To help make the transition to the outdoors smoother, it helps to use the indoor environment to practice some of the skills that will be needed outside.
Jamming If the wall has any cracks-even if they are not very good simulations of outdoor cracks- practice jamming on them. Indoor cracks usually are not the most popular routes in the gym, which means there probably will not be a line! To make the most of any crack try:
- making as many jams as possible
- making as few jams as possible
- making every foothold a jam (this is hard to do when good footholds abound on either side!)
- downclimbing the crack
- liebacking all the way up and down
Smearing Another skill that is rarely perfected indoors is smearing- pasting your feet on the wall when there is no obvious hold. Most indoor walls are so littered with holds that footholds are automatic. Try your favorite route without using any of the bolted holds. You may be surprised at how many tiny features on the surface of the wall make good smears.
Stemming Inside corners offer great opportunities to improve your stemming.