Climbing can be stressful. You’re high up above the ground with nothing below you. It can be easy to freak out if something doesn’t go according to plan under such perilous circumstances. However, it is important to keep your cool no matter what. When you’re stressed out, your heart beats faster, and your body expends energy at a faster rate. You need to keep calm and control your breathing to being out of energy mid-climb.
2. Double check your knots
Double check every knot that you make as your life could depend on it. You never know when you could have incorrectly tied the rope, made a mistake when threading it through your harness or didn’t leave enough tail. Recheck and tighten a knot after making to be on the safe side. In 1989, Lynn Hill fell 75 ft in Buoux, France as she was distracted by conversation and forgot to finish tying a knot which then slipped out through her harness. If she rechecked, she would’ve noticed this.
3. Drink water
Climbing is an intense activity. As your muscles get worked, they release lactic acid which accumulates during a climb. It’s important that this acid is flushed out to avoid cramps. Water is perfect for this as it is good at removing waste from the bloodstream. Water should be complemented by adequate intake of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium to assist it in its functioning. Being hydrated also helps you recover faster between climbs.
4. Get adequate rest
Climbing is physically taxing on the body. As such, it is important to give your body enough rest between climbs. You need rest to build your stamina back up. How much rest you need depends on you. How much experience you have and how much did just push yourself influence the amount of rest you need to get back to your peak.
5. Mini-shake your hands
Mini shakes are quick back and forth shake movements of your hand intended to move the lactic acid that’s accumulated in your hand. Lactic acid build-up, as we’ve said, needs to be removed to avoid cramps. During a long climb, you won’t get a place to rest and remove the lactic acid with a full shake. That’s why it’s important to leverage the mini-shake during a long climb.
6. Don’t blindly trust bolts
Bolts can fail, be wary of that. Corroded or rusty bolts on routes near seasides can be especially prone to failure. Saltwater breezes can be very damaging for climbing equipment. The UIAA reported in 2009 that 10 to 20 percent of bolts in humid, tropical locations were prone to failure. Also be aware of the risks associated with old bolts from the 1980s and home made bolts.
7. Get Your Grip Loose
Holding on tighter than required expends a lot of energy. It’ll unnecessarily deplete your reserves and lower your stamina. If your knuckles are going white from gripping tightly, take a deep breath, relax and loosen your grip. Pull hard when moving to new holds but relax after that and let the holds do the work for you.