Tips for Projecting in Warmer Conditions: Outdoor Climbing in Summer
Lattice coach Oli gives us his 3 top tips for approaching your project in warmer conditions.
It’s the day to try your project again. It’s warm… but still, you can’t wait to get to the crag!
The climb comes into the shade at 2pm, and realistically, you know this is the time to arrive. BUT, you are psyched! You think “why not get there a little earlier and chill out? After all, it’s not that hot!”
You do the 30 minute walk in and your body temperature rises. All of a sudden the day feels so much hotter. The crag is sheltered; there is no wind and even the idea of going up a warm-up route feels oppressive.
So instead, you sit at the bottom in the limited shade. You drink the majority of your water just sitting there and wait for the sun to disappear.
The shade finally arrives and you get on the warm-up. You feel hot and flustered, and struggle to move well. Straight away you are at both a physical and psychological disadvantage.
Here are some ideas to help put the psych to better use and increase your chances of success on warm project days.
3 Top Tips for Projecting in Warmer Conditions
1. Warm up away from the crag
When you start to get itchy and keen to leave, consider warming up on a hangboard at home. This is time efficient, good for the skin and makes sure you are properly recruited.
2. Consider the benefits of trying today
If it feels awfully warm, is there much advantage to trying it today? If it is early days, then there is probably lots to be learnt still! But if you are really close, is it best saved for another day, rather than hitting your head against a brick wall?
When it comes to actually getting on the project (i.e dogging up on your first go of the day), be honest and kind to yourself with regards to the conditions! Don’t set yourself up to be disappointed, connies make a difference!
3. Remember how the climb felt in cooler conditions
Try to recall how the holds and moves felt when you were up there in cool conditions!
If it feels like hard work on the warm-up, but you know it will get significantly cooler as the day goes on, don’t stress about doing every move if you know that in good conditions, the moves feel drastically easier.
This point is particularly important if it is on holds which are bad for the skin!
Conclusion: How to approach projecting in warmer conditions…
As the weather warms up and we begin outdoor climbing in the summer, remember to consider how projecting in warmer conditions can affect your performance. Warm-up away from the crag to ensure your body is ready. And remember to consider or adjust your goals and expectations before getting on the rock. Warmer days might be a day for refining your beta or discovering more about the climb, maybe not a send day! Most importantly, wait for the conditions to be right: don’t be trying hard and burning out before the day has gotten cooler.