5.13 Ain't Easy

If you read enough climbing magazines, a funny thing starts to happen. You see enough pictures of 12-year old girls onsighting 5.13, and you start to believe that it's easy. Add to that the fact that the top of the grade scale is now around 5.15b (this week, anyway), and 5.13 doesn't seem so far up the charts anymore. I guess I let this seep into my brain over time. And living in a land of boulders, I never have the chance to sport climb. Seems like if you can boulder V7-V8, you should be able to climb a 13... And these mental rationales are exactly why 5.13 is kicking me in the arse.

It's been a goal of mine since about 1997 to climb at least one 5.13 before I die. In the last month, I started working my first one. And so far it's not going so well (OK, make that pretty piss poor). After two full days on the line over a week-long period, I haven't even done all of the moves yet. I hang at almost every bolt. My bouldering arms are destroyed by this 5-bolt route. And now I'm having to get really serious about (ugh)--training. And even worse, endurance training.

I've been hitting PT bands at least 3 times a week, the climbing gym at least once a week (focusing on enduro and power moves), stretching, doing sit-ups, push-ups, and even doing laps on a crappy outside stone wall when weather permits. Even though it's time consuming to do so much training, I can feel the benefits even when I'm not climbing. The best benefit is just feeling more loose from the stretching. We'll see if all of this work over the last 2-3 weeks makes even a dent of difference on the route. Anybody got any additional training tips for making the push to 5.13? Maybe I should call my 12-year old niece and ask her...

1 comment:

  1. I always think yoga is good for flexability and core strengthening. Do you do any finger specific training? I think HIT sessions, Rock Rings and other Fingerboards are great climbing specific training tools...and the rings and board can be used anytime if mounted indoors.