Sports & Gaming

Taking It Outdoors: Sport Climbing

Alex Honnold & Tommy Caldwell

Lesson time 07:24 min

Tommy gives an overview and demonstration on sport climbing, including strategy, gripping, balance, and more.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Taking It Outdoors: Sport Climbing •


[MUSIC PLAYING] TOMMY CALDWELL: Side effects is a great lead climb. The bolt placements here are really nice and allow for a fun climb. The route we're gonna take today has a big ledge about 1/3 of the way up, which is a great opportunity to rest and reset. And it finishes with a really big bulge, so I'll be mentally prepared to bring my A-game for that final section. Before I climb, I usually take a minute to kind of look up and make a game plan. I count all of the bolts and make sure that I have the right amount of quickdraws. And then I do my last safety checks. Check my knot. Check my belayer. Make sure that his belay device is set up properly. Then I do our command. So am I on belay? ALEX HONNOLD: Belay is on. - Climbing. - Climb on. - All right. So I always try and start breathing deeply, really relaxing as I start climbing through the easy terrain, especially when I just kind of use the minimum energy possible so that when you get up to the harder sections, you have more energy left. Try and get in a bit of a rhythm. Right here, there's a couple finger locks, which I'm extra excited about since I'm an avid crack climber. But I'm climbing super carefully because I don't have the first bolt clipped yet. It's all about pushing yourself up with your feet, just kind of using your arms for balance as much as possible. But now that I have the first bolt clipped, I look down, kind of double-check that I'm on belay properly. And I'm always sort of considering what a fall might look like. Like if I were to fall, how tight is the rope? Make sure I'm not tangled in the rope. There's a lot going on when you first start climbing that kind of becomes more automatic after a while. It's always a good idea to get into good stances before clipping. So you're not pumping out while clipping. So I always look for places where the rock gets lower angle, and I put my feet out towards the edge so that I can really get my center of gravity balanced over my feet and rest. And so this is a great rest spot. I clip high so that you're protected above you as you're standing there. And it also makes it so that you can rest after clipping the bolt. And so as I'm climbing, I'm making sure that my feet don't get wrapped around the rope. And I'll always sort of have this impression of this good idea of what the rope is doing. All right. I'm good and rested. It looks like there's going to be a dyno up there, so get psyched up for that. Move out to this jug. Get ready for the big move. [MUSIC PLAYING] Once you get through the hard moves fast, and then once you get to the easy moves again, like slow it down. All right. I'm through the hard part. Got a little kneebar here. Clip up high. And cross through there. Continue to just flow and breathe. Yeah. This rock here tends to be a little bit sandy, so makes you so you need to be slightly extra careful with your foot placement. So I try and ...

About the Instructor

With more than 60 combined years of elite rock climbing experience, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell have scaled some of the largest—and most extreme—walls in the world. Now, the stars of Free Solo and The Dawn Wall are teaming up to share their tried-and-true techniques for tackling any wall. From the fundamentals of footwork and body and hand positioning to mental exercises and advanced holds and movements, you’ll learn how to take on new challenges and push yourself further on and off the wall.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Alex Honnold & Tommy Caldwell

Stars of “Free Solo” and “The Dawn Wall” Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell teach lessons from more than 60 years of combined rock climbing experience.

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