10 Advanced Rock Climbing Techniques Explained

Now that you have gained enough confidence as an intermediate climber and want to try out new techniques, then we have got your back. Every climber reaches a stage where they want to try their hands at advanced rock climbing techniques. You will have to find techniques that will improve your efficiency but at the same time conserve your energy. 

We have made a guide for you which includes everything about advanced techniques that you need to know. 

Rock-over climbing

This is a good and comparatively easy advanced technique of climbing. This entire technique rests on the ability of you transferring the weight of your body from one leg to the other. You will have to know where your centre of gravity lies. For adults it is usually near the belly button region. It is called rock-over as you need to rock your weight from one foot to the other. 

You need to practice exercises in order to do rock-over technique properly. With enough practice you will be able to balance your weight swiftly. You need to start off by placing one of your feet next to your hand, forming a rock-over. Rock-over that is high stepping is important and comes in handy for short and hard slabs. This position will put some strain on your groin area and thus you will have to slowly build up. 

When you are about to make the move, make sure you are standing sideways so that you can take your steps using the edge of your feet. You can also alternate between your left and right foot by following a zig-zag pattern to climb up.

Tips for rock-overs

  • Move swiftly and get yourself a good momentum first to rock from one foot to the other. 
  • Use your hands as they can help you in your movements whether you want to start the movement or stop it.
  • Keep your focus on balancing yourself
  • Always stand sideways

Corkscrew rock-over/ rule of opposites

This technique is very similar to rock-over as the basic line is to transfer your weight from one leg to the other. The only difference is that you pivot in the movement phase. This helps you get the balance on the outside edge of your foot when you reach the next point. This is way more efficient as the centre of gravity of your body is placed near the rocks. This takes off some pressure from your hands.

When we are using the basic rock-over technique then we are moving left to right while moving upwards. But while trying the corkscrew rock-over you can climb upwards directly. Using that technique, you are using the centre of your gravity and you are using both your limbs.

You are basically using the rule of opposites here. To put it in simpler words, you are using the opposite limbs here. For example- you use your right hand and left foot. 

Tips to use corkscrew technique

  • Develop a good momentum between your feet and then move smoothly
  • Pivoting depends on you. You can pivot before or after the movement too. Try to see which works better for you. Try pivoting before and after the movement on both long and short routes.
  • You must use opposite limbs
  • Make sure you are facing in the right direction

Drop knee and drill boards

Drill boards are used by a lot of climbers once they have developed a good sense of understanding about climbing on steep rocks. Rock-over is also challenging but drill boards are extremely difficult as you have to learn about dropping knee, inner and outer flags too.

A lot of climbers struggle with finding momentum the initial times they have started trying drill boards. Getting the starting and the ending position is easy, but the transition period is where things get challenging for them.

Every climber must practice various permutations and combinations that help get the climber achieve the momentum and nail the basic principles of this technique.

Dropping knee and flagging is a great exercise that will help climbers develop a strong grip and also help them practice which positions they are comfortable in to make their transitions as smooth and effective as they can get.

Corners

Corners is a kind of a bridgeable technique. Such techniques always give the climber various ways to help them rest the arm muscles that pull and help you make the ascend. Backing and footing is a different way by which you can climb corners. Check this to learn more. 

You can bridge back and forth and this way you can climb corners by giving rest to your hands. Your hands need to make a shape like you had a cup of coffee in your hand.

Advanced rock climbing techniques

Tips for using corners

  • Use your hands to support your feet while pivoting and use your feet to support your hands
  • You can palm the walls to use different muscles while pulling yourself down on holds
  • Try to rest when you can while backing and footing both.
  • You may find that corners can be like pantomimes because you may find that the holds can be behind you.

Chimneys

Climbing using chimney is very tricky. You require a lot of energy to ‘thrutch’. Thrutching will absorb all the energy out of you. This is one of the most difficult techniques as the only time you get to rest is while you are struggling to climb up. Chimney is great as it tests your determination and will give you a lot of strength and confidence to try out harder techniques.

Chimneys can be used in a lot of places especially in cracks where you can’t climb normally. Essentially, in chimney you lock/ wedge one part of your body and then move the other part of your body by the support of the locked part. To make your way upwards, you are basically wedging and moving and back to wedging. 

Tips for Chimney

  • Once you get the hang of chimney, it can be very easy. But to make your climb easier, you should put your feet on edges or even footholds.
  • Your hands will be tested in this technique so make sure you are doing exercises that make your hand muscles stronger. 
  • If you get tired while thrutching, then you can rest just by sitting down.
  • You must decide which way you are going to be facing well before you begin your climb. Try facing in all directions to see which is going to be more comfortable for your whole climb. This is because it is very difficult and risky to change your position between the climb. 
  • Thinner chimneys are even more exhausting. They will take a toll on your body, can get claustrophobic and will drain your energy. So, a lot of practice and sticking by the lock-shuffle-shuffle-lock rule is a must. 

Laybacking

Techniques like corners, cracks, and aretes can be achieved by trying out basic layback moves. Once you get the technique of layback right, you can try a lot of other techniques effortlessly. If you are not doing it correctly then the results can turn into a nightmare. For this technique too, you need to use the basic principle of the rule of opposites.

Tips for laybacking

  • You will have to keep your arms really straight and use your feet to pivot the hands and shoulders so that you can climb upwards.
  • Learn how to get your opposite limbs to take the strain in between your movements.
  • When you are laybacking in a short route then try to increase your speed and rest.

Aretes

Aretes is nothing but a continuous series of laybacking. You need to be aware of the variety of positions you can use to rest while climbing. In arete, changing angles can actually prove to be of an advantage to you. 

Tips for aretes

  • This is challenging so try to get frequent rests
  • You should pivot near your hands
  • To get a good hang at the technique, try moving from left to right

The mantelshelf

It is one of the most loved as well as challenging techniques. When you are climbing indoors and doing any kind of sport climbing, you don’t often make vertical to horizontal transitions. If you try the mantel without practicing enough then you can easily lose balance. If you can pull the mantel off, then you can earn some serious bragging rights. A lot of climbers describe the mantelshelf as the feeling you get when you are coming out of the swimming pool.

Tips for Mantelshelf

  • Find a good hold and only then place your foot
  • If you want to push yourself down, then use your palms
  • Make sure your shoulder and belly button are placed near your foot. 

Roof

Roof is a difficult technique as it can take a toll on your arms if you don’t use the technique correctly. The key here to is to make as swiftly and as quickly as you can to rest soon.

Tips for roof

  • You should always remember that you should stand sideways to conserve some energy and take off the strain off your hands.
  • Move as quickly as you can.
  • Rest immediately as soon as you have reached the roof.

Bat Hang

In this technique, you use two toe-hooks simultaneously on a hold or the lip of the roof. Some climbers call it a party trick it can come in handy when you are climbing through roof. For instance, you should place your feet on the hold first, then hang your hook, double-toed and grab the hold using your hands. Then you should release your feet to turn around. Once you know the edge is good, you can let go and hang through hold like a bat. 

Tips for bat hang

  • Keep your legs as straight as you can
  • Hook yourself properly into the hold
  • You need to keep your body still and core tight

Conclusion

These techniques are all challenging. So you should make sure that you are in the correct state of mind and are confident enough to pull them off. Having proper focus is a must or else you can succumb to severe accidents. With enough training and focus, you can pull these techniques off and earn well deserved bragging rights!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *