The purpose of this study was to investigate the optimal amount of information to explore by a climber to effectively anticipate the next actions and therefore ensure efficiency during the climb. Climbers (N=6), with mean age 15.6 years (+/-1.6) were assigned based on their maximal performance to an “expert” group (N=3 who can climb a route with difficulty level 7 or more) and a “beginner” group (N=3 who can climb a route with difficulty level 5c maximum). All those 6 climbers practiced 6 times not identical but similar routes (same difficulty level and technical requirements), but the number of visible holds was decreased trial after trial. In other words, during the first trial the next 6 holds were visible (the holds lights on as far as the climber actually climbs up), the second trial showed only the 5 next holds, the third trial showed only the next 4 holds, etc… Both the performance, efficiency and exploratory activity were measured during the ascent. Results showed that a major drop in performance arose for experts when they went through the condition with 3 visible holds to the condition with only 2 visible holds, showing that expert climbers can ensure fluidity of their climb by anticipating in the next 3 holds. Concerning the beginners, no drop in performance were observed, advocating for a lack of anticipation for the beginners, as they mainly use the next hold to anticipate (or rather “not anticipate”).
Komar, John; Ding, Yifei; and Iodice, Paolo
"EXPLORING THE RIGHT SPOT: HOW MUCH INFORMATION REALLY TO EXPLORE FOR EFFICIENT CLIMBING?,"
ISBS Proceedings Archive: Vol. 38
, Article 150.
Available at: https://commons.nmu.edu/isbs/vol38/iss1/150