Crushing Tip #11

Climb smarter instead of stronger. Train yourself to always find the easiest way up a route regardless of the grade. For example, if you are on a 5.9 and you are a 5.11 climber you could skip holds and muscle your way through just to get to the top, but that would neither make you a stronger or smarter climber. You might as well take that opportunity to find the easiest path to the top. If you feel like you are doing a move that is too hard for the grade STOP. Take one step back and try to figure out a better way. If you consistently do this on easier grades you will do it better on harder grades enabling you to climb at a much higher level. I can’t count the number of people who are putting in 5.12 effort on a 5.11 climb. Wouldn’t you want to be putting 5.12 effort on a 5.12, or a 5.13? I sure would… Always think critically about the way you are climbing something and you will learn more from the experience. Send smart and then you will send hard!

Looking to further improve your climbing? Check out our Private Lessons or ProRock Coaching programs

Vantage Bathroom Fundraiser May 24th

Edgeworks is hosting a fundraiser to get a permanent bathroom installed at Vantage from 6-10 pm on May 24th. During the fundraiser, Petzl will be teaching a Multi-Pitch Efficiency clinic from 6-8pm and Edgeworks will be teaching an Escape the Belay Clinic.

There will be plenty of action, even if you are not taking a clinic.  Drop by to enter the raffle for some great prizes, eat a burger or have an adult beverage with some good friends.

Come on down and support the climbing in Washington!

Suggested donation is $10.

Steilacoom High Climbing Class

On Thursday May 17th, we will be welcoming Steilacoom High School for a fun day of climbing. This is a part of their PE class, how AWESOME is that?!?!

If you are a teacher and are interested in the services that we provide for our school partners, please contact Patrick at:253-564-4899 ext. 9105 or patrick@edgeworksclimbing.com.

Guiding at Vantage for PLU

That is right!!! We have officially secured out proper permits for guiding at Vantage/Frenchman Coulee. On Saturday May 12th, we are taking 12 PLU students out for a great day of climbing on some volcanic basalt.

If you, your company, or your group is interested in having Edgeworks do some guiding, please contact Patrick at Patrick@edgeworksclimbing.com

Some of the places that we would love to guide you… Exit 38, Exit 32, Vantage, Index, Smith Rock, and more… Don’t see a place you are interested in listed?? Call us for specific details.

Carbon Neutral Climbing

Carbon Neutral Climbing, you say? No, we’re not talking about climbing outside, we’re talking about climbing at Edgeworks!  Edgeworks has chosen to take part in PSE’s Carbon Balance Program, which will offset the carbon we produce here at Edgeworks in order to keep the outdoors beautiful, healthy, and natural… so you can continue to enjoy climbing out in nature!

So how does it work?

“Carbon offsets represent the destruction or reduction of harmful greenhouse gases emitted from sources such as fossil fuels, animal waste, landfills or industrial processes. A single carbon offset represents the reduction of an amount of greenhouse gases equivalent to one metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2e).

  • When you enroll in PSE’s Carbon Balance Program, PSE purchases carbon offsets on your behalf through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), one of the nation’s leading offset suppliers.
  • The carbon offsets for PSE’s Carbon Balance Program are sourced from a methane capture project at the George DeRuyter and Sons Dairy, a family farm located in Outlook, WA.

Instead of the traditional method of storing manure in outdoor storage ponds where methane is created and naturally released into the atmosphere, the DeRuyter Dairy digester captures methane, a greenhouse gas more than 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide generated naturally from the manure of dairy herds. The captured methane, which creates the carbon offsets, is then burned in an on-site generator to produce electricity outside of PSE’s service area.” -via PSE Carbon Balance Program

At Edgeworks, we want to bring you an amazing indoor climbing experience, but we also want to equip you to go out and climb anywhere in the world!  This is why we have a plethora of different courses geared towards getting you out of the gym and into the world!  But not only do we want to equip you to get out there, we want to ensure that “out there” is as natural and free of pollution as possible, not only for our generation, but for the generations of climbers yet to come!  If you’re interested in signing up your home to balance your carbon output, you can find out more here.

Hands Down: A Better Belay

It’s always interesting to see the different techniques that people use to belay; generally the differences stem from when the person was taught or when that instructor was taught themselves.  Belay methods have evolved over the history of climbing as equipment improved and the knowledge of how to use that equipment has improved.  Unfortunately as all that improvement occurs, someone who has already learned how to belay doesn’t always update their methods.  Thankfully there are many different ways to belay, old or new, that are still safe (and contrary to rumors, there are many ways to pass a belay test at Edgeworks).

