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elnero


Feb 28, 2007, 7:56 PM
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Baby steps?
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I've got about a year of climbing experience behind me, all of it top rope or seconding. I've done all my homework and read as many anchor articles and books as I've been able to, read FOTH cover to cover... I have lots of free time...

I'd really like to start leading and getting more serious about climbing. I've got a partner, and a few other friends to climb with, most of em have racks and rope already, so the 'mentor' is covered.
My question is should I start by leading some sport routes before I do my first trad lead? Or should I use my rei dividend on some trad gear to help contribute to the gear and jump on a trad lead?
Basically, would leading some sport first help out at all? Or is sport and trad that different.

thank ya, flame away.


coastal_climber


Feb 28, 2007, 9:32 PM
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Re: [elnero] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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Why don't you ask your friends? I would reccomend sport first, then do trad, which is a whole new thing.


shockabuku


Feb 28, 2007, 10:18 PM
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Doesn't matter - go climbing.


hornboy101


Feb 28, 2007, 10:29 PM
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Re: [elnero] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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totally jsut climb... but if you get into gear.. as the list has said a million times... practice, practice practice the placments on the ground and such.. but I would say if your not mentally ready for the beast that is gear.. try sport till you get past the leading aspect.


anthonycuskelly


Mar 1, 2007, 12:03 AM
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Re: [elnero] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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I learnt sport first, which was good for me as I had less things to worry about. On the other hand, easy trad leads with lots of gear mean you can stitch it up.

Really, I think it depends on two things:
1: Do you normally climb a mix of sport and trad, or more trad? If you're only in trad areas, don't learn sport!
2: What do your mentors think? They've got a better idea of your capabilities and preferences than us.


spoon


Mar 1, 2007, 12:21 AM
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Re: [elnero] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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I've heard it said that people who start by leading sport find it harder to trust their gear (I know I did) when they transition to trad because they're used to bolts. On the other hand, I've heard that people who start by leading trad tend to avoid pushing themselves until they fall which keeps them from their true potential on hard sport climbs. I guess there are pros and cons for both.


granite_grrl


Mar 1, 2007, 5:29 AM
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I don't think it really matters. Whats the avalibility of easier (or whatever you can get up) sport or trad in your area? Which lines inspire you more? Do you have the cash for a trad rack, do you have friends you can go climbing with so you can use their racks?

I spent an terribly long time doing TR when I first started climbing. When I decided I was going to start leading it was with Trad. There was only one sport line easy enough for me to climb, the vast majority of the climbs were gear. Doing sport before trad didn't even cross my mind.


antiqued


Mar 1, 2007, 6:28 AM
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If I'm not too out of date - Your only sport locations are the New (5hr drive) and Pilot. Pilot has a limited # of routes, and can be quite a zoo.

Many people have an issue in stepping down numbers from sport to trad. You'll probably have to make that transition fairly quickly because of what is available to you. Why not start with the plentiful trad routes within a day trip radius? Your partners will probably loan you gear to start with. If they are pretty stripped, buy some gear that fills holes in their set up.


elnero


Mar 1, 2007, 6:48 AM
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thank ya much. I guess it really doesn't matter all that much. But yeah, most the routes around here are trad, with a few harder sport routes. Trad 'inspires' me more, as someone asked, but I was curious if many people started leading with the 'comparative' safety of bolts. My main partner has a fairly good sized rack, so I was planning on filling the holes and using some of his gear on my first leads.

Thanks for the 'go get em' attitude and advice


markc


Mar 1, 2007, 7:09 AM
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When I started leading, it was on sport routes. I didn't know many people that were into traditional climbing, and also didn't have the budget for it. Sport climbing was more accessible. I was also dealing with a pretty good fear of heights when I started climbing. I suspect jumping into traditional climbing (even on easy routes) would have been too much to adjust to at the time. It took me a little while to warm to multipitch traditional routes and then to start leading on gear.

That said, we're all different. I think working on placements and anchoring with your friends and then starting on very easy traditional routes is a fine way to start leading. If you suspect that's where climbing will take you and it's accessible to you, have at.


