5 tips for a successful red point ascent

The Belgian Anak Verhoeven is one of the strongest climbers in the world. In this article, the 26-year-old professional climber shares five personal tips for a successful red point ascent on the rock.

First women's ascent by Joe Mama (9a +), red point ascent of No pain, no gain (9a +), two 9a routes with an hour break: There are many headlines that underline why Anak Verhoeven on the rock is one of the strongest female climbers in the world. In this article, she reveals what her recipe for success is in difficult red point ascents and what strategies she uses to approach her projects.

How Anak Verhoeven tackles red dot projects on rock:

  1. In training: learn to fight the pump
  2. On the rock: optimize and memorize movements
  3. When warming up: Develop a personal routine
  4. During an attempt: Balance between focused and relaxed
  5. Strategies while climbing: Act with foresight

1. Training: Learn to fight against the pump

Anak Verhoeven mainly prepares for her sport climbing routes on the rock with indoor lead sessions. After a thorough warm-up, she climbs several grade eight routes.

Display Ads Rectangle_Trailrunning

To increase the training effect, she climbs the routes two or more times without resting in between. She also builds in additional challenges, for example by blocking holds or deliberately letting her feet come with every movement.

"The most important aspect of such sessions is the ability to fight the pump - physically and mentally."

Anak Verhoeven

In addition, the 26-year-old does regular strength training sessions, during which she focuses on hangboarding, pull-ups and strengthening her core. After one or two days of training, she usually takes a rest day. This includes balance exercises, mobility and stretching.

2. On the rock: optimize and memorize movements

The actual process of red point climbing begins on the rock. The first step is to find out whether all movements of the selected line are possible at all. "In this phase you often spend hours on the wall and only make a few meters of progress, sometimes none at all," says Anak Verhoeven.

Once all the individual moves have been made, the task is to optimize the beta and memorize all the movement sequences.

«When memorizing the movements, no detail should be left out. I don't attempt a redpoint ascent until I have enough confidence in my methods."

Anak Verhoeven

3. Warm up: Develop a personal routine

An intensive warm-up is essential - not only to prevent injuries, but also to get the best out of yourself. "Every body is different and requires a specific warm-up," says Anak Verhoeven.

"By warming up for each session as if you were about to jump into a project afterwards, you become more aware of what your body needs."

Anak Verhoeven

In this way, you also develop a personal warm-up routine, thanks to which you know exactly when you are ready to climb your personal limit.

4. During an experiment: balance between being focused and relaxed

When things are serious, the professional climber tries to be focused and relaxed at the same time. "If I find this balance, I can move in a kind of flow." However, if she tries to control everything, she climbs much too stiffly, which increases the chance of a fall.

"I remind myself that it's "just a route" and it's no big deal if I fall."

Anak Verhoeven

That doesn't mean giving up recklessly during an attempt, though: feeling like she wasted an attempt or not trying hard enough is something the 26-year-old tries to avoid. Thinking about it while climbing is a mental strategy that has often helped her to reactivate all her strength.

"If I still fall, I try to analyze immediately what caused the fall." This allows her to learn from experience and make adjustments the next time I try, for example repositioning my foot or improving my position for cliffs.

5. Strategies while climbing: Act with foresight

On red point attempts, Anak Verhoeven tries to climb as efficiently as possible. A successful strategy for conserving energy, in addition to having a good beta, is to start shaking well before the pump starts.

"I always try to plan one or more moves ahead, especially when I've found a good resting position."

Anak Verhoeven

Even if she always has the end goal - i.e. the ascent - in the back of her mind, she usually concentrates on the next moves while climbing - step by step up to the deflector. "It can be such a satisfying feeling to get through a project," enthuses Anak Verhoeven. With this in mind: Good luck with your projects!

That might interest you

Do you like our climbing magazine? When launching the climbing magazine Lacrux, we decided not to introduce a paywall because we want to provide as many like-minded people as possible with news from the climbing scene.

In order to be more independent of advertising revenue in the future and to provide you with even more and better content, we need your support.

Therefore: Help and support our magazine with a small contribution. Naturally you benefit multiple times. How? You will find out here.

Don't miss anything - receive our newsletter

* Indicates required
Interests

+ + +

Credits: Cover picture Anak Verhoeven

News

Piolet d'Or veteran plans record on Everest

Record attempt: 59-year-old top alpinist Valeriy Babanov plans to become the oldest person to climb Everest without artificial oxygen.

Brione for beginners: The most beautiful boulders up to 7A

Brione is also easy: Today we'll show you where you can find beautiful bouldering problems in moderate degrees in the Verzasca Valley.

Video tribute to Ticino: Ticino Gravity

Ticino Gravity tells the story of bouldering in Ticino and accompanies Kim Marschner on his First Ascent of Embrace Gravity (8B+).

IFSC Lead & Speed ​​World Cup Wujiang | Info & live stream

Livestream: Follow live as the world's best climbers compete at the Lead & Speed ​​World Cup in Wujiang.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter now and stay up to date.

Piolet d'Or veteran plans record on Everest

Record attempt: 59-year-old top alpinist Valeriy Babanov plans to become the oldest person to climb Everest without artificial oxygen.

Brione for beginners: The most beautiful boulders up to 7A

Brione is also easy: Today we'll show you where you can find beautiful bouldering problems in moderate degrees in the Verzasca Valley.

Video tribute to Ticino: Ticino Gravity

Ticino Gravity tells the story of bouldering in Ticino and accompanies Kim Marschner on his First Ascent of Embrace Gravity (8B+).