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dbrayack


Aug 20, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Pushing it for Trad...dangerous?
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Being a recent trad convert (from bouldering and sport), I've found that when pushing oneself on a traditional (gear) routes, it often becomes considerably more dangerous...

On hard sport routes, the bolts TEND to be closer, therefore is much safer!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to rope up for this 5.10a trad route...holy cow. I totally thought I was gonna die (and so did my buddies on the ground.) Of course, I was being dumb picked one with sparse gear!

What are your thoughts on pushing it hard on trad routes?

-Danno


jt512


Aug 20, 2007, 11:05 AM
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dbrayack wrote:
Being a recent trad convert (from bouldering and sport), I've found that when pushing oneself on a traditional (gear) routes, it often becomes considerably more dangerous...

On hard sport routes, the bolts TEND to be closer, therefore is much safer!

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to rope up for this 5.10a trad route...holy cow. I totally thought I was gonna die (and so did my buddies on the ground.) Of course, I was being dumb picked one with sparse gear!

What are your thoughts on pushing it hard on trad routes?

Seems like you answered your own question.

Jay


Partner j_ung


Aug 20, 2007, 11:10 AM
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What route was it, Dan?


reg


Aug 20, 2007, 11:20 AM
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dbrayack wrote:
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to rope up for this 5.10a trad route...holy cow. I totally thought I was gonna die (and so did my buddies on the ground.) Of course, I was being dumb picked one with sparse gear!
-Danno

as a novice trad leader myself, i would say that you may have missed some intermediate placements along the way that would have help you avoid/lessen the danger you felt.
for sure trad is more dangerous and more adventurous as well.


8flood8


Aug 20, 2007, 11:22 AM
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the cool thing about hard trad is you can always aid it!


granite_grrl


Aug 20, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Its all about being proficient placing gear. Placing good gear, quickly, without pumping out. If the gear you place is good its shouldn't be any more dangerous than a sport climb.

So does that mean if I head to the New sometime this fall I'll see you placing nuts instead of clipping bolts? Wink


dbrayack


Aug 20, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Angel's Arete (in full on sun)...I got the RP behind the hollow death flake but was sketching at the crux.


petsfed


Aug 20, 2007, 11:32 AM
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There are two kinds of hard trad routes: hard cracks and hard gear protected faces. If you're on a hard crack, its just a matter of keeping the jams long enough to get gear in, which can be pretty damn hard, but the gear's still there. If its hard face climbs, you've just got to get comfortable when you're a long way above crap gear.

Its a lot more work to start climbing hard enough trad that the falls seem safe. So you've just got to push the grades and seek out the climbs with safe falls when you try to come to terms with getting above your gear and doing hard moves above your gear.

That does not mean take practice falls. That means setting good gear and getting yourself into a position where it would be ok to fall. Often in trad climbing, you'll see people backing off of routes well within their ability because they are afraid of falling and haven't developed the risk assessment skills that help them decide when its ok to fall or not. I still wrestle with that problem. You just have to go for it and adjust your comfort limits. I would suggest a bottom-up approach (that is, increase the difficulty incrementally until you fall, rather than starting with hard stuff and working down) as you're less likely to get killed that way.

With crack climbing, at any rate, the ultimate key is mileage until you trust your jams, which may mean a metric ass load of toproping the routes you just led so as to figure out the absolute best way to jam in any given situation.


flamer


Aug 20, 2007, 11:32 AM
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8flood8 wrote:
the cool thing about hard trad is you can always aid it!

Really?
Ever heard of Jules Verne? Or The Bachar/ Yerian? What about Risky Business in Red rocks?

There are LOT'S of hard trad lines that can't be aided.
Don't ever assume you can always "just" aid.

josh


petsfed


Aug 20, 2007, 11:33 AM
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8flood8 wrote:
the cool thing about hard trad is you can always aid it!

That is most assuredly not true. Its just that most of the good hard trad can be aided.


deschamps1000


Aug 20, 2007, 11:34 AM
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Depends on the route. Splitter cracks can be protected whenever you feel sketched and thus have less fall potential than sport. Sounds like you were not on a splitter!


dbrayack


Aug 20, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Re: [petsfed] Pushing it for Trad...dangerous? [In reply to]
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Yah. Good post man, for sure.

I've hardly ever seen people take honest to God lead falls on trad gear....I see it all the time on sport climbs, its casual.

But if you're going to push yourself to the limit on trad climbs, shouldn't you be falling on them too? I guess there's a difference, like you said between a hard crack (pretty much consistent gear) and run-out face climbs...

Do any of you guys consistently take big falls on trad gear?


jt512


Aug 20, 2007, 11:46 AM
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dbrayack wrote:
Do any of you guys consistently take big falls on trad gear?

Yes, but you have to be able to judge when it is safe to do so. An "RP behind a hollow death flake" doesn't sound like such a case. In trad you will find situations in which a fall means almost certain injury or death, and you have to deal with it accordingly. You have to be able to see these situations before you are committed to them, and be able to judge whether you have the skills needed to climb through to the next good gear placement. You can then decide whether to commit to the dangerous section or to back off the route.

