I keep banging my knees


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Trad climber
New York, NY
Feb 25, 2007 - 05:24pm PT
I have a climbing partner who wears kneepads because she bruises very easily. She swears by them. It's certainly a better alternative that going cold turkey on climbing for a trip! What on earth possessed you to even consider such a drastic step!!??

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2007 - 05:27pm PT
I think it happens when I'm lifting my leg, before I actually kick in my front points. This climb convinced me to go to mono points. I have Grivel g-14 crampons and I switched them over to mono but I haven't been out climbing since, maybe tomorrow. The mono point does extend a bit further out than the dual points did.

edit - Happi - I'm headed to the beach and I'm....well you know.

Social climber
No Ut
Feb 25, 2007 - 05:29pm PT
OK, checking in and read this. Sorry about your bruises, Mack. On vertical, straight-forward ice you might try rolling your torso toward the pick placement you're going to pull up on. Then work your feet like you're liebacking the edge of a crack. You can backstep with the inside foot for a stable stance for removing the unweighted tool and placing it higher, in a staggered fashion. Then roll into that placement, etc. If you do this right, you'll conserve a lot of energy and your knees will never touch the ice. AAANNNDD...you'll look elegant and gracefull!

PS: your heels need to be below the toes. Same as they are when you high-step onto a rock hold. Not much kicking involved, either.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 25, 2007 - 05:36pm PT
OK, I think I've got an idea about what your saying. I'll see if I can put the words into practice. Thanks, I'll let you know how it works.

Trad climber
Feb 25, 2007 - 05:43pm PT
Looks like you're getting advice from a better source than I. (Or is it me?) Anywhoo, I promise not to make any jokes about the kneepads.

Ice climber
Feb 25, 2007 - 06:02pm PT
I wear kneepads when ice climbing - got the arcteryx ones, simply because I found them on sale somewhere.

Yes, the way I was taught they should be unnecessary in theory.

However, they have several other advantages :

 protects fragile aging knees against falling ice, which in theory should also "never happen" :)

 additional insulation ! Especially helpful on multipitch belays, where sometimes my posture necessarily gets a little weird.

 sometimes when following I am trying to get a screw or rock gear out of some weird place that my partner deemed appropriate :) And I guess that is where sometimes I bang my knee.

On the other hand, if all I was doing was toproping or single-pitch stuff then I think kneepads would be completely unnecessary.

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 26, 2007 - 06:21pm PT
Here's an On Topic but slightly off color story; I was theaching my clininc at the Ouray Ice Festival (Leashless Climbing for the Chickenhearted) last month and had a typical class, 6 people who could climb and one who really hadn't quite made the connection between her brain and her body movements. The poor woman would just climb herself into a ball, couldn't stand on her feet and was tauter than a bowstring. Now I've done a lot of teaching guiding and coaching and I pride myself on my ability to identify a technique problem and verbally help the person get through it, but I was a total failure with this woman.

She'd made it up about 40 feet without falling but looking as painful as you could imagine so I went over to Zoe Hart who was conducting a clinic next door. Zoe is one of those women who kicks ass, colors her hair red and can climb me into the ground when she's hung over, hasfood poisoning and still has her hand in a cast. She also instructs a lot of women's clinics, Chick With Picks, and others so I knew that she must have a secret code or something.

"Zoe. Help me out here" I said. "There doesn't seem to be anything I can say to her that gets her to stand up and relax." So Zoe checks her out for about 10 seconds and asks me her name. "Amy" (Fake name).

"Amy!!!" Zoe hollers up, and Amy looks down from her scrunched up ball and says "Yeah?" Zoe throws both her arms up in the football GOAL! handsignal, throws her hips forward and yells,


Damned if Amy doesn't stand right up on her feet in perfect form...

I picked my jaw up off the ground and said, "Zoe, you know damn well that I could never say something like that."

"Honey. That why we have all girls clinics."

Meanwhile Zoe was up there flailing around with her ice tool trying to get a placement when Zoe hollered up,


Thunk... A perfect stick followed by thunk... another perfect stick.

Then her feet were flailing so Zoe let rip another one:


I'll be damned if she didn't get her feet right in.

So jello, take your Monkeyhang and shove it. From now on when I climb I'm going to:

1) Push the bush
2) Swing like I screw
3) Kick like I poo

See you all on the ice,

Trad climber
Feb 26, 2007 - 06:25pm PT
wear knee pads..................

The City of Lost Angels
Feb 26, 2007 - 06:30pm PT
Mal--You've made the "leap" to chick-talk. The only one I don't quite understand is swing like you screw. Could you, er, explain that movement to me? (On ice that is.)


Big Wall climber
Fresno, CA
Feb 26, 2007 - 06:33pm PT
KickAss story, Mal! Hilarious!

Trad climber
Feb 26, 2007 - 06:39pm PT
Swing like you screw...

"Now I get it!!!"

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Feb 26, 2007 - 06:40pm PT
I think it has to do with hip movement coordinated with arm movement. I have to be honest and say that I don't really get that one either. Seemed to work well for Amy, though.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 26, 2007 - 06:41pm PT
Mal: A wonderful story. I don't get some of the similes - some sort of chick speak, apparently. Different species communicate differently.

Boulder, CO
Jan 13, 2013 - 11:52pm PT
bump for banging knees

Trad climber
Jan 14, 2013 - 12:04am PT
One of my ice partners was talking about how he went out on a Grade 5 with a very enthusiastic guy who had a broken ankle and had rigged up a sort of knee crampon. Did the route and even led some hard stuff with one foot and one knee.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 14, 2013 - 12:47am PT
While it might be business as usual to go climb with the mentally handicapped you too have to be 'special' to go out with the physically challenged. Unless you don't believe in Natural Selection.
The Larry

Moab, UT
Jan 14, 2013 - 01:00am PT
Who's the Mack?
Messages 21 - 37 of total 37 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
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