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where did you learn how to trad lead climb
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alexschultz1


Dec 22, 2007, 8:49 AM
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where did you learn how to trad lead climb
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christmas is finally here and im getting my first rack, the only question is how do i learn how to use it? im the most experienced climber of all my friends so i cant rely on them to help me out. Ive been climbing for about a year now and only have toproped, no cliffs around here have bolts. Im 18 years old and would like to live out the rest of my life out of a wheel chair so i want to get a very good understanding of how to place cams, and lead climb in general before i go out and try it and make a mistake.

theres a couple climbing gyms near me, should i pay someone to teach me? or is it something that i can learn how to do by reading a book? or both?


coastal_climber


Dec 22, 2007, 8:53 AM
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If you've never led before, you might want to try sport leading first, just to get the general practices down, belaying, clipping, etc.

If you contact a local guiding service, they usually offer a traditional lead course that teaches the basics of placing gear. If that isn't an option, try hooking up with an experienced leader, and learn by seconding.

>Cam


eliclimbs


Dec 22, 2007, 9:10 AM
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I agree with the above poster. If those options won't work, get a book like "How to Rock Climb", go to your local crag, and practice placing pro while on the ground. Also, look for very easy trad climbs with bolted anchors. Good luck and be safe.

Eli


shockabuku


Dec 22, 2007, 9:28 AM
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Practice placing the gear on the ground and hang on it and bounce on it to see what's good and what isn't. Start with easy climbs that you've done before when you start leading; real easy. You want to be able to focus on the gear and not have to worry about the climbing at the same time.

Make haste slowly.


alexschultz1


Dec 22, 2007, 9:28 AM
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thanks man ill try that. im trying to be as safe as possible and dont want to risk a fall because i was to lazy / cheap to learn how to do it right


ja1484


Dec 22, 2007, 9:56 AM
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On rocks. Where else?

In seriousness: A guiding service will be probably be the fastest route to start. Just don't make the mistake of thinking because you have the knowledge, you'll have the opportunity to use it.

Sometimes climbing isn't so forgiving as that. That's where judgement comes in. Despite what talk about "boldness", onsighting, and peer pressure would have you think, a better climber backs off to live another day. Don't wander into something that has a good chance of getting you hurt if you don't think you can manage the risk.

And make no mistake: Even if you know what you're doing, trad climbing is plenty dangerous. There are no guarantees about that wheelchair.


(This post was edited by ja1484 on Dec 22, 2007, 10:00 AM)


roseraie


Dec 22, 2007, 9:59 AM
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How have you been setting up anchors to toprope?

The other posters in this thread have given great advice, but I'm going to add one bit:

Don't leave the ground on lead without at least chatting with SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO LEAD TRAD. Ideally, he or she should be present for your first few trad leads. If this means paying someone to teach you, so be it.


alexschultz1


Dec 22, 2007, 10:07 AM
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over the past year ive been climbing about 30 times and set up my toprope each time. i own about 100 feet of static rope and 120 feet of 1" webbing so i can set up multiple routes while im at the top and just switch the climbing rope from one route to the next w/o having to redo all the anchors.


roseraie


Dec 22, 2007, 10:14 AM
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My question was more this: if there are no bolts at your cliff, to what do you anchor yourself? Do you place pro? Have you received proper instruction in anchor building?


jcrew


Dec 22, 2007, 11:11 AM
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alexschultz1 wrote:
and would like to live out the rest of my life out of a wheel chair so i want to get a very good understanding of how to place cams, and lead climb in general before i go out and try it and make a mistake....

first, that's a mature and reasonable statement.....i think you have the right attitude for trad.

.....
In reply to:
should i pay someone to teach me? or is it something that i can learn how to do by reading a book? or both?

can you stack and coil a rope quickly, provide a nice, attentive belay, carry more than your share of the gear, listen without undue questioning, suffer, and have shiny new gear? if the answer to these questions is "yes", then you are a perfect trad. apprentice. just find some old, hard dog, impress him /her with your patience, flash your new rack......and then follow, clean gear, and lead anything that is well within your ability once you get the gist of rigging anchors. and as was said above, all under the close supervision of your "master."

i learned exactly this way, at Skaha Bluffs, B.C.


