when we discuss training for climbing today. Most of us train to get stronger forearms and local endurance, or do more pull-ups to get better at locking off; but how often do we stress the things we could do smoother and with less effort by placing our feet better or moving into balance with more awareness? After reading the autobiography of Lynn Hill ”Climbing Free-My life in the vertical world” I truly found the inspiration to try to become a more graceful climber myself. Not to lunge when there’s a solution that might be more subtle but less straining; and to lunge with dedication when it’s needed! And also to believe in the move once it’s initiated and not let fear hold me back. The complexity of climbing technique makes it a hard sport to learn, but also one of the most creative ones where we can evolve for years and years.. Lynn Hill describes these aspects like no other can do and they have also been key factors for her becoming such a complete climber; to focus on the perfection of a move rather than to move too quickly and rush through sequences.
When trying my project route this weekend I found I could climb with less effort on moves I’ve been fighting my way through til now; thanks to dedicated physical training no doubt, but also thanks to a greater awareness on how I actually move over the rock. I feel more effective in the crux when knowing that my calm composure and relaxed state of mind pays me back ten fold. I know I still have to practice this a lot, to try and be a graceful climber and not just someone who muscles my way up the wall, a bad habit of mine learned through years of climbing with too much tension due to vertigo and high demands. Watch the video below on youtube for a glimpse of Lynn Hills philosophy, I also truly recommend reading her book!
Stefan and Petter truly needing to find their grace when free climbing El Cap