Originally Posted by mud
Yes, Using the granny gear really does take finesse. It is a fine balance between wheelie-ing and loosing traction. Trials REALLY helps with this one.
Practice, practice, practice......
Climbing steep hills on any mtn bike means putting your taint WAY up on the nose of the saddle and bringing your face right down towards the bar and 'rowing' your bike up the hill.
Rowing = pulling back and down to drive the rear wheel into the ground at the power portion of your pedal stroke. You still need to have a smooth pedal stroke or you'll break traction.