(This post was edited by jcrew on Dec 22, 2007, 11:16 AM)


moose_droppings


Dec 22, 2007, 11:30 AM
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alexschultz1 wrote:
christmas is finally here and im getting my first rack, the only question is how do i learn how to use it? im the most experienced climber of all my friends so i cant rely on them to help me out. Ive been climbing for about a year now and only have toproped, no cliffs around here have bolts. Im 18 years old and would like to live out the rest of my life out of a wheel chair so i want to get a very good understanding of how to place cams, and lead climb in general before i go out and try it and make a mistake.

theres a couple climbing gyms near me, should i pay someone to teach me? or is it something that i can learn how to do by reading a book? or both?

Surely you jest?
Wink


spikeddem


Dec 22, 2007, 11:41 AM
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alexschultz1 wrote:
over the past year ive been climbing about 30 times and set up my toprope each time. i own about 100 feet of static rope and 120 feet of 1" webbing so i can set up multiple routes while im at the top and just switch the climbing rope from one route to the next w/o having to redo all the anchors.

Does your new rack include a dynamic rope? Trad climbing on a static rope is not a bright idea.


Partner the_shoe


Dec 22, 2007, 11:47 AM
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The way that worked best for me was to climb a bunch of sport in the gym and outdoors. As was mentioned it helps to develop your head for leading above your last piece of protection.

While leading a bunch of sport I stumbled upon a older partner who had been climbing trad for a bunch of years. I followed him up anything and everything he wanted to lead. In my first year following him we must have climbed 50 routes together. During that time he was very open towards teaching me all the skills that I would need to break free from his lead one day.

As I would follow his routes I learned a lot as I tried to remove his gear. There were routes that he would float and I would remove his gear and focus on his placements trying to figure out why he placed gear in the places he did, I'd take notice of the placement it's self, take notice of the stance and position and look ahead at his next piece and what options I could see for gear that maybe were better or worse then what he had placed. I also learned a lot when we would climb routes that were right at his level of leading. Trying to remove gear following a strung out lead was one of the best learning experiences.

As I made my way to the belay I would study his anchors and compare them against the TR anchors he had taught me to build, I would then pay attention to how they were different for the type of climbs and belay stations.

When I finally broke off a started leading my own routes I can honestly say that I was doing so with complete confidence in my abilities and safety. In a short time I was letting my climbing and not my gear placements dictate my route selection. Every-time I set off to lead a climb now I continue to learn things that you only get to learn by leading.

It comes full circle, as I now help usher some of my climbing friends into their trad heads. The one thing that I notice is how much experience I gained for being such a young leader, just by following someone so experienced. Now with routes under my belt from all over the world. I can say for me the approach I took was invaluable. People will tell you to just start leading and there is nothing wrong with that approach, in fact eventually that is just what I did. There are things that I learned from books and following so many routes that I could never have learned on my own in short enough time to feel safe. It will take time, either you will spend tons of time climbing really easy routes learning from your mistakes and feeling sketched out or you will follow a ton of routes learning the whole way with the help of a experienced leader. Either way if you remember climbing is fun regardless you will be fine. I still love following the guy who taught me on really hard lines. It's fun.

Good Luck.


zuegma


Dec 22, 2007, 1:06 PM
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I started under the wing of a friend/guide of mine. I spend most of my time in the gym learning how to lead sport and taking some other free clases and such. Then after picking up a job i had some extra money and decided to takea guided trrip to seneca. It ended up being really cool b/c there were only two students and there were two guides so i got 1 on 1 instruction and was able to learn a lot. It was a ton of fun. Then over the summer i started leading routes that i was very familiar with at my local crag, and then moved onto routes that i had never tried before.
This summer i am looking forward to going back there with a friend of mine and doing the leading myself.
good luck and be safe.


livinonasandbar


Dec 22, 2007, 2:31 PM
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"christmas is finally here and im getting my first rack, the only question is how do i learn how to use it?"

