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Pushing Instead of Pulling


by Anthony Bubb

December 29, 2001

Adapted from rec.climbing

TECHNIQUE TIP #5 (Pushing instead of Pulling- Dihedrals and face) This is probably very basic, and will be of most use to very beginners, and not too many others. It is going to be very hard for me to put in words and explain. I have tried to get this one across to alot of people when they were "stuck", very few that didn't already "get it" seem to know what I meant. I figured typing it out might help me choose words to explain it in next time. It will be kinda tough still, so be patient with me here...

---------------------Dihedral and Face: When to Push------------------------- Sometimes when the feet are placed far apart, as when stemming between two holds, or when stemming a dihedral, it gets difficult to move the feet, because you loose your balance. Imagine yourself stemmed out between a few footholds or 2 walls of a dihedral. If you pick up one foot, you fall that way. How can you shift your weight onto the other foot? Well, let's say you want to move the right foot up. put the right hand on the same wall as the foot, and use it to *push* on that wall with. That force will keep the weight on your left foot, and keep you from swinging over while the right foot can be moved to the next hold.

The same applies for faces, though it's a little different. Imagine stemming between two holds. Now it might be hard to use the left hand to pull the weight of the body onto yoru left foot (so you can move the right) at times, so try *pushing* the body to the left with the right hand.

There are times when I use this on pocketed climbs that even overhang. In pockets, holding yourself into the crag and pushing away from a hold can be difficult, but is possible. I usually accomplish this by turning my fingers in the pocket so that the heel of my hand points away from me, and my fingers are coming back toward center, somewhat, while grasping the outside edge of the pocket. In most situations, dihedral and face, this pushing can be done either below or above the shoulder. I usually find it easiest to execute at shoulder height, all things equal, but obviously, you go for a hold if it's good. Sorry it's so brief today, I have alot of other things to do. -T.

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