I’ve been thinking about engrams lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that I rely on two basic engrams when the going gets tough. Sadly, they are both born from a climbing life spent mainly indoors due to living a. far away from real rock and b. in the rainiest place this side of Patagonia.
At climbing walls, the holds tend to be positive and far apart (for me at least!). These two details have somewhat dictated my style.
First up is the lock off on a first finger joint edge (for variation the example hold is slopey and at an angle), smear and work your feet up as seen in the first move I do here (NB, the videos aren’t art, rather they’re for illustrating a point).
All videos taken at the Castle, London.
Next is power. This isn’t one specific move but rather an approach. I often gratuitously power through moves where a bit of technique would stop me from getting tired mid way through a problem, however sometimes there really is no substitute for power (especially if you are 5’3’’).
Last trick is levitation :-). When all else fails, make the impossible reality. Significantly easier said than done, especially when you need it most! The throw I do here is a bit of a one off for me at the moment, meaning I can only do it a few times a session before getting completely knackered. The problem is made harder for me because I can't reach the logical next hold. Instead I have to dyno a sidepull on a 30 degree overhang.
Well I guess that’s three tricks, but the last one is incredibly unreliable so I’m not counting it. What I need to do is expand my repertoire, preferably with moves that are more relevant to real rock.