Partner jammer


Mar 1, 2007, 7:36 AM
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Learning to lead sport first will assist you with the head game of placing your own gear. By this, I mean that you would already have leading down to where you are comfortable on the sharp end, above your protection.

That said, I don't remember too many sport routes where I had climbed in NC, except at Sauratown, so it may be best to start on a trad route well below your ability for your first lead.

Know your gear and correct placements ... and have fun!


notapplicable


Mar 1, 2007, 3:11 PM
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Start with trad. I secretly blame sport climbing for all of my partners not being comfortable on gear. Also as everyone else has said, trad will open up alot more routes to you in your area. Of course if you want to start on sport you could go to Stone Mtn., you will find lots of bolts to clip.


socialclimber


Mar 4, 2007, 4:17 AM
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Once apon a time, there was no such thing as sport climbing....How do you think those guy got into leading?

Leading on gear is different to leading on bolts. If you want to climb trad, start leading easy trad. Maybe try to have someone oversee your anchor building to start with or practice alot on the ground.

Regarding gear, get an opinionon what you like before buying any.


gunkiemike


Mar 4, 2007, 6:50 AM
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Re: [spoon] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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spoon wrote:
I've heard it said that people who start by leading sport find it harder to trust their gear (I know I did) when they transition to trad because they're used to bolts.

I've seen too much of the opposite. Sport folks who runout 20 ft, dick in a rattly #2 Stopper and charge on, thinking they're as safe as if it were a bolt. Without exaggerating, I'd say that up to a third of the gear that new leaders place is not up to snuff. Learning trad means more than developing a lead head (which is all you'll get from sport. Well, that and an obsession over how to clip a dogbone such that every climbing photo looks like someone's back-clipped.)


fearlessclimber


Mar 4, 2007, 11:09 PM
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Re: [elnero] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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elnero wrote:
I've got about a year of climbing experience behind me, all of it top rope or seconding. I've done all my homework and read as many anchor articles and books as I've been able to, read FOTH cover to cover... I have lots of free time...

I'd really like to start leading and getting more serious about climbing. I've got a partner, and a few other friends to climb with, most of em have racks and rope already, so the 'mentor' is covered.
My question is should I start by leading some sport routes before I do my first trad lead? Or should I use my rei dividend on some trad gear to help contribute to the gear and jump on a trad lead?
Basically, would leading some sport first help out at all? Or is sport and trad that different.

thank ya, flame away.

Sounds like your takin it slow to me, i started leading the first day o climbed and started trading after one month, granted i did take it fast but i learned everything very quickly.

Go for it


amylovesred


Mar 27, 2007, 3:35 PM
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Maybe seeing as you posted this question in the trad forum you were hoping for a specific answer?

I tried leading sport before i tried leading trad but the sport lines in the nearest crags were too hard and I backed off. My first outdoor lead was actually on gear a friend had placed for me (I checked out all the placements as I was going by and they looked good to me, whatever my opinion was worth at the time). It was really fun and gave me a sense of accomplishment.

Have you tried leading in the gym?


ssong


Mar 27, 2007, 4:45 PM
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I learned sport leading in the gym, and have recently gotten to follow and then lead some trad climbs (after practice on the ground). I think that learning sport helped me with getting the feel of the good places to stop and hang while placing draws, which led to finding good spots to rest so I could place gear. It's such a different way to climb than toproping, where all you're concentrating on is pushing your technique. I first trad led on a 5.3, then a 5.5, where I had no worries at all about falling.


skurdeycat


Mar 28, 2007, 9:25 AM
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Re: [elnero] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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As long as you accept that climbing lower grades in Trad is not a threat to your manhood (or womanhood), you will probably find that climbing trad is a much broader experience, but far less athletically challenging.
It's a personality thing, do you enjoy being pushed physically, mentally or technically, and while the stereotype pure traddies and sport weenies certainly exist, most climbers probably do both, and boulder too, just enjoy each for what it offers. The goal of all climbing should be to have fun.

