Climbing Motivation: How to Make a Route Pyramid Poster

I have written about route pyramids before, but up until writing this post my own route pyramid was but a pile of rock climbs randomly strewn about my memory bank. However, after being inspired by a couple of close friends who have done the same, I made my own route pyramid come to life.

Inspiration from a couple of friends.

If you’re climber that “doesn’t care about grades” then you’ll want to step away right now, but if progression interests you or if you just like keeping track of things , then stick around. Here is how to make your own Visual Route Pyramid.

Materials

Photo Frame*
1/2″ sticker dots
A print out of this template**
Thin Marker or Pen
Guide Books
Tape (just in case)

*I went to FedEx to print mine because I don’t have a printer and didn’t have access to one at work. I reccomend either 16″x20″ or 18″x24″.
**If you do happen to download this template, it would be lovely if you subscribed to my monthly climbing training newsletter!

Step 1: Put the template in the frame

Step 2: Begin putting your stickers on.

Put your stickers on the outside of the glass/plastic. You are not going to want to take your poster out every time you get home from a trip. I recommend starting from the bottom and going up, make sure you have your guidebooks with you. Remembering routes from a few years ago can be pretty tricky. Take time to reminisce and reflect (this is a great activity to do with your climbing buddies, if you can).

You’ll notice that 5.10 looks a little barren on mine because I really don’t remember a lot of them…

Step 3: Add pictures that get you psyched

I just slid my pictures of Red River Gorge Nature and cool rock climbs into the frame.
A picture of an amazing rock climb is way more inspiring than this:

5.11d

Step 4: Put it somewhere you will see it

At my old job, I had pictures of routes I wanted to do at my desk. It kept me from bailing on going to the gym after work. “I’m too tired, there’s too much traffic” seemed to dissolve a bit when I was looking my goals straight in the face.

Additionally the poster is a great reminder that you have sent things before and you will send them again. This is a reminder every climber needs throughout their career.

Is this actually helpful for my climbing?

In short, yes. First of all, reflecting on routes you have climbed is an inherently good thing. For example, when I look at my route pyramid, it is glaringly obvious that I put too much time into the “cusp grades” and avoid the 5.11c/ds. I may need to slot in some sub-maximal mini-projects to fill that in next year.

Taking time to reflect on previous experiences is productive for your climbing and other aspects of life, obviously. Additionally, as you go on to add more climbs to your pyramid, you’ll have a moment of thoughtfulness when you write the route name on the sticker and put it on your wall.

Your poster pyramid (hopefully studded with pictures of inspiring rock climbs) will keep you motivated. Perhaps you will put your pyramid somewhere to remind you that getting your ass out of bed before work to hangboard is worth it. If you have to look at your goals when you press snooze, perhaps you won’t hit snooze so often.

While making a poster will not result in increased finger strength, but perhaps it might cause you to be more motivated and intentional with your climbing and training.

If you’re going to hang something on your walls, why not make it inspiring. Plus, I’ve seen your water bottles. You guys love putting stickers on stuff.

Have questions? Suggestions on how you made yours even better? Leave a comment below!

Additionally, please email me pictures at Lauren@senderellastory.com
I would love to see your work.

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