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Is trad really just about gear?
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cchas


Jul 23, 2007, 7:43 AM
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Is trad really just about gear?
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Looking at 80% of the threads in this section, you would believe that trad climbing is just about gear. I find that this is stupid since I find gear and good gear placements as the easiest, and most boring part of it all. I find technique, like having to deal with overhanging ringlocks, and the mental aspects as far more interesting then comparing and contrasting hexes, tri-cams and cams.

Anyone elses thoughts?


(This post was edited by cchas on Jul 23, 2007, 7:44 AM)


dingus


Jul 23, 2007, 7:51 AM
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Re: [cchas] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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The essence of trad is 'ground up.'

On sight free solo is the ultimate trad expression, so no.... trad is not really *just* about the gear.

You start at the bottom and climb to the top, THAT'S trad.

DMT


moose_droppings


Jul 23, 2007, 8:02 AM
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Re: [cchas] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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cchas wrote:
Looking at 80% of the threads in this section, you would believe that trad climbing is just about gear. I find that this is stupid since I find gear and good gear placements as the easiest, and most boring part of it all. I find technique, like having to deal with overhanging ringlocks, and the mental aspects as far more interesting then comparing and contrasting hexes, tri-cams and cams.

Anyone elses thoughts?

Great, maybe you could give me some pointers because sometimes I find a good gear placement tuff at best.


dynamo_


Jul 23, 2007, 8:09 AM
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Re: [cchas] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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Dingus is spot on.

The amount of gear related questions in the trad forum is related to the large ratio of folks on this site that are just starting out and have questions about the mandatorily (unless you are free soloing) required stuff that goes with it.


cchas


Jul 23, 2007, 8:10 AM
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Re: [moose_droppings] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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I agree that you don't always get good gear. Heck for a 2 year period, I just did R/X rated routes, but when the gear isn't there, it isn't there. Then the game is about the mental aspect of it. And some days you are up to it and some days you aren't. This for me is probably THE most fascinating part about it. The next most fascinating part is working out the moves, and the places it brings you.

For me gear just allows me to go where I would like to go, in the cleanest manner.


(This post was edited by cchas on Jul 23, 2007, 8:13 AM)


dynamo_


Jul 23, 2007, 8:13 AM
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Re: [cchas] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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cchas wrote:
For me gear just allows me to go where I would like to go, in the cleanest manner.

Yessiree.


8flood8


Jul 23, 2007, 8:30 AM
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is it trad or is climbing


moose_droppings


Jul 23, 2007, 8:40 AM
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cchas wrote:
.... but when the gear isn't there, it isn't there. Then the game is about the mental aspect of it.

Even with good gear below me, I still find that part of the mental aspect.

In reply to:
For me gear just allows me to go where I would like to go, in the cleanest manner.

This really does sum it up.


fracture


Jul 23, 2007, 8:51 AM
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"Trad" is a word that means more than one thing.

So. Yes and no.


cchas


Jul 23, 2007, 8:58 AM
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fracture wrote:
"Trad" is a word that means more than one thing.

So. Yes and no.

So if its just about the gear, or it is defined by the gear, .... wouldn't that just suck. Isn't it so much more, and so much less then that.


dingus


Jul 23, 2007, 9:22 AM
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fracture wrote:
"Trad" is a word that means more than one thing.

So. Yes and no.

If you want to know about trad, ask a sport climber. Makes perfect sense to me!

DMT


chalkfree


Jul 23, 2007, 9:34 AM
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Trad is the leave no trace ethic expressed vertically.


jt512


Jul 23, 2007, 9:37 AM
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chalkfree wrote:
Trad is the leave no trace ethic expressed vertically.

I don't know whether to laugh or throw up.

Jay


grover


Jul 23, 2007, 9:53 AM
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Re: [jt512] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
chalkfree wrote:
Trad is the leave no trace ethic expressed vertically.

I don't know whether to laugh or throw up.

Jay

throw-up then laugh. less chance of choking.


zealotnoob


Jul 23, 2007, 9:59 AM
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Re: [cchas] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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Right. Just as climbing in general isn't all about how tight you buy your shoes or shorts, whether or not and how you use a gri-gri or what fluid you slosh on your rope. The experience we seek is more abstract and difficult to express.

Tradexistentialism Wink: just as Satre had the individual ultimately responsible for defining his existence, the trad leader--undirected by pre-placed anchors, beta or other preconcepts--is ultimately responsible for his climb.

Some feel that existentialism is a perview of pessimism. They think that life suffers without external meaning. But that is missing the point. It's not that you "HAVE to," you "GET to" discover you're own meaning and become the sole author of your existence.

When a trad leader decks because he gets pulled off by heinous rope drag and his nuts zipper (insert majid sketch here), he has only himself to blame. When he successfully summits a shear wall, with nothing other than his strength, cunning, wit and few chosen tools, he stands at the forefront of the realization of the individual.

Then he goes to work, gets all hyped up on coffee and spends way too much time on RC.com.


(This post was edited by zealotnoob on Jul 23, 2007, 11:54 AM)


ksolem


Jul 23, 2007, 10:08 AM
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Re: [grover] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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Traditional climbing is a style thing. It is not simply about gear, although how gear gets used is a point of style. For example, Magical Mystery Tour at Tahquitz Rock is a Trad climb despite it's use of bolts. Ground up. Protection placed by a leader. Boldness may be required, which can also be an element of style.

