Lynn Hill on Climbing Goals

lynn hill rock climbing

Last Updated on: 31st March 2023, 10:51 am

Climbing legend Lynn Hill talks about climbing goals in this 2007 article on the Patagonia website (emphasis is mine):

“When it comes to planning my training objectives, I try to be realistic in choosing goals that are attainable. It’s much better to feel many small successes after having achieved modest goals rather than feel frustrated or discouraged when the goals are not met.”

This is something that has taken me the better part of my climbing career to really understand. I used to set all sorts of ambitious goals, but I rarely met them because most of them were just too ambitious. It’s all well and good to have a goal of climbing 5.12 if you’re a 5.9 climber, but why not shoot for a 5.10a first? Or three 5.9’s back-to-back without falling?

Having smaller, more attainable goals also helps keep the stoke alive. It’s easy to become discouraged because you can’t climb something. But what helps is breaking the climb down into more manageable chunks. Instead of saying, “Ugh, I can’t climb that stupid V3!” make it a goal to climb the first two moves, and then the next two moves, and so on.

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