This morning I finally topped a difficult V4+ boulder route at my gym, after three weeks of effort. I wanted to share some of my process for beating this route, and videos showing my progress over the last 9-10 sessions.
Just getting through the first set of holds was a big challenge for me. Finally, after three sessions, I managed to get past the first crux – a large, awkward hold on the left that I somehow had to get past. Here’s how I did it.
The key to this section was foot placement. Getting my right heel properly placed on a hold helped me to get stable and boost up using both that heel and my arms. One problem is that I’m barely controlling my legs, which swing around a lot and take a lot of energy to control.
A couple of days later, I’ve made a lot more progress getting toward the top. My foot placement is a lot more secure. You can see that I’m hardly swinging at all when I’m climbing.
Overall good stuff. But my flow is not very good. I’m still flailing a bit.
I’m very close in this next attempt, one session later. I actually touch the top, but I don’t quite grab enough to hold on. You can see how much more solid my foot placement is here.
And finally, I reached the top in this last attempt today!
There’s a lot I like about this top:
- I figured out how to change foot position toward the end, that got me a little higher, helping me reach those last holds.
- I used my knee to stabilize myself in the last couple of moves, which really helped.
- My flow was much better. I wasn’t rushing, I was carefully placing every foot and hand hold. This helped me hold enough energy in reserve to make that last more dynamic move.
I also like that this video begins and ends with a fist bump with another climber.
Yeah, I know I did cheat and didn’t start from the beginning. But I’m calling it a win.
UPDATE November 7
Here’s a better video of me sending the route from the actual start.