Can route-setters decide competitions?

31 05 2017

Here is a short bio-mechanics type of analysis base on a video by Climbing TV. Decide for yourself:

Tip: As a general principal, the more stretched you are, in an overhanging climb, the less weight (and thus grip) you are able to have on your feet and, therefore, the more stress you will have on your fingers and arms.

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The cited video:


I have all the sympathy for the route-setters who try their best to avoid being the protagonists. It’s far from easy, I know! But be honest and try, will you!?

Both Alex and Adam are excellent competitors and rock climbers, and this video should not lead to the conclusion of one being better than the other. Although it could have been intend to do so. 😀


– Always have, at least, two DIFFERENT route-setters trying the route/boulder before you say it’s done.

– If in doubt, add an extra foot hold or a different variation to the climb – making sure that difficulty does not change considerably. Different solutions to a climb will only make seeing the competition more interesting!

– The route-setter can be an artist. Some are and that’s great! But let that not interfere with finding the best climbers.

– It would be nice that someone would come-up with an illustrated manual, for beginner route-setters, on classic reachy moves to avoid. Example: Crucifixion move with big feet, reachy move to an undercling, etc.

Let me know your thoughts,

Ricardo Belchior


2020 the year when sport climbing will be in the Olympic Games

6 08 2016

Hey there,

I’m thinking about it, but feel free to stop me and add something:

Will I see the climbing events in the Olympics?
– Sure! I already love the Event and now even more so!

Would I like to participate?
– Most certainly!! Social recognition is a plague from which I’m also not free. Even without participating, I’ll be, in the eyes of others, a better sportsman. Just because some will now know it. Who knows, maybe in the future I can celebrate with my coworkers my first 8c and they will publish the accomplishment in the institution journal and family will call to congratulate me… ok, ok, I’ll stop here.

Am I so pleased to the point of not being upset by the eventual massification of my rock climbing spots?
– No, I am not! I’m not indifferent about climbing in silence in the nature or climbing in an “outdoor climbing gym”. If the latter was the norm I’m not sure if I would climb. And this is not just a wild guess. In 1993 I started surfing, it was a pleasure to find someone also surfing in my local beach, nowadays, the overcrowded beaches promote an aggressive competitiveness that I despise and think I lost the possibility of doing one of my favorite sports (as I like it) on a regular basis due to its massification.

Do I think the new money entering the sport will develop the sport that I love?
– No, I don’t. It will develop competitions, infrastructures and raise sponsorship – which I like – but it comes with a collateral damage for climbing in the nature – which I love.

Will climbers be better?
– Most possibly, yes!

Will the IFSC management and personnel benefit?
– I’m pretty sure! I infere this because, if this benefit would not be so straightforward I guess there would have been a call for opinions and a public discussion of the subject.

Do our best climbers deserve the recognition?
– Yes, I’m pretty confident that they are no better and no worst than all other athletes there (except for golf, of course). Ahaha
Will I became more skeptical about top performances?
– Yes! I’m not sure I’ll continue to give the benefit of the doubt to self-reports of ascents and climbing styles and doping.

What about the 2020 initiative from the IFSC: “Hey guys show some support for climbing in the Olympics!”?
– Before the politics, I would have appreciated to know the arguments of why this is important for us climbers? I would have appreciated to ear climbers who support giving their arguments, rather than showing a 2020 in their hands. Who knows, I might be convinced by them. The “let’s say yes approach” followed by a “YES” just feels short from what I know about mountain people.

(Work in progress – Let me know your thoughts if you agree/disagree or have something to add)

For another similar (more eloquent) take on the subject refer to:


Had a flashback when looking forward

25 02 2016


Looking forward… probably my 2016 climbing project 😉


How safe are you with a sling in a belay station?

9 06 2015

Very important video!

Thanks ŽIGA JANEŽ and DMM!

Places to go for indoor climbing (boulder) in Lisbon

9 11 2014

Hey there!

For those who don’t know, this year (2014), two new public places opened their doors for indoor training. These are specially designed for bouldering, and came to address a long-term unfufilled need of a place to train when the weather or the free time are incompatible to go rock climbing.

We still need a proper place to train for sport climbing with a rope (…anyone? 😉 ), but after such a long time without any public place to go for and train, I’m not going to complain too much. 🙂

I’m not going to stress the pro’s and con’s of each place as these are both very worthwhile a visit and they are both managed by friends (and I want to keep this status quo 😉 ).

Were goes the free publicity:

Vertical Wall

Rua de Angola, Edifício Lobo, 1º Frente 2620-036 Olival Do Basto, Lisboa
Address for the GPS: Rua Heróis de Chaimite, Olival Do Basto, Lisboa
Telm: +351 92 682 8307


Address: Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Edifício Beira Rio, Fracção S, 1950-408 Lisboa
GPS: N38º44´22,3´´ W9º 6´8´´
Telm: +351 96 789 01 79

See you there! Cheers.


New video, old send & another happy repeat

4 11 2014

Repeting the send of UHU (8a), a climbing route at the main sector @ Fenda (Portinho da Arrábida – Setubal, Portugal). An old classic very worthwhile to repeat.

It’s a powerful and yet also technical climb, with a lot of slopers and with a very small hold (with a depth of around 0.4 cm) – in the middle of the route. This move – which can be identified when my right elbow points to the sky, for a few seconds 🙂 – opens up the difficulty of resisting a sequence of balancing moves on “not so good” holds.

Enjoy, cheers!

Climbing weekend

10 10 2014

Hello there,

Lately I’ve been gradually improving my fitness level (currently half way) and have been able to maintain a climbing afternoon every weekend. Not too bad considering my family & work context!

At my favorite climbing spot I don’t have so many easy routes to try anymore – besides repeating old ones. Some of the older routes I’ve climbed a long time ago, so I’ve been trying to repeat some of those, during the weekend, and doing those I recall using different holds & methods. Sometimes I get surprised on how a route can be done doing a crux when completely ignoring the standard beta… It kind of opens my eyes on how to approach onsight climbing! “It doesn’t have to be perfect, sufficient it’s usually enough!”

A very nice climbing crew, from Austria and Germany, joined me and Jonas (a friend), on one of our latest climbing weekends, and beside their sympathy, one of them was a photographer and offered me these photos:




Photos by: Fabian Hochheimer (Thanks man!)

Route: Espírito Matemático – 7c+/8a @ Fenda (Portugal)