a MLC - You will be tested later in the course by written and performance evaluations on this period of instruction.
a ACC - You will be tested later in the course by written and performance evaluations on this period of instruction.
d SMO - you will be tested by an oral and performance examination.
TRANSITION: Are there any questions over the purpose, learning objectives, how the class will be taught, or how you will be evaluated? Civilians call what you are about to learn "Bouldering". The Marine Corps refers to it as balance climbing. Regardless of the term used, the techniques you will be learning are the basis upon which all your other climbing training will rest. By practicing the techniques you are about to learn, you will acquire the skills necessary to operate successfully in any area where you might encounter precipitous terrain. The first thing we need to know in balance climbing are the safety precautions.
Q! (5 Min) SAFETY PRECAUTIONS. There are two safety precautions that always apply to balance climbing. They are as follows:
§1 Never climb more than 10 feet above the ground. By this it is meant that the climber's feet are never more than 10 feet above the ground.
b A spotter is required for all balance climbs.
TRANSITION: Now that we have discussed the safety precautions, are there any questions? The next thing we will discuss are what an individual has to do to prepare himself for a balance climb.
g (5 Min) INDIVIDUAL PREPARATIONS. Prior to beginning a balance climb there are seven things that the climber must do to prepare himself. They are as follows:
b Sleeves rolled down_to give hand and arm freedom of movement. Blouse tucked in to your trousers. In case of fall, it may catch on a rock and cause you to flip over sideways.
9 All watches, rings, and jewelry must be removed before climbing.
d Gloves will not be worn, as they can slip, and also give a false feel for the rock. g| Unblouse trousers, if they restrict movement. f Soles of boots clean and dry.
g| Select route where vegetation is minimal. Never use vegetation for hand or foot holds.
TRANSITION: Are there any questions over the individual preparations? As I mentioned, you never balance climb without a spotter. Who is this "spotter and what are his duties?
3| (5 Min) DUTIES OF THE SPOTTER. The spotter is the balance climber's partner who, rather than climbing himself, acts as the safety man for the climber during the climb. The five duties of the spotter are as follows:
§1 Positions himself directly behind the climber before the climb starts.
3 Maintains his position facing the cliff,_directly below the climber and approximately 3-4 feet away from the base of the cliff, for the duration of the climb. He will move diagonally as necessary to remain below the climber.
3 The spotter will stand with his feet shoulder width apart and arms ready to stop the climber if he falls.
3 If the climber falls, the spotter will not "catch" him; he will prevent the climber from falling further down the hill. He will do this by pushing the climber towards the base of the cliff, thereby preventing him from tumbling backwards.
3 At no time will the spotter allow anyone to come between himself and the face of the cliff while a balance climb is taking place. He will require anyone who wants to pass by his position to go behind him.
TRANSITION: Are there any questions over the duties of the spotter? Now we're almost ready to go out and start climbing. However, before that, let's learn the commands used between the climber and spotter.
4 (5 Min) SPOTTING AND CLIMBING COMMANDS. The following are the commands used by both the spotter and climber.
If the command "ROCK" is given, all personnel in the vicinity will take the following action:
^Plf close to the cliff face, move against the cliff face with your face against the cliff face and your hands between you and the cliff face.
^^If not close to the cliff face, look up to locate the rock and avoid it.
5 (5 Min) ACTIONS IF FALLING. If, while making a balance climb, the climber feels himself slipping and beginning to fall, he will take the following action:
a. Sound the command "falling".
b Push himself away from the rock face.
d Maintain proper body position as follows:
ands out toward the rock.
"eet kept below the body, slightly apart. insure you face the cliff face as you fall.
TRANSITION: Now that we have discussed the safety precautions and considerations, are there any questions? Let's move on to the actual climbing.
(5 Min) TYPES OF HOLDS. There are five basic holds that are used in balance climbing. They are as follows:
3 Push Holds.
^®Most effective when hands are kept low.
^^Often used in combination with a pull hold.
TYPES OF PUSH HOLDS
HfiThe easiest hold to use and, consequently, often overused. ^ECan be effective on small projections.
TYPES OF PULL HOLDS
C Foot Holds
Teet should be positioned with the inside of the foot to the rock. )Use full sole contact as much as possible.
)Avoid crossing your feet. If you must cross your feet use a change step. A change step is a method of substituting one foot for the other foot on the same foothold.
aking maximum use of footholds, climbing with your feet, is an effective means of conserving your body strength, since your leg muscles are stronger than your arm muscles.
d Friction Holds. A friction hold is anytime you are relying on the friction of your foot or hand against the face of the rock for traction, rather than pushing/pulling against a projection on the face of the rock.
]The effectiveness of this type of hold is dependent upon many things i.e., type, condition and angle of the rock face, type of boot soles, confidence, etc.
FRICTION USED IN SMEARING
FRICTION USED IN SMEARING
9 Jam Holds. This type of hold involves jamming/wedging any part of your body or your entire body into a crack/opening in the rock.
^^An important consideration is that you do not jam such that you cannot free that portion of your body after you complete the move. This sounds like a ridiculous statement; however, you must remember that after you complete your move, you may be withdrawing the portion of your body that you used from a different angle than you inserted it.
7. (5 Min) COMBINATION HOLDS. The five types of holds just mentioned above are not just used individually. They are most often used in combinations with each other. Some examples are:
a. Chimney Climbing. This is when you insert your entire body into a crack in the rock and by using both sides of the opening, and possibly all five types of basic holds, move up' the crack.
b. Lie-back. This is a combination of both pull holds with your hands and friction holds with your feet.
c. Push-Pull. As the name implies, this is when you use a push hold and a pull hold together.
d. Mantling. This is a technique where you continue to climb without moving your hands off a projection by pulling yourself up until your hands are at chest level and then invert your hands and push on the same projection.
e. Cross-Pressure in Cracks. This is a technique of putting both hands in the same crack and pulling your hands apart to hold/raise yourself.
f. Inverted. Pull or push.
PRESSURE BETWEEN FEET AND HANDS
g. Pinch. As the name implies this is a grip used on tiny little nubbins.
h. Stemming. The spreading of arms or legs to maintain a proper body position. (i.e. usually used in a book or chimney.)
TRANSITION: Are there any questions over the types of holds? There are some general guidelines that aid the climber that we should be aware of
8. (5 Min) GENERAL USE OF HOLDS. How you use an individual hold is dependent on your experience level, or sometimes, your imagination. Here are some general guidelines.
a. Most handholds can be used as foot holds as you move up the rock.
b. Use all holds possible in order to conserve energy.
c. Even small projections may be used as holds.
d. Do not make use of your knees or elbows due to the reason that it is skin on bone and a slip could occur if pressure is exerted on them. Knees and elbows can be used with the extension of a limb jam.
PROPER AND IMPROPER
9. (5 Min) MOVEMENT ON SLAB. Movement on slab is based on friction holds.
a. Use any and all irregularities in the slope to gain additional friction.
b. Traversing requires both hands and feet.
c. Descending steep slab may require turning inboard to face the slab and backing down.
d. The biggest mistake in slab climbing is leaning into the rock. Maintain maximum friction by keeping weight centered.
TRANSITION: Are there any questions on the general use of holds or movement on slab? To help us maintain proper body position, we will use the acronym "CASHWORTH".
Was this article helpful?