1. Pick a nice crag that's not too cold in winter.
2. Send me an airline ticket.


punk_rocker333


Dec 22, 2007, 10:55 PM
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Don't listen to anyone from Florida, they have no rock there.


livinonasandbar


Dec 23, 2007, 3:11 PM
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punk_rocker333 wrote:
Don't listen to anyone from Florida, they have no rock there.

Punk...


8flood8


Dec 23, 2007, 10:00 PM
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I mostly learned by leading easy stuff. I bought a set of hexes from some dude here on rc.com. I did a mock lead at some short wall in eugene and then went and spent a week in squamish with some friends. lead my first pitch on dierdra. a 5.8, the third pitch I believe. then I got some cams cheaply from rock empire. I read and reread john long's anchor book. then I started leading at enchanted rock. pick out some low angle routes... the kind that you can pretty much climb without hands if you HAD to... getting someone to critique your placements is clutch, but if that isn't available, stay on the ground, clip a throwaway sling to some placements and BOUNCE HARD. learn what pops and what holds weight. if you are leading and it gets scary, put in another piece and get after it! things to remember1. learn what a multi-directional placement is. 2. don't plug up all your holds with gear. 3. take it slow and try to estimate what gear you will need before you go up. 4. LOOK AT SOME ANCHOR PICTURES! and understand what makes a good anchor and why. good luck and remember... 3 cams cost less than a wheel chair!


yokese


Dec 23, 2007, 10:41 PM
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8flood8 wrote:
... stay on the ground, clip a throwaway sling to some placements and BOUNCE HARD...

Use a helmet when testing placements that way... no, seriously.


CaptainPolution


Dec 24, 2007, 12:31 AM
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figure out what good placements are

then

learn how to set an anchor up

then

go climb something easy


DaniW


Dec 24, 2007, 2:11 AM
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i learn the basic of trad climbing with a guide, then i went to Arapiles, Australia. well, it seems to be the best trad school anywhere! lots of great easy(and very easy) routes from single to multipitch on a perfect rock with perfect protection anywhere(almost :) ! also, get the book: CLIMBING ANCHORS


mangiari


Dec 26, 2007, 3:51 AM
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where did you learn how to trad lead climb?
There: http://members.financial.com/.../slides/IMG_4670.JPG

The area provides real trad climbing, they don't even use bolts on the top. Every route tops out and if you want to rapell, you have to build an anchor yourself. The last one in the evening has to walk down, what means half an hour bush work. That's real trad ethik Cool

I learned most stuff by myself, but looking at my close calls, I would not recommend that at all.

If you have routes out there, that can be protected with natural gear and also have good toprope anchors available, take one that is not too easy and aid it, being protected in toprope. At least with spring loaded camming devices, you will earn a lot of understanding by that. Helmets are never a bad idea.


clymber


Dec 26, 2007, 5:02 AM
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one thing i used to do alot was goto a local bouldering area or even the cliff and start bouldering around with your rack...as you are going place gear build anchors etc etc....ppl give you some strange looks but who cares.....also depending on where you live hire a guide for a learn to lead class or try to find some trad climbers at your gym...i followed for a year or so before i started to lear trad...in my opinion theres no need to sport lead first..if you want to learn trad start praticing....im thinking all the old hard core climbers back in the day didnt have sport to practice with before jumping into the trad lead


knieveltech


Dec 26, 2007, 6:45 AM
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I read Freedom of the Hills and John Long's book on anchors cover to cover six times. I spent hours tying and retying knots one-handed while sitting on the couch. I headed out to the local crag a couple of times and spent the day placing gear and rigging anchors on the ground. I posted pictures of my placements online to see what other people thought. I seconded a small handful of routes (nowhere near as many as I would have liked). I practiced eyeballing cam placements in my apartment (bomber #3 camalot between the kitchen counter and the fridge) then I went out to one of the local climbing areas and hopped on a short 5.3 and stitched it up (I can climb 5.9, maybe 5.10).

Read everything you can get your hands on. Consider hiring a guide if you can afford it. If seconding someone more experienced isn't an option spend a lot of time placing and cleaning gear and rigging anchors on the ground. Then go find a route that you could climb barefoot with one hand (literally) that offers plenty of gear placements, and get your send on.


