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Topic split - how many sessions..? (Read 12769 times)

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Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 04, 2023, 04:03:02 pm
110+ sessions....absolutely mind blowing.

This comment got me thinking. If* we want to climb something really hard, then perceptions on what constitutes a long project need to shift. Currently, any more than about 10 sessions would seem like an unfathomable siege to me, but for how many sessions would a sprinter need to attempt the 100m before they're ready to compete? How many sessions does it take for an author to finish their greatest novel? The answer to both is usually a lot more than 110. So in that context, it almost seems odd to not put in the 110 sessions if we're really trying to accomplish something.

*understandably not everyone will care to.

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#1 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 04, 2023, 05:19:53 pm
110+ sessions....absolutely mind blowing.

This comment got me thinking. If* we want to climb something really hard, then perceptions on what constitutes a long project need to shift. Currently, any more than about 10 sessions would seem like an unfathomable siege to me, but for how many sessions would a sprinter need to attempt the 100m before they're ready to compete? How many sessions does it take for an author to finish their greatest novel? The answer to both is usually a lot more than 110. So in that context, it almost seems odd to not put in the 110 sessions if we're really trying to accomplish something.

*understandably not everyone will care to.

There's a difference with both of those comparisons though. In the case of the sprint, wouldn't it be like running the same race on the same track with the same competitors? And writing your magnum opus is maybe more like climbing a big wall project, a succession of chapters, rather than re-writing the same paragraph over and over again until it's perfect?

Point being that the best way to achieve a project isn't always necessarily to just keep trying it repeatedly (if only to preserve your motivation and sanity)?

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#2 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 04, 2023, 08:38:13 pm
110+ sessions....absolutely mind blowing.

This comment got me thinking. If* we want to climb something really hard, then perceptions on what constitutes a long project need to shift. Currently, any more than about 10 sessions would seem like an unfathomable siege to me, but for how many sessions would a sprinter need to attempt the 100m before they're ready to compete? How many sessions does it take for an author to finish their greatest novel? The answer to both is usually a lot more than 110. So in that context, it almost seems odd to not put in the 110 sessions if we're really trying to accomplish something.

*understandably not everyone will care to.

Hmm, a couple of years ago I might have agreed with you but my opinion now is that if you can't do something in around 10 sessions, (assuming good conditions, okay skin etc.) then you're probably not good enough and would be better served going away and training, doing other things and coming back later.

I'm not saying it isn't possible to do things in 12 sessions in close proximity or whatever, and of course there will be exceptions, just that it isn't optimal. It's a bit like turning up to a practical exam where there's no time limit, and without having revised; you might scrape an A through trial and error eventually, literally learning while you do the exam, but it'll be hugely frustrating, and require enormous dedication to stick it out and not quit. Much better to put the time in beforehand and turn up prepared.

Also how many sessions something takes is actually only one of the relevant metrics, and not very informative.

As a for instance, I sunk 15 sessions into Ben's Groove Sit over 2 months in early 2021, and didn't do it. I wasn't good enough then. When I finally did it this year it took 2 sessions, so much faster on that metric, however that would ignore the 6 months I spent training specifically for it beforehand, the however many board sessions trying replicas, etc.

Ned Feehally said something similar when asked to explain how he prepared to flash Trust Issues; he essentially said he climbed and trained for 20 years beforehand. I.e. in a sense it took him 20 years to flash it.

So, without wishing to disparage Jonny at all, and his willingness to keep trying it that many times is as I say mind blowing, I think you could arguably say that for the first 100 sessions he really just wasn't good enough, and persisting was not the best way to approach it. Even though he got there in the end.

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#3 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 04, 2023, 09:13:36 pm
Sometimes the sessions could be the training though presumably... So you could spend that six months on the problem or on replicas, it might not matter much which, it just depends on what fits given the location, conditions, how easy it is to replicate, work schedule, how much you like being outside, etc? I'd guess that in racking up that many sessions at least a decent chunk will have been a decision that going and training on the rock was more fun than down the wall?

I think the number of sessions at which you hit diminishing returns also depends a lot in length and style of problem/route. On a basic 2 move board problem I think after about 2 sessions I'd be just bashing my head against the wall and hoping for luck... On a Parisellas link (or The World is Yours) I could imagine it taking 5-10 sessions to really refine all the beta and dial the moves, the same again to develop the necessary flow working sections, then each new season you need a bunch of sessions to relearn the flow before you can even have tries... On something like Chilam Balam I could imagine spending 30 days up there just to optimise all the beta without even doing long links.  Obviously it would be better to come back having levelled up, but that's not always an option if you're near your limit!

Still, I don't think I've ever tried something I like enough to put that level of time in! Might be different if I lived in Spain or France near a good big crag though, then I could imagine it

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#4 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 04, 2023, 09:20:16 pm
Barrows has covered a lot of the points, but also remember Biiblins is banned 7 months of the year. Jonny wasn't just chilling out October through April!

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#5 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 04, 2023, 09:36:31 pm

Hmm, a couple of years ago I might have agreed with you but my opinion now is that if you can't do something in around 10 sessions, (assuming good conditions, okay skin etc.) then you're probably not good enough and would be better served going away and training, doing other things and coming back later.
:agree: 
But sometimes our brain /ego plays a number on us. Itís human

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#6 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 04, 2023, 09:42:45 pm
If you could wake up and be magically at the crag, having had a coffee, warmed up and ready to go, and just do the reps on the route/problem and then be teleported home to continue with other life, before magically waking-up again at the crag for the next session warmed-up etc., then 100 sessions might be doable. The shit part of redpoint sessions for me as I get older is the making plans, driving there and back, the getting warmed up, the warming down, getting home late, all the life it takes up either side of actually trying the climb. And yeah I know a van etc sort of does this, except the home life part. Call me unsociable but I'd have to be really psyched about hanging out at in the same place talking about the same moves/climbing/life stuff with the same other climbers to do 100 sessions on something. I seem to value novelty more than redpointing difficulty these days but maybe that's just a psychological crutch for getting older/shitter.

