Jamming

The technique of jamming consists of wedging parts of the body, such as hands or feet, securely enough into a crack to bear weight. Jamming isn't as instinctive or natural-feeling as many other climbing techniques, but it works. It's the principal technique for working your way up the cracks that constitute a big part of rock climbing.

The basic procedure is to insert part of a hand or foot, usually just above a narrower part of the crack. Jams are usually locked by twisting (torqu-ing) so the hand or foot is wedged against both sides of the crack.

Jamming can be used by itself, with both feet and hands utilizing jams, or in combination with other types of holds. As you move up on a jam handhold, you can maintain the jammed position but use it almost like a downpressure hold.

Cracks vary a great deal in size and configuration. The descriptions of jams that follow are just some basic techniques, with a lot of room remaining for creativity and ingenuity.

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