Week 2

My time spent on my learning project this week started with a comment left by Leslie Lindballe on last weeks post. She told me of how she was fortune enough to spend 9 months climbing in Yangshou, China. She left me with this website: http://yangshuoaccess.org/. After exploring the site, I went to Youtube where I found this great video on climbing in Yangshou:

It’s an amazing amateur video of what climbing is like in Yangshou. One thing I find as beautiful as Yangshou’s landscape is the generosity of the climbing community. Everyone is so supportive and are open to sharing and helping others out. It is something I’ve experienced on previous climbing trips and is something that will not be forgotten and should not go unrecognized.

While browsing on Twitter I came across @ClimbingMag. I clicked on a link on one of their tweets from 4 hours ago and came across another video of climbing in China similar to the one above. I will have to spend more time on their website, http://www.climbing.com/, and see what else I can discover.

On Sunday I went to the Sask. Science Centre again and was able to climb the Red Route that I previously haven’t climbed before. My friend meet me there and shot a video of me climbing the whole thing, which I was really thankful for. You know how some actors and actresses say it’s weird to watch themselves in a movie or show they filmed? Well, it feels similar in a way for me. By watching the video I am really able to see my movement up the rock- things I did that surprised me, things that I need to improve, and things that I’ve improved on since last time.

When I was roughly half way up I took a break to rest my arms and see how I was going to manoeuvre around the overhang. You can see this at 2:05. I was using to much upper body strength and didn’t use enough chalk up to this point. I pretty much slipped off the wall. However, I was able to use that break to visualize the rest of my climb. I got back on, and bouldered, or moved sideways, across the wall (at 2:40) and then finished my climb. Overall, it took me 3:28 to climb to the top, which I am happy about but know I can improve it. Something else I will try to work on next climb is watching my feet my feet more. At times I try to feel me way around the rock, but my foot slips off the hold and I have to attempt the footing again. A prime example of this is at 1:04. On a rock wall like this it’s not the end of the world if my foot slips like that, but if it were to happy to me on a climb in the mountains I might panic, which is never a good thing. Overall though, it was a fun climb which presented different challenges from the other climbs. I want to focus on attempting the Green Route and the Red Route some more as they were the two which caused me the most trouble. Stay tuned for another update within the next week!

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About Adam Brock

My name is Adam Brock and I am a third year student at the University of Regina! I am currently in the Secondary Education Program, with plans to major in Mathematics and minor in Outdoor and Physical Education. I was born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and look forward to travelling after my years at the U of R.

Posted on November 7, 2011, in Learning Project. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. onepercentyellow

    Thanks for the mention and the video on Yangshuo! It sure made me wish I were heading back there with my friend this winter. So many great people, and an amazing place to climb. The access issues are a complication, but amazing bike rides out to stunning mountains and great climbs – even for me (a 5.10 or less top-roper). It’s so awesome that you’re video taping yourself so that you can see what you’re doing. What a great way to critique and learn. See you on top of the world, man!

  2. Adam,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the learning process involved in climbing. I’m working on my Master’s this year and starting to learn to climb at the same time. I commented to a friend the other day that I might be doing more actual learning at the rock gym than in the classroom. It’s real.
    For me, that makes the most difference. I walk in, harness up, and decide which routes I want to try. No one tells me which to start with or how I need to progress. When I’m 3/4 of the way up a route and decide I’ve gone as far as I can/need to go, I get to be the one who assesses whether what I did could be considered success and what was failure.
    There’s no grade at the end other than my own sense of accomplishment. Sometimes, I leave feeling like I could have done more. Sometimes, I leave feeling as though I did more than I’d have thought possible. Always, I leave having owned all of the experience.
    What about you?
    How does learning to climb in conjunction with a classroom assignment shift or alter the experience for you? How do you adjust to that? What, if anything, are you doing differently as a result of coming to the learning this way rather than more serendipitously?
    Keep up the sharing. I’ll be reading.

    – Zac

  3. Hey Zac, thanks for the post. Great questions, I hope this reply gives you a better understanding of my point of view.

    I definitely share a sense of freedom when it comes to climbing. Nobody tells me when I have to climb, what I have to climb, how high I have to climb, or how fast I have to go. And also there is nobody watching and grading me, so there isn’t that pressure of HAVING to accomplish something. Instead, I feel the joy of accomplished something.

    My goals can vary by the days that I climb. One day I might try to challenge myself to climb faster. The next I could focus on being smooth while climbing, and take small but steady moves. Whatever my goal is for that day is like what my assignment is for that day. Regardless of what it is I want to achieve, I always give it my all.

    I believe that knowing that it is for a classroom assignment has helped me in some ways. It pushes me to get out and climb at least once a week so that it becomes a regular thing. Since the Learning Project is based on learning something and recording your experiences, I have found that videotaping my climbing has allowed me to document my progress. By watching and critiquing the videos, I am able to take notes of positive and negative things I see in the video and learn from myself along the way.

    Another key point of the Learning Project is that you must chose to do it something that you WANT to learn about. Climbing wasn’t my first choice for the learning project as it should be based on learning something new, however climbing was something I have always enjoyed and have wanted to put time and effort into to improve my climbing. And so that is why I came to the conclusion of learning about climbing.
    As for coming to the learning this way rather than more serendipitously, I believe that since I was introduced to climbing when I was young and enjoyed it, it has sparked my interest in learning about it. The Learning Project has given me an opportunity to learn more about climbing, and has given me responsibility to dedicate the time and effort needed for the project.

    Where do you do your climbing? I agree with you 100% when it comes to learning more by climbing than in the classrooms. There are no textbooks, no lectures, none of that stuff. It is simply you and the wall. It is literally a hands-on approach to learning, and it most definitely is real! That’s why I enjoy it so much.

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