You can use handholds for balance, to help raise yourself by pulling up on the hold, or to provide various forms of counterpressure.

Handholds (fig. 9-7) offer maximum security when all fingers are used. Ways to use fingers aren't always obvious on small holds. For example, with fingers holding onto a tiny ledge, you

Fig. 9-8. Downpressure: a, using heel and palm of hand; b, used in combination with other holds.

Fig. 9-9. Mantel: the climber turns his hand with the fingers pointed down to make use of the natural shape of the ledge, then reaches up to use a face hold.

be useful on very small holds.

Holds are often used as cling holds from below, then as downpressure holds as you move above them. Downpressure holds may be used by themselves or in combination with other holds (fig. 9-8b), such as in counterforce with a lieback hold, or as part of a stemming move. With your arm extended and elbow locked, you can balance one-handed on a downpressure hold as you move the other hand to the next hold.

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