My friend and City Rock youth climbing coach, Max Krimmer, asked a group of experienced climbers how we approach projects in order to bust some knowledge on his Yoots. My response is listed below:
Do you have a certain process you go through when projecting a hard boulder/route?
My process is all about tactics:
1. I'll typically work the problem from the top down (a tip Paul Robinson shared with me) meaning I'll attempt every move preferably starting with the last moves/top out.
2. After I've completed every move on it's own I'll start linking sections. (which is also my approach to long routes)
3. Only after I feel confident that every move is on lock and my beta is the most efficient will I try the boulder from the start.
4. If I'm stuck on a move or section I'll seek out beta from others, video, etc.
5. Time to go for the send!
Can you describe the unique headspace that you enter into when projecting a hard line?
1. Pure focus on the moves, sequence, and my intuitive sense of the boulder. I'm easily distracted by other people's attempts, tick marks, and "approved, historical" beta. Don't be afraid to try anything that looks right to you within the ethics of the boulder.
2. No matter who is sending or not sending I keep the focus on my efforts and my beta. Trust Yourself!
How do you deal with failure?
1. I try to imagine every attempt as the first attempt. Reality only exists in the present. The past is gone and the future does not exist yet.
How do you know when it's time to walk away?
1. It's time to walk away when the only obstacle keeping me from sending is mental. If I'm confident on every move and I can do a climb in two overlapping sections but cannot complete the entire climb after 5 to 10 sessions I take a break. I call it a mental crux. I've failed so many times that my brain has trained my body to fall.
2. I then try other boulders, usually at an easier grade than my project to experience success and re-train my brain to top-out!
3. Once my mind is clear, I'll return to the project. Climbing, like anything, is 95% mental. Clear the mind and FIRE THE RIG son!