My Problems

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Not Sending Today

We those days where you try and fail at something you know can be done. I have those too. There are sessions where it seems like I can’t send anything. It feels frustrating.

There are problems I’ll come across that I know I can do because I've either done a problem like it before but can’t. Or looks easy but it’s not. For some odd reason, I can’t figure them out. Here are the ones I’m currently stuck on.

Yellow V1 Roof Overhang on Big Boulder

From what we remember in our bouldering grades (link), V1s are on the lower and easier end. Overhangs do make problems more challenging overall due to the issue of swinging outward. Unless you do plan on channeling that momentum to reach another hold.

The start of the problem is an easy ladder. It’s when I’m climbing up the front face on the side of the overhang is where my problem is. The holds are clustered on the edge of it. There are mostly good holds to grab above me, however, none for my feet.

Unfortunately, I’m positioned so that my right foot has nowhere to go. The holds are located in-front my waist and my leg won’t reach them. My left foot can aim for a high toe hook but that puts my center of gravity way off. Plus, it wouldn’t be wise to try and flag my right if I’m that unbalanced.

Maybe pull-ups are the way to go here if I can go any higher and trust the toe hook. Or see if I can get my left foot on an another hold just under the edge for leverage before moving over.

Yellow V3 Overhang on Bouldering Comp Wall

This has been on my list of problems to send for a while but it’s been kicking my butt. Like the first problem, it starts under an overhang but with a shorter distance. At the beginning, the holds are farther apart but doable. The same goes for the ones on the front face of the overhang.

Except with this problem, I know where my feet can go. I can toe hook with my right foot around the side of it. My left foot is steady on another underneath the overhang. Where things go wrong is when I attempt to move upward.

My hands are on the front-facing holds. Once I’m stable, I reach up to the right for a large pinch above my right leg. Bending my leg forward to help lean into the movement. Somehow, I fall off the holds as if my limbs had no grip at all. I try not to move too fast or slow but can’t seem to find the right speed.

Next time I might move my left foot over to a hold right next to it to see that will improve anything. It might be possible that I’m not putting enough weight on my right to keep it sticking also. I’ll try to remember that beta for later.

Blue V2 on the Big Boulder

There is a problem I’ve had trouble with that’s not an overhang. This one is on an aréte (corner) slightly less than vertical on the big boulder. All the holds are rounded here. Its start is decent but kind of low. I reach up and wrap my hand around the aréte to grab the next one.

The hold below my hand is good to land my right foot on but higher than I’m comfortable with. There’s a sloper and big pinch (links) above my head. I reach for the sloper and there’s no grip. I slip right off. I try again but aim for the pinch but the same thing happens when I try to bring my foot up.

Slopers are my least favorite hold. However, instead of going for the pinch, grab the sloper from the top and push down on it. That might have enough friction to hold me until I can get my feet up. I can only hope.

Yellow V3 Roof Overhang on Big Boulder

For my last problematic problem, I will finish with, of course, an overhang. This V3 is located on the front of the big boulder. I find the start to this one a lot of fun because I feel like Spidergirl crawling underneath the overhang. Getting to the front face feels easy but that’s also where I get stuck.

I’m pretty sure this is where the crux of the problem is. I’m matching hands on a good hold with my feet underneath me. I can heel hook my right leg on a hold nearby. However, my left leg doesn’t have anywhere to go.

There are no more higher holds unless I grab the top edge of the boulder or the final topout hold that I can’t see. Both options are quite a reach for me. So, the only other thing I can do at this point is downclimb to the mat. Which I do.

I recall doing a problem like this not too long ago and have same predicament. Matching hands with heel hook engaged but no hold for the other leg. Plus, the next hold is out of reach. I was given some beta to dig the heel into the hold and use the torque from twisting my hips inward to give me enough lift to reach up. It worked.

I’m using that beta the next time I climb the V3. I bet that’s what I need to do to send it. Crossing my fingers.

Wrapping it Up

Don’t give up if you come across problems you can’t seem to tackle. Climbing is a lot of trial and error. Eventually, I’ll get it and you will too. If it still feels like it’s not happening, sometimes asking for help will do the trick. Having another set of eyes might bring some clarity.

I hope this helps you out as it might help me. Until next time, happy bouldering!