The Art of the Project is an advanced clinic designed to help rock climbers pursue harder routes. To develop the curriculum, we worked with CAMP athlete Ben Rueck who credits his growth as a climber to learning and understanding the art of project. The curriculum is designed to put a structure behind projecting that can be used to dissect and accomplish our objectives. The clinic covers the physical and mental parts of the process from the perspective of athletes who have had to use these very tools to push their climbing to new levels.
Here is a short introduction from the author:
Two years and over 50 falls had gone into trying to send Gutless Wonder (5.14b), my first climb at that grade. I can only estimate the falls because after thirty of them, I’d just quit counting. I wanted to walk away from the 50 degree lime stone wall and sweep the idea of red-pointing this Colorado test piece under the rug. But I couldn’t and I wouldn’t. There was an indescribable pull that forced me to grow as a climber and as a person –– as well as plant the seed for this clinic. It all started with a simple shift in my mental framework, ‘It is not so much the Why, but the How that matters.’
Easy phrase to speak aloud, but it took ten years for me to grasp and understand …
I needed to stop asking why I could not climb the sequence and I needed to start asking how I could climb the sequence. Suddenly a map opened before me and I could understand the things that needed to happen if I was going to succeed. That map is what I have tried to put structure behind for clinic attendees.
Reaching personal potential and then surpassing it is a lost art. We all want results immediately, a condition of the world we live in. Instant emails, instant coffee, instant communication, instagram; all of these instant gratifications and immediate results bleed into our psychological and physical state, and they manifest themselves in our our climbing. Being able to break the “I want it now” mindset is a critical part of this course. While we may be masters of our technical reality, we still can’t google our way through a sequence or up a route. This clinic is designed to present the right mindset, and provide physical and psychological tactics to help you achieve and reach your goals.
The following includes the materials we will cover for the majority of the clinic. We will spend time in a classroom setting and also in the field to work hands-on with the strategies, skills, and tactics.
- Breaking mental barriers
- Asking the right questions
- The dangers of making comparisons
- Identifying limitations and exercising patience
- Being present for the process
- Efficient Movement
- Understanding power points and balance points
- Developing body awareness
- Clipping efficiency
- Types of hand holds
Approaching the Project
- Breaking the route into manageable chunks
- Resting and recovery
- Specific training – Why & How
- Onsighting v Redpointing
- Choosing partners
- Re-creating movement
- Training the different grips
- Indoor vs outdoor
- A core workout for maintenance of off-the-couch fitness