Threepoint suspension

In this elementary approach, you move one hand or foot at a time while the other three limbs remain stationary (fig. 9-3). Be sure you're in balance over your feet before releasing a handhold to reach for the next one. This is an especially useful approach when the rock may be unsound, because it allows you to balance securely on three

to a higher hold.

holds while testing the next one.

Know where your center of gravity is. The optimal position will vary, but it's often useful to keep a low center of gravity, with weight directly over the feet. Move your center of gravity over a new foothold before committing weight to it. Only when your body is in balance over the new hold should you transfer weight onto it.

As you try more difficult climbs, you'll learn moves that don't adhere to the principle of three-point suspension. There may be only one or two sound holds and body position will be used to maintain a delicate balance over those holds. For example, a hand or foot may be positioned over a non-existent hold, or hips may be thrust in one direction, to counterbalance other parts of the body.

Fig. 9-4. "Resting" on an outstretched arm

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