Jay


8flood8


Aug 20, 2007, 11:48 AM
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i read a post from one of the metolius guys a month or so back.

he said that 1 in 20 good placements fail.

the clearly screams to me, do not fall, ever. at least on trad routes.

now then i'm up here in hawaii right now... i got on the "warm up climb" here on the north shore at mokuleia it was an 5.8+...

i was looking down at the bolt about 4 feet below me around the arete and i could see my quick draw kind of banging on the edge... the next bolt was out of my reach and i just sat on my toes (they were burning) for about 6 minutes, trying to figure out how my escape route could not involve falling on that freaky little bolt below me...

later in the day i was thinking... maybe i just don't fall enough (but i think i was wrong ... there's no need to fall!)

anyway kind of rambling i mostly just posted to relay the idea from the metolius dude! remember 1 in 20 good placements fails. what is that 5%??


jt512


Aug 20, 2007, 11:49 AM
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8flood8 wrote:
he said that 1 in 20 good placements fail.

0 in 20 good placements fail. That's why they're "good."

Jay


vegastradguy


Aug 20, 2007, 11:50 AM
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i've found that the more experience i've gained on gear, the easier it is to push myself. my ability to read the route, protect before and after cruxes (and/or runouts), etc, etc, make it easier to approach a route that is at my limit.

also, being willing to climb above your gear and know that the fall will be clean (no matter how long it is) is something that take a while to wrap your mind around. i was on a 5.9 on Saturday and was something like 40' above my last good piece pulling crux moves- it wasn't too hard, but when i was done with it, i was really happy that i had the experience necessary for me to be able to do that. had i done that route when i originally wanted to 3 years ago, i would have been shitting my pants on that lead!

that said, i push myself in small increments- i dont fall very often- and while there is something to be said for pushing yourself until you fall, i dont mind advancing a little slower and taking fewer whips.


billl7


Aug 20, 2007, 11:57 AM
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Re: [dbrayack] Pushing it for Trad...dangerous? [In reply to]
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A commonly known rule of thumb: With trad routes, the pushing-your-envelope choices include i) climbing difficulty and ii) protection difficulty. When you want to push your lead abilities, try to choose a route that will challenge you in either area but not both at the same time.


dbrayack


Aug 20, 2007, 12:03 PM
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solid advice....right on.


deschamps1000


Aug 20, 2007, 12:21 PM
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flamer wrote:
Really?
Ever heard of Jules Verne? Or The Bachar/ Yerian? What about Risky Business in Red rocks?

There are LOT'S of hard trad lines that can't be aided.
josh

Bachar / Yerian is bolted.


8flood8


Aug 20, 2007, 12:24 PM
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i know you always think you are right, J... but that is pretty much a quote, although i didn't look up the post so that i could quote it directly.

Aren't you a sport climber anyway?


zealotnoob


Aug 20, 2007, 12:27 PM
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I say push it...but choose a G route.


iamthewallress


Aug 20, 2007, 12:27 PM
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I find that most people with less than a few years of experience on less than 5.10 are almost always pushing their limits with respect to the gear or the objective hazards, whether they realize it or not.

Folks pushing the limits of harder traditional climbing have a lot of great technique and strength in the bag and need to work out perfect sequences and the like.

Folks pushing from 5.7 to 5.8 need to learn the techniques, and this can often be done more safely and efficiently w/in their no-fall zone.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Aug 20, 2007, 1:06 PM)


8flood8


Aug 20, 2007, 12:43 PM
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jt512 wrote:
8flood8 wrote:
he said that 1 in 20 good placements fail.

0 in 20 good placements fail. That's why they're "good."

Jay

"During my tests, about one in twenty good-looking placements pulled out when loaded. The challenge is to figure out why the cam pulled, and what could have been done to prevent this from happening. "

http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=1650449;search_string=1%20in%2020;#1650449



sitting here i am almost betting that you are going to try and point out the difference between "good" and "good looking" placements, but please tell me how you can discern the two without weighting it.


8flood8


Aug 20, 2007, 12:46 PM
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i believe that the bachar/yerian route is still "trad" because of the style in which it went up (at least according to the zealots around here)


iamthewallress


Aug 20, 2007, 12:53 PM
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jt512 wrote:
8flood8 wrote:
he said that 1 in 20 good placements fail.

0 in 20 good placements fail. That's why they're "good."

Jay

Touche, Jay.

If it was standard for fine looking placements to fail, then most/many people would fall roughly twice per C1 pitch of aid climbing where looking good is tends to be the preferred testing method before forging ahead. This simply doesn't happen with experienced climbers.

That said, once you fall, there are more things to worry about than the peice failing. Many novice leaders are so worried about the gear failing that they don't appreciate the other risks.


(This post was edited by iamthewallress on Aug 20, 2007, 1:00 PM)

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