(This post was edited by knieveltech on Dec 26, 2007, 7:22 AM)


wzrdgandalf


Dec 26, 2007, 9:28 AM
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clymber wrote:
one thing i used to do alot was goto a local bouldering area or even the cliff and start bouldering around with your rack...as you are going place gear build anchors etc etc....ppl give you some strange looks but who cares.....also depending on where you live hire a guide for a learn to lead class or try to find some trad climbers at your gym...i followed for a year or so before i started to lear trad...in my opinion theres no need to sport lead first..if you want to learn trad start praticing....im thinking all the old hard core climbers back in the day didnt have sport to practice with before jumping into the trad lead

That has to be the funniest thing ever. Its good advice definately because you need to be ready for the extra weight while climbing, but I cant get the mental picture out of my head of someone walking to the boulderfield with a rack on them Smile

I would also like to recommend that you set up mock leads. Set up a TR and climb with your belayer giving you plenty of slack on your top rope. Take some small lead falls on your placements and see what holds. If it doesnt hold, then no big deal because you have your TR. I will say though that you need to be careful about your face. Gear could possibly pop out to your face if you fall at the right height. You dont need to go off to college or out to parties with a missing front tooth. But a kicka$$ scar could definitely


(This post was edited by wzrdgandalf on Dec 26, 2007, 9:30 AM)


alexschultz1


Dec 26, 2007, 9:52 AM
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roseraie wrote:
My question was more this: if there are no bolts at your cliff, to what do you anchor yourself? Do you place pro? Have you received proper instruction in anchor building?

the couple of cliffs around me have large trees at the top and bolts to help anchor.

Does your new rack include a dynamic rope? Trad climbing on a static rope is not a bright idea.
ya i picked up a bluewater 60m 10.2mm rope from backcountry.com for $80 w/ free shipping.


reg


Dec 26, 2007, 10:41 AM
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i had a mentor - if i didn't i would have paid guides to learn me "the ropes".
or hung out at the crags and tried to meet partners/mentors.

some said climbing on a static "is not a bright idea" -it is a death wish.

take out door classes at the gym for both top rope and lead instruction.

read read read FOH, john long, self rescue, etc


binrat


Dec 26, 2007, 3:47 PM
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yokese wrote:
8flood8 wrote:
... stay on the ground, clip a throwaway sling to some placements and BOUNCE HARD...

Use a helmet when testing placements that way... no, seriously.

That reminds me of a fine climber from Toronto a few years ago. Middle of his forehead was a bruise that looked like a #10 stopper on top. Cable marks and all. Priceless.


mountainstuss


Feb 17, 2008, 7:35 PM
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Prescott College in Arizona. I got a bachelor's degree in Wilderness Leadership emphasis on teaching/ guiding rock climbing. Highly reccomended but very expensive.


CaptainPolution


Feb 17, 2008, 7:57 PM
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I taught myself. Nothing will help you more than climbing with somebody who actually knows what they are doing though. Don't be stupid, get someone to properly teach you.


GeneralBenson


Feb 18, 2008, 9:50 AM
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Another great book is Rock Climbing Anchors by Craig Luebben. It's part of the Mountaineers series of red covered books. Long's book is good, but some of the pictures are confusing and it's a touch antiquated. Luebben's book is incredible in my opinion. Very accurate, descriptive and easy to understand. I read Long's book, and picked up alot, but didn't feel like quite understood it all. Luebben's book gave a much deeper sense of understanding and confidence. It also has alot of very up to date scince and physics and the like.


fenderfour


Feb 18, 2008, 9:57 AM
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I learned in my head. Placing gear is easy. Keeping calm and making everything happen how and when it needs to is not.


sausalito


Feb 18, 2008, 10:01 AM
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just wondering how many years have you been out of college? Are you making a living with that degree?


irregularpanda


Feb 18, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Alex-
i also learned with a mentor. It's really best because (if you're lucky) you'll learn the basics and be able to borrow gear until you figure out what you like.

