What is Deadpointing in Climbing and How Pull It Off?

In rock climbing, along with power and strength, you also need to hone advanced climbing techniques and movement to become a great climber. Having a vast knowledge of techniques allows you to perform a wide range of climbing moves.

But how do you take your skills to the next level?

Well, the best way to learn different climbing techniques is by scaling mismatching walls and routes.

While attempting to climb a challenging route, at times, you may find yourself in a position that most climbers consider a “point of no return.”

So, how do you tackle such situations?

Deadpointing is the answer!

When you find yourself in such instances, the best technique to flip the script is by performing the climbing technique called ‘deadpointing.’

It is undoubtedly one of the most advanced techniques used in rock climbing. Although this classic movement is highly underrated, its significance is unparalleled among the advanced climbers.

Now, you may be wondering, “how to deadpoint?”

Well, don’t worry!

In this article, we’ll be digging deep into the topic. In addition to that, we will also go through the step-by-step guide on how to perform deadpoint properly.

So, let’s take a closer look at it!

What is Deadpointing in Climbing?

Deadpointing is an advanced climbing technique that lets climbers turn into the wall and reach for the next hold, even when gravity weighs them down.

It is a dynamic movement in rock climbing often done to reach holds that may not be statically possible to reach. It is done using a single hand to reach a single hold rather than using both hands.

Technically, a deadpoint is done from a position that most climbers consider a point of no return. That is to say, to perform deadpointing, climbers must be in a difficult position where they are likely to lose their footing and fall off. At the right moment, the climber must force himself off the holds, push his feet hard on the footholds, and jump upward towards the targeted hold.

How to Deadpoint?

Deadpointing is a dynamic rock climbing technique that is hard to master, even for experienced climbers. But once you master the art of this advanced movement, you will certainly appreciate its simplicity as well as its effectiveness.

You can perform the art of deadpointing in three simple steps:

1. Place Your Feet Firmly

Once you find yourself in the point of no return, the first move you should make is to place your feet firmly at the available foothold. During this step, make sure to keep your feet as idle as possible. You need to keep them firmly grounded before making your next move.

If you attempt to move your feet during the motion, you might lose your balance off the wall and put your life in danger. Therefore, the first step to nail the deadpoint is to keep your feet steady before executing your next move.

2. Turn You Hips Inward

Once you keep your feet firmly grounded at the available foothold, turn your hips swiftly inward towards the face of the rock.

By turning your hips inwards, you will momentarily change the positioning of your body and center of gravity. In addition to that, the hips movement will also allow you to push yourself to reach the following hold, instead of staying stuck and stagnant in the starting position.

Since the gravity will be pulling you down from every direction before attempting the deadpoint, you will only have a small window to combat this. Besides, with your body at full extension, the combat is much more challenging than it seems.

Therefore, if you manage to turn your hips inwards appropriately, you’ll buy yourself a brief time to make your move to grab the next hold.

3. Reach For The Next Hold

This will be your defining moment!

Once you push your hips inward and position your body, you should take advantage of the brief window of opportunity and push for the next hold.

Remember, timing is the key while deadpointing, and once you push yourself to the next hold, your countdown will begin. To achieve optimum result, your swing, thrust, release, and snatch should time perfectly.

Keep in mind, each step in deadpointing overlaps one another. If you do not release the hold on time and make your move, you will have to return to the starting position to retry it. Once you return to the initial position, your body will have to combat gravity.

So, make sure to release the hold on time and reach for the targeted hold while your body is positioned inwards toward the rock.

Controlled Dynamic Moves Involved in Deadpointing

To perform the deadpoint precisely, you need to nail the controlled dynamic moves. This advanced climbing technique requires one part of the body to stay idle, while others move in a synchronized manner.

In deadpointing, the push comes from the hips, which is followed by the hand’s movement. While it is often done to escape the point of no return, the climbers are usually positioned in full extension before the attempt. Deadpointing allows the climbers to get back into a comfortable position and have a better grip on the holds.

Due to its dynamic nature, deadpointing requires some technical skills to pull off. So, here are the controlled dynamic moves involved in deadpointing.

1. Legs Positioning

Determining the right foothold to place your feet takes practice. Generally, bigger footholds tend to provide a better launch. But, you may not always find such footholds in difficult routes. Therefore, you need to calculate the most suitable foothold to rest your foot.

If your targeted hold is towards the sideways, make sure the foot that is on the opposite side is positioned higher than the other. It will assist you in making a smoother take-off and reaching the hold more accurately.

2. Dynamic Hips Motion

The power behind most of the dynamic moves comes from the legs — however, deadpoint begs to differ. In deadpointing, climbers use their hip movement for power and balance before making the next move. It helps to preserve the much-needed strength of your legs as well as arms for other moves.

3. Use of Arms

It is essential to use your arms to direct the deadpointing more accurately. On the steeper routes, make sure to keep your arms as straight as possible. In the steeper sections, keeping your arms relatively straight makes the deadpointing easier. As you position your legs firmly, you must bend your arms to direct you towards the target rock.

4. Focus on the Targeted Hold

Before you launch towards the targeted hold, calculate the distance, and focus on the destination. When you push yourself towards the targeted hold, make sure that you’re 100 percent committed to reaching the goal. Do not make a move until you’re confident of sticking to the next hold. Lack of confidence might put your life in danger!

Calculate the distance and make up your mind before your attempt. Once you make a move, do not have any second thoughts during the flight and only focus on the targeted hold.

5. Timing

Timing is the key to any dynamic moves in climbing. Like any other advanced climbing techniques, deadpoint is all about timing. Since you’ll only have a brief time to make it or break it, the secret to master the art of deadpointing is timing.

From start to finish, each step should perfectly synchronize with one another while you attempt deadpointing. Your positioning, thrust, release, and snatch should all be timed perfectly to get the optimum result.

How to Move Your Hips While Deadpointing?

As mentioned earlier, climbers have to move their hips and not their feet while deadpointing.

While it may not seem like much, this simple step is exceptionally crucial to climbers’ safety while attempting the deadpoint. Pushing your hips inward towards the face of the wall allows the climber to retain balance in challenging situations.

Note that when climbers perform deadpoint, their body is already at full extension. Losing their footings or grips will throw them off the rocks, which might lead to severe injuries.

Therefore, before launching off for the next hold, climbers need to move their hips towards the wall. Besides, this also allows the climbers to extend their bodies if the targeted holds are further away.

Although a simple step, it gives climbers the much-needed flexibility, balance, and strength for deadpointing. So, make sure to execute the dynamic hip motion before making your next move while performing this technique.

When Should You Deadpoint?

Deadpoint is a dynamic climbing technique that is mostly used by advanced climbers. Unlike other climbing techniques, deadpointing is not the frequent move that you’ll come across in your everyday climbing sessions.

Having said that, it has long been part of the professional climber’s repertoire of the moves. Although a tough move to break, it has been one of the most significant techniques while scaling challenging routes.

But, when should you execute the deadpoint while climbing?

Usually, deadpointing techniques are only used in challenging circumstances where the climber’s body is at full extension and unable to grab the next hold. In other words, it is executed to grab holds that may not be possible to reach statically.

As mentioned above, it is executed from a position that novice climbers may consider a point of no return.


Well, that’s all for our step-by-step guide to master the technique of deadpoint. If you’re an aspiring climber looking to take your climbing skills to the next level, it is vital to learn as many climbing techniques as possible.

Deadpointing is hands-down, one of the most dynamic techniques in rock climbing. Although difficult to master, it is one of the most effective movements while climbing in challenging routes.