Skurdey


on_belay_hombre


Mar 28, 2007, 10:15 AM
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This probably sounds weird to most people but when I started leading (went from seconding trad to leading, no sport in between) I did some mock leads and also aided (A0-A1 no bolts) short climbs to get used to placing and trusting gear and seeing how they reacted when weighted. I feel this was a great way to learn how to place solid pro. I had a piece or two pop on me at first but I definately learned my lesson. You also learn how to place gear so that it can be weighted and still be removed easily. Just another view...


boymeetsrock


Mar 28, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Re: [elnero] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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I'm going to say something a little different here.

As you begin your career climbing, and chose between sport or trad as your first disapline, remember this.

All types of climbing are knowledge intensive. IMHO, sport climbing alows one to climb with less knowledge, and at the same time, you will not learn or experience many new things sport climbing. (I.E gear quality, extension/ ropedrag, and MANY, MANY other important concepts.)

One example I'll never forget was a sport climber who climbed a 140 ft. 5.14. What an accomplishment! Too bad he tried to lower off.... His partner lowered him off the end of the rope and the leader took @ an 80 ft fall.

My point is this. You have a good base of knowledge to begin with from your reading and following. But NEVER assume you know it all, and NEVER let your guard down. My biggest qualm with Sport climbing, is that many people start there and assume they know it all...

No matter what dissapline you start with, know that there is ALWAYS more to learn. Rememer this especially when you get into trad, and be prepared for many situations which are unique and which you are not familiar with.

IMHO sport clibing and bouldering breed ignorance. Don't let that happen to you.

-Boy


Gmburns2000


Mar 28, 2007, 11:32 AM
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Re: [boymeetsrock] Baby steps? [In reply to]
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Just go climb. That's how I learned. Mainly from climbing with others who knew more than me (supposedly), but also from experience and just playing around. Of course, taking a class is safest, but in reality, just go climb. No one will ever know everything.


zealotnoob


Mar 28, 2007, 11:41 AM
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...started climbing last August (top rope), bought my rack two months and several reads through the FOTHs later and started leading trad...still havn't tried sport. I say jump into the deep end if you're confident...but have a quality partner with a wizened eye (On_belay stopped me an inch to deck on my second lead) to throw you a line if you flail.


psprings


Mar 28, 2007, 12:03 PM
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baby steps [In reply to]
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Hey,

FWIW, I started much like you... lots of TRing [there were bolts for the TRs, didn't need gear]. When I started into leading, there were no sub .10 sport routes. I asked my mentor-dude-ninja-voodoo master climber who'd been around forever what I should do/need for beginning leads.

Basically he said: get a set of nuts, maybe with some doubles and some bigger hexes and you're ready for 5.5 to 5.8 for quite some time. So I did, and it worked well with him taking me to an easy climb and belaying me. Probably the most important thing that I was taught was to TEST my pieces... wiggle them, pull them at an angle like the rope could, etc. Testing passive gear really lets you know what is bomber and what is not.

Anyway, you can never go wrong buying a set of nuts. All nuts are pretty close to the same, and they're the staple of trad climbing. Get a set of nuts and a nut tool and you're good to go; it won't be a waste of money or a mistake or you wishing you'd "upgraded" or gotten something that was "better". Definately hold off on cams... that's what you end up wishing you'd used more before you invested $500+ for a set of cams compared to $80 for a set of nuts that you will be satisfied with.

Just my thoughts,
PS


zealotnoob


Mar 28, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Re: [psprings] baby steps [In reply to]
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psprings wrote:
Basically he said: get a set of nuts

Perhaps he was speaking less materially than you had interpreted. ...good advice either way.


(This post was edited by zealotnoob on Mar 28, 2007, 12:16 PM)


elnero


Mar 28, 2007, 12:30 PM
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Re: [zealotnoob] baby steps [In reply to]
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zealotnoob wrote:
psprings wrote:
Basically he said: get a set of nuts

Perhaps he was speaking less materially than you had interpreted. ...good advice either way.

Definitely important either way..
Well, I've got my eye on a sport route and a trad route that I think are very much in my limit next time I go out. Thanks for all the advice, I'll letcha know how it goes.

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