Also, I learned in squamish, BC, where the crack is friendly.....


robbovius


Feb 19, 2008, 8:57 AM
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I am self-taught. I started outm byb buying a few nuts and then began using them to build top rope anchors at my local crag (College Rock in Hopkinton MA) . as my gear collection increased, I used the new pieces in my top rope anchors. I would have a couple more experienced climbers who are/were regulars at my local crag look at my pklacements and critique them, but I pretty quicly was able to determine what what a good placement, and what was not. as mentioend by others, I read A LOT. mostly FOH, and always strived - still do - for an FOH textbook placement.

I seconded one lead before takling off on my own, leading easy stuff, and repeating those leads multiple times, sewing them up.

I've fallen on my own gear several times (talking leading here, not the hundreds of top rope anchors I've built), and it's always held

I don't know if I would have done better with a mentor or not. there are those of us who are of the mindset that, they'll look at some thing, witness some activity and think, "oh, I can do that", and then go and figure it out on their own.

part of that learning process includes the adventure of learning something by your own furrowed brow and thinking things through...I don't think it's for everyone, and I admit I've scared the absolute shit out of myself a few times in the past, following this course.

in general, I would say get a teacher, as anyone asking about how to learn trad, probably needs a teacher/mentor, as their question implies a request to be taught. anyone who chooses to go the self taught route, would already be, as I was, out on the rock figuring things out.


jt512


Feb 19, 2008, 9:10 AM
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wzrdgandalf wrote:
clymber wrote:
one thing i used to do alot was goto a local bouldering area or even the cliff and start bouldering around with your rack...as you are going place gear build anchors etc etc....ppl give you some strange looks but who cares.....also depending on where you live hire a guide for a learn to lead class or try to find some trad climbers at your gym...i followed for a year or so before i started to lear trad...in my opinion theres no need to sport lead first..if you want to learn trad start praticing....im thinking all the old hard core climbers back in the day didnt have sport to practice with before jumping into the trad lead

That has to be the funniest thing ever. Its good advice definately because you need to be ready for the extra weight while climbing, but I cant get the mental picture out of my head of someone walking to the boulderfield with a rack on them Smile

I'm sure that it's a common sight in Pennsylvania.

Jay


blueeyedclimber


Feb 19, 2008, 10:05 AM
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I'm still learning.


robbovius


Feb 19, 2008, 11:38 AM
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blueeyedclimber wrote:
I'm still learning.

+1 ^ I am in the midst of a LONNNNGGG apprenticeship. maybe someday I'll make it to journeyman.


tolman_paul


Feb 19, 2008, 11:49 AM
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I took a few classes from Yosemite Mountaineering school in the 80's, and have been practicing and learning since then.

I didn't have any mentors, and was hard pressed to find partners with a harness and shoes let alone any pro, so it was a steep learning curve.

If you don't have a good school nearby, nor any experienced folks to show you the ropes, the next best thing would be to find every book on the subject, read them inside and out, and find some moderate cracks nearby that you could aid climb up and down.


erick


Feb 19, 2008, 5:17 PM
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i learned from a course. i don't have a mentor -- i'm the only one in my current circle of friends that wants to get into trad more.

http://www.yamnuska.com/advancedrock.shtml


notapplicable


Feb 19, 2008, 5:48 PM
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A lots of reading and even more trial and error.

Not recommended.


piton


Feb 20, 2008, 2:01 PM
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jt512 wrote:
wzrdgandalf wrote:
clymber wrote:
one thing i used to do alot was goto a local bouldering area or even the cliff and start bouldering around with your rack...as you are going place gear build anchors etc etc....ppl give you some strange looks but who cares.....also depending on where you live hire a guide for a learn to lead class or try to find some trad climbers at your gym...i followed for a year or so before i started to lear trad...in my opinion theres no need to sport lead first..if you want to learn trad start praticing....im thinking all the old hard core climbers back in the day didnt have sport to practice with before jumping into the trad lead

That has to be the funniest thing ever. Its good advice definately because you need to be ready for the extra weight while climbing, but I cant get the mental picture out of my head of someone walking to the boulderfield with a rack on them Smile

I'm sure that it's a common sight in Pennsylvania.

