I hate slabs! Any technique tips? —Jim Murdock, Little Rock, AR
Avoid stepping too high or too wide to the largest available foothold. Instead, keep your feet within imaginary vertical
tram-lines that are shoulder-width apart.
Build your feet in small steps, using the smaller smears and dinks.
Keep your hips over your feet, perpendicular to the pull of gravity, rather than bringing them in too close to the wall. If you lean in you will lose traction
and restrict your vision.
Don’t stand up too high on your toes or your shoe rubber will lift away from the rock and your feet may pop.
In order to move your feet, shift your hips to one side, so that one foot is grounded, then lift and place the un-weighted foot.
Use momentum on high steps and focus on getting your hips over your foot first, before attempting to stand up.
Avoid reaching too high with your hands since this will lift the heels. Instead, consider using lower holds, or perhaps using your palms to mantel.
In general, cruxes on slabs are overcome by moving the feet up, rather than focusing on finding handholds above.
This article was published in Rock and Ice issue 184.