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BELAY HISTORY 101:

So what has changed?  From the beginning, belaying took leaps and bounds in safety when it moved from the Hip Belay (no equipment other than the rope wrapped around your hip!) to incorporating equipment like harnesses and carabiners and using a knot/hitch called the Munter Hitch to provide friction. Eventually instead of belaying using a friction hitch, belay devices such as stitch plates and then tuber devices (i.e. Black Diamond ATC) were introduced; this improved the effectiveness of the belay even further.  What didn’t change was that way you handled the rope was still very much the same as if you were still doing the Hip Belay.

This belay method that has been used for decades (if not well over 100 years) is often times called the Hands Up or the Slip Slap Slide method; basically it is the method where you hold both hands up in front of you in order to belay.  It was the only way to do a Hip Belay, and it worked well as the belay equipment evolved.  It is a safe belay method (when managed properly) and it is still used today (though very much fading from use).
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Sometime in the early 2000’s a new belay method came into vogue called the Hands Down or the PBUS.  This method caught up to and made better use of today’s belay devices by using a hands down method that keeps the your hands below the belay device.  This method is now the standard for climbing gyms, climbing schools and guide companies to teach.  Anyone receiving professional instruction will most certainly be taught this method.

So what is PBUS and what’s different?  PBUS stands for “Pull, Brake, Under, Slide” and the major difference is that the brake hand is UNDER the belay device in its resting position thus the device is always locked and ready to catch a fall, unless you are pulling rope.  With the old Hands Up method, the belay device was always in the open/pulley position, and the only way to catch a fall was to engage your brake hand downward.

How can you tell the difference?:
Hands Down (Pull, Brake, Under, Slide): (1) Your brake hand thumb is closest to the belay device when gripping the rope; (2) Your hand naturally rests below the belay device; (3) The Belay device is naturally in the locked position to catch a fall.
Hands Up (Slip, Slap, Slide): (1) Your brake hand pinky is closest to the belay device when gripping the rope; (2) Your hand naturally rests above the belay device, leaving both hands and both ropes parallel to each other; (3) The Belay device is naturally in the unlocked/pulley position, unable to catch a fall.

 Hands Down (PBUS)  Hands Up (SSS)
   

The Hands Down (PBUS) method was a dramatic shift in effectiveness of the belay by allowing new and non-attentive belayers to catch falls without making an action to brake (they already are!).  A side benefit was that it also increased the strength of the belay hand by putting stronger fingers (pointer and middle fingers) in the position of strength/grip rather than the pinky and the ring fingers.

If you haven’t seen the Hands Down (PBUS) method have one of the Edgeworks Staff demonstrate it, or take a look around at other belayers, you are sure to see the majority of them belaying Hands Down a better method.

Bike Month at Edgeworks

Hey, all you cycling climbers!  Did you know that May is Bike Month?  All month there are tons of different bike related events going on around the city to encourage and educate cyclists in our fine city.  Here at Edgeworks, we love seeing our bike rack full, and many of our employees enjoy hopping on two wheels to get around as well.  Bike Month is all about increasing awareness of bicyclists on our roads, teaching cyclists how to ride safely, educating motorists on how to drive alongside those of us on bikes, and just getting excited about biking!  We wanted to participate in some way, so for Bike month we’ve got a special going on for all you who choose to ride to Edgeworks!  On every Monday during the month of May, if you ride your bike to Edgeworks, you get a discounted day pass– $10!

If you want more information on bicycling as a commuter, check out this guide.  If you’re not sure how to ride your bike to Edgeworks, Google Maps allows you to get directions for bikes, avoiding busy main roads like 6th ave.

So hop on your bike and come on down to Edgeworks this month!

Crushing Tip #10

Feeling like your next project is eternally halting your growth? We all hit plateaus. Thankfully, Joey Burns has a suggestion.

While he’s traversing the walls, we have a short conversation about his climbing. Joey credits his (freakish) abilities to, what else? Traversing. “If you’re a new climber, the best thing you can do is traverse,” Joey explains. “Traversing helps me get past all my plateaus, from V1 to V2, from V4 to V5.” Aside from providing an endless series of climbing problems, traversing is extremely helpful in the endurance department. “It’s what helped me – especially when I was a new climber.” Looking to further improve your climbing? Check out our Private Lessons or ProRock Coaching programs.

Looking to further improve your climbing? Check out our Private Lessons or ProRock Coaching programs