Jay

this dude from NJ use to climb that way and he happens to be one of the top climbers in the US right now.


greatgarbanzo


Feb 29, 2008, 10:19 AM
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I learned in J-Tree, CA. Better to extensively practice placement on the ground with some expert watching what you are doing and giving you tips/suggestions on how to better place the gear. If not possible just get all Jhon Long books... that worked for me.

I would not recommend trying sport climbing first to learn how to fall. Just get Arno Ilgner Book (Rock Warrior Way) and go for it.


unbreakablesoul


Mar 2, 2008, 4:51 PM
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I learned how to lead by reading John Longs Anchor Book and then getting out there and doing it.

I have been climbing for 2 years now and must say that I wish more than anything that I could just find someone really experienced to follow me and check my gear so I have some verbal affirmations. All I have right now is that it looks like the pictures in the book!


opti12206


Mar 24, 2008, 5:36 PM
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I learned to Trad climb by paying a guiding service. On my last trip to Enchanted Rock a week ago I led my first routes. The hardest was a 5.7. You need to find someone to help you. The learning curve for trad is way too steep. Start slow and stay well within your abilites. Worry about placing gear well. The climbing can come later.


EvilMonkey


Mar 24, 2008, 9:02 PM
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i too recommend finding a mentor. i spent a full season seconding on rock before doing my first lead on WI3+ on a route that i had seconded and TR'ed several times. another benefit to having a mentor is that they can show you how to rack your gear efficiently.


dta95b7r


Mar 27, 2008, 7:59 AM
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I started leading in red river gorge. Basically just lead climbs within my ability having the second critique.


dingus


Mar 27, 2008, 8:31 AM
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They dug my ass out of slimey dirt. This woke me up from a weird but interesting dream so I was fucking A pissed off from the start. This really ugly short dude with Bad Breath from Hell thrust the crappiest rack of gear you ever did see at me and then slammed a bogus helmet on my head. What with my headache I lost it, ripped that little dude's head off and added it to the rack. Then the Weirdometer went to 11 when this Evil White Dude with a Silver Beard told me, 'there is a climb I want you to do. Bring me the summit register. UNSPOILT.'
and sent me off with a team of German biatheletes for a Group Grope on the North Face of the Eiger. Twas there I placed my first bogus piece, made of tin and pot metal, and pounded into the fractured rock with the butt of my climbing sword. We didn't have any ropes so the whole thing seemed a bit over the top, but I was just doing what my programming instructed. And?

WE LIKED IT LIKE THAT.

You kids have it SO EASY these days.

DMT


rasoy


Mar 27, 2008, 9:05 AM
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Excellent dingus

You couldn't have said it any better. That's how it all starts.


gochubug


Mar 27, 2008, 9:46 AM
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Of course you should not rely on learning how to do anything from a book, let alone lead trad, but several essential books have been suggested as supplemental material, and I would add one more: TRADITIONAL LEAD CLIMBING by Heidi Pesterfield. I haven't seen the new edition, but the old one was very helpful to me.


jaybro


Apr 16, 2008, 6:06 PM
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That was too, funny, and at the same time poignant, Dingus!


Partner j_ung


Apr 16, 2008, 6:54 PM
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alexschultz1 wrote:
Im 18 years old and would like to live out the rest of my life out of a wheel chair...

Heh heh... never underestimate the value of "n't". Wink


karmiclimber


Apr 17, 2008, 12:07 AM
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I had a mentor. The first time I ever put on a harness and climbed, I rapped off trad anchors. I learned at the columns in Eugene, OR and at Smith. My mentor was self taught...which I don't recommend for the general population.


therat


Apr 17, 2008, 2:45 AM
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robbovius wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
I'm still learning.

+1 ^ I am in the midst of a LONNNNGGG apprenticeship. maybe someday I'll make it to journeyman.

If you stop learning, you just may die...


robbovius


Apr 17, 2008, 4:07 AM
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therat wrote:
robbovius wrote:
blueeyedclimber wrote:
I'm still learning.

