RING RING! Hey! It's a List of the Top Ten Holds You Love to Hate!

Climbing holds are a many and varied thing. You got your standard slopers, crimps, jugs, gastons and even your thumb-derclings. Remember that climbing is always fun and every hold is special in its own way, but some holds just make you cringe. They're the most brutal holds to grace our gym's walls, and every time you see them set on your new proj, you gotta dig deep and muster the courage to face these merciless creations. But avoiding them will not make you a better climber, so it's better to just face these (and your fears!) head on LIKE A BOSS.

The Flapper-Maker

This jug wants to end your hand's life.

This jug wants to end your hand's life.

How can something so good also be SO bad? These jugs are so good it's painful. The size and texture of these buckets seem inviting, but actually grabbing one of these things digs so hard into the first digit on each finger that the hold essentially becomes a callus guillotine. Making a dynamic move to one of these might be the last thing your finger calluses ever do, cuz this hold will straight tear them off and not even feel bad.

The Dry-fire Demon

There is no try - only dry-firing.

There is no try - only dry-firing.

One of the most frustrating, this hold is just textured enough to let you stick it, but too slopey to let you stay. After a brief pause of imagined victory after sticking one of these, you always come tearing off like a bat out of hell with now flaming fingertips. Just a few dry-fires off one of these will cut any session short, leaving you to retreat back to jug hauls with red and throbbing fingertips. Good luck getting your iPhone to read your fingerprints — thanks to the Dry-Fire Demon, there is nothing left for your phone to read. Better memorize that passcode. 

The Foot-Slip N' Slide

They make look innocent, but you might as well be wearing ice skates on a linoleum floor.

They make look innocent, but you might as well be wearing ice skates on a linoleum floor.

Since when are footholds made of banana peels? Just one foot match on one of these babies and you're slipping and sliding like something from a Three Stooges skit. Brand new shoes? Doesn't matter — then you'll at least be surprised when your feet suddenly skate off one of these and you're falling flat on your face. 

The Tendon-tearers

The originals in tendon torture, the Yaniro pockets!

The originals in tendon torture, the Yaniro pockets!

The Tendon-tearers (or is it terrors?!) are those two finger pockets that shock load your fingers, and make you immediately upset as soon as you grab them. An audible groan can be heard from every climber who spies one of these on their new project, especially if the move is a deadpoint. The precision these things require often means that you miss the pocket entirely, and instead end up slamming your fingers into the wall which, let's be real — is probably better for your tendons anyways. 

The Always Greased-up Grips

Mmmmm ... Just look at that greasy sheen.

Mmmmm ... Just look at that greasy sheen.

Don't let anyone ever accuse you of greasing up these grips — I swear these things were poured greasy. It's like the hold manufacturer's secret ingredient is Pam spray or Canola oil or something. You never really hear about "send temps" when climbing inside, but there is a very specific temperature range that these things are usable at, and you never seem to climb during those times. 

The Why-did-you-even-bother-screwing-this-on-the-wall

We all know you're just gonna use the bolt.

We all know you're just gonna use the bolt.

This hold is not really a hold. It is a blob of vaguely textured substance that is for some reason on the wall, and on your route. It is so barely there that any attempt of actual use will most likely end tragically, so most people will just look incredulously at it like, "I'm supposed to step on WHAT?" and then use any technique necessary to just bypass the damn thing. These types of holds are found almost exclusively on slab routes, so as to add to the risk of you slipping and cheese-gratering your face on the wall. 

The Not-So-Nice Novelty

RING RING, YOU GONNA ANSWER?

RING RING, YOU GONNA ANSWER?

We get it, hold company — you're trying to think out-of-the-box and show us something we have never seen before. But sometimes we have never seen that before because it's dumb. These holds are almost never very ergonomic, and make you do things with your hands that you're not proud of. I mean, it's a phone, right? Everyone knows how to hold onto a phone — but how do you hang the entirety of your body weight off a hotel phone receiver while at a 40° angle? You don't. So stop. 

The Did You Do That on Purpose or Am I Twelve-Years Old?

*immature snickering*

*immature snickering*

Are you ever climbing on a route, look at the next hold and think, "Dang, that's dirty!"? We all know these holds — giant horns, identical slopers placed next to each other, etc. Makes you wonder if the routesetters are doing it on purpose or just really, really naive. (Surely you could never expect such saltiness that from our sweet, innocent routesetters!) Or maybe you're just nasty. GOSH, this is a family establishment, what are you thinking???

The Sabotaged Jug

In another life this was a jug ... but that volume had other plans.

In another life this was a jug ... but that volume had other plans.

IF ONLY IT WASN'T ANGLED LIKE THAT IT WOULD BE SO GOOD. ROUTESETTER, Y U SET DIS? This hold is infuriating because of its potential. I mean, it could have been SO GOOD. Like, a much needed bucket. But life is hard and this great hold was either angled a super difficult way, or purposely blocked with another strategically place sabotage hold.

The Dinosaur

Look at these old fossils!

Look at these old fossils!

This hold, if it could talk, would tell you stories about the "old days," and "walking to school in the rain, barefoot, and uphill both ways." This hold has probably seen decades of callused climber hands, and will inexplicably survive to see decades more. It is an old, ratty hold, that is too beloved to send to the trash pile, so we keep seeing it bolted to the wall, again and again, like an old friend that keeps calling but you don't remember how cool they are until you FINALLY return their call.