Climbing Competition Preview
Prior to each on-sight indoor rock climbing competition, climbers are given the opportunity to preview the route. The Differences between climbers like size, strength, technique, weight, experience make a climbing route a truly unique problem for each climber. Use the preview to clarify the rules and boundaries, identify potential crux areas, and visualize sequences and sending the route.
Clarify Rules. The competition preview is the last opportunity to get any questions cleared up before climbing starts. The head setter and assistant setters are usually nearby to clarify questions about the rock climbing competition route. If you are unsure of anything, ask. Questions don’t hurt, but mistakes do.
- What is out of bounds? Sometimes an adjoining wall is considered off limits, features, cracks. Clarify the boundaries on both sides all the way up.
- If routes cross, can you use holds from another route? Sometimes two routes come close enough holds may be used. It may require some traversing, but does that make it off route? Clarify what the limits.
- Is flagging out of bounds allowed? Usually it is allowed.
- Is smearing out of bounds ok? This is usually not allowed.
- Can features be used? What you may consider a feature, the route setter or judge may consider off route. Clarify what specific non-hold features of the route may be used.
- Two hand start - two hand finish?
- Can you step back off the start hold?
- Can you reposition your hands on the start hold provided your feet haven't yet left the ground?
- Will a touch, slap or useable movement count for points?
Locate Crux Areas. These areas need more than one solution. Be creative with your second solutions… they may require you to down-climb and re-sequence in order to get the new hand/feet/body position needed. Pick out the two or three likely crux areas and make a quick mental note where they are in relation to the rest of the route.
Look at all the clips in relation to the types of holds. Make sure your sequence will allow you to make the clip with one hand.
Judge your endurance. If it is a long climb, identify shake out and rest spots. Do not try to find shake out spots while you are climbing.
Your ability to read moves, visualize sequences and remember the route may make the difference between completing the climb or not. Good previewing takes practice. You can do this at your gym with other climbers. Practice setting an eight move route for each other. This will help you read a route from the ground, decide sequences, remember the moves and correctly send the climb. Good previewing also includes locating the crux and having alternate sequences in mind. This may require down climbing to re position your hands or feet to make the alternate sequence. Previewing is one of the most important skills to master. A climber who has cultivated and developed his previewing ability will be able to get the moves right the first time, save energy and climb farther than a climber of otherwise equal ability.
Proceed to Technical Incidents