Another point of style: getting in over your head on a trad climb can have very different consequences than on a sport route. Wise decision making can be required.


coastal_climber


Jul 23, 2007, 10:33 AM
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cchas wrote:
Looking at 80% of the threads in this section, you would believe that trad climbing is just about gear. I find that this is stupid since I find gear and good gear placements as the easiest, and most boring part of it all. I find technique, like having to deal with overhanging ringlocks, and the mental aspects as far more interesting then comparing and contrasting hexes, tri-cams and cams.

Anyone elses thoughts?

Try aid if you want something just about gear.

>Cam


Oscar_the_Grouch


Jul 23, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Re: [coastal_climber] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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Trad is rad coz I feel manly when I talk about it at the gym.

Grover once told me that San Fran's gay scene was started when the old school yosemite dudes kicked out all the sport climbers. I don't know if thats true or not, but that's what he told me.


CinnamonJohnson


Jul 23, 2007, 11:05 AM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_climbing

Here guys, I think this should settle it for you...


livinonasandbar


Jul 23, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Re: [CinnamonJohnson] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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It's about problem solving... (route finding, protection, belays, rope management, the descent, etc.)


dingus


Jul 23, 2007, 11:28 AM
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Aid climbing IS trad climbing.

Ground UP baby.

Lose your blinders people!

DMT


psprings


Jul 23, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Re: [cchas] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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Yeah, I think you're right, the forums can disproportionately seem to focus on the "gear" side instead of the "climbing technique" but just because the forums tend to reflect that, I don't think that it means that when people are climbing that they are only doing it because they like gear.

For me, the whole reason that I trad climb is because of the freedom that it gives you: pick a crack, climb a mountain, whatever, you're not reliant on bolts. Different people have different reasons for trad climbing. For some people it may well be that they just like gear.

I think the problem is, it's hard to talk about why you like it or technique and actually be able to keep a discussion going. "The other day I was on this route that had a crux of a sidepull cross-over high-step that was super tricky and then turned into a tips lie-back, blah, blah, blah..." The problem is, most of the technique questions get solved because you finished the climb, hence you've answered your own question. Plus the fact that it's hard to convey technique and climbing moves with words on a forum.

Probably the reason that people talk about gear so much is because after the climb they keep thinking, "why did I bring so much freaking gear? What do I really need on my rack" or "how could I cut down on all those clusters that I had at every belay" or any number of other questions that would make the climbing more pleasant and more focused on the climbing instead or gear-related issues (didn't bring enough-sketching, brought too much-weighed-down, etc). If you deal with all of the gear related thoughts on a forum, then you don't have to deal with them on the rock.

My reason for asking gear questions on the forums is to come up with a rack that I'm happy with in most situations that allows me to climb my best, not focus on the gear (too little, or too much, it was an alien and would it hold?, whatever), and have fun exploring some multipitch wall somewhere. Heck, I just want to reduce any unnecessary suffering, LOL.

That's just my opinion and what I see in the forums. You might be right that some people just collect gear and like talking about it. I don't think it means that people aren't focused on climbing technique, though. I think that's just because climbing technique is difficult to talk about and discuss and usually is irrelevant unless you didn't make it up the route...

Peter

ps- maybe RC.com should start a more technique-focused trad forum?


(This post was edited by psprings on Jul 23, 2007, 12:01 PM)


dpurf


Jul 23, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Re: [dingus] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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Sport Climbing is defined by its gear more than Traditional or Aid climbing. Think about it and the limitation sport climbing has. 95% are 90 or less. You never top out on a climb and always get lowered or you have to rap down. Bolts are mandatory.


(This post was edited by dpurf on Jul 23, 2007, 12:02 PM)


Gmburns2000


Jul 23, 2007, 12:13 PM
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hmmm...and I thought it was always about my nuts. Silly me. Blush


climb_eng


Jul 23, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Re: [cchas] Is trad really just about gear? [In reply to]
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Some of the comments here are fucking ridiculous. Forget about the 'spiritual experience', leave-no-trace ethics, ground-up climbing or any other such bullshit.

'Spiritual experience' - Whatever turns your crank I suppose... but you can also have spiritual experiences while masturbating, watching porn and eating a bag of cheetos. Different strokes! Either way, it's not what defines the activity

Leave-no-trace ethics - If trampled plants, chalk on the wall, remains of fires and beer cans lieing around are experesions of leave-no-trace then you might be on to something.

Ground-up climbing - The only true ground-up climbers are the ones that show up with no beta, and just climb a line cause it looks good. This may be what trad climbing was 25 or 50 years ago, however today the vast majority of trad climbers are burning up existing routes, loaded with beta. Furthermore, if ground-up is the definition, a sport climber could just as easily climb a route ground-up... I've certainly hopped on sport routes with no information about the route, other then seeing a couple of bolts in the rock.

It's not about gear, gear is what facilitates the process. At the end of the day it all comes down to commitment and risk. Trad climbing requires a higher commitment and more risk than does sport climbing.

The reward is the means to climb up a lot more things than you could/would sport climbing.

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