Conserving Energy

Plan a move before trying to execute it. Move smoothly and deliberately, without wasted motion. Strive for fluidity, as if dancing a ballet with the rock, to conserve both time and energy.

Once you begin to step up on a foothold, transfer all your weight and complete the move. Avoid hanging with bent arms and bent knees in an awkward and tiring position while deciding what to do next.

Look for natural resting places such as ledges or secure footholds. If a no-hands rest isn't possible, try for a stance that uses as natural a body position as possible, and that requires the least amount of upper body strength.

If you must hang on handholds, the least tiring way is to hang on straight arms rather than bent arms (fig. 9-4). Do this either by lowering your center of gravity (bend knees, even squat) or by leaning out, away from the rock. Always maximize the proportion of weight being supported by the feet rather than the arms. It also helps to hang your arms down and shake them out, allowing a brief rest and return of circulation to stressed muscles.

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