Best and Worst Hold of the Week 1

The Dolphin Pinch and the Duck Pinch

To start things off with this series I decided to pick two holds which I have a fair bit to say about and that contrast well together. This is also a good example of an ancient CATS style hold, a Straight Up, beating a modern Teknik hold.

First, above, we have the Best, the Dolphin Pinch, dubbed by Ryan Silven, as it looks like a Dolphin. More importantly to this disscusion as I am not holding this hold superior due to the superiority of dolphins over ducks, is the fact that it is textured like a dolphin. One of my least favorite things about climbing at the Spot and Movement, is the fact that my skin may often give out before my fingers. It gives you the standard "gym skin" that you get from almost all gyms, the textured holds eat away your skin(and shoes), and climbing on it for multiple days leaves your fingers pink and purple and out of shape for anything outdoors. Also, quite importantly, it is better to grip a hold than have a hold grip you. Textured holds are not as good for training on multiple levels; bad for your skin and requires less crushing strength. The shape of this hold is also quite pure and versatile. As you can see the hold is in a position for the right hand, in this position the finger side is the smaller side, a way that I frequently like it, which emphasizes the pinching crushing nature of pinches. If I want to train fingers I will climb on crimps. But at the same time if you want, this hold can be rotated around to be used as a left as more of a slopey edge with a smaller thumb catch.

In summary this is a great hold as it has perfect texture and is thin in a sense which makes it hard but also slopey not a thin edge like pinch. It has been recently used to make "The Dolphin Pinch Problem" which I will feature soon.

And here, to the left, we have not "the" but "a" Duck pinch. Duck pinches are a title that I came up with to describe this stupid style of slopey pinch that hold makers continue to make for some reason. I hate pockets, but I understand that strangely some people want to climb routes, and then stranger still; routes with pockets. So I get that they are a specific grip that some people would like to be strong at. The Duck pinch grip however has no such rationale. They are not a specific type of grip ever encountered outside and do not make you stronger in any way. Training Duck pinches does not even necessarily make you stronger at Duck pinches. Essentially one can train edges, slopers and pinches(and I guess pockets). But if you take someone who trains on slopers and pinches and someone who trains Duck pinches and then have some sort of hideous duck pinch competition, the Duck Pincher will lose. But now perhaps I have gone to far without illustrating the Duck Pinch Grip.

Here you can see my hand gripping the hold.

My hand looks like a duck. As if my hand is saying "quack quack"

This is a Duck pinch.

You can detect Duck pinches at your home gym by simply squeezing a questionable pinch. If your hand looks like a duck, it is a Duck pinch and should be removed with the greatest of haste.

Duck pinches are stupid as you can not really utilize your thumb to pinch it but at the same time you cannot just hold it like sloper. Yes they can be meat wraped but lets not even go there.

But you may also be asking "Hey what if you just pinch it like a normal skinny pinch? The same way you hold the Dolphin pinch."

Well here is a picture of the grip in question. I can explain why this doesn't work slightly but you may have to go and try this at home to fully understand. As you can see there is a great deal of plastic between the point of contact and the edge of the hold. This means through that due to the terrible duck slope of the hold that if you try to actually crush and pull off of the hold this way two things may happen: one your hand will slide off the hold, or two your hand will collapse into the above Duck pinch position. Gripping it properly simply does not work well. It is like if you take a proper sloper like the ETCH Egg or something worse would be an even better example, like the slopey side of the ETCH Breastplate, and try to crimp it, it does not really work; it either feels like shit(the Egg) or literally does not work(the Breastplate).

Hopefully now you may understand why I hate Duck pinches, and why slopey non-textured pinches emphasizing thumbs are excellent.

This is my first post of the series so please let me know what you like and do not like.

It's Alive

Well instead of an update telling you that there will not be updates, I have good news that I am going to start trying to put some time into the site again. I am still working through some ideas, but I will first off start posting videos and problems again, although I am not sure about the picture guides. Secondly I am going to start a blog series "Best and Worst Hold of the Week", where I feature two holds and explain why I love and hate them. I can promise some other blog posts as well regarding grip positions, holds vs. movement, and others. I of course cannot fill you in on all the news that occured but I will just start things off again with what has been happening recently.

For some news in a slightly familiar vein for those who visited the site previously, my friend Sasha Diguilian made a very impressive flash ascent of LaSportiva, this is the first female flash, something along the lines of 3rd female ascent and a rare flash for either gender. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that she had never been in CATS before and could not even make out the stickers so I actually had to point it out as she went.

Outside of the steep we definitely have a newest hardest climb usurping Keen Extension and Red HornyToad. It was set by myself and Ryan Silven and lacks a good name, not that we ever have "good" names in CATS. I suppose it will just be refered to as the V15/16, or perhaps in true CATS form; OrangeRedYellow as that is the crux sequence. Enough holds have changed since my old photo database that I cannot highlight the holds, I can take new pictures but I no longer have access to the quality camera that I did. But given that this is the first or second hardest climb in CATS I will take pictures next week to put up in the guide section. I will try hard to get footage of Daniel doing it, but not sure when he will be around and it took him three days so it is not on the circuit yet.

That is all of the news for now. But I will start updating again. So tell your friends and check in for new posts here, in the blog, and on the Vimeo Channel.