Problem #3 / 3Q / Stemming

A steep wall problem using the ‘Theory’ series. It’s a tough challenge to make a problem that learn stemming with severe foot holds, very difficult to set a careful footwork on a 140 degree slope without cutting your feet, and it requires a lot of trial and error to get your customers to follow your lead. The problem was to learn how to climb calmly and securely while keeping the center of gravity in place on a steep wall.


Wall Angle: 50° (140°) / Wall Height: 3.5m / Location: Vert / Set by Mitsuo

We don’t have a foot hold yet, so I’m using an appropriate foot hold. “The issue of how hard to make the foot-hold at the start position” will be discussed in a future column.


SET Name: Theory

From Top to Start

  • TH-LG3.1 (Top)
  • TH-LG2.5
  • TH-MD1.1
  • TH-XL1.4
  • TH-LG3.3
  • TH-MD1.5
  • TH-MD1.2
  • TH-LG1.2
  • TH-MD1.4 (Start)
  • Foothold unknown


Point of Movement

When you go for the fifth to sixth move undercling, you can just barely stabilize yourself by smearing your left foot against the wall and getting into a stemming state. Just barely. Essentially, stemming technique is about mastering a state of near-stability using body tension.

In this picture, I had it taken in the few seconds that my right hand is off, and I can stop for just 2 seconds with all the force I can muster in all the right places. The power of stopping your body with all your strength = the power to stabilize it. It’s the opposite of a disempowered, broken climbing form and is the fundamental force behind a stable climbing form.

This is an enlargement of the right foot during stemming. About 1.5cm of the toe of the right foot is installed. As you can see in the picture of the hold below, it is not a step that can be stepped on at 140 degrees, but it can be done in combination with stemming. Any more good or bad foot holds and the effect of stemming will be halved or unnecessary.

Key of hold

Theory / TH-MD1.5

A little larger hold in the Medium 1 set of Theory. I put this hold at the beginning of this setting. Of course, aim at the left wall and stemming. Stemming is made at the beginning of the setting and the upper and lower holds are made later. To avoid losing your legs, the hold you are going to pick up is thin undercling (TH-MD1.1).

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