A Girl Who Climbs

A blog of bouldering


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Slopers | How To Climb Them


Notoriously slippery, rounded and very tricky, slopers are something I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks now. There was a problem in the gym that was full of them which inspired the training, as the route quickly became a project. I made it through in the end, and so here we are with very sore fingertips and some pointers to share!

So, how do you climb slopers?


What I’ve found to be the most important element of climbing on slopers is body position. E.g If you can hang directly under a sloper with your arm relaxed, you can suddenly find some friction. It’s all about learning where you need your body/weight to be, in order to create the most positive hand hold, which will all depend on the problem flow/direction.

Secondly, how you hold the sloper is also important. This will differ from hold to hold, plus route and wall angle, but looking for the part with the most texture isn’t a bad idea. I also found that half crimping the hold helped me out too.BM

Lastly, it’s commonly known that slopers can sense fear. If you don’t fully commit to holding that hold whilst trying hard, it will reject you and make you slip off!

If you follow me on social media you might have seen a video of me having a crack at the Beastmaker 1000 slopers. As frustrating as it was repeatedly falling off these holds, it was equally amazing when I got a little further and held them a little longer.

You can always do more than you think you can! I would love to hear your tips for holding slopers, leave them in the comments 🙂


Grade Yourself | Part 2

Let’s face it, being up high with odd-shaped holds to cling onto is a little crazy, even more so when it’s by choice. Countless times I’ve written about how it’s okay to be scared when you’re bouldering, and I still belive that it is. However, the fear shouldn’t stop you from trying hard, it should push you. This is something I’ve known for a long time but only just started acting upon. A couple of months ago I wrote about ‘Grading Yourself’ which you can find here, and after a quick review it now looks something like this:

Confidence : V1 V2

Grip : V4+

Footwork: V3

Movement: V3

Dynamic: V2 V2+

Eight weeks down the line and a bunch of climbing session later, I feel like I’m making some progress and starting to level out the factors. Obviously the main thing here for me is still confidence, which I have found is getting better as I try to be a little braver each time I climb a problem. Also the fact that I can do a pull up now has helped so much on the metal side. Being more dynamic has been easier as my confidence in myself has grown too, it’s good to see how one thing can have a positive impact on another.

So now it’s all about keeping the ball rolling and staying onboard with the progress, plus listening to people when they tell you that you can do it! I’m starting to make a conscious effort to climb on holds and angles I would normal avoid, because ignoring them won’t help me improve in the long run 🙂



How To Do A Pull Up | A Newbie’s Journey: Part 3

After working on negative pull ups for around eight weeks, the time finally came when I did a pull up! In fact I did a pull up on a campus rung, on a bar, and just to make sure I did one last one on the nice holds of a Beastmaker. It was all with close grip but it was awesome, and there will be video footage to follow! It’s still a difficult motion to do as I can still feel the sticking point, but now I can just about push past it. I think a mixture of climbing twice a week, plus working on negative pull ups has helped strengthen and hone the muscles required to pull myself up.
It feels good to reach a goal after working at it for so long, I’m still psyched about it a week later! Knowing I can haul my body weight up has defiantly boosted my confidence on the wall.
So what’s next in the pull up adventure?
– Completing 5 pull ups with good form
– Work on wider grip
If you’re working on pull ups, keep going and it will happen.
P.S You can find Part 1 here, and click here for Part 2

Plateau Low

There’s nothing worse than being psyched for a climbing session, only for it to turn out to be not so great. It feels like I’ve had lots of these kinds of climbs lately and as a result it has been a little disheartening. I feel like I’ve hit a plateau, but after taking the time to think about it I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s more a mixture of things which are causing me to not give it 100%. Luckily, all of these factors are things I can fix.

Firstly I realised I was probably getting a little bored of being in the same environment. Don’t get me wrong, having a local stomping ground is awesome but it’s even better to shake things up and climb in different places. Secondly, I know it’s not rocket science but being fully rested before pulling on some plastic makes a huge difference, both physically and mentally. I’ve learned that if I’m genuinely tired then I need to call it a casual climb, otherwise it just doesn’t end well. Following on from this, because I was feeling lousy about climbing I was eating comfort food during the session. However I’ve recently started changing what I eat pre-climb, and what I snack on during a session which you can read about here. This is really helping to level out my mood and motivation (#Hangry) which makes trying hard easier. Lastly and most important of all, being in a rubbish frame of mind can be a deal breaker. I’m learning to treat each climb with a clean slate instead of holding grudges against the problems/holds/gravity.

For me, all of the elements above are linked and have a knock on effect which eventually comes full circle. With all this in mind I realised it was time to try and break the chain to get rid of the plateau feeling. So I had a hefty weekend lie in followed by a good breakfast before I headed off to the Depot Manchester with A Boy Who Climbs. We packed some good snacks and I decided to just enjoy the day without any expectations.

Needless to say I had a great climb and feel like I’m back on track.



Small Victories

I find it hard to take compliments, so when someone tells me I’ve improved in climbing I just think they’re simply being polite, and I don’t actually believe them. I’ve posted about trying hard and noticing your improvements previously, you can read that here, so I feel that this is nice update on how I’m getting on. Got to practice what you preach!

Last week I was bouldering at my local wall, just wandering around chatting, and casually trying a few problems. The gym was quiet, there were about 5 or 6 people floating around, (not literally as that would kind of take the fun out of climbing) but it was a nice, chilled atmosphere.
I meandered over to my friends, as they pondered and messed about on a problem they were setting I decided to try a climb nearby. I’d previously had a few attempts at this but not completed it. Somehow I managed to get up the problem easily and as I was a couple of moves away from the finish, I unexpectedly noticed the normal chatter and background noise had stopped…which meant people were watching…they’re watching me climb…this is weird…oh hey gravity!

Previously I would have got anxious of people watching me and mostly likely just jump off. However, as gravity dragged my butt to the matting I realised that I wasn’t bothered I had fallen, because it was just the result of me actually trying to make the move.
It was nice that my friends watched me really put effort in, and I guess their silence was a mixture of their surprise, and not wanting to spook me! That was the moment that reinforced my acknowledgment of my progress, well that and the fist bumps. I don’t think they had really seen me push like that before.

It made the session rewarding as for the first time I realised I had gained some confidence, and made some improvements.


Training Tips

The last few weeks of the  EpicTV Climbing Daily YouTube videos have been particularly great on a Wednesday, because there has been a ‘Training with Louis Parkinson’ segment. He covers a bunch of things in his self-taught training routine, all of which are easy to follow for any level of climber. One of the tips that stood out to me was to climb with technique you don’t use strength, and to climb with strength you don’t use technique. I’ve really enjoyed this small series and I feel like I’ve absorbed some good habits. I’ve jotted down a quick summary of the videos so far, but I will link the first video of the series too for your viewing pleasure!

Warming up and warming down are important to prepare your body, and help prevent injury. The warming up period is also the best time to consciously work on your footwork, strength and technique.

Warm up

-Cardio exercise

-Dynamic Stretches

-Easy climbs and traversing

Improve Footwork

-Traverse with silent feet

-Only allow 1 touch on each foothold

-Down climb each climb

Improve Technique

-Keep feet on the walls as much as possible

-Climb with straight, relaxed arms

Improve Strength

-Campus problems

-Don’t match on holds

Warm Down

-Cardio decreasing speed

-Gentle stretches

agirlwhoclimbs 4

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