Outdoor rock climbing tips: 5 best ways to improve your boulder sends

bouldering tips Stanage plantation

So you’ve done all the right climbing training, you’ve picked a brilliant crag in the guidebook, compiled a list of likely routes and grades, got up at dawn to be there first and get your pick of them, now what? Well, you’ll need to keep all these outdoor rock climbing tips in mind for starters, and most importantly, remember to have fun!

Outdoor rock climbing tips no 1:

It’s a frosty morning. The yellow sun has warmth in the clear blue sky but not enough to uncurl your finger tips from the cosy interior of your down jacket pockets. The problem stares at you, you stare at it. You know it will go; the friction could slice a lemon this morning. But why can’t you do it?

Have you warmed up…?

Outdoor rock climbing tips no 2:

Clean those shoes. Clean them so they squeak. If you don’t, how are you going stay on those tiny, tiny foot holds? Not cleaning those edges means you are time travelling, back in time, taking off your slick hi-tech rubber soles and putting on big clumpy hobnailed boots.

Modern rubber technology needs to be kept clean to stay sticky.

Outdoor rock climbing tips no 3:

Yes, those twelve year olds can climb the same route as you. Yes, those fifteen year olds can climb problems that you can’t. No, you will probably never climb V14. Yes, you should have started when you were four.

Is climbing all about the grades?

Outdoor rock climbing tips no 4:

You brush your teeth don’t you? Before you step out into the world in the morning and before you retire from it in the evening. It’s a good habit. So brush the hold before you step on to it, it’s a good habit too.

Get into good rock habits.

Outdoor rock climbing tips no 5:

Argghhh! What is up with this stupid, stupid thing. Its only V1, only V1…… Argghh! Why won’t it go?

Patience. Outdoor climbing is not the same as indoor climbing, the ‘grades’ don’t always match up!


By Robin Jeffery, MIA. Image by dan via peak bouldering.