+1 ^ I am in the midst of a LONNNNGGG apprenticeship. maybe someday I'll make it to journeyman.

If you stop learning, you just may die...

so? I was born. I'm DEFINITELY gonna die.


EvilMonkey


Apr 26, 2008, 1:52 PM
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play follow the leader for a season. go to your gym/crag and bribe a grizzly old dude who drves a van that he obviously lives in at least parttime with compliments, beer, smoke, and promises of being a worthy belay slave. if that doesn't work, flash your shiny new rack. it's like offering a bum crack. then, when he agrees to teach you, let him think that he actually climbs better than your little gym-rat ass. say stuff like, "good lead, i had to french-free the crux. you're sick, nice runout." oh, and ALWAYS mark your gear and sort the rack yourself. be sure to count your beaners. cheers!


quiteatingmysteak


Apr 26, 2008, 2:28 PM
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The best way to practice is to go to New Jack City with a rack sufficiant enough to repeat the Harlin Direct and wiggle some C4's into choss. Make sure to rappel FAST! I recommend a mat black figure eight and barbed wire tattoo.


EvilMonkey


Apr 27, 2008, 1:11 PM
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or you can lay down on the sidewalk and plug tcu's into the cracks, lady. budump bump bump budump yay!


tradrenn


Apr 27, 2008, 8:07 PM
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dingus wrote:
You kids have it SO EASY these days.

Amen to that.

For OP I learned on my own in Ontario, bought some books, bought some gear and off I went.


aerili


Apr 27, 2008, 10:39 PM
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Trad mentors can take many forms. They don't all have to be old and crusty. They can also be rather young and persnickety. (Although, since you are 18, I suppose they will seem old even if they are 35.)

I found my first trad partners by looking for people who also needed partners but who were racked and ready with several years under their belt. I'm lucky that I live in a large community of climbers, however, and that I met cool people as well right off the bat. One was new to the area so had no partners and another was newish to the area as well but was seeking less socially-melodramatic partners than his existing acquaintances. Over time, I met other experienced partners through them who were interested in climbing with me as well. It's a good idea to climb with as many experienced people as possible; I immediately experienced a wide array of perspectives, ways of racking, gear choices, tricks for cleaning, etc. I could make a list of various individuals and the one or two key things I learned and incorporated just from them and no one else.

Mostly I toproped and followed for a while so I could get a grasp of basic crack technique and cleaning gear.

Also, find a separate partner who really likes off width climbing and has all the gear for it. If they let you drive their Mustang, too, that's even better.

Lastly, if you are a reliable person and not too obnoxious and/or without anger management problems, you should eventually find a mentor willing to climb with you. But don't use the word "mentor." It will make them feel like you are an obligation.

P.S. Try to remember to bring your own food, water, tape, helmet, nut tool, and warm clothes when needed.

P.P.S. I forgot to mention it also helps if your blood relatives are already fairly experienced trad climbers and you can go on a trip with them at least 1-2x a year. Due to their close genetic connection and familial pride in you, they are more likely to take an interest in your Safe Trad Climbing Development.


(This post was edited by aerili on Apr 27, 2008, 10:43 PM)


go_dyno


Apr 29, 2008, 2:36 AM
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I'm no expert, but I learned to lead trad by finding cracks I could walk up the backside and set a bomber TR anchor and then my partner and I would practice leading and placing pro with 2 ropes. One rope TR and one for lead. Belaying is tricky but can be done safely. The trick was to carry a full rack and place as much pro as possible for practice. Then the real learning would come when the TR would be let out and you would throw yourself off to test each placement falling on the lead rope and the TR would catch you if you had a zipper. You would then see if anything popped, clean the piece and throw yourself off on the next piece. Each time you check to see if the piece shifted, you see if lower pieces popped because you didn't place them correctly to take outward pull from the rope as well as downward, etc. It really helps to teach you to place cams correctly this way and you learn to trust your gear as well. The confidence of having fallen on so many different types of pro and your placements of it really builds confidence which helps you climb better. If you have 2 people to belay you it makes it even easier to do this! Be safe and goodluck!

God Bless


Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Trad Climbing

 


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