Breaking Climbing Plateaus and Mental Barriers

Audrey Little Si

Audrey climbing Hanging Out to Dry 5.12b out at Little Si, WA in 2006.
Photo by Mike Doyle

When I wanted to take my climbing to another level, the first thing I did was make a mental statement to myself to “Lead my Ability!” This was a frightening proposition but a step that I wanted to take to discover what my potential with climbing could really be. As soon as I shifted my mental context, I found the local gym offering a training for climbing course for Adults. Having been envious of the kids programs, longing for attention like that for myself, I signed up without hesitation. Finally! I would learn the secrets to getting stronger for climbing.

That was back in 2003 when I would lead 5.10a/b and top rope up to hard 5.11. The coach for the “A-Team” was Tyson Schoene, head coach of the Vertical World Youth climbing team, whom have won many individual youth titles and team podiums over the years. After the first year of climbing training, I onsighted on lead (climbed to the top without any foresight or information of the climb, putting the rope up for myself and others) my first 5.12a. That was a big step for myself in climbing and one that has set me on a continued journey to discovering my potential even further today.

Audrey Lost Horizons

Audrey on Lost Horizons (5.14b) at Little Si, WA in 2014.
Photo by Luke Humphrey

I continue to train myself and share my insights and learnings through clinics for gyms and events. The next clinic I’ll be at will be the Red Rock Rendezvous end of March. Find me there to ask me how you can unlock your own potential or take a clinic with me during the festival.  Here’s a testimonial from a girl I worked with a few years ago:

“When I met Audrey, my friends had been training with her and were clearly climbing consistently stronger than I had seen before.  They decided their goal was to lead 5.11’s.  Only having led up to 5.10a myself, I just laughed, “knowing” I couldn’t possibly do that, but decided to join in with the training. Before the three months was up, I had already done my first two 5.11s. Now, I am consistently approaching these grades and finding progress coming quickly. Overall, I feel stronger, more confident, and have better climbing intuition. I’m excited to be breaking into this new level and attribute the success to the training. Thank you, Audrey!”

Hearing about the successes of others and knowing the hard work that goes into seeing these types of pay-offs is inspirational.  They say half the battle [to success] is showing up. Well, this girl showed up and then some!  Her friends are now calling her the ‘rope gun,’ where the rope gun is implied to be the strongest of the group and the one who is most capable to set ropes on routes that may be too challenging for others. What an awesome place to be!  Where do you see yourself going?

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About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climber, climbing coach, computer software/technology enthusiast and occasional baker/cook and wine connoisseur.
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