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#7 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 05, 2023, 09:02:49 am
Was chatting the other day about how the siege has kind of gone out of climbing. Examples like this are the exception rather than the rule. I think this is because training facilities are much better and more numerous and there is more information about how to get better which makes it feel less futile. Also think the psyche of modern climbers is that a lot of people seem to enjoy the training more than the climbing; so much more predictable, measurable, more easily fitted into life etc. This means when they do go out they're probably able to get stuff done quicker cause they're over strong. Previously I think a lot of people saw a day out at the crag as a form of training whereas now I think people more often have a specific goal/aim in mind. As Barrows says it also depends how much you like being outside; think thats an underrated point. Also boulder problems aren't the same as routes; on a long route theres often no substitute for spending the time on it working stuff out, in order to avoid this period you'd have to be absolutely miles stronger than the route.

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#8 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 05, 2023, 09:27:29 am
Quote
Google translation from article in Up Climbing

The Japanese repeats Birth of the Cool in Shiobara

Akira Waku is a name that on UP Climbing we have already got to know and celebrate on a couple of occasions!

In 2018, at the age of 47, this Japanese climber arrived at the 8C boulder with the famous Babel line at Shiobara. In 2019, still here, he won the 8C+ of Hydrangea, another creature by Dai Koyamada, a world record considering his chronological age. To make his story even more incredible is the fact that Akira started climbing at the age of 35 without any previous physical preparation and as a complete self-taught, building his own gymÖ

Another four years have passed, and Waku has passed the fifty. Despite this, he continued to grind training and bouldering and always on this great roof of Shiobara on May 21st he returned to very high levels. The Japanese has in fact secured the fifth ascent of Birth of the Cool, which with its 8B+ could set another record at 52! Moreover, Akira has announced his next project: the 8C+ of Nexus.

Shark posted this in the "benchmarks" post, and it had me wondering how hard the guy sieges these things, given the time marks on getting these things gone.

Barrows and Pete's points are both valid; how much you like being outside, and how much you can be outside. I'd love to spend more time working on projects, but windows when I can get on them are small due to life and when they are in a climbable state, so more training it is.

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#9 Re: Topic split - how many sessions..?
July 05, 2023, 09:30:05 am
If you could wake up and be magically at the crag, having had a coffee, warmed up and ready to go, and just do the reps on the route/problem and then be teleported home to continue with other life, before magically waking-up again at the crag for the next session warmed-up etc., then 100 sessions might be doable. The shit part of redpoint sessions for me as I get older is the making plans, driving there and back, the getting warmed up, the warming down, getting home late, all the life it takes up either side of actually trying the climb.

This is so true. I feel like I'm a slow warmer-up too, takes me ages to get going properly. Combine that with travel time, the repetition of going to the same crag etc, and I find it very difficult to maintain motivation for a project unless I really love it.

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The one thing that helped me get stuck into sieges, albeit shorter than 110 sessions was to move closer to climbing and pick projects that are 10-15 mins drive from me

SA Chris

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"15 minutes drive, no 10 minutes, no 5 minutes, 5 minutes drive"

I'll see your 10 minute drive, and raise you a 10 minute walk. Sadly underwater for half the day, and greasy from mid afternoon onwards.

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"15 minutes drive, no 10 minutes, no 5 minutes, 5 minutes drive"

I'll see your 10 minute drive, and raise you a 10 minute walk. Sadly underwater for half the day, and greasy from mid afternoon onwards.

I originally moved to Hathersage so I could be close to as much climbing as possible and Iím now over at stannington which is 5 mins drive from rivelin and Wyming Brook. Definitely the best thing I could do for my climbing, I think removing as many annoying barriers is what makes sieging easier for sure!

Duncan campbell

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Has Dave Macleod moved to the peak??  :P

SA Chris

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He did move from Glasgow to near Fort William tbf.

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He did move from Glasgow to near Fort William tbf.

I was gonna say the same.

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On paper I seem to have had a lot of sieges, but they tend to be over a long period of time rather than number of sessions. There's a couple of 8 year efforts from inspiration to completion, but not many beyond 30 or so sessions.
Part of that is a butterfly mind, partly the feedback I got from the sessions whether I was close and what did I need. Often projects went dormant and then I'd do something else and remember " oh this feels like the effort I need in so and so".
The butterfly flits back and I return my obsession to the mothballed glob of esoterica  ;D
On the whole a successful strategy ( as is giving anything too hard to Caff)

Duncan campbell

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He did move from Glasgow to near Fort William tbf.

I was gonna say the same.

+ in his 8 out of 10 climbers he says that moving closer to climbing is the best way to increase your chances of sending.

That was the joke :chair:

SA Chris

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I got the reference, are you doing the Fringe this year ;)

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Iím now over at stannington which is 5 mins drive from rivelin and Wyming Brook.

Not to mention Stannington Ruffs!

Dingdong

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Iím now over at stannington which is 5 mins drive from rivelin and Wyming Brook.

Not to mention Stannington Ruffs!

I wonít lie, I went to have a look. What a marvellous collection of choss  :lol:

 

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