Rob was born in Ohio and didn't even learn about rock climbing until after graduating high school. Having his first climbing experiences at the New River Gorge, West Virginia gave him the climbing bug and he has been at for over 20 years. He continues to travel the world for climbing and adventuring, always seeking the ever elusive perfect route. His passion is establishing new climbs big and small. His favorite places to climb are in the Italian Dolomites and in Zion National Park. He has been teaching high school science for 15 years at an alternative high school for high risk youth where he leads an outdoor program and a real life hands on science curriculum. Rob now resides in Grand Junction, Colorado where he is a proud husband and a father of two boys
If you're worried about the wind, get outside and practice in adventurous conditions to figure out how to regulate your body temperature and manage the pitch. Strengthen your core and overall body strength so that if the wind does push you around you can fight back and maintain the position you need to be in. Transcript: "Wind. There's a couple ways that I can interpret this question. One, wind meaning I'm gonna be blown off or wind meaning I'm gonna be so rattled that it's gonna be hard for me to lead or climb the climb without being on my game or wind as in I'm going to be frozen from it. So if you're worried about the temperature I suggest you getting out in some adventurous conditions on single pitch climbs where you're at so you can just start to figure out how to regulate your body temperature and how to wear or what clothing to go ahead and wear and how to stay warm and keep your hands warm. If you're worried about the wind rattling your head game about how you're gonna manage the pitch because it seems like everything you try you're gonna get blown off, again I suggest you practicing outside and being in those adventurous windy conditions and as far as being blown off you can go ahead and just strengthen your overall fitness meaning your core strength, your body strength, so if you do feel that the wind is gonna go ahead and be pushing you around that you can kind of overcome and and fight back as far as maintain the position that you need to be in and have that body strength. So I think that there was three ways that that could be interpreted I could be wrong but hopefully that helps you with that choice."
To climb longer without getting pumped, practice staying on for as long as possible and learn how to rest and recover on the wall by switching arms and shaking them out. Position your body in a comfortable position and rest heavily on your feet while you extend one arm above you. Transcript: "How do I climb longer without getting pumped? Well you're talking about building your endurance and endurance is built by practicing staying on as long as you can. But while you're doing that you're also trying to recover while on the wall. So recovery is a whole other game and that is where you're probably resting on a pretty good hold with pretty good feet in a pretty comfortable body position and your arm is extended straight above you or mostly straight and the other arm is able to go ahead and shake out a little bit. You could switch back and forth between this position resting heavily on your feet and allowing your arm to go ahead and de-pump for a moment and then you can de-pump the other arm. Then you can continue climbing up until you get to another rest. So what you're talking about learning is talking about learning how to rest on a root, recover, and then climb more. Rest on a root, recover, and climb more. That is how you climb longer."
Try reframing cold as warm, do things with cold hands, or use handwarmers and heated rocks to keep your hands warm while climbing. Transcript: "So you get cold fingers when you're climbing, join the crew. I've done a couple things. One has been a personal choice to go ahead and accept that cold is actually warm. So I reframed what warm was on my body and my hands are constantly cold all day long. My kids, I touch their neck and they're like, ah it's so cold. So I've made that temperature be acceptable to be warm enough. But if that doesn't go ahead and try to support you, one I recommend doing more things with cold hands. Whether they're working out cold, be outside without gloves on, just try to go ahead and increase your threshold for doing nimble and dexterous things with cold hands. The other thing I have friends that have done in the past, they've heated up rocks and put a rock in a chalk bag and they've also gone and put hand warmers in their chalk bag to warm their hands for climbing. So give those a try."
There is no average grade for climbing, as it depends on the individual and how much time and energy they are willing to put into it. Transcript: "What is an average grade you climb after a year? Wow that is a tough one. Everyone is so different. If you're only going once a week and climbing is just casual then you might be at the same grade you're at when you started at the end of the year. And if you're super dedicated and going four or five times a week and just pushing yourself and pushing your limits then you can go ahead and bump a bunch of grades in a year. Yeah this is all personal. I don't think that there is any direct answer that can go ahead and put anybody on particular paths. I've seen people accelerate from having never climbed to climbing 513 in a year. Is that normal? Probably not but I've seen people climb for 25 years or 30 years and still be at the same grade. So this is all about you and the energy you want to put into it and what you're seeking to get out of it."
The number of pull-ups you need to do before doing weighted pull-ups depends on your goals, your strength level, and your prior experience. Ultimately, it is important to make sure your body can handle the weight before attempting weighted pull-ups to prevent injury. Transcript: "How many pull-ups should I be able to do before starting to do weighted pull-ups? This is one of those questions I would say depends upon what your goals are. Are you looking to develop more power? Are you looking to develop more strength? Or are you looking to develop the ability to do a weighted pull-up with a bunch of weight? So ultimately a pull-up is an explosive move which is related to power. So if you're looking to develop power, you need to make sure that your strength is there that can handle the power you're about to develop, if that makes sense. If it doesn't, we need to make sure that everything connected inside our body is going to stay connected when you start doing weighted pull-ups. If not, you're going to get injured and be out for months, maybe a year or so. Is there a number of pull-ups that you need to be able to do? No. There's time on rock, time training, all the past expertise that you have doing physical activities that all factor into that question."
Watch more experienced climbers and try to emulate their footwork, body position, and powerful movements. Use these techniques to make the jump from V3 to V4. Transcript: "How can you make the jump from V3 to V4? It feels impossible. The first thing I would say is watch the stronger climbers in your gym or outside what they're doing and try to emulate them. And oftentimes what you're going to notice is that their footwork is probably a bit more precise, meaning you're going to stand over your big toe on the holds. The other thing you're going to notice is that their body position is going to allow them to be more efficient when they're climbing the route or sorry the boulder problem. They're going to be able to use more power and be more explosive when they're climbing so they may not do things very they may do things very slowly which requires more power and they might do things dynamically meaning they're kind of lunging or jumping for a hold. So as you watch and gain techniques from other folks then you get to try them and then you make them your